counter create hit Uncommon Sense: Economic Insights, from Marriage to Terrorism - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Uncommon Sense: Economic Insights, from Marriage to Terrorism

Availability: Ready to download

On December 5, 2004, the still-developing blogosphere took one of its biggest steps toward mainstream credibility, as Nobel Prize–winning economist Gary S. Becker and renowned jurist and legal scholar Richard A. Posner announced the formation of the Becker-Posner Blog. In no time, the blog had established a wide readership and reputation as a reliable source of lively, tho On December 5, 2004, the still-developing blogosphere took one of its biggest steps toward mainstream credibility, as Nobel Prize–winning economist Gary S. Becker and renowned jurist and legal scholar Richard A. Posner announced the formation of the Becker-Posner Blog. In no time, the blog had established a wide readership and reputation as a reliable source of lively, thought-provoking commentary on current events, its pithy and profound weekly essays highlighting the value of economic reasoning when applied to unexpected topics. Uncommon Sense gathers the most important and innovative entries from the blog, arranged by topic, along with updates and even reconsiderations when subsequent events have shed new light on a question. Whether it’s Posner making the economic case for the legalization of gay marriage, Becker arguing in favor of the sale of human organs for transplant, or even the pair of scholars vigorously disagreeing about the utility of collective punishment, the writing is always clear, the interplay energetic, and the resulting discussion deeply informed and intellectually substantial. To have a single thinker of the stature of a Becker or Posner addressing questions of this nature would make for fascinating reading; to have both, writing and responding to each other, is an exceptionally rare treat. With Uncommon Sense, they invite the adventurous reader to join them on a whirlwind intellectual journey. All they ask is that you leave your preconceptions behind.


Compare

On December 5, 2004, the still-developing blogosphere took one of its biggest steps toward mainstream credibility, as Nobel Prize–winning economist Gary S. Becker and renowned jurist and legal scholar Richard A. Posner announced the formation of the Becker-Posner Blog. In no time, the blog had established a wide readership and reputation as a reliable source of lively, tho On December 5, 2004, the still-developing blogosphere took one of its biggest steps toward mainstream credibility, as Nobel Prize–winning economist Gary S. Becker and renowned jurist and legal scholar Richard A. Posner announced the formation of the Becker-Posner Blog. In no time, the blog had established a wide readership and reputation as a reliable source of lively, thought-provoking commentary on current events, its pithy and profound weekly essays highlighting the value of economic reasoning when applied to unexpected topics. Uncommon Sense gathers the most important and innovative entries from the blog, arranged by topic, along with updates and even reconsiderations when subsequent events have shed new light on a question. Whether it’s Posner making the economic case for the legalization of gay marriage, Becker arguing in favor of the sale of human organs for transplant, or even the pair of scholars vigorously disagreeing about the utility of collective punishment, the writing is always clear, the interplay energetic, and the resulting discussion deeply informed and intellectually substantial. To have a single thinker of the stature of a Becker or Posner addressing questions of this nature would make for fascinating reading; to have both, writing and responding to each other, is an exceptionally rare treat. With Uncommon Sense, they invite the adventurous reader to join them on a whirlwind intellectual journey. All they ask is that you leave your preconceptions behind.

30 review for Uncommon Sense: Economic Insights, from Marriage to Terrorism

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    As I explained in my summary of Suits and Geeks on my wordpress blog, Gary Becker is an all around nice guy and it comes through in his essays. Posner is a good counterpoint to Becker, but had they disagreed more it would have made a better book. The book is a summary of some of their blog posts from 2005 to 2007. Over the past few months I occasionally read The Becker-Posner Blog and this summary was a good way to learn what has transpired during the first few years. Both give good and substanti As I explained in my summary of Suits and Geeks on my wordpress blog, Gary Becker is an all around nice guy and it comes through in his essays. Posner is a good counterpoint to Becker, but had they disagreed more it would have made a better book. The book is a summary of some of their blog posts from 2005 to 2007. Over the past few months I occasionally read The Becker-Posner Blog and this summary was a good way to learn what has transpired during the first few years. Both give good and substantive reasons for all their opinions, and there were a few blogs which changed my mind. The most convincing of the posts was in support of the death penalty. I was non-committal on this subject, until reading Becker and Posner. Their reasoning in this and other blogs always seemed rock solid. I especially like the cost/benefit analysis. There is probably not a single post on any subject by either in which I wasn’t convinced they had very good arguments, many of which swayed my opinion. The death penalty posts were the most convincing. There were quite a few other posts that made me reassess my opinion. I was convinced Becker had substantial reasons for increasing drunken driving penalties, but Posner countered with some good arguments against Becker’s position. In the end I sided with Becker, but thought Becker’s arguments were more applicable to speeding penalties. I have heard that speeding causes more death and destruction than drunken driving, and is probably more applicable to the logic Becker used to increase penalties for drunken driving. I enjoyed the blogs by Becker more, but that is probably because he came at them from more of a free market perspective. Posner is a district judge, but his opinions about law relating to economics and the free market were particularly insightful.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marcel Santos

