In a world of stressful situations and fast living, people need instant gratification and quick fixes. This is the only way I can explain the exponential success of Freakonomics
and Super Freakonomics. The first book had sold over 4 million copies world-wide at the close of 2009. You can bet your bottom dollar, those authors are not too worried about their personal economic issues. However, before you bet that bottom dollar, you had better read the book to see what your betting odds are.
Have I read either book yet? No! Will I read them? Well, honestly, after reading their blog, yes, I will read them, but when they arrive at the local library in English
or when someone sends me a copy (upon a note, I will send you my mailing address).
This is purely speculation, not facts herewith. As the blurb goes, this is a blending of pop culture
and economics. Taking a serious look at the world in the last few years, don’t you think we should put pop culture on the sidelines for a while and concentrate on getting serious with our money?
Here are two chapter titles to titillate your interests or persuade you there may be some truths to sensationalism.
Chapter 1: What Do Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers Have in Common?
Chapter 2: How Is the Ku Klux Klan
Like a Group of Real-Estate Agents?
If you count the chapter on why drug dealers
live with their mothers, there are 3 chapters
devoted to parenting. Why?
So my cynical mind wants to know how these books or blog are going to help people understand what their credit card
APR is? Don’t know what APR means? Annual percentage rate
, what the company is really charging you when you don’t pay your balance off in full each month. If you only pay the minimum due on a hefty balance, chances are after ten years, you could have paid cash for a new car with what you paid in interest.
How are these books or blog helping people who are bankrupt because they don’t have health care
coverage? The State of California
has shut down most of the county run HIV
programs and many of the maternal/child programs due to lack of money.
How are these books and blog going to help people who have been “downsized”, the politically correct term for being screwed by their employer and fired?
How are these books and blog going to help people who can no longer make their mortgage payments and are losing their homes?
How are these books and blog going to help young people who cannot afford to attend college or university?
My best guess is if these books and blogs did these things, no one would buy the books or read the blog.
My best guess is that many, not all, but many people want to think they are learning something as esoteric sounding as economics seems to be for most of us. How many of us took an economics course in college just for the fun of it? I don’t have my hand raised.
Ashamedly, I will admit here, publicly, that as I point a finger, I have four pointing back at me. I am guilty of enjoying pop culture pseudo-science as much as the next one. However, the current economic situation in the US and the world has been a real wake-up call.
I leave you with one last link for others who did read the books and have criticisms
, so you can judge for yourself.