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Petit cours d'autodéfense en économie :…
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Petit cours d'autodéfense en économie : L'abc du capitalisme (original 2008; edição 2011)

por Jim Stanford (Autor)

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1382152,991 (3.75)Nenhum(a)
Economics is too important to be left to the economists. This concise and readable book provides non-specialist readers with all the information they need to understand how capitalism works (and how it doesn't).Jim Stanford's book is an antidote to the abstract and ideological way that economics is normally taught and reported. Key concepts such as finance, competition and wage labour are explored, and their importance to everyday life is revealed. Stanford answers questions such as "Do workers need capitalists?", "Why does capitalism harm the environment?", and "What really happens on the stock market?"The book will appeal to those working for a fairer world, and students of social sciences who need to engage with economics. It is illustrated with humorous and educational cartoons by Tony Biddle, and is supported with a comprehensive set of web-based course materials for popular economics courses.… (mais)
Membro:gguigui
Título:Petit cours d'autodéfense en économie : L'abc du capitalisme
Autores:Jim Stanford (Autor)
Informação:Lux (2011), 496 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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Economics for Everyone: A Short Guide to the Economics of Capitalism por Jim Stanford (2008)

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The information is all there, well presented and well explained. Level of detail is appropriate, you get to know the basics and a bit more but the book doesn’t drown you in technicalities and minor matters. The one major flaw of the book: it is politically biased. The author has a political message and tries very hard to bring it across. This makes reading the book unnecessarily cumbersome. ( )
  ecureuil | Aug 6, 2020 |
Ce petit cours d'autodéfense n'est pas le digne successeur du petit cours d'autodéfense intellectuelle. Il démarre très bien, et plus on s'enfonce dans le bouquin, plus on s'ennuie, plus l'auteur perd en crédit, et même en pouvoir critique.
J'ai adoré le début du bouquin proposant une définition du capitalisme très vulgarisée, mais suffisamment instructive pour un néophyte. La proposition sur le travail domestique m'a par exemple, particulièrement convaincue.
Sauf qu'on reste en surface. Après cela, on se perd dans des concepts techniques, à la fois simples et déjà connus, mais sur lesquels on s'attarde lourdement.
Pour finalement ne faire qu'un très très court paragraphe de quelques pages sur le socialisme. Le sous-titre du bouquin c'est "l'abc du capitalisme", mais dans l'histoire du capitalisme, le socialisme est crucial, ce n'est pas qu'une petite page qu'on tourne...

Un cadeau de mon papa si mes souvenirs sont bons... ( )
  jaythrotule | Mar 13, 2013 |
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Dedicated to the hard-working people who produce the wealth – in hopes that by better understanding the economy, we can be more successful in changing it.
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Never trust an economist with your job

Most people think economics is a technical, confusing, and even mysterious subject. It’s a field best left to the experts: namely, the economists.

But in reality, economics should be quite straightforward. Ultimately economics is simply about how we work. What we produce. And how we distribute and ultimately use what we’ve produced. Economics is about who does what, who gets what, and what they do with it.

At that simplest, grass-roots level, we all know something about the economy. And so we should all have something to say about economics.

Moreover, because we interact, cooperate, and clash with each other in the economy (even Robinson Crusoe didn't work alone – he had Friday around to help), economics is inherently a social subject. It’s not just technical forces like technology and productivity that matter. It’s also the interactions and relationships between people that make the economy go around.

So you don’t need to be an economist to know a lot about economics. Everyone experiences the economy. Everyone contributes to it, one way or another. Everyone has an interest in the economy: in how it functions, how well it functions, and in whose interests it functions. And everyone has a grass-roots sense of where they personally fit into the big economic picture, and how well they are doing (compared to others, compared to the past, and compared to their expectations). This is the stuff economics should be made of.
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There are many plausible scenarios in which competition and self-interest can leave all sides worse off. And using new experimental techniques (such as BEHAVIOURAL ECONOMICS and GAME THEORY), modern economists have shown that cooperative economic strategies (in which social behaviour is reciprocated, but selfish behaviour is punished) beat out purely selfish or competitive strategies in evolutionary competition.

One famous behavioural experiment is called the “ultimatum game.” In it, participants are paired off, and each given a sum of real money (say, $10) which they actually get to keep if they succeed in the game. One partner in each pair is instructed to propose a one-time split of the $10 with the other partner. It's a take-it-or-leave-it offer; no bargaining is allowed. If the partner accepts the proposed deal, then both participants get to keep their respective shares according to the offer. If the partner refuses, then neither partner gets anything. A member of Homo economicus should propose the following split, every time: they keep $9.99, and their partner gets one penny. And in the world of Homo economicus, that ridiculous offer should be accepted every time. Why? Because even the short-changed partner is still better off (by one penny) than if they had rejected the offer – and that's all they care about. So there is no rational reason for the offer to be rejected.