    This book concerns a collection of short opinions from two of the most prominent names of the Chicago School on several issues posted on the blog they maintained together. Two of the brightest stars of Law & Economics swimming free-style in a demonstration of the essence of the mainstream economics’ way of thinking. The opinions range from 2-3 pages maximum on very broad, complex and often polemic issues, so of course one cannot expect academic rigor - though there are clever arguments and a few This book concerns a collection of short opinions from two of the most prominent names of the Chicago School on several issues posted on the blog they maintained together. Two of the brightest stars of Law & Economics swimming free-style in a demonstration of the essence of the mainstream economics’ way of thinking. The opinions range from 2-3 pages maximum on very broad, complex and often polemic issues, so of course one cannot expect academic rigor - though there are clever arguments and a few interesting references for deepening arguments or data. The authors’ conclusions in each issue are not necessarily what matters, but the argumentative tools and reasoning method itself - which in fact constitute a great deal of what a school of thought normally proposes. I can’t help noticing though that after reading a lot of materials on Behavioral Economics, the old mainstream method and style read too simplistic in many aspects, giving thus the impression that conclusions can indeed be impaired by the adoption of a simplistic model of utility maximization and perfect rationality, which is so dear to mainstream economics.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Muhammad Fadel

    This book compiles Becker and Posner writing on their blogs. Their blogs contain their thought and examination using economics analysis to many issues, ranging from marriage, sexuality, terrorism, law enforcement, culture, city, etc. There are 49 issues included, but I skip a fourth of Before I read this book, I was never a big fan of Chicago-School Economics (both Becker and Posner adhere it), which promote the idea that Economics Analysis can be applied into almost any aspects of life. Chicago- This book compiles Becker and Posner writing on their blogs. Their blogs contain their thought and examination using economics analysis to many issues, ranging from marriage, sexuality, terrorism, law enforcement, culture, city, etc. There are 49 issues included, but I skip a fourth of Before I read this book, I was never a big fan of Chicago-School Economics (both Becker and Posner adhere it), which promote the idea that Economics Analysis can be applied into almost any aspects of life. Chicago-Economist lies on the assumptions that human are rational, and wealth-maximizer (then called Homo Economicus). Chicago-Economist is always be strong proponent of any effort on privatization, and the use of market mechanism on any contracting activities (e.g they propose that marriage contract should be customize rather than standardized, so man and woman can negotiate terms on divorces, or allowing for organ kidneys as it helps poor to obtain money). This approaches, I believe, ignore the fact that human beings sometimes irrational, emotional, and not-wealth-maximizer all the time. Thus, I turns to Behavioral Economist that I hope gives better proposal on facing human issues. However, after several chapters, I found their idea is interesting. That markets system is sometimes do better than other options to enhance social prosperity. Sometimes we will find their proposal is immoral (such as allowing organ sales, or saying that Israel attacks on Lebanon in response to Hamas assault is tolerable, as it is more cost-effective). But some of their thought on privatizing highways, or allowing growth of for-profit colleges to absorb more students to college, or allowing capital punishment if it is effective to deter more heavy crimes, is worth to try. After all, market mechanism drives competition, and competition is good for consumer welfare. The problems is how to ensure competition are done fairly, good for consumer and producer, and reduce any externalities occured. I gave 3, because it is only a compilation of blog posts (explanation are not that deep), and still I have several problems with their proposal, that is too fierce for me. But its a good introductory book for those who wants to know about Chicago-School Policy Approach.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    not impressed with this book - a praise of selfishness - a praise of the semester culture

