The New World Economy: A Beginner’s Guide

Randy Charles Epping. Vintage, $16 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-525-56320-4
International financial consultant Epping (A Beginner’s Guide to the World Economy) explains modern economic concepts and terminology including Bitcoin, tech “unicorns,” “the internet of things,” and “crony capitalism,” in this straightforward, neoliberalism-infused guide. Arranging his text around questions that economics novices might have, Epping returns frequently to the tenets of supply and demand and comparative advantage, encouraging readers to pay down credit card debt and learn how to invest in stocks and bonds. He criticizes border walls and other trade barriers as being based on fear rather than sound economic principles, contending that the gig economy is a “viable work alternative” for people “not looking for job security per se.” Epping credits millennials and Generation Z for “opting to use their money to make the world a better place,” yet he cautions that “political correctness” and “buying locally” can have unintended and counterintuitive consequences, such as overlooking the benefits of “increased economic cooperation” between countries and the higher carbon footprint of, for instance, tomatoes grown in Dutch greenhouses compared to those shipped to the Netherlands from Spain. Epping explains economic concepts clearly and succinctly, yet his free market enthusiasm seems to discount the pain caused by the Great Recession, and he doesn’t fully explain how capitalism and climate change policy can coexist. Readers should consider this a useful starting point rather than a definitive guide. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 12/02/2019
Release date: 01/21/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
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