In its fourth edition, Economics Explained continues its announced purpose -- to explain that mysterious thing called economics. But there is a new urgency to the book. It is announced in the first sentence of the introduction: "Just in case the reader-to-be hasn't noticed, disturbing things are going on in the American economy these days."
This new edition is about these disturbing things: a trend toward inequality of incomes, the appearance of a new "globalized" capitalism, the "specter" of inflation. As before, Robert Heilbroner and Lester Thurow treat these problems in language that seeks to make clear their causes and treatments. In this straightforward, highly accessible reference, Heilbroner and Thurow -- two of America's most respected and articulate economists -- offer all the economics essential for becoming an effective investor, a savvy business decision maker, or simply an informed member of society.
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  • Touchstone | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684846415 | 
  • May 1998
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Capitalism: Where Do We Come From?

We live in a capitalist economic system. Politicians constantly talk about capitalism, or if they don't like the word, about the free-enterprise system. We are constantly being told that capitalism is the wave of the future, or would be the wave of the future if only it were left alone, or sometimes that capitalism is in decline and will fall on its own weight, like the Roman Empire.

Perhaps there is no more important economic question than the future of capitalism, none that affects more deeply our private destinies and those of our children. As we will see in our... see more

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