At a business and professional level, macroeconomics can help to answer questions such as the following: How much should I manufacture this month? How much inventory should I maintain?
At a personal level: Should I switch jobs - or ask for a raise? Should I buy a house now or wait until next year? Should I get a variable or fixed-rate mortgage? And what about my investments for retirement?
In contrast, microeconomics can help to answer the following questions: How can my firm minimize its costs and increase its profits? What prices should I charge for my products? Will I really be better off financially if I quit my job now and go back for an MBA degree? What kind of career should I be preparing myself for? What about that new refrigerator or automobile I want to buy?
©2005 Peter Navarro; (P)2005 Recorded Books
This is an excellent introduction and overview of economics.
I respectfully but adamantly disagree with the other reviewer (Joe in Seattle): this is a very mainstream overview of economics. Navarro might be more of a saltwater (e.g., Harvard) than freshwater (e.g., Chicago) economist, but both of these schools are quite mainstream. Hayek, on the otherhand, is an Austrian economist (even though he was at Chicago, he's not considered part of the freshwater school...), and Austrians are on of the main heterodox schools. (Currently, there are reasonable articles at Wikipedia on "Saltwater and freshwater economics"--which describes the left and right wings of the mainstream--and on "Heterodox economics.")
While not a raving socialist, the professor focuses a lot on how the government can step in and save the world. We see how that's going now, and I think he favors more of the same.
This book seems to be a moderate but firm justification for the core concepts of socialism. He focuses a lot on market failures and the idea that perfect competition is the exception rather than the rule.
He mentions government failures, but spends far to little time talking about incentives and their effect on productive performance. This gives the impression that he is a socialist appologist, trying to convince the world that the government is a great tool to guide businesses toward economic efficiency.
Disregarded is the two thousand years of history that compels any reasonable reader to admit that the government, overall, has done more harm than good when it attempts to intervene in markets.
He seems to make the case that only a minority of businesses should be left on their own, while all the others are valid targets for government intervention. Some of his points are valid. However, in practice, the political incentives that typically guide interventionist policies generally do not resemble the types of responsible and effective intervention that he talks about.
As for the Harvard economists, I'm just about done listening to any professor from that school. This isn't to say that they're all quacks, but Chicago seems to produce much more scholarly work on the subject of economics.
Read some Smith, Hayak, Sowell and Friedman. If you want hard evidence to support this authors version of economic dogma, then this book neither succeeds or attempts to provide proof of its assertions. Look elsewhere. If you lean towards the heterodox, go straight to Marx and skip this luke warm intermediary.
Still, there is a lot of good information if you already know enough to know which of his assertions are misleading... but if you already know that... why read? Cheers.
Comprehensive, objective, essential
This canned question isn't exactly applicable, but I had an "aha!" moment during lecture #8, regarding the downward slope of the demand curve.
Economics make some people laugh/cry, but no, I did not have such a reaction.
I'm taking an online econ class through a major university, and it's a tough course to teach to myself. The university textbook is absolutely overwhelming with the tiny black print on vast, white pages...graphs and tables, vernacular...it was very difficult to get started on the course. These Audible econ lectures have been invaluable to me. Thanks to Professor Navarro, I have been able to EASILY get a grasp on economic principles while commuting to/from work. I am finally able to read the textbook chapters without being completely bewildered. Professor Navarro's objective approach to economics (without political spin) is refreshing, the lectures are clearly outlined and presented in a "building block" order, and Professor Navarro's voice isn't irritating. If anyone has an interest in understanding basic principles of economics, this lecture series is an EASY LISTEN. I highly recommend. I just discovered the accompanying .pdf, and I'm anxious to read through it.
This book is a particular torture for me. I find the subject matter interesting, but the author's presentation of the content pushes me away. The pace of his dictation, his stiff and formal tone, and his strange-pitched voice make this book a difficult listen.
It was not outlined properly and audio format of this kind of subject is not helpful at all.
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