One of my books is to be printed in Farsi

It’s all a bit of a coincidence, in fact a series of them, that this is about to happen. But one of my books is about to be printed in Farsi. The translation is done, the text has passed the censorship committee – yes, this is in Farsi inside Iran.

The advance is $0, the royalty an equally massive $0 so not something I think I’ll be able to retire upon. Still, will have a copy to put on the bookcase which is nice.

And the intro to this edition (first time I’ve been able to even imply that there’s more than one edition to one of my books) is:

The standard definition of economics is that it’s about “the allocation of scarce resources”. We live in a universe where there’s less of many things than we’d like. Food, land, minerals, human labour, the resources with which we can do things. Economics is, in that standard description, how we organise the world so that we can get the maximum out of the system for that limited, even if very large, amount that we can put in.

This is true but it’s also, at a deeper level, not quite so. Economics is really about how we humans react to, try to deal with, that scarcity of resources. In this sense it is not like physics or chemistry at all. If Homo Sapiens were different from what we are then economics would be different. Chemistry and physics aren’t going to change by one full stop let alone one line whatever we believe about them or however we act.

The entire subject of economics therefore rests upon human fallibility – one of those few things the universe has not left us with a shortage of. It’s thus useful to consider what we often or collectively get wrong about that human behaviour. Which is what this book is about. It’s only small attempt, baby steps if you like. But there are things which are widely believed about economics which turn out not to be true in an economics concerning human beings. Things which are believed to be true but which are not are fallacies. So, here are 20 of those things that many think describe our human interaction with that regrettable scarcity of resources but turn out not actually to be so.

By far the greatest cause of poverty in this modern world is bad economic policy. So, best we all get to grips with the ideas that are wrong then, no?

14 thoughts on “One of my books is to be printed in Farsi”

  1. Interesting intro. What’s the English version called, I’d be tempted to buy it, or at least get the library to do so.

  2. Well, well enough that I wrote a column for the local equivalent of The Economist for a year and a bit…..

  3. I once had a female Iranian flatmate. I answered a knock on the door to find myself facing a short, square man who was evidently a member of SAVAK. My dears; a secret policemen in the Edinburgh New Town! The horrors!

    But being Iranian not Russki he didn’t beat me over the head, shoot me, or inject me with exotic toxins. When I wished him farewell, off he went.

    I suppose he’d expected a slip of a girl to answer the door. On the other hand she now knew she was under observation, so maybe that was enough.

  4. The translation is done, the text has passed the censorship committee . . .

    Were the chapters on Article 44, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Bonyads dropped for brevity?

  5. Dennis, Satan's Editor-In-Chief

    Richard Murphy has released a “Collected Works”. It’s printed in crayon. Top that!

  6. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    “Chemistry and physics aren’t going to change by one full stop let alone one line whatever we believe about them…”

    Bigot. You are denying other cultural experienced realities, you white supremacist fascist believing your Einsteinian physics to be absolute truth for all persons.

    Incidentally, Iran is one of those countries that keeps very close tabs on its citizens abroad. Some years ago I lived in a place with a very thinly disguised front (a “grocery store” with almost no groceries) run by rather obviously Iranian secret service types.

  7. One of my uncles presented an economics TV news programme in one of the (south side) Gulf States, so I picked up some tiny bits of knowledge of the area.

  8. I’d like to get a copy of this Farsi book, to place on the special bookshelf reserved for books I will never read, such as the Joy of Tax

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