How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes uses illustration, humor, and accessible storytelling to explain complex topics of economic growth and monetary systems. In it, economic expert and bestselling author of Crash Proof, Peter Schiff teams up with his brother Andrew to apply their signature "take no prisoners" logic to expose the glaring fallacies that have become so ingrained in our country's economic conversation.
Inspired by How an Economy Grows and Why It Doesn't - a previously published book by the Schiffs' father Irwin, a widely published economist and activist - How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes incorporates the spirit of the original while tackling the latest economic issues.
With wit and humor, the Schiffs explain the roots of economic growth, the uses of capital, the destructive nature of consumer credit, the source of inflation, the importance of trade, savings, and risk, and many other topical principles of economics.
The tales told here may appear simple of the surface, but they will leave you with a powerful understanding of How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes.
©2010 Peter D. Schiff and Andrew J. Schiff. All rights reserved. (P)2010 Audible, Inc
The way the two brothers made a imaginary story to convey their ideas
The ah's of understanding
Made me sick how our politicians play with us "peasants"
Great read to understand how the economy works and who is in charge.
relevant, easily explained great parable the more times you listen the more you learn
I loved this book and would listen to it again in a heart-beat. The analogy is entertaining, accurate and in many cases, quite funny. I found myself laughing out loud at the character names who represent real people from American economic history.
The readers (and authors) did an excellent job reading the story. Andrew Schiff read the analogy and Peter would jump in with a series of
The climactic ending was both dramatic and prophetic. I found myself loving the ending and hating it at the same time. I loved the irony but hate how tragic the ending is for the people in the book. The United States is on the same path as the people in the book unless policy makers hit the brakes on current policy and change direction.
The book is essentially a parable of the growth of an economy, and eventually the growth and 20th century crises of the American economy. I can't say that it taught me a lot I didn't already know, but it does provide lots of information in condensed form. The format of a parable helps to clarify the authors' points, however it might also over-simplify, and make it easier to ignore points that might not fit with the authors' viewpoint. The points made do feel over-simplified at-times, and a slightly deeper discussion would have helped.
Their viewpoint, by the way, is quite reasonable - that the idea that consumer spending (fuelled by government-backed cheap credit) can be an engine of economic growth is an absurdity. Economic growth has to be based on actual production. They heavily criticize the US administration's response to the current crisis (throwing more money at the market, and pushing even more cheap credit - that caused the crisis in the first place). The essence of their argument is that the heavy government meddling in the market is at-least partially responsible for the meltdown, and that their response prevents the market from healing - the companies/people who made foolish choices, like trying to "flip" investment homes, should pay the price, instead of transferring their mistakes to all tax-payers.
Even if you don't fully agree with their analysis, this is an enjoyable listen, and I recommend it.
My 9 year old son started listening to this with me. He said "Dad so the fish is money?" and then put his book down and listened on our 2 hour road trip. I love it when a book can be both educational and fun and the topic be something important and usually dry like economics. Thank you for the excellent book.
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.
If it had been grounded in real economic theory instead of political fantasy
Not have written it so I woiuld not have wasted my money
The argument of this book: we can go back to the wonderful days of the 18th century with a few extremely rich and everyone else very poor, if only we could abolish government (except for law enforcement.) The writers, like many right-wing extremists, fail to understand that in a world of so many firearms, their policies would lead to social revolution and the destruction of the very capitalism they worship.
propaganda for a hyper free-market, neoliberal economic agenda that purely remains in the realm of not-so-well constructed thought models and doesn't even bother to provide a decent factual, empirical basis. it's a book for people who reject to think for themselves.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
"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.
A less self-righteous attitude, a less ridiculous plot... I don't know what to say, it's just so far off reality.
The way they try to portray "real" characters as "fictional" characters and their total lack of distance to the subject on which they are writing.
Sure... whatever, it's not part of the plot.
Everything! Really, everything!
The actual reading is not that bad (good thing they picked the right Schiff to do the voice). I'm by no means an opponent to capitalism or an open market. But the way the Schiffs whine about the current state of the economy, and how much better it would be if Keynes hadn't come along. Pathetic, really.
The large portion of how an economy really is built, i.e the first nine chapters, is not something I would debate too loudly. But then it goes from bad to piss-my-pants bad. Don't waste your money, and don't waste your time. There are far better books to read and/or listen to.
I shouldn't have trusted the high reviews on this one, thanks a lot, stupid review-system.
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