Selfishness, greed and capitalism : debunking myths about the free market / Christopher Snowdon.

Snowdon, Christopher [Browse]
  • London, England : The Institute of Economic Affairs, 2015.
  • ©2015
xxii, 204 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm.


Summary note
This IEA publication deals head-on with a number of widely quoted myths about the market economy. In the case of the philosophical myths, such as the idea that economists believe that everybody is greedy, the author, Christopher Snowdon, carefully and entertainingly unpicks the misguided ideas that have taken hold. The author then moves on and effectively disposes of a number of economic myths using empirical evidence that is often ignored by commentators.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references.
  • Machine generated contents note: 1. Capitalism relies on greed and selfishness
  • Incentives and the invisible hand
  • The parable of the steel company
  • Is greed good?
  • Conclusion
  • 2. Economists believe people are perfectly rational
  • Some models are useful
  • Rational choice and behavioural economics
  • Have we found angels to govern us?
  • Rational consumers and irrational voters
  • 3. Economists think GDP is all that matters
  • A blind obsession?
  • No design for life
  • 4. Economists think we live in a free market
  • A free market is not anarchy
  • Capitalists don't like free markets
  • Planning, private and public
  • 5. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer
  • Higher wages for all
  • The progress of the poor relative to the rich
  • 6. We are working ever longer hours
  • 7. Rich countries will not benefit from more economic growth
  • Growth scepticism
  • In defence of growth
  • 8. There is a paradox of prosperity
  • Other people's consumerism
  • Ferraris, Porsches and other preferences
  • 9. Inequality is rising in Britain
  • Why inequality rose in the 1980s
  • Taxes, benefits and inequality
  • Inequality and recession
  • The one per cent
  • 10. Inequality is the cause of health and social problems
  • Selection bias
  • Ignoring outliers
  • Dismissal of economic growth as a factor
  • Ignoring history
  • Mechanisms
  • Selective criteria
  • Consensus?
  • The panacea temptation
  • Why inequality?
  • 11. If you're born poor, you die poor
  • Absolute and relative mobility
  • Towards a meritocracy
  • Conclusion.
  • 9780255366779 ((paperback))
  • 0255366779 ((paperback))
  • 9780255366793 ((e-book))
  • 0255366795
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