A dozen times every day, individuals and organizations use economic claims to support social and political points of view. Those on the left tend to distrust economists, seeing them as friends of the right. There is something to this skepticism, since professional economists are almost all keen supporters of the free market. Yet while factions on the right naturally embrace economists, they also tend to overestimate the effect of their support on free-market policies. The result is widespread confusion. In fact, virtually all commonly held beliefs about economics—whether espoused by political activists, politicians, journalists or taxpayers—are just plain wrong.
Joseph Heath, co-author of the international bestseller The Rebel Sell, wants to improve our economic literacy and empower us with new ideas. In Filthy Lucre, he draws on everyday examples to skewer the six favourite economic fallacies of the right, before impaling the six favourite fallacies of the left. Heath leaves no sacred cows untipped as he breaks down complex arguments and shows how the monetary world really works. The popularity of such books as Freakonomics and Predictably Irrational demonstrates that people want a better understanding of the financial forces that affect them. Highly readable, flawlessly argued and certain to raise ire along all points of the socio-political spectrum, Filthy Lucre is a must-read for anyone wanting to engage in clear debate on social and political issues.