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Review of Smart Economics : Commonsense Answers to 50 Questions
about Government, Taxes, Business, and Households
by Michael L. Walden, Choice 43(5), January 2006.
Michael L. Walden, professor of agricultural and resource economics at the North Carolina State University, uses basic economic concepts and logic to examine the meaning, implications, and possible solutions to 50 current economic issues. Aimed squarely at the general reader, the book is organized as a series of questions with each two to five page chapter laying out the basic facts surrounding the issue and applying mainstream economic reasoning to explain those facts. Each chapter ends with a concise summary of the author's views on the issue. The issues are organized into four sections: questions about federal government actions, programs, and spending, questions about taxes, questions related to business and trade, and questions about household income and expenditures. Some specific issues addressed are budget deficits and the national debt, social security, outsourcing, the trade deficit, gasoline prices, sports franchises, immigration, poverty, and health care. The chapters are generally of high quality, both the writing and the analysis, particularly the chapters devoted simply to questions of fact, which often deflate popular wisdom. The book contains a glossary and notes for each chapter, some of which provide suggestions for additional reading.
|David A. Latzko
Business and Economics Division
Pennsylvania State University, York Campus
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