  5. 5 out of 5

    Noah

    This book is basically a bunch of blog entries stapled together, which sounds pretty underwhelming until you notice that the authors are Becker, a Chicago school economist with a Nobel Prize and an absurd CV, and Posner, a prolific Court of Appeals judge and legal scholar. There are some dud chapters, mostly when they try to tackle very grand topics like national security or democracy, but for the most part it makes for a great book. Fair warning: reading this may turn you into a dispassionate l This book is basically a bunch of blog entries stapled together, which sounds pretty underwhelming until you notice that the authors are Becker, a Chicago school economist with a Nobel Prize and an absurd CV, and Posner, a prolific Court of Appeals judge and legal scholar. There are some dud chapters, mostly when they try to tackle very grand topics like national security or democracy, but for the most part it makes for a great book. Fair warning: reading this may turn you into a dispassionate libertarian jerk who gives copies of Atlas Shrugged as gifts and won't shut up about how people should be allowed to sell their organs.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Scot

    I’m not really a fan of this book, for a couple of reasons. First, Posner and Becker pretty much always agree with one another. So this doesn’t end up being an enlightening discussion on a topic, it’s a repetition of unsupported assertions. Second, the unsupported assertions. Pretty much every argument assumes a) anything done by the government is bad, and b) every decision made by everyone everywhere is made simply evaluating which option makes the most sense from an economic perspective. The aut I’m not really a fan of this book, for a couple of reasons. First, Posner and Becker pretty much always agree with one another. So this doesn’t end up being an enlightening discussion on a topic, it’s a repetition of unsupported assertions. Second, the unsupported assertions. Pretty much every argument assumes a) anything done by the government is bad, and b) every decision made by everyone everywhere is made simply evaluating which option makes the most sense from an economic perspective. The authors give no clue that they understand how real people actually make decisions, and completely ignore almost everything that they can’t put a dollar value on.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Matthias

    Read the full review at excellentbookreviews.com! A tall tale of market efficiency, informed choice and the quest for the right discount rate. I’ve been reading on modern economics lately. Some authors challenge dearly held economic assumptions, others use new and radical methods. Uncommon Sense is the old-fashioned kind of economics. The kinda bad kind. Becker and Posner curated a collection of their blog posts, each one written by one author with a commentary of the other. I did not check if the Read the full review at excellentbookreviews.com! A tall tale of market efficiency, informed choice and the quest for the right discount rate. I’ve been reading on modern economics lately. Some authors challenge dearly held economic assumptions, others use new and radical methods. Uncommon Sense is the old-fashioned kind of economics. The kinda bad kind. Becker and Posner curated a collection of their blog posts, each one written by one author with a commentary of the other. I did not check if the book content was directly taken from the author’s blog, or if some updates have been made. They muse on different topics, arranged by overarching themes, and they offer their economic and legal view on affairs. Applying economic principles to affairs things are not typically appraised by economic value is a neat idea. Bring down any decision to a sum of money that the alternatives will cost or bring in, and everything gets easy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work all the time. Here are some examples from Uncommon Sense where I believe that the authors go awry. They never think far enough Love is transactional, remember? Becker and Posner would like to take it one step further and define marriage purely as a contractual agreement. An agreement that could be made between more than two parties. They explicitly state that this would include both polygyny (one man with multiple women) and polyandry (one woman with multiple men). And then they go on and write their entire argument exclusively about polygynous marriages, for “historical” reasons. I am very confused by this. Surely Becker and Posner do not propose to allow multiple partners for men only. That would be ridiculously sexist, for no apparent purpose. But when polygyny and polyandry are simultaneously legalized, we will surely have cross marriages, chain marriages, branching marriages and marriages within marriages (also known as meta marriages). Instead, completely oblivious of all the naughty, sexy implications of their proposal, the authors discuss how women would be pretty ok in a harem. This is not uncommon sense.

