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Econosphere, The: What Makes the Economy Really Work, How to Protect It, and Maximize Your Opportunity for Financial Prosperity (paperback)

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Econosphere, The: What Makes the Economy Really Work, How to Protect It, and Maximize Your Opportunity for Financial Prosperity (paperback)


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The global economy as living, breathing organism: how the world really works – and how to make it start working again!

  • Discover the powerful, immutable laws that govern every financial decision you make — and put those laws to work for you.
  • Ten ways to maximize wealth and happiness for everyone.
  • How not to fix a broken economy: stupid policy tricks and why they just make things worse.


  • Copyright 2010
  • Dimensions: 5-3/8" x 8-1/4"
  • Pages: 192
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-338397-0
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-338397-3

“For an engaging, insightful, and somewhat quirky take on how our economy works, The Econosphere is a must read. Craig Thomas does a masterful job of explaining basic economic fundamentals so that anyone can understand them and profit as a result.”

–Mark Zandi, Chief Economist, Moody’s Economy.com

“Classic Craig! Born with an ability to write informatively, Craig has delivered the layperson’s guide to everything economic! Clear, informative, and entertaining prose on the inner workings of the economy. A must read for anyone who wants to understand how the world works.”

–Raymond G. Torto, PhD, Global Chief Economist, CB Richard Ellis

“An engaging read. Craig’s view of what he calls ‘the Econosphere’ is really fascinating and is simply, yet eloquently, focused on what we can achieve as individuals and, at the same time, contribute to the betterment of mankind. This book encourages each of us to become stewards of the resources we use to sustain ourselves. It is a thoughtful, purposeful, and inspiring read.”

–Steve Felix, Head of Real Estate Client Relations—North America, Aviva Investors, and author of Simplicate Your Life: Volume 1

“The Econosphere is a quick and enjoyable read with a powerful message. This fresh perspective on the workings of the economy is provided through surprising but logical comparisons to the environment and the green movement, combined with many witty anecdotes. I feel I have a new understanding of the economy’s nature. We should all be ‘green’ economists!”

–Robert M. White, Jr., Founder and President, Real Capital Analytics

How the World Really Works–and How to Make It Start Working Again!

·   Discover the immutable laws of nature that govern all your financial decisions–and put them to work for you

·   Ten ways to maximize wealth and happiness for everyone

·   How not to fix a broken economy: stupid policy tricks and why they just make things worse

We all live inside the Econosphere: a living, breathing, global organism that choreographs billions of performers with breathtaking precision and can make life better for everyone. But the Econosphere works best if we understand what nurtures it–and what poisons it. In The Econosphere, leading economist Craig Thomas reveals the amazing economic organism we’re all part of, explains how it really works, and shows how to make it start working again–for everyone. Thomas illuminates the laws that govern every economic decision you make–and shows how to use that information to make better decisions, achieve greater success, and maximize your happiness.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments . . . xi

About the Author . . . xiii

Preface . . . xv

Chapter 1 Born with a Loaf of Bread . . . 1

How the World Prospers . . . 1

We All Share the Same Goal: Maximize Happiness . . . 2

Love and Protect Your Econosphere . . . 5

The Marketplace Is Perfect: It Is Information That Is Imperfect . . . 6

You Live in the Econosphere . . . 10

Can You Be Green About Your Econosphere? . . . 11

The Econosphere’s Tough Love . . . 15

What Happens When We Try to Stop Change? Here’s Your (1952) Buick! . . . 17

The Protection Racket . . . 19

The Kinder, Gentler Econosphere . . . 21

Chapter 2 Where Does the Economy Come From? . . . 23

What Is a Job, Anyway? . . . 25

All Work and No Play Does Not Maximize Utility . . . 28

The Econosphere Is Merely and Mundanely the Sum of Its Parts . . . 28

Remember When China and India Were Polluting Their Econosphere? . . . 31

They Don’t Make Big Heavy Chandeliers Like They Used To . . . 32

Chapter 3 A Lifetime of Opportunities . . . 37

1964: Bundles of Economic Potential and Joy . . . 38

Place: The Product of Generations of Economic Incentives . . . 39

The Occupation of Infants? Being Cute and Cuddly . . . 42

1970: A Little Bit Older, A Little Bit Wiser . . . 45

Of Cooties and Other Social Bugaboos . . . 47

1980: Charlotte and Milton Sitting in a Tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G . . . 50

1982: Milt, Why Weren’t You in Class This Morning? . . . 51

1998: Charlotte the Yuppie and Milt the Townie . . . 53

2000: Tech-Wreck in Bigton; Renovation Boom in Pickleboro . . . 56

2002: Home Again . . . 58

It’s Not Just Candy and Flowers; There Is Math Involved . . . 59

Chapter 4 Why’s My Piece of the Pie Smaller Than His? The Gift of Inequality . . . 63

We’re All Utility Maximizers; Just Some Are Better at It Than Others . . . 65

It’s Not a Zero-Sum Game . . . 66

What Are the Sources of Dissimilar Wealth? . . . 70

How to Consider Inherited Wealth . . . 71

Earned Wealth . . . 74

Those Either Not So Hungry or Not So Talented . . . 76

Perfect Market, Imperfect Information . . . 77

What to Do About Inequality . . . 81

If Not Taxes, Then What? . . . 88

Barring Incremental Policy, What Can the Individual Do? . . . 91

Make the Econosphere Work for You! . . . 92

Chapter 5 The Firm as a Coalition . . . 95

Slave to the Corporate Machine . . . 96

A Firm Is Serendipity . . . 98

My Job Is Nothing Like Woodstock . . . 101

You Are a Specialist! . . . 104

But How Should We as a Society Look at a Firm? . . . 105

Sparkle and Fade . . . 110

Chapter 6 Stupid Policy Tricks . . . 113

Why So Cynical? . . . 114

Protector of Property Rights . . . 117

The Government Is Nelson . . . 120

Stimulus . . . 123

I Am the Sun God! . . . 126

Council of Wise Men . . . 127

Redistribution: In Search of “Fairness” . . . 131

Barriers to Trade and Prosperity . . . 134

Chapter 7 Ten Ways to Maximize Wealth and Happiness for Yourself and Everyone Else . . . 139

1. Know That It All Comes from You . . . 140

2. Love Your Environment; Be a Price Hugger . . . 142

3. See No Thieves . . . 145

4. Live Without Borders . . . 146

5. Many Brains Working on Small Problems Beat Few Brains Working on Big Problems . . . 148

6. Solve Your Information Problem . . . 150

7. Preach the Word . . . 152

8. Have a Healthy Fear of Your Public Servants . . . 154

9. Rise Above the Fads . . . 156

10. Spend Your Lone Raw Material Wisely . . . 157

Index . . . 161


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