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Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science | [Charles Wheelan]

Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science

In Naked Economics, journalist Charles Wheelan does “the impossible”—he makes economic principles relevant, interesting and fun. Brimming with scores of down-to-earth examples and sprinkled with humorous anecdotes, this comprehensive overview will keep listeners smiling and wide awake.
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Publisher's Summary

In Naked Economics, journalist Charles Wheelan does “the impossible”—he makes economic principles relevant, interesting and fun. Brimming with scores of down-to-earth examples and sprinkled with humorous anecdotes, this comprehensive overview will keep listeners smiling and wide awake.

©2002; 2010 Charles Wheelan (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

“Gain an understanding of basic economics with little pain and much pleasure.” (Gary Becker, 1992 Nobel Prize winner in economics)

"This is a thoughtful, well-written introduction to economics, with the author projecting a genuine excitement for his material that makes it not quite so dismal." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (94 )
5 star
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4.2 (60 )
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4.1 (63 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    anonymous 06-07-11
    anonymous 06-07-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Some useful info but a lot more dogma do-do"

    I've always found it sad that what passes under the term "economics" today is really neoclassical economics, a very unrealistic, ideological, and reductionist interpretation founded on some very problematic assumptions (rational agents who maximize their own personal utility ignoring contextual economic conditions, equilibrium conditions, methodological individualism, physics envy, Consumer Demand Theory, General Equilibrium Theory, instantaneous adjustments, etc.). Wheelan seems to uncritically accept a lot of this orthodox dogma.

    1.) Rational agents can't be coerced into accepting available economic choices. Suppose you like a certain product (i.e. beef steak) but don't like how it's produced (i.e. by torturing the animal). To the neoclassical economist you have two choices, or voting on your economic options: you buy or you don't buy. To people living in the real world you could try to change the product. Wheelan simply makes the conclusion that if employees choose to work at a sweatshop then it must be what maximizes their utility so let's respect their choice.

    2.) The myth of perfect taxes that doesn't cause "distortions." Actual preferences are usually labile and can adopt themselves to the available choices. Behavioral econ does a better job of explaining the sort of compartmentalized thinking people actually engage in.

    3.) The successful must somehow have deserved their success since the free market efficiently allocates societal resources: There's a strange example given of how Steve Jobs and Bill Gates could recreate their wealth but that dropouts would have problems adjusting, ignoring the fact that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are university dropouts.

    4.) There's fawning worship of economic experts with a lot of name-dropping and I was told that in the text version there was an unabashed lauding of Alan Greenspan as having done everything right with his "Greenspan put."

    But there is some useful info offered: good explanations of real vs. nominal int...

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonnie Panama City, FL, United States 09-17-10
    Jonnie Panama City, FL, United States 09-17-10 Member Since 2007
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    "Better than average... for an economics book"

    Three and a half stars. This is a good introductory text to basic economic principles. It covers the standard areas that are traditionally covered without a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo. It has a lot of interesting stories describing the ideas presented. All of that said however it is still a basic economics text and it is hard to make that an interesting listen or read for most people.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Old Bridge, NJ, United States 03-27-14
    Anthony Old Bridge, NJ, United States 03-27-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Lots of Government Worship"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No.


    What could Charles Wheelan have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I like Charles Wheelan, I think he's a good writer.


    What about Kerin McCue’s performance did you like?

    Well Read


    Do you think Naked Economics needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    NO. PLEASE NO


    Any additional comments?

    The book starts off very slow and i was ready to get on here and give it a bad review for all the government worship and global warming pushing he does. it did get better later on. I got this book because i really enjoyed Naked Statistics and found it to be VERY informative on the topic and it really helped me pass my stats class. I figured i'd try this out before i started taking economics. While i haven't started the class yet, so i dont yet know how helpful this will be but it's definitely not as good as Naked Statistics. It seemed to go on forever, despite my liking of wheelan's method.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara San Jose, CA, United States 09-19-13
    Barbara San Jose, CA, United States 09-19-13 Member Since 2007
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    "Economics for idiots"
    Would you listen to Naked Economics again? Why?

    Perhaps, and I rarely relisten - there is so much about economics I don't know.


    What other book might you compare Naked Economics to and why?

    New to me


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, but did want to finish it


    Any additional comments?

    I thought it was a good book for people like me who want to know a little about econ :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-14-13 Member Since 2011

    JimBobBillyJoeJackJasonTom

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    "Basic Refresher"
    What made the experience of listening to Naked Economics the most enjoyable?

    This book is well written, but it is important the recognize the target audience. It is targeted at people that have either never studied economics, or have not looked at it is some time. It is not putting anything new forward, but it is explaining basic economics in a simple way.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David NASHVILLE, TN, United States 05-18-12
    David NASHVILLE, TN, United States 05-18-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Not bad, not great"

    This book can be a little smug and a little slanted. I tended to forget that it was trying to make the listener understand certain points of view because it got to the point where it assumed certain beliefs as infallable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William raleigh, NC, United States 04-06-11
    William raleigh, NC, United States 04-06-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Dont worry about this book"

    It aint no good, as a matter of fact, it stinks. Did I say smelly doo doo is this books name. It smells it dwells with the doo doo.

    2 of 37 people found this review helpful
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