Books by Prof Charles Holmes:All You REALLY Need to Know About Economics (2010)
Other Classics in Economics & Government:IPCC Report on Global Warming -a Statistical view
What Do They Teach in Economics at Harvard?
Do graduates REALLY believe:• You can spend yourself out of debt;
• The best way to cure poverty is to "tax the rich" and wealth will "trickle up" from the less successful;
• Government can "create jobs" by spending your money for you;
• Printing paper money will create confidence in the market;
• Politicians are more trustworthy than business people;
• That Socialism works or has ever worked;
• Bureaucrats care more about you than your doctor does;
• Socialized medicine that bankrupted other countries will somehow work better here?
If this makes you feel uneasy, and you wonder:• Is Economics really that complicated?
• Can "unsophisticated common folk" understand well enough to run their own lives?
Dr. Holmes explains Economics in light-hearted plain language as he has for thousands of students. Read and explain to others:
"No it isn't," and
"Yes we can!"
Why is Economics so complicated?It isn't.
What happened to the World is simple. People bought things they couldn't afford. The bill came due.
This was drastically exacerbated in the United States by "noble" attempts to eliminate "discrimination" against risky borrowers through legislation such as the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (CRA), enforced by threats of lawsuits and demonstrations. More recently, the problems were hidden under carpets by bundling bad debt as sophisticated-sounding financial aggregates. For many people, unpayable debt became a way of life. Unscrupulous investors thrived.
A large number of Americans don't seem to understand simple economics—especially when the Government is involved. Many think, if you can't afford something, then the logical way to provide it is through the government. At the highest level. For FREE. Everybody has a Congress-given "right" to housing, health care, and food stamps. We are told "Government should do for the people whatever they can't (or won't) do for themselves."
British Socialist John Maynard Keynes added specious algebra to justify government meddling. Keynes' socialist sophistry was easily and thoroughly refuted by economists such as Hayek, Hazlitt and Von Mises. Hazlitt, especially, methodically demolished every detail of Keynes' "General Theory." It's commonly known today that, "The problem is that none of it works. You have to continue accelerating inflation to try to keep the people fooled."
Anything that depends on fooling the people doesn't work in the long run.
Yet many in the academic community still echo Keynes' blatant foolishness in the classrooms because that's what they heard from their professors in the 60's.
Most people still seem to believe government must "stabilize" the economy and employment through targeted fiscal (spending) and monetary (printing) activities. strategically "injecting liquidity" into the system to create jobs and prevent spiraling unemployment. Yet, moving wealth from one end of the pool to the other doesn't raise the level, it merely creates waves and spillage.
Panicked presidents and other "leaders" proceed to exacerbate the situation by spending huge amounts of money to "stimulate" the economy. But the more they kicked it, the less likely it was to get up again.
Now, all of this, including the latest statist manifestation of "trickle-up Obamanomics," is nothing new. For most of mankind's history, the natural creativity of individual men has been inhibited under the divine rights of kings, the brutality of tribal leaders or the meddling of democratic demagogues. For most of history, the masses of mankind were kept poor by the legalized plundering of the "leaders."
Simple, but not easy.
Since all this is well known, and History stares us in the face, why is it that so many Harvard grads seem to be so ignorant? Maybe they're not.
The answers are simple, but they are politically difficult. How do you get politicians to quit giving away other people's stuff to get re-elected? How do you run on a platform that admits the best thing for government to do is usually nothing?
The first thing to do is to cut through the gunsmoke and B.S.-- arm yourself with the basic tools of commonsense, and be ready to provide clear winning economic arguments in cocktail parties and other public forums. "All You REALLY Need to Know About Economics" provides the tools, in a folksy, entertaining, light-hearted way.
"Dr. Chuck" Holmes is a great teacher. Read it, use it, rediscover and teach the basic concepts of freedom—especially in everyday, "cocktail party" discussions. Don't get sucked into endless acrimonious confrontations, just present the facts. It's not that complicated.
Robert J. Banis, PhD
St. Louis, Missouri October, 2010
The leading cause of mental illness in this country is being elected to Congress.--Chuck Holmes