And Then There Were Three: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes

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Recently by Peter Schiff: The Phantom Recovery

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, and prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone.

Because where there used to be just two standard economics primers that the aspiring Austrian student could get started with, there are now three.

We have already reviewed the first two primers, here at the Cobden Centre:

However, these may have just been superseded by a third: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes, by Peter D. Schiff and Andrew J. Schiff.

The Schiff brothers have created this new primer by basing it upon two cartoon-style books written in the 1980s by their father, Irwin A. Schiff, that have since gone on to become underground classics and which are also available on Scribd:

These two books have been blended together into a cohesive unitary whole and brought right up to date, with much more text added than in the original books, to nail home all of the major lessons of Austrian economics. (Or as we Austrian adherents sometimes like to call it, True economics.)

Quite simply, this new Schiffian book is a joy to read as it follows the story of three Robinson-Crusoe-Style men — Able, Baker, and Charlie — and maps out how they and their descendants travel in time from a lost island of rude existence — catching and eating one fish per day with their bare hands — to a land filled with government-subsidised universities offering voters fun degree courses in surfboarding.

Just as Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard begin with Robinson Crusoe scenarios in Human Action and Man, Economy, and State, Able, Baker, and Charlie start out with nothing but their bare hands and then work their way up through capital savings and capital goods production (building nets to catch fish), all the way through to every aspect of modern government-dominated economics (with oriental agents eventually using cartloads of Fish Reserve Notes to buy up everything of any worth on the original island).

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Peter Schiff is president of Euro Pacific Capital and author of The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets and Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse.

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