Books for Conservatives: Basic Economics

As I am going over movies that are for the average New Ager, I feel I should also go over things for the average conservative. But to do both movies for both groups seems a little shallow. So for the moment I’m going to go over a book that every conservative should read (and eventually I’ll switch it around and do New Age books and Conservative movies). So what is the first book I’m going to go over for Conservatives? This is actually quite a long list. There are books on the history and philosophical origins of our nation and government, there are great works of art, there are pleasure reads that show our values in action–but I decided to go with something more pragmatic in our never ending debates with Liberals.

“Basic Economics” by Thomas Sowell. Why? Because if there is one inherent basic problem in almost all my arguments with liberals it a clear and unquestionable inability to understand the base and fundamental forces that drive an economy. If I could ensure that every person in this world could only read one book, it wouldn’t be Shakespeare or Aristotle, it wouldn’t be Les Miserables or The Scarlet Letter, it would be Sowell’s Basic Economics. The fact of the matter is that this should be required reading for every citizen of this country, if not the world.

I’ll be honest that its been a few years since I last dove into “Basic Economics” but I have never forgotten how it makes clear every major force in an economy and shows how those forces operate in an economy. And quite frankly writing this blog reminds me that I should reread this great work.

Now Sowell, one of the most eloquent economists I have ever read, has a virtual library of great books to read. “Economic Fact and Fallacies” and “The Vision of the Anointed” are two other great books by Sowell, “Basic Economics” is probably his finest work, at least in my opinion.

The basic argument, the economy works in spite of, not because of the government, and nothing good comes of government interference. An economy is driven by incentives, values, prices and policies. (The latter can really mess things up.)

Sowell shows how price controls which are meant to theoretically help people cause shortages and in the end hurt people along with a whole host of other principles on what drives an economy (prices, commerce, work and pay, time and risk) and how when left to their own devices they work quite well for everyone and when the government tries to control these things they ruin it for everyone.

Most importantly he shows why the liberal belief in a zero-sum game is preposterous. If one person becomes rich it is not at the expense of the poor, as the liberal establishment would like you to believe, rather if people are becoming rich then they are likely creating wealth—wealth that will spread to everyone eventually (the rising tide view of economics).

If you ever want to challenge a liberal on economics you need to read this book. (It also makes a wonderful Christmas gift to Conservatives you like and Liberals you would like to annoy).

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2 Comments

Filed under Books for Conservatives, Capitalism, Conservative, Economics

2 responses to “Books for Conservatives: Basic Economics

  1. I've never read any of Sowell's books, but I certainly enjoy his columns of which I've read many. I think I will have to get a few of his books. Thanks for the suggestions, Cris.

  2. Pingback: The wisdom of the Great Thomas Sowell | The Conservative New Ager

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