  8. 5 out of 5

    z

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Chapter 1 Why have attitudes towards premarital sex, contraception and homosexual intercourse changed, as well as diverged from the positions of various religions? Cost-benefit considerations have changed: sex remains enjoyable, but the opportunity cost of pregnancy to women has risen. At the same time, the marginal benefit of each child has fallen in high-income economies - families generally prefer to have few children but invest generously in them. They also don’t need to worry as much about c Chapter 1 Why have attitudes towards premarital sex, contraception and homosexual intercourse changed, as well as diverged from the positions of various religions? Cost-benefit considerations have changed: sex remains enjoyable, but the opportunity cost of pregnancy to women has risen. At the same time, the marginal benefit of each child has fallen in high-income economies - families generally prefer to have few children but invest generously in them. They also don’t need to worry as much about child mortality or care in old-age. The tension between sexual pleasure and these considerations is easily resolved by a dramatic reduction in the risk of pregnancy. This is what contraception achieves. Premarital sex has also gained social acceptance - not only through the rise of contraception, which tempers the stigma surrounding sex, but also through society’s embrace of more liberal values. And if people are willing to rethink some of their cherished beliefs about premarital sex, they might be more tolerant of homosexual intercourse. The Church’s stance on these matters remains entrenched, to the extent of being incongruous with its members’ actions. Some of the countries home to large Catholic populations are the same ones which see extremely low rates of birth. Evidently, many Catholics are of the view that they can be faithful to their religion while making decisions that are not entirely aligned with the Catholic stance. “Social and economic forces usually trump religious views and other social norms, until these views and norms adjust to the new forces.” Religions are, for the most part, laggards. An interesting point - it’s hard for the Catholic Church to attract young men into the priesthood, not to mention the fact that homosexuals may be more attracted by the all-male aspect of the job. Something that wasn’t covered - why the Catholic Church takes such a conservative stand on sex matters from the outset. Because the Bible says so? What makes us so certain the teachings in the Bible are right and relevant to our time? Following chapters: Tenure and judicial term limits: relevant to SS shirking model Baby bonus: relevant to liquidity constraints Harsher punishments for less easily detectable scenarios

  9. 4 out of 5

    TG Lin

    這兩天將這部經濟學人的「聊天」專書《說真相的勇氣︰芝加哥經濟學人與大法官的反常識對話錄》給讀完了。雖然這是一部厚達五百頁的書,但實際上所討論的議題若分開來細談,或許可以擴大到兩三倍以上的篇幅。對我這枚非經濟專科出身的歐吉桑,總的來說,這是一部以讚同市場經濟學的兩位知識份子之間的對話錄。   我從小便自認是個歷史宅。但即使談歷史,用各種不同觀點來詮釋便常常會得出南轅北轍的結論。但在出社會成了歐吉桑之後,我便逐漸揚棄了最單純的「道德史觀」,發現許多眼前的一堆「不公不義」,放在「經濟史觀」之下便完全改觀。簡單地說,「經濟學」不過就是人類的「心理學」的一種特化變型;如果不能拿經濟來看歷史與眼前的現況,光會幻想那從不存在的「道德光芒」,在智識上是很難有更進步的空間的。因此我今天有個感觸︰不懂經濟學,就別妄想談社會學或歷史學。   回到本書。這部《說真相的勇氣》所談的主題非常多,有婚姻、器官捐贈買賣、垃圾食品、公司執行長的高薪、天災保險、死刑、國家安全,無所不談。但本書既然是由「芝加哥學派」的代表,因此當中便特別以「自由經濟學」為貫穿全書的主軸,提倡讓人民自已作決定、反對凡事交由政府作出最沒有效率的安排分 這兩天將這部經濟學人的「聊天」專書《說真相的勇氣︰芝加哥經濟學人與大法官的反常識對話錄》給讀完了。雖然這是一部厚達五百頁的書,但實際上所討論的議題若分開來細談,或許可以擴大到兩三倍以上的篇幅。對我這枚非經濟專科出身的歐吉桑,總的來說,這是一部以讚同市場經濟學的兩位知識份子之間的對話錄。   我從小便自認是個歷史宅。但即使談歷史,用各種不同觀點來詮釋便常常會得出南轅北轍的結論。但在出社會成了歐吉桑之後,我便逐漸揚棄了最單純的「道德史觀」,發現許多眼前的一堆「不公不義」,放在「經濟史觀」之下便完全改觀。簡單地說,「經濟學」不過就是人類的「心理學」的一種特化變型;如果不能拿經濟來看歷史與眼前的現況,光會幻想那從不存在的「道德光芒」,在智識上是很難有更進步的空間的。因此我今天有個感觸︰不懂經濟學,就別妄想談社會學或歷史學。   回到本書。這部《說真相的勇氣》所談的主題非常多,有婚姻、器官捐贈買賣、垃圾食品、公司執行長的高薪、天災保險、死刑、國家安全,無所不談。但本書既然是由「芝加哥學派」的代表,因此當中便特別以「自由經濟學」為貫穿全書的主軸,提倡讓人民自已作決定、反對凡事交由政府作出最沒有效率的安排分配。但要達成這種境況,政府便需要「降低資訊成本」,也就是要讓人民擁有足夠的知識水準與資訊來作判斷。所以本書作者便不認為「器官買賣」是什麼重罪,而頒布反式脂肪使用禁令更是糟糕的作法。大體上來說,所有帶著「悲天憫人」的胸懷、期盼政府擁有「良善動機」的作法,本書大多不予認同。   本書有一段令我覺得十分有趣的,是「文化習慣」也可以用「經濟」觀點來分析︰當成本與時間呈負相關、效益與時間呈正相關時,「習慣」便出現了。如果社會上已有某種通行的慣例,則在其中的任何人要維持該行為的成本很低、效益很高,也使得習慣不容易改變;一旦要作改變,便給付出更高的成本,而效益不見得更好。本書提到法國人的排外習慣,如果一個人從小便認同於法國的文化自豪、抗拒外國的文化,那麼堅持該信念的成本是很低廉的;若想要改變(比如在公開場合用英語談貿易),將付出更高的成本與更小的效益(法國總統起身退場抗議)。   不禁想到鬼島在這二十多年來的「認同」轉變。想當年自己年幼時,整個島內從來未對於自身的文化有什麼疑慮,頂多就是跟柏楊罵醬缸、跟李敖罵 KMT 罷了,改變的成本非常之高、效益非常差。今天,由於「反中愛台」已經成了政界的主流之後,跟隨潮流而「覺醒」不僅成本降低,而且還可以有機會暴得大名,何樂而不為?由經濟分析來看,鬼島今天的「文化微革命」是非常符合成本與效益比的。   至於本書也有談到「大政府」與「小政府」的特色。自然地,以芝加哥這幫人的理念,「小政府」才是效率的代表,所以作者認為「兩德統一」不是件好事,應該以「東西德簽定自由貿易交流協定」,才是對雙方的「經濟層面」都是最好的作法(呵呵……鬼島的大腸覺醒主旨,反倒是訴求激進左膠的禁止一切交流)。然而,若談到「軍事武力」,一般而言,小政府是無法抵抗大政府的,作者並未對此有更進一步的解答——因為「效用(Utility/人民的爽度)」永遠是最難估價的。   值得一看的書。

