I listened to the audiobook version, which is also narrated by the author, Steve Forbes, who is the EIC of
Forbes Magazine, and grandson of the publication’s founder, B.C. Forbes, and was co-authored by Elizabeth Ames. I found the book to be a fantastic primer on to those of you looking to understand economics not only from a personal perspective. The key points which stood out to me revolved around:
- Critical of quantitative easing
- Monetary policy used by central banks to stimulate the economy when standard monetary policy has become ineffective.
- Critical of the gold standard
- Money is a measurement, not wealth. When not placed against a solid standard, such as gold, the value can shift wildly, as will the value of gold.
- The Fed, a large contributor to the housing crisis of 2008
- The banks were to blame, but it largely came down to the weakening of the dollar, brought on by the Fed’s manipulation.
- Taxes are too high in the United States
- They should be flat, just as money should be flat against the value of gold.
- The changing value of the dollar is a cause for unrest
- Money is a method of measurement. Changing the value is like changing the length of a ruler while constructing a building
Overall, what I enjoyed most was that the authors broke down the terminology and concepts into practical examples that anyone could understand, not just those with an economics background. Better yet, on the chapter where they argue for the gold standard, they highlight several counter-points to their argument, so that the reader is better armed to hold a similar debate.
It took me about 6 hours to get through, and I plan on listening to it again to further grasp the concepts.
Can you recommend any similar books?