Thomas Sowell “both surprises and overturns received wisdom” in this indispensable examination of widespread economic fallacies (The Economist)
Economic Facts and Fallacies exposes some of the most popular fallacies about economic issues-and does so in a lively manner and without requiring any prior knowledge of economics by the reader. These include many beliefs widely disseminated in the media and by politicians, such as mistaken ideas about urban problems, income differences, male-female economic differences, as well as economics fallacies about academia, about race, and about Third World countries. One of the themes of Economic Facts and Fallacies is that fallacies are not simply crazy ideas but in fact have a certain plausibility that gives them their staying power-and makes careful examination of their flaws both necessary and important, as well as sometimes humorous. Written in the easy-to-follow style of the author's Basic Economics, this latest book is able to go into greater depth, with real world examples, on specific issues.
The heart of the matter for Thomas Sowell (Basic Economics) is to ask, What are the facts? In his latest book, economist Sowell examines numerous misconceptions about life and economics. Sowell writes like an exacting scholar, but his arguments, which rely on economic analyses primarily, may suffer from oversimplification. Sowell argues that zoning restrictions and rent-control policies hurt those whom they re meant to help; intones that women earn less than men because they are far less likely than men to choose occupations that require very long hours; believes tenure helps neither students nor professors; demonstrates that even the poor have successfully moved up economically; tackles fallacies about race in America; and aims to convince that there is nothing baffling or morally wrong about the fact that different nations have different per capita incomes. He falters in his chapter on the academy, when he becomes an advocate rather than an observer, and oddly neglects the individual choice available to students. Sowell s purpose is to teach readers to examine beliefs more closely and more analytically, and the conclusions he draws are certain to inspire rigorous debate. This readable volume is a useful primer exposing how economics relates to the social issues that affect our country.