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The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume One: Microeconomics

by Yoram Bauman

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I enjoyed this book for much of its 211 pages but I faltered right at the end over two ideas. One was the statement that "You might think that a decentralized economy guided by individual self-interest would lead to chaos, war and disaster...but...we think it's the best option". This book was written in 2010, two years after the market crash caused by self-interested bankers and a chaotic war that was paid for by a credit card, the bill for which was immediately handed off to the populace. So I guess I DO think a decentralized economy etc etc. But the experience of 2008 does show their analysis of market forces and taxation to be correct: i.e. the people will pay in the end and the "suppliers" will get off scott free. This quote, I admit, is taken slightly out of context so I'm open to other interpretations of this.

The other issue I had with the book was their sudden cheer leading for "Market forces" to be able to solve issues like climate change. Earlier in the book they had proven that the market forces were at best misunderstood and hard to define and then they wanted us to believe that simply "making pollution too expensive" will stop big business from bad practices, thus saving the planet - this is naive at best in my opinion.

Otherwise this is a fun read and it taught me a lot about the nuts and bolts of microeconomics in a very short space of time, if not a lot about the applied philosophy of using microeconomics in realistic situations. I would recommend reading widely around this title, so as to understand the author's nuanced viewpoint, but this will certainly give you a broad base to start from.

I would like to give this four stars, it was a five for a long time, but the doubts at the end just gave me pause as to the author's purpose - so three it has to be. ( )
  MartynChuzz | Feb 22, 2016 |
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For Anne and Liam and Benjamin
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For Joel and Betty,
and in Memory of Holly and Helen
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0809094819, Paperback)


Book Description
The award-winning illustrator Grady Klein has paired up with the world's only stand-up economist, Yoram Bauman, PhD, to take the dismal out of the dismal science. From the optimizing individual to game theory to price theory, The Cartoon Introduction to Economics is the most digestible, explicable, and humorous 200-page introduction to microeconomics you'll ever read.

Bauman has put the "comedy" into "economy" at comedy clubs and universities around the country and around the world (his "Principles of Economics, Translated" is a YouTube cult classic). As an educator at both the university and high school levels, he has learned how to make economics relevant to today's world and today's students. As Google's chief economist, Hal Varian, wrote, "You don’t need a brand-new economics. You just need to see the really cool stuff, the material they didn't get to when you studied economics." The Cartoon Introduction to Economics is all about integrating the really cool stuff into an overview of the entire discipline of microeconomics, from decision trees to game trees to taxes and thinking at the margin.

Rendering the cool stuff fun is the artistry of the illustrator and lauded graphic novelist Klein. Panel by panel, page by page, he puts comics into economics. So if the vertiginous economy or a dour professor's 600-page econ textbook has you desperate for a fun, factual guide to economics, reach for The Cartoon Introduction to Economics and let the collaborative genius of the Klein-Bauman team walk you through an entire introductory microeconomics course.

Take a Look Inside The Cartoon Introduction to Economics
In the panels below, Grady Klein and Yoram Bauman illustrate economist Adam Smith's principle of the invisible hand. This priciple suggests that individuals unwittingly benefit society by pursuing their own self interest. (Click on any image to enlarge)




(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:53 -0400)

Award-winning illustrator Klein has paired up with the economist Bauman to create a clear and humorous introduction to microeconomics. Topics such as supply and demand, decision trees, taxes, auctions, risk investment, game theory, Pareto efficiency, Pareto improvement, marginal analysis, and price elasticity are presented.… (more)

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