The Real Price of Everything: Rediscovering the Six Classics of Economics

The Real Price of Everything: Rediscovering the Six Classics of Economics

Michael Lewis

Language: English

Pages: 1472

ISBN: 140274790X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In his New York Times bestsellers Liar’s Poker and Moneyball, Michael Lewis gave us an unprecedented look at what goes on behind the scenes on Wall Street. Now he takes us back across the centuries to explore the four classics that created and defined not just Wall Street, but the entire economic system we live under today. Brought together with Lewis’s illuminating editorial commentary, they form an essential reference for any student of economics—in fact, for anyone who wants to understand the market forces and government policies that have shaped our world, and will continue to shape our future.
1776: The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
1798: An Essay on the Principle of Population by Thomas Malthus
1817: Principles of Political Economy and Taxation by David Ricardo
1899: The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions by Thorstein Veblen
1936: The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money by John Maynard Keynes

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Quasi Rational Economics















tends, they suppose, to encourage tillage. This double encouragement must, they imagine, in a long period of years, occasion such an increase in the production of corn, as may lower its price in the home market, much more than the bounty can raise it in the actual state which tillage may, at the end of that period, happen to be in. I answer, that whatever extension of the foreign market can be occasioned by the bounty must, in every particular year, be altogether at the expense of the home

supposition, improper to say, that the labor of artificers, manufacturers, and merchants, does not increase the real revenue of the society. Though we should suppose, for example, as it seems to be supposed in this system, that the value of the daily, monthly, and yearly consumption of this class was exactly equal to that of its daily, monthly, and yearly production; yet it would not from thence follow, that its labor added nothing to the real revenue, to the real value of the annual produce of

from their own body. Labor is there so well rewarded, that a numerous family of children, instead of being a burden, is a source of opulence and prosperity to the parents. The labor of each child, before it can leave their house, is computed to be worth a hundred pounds clear gain to them. A young widow with four or five young children, who, among the middling or inferior ranks of people in Europe, would have so little chance for a second husband, is there frequently courted as a sort of fortune.

the first general mortgage or fund, consisting of a prolongation to the first of August 1706, of several different taxes, which would have expired within a shorter term, and of which the produce was accumulated into one general fund. The deficiencies charged upon this prolonged term amounted to �5,160,459: 14: 9¼. In 1701, those duties, with some others, were still further prolonged, for the like purposes, till the first of August 1710, and were called the second general mortgage or fund. The

upon the public conduct of princes and sovereign states. I have endeavored, in the fourth book, to explain as fully and distinctly as I can those different theories, and the principal effects which they have produced in different ages and nations. To explain in what has consisted the revenue of the great body of the people, or what has been the nature of those funds, which, in different ages and nations, have supplied their annual consumption, is the object of these four first books. The fifth

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