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Economix: Wie unsere Wirtschaft funktioniert (oder auch nicht) (original 2012; edition 2018)
by Michael Goodwin (Author), Dan E. Burr (Illustrator)
Economix: How Our Economy Works (and Doesn't Work) in Words and Pictures by Michael Goodwin (Author) (2012)
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Economix is a truly great book that presents the ins and outs of the global economy in a way I've never seen before. It's not just a comic, or a simplified version of economics for kids. It's a genuinely in depth and well researched look at the current state of the economy and how we got here, and why. I would truly recommend this book to anyone who has more than a passing interest in economic policy or questions on why money works the way it does.
I enjoyed reading this comic book with a message. I thought that, especially early on, the author did an excellent job of illustrating his points. Increasingly through the book, it becomes quite political, with the author admitting this himself in the middle. I feel that a left leaning person will identify with this book very well (I picture them saying something like "Give it to them!" or "Tell it like it is"). So why did I enjoy this, as I consider myself at times conservative or libertarian? Well, first off, the illustrations are quite good, with many of them illustrating the point very well. Secondly, I found myself reconsidering some points of my own economic thought.
Now, this opening of my viewpoint became less as I read on. The tone became more shrill and partisan. Many times blame was laid on the conservative side with nary anything said well, but the liberal side is showered with compliments or a shrugging of shoulders (they did the best they could with what they had).
One of the first things that I heard in my economics classes was that Presidents have little to do with how well the economy works. Now, with my understanding of economics - that human activity is economic activity, I quite agree with this position. Consider - we elect one man to control the destiny of 300 million? Really? However, the President is given the lions share of the credit or blame in this book, at least for the 20th and 21st centuries.
Some of the major economic points that are not discussed well or at all include comparative advantage (which does have some discussion early on), the law of unintended consequences, and a discussion of how destruction does not bring economic gain (for example, creation of war implements only bring destruction, not economic gain - the author focuses on how big business gets wealthy from this, but that is tangential). Touching on this, it is not explored how spending (especially governmental spending) distorts or redirects spending on something else (for example, if you were not taxed $100.00, what would you spend it on). This relates to the law of unintended consequences.
One of the major things I took from this book is that government does have a place, a position that I have had for some time, but it was quite vague. Now I agree that somethings the government does quite well, with proper over site from the citizens. I appreciate both city public parks and the national park system that we have, which I believe would not exist (at least not in the form we have today) without governmental support.
Overall, I found this to be a mixture of a delightful and frustrating read, which doesn't surprise me as the author's viewpoints are almost directly in opposition to my own in regards to economics and politics. If the author could have taken a more neutral viewpoint throughout the book, I would hope that the book would have been more enlightening and enjoyable.
Interesting viewpoint on the development of economic theories presented in the context of the history of the world. Explains what theories did good and what did less than good, how ideas were influenced by the society problems at various points in time. Focused more on the Anglo-saxon world and the US, but makes references to other important players. Analysis can be seen as more political as it reaches the present, but this seems an unavoidable problem. Funnily presented as a series of cartoons, makes a very nice lecture/viewing.
A good explanation of the basics of macroeconomics such as Keynesian ideas and supply-demand curves, but becomes mired in left-leaning anti-corporate ideologies.
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English (1)
A guide to the economy in graphic novel format traces the history of Western economic thought from its beginnings to the world economy in the twenty-first century.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)330Social sciences Economics Economics
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