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Microeconomic Theory
Microeconomic Theory
by Andreu Mas-Colell
Edition: Hardcover
Prix : CDN$ 167.56
18 used & new from CDN$ 79.99

1 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 This is Economics????, June 18 2001
This review is from: Microeconomic Theory (Hardcover)
Some of the positives reviews of this book are correct on one point: you don't need undergraduate economics to understand the book. Of course, one can further say that no knowledge of economics at all is necessary to understand this book. But then what is this book about?
Economics is usually defined as "the study of how scarce resources are allocated between competing ends." But, this is not what this book or even what modern day economics is about. This book/modern economics is really an exercise in mathematical gymnastics. You will learn what economists do, but gain no insight into how the economy works (ie. what actions people on the planet earth do in order to maximize their well being)
What you will learn is that economics is a junk science. Take one of "fundemental assumptions" of microeconomics theory: preferences are complete. Completes means that a person knows the satisfaction s/he receives from every single bundle of goods available and will be available in the future. Introspection quickly reveals that this assumption is false, nobody has such knowledge of the world around them. In a real science a hypothesis/assumption that is proved to be false is discarded. In economics this does not occur. Why? Because they need the assumption to do the math. A preference relation needs to be complete in order to be represented by a utility function (ie. no completeness=no ability to solve constrained optimization problems).
And why is this math used? The math is used, via the social planner proposition, to show how resources SHOULD be allocated between competing ends, but then that's not what economics is supposed to be about, right? If anybody can prove me wrong I would welcome it, for I have completely lost my faith in the economics discipline.

Winners, Losers & Microsoft
Winners, Losers & Microsoft
by Stan J. Liebowitz
Edition: Hardcover
17 used & new from CDN$ 0.78

0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Deflates the case against Microsoft, May 21 2001
This a great book for those whose only exposure to the economics of the case has come from DOJ lawyers' press conferences. The "Fable of the Keys" article/chapter is excellent for its demolishing of the DVORAK v. QWERTY keyboard myth. Also good is the right on the money explanation of the Betamax v. VHS standard battle. When thinking about the claimed lock-in effect for Microsoft Explorer one should ask: even if ME is "inferior" to Navigator, does it really matter?
For as M&L illustrate, peceived dominant players in software markets have been completely overthrown in a short period of time (ie. 1-3 years using their example of Lotus and Wordperfect). Therefore, to buy the government's argument that Microsoft will lead to permanent ineffiencies, and this is based on the assumption that ME is inferior to Navigator, one must believe that people are either extremely stupid or that no one will ever, and I mean ever, be able to challenge Microsoft, but this idea flies in the face of all empirical evidence as well as common sense.
Lastly, M&L take some shots at academic economists near the end of the book. They write that the quest for tenure, acclaim, money etc., has lead many economists to distort economics by applying purely theoretical (read as: having no connection to the real world) to the real world. This is dead on. As a graduate student in economics I can attest to the fact that economics in theory and practice are too very different things. Unfortunately, many economists are not that scrupulous and take advantage of the popular belief that "experts" know something, and would rather make a quick buck testifying for the government than admit to the fact that economics in the classroom and textbook has nothing to do with reality.

The fight of my life: Confessions of an unrepentant Canadian
The fight of my life: Confessions of an unrepentant Canadian
by Maude Barlow
Edition: Hardcover
14 used & new from CDN$ 6.12

0 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 It was a fight to finish this book, May 13 2001
Maude Barlow does not like free trade. Why she has written so many books about hating free trade, and by extension freedom to associate and contract with other people, is a mystery. If she could state just what is so bad about free markets perhaps some meaningful dialogue could take place. Barlow main point is that it is bad if people who run corporations make money, but it is okay is labors make money. What does she favor one group of workers over the other? Well, firstly she does not consider managers to be doing any type of meaningful work, yet she gives no reason for why she believes this. Secondly, like the previous review her dislike of foriegn corporations borders on xenophobia, Barlow knows this and actually states that she is not xenophobic, but making such statement is meaningless given the position she has staked out.

The Cult of Impotence: Selling the Myth of Powerlessness in the Global Economy
The Cult of Impotence: Selling the Myth of Powerlessness in the Global Economy
by Linda Mcquaig
Edition: Hardcover
23 used & new from CDN$ 3.10

2 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Stop the broken record, May 13 2001
This books is no different from any other book written by McQuaig. This means that the private sector is always bad, and if only the right (read socialist) people were running the government we would have a utopia. Mcquaig would do some good if she thought through the implications of her own arguments, if she did she would realize that her main point is that wealth creation is bad and that a world where we were all equally living in poverty rather would be superior to one in which wealth inequality exists.

Shooting The Hippo
Shooting The Hippo
by Linda Mcquaig
Edition: Hardcover
23 used & new from CDN$ 13.72

3 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 What's the point?, May 13 2001
This review is from: Shooting The Hippo (Hardcover)
The gospel according to McQuaig is quite simple: the private sector is ALWAYS bad. Why is this so? Because they operate for profit, that's the argument. Yet, Mcquaig also does not have much respect for government, unless, the government does what she wants it to do. Indeed, when reading this or any other McQuaig book on must ask: why does she still have faith in government? By asking this question one can come to only one conclusion: McQuaig is just as selfish as anybody else in the world (ie. she wants to the world to run according to her rules). Once this connection is made most of her arguments can be seen for the empty poorly researched rhetoric they are.

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