Have You Read? A freaky look at economics
March 7, 2009
When I think of an economist, I picture some stodgy old person with thick glasses trying to determine whether the stock market will go up or down. I was pleasantly surprised, when read I “Freakonomics,” to find that authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner were definitely outside that stereotype. After I read “Freakonomics,” Levitt and Dubner turned my perception of economists and “conventional wisdom” sideways.
Most importantly, “Freakonomics” is not your standard “politically correct” book on economics. In Freakonomics, the authors proclaim that most economists ask questions like “will the pork belly market go up or down in the next 30 days?” Instead of answering such boring (to them) questions, the authors look at parallels between real estate agents and the Ku Klux Klan. They ask questions like, “Why do drug dealers still live with their moms?” or “What makes a parent perfect”? The answers that they draw are sometimes not for the faint of heart but will offer interesting insights into how things work in our world.
The phrase, “If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how the world actually works” perfectly describes Levitt and Dubner’s book. “Freakonomics” is a daring look into how the world actually works and will be a fascinating read for those of us that don’t mind having our conventional wisdom turned sideways.
Since publishing the book, Levitt and Dubner have also started a “Freakonomics” blog, freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com. The latest missive, dated March 6, is titled: “What do fishermen and investment bankers have in common?”
“Freakonomics” is the March read for the South Lake Tahoe Book Club. The club will meet March 21 to discuss “Freakonomics.” The next book for discussion will be “Infidel” by Ayaan Hirisi Ali on April 25. Books on the club’s short list for potential discussion are: “Killing Pablo” by Mark Bowden, “The Post-American World” by Fareed Zakaira, “Loving Frank” by Nancy Horan and “Into thin air” by John Krakauer. If you are interested in participating in the book club, feel free to contact Mark at (530) 573-3185.
” Mark Dulyanai is a library assistant at the South Lake Tahoe Branch Library.