A couple of books
Source Jim Zelinsky
Date 01/08/27/02:01

Thanks Jim, I looked at Butterfly Economics at Barnes &
Noble. Decided not to read it not so much because it is
macroeconomics versus microeconomics, but because it
seemed to be soft rather than hard thinking, and why not
focus on the Smith-Ricardo-Marshall model in Miller. That's
about all economics has to offer on the first order. That is
what Friedman does.

I believe there are smarter people writing critiques of
academic economics than Buchholz who did one called
New Ideas from Defunct Economists, which I also decided
not to read. Hard thinking is fine, but not his sentiments.
D. Friedman is borderline.

From: Zelenski, James
Date: Sunday, August 26, 2001 1:29 PM

Diana, thank you for the study guides and book referral.

I read and/or skimmed a couple more books.

Paul Ormerod, "Butterfly Economics," 1998 Pantheon Books, challenges
most of macroeconomics and growth theory by applying some of the
thinking of the new physics, a la supposed random events turning out to
have patterns (and vice-versa). The early going is odd in that he
the behavior of ants in colonies, but once he gets past that he turns to
specific economics subjects and shows how the latter mirror ant behavior.
Got me thinking. Doug, it echoed your thought that we really don't know
macroeconomies work much less how to affect them in the short run.
Recommend if interested in a different way of thinking about macro.

Allen W. Smith, "Demystifying Economics," 2000, Ironwood Publications,
would be a good book to refer a student to who needed to read economics
from a bit simpler base. It does not pretend to be a textbook, but is an
"everyman's" book on economics. It's much simpler than Friedman's
"Hidden Order," and not as insightful.... Not worth reading in light of
following alternative:

The one I'm now enjoying is Todd G. Buchholz, "From Here to Economy,
A Shortcut to Economic Literacy," 1995, Dutton, Penguin Group. It's
reminiscent of "Hidden Order" in that it uses excellent examples and
humor. I can't put it down, very readable. Definitely recommend.

All were found through the Jeffco Library.

Have a good semester!

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