If only every politician were forced to read this, we may not live in a world where our leaders seem to have lost all understanding of the fact that we must produce, save and only then spend & invest!
This book is why economics fails. We are to learn about the authors opinions about how he thinks economics works in the real world. To do this he creates a total fictitious land and then translates from the fiction to reality. This does not work. Lets start with some basics. On his island everyone not only does every one have a job this job provides for all the basic needs. Clearly this does not exist anywhere in the real world and with such a base how can you believe all that flows from this world would translate into ours. He also ignores history. He views all regulations as bad. There was a reason regulations are created and often they solve a problem. In our recent history we have deregulated banks and savings and loans both lead to huge bailouts. I could go as with his poor explanation of why the gold standard is so important. After all in his world fish do provide a real benefit to the inhabitants they can eat it and survive. How is gold similar. It only has value because others want it not. How does he explain the tulip bubble or the internet bubble? This occurred with out any government involvement. I would leave his fantasy world in fantasy land and take no useful lessons from such dribble.
This book explains all of the complicated issues with spending money into the best metaphor EVER! It is simple. I even thought about sending a copy to the President! Great read, great explanation. Highly recommended.
This is more of a polemic than an economic argument. It is well written and quite entertaining, but it is not a clear or useful explanation of anything to do with our economy.
There is nothing to be learned from this book so don't waste your credits. I reccommend The Ascent of Money as a much better book on this topic.
This book contains a rather childish, simplistic and slanted view of our economy. And if you already understand economics on anything but a 8th grade level, you can pretty much skip it. I found that 80% of the information contained in the book is irrefutable, but a solid 20% is the product of faulty right-wing political thinking. Some examples:
The authors say that government is rife with corruption and waste. While corruption and waste do exist in government, it is likely not fair to paint with such a broad brush given the spending cuts and efficiencies that have happened over the past five years. Government spending is down. While corporate corruption seems to be accepted or overlooked by the authors.
The authors state that markets are the best way to make an economy grow. But they conveniently overlook government programs like the GI Bill, the Marshall Plan and the Interstate Highway act that had massive impacts on the US and world economy.
The authors also largely overlook the substantial greed and corruption in the private sector and discount the notion that there is a fundamental imbalance between the haves and have nots in our society largely caused by the people in their own industry. They are very good at pointing to a problem, and assigning blame (and bringing the same old gold standard argument up again), but they have no true thoughts on what to do to make the US economy more vibrant and diverse and equitable. If they think we will go back to 1920s monetary policy, they are mistaken.
And when the authors, who also narrated this book, started imitating the late Teddy Kennedy while portraying a corrupt politician, I had to shut the book off. Pete and Andy, you're no Teddy Kennedy.
I can deal with the whole economy based on fish on a desert island concept, but they take it way too far. And after an hour or so, it just gets annoying. What I can't take for a minute is the same level of simplicity and black and white thinking applied to social economics and the inequality in international markets. This book is too full of faulty thinking and slanted viewpoints to take seriously.
Husband, Father; Accounting, Tax, Financial Planning (CPA) Professional; Radio Amateur (NJ6A), American Conservative.
This fish story with commentary is worth hearing again and again. For those who understood ecconomics this book may clear away the errors of Keynes modern interpreters. For those who do not or did not understand ecconomics this book will bring enlightenment and a true understanding of ecconomic principles.
Chet Yarbrough, an audio book addict, exercises two cocker spaniels twice a day with an Ipod in his pocket and earbuds in his ears. Hope these few reviews seduce the public into a similar obsession but walk safely and be aware of the unaware.
"How the Economy Grows" reminds one of the story of “Chicken Little”, the 1943 animated film. The sky is falling according to the Schiffs because economists do not know what they are doing when tinkering with economic policy.
The Schiffs create an apocryphal tale of economic growth to simplify everyone’s understanding of economics. The “fish tale” they create is summarized at the end of each chapter with real world opinions about various real people–like John Maynard Keynes, Franklin Roosevelt, Alan Greenspan, Ronald Reagan, Henry Paulson, George W. Bush, Ben Bernanke, Barrack Obama; etc. Their tale suggests all of these men fail to understand the “truth” about what makes an economy grow and why it crashes. Putting aside the fact that neither of these authors are economists and neither have policy responsibilities like the people they criticize; one takes their opinion with reservation.
The Schiffs view economics through the prism of unbridled capitalism without regard to human consequence. Their fundamental argument is that government interferes rather than protects fair play in capitalist countries. Without using the words “trickle-down economics”, the Schiffs believe everyone benefits from capitalism.
One has to agree that government does interfere with capitalism but not always to the detriment of its citizens. Human beings are flawed. They are both good and evil because money, power, and prestige are motive forces in all humanity. Whether one is a business person or a government leader, he/she is motivated by human nature and, as a consequence, makes good and bad decisions. The Schiff tale of fishes infers that business capitalists always know best because they make decisions based on freedom of choice and market forces. The Schiffs infer that if capitalists make good choices everyone prospers; if they make bad choices they go out of business—they argue capitalist freedom is a win, win proposition.
Yes, just like Bernie Madoff who sits in jail while thousands of bilked investors lost their savings because they believed in Madoff’s capitalist vision—shame on those dumb investors. The Schiffs are right, Madoff is out of business.
The Schiffs are correct–bad government regulation impairs capitalism but no government regulation releases capitalist immorality. Human beings are flawed; complete freedom is anarchy.
The story was extremely educational. A real simplistic look at how simple economics really are. And how our country has used past economic dominance to fool the rest of the world. It was a WAKE UP CALL
The reality checks, where Schiff constantly reflects the story with real happenings today.
It's short, and very simple. Thought it was very well read, and well told.
The story line is simple, engaging, and fits very well with the reality we see around us. The simple truth is that you can't spend more than you make. Our current economic policies will come due at some point, and this book does a great job of explaining how and why.
Economics, like religion or health, is often seen as an incomprehensible mess of contradictory guesswork; but it's not, or at least it doesn't have to be. This book begins with a short explanation of the two theories of economics, then teaches us economics by using a simple and continuous story. The story is built line by line, easy to follow, and only requires the smallest bit of non-reality to make economics as simple as can be.
I didn't pay a lot of attention to which author was reading what. Both read well, alternating between one reading the story and the other reading the explanation/takeaway.
I liked the book so much I bought the new hardcover collector's edition and plan to tell the story to my kids.
This book should be basic required reading for all Americans.
Is very usefull and makes you understand that all we need to be productive not only consumer, and get you in the knowledge of how an economy works