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Additional Sources on Economics.

Four Books and a Movie.

What follows is a limited and admittedly idiosyncratic list, but it should provide balance to the extremely skewed view of economics one gets in the media.

Chang, Ha-Joon. Economics: The User's Guide. New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2014.
If you read just one book about economics, this should be the one. Chang provides a balanced and comprehensive view of economic thought as well as economic history. He makes it clear that there are many schools, or theories, of economics, and shows how they hold up in light of history. His writing is clear, pleasant to read, and often amusing. He almost makes me want to take back all the nasty things I said about economists. Almost.

Wheelan, Charles. Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science. New York: W. W. Norton, 2002.
This book received a lot of attention a few years back. It was highly and deservedly praised for being clear and easy to understand. Unfortunately, although he claims to present a “balanced” perspective, he merely gives the rather narrow range of views within the current orthodoxy, that is, the ideologically rigid neoclassical or neoliberal point of view. But if you want a clear exposition of current economic dogma, this is a good place. Just be sure to read Chang's book as well so you can see how limited—and often plain wrong—that dogma can be.

Frank, Ellen. The Raw Deal: How Myths and Misinformation About the Deficit, Inflation, and Wealth Impoverish America. Boston: Beacon Press, 2004.
If you want to know why the middle-class is dying and income inequality is soaring, this is the book for you. It explains how the financial industry has virtually taken over large segments of the economy, draining it of wealth and power while pouring riches into the pockets of useless parasites.

Henwood, Doug. Wall Street: How It Works and For Whom. New York: Verso, 1997.
Covering much the same territory as the Frank book but with a more narrow focus, this book makes clear just how destructive and irresponsible our current financial system really is.

And a documentary film:

Inside Job. (2010) 105 minutes. Directed by Charles Ferguson.
An investigation into the causes of the 2008 financial meltdown. As horrifying as it is, it is still relevant because very little has changed. We have laws that permit and even encourage reckless and irresponsible behavior by megalomaniacal pirates who enrich themselves at the expense of the rest of us while endangering the entire economy.