Well, yes Alan

Mr Johnson has been disarmingly forthright about his own limitations, joking that his first task was to purchase a guide to economics.

Does depend which one of course.

One correspendent to this blog revealed a story about Roy Hattersley from a show with Andrew Marr a couple of weeks ago. Despite his having studied economics 60 years ago, and having been Sec of State for Prices and Incomes (or some such) he had only just, at his advanced age, come across Wealth of Nations: and seemed entirely unaware of the existence of the Theory of Moral Sentiments.

So, given that one can, clearly, have what is considered to be an education in economics without actually having an education in economics, what book would we recommend be bought for Mr. Johnson?

Who knows, we might even splash the cash and purchase it for him: having a Shadow Chancellor who is even vaguely informed about the subject would be of benefit to us all.

So, my two nominations are \”Economics in One Lesson\”, Henry Hazlitt, or PJ O\’Rourke\’s \”Eat the Rich\”.

And your nominations are?

27 thoughts on “Well, yes Alan”

  1. I would like to suggest “Atlas Shrugged” – a truly dreadful novel interms of characterization and dialogue but an easy read and a quick education in the failings of Fabianism.

  2. Capitalism and Freedom – MF
    Not as good as Road to Serfdom but shorter. And they are two topics that AJ needs to learn a lot about.

  3. Dickens would do good, the basic concept is not at all complicated … McCawber had it spot on, something Gordon sould have read too …

    “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

  4. Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics (Resiman).
    Man, Economy and State (Rothbard).

    Both are available for free download.

  5. The Henry Hazlitt book is as good as any. But, using his own lefty philosophical end game as a basis, we could just save ourselves a lot of money if he gets anywhere near power, and simply shoot him?

  6. Peter Schiff: How and Economy Grows and Why It Crashes.

    The whole of the “dire science” explained by the simple parable of blokes catching fish. This humourous book breaks through all the bamboozling babble that lefty economsists spout to fool a largely ignorant and apathetic public.

  7. Impressively capitalistic or just ironically subversive?

    Mr E recommends an App costing $2 that presents free wikipedia content on socialist economics on your iPhone. Very entrepreneurial comrade.

  8. Many good ones mentioned but, for a really good overview that nearly anyone can handle, I don’t think it possible to find any better than your first choice, Tim–Hazlitt’s ECONOMICS IN ONE LESSON.

  9. I would suggest the comment of another Hazlitt, William by name, who remarked that from ‘The Wealth of Nations he had learned everything he had ever wanted to know about the manufacture of pins.

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