  10. 4 out of 5

    Qin Li

    I don’t fully agree with all their views and the book is really elitist in style. I also wish Posner and Becker had disagreed with each other more. That said, it’s quite a pleasure to read some Chicago libertarian stuff during the pandemic. Reminded me of my college times.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jacklynn Pragosa

    The book was ok. But there were some things that were disturbing that I wish I didn’t know about. But I didn’t have a choice since this book was required for my class.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Arithmomaniac

    As someone considering majoring in "social economics", I was excited to read a book focusing on the wide application of economics. It indeed turned out to be a good book, and a lot of the chapters turned out to be quite insightful. Unfortunately, the wonderful ideas at the heart of this book are marred by a very flat writing style and too much mildly amoral "Chicago Economics", where economic arguments are equivalent to moral ones. If you are considering this book, make sure you read The Logic o As someone considering majoring in "social economics", I was excited to read a book focusing on the wide application of economics. It indeed turned out to be a good book, and a lot of the chapters turned out to be quite insightful. Unfortunately, the wonderful ideas at the heart of this book are marred by a very flat writing style and too much mildly amoral "Chicago Economics", where economic arguments are equivalent to moral ones. If you are considering this book, make sure you read The Logic of Life, which covers similar ground without either caveat.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mikedariano

    A collection of reprinted articles from the Posner Becker blog that allows three interesting observations. That purchaseable books (like 'what the dog saw') are available free online as they were posted. Second, the dating of articles gives them more credance with respect to time relations. Lastly, you can pick and choose the more interesting from the less A collection of reprinted articles from the Posner Becker blog that allows three interesting observations. That purchaseable books (like 'what the dog saw') are available free online as they were posted. Second, the dating of articles gives them more credance with respect to time relations. Lastly, you can pick and choose the more interesting from the less

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    Basically a copy & paste of their blog into book format. Good reads but it gets long and boring towards the end.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Abigail Schaller

  16. 4 out of 5

    Raul Vergara

  17. 5 out of 5

    Maikel

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Campbell

  19. 4 out of 5

    João Caetano Leite

  20. 5 out of 5

    St.john Mccloskey

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amber

  22. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Chen

  23. 4 out of 5

    Shantanu

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

  25. 5 out of 5

    moutaintop

  26. 4 out of 5

    Zacharie Liman-Tinguiri

  27. 4 out of 5

    David Caulk

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  29. 5 out of 5

    Talha Gülmez

  30. 5 out of 5

    Olga Zajkowska

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.