A Brief History of Economics: Artful Approaches to the Dismal Science

A Brief History of Economics: Artful Approaches to the Dismal Science

E Ray Canterbery

Language: English

Pages: 560

ISBN: 9814304808

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Blending past and present, this brief history of economics is the perfect book for introducing students to the field. A Brief History of Economics illustrates how the ideas of the great economists not only influenced societies but were themselves shaped by their cultural milieu. Understanding the economists' visions - lucidly and vividly unveiled by Canterbery - allows readers to place economics within a broader community of ideas. Magically, the author links Adam Smith to Isaac Newton's idea of an orderly universe, F Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby to Thorstein Veblen, John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath to the Great Depression, and Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities to Reaganomics. The second edition is right up-to-date with a lively discussion of the economic crises of 2007-2010.Often humorous, Canterbery's easy style will make the student's first foray into economics lively and relevant. Readers will dismiss ''dismal'' from the science.

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all the outlets for horseshoing, will avoid the higher-priced shop and shod their horses elsewhere. A large number of sellers, the consumers’ knowledge of prices and shops, and the mobility of economic resources limit the ability of any single supplier to influence prices. The self-interest of one is held sway by the self-interest of others. An individual is ”led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.” The laws of the market mechanism also determine the

fuel was cheap and abundant. But after James Watt, Adam Smith’s friend, discovered how to lower fuel consumption, the steam engine became more widely useful. By 1800, there were perhaps 1,000 of the machines puffing away in Britain, with about 250 of those in the cotton industry. Steam power was a liberating force for large-scale capitalism. Steam, unlike water power, could be deployed anywhere, closer to markets where raw materials could be bought and finished products sold, and closer to

with the government, and the export of British newspapers was banned. In the most dastardly blow of all, lecture rooms charging admission (as most did) were legally classified as brothels! In 1799 and 1800, the Combination Laws prohibited any kind of combination of either employers or workers for the purpose of regulating conditions of employment. If there was hope for the British libertarians amid this sea of oppressive legislation, it was the selective enforcement of the Combination Laws

system that Marx wanted overthrown is now only vestigial, and the potential for revolution against industry has consequently diminished. If whatever the American economy is today were to be replaced by a Marxist one, it would not be pure capitalism that would be overthrown; you cannot overthrow what does not exist. 1. Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Queen Mab,” in The Complete Poetical Works of Shelley, ed. George Edward Woodberry (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Cambridge edition, 1901). 2. Friedrich Engels,

esteem among economists in his own day, Walras is now regarded as perhaps the greatest of the pure theorists, a change that reflects a keen fascination with mathematics. Walras also actively pursued policies aimed at improving human welfare. Walras’s general equilibrium notion differs from Marshall’s favorite vista of markets. Walras‘s system is very much in the tradition of Quesney and J.B. Say (see Chapters 2 and 3) because full employment is guaranteed by automatic market adjustments. Suppose

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