Read from Aug 16 to 26, 2011
A novel exploration of relationships and economics. While not a deep scholarly paper, it was an amusing read. If I were to teach an economics 101 class I would use this book because it introduces economic theories in ways that are very accessible using relationships as the example.
The ideas presented are not going to make or break your relationship. It will, however, help you understand how you act better by framing the context in terms of economic theories such as sunk cost, game theory and aversion of loss. In many ways it helps illustrate the illogical way that we behave and offers a better response in order to maximize our results.
Sometimes the editorial comments on economic policy were presented as straw men arguments. One example was with the negative commentary on the use of government spending to stimulate an economy. Thus downplaying GDP economic theory (GDP = C+G+i+(X-M)). That aside, these straw men appeared to be more soap boxes but were rare enough to not get you riled up and frothing at the mouth because, well, you can't argue with the conclusions - just have more sex.
Read from April 06 to 12, 2011
Read January 17, 2011
I can easily see why this book has become so popular recently. Many of the themes echo in today's troubled economy. The irony is that the allegory that I think best fits is one where the 'looters' are not the liberal democrat of today, but the conservative republican who looted the financial system and caused the economy to collapse. I wonder what Rand would say about that.
Atlas Shrugged was a marathon of a read. I enjoyed the story line, the insight into what business was like 60 years ago and a story line that blended business, finance, science fiction, and mystery. I found the book motivational and even inspiring in many ways. It makes me want to get up and get to work and produce!
However, in other ways I found the preaching to be too over the top and too contrasting. The antagonists are set up as straw men in order to easily defeat their dissenting opinion of Ayn Rand's philosophy. In many ways I agree and many more that I disagree. I have to concede that I would not have been able to get the education I received or build my career as I have, were it not for the benevolence of society and the social safety net that the government creates for families to recover from poor financial decisions. I think this is where Ayn Rand misses the mark. Balance is needed.