Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Best Books to Read to Get a Solid Introductory Understanding of Economics

I am often asked which books I recommend for those who want to gain a solid understanding of sound economics. Below is my list of the books that should be read, in the order listed:

1. How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes by Peter and Andrew Schiff. This is by far the best introductory book for anyone who has no understanding of economics (Or has been poisoned by Keynesian economic thought) and wants to learn what economics is really all about. Using fish tales, the book simply and clearly explains such economic concepts as the importance of savings, the importance of the division of labor, the importance of trade and how an economy grows. BUT, don't read beyond Chapter 8. The book takes a decidedly confusing and distorted turn when it comes to explaining money.

2. Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics by Henry Hazlitt. This is a great book that points out the logical fallacies in many current day popular economic views.

3. The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank by Robert Wenzel. This is my own book that includes a speech I delivered at the Fed where I discussed their many failures.

4.  The Problem With Socialism by Thomas Dilorenzo. Socialism has become very popular in recent years, especially among the youth. In this book, DiLorenzo takes apart socialism and shows all the problems with it. He counters all the arguments made by socialists. If you want to understand the problems with socialism this is the book to read.

5. The Mystery of Banking by Murray Rothbard. This is the best book on the market that explains how the Federal Reserve prints money and the impact of that printing on the economy.

6. Counter Revolution of Science by Friedrich Hayek. An important book which explains the problems with economists who attempt to mimic the research methods of the physical sciences when studying economics ad other social sciences.

7. Economic Controversies by Murray Rothbard. This important book is a collection of essays by the great Austrian school economist Murray Rothbard discussing the economic issues of the day.

8. Austrian Economics: A Primer by Eamonn Butler. aThis primer is a very important addition to understanding Austrian economics as it ties the basics to the various important Austrian players and the contributions they have made.

9. The Quotable Mises by Mark Thornton. The great economist Ludwig von Mises wrote scholarly works that were not aimed at the general public, but in this collection of Mises quotes, Thonrton captures the essence of the views of Mises in a very understandable fashion.

10. Austrian School Business Cycle Theory by Murray Rothbard. This is a complete examination of business cycle theory, which explains why booms and busts occur in the economy.