Economic Facts and Fallacies is the second book by Thomas Sowell I have read, and I am again left in awe. The book repeats many themes already touched in Basic Economics but explains them more in-depth. Sowell does a beautiful job of providing many illustrative real-life examples to each topic covered that just bring the problematics so much closer to the reader. The examples make it easy to see the consequences of each and every economic decision examined in the book. Sowells writing is easy to consume and understand, but still caries value in every sentence.
Economic Facts and Fallacies covers a wide range of themes, these include many mistaken but widely disseminated beliefs, such as racial and male-female income differences, as well as economic fallacies about academia and Third World countries. Sowell focuses on the fallacies that are thought to be true not only by the public but also by many politics, economists, and media. Although the book takes a deep dive into individual chapters, it is easy to read and understand, requiring no prior knowledge of economics.
The most important takeaway for me was to learn about the Zero-Sum Fallacy, which is widely believed and propagated by media and politics alike. You might often hear that what is gained by someone must be lost by someone else. Nevertheless, such economic transactions wouldn’t voluntarily take place if they were not beneficial for both parties involved - whether employer and employee or two countries. An example might be developing countries that have kept out foreign investments and trade in fear of being “exploited.” However, eventually many once-poor places achieved prosperity by opening its markets to international trade and investments. This includes Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, and many others. Some are making their markets freer just now - China and India - with visibly good results, growing economics, and millions of people rising out of poverty.
Economics Facts and Fallacies is a very educational and easy to read book for anyone, even with the slightest knowledge of economics. After reading, you might change your view on many decisions made by governments, and will make you question a lot of claims made by politics and media.
Title: Economic Facts and Fallacies
Author: Thomas Sowell