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How to Argue with an Economist


  • Page extent: 180 pages
  • Size: 215 x 137 mm
  • Weight: 0.339 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 330.994
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: HC605 .E397 2002
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Australia--Economic policy
    • Free enterprise--Australia
    • Australia--Politics and government--1945-

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521819039 | ISBN-10: 0521819032)

DOI: 10.2277/0521819032

  • There was also a Paperback of this title but it is no longer available
  • Published October 2002

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 (Stock level updated: 15:10 GMT, 30 November 2015)


This fascinating book reflects on how economics has become central to our lives, and how the 'economic rationalist' perspective has become the lens through which all matters in Australian public life are viewed. It explains how this economic world view systematically overlooks important social issues and how it transforms Australian culture. How to Argue with an Economist invites a broad general audience into debates that were once reserved for experts. Lindy Edwards, a former economic adviser in the Prime Minister's Department, has a talent for expressing concepts simply. She distils economics' key ideas into a lively and enjoyable read, explaining how economists think and then how you can argue with them.

• Very accessible trade book, written in a very breezy style • The book explains the basics of macroeconomics for a non-economist audience very simply and persuasively • Author is a former journalist from Canberra Press gallery so heavy media coverage in Australia can be delivered


Part I. A Historical Juncture: 1. A political impasse; 2. A nation defining choice; 3. Economic rationalism's grip on power; Part II. Getting a Handle on Economics: 4. Is economics a science?; 5. Economics' key ideas; 6. Revealing economic rationalism's worldview; 7. Economic rationalists' view of human nature; 8. Economic rationalism's view of how society works; 9. Economic rationalists' view of the ideal society; 10. Economic policy and culture; Part III. How to argue with an economist: 11. How to Argue with an Economic Rationalist; 12. Reclaiming responsibility; 13. Arguing about economic efficiency; 14. Arguing about quality of life; 15. Arguing about justice; Part IV. Conclusion: 16. The way forward; 17. Making sure 'she'll be right'.


'Refreshingly readable, original in approach, this book should be consumed by every political actor or student of politics or economics.' Diane Carlyle and Nick Walker, The Australian

'Yes! Finally, a book that slags - in a penetrating and accessible way - the stark edifice 'economic nationalism'. About time.' The Age

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