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Basic easy to understand economics books?

  1. Apr 30, 2012 #1
    I was wanting to read a bit more about economics because it'll come round to uni applications time and I'll realise I haven't read one book I could talk about on the subject.

    So I'm looking for something thats detailed enough to give me a good picture but not too detailed that I'll spend a lot of time doing back reading to understand the content.

    So far I've found these but I was wondering if anyone knew of any others? Also I'm from the UK so anything about US economics unless its general universal stuff will go straight over my head.


  2. jcsd
  3. May 1, 2012 #2


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    If you can get Intermediate Microeconomics by Hal Varian should be easy enough. It is mostly graphs, and two goods.
  4. May 1, 2012 #3
    I know this going to sound bit stupid but is there anything with less maths in it than that as from what I can see it has some differentiation involved and while I can differentiate formulae, I don't really understand how to use it as a mathematical tool.

    Anything even if its just a purely qualitative view of economics would be good as I only need to be able to talk about the book.

    Thanks anyway,
  5. May 1, 2012 #4


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    Not sure, There must be some book with solely graphical analysis. Have you taken some math?

    You have to see Economics as a whole of various topics trying to understand the action of agents interacting (e.g. trading) in some environment (the market). Basically, we are trying to model different outcomes from such interaction. Micro, and General Equilibrium theory basically look directly at the agent -> consumers, firms, and others.... Macro -> takes indicators we can measure from aggregate outputs, and tries to explain the relationship with some idea behind the little agents interacting in the background. Econometrics is simply the statistical way to test the relationships derived from Micro (Microeconometrics), and Macro (Macroeconometrics). Of course as Micro and Macro continue to develop there are new areas such as game theory, welfare economics, transportation economics, energy economics, and so on. Mostly applied ideas from Micro.

    Economics is basically an area of applied mathematics. Models to explain such behavior.
  6. May 3, 2012 #5
  7. May 4, 2012 #6
    I'm pretty confident with most mathematics up to calculus but I'm not that good with calculus as we aren't taught how to use it in real life examples, only as a tool for working with graphs and curves.
  8. May 4, 2012 #7
    I found a copy of Principles of Economics 6th Ed. by N. G. Mankiw at the library and have borrowed it. I seems pretty readable but I wasn't sure if it maybe would be the best intro for a beginner?
  9. May 17, 2012 #8
    Econometrics or economic modeling resembles science but is very far from actually being science. It is like the toad trying to be a man. Economic modeling not only has serious quality flaws regarding monetary and other inputs, it makes convenient assumptions which it never reports, it never reports its methodology completely, it never report its limitations publicly. This vital information may be present somewhere but it is never made public. Neither are the authors of such attempts required to state their assumptions - one assumes that the authors of these econometric 'works' simply never consider that their work has any limitations or assumptions because public reports never include this vital information, if in fact it exists at all.
    Economic modeling and its adherents failed to forsee a single economic disaster in the last thirty or fourty years, and its only contribution - if results are to be considered - is to vastly accelerate the flow of wealth from lower income groups/workers to the very wealthiest 1% with a little spillage which is quickly moped up by the remaining top 10%.
    Please name me one 'freshie' econometric economist who has accurately predicted the almost demise of the world economy in 2008. There was not a single one!
    If econometric modeling is such a valuable and useful 'science' how is it possible that it's adherents totally failed to forsee the biggest economic disaster since 1929 and maybe ever!? The reason econometrics totally failed is because it is like Plasticine and can be easily molded to produce whatever shape or outcome you desire. And lets face it the most profitable economy for 'economists' to promote is one that sucks all the money up to the pockets of the economic top 10% and their owned vassals - corporations - which pay large bonuses to econometricians for their valuable service in 'scientifically' justifying their astronomical greed and avarice. Holy moly, who would have guessed that the only 'solution' to our economic quandry is for the wealthy to get enormously wealthier while everyone else get next to nothing?! Who would ever have guessed that North American and European workers would have their incomes slashed or disappeared by 'off-shoring' jobs to slave-wage Asian countries?! All of the 'econometric models' predicted that growth and prosperity would emerge from this drastic re-organization - read export! -of industry and manufacturing to powerless, virtual serf workers in Asia who will never purchase a single thing manufactured in North America and even if they could each one only has a few square feet of living space to fill up with consumer products compared to North Americans and Europeans who have thousands of square feet on average of living space to accommodate their prior voracious consumption. Which econometric model considered that the huge growth in world population will be in Asia where individuals MAY be able to purchase as much as one or two percent of the products that each North American or European worker can and has traditionally purchased. Which product now manufactured in Asia has gone down in North American retail price because someone making a dollar a day in Indonesia is working to produce it? None. The corporations are simply now making larger profits fist over paw by transferring manufacturing and production to Asian jurisdictions which have zero worker protection and pay subsistence wages.
    This has all been done based on justification by highly manipulated econometric models rife with convenient assumptions and deletions whose authors conveniently hide flaws and inconsistencies.
    To call any of this 'scientific' creates a new definition of scientific which lacks any real basis in reality and only services the needs of the top 10% wealthiest individuals and their corporate lackies.
  10. May 17, 2012 #9


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    Let me ask you some questions.

    Who makes the decisions with regards to government policies? Economists? Politicians? Academics?

    Is there any regulation body to review the economic analyses of such policy making entities?

    Who "produces" economic science? Politicians? Academics? Economists?

    Is there any regulation body to review the new economic science of "science makers"?
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