In practice, of course, anyone with the gall to propose such a lopsided bargain would face certain rejection. Experiments with real money have shown that splits as lopsided as 75-25 are almost always rejected (even though a partner rejecting that split forgoes a real $2.50 gain). And the most common offer proposed is a 50-50 split. That won't surprise many people – but it does, strangely, surprise neoclassical economists! In short, the real-world behaviour of humans is not remotely consistent with the assumption of blind, individualistic greed.

This experiment (and other more complex research) confirms that human beings have a deep concern with perceived fairness and reciprocity, and will go out of their way (even incurring significant personal costs) to enforce those norms. Scientists now believe that these instincts arose because of the evolutionary necessity of cooperation for survival. For example, to reinforce that instinct, our bodies actually release pleasure-causing endorphins when we cooperate successfully with others. And our unique social intelligence has been identified with the relatively larger size of certain parts of our brains (relative to other primates). In fact, the early mutations which contributed to that social intelligence were among the defining features that made us “human” in the first place (along with our flexible vocal chords, our opposable thumbs, and the ability to walk upright). Far from being innately selfish, therefore, our unique capacity to cooperate is actually a core feature of our very humanity.
Defunct Economists

“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.”

John Maynard Keynes, British economist (1936)
Today, economics continues to display its inherently political character. There is no economic policy debate which does not involve trade-offs and conflicting interests; discussions of economic “efficiency” and “rationalism” are therefore never neutral. When a blue-suited bank economist appears on TV to interpret the latest GDP numbers, the reporter never mentions that this “expert” is ultimately paid to enhance the wealth of the shareholders of the bank. (On the rare occasions when a union economist is interviewed, the bias is usually presumed, by both the reporter and the audience, to be closer to the surface.)

And when economists invoke seemingly scientific and neutral terms like “efficiency,” “growth,” and “productivity,” we must always ask: “Efficiency for whom? What kind of growth? And who will reap the benefits of productivity?”
In Sickness and in Health

The global pharmaceutical industry provides one of the strongest illustrations of how the profit motive can misdirect human creativity and badly misallocate resources. It costs hundreds of millions of dollars to develop a new drug (including expensive trials to make sure it is safe). But once the drug is ready, companies (anxious to recoup their costs) charge very high prices (backed up by strict patent laws), thus limiting its human usefulness. That's like buying an expensive new car – but then not driving it, because it cost so much! The most deadly infectious diseases in the world (like malaria, dysentery, and measles) mostly affect poor people who cannot afford private medicines, so the global industry does not invest much in new treatments. Instead, it allocates most R&D to less pressing, but more profitable, opportunities. Pharmaceutical companies prefer drugs that require long-term use (such as heart disease, cholesterol, and arthritis medicines), for the obvious reason that those ongoing treatments create an unending, lucrative market. One of the most glaring misallocations of all: the spread of drug-resistant bacteria poses an enormous public health threat to populations around the world, with the potential to return human civilization to the death and misery of the pre-penicillin era. Yet pharmaceutical companies invest little in the search for new antibiotics, because they do not see short-term antibiotic prescriptions as an especially profitable market. A better approach, favoured by many public health experts, is to publicly fund drug research, allocating the most attention to the most dangerous diseases, and then make new drugs available to those who need them at their direct cost of production (or less). There is no evidence that scientists working in privately-owned labs invent better drugs than those working in universities, hospitals, or public institutions – and the resulting wider accessibility to new treatments would save millions of lives.
“Most people work just hard enough not to get fired, and get paid enough money not to quit.”

George Carlin, US Comedian (1997)
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Economics is too important to be left to the economists. This concise and readable book provides non-specialist readers with all the information they need to understand how capitalism works (and how it doesn't).Jim Stanford's book is an antidote to the abstract and ideological way that economics is normally taught and reported. Key concepts such as finance, competition and wage labour are explored, and their importance to everyday life is revealed. Stanford answers questions such as "Do workers need capitalists?", "Why does capitalism harm the environment?", and "What really happens on the stock market?"The book will appeal to those working for a fairer world, and students of social sciences who need to engage with economics. It is illustrated with humorous and educational cartoons by Tony Biddle, and is supported with a comprehensive set of web-based course materials for popular economics courses.

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