Jamming Econo

The Worldly Philosophers, by Robert Heilbroner, is in a class of its own; it is a history of economic thought from medieval times through Keynes and Schumpeter and it includes all the greats-- Adam Smith , Thomas Malthus, John Stuart Mill and the Utopians (which is a great name for a band) David Ricardo, Thorstein Veblen, Karl Marx and crew-- and Heilbroner has done all the reading, so for each man, he presents you with an overview, a few entertaining and telling anecdotes, some pithy quotations, and a logical summary of their theory and how accurate it was . . . and his conclusion is that all these men were prescient and discovered something new about the economic workings of their own world and were able to predict into the near future, but as times and technology changed, their theories fell by the wayside (David Ricardo and globalization) and Heilbroner wonders if it will ever be possible to make such predictions again, as he sees the world now as a combination of economics and politics that is well near impossible to unravel.

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