Essentials of Economics

The Essentials of Economics

Review of Essentials of Economics by Faustino Ballvé.

This book is written actually to be understood by a conceptual mind.

Many books address similar material, but few with such a ruthless commitment to presenting only the essentials. In fewer than 100 pages, the author condenses everything a layman needs to know about economics, while simultaneously providing the back- ground knowledge for more advanced study.

Consider his explanation of the mechanism of inflation: "The whole process is very much like diluting wine with water. The government pours water into its citizens' wine and then appropriates a share of the watered wine for itself. With this it pays its expenses. ...All these payments are made in reality with the share of the good wine that the government has taken from its citizens by the process of pouring water into it, leaving each citizen with the same quantity of 'wine,' but of thinner consistency, and keeping the rest for itself." In the space of one simple analogy, Ballvé presents what would constitute a lengthy section in most economics texts. The result is an explanation the reader will grasp, retain and be readily able to apply.

In addition to covering the major areas of economics, Ballvé indicates topics and authors for further study. For instance, the chapter on money and banking provides: a survey of the history of money, the three most prominent theories of money, the function of central banking, the case for the gold standard, the major writers in the field.

Economics, properly taught, is an excit- ing subject-a perspective Ballvé ably conveys. "Production, around which all economic life revolves, is, then, the great ad- venture of mankind: it is the struggle with tomorrow, the struggle with the unknown. The champion, the hero, and frequently the victim in this struggle is the entrepreneur." To understand that drama, Iearn the essentials of economics.

Copyright © 1996, Ayn Rand Institute

This review is courtesy of and copyright © by the Ayn Rand Bookstore.