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 Selfishness, Greed And Capitalism

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This book attempts to correct many of the economic myths that prevail in public discourse and which are often promoted in schools and universities. It begins by examining straw men, such as the assertion that economists believe that people behave selfishly or that economists think that GDP is all that matters. The fact that economists do not believe these things at all is easily established and it is surprising that scholars with good publication records, albeit not in the philosophy of economics, can honestly argue otherwise. The author then moves on to look at myths that can be subjected to empirical analysis and easily shown to be false. These myths, such as the idea that the poor are getting poorer while the rich get richer, or that we are working longer hours, are easily rebutted. This is not a book about economic theory, nor does it attempt to settle major controversies. On the few occasions where the subject matter touches on a genuine academic debate, this is acknowledged in the text. For the most part, however, the questions posed can be answered by consulting evidence that is widely available or, in the case of the straw men, listening to what economists actually say. 

Author: Christopher Snowdon



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