The Darwin Economy by Robert H. Frank audiobook

The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good

By Robert Frank
Read by Walter Dixon

Gildan Media 9781596599758
8.38 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781596599758

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Who was the greater economist--Adam Smith or Charles Darwin? The question seems absurd. Darwin, after all, was a naturalist, not an economist. But Robert Frank, New York Times economics columnist and best-selling author of The Economic Naturalist, predicts that within the next century Darwin will unseat Smith as the intellectual founder of economics. The reason, Frank argues, is that Darwin's understanding of competition describes economic reality far more accurately than Smith's. And the consequences of this fact are profound. Indeed, the failure to recognize that we live in Darwin's world rather than Smith's is putting us all at risk by preventing us from seeing that competition alone will not solve our problems. Smith's theory of the invisible hand, which says that competition channels self-interest for the common good, is probably the most widely cited argument today in favor of unbridled competition--and against regulation, taxation, and even government itself. But what if Smith's idea was almost an exception to the general rule of competition? That's what Frank argues, resting his case on Darwin's insight that individual and group interests often diverge sharply. Far from creating a perfect world, economic competition often leads to "arms races," encouraging behaviors that not only cause enormous harm to the group but also provide no lasting advantages for individuals, since any gains tend to be relative and mutually offsetting. The good news is that we have the ability to tame the Darwin economy. The best solution is not to prohibit harmful behaviors but to tax them. By doing so, we could make the economic pie larger, eliminate government debt, and provide better public services, all without requiring painful sacrifices from anyone. That's a bold claim, Frank concedes, but it follows directly from logic and evidence that most people already accept.

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Summary

Summary

Who was the greater economist--Adam Smith or Charles Darwin? The question seems absurd. Darwin, after all, was a naturalist, not an economist. But Robert Frank, New York Times economics columnist and best-selling author of The Economic Naturalist, predicts that within the next century Darwin will unseat Smith as the intellectual founder of economics. The reason, Frank argues, is that Darwin's understanding of competition describes economic reality far more accurately than Smith's. And the consequences of this fact are profound. Indeed, the failure to recognize that we live in Darwin's world rather than Smith's is putting us all at risk by preventing us from seeing that competition alone will not solve our problems. Smith's theory of the invisible hand, which says that competition channels self-interest for the common good, is probably the most widely cited argument today in favor of unbridled competition--and against regulation, taxation, and even government itself. But what if Smith's idea was almost an exception to the general rule of competition? That's what Frank argues, resting his case on Darwin's insight that individual and group interests often diverge sharply. Far from creating a perfect world, economic competition often leads to "arms races," encouraging behaviors that not only cause enormous harm to the group but also provide no lasting advantages for individuals, since any gains tend to be relative and mutually offsetting. The good news is that we have the ability to tame the Darwin economy. The best solution is not to prohibit harmful behaviors but to tax them. By doing so, we could make the economic pie larger, eliminate government debt, and provide better public services, all without requiring painful sacrifices from anyone. That's a bold claim, Frank concedes, but it follows directly from logic and evidence that most people already accept.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Robert Frank’s The Darwin Economy…provide[s] much-needed information and analysis to explain why so much of the nation’s money is flowing upward. Frank, an economist at Cornell, draws on social psychology to shatter many myths about competition and compensation.” New York Review of Books
“Impressive, original, and thoughtful.” Financial Times
“The practical implications of Frank’s insight are quite broad…Frank manages to write breezily and with a minimum of jargon. His book deserves wide readership among people who suspect that something has gone drastically wrong with the economy.” Commonweal
“Frank is one of the most interesting economists regularly writing for the public. Serious scholars across the social sciences will learn a lot from this book.” Choice

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Robert H. Frank

Author Bio: Robert H. Frank

Robert H. Frank is an economics professor at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, a regular columnist for the New York Times, and a distinguished senior fellow at Demos. His books, which have been translated into twenty-two languages, include The Winner-Take-All Society, The Economic Naturalist, Luxury Fever, What Price the Moral High Ground?, and Principles of Economics.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Runtime: 8.38
Audience: Adult
Language: English