Sexing up monetary policy

Amazon sells books. Currently in the top ten is a book by Ted Kennedy. No real surprise given the surname and given all the publicity generated by the fact that he just died. There is also a book by Dan Brown. Also no real surprise given that he has a track record writing best selling novels. Currently at number eight is a book about monetary policy by Ron Paul called “End the Fed”. Okay Ron Paul has some profile so it makes some sense, but who on earth reads books about monetary policy? Is this really the stuff of mass market appeal. Does Joe Average really care about who controls the money supply?  Maybe he does.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/books

11 thoughts on “Sexing up monetary policy

  1. Well it should be. With most goverments now half of the economy, politics has a huge effects on everyone.

    I doupt Ron’s book would say anything I don’t already know, but I will probably read it anyway. USA would have to end fiat money to end the fed, and they are too broke to do that.

  2. While I love Paul and the Campaign for Liberty, I think that the detractors that point out an ‘internet bias’ are correct. Generally, Ron Paul supporters are very net savvy, which is perhaps both a cause and consequence of the grassroots nature of their movement. This distorts the ‘popularity’ of both Paul and libertarian ideas in internet polls, etc.

    I expect that Paul supporters would be far more likely to buy books online from Amazon than your average Joe. If you were to look at the top 10 sellers for large chain bookshops, you would get a very different picture (perhaps in part to do with distribution biases – do large chain bookshops even stock Paul’s books? Who knows.)

  3. Given that we have just seen about a million people in Washington protesting against government spending, which points to a dramatic movement in that direction, the popularity of a book by Ron Paul is not that surprising. For that number to actually turn up on the day indicates a massive grassroots sentiment building in the country.

    Ron Paul in many ways embodies this sentiment and getting the book out in time to capture it has been a smart move. The top ten list at present echoes pretty much the sentiment of the nation at present, containing books by Sarah Palin, (Going Rogue: An American Life), Glen Beck, (Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government), Ron Paul, (End the Fed), as well as a survivalist book, “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times.”

  4. I think this is a positive thing even though I certainly don’t love Ron Paul.
    Todd’s comments are probably true but there’s no doubting this is still a popular book even if it’s not actually in the top 10.

    The tea party protests in the US were extremely encouraging to me. Especially considering the hostility shown from the mainstream media and politicians.

    Thankfully great economists through history have identified basic economic principles and developed economics as a science. I think it’s definitely a good thing for more people to investigate economics generally. (It’s certainly a lot harder to be full blown lefty once you learn some basic economics).

    I think knowledge of economic principles is why western world countries will never attempt full blown socialism.
    However fixing the mixed economy mess is a much bigger challenge of course.

    “Ending the Fed” would also be a hugely positive achievement that I’d love to witness in my lifetime but I’ll believe that when I see it.

  5. What surprises me about the US system is that so many indicators suggest it should be a place hostile to high levels of tax and yet they still pay more tax than Aussies. Somewhere there is a disconnect between rhetoric and reality.

    Todd – I believe that the book was also on the New York Times best sellers list.

  6. I think it’s more that most people don’t read anymore.

    If you have an interest in politics then you’re probably one of the few people left that read 😉

  7. What surprises me about the US system is that so many indicators suggest it should be a place hostile to high levels of tax and yet they still pay more tax than Aussies. Somewhere there is a disconnect between rhetoric and reality.

    Are you sure the average US tax burden is higher than Australia’s?

  8. Michael – that’s what tax freedom day in the respective nations suggest. Ours is a bit earlier than theirs. Having said that you can get a low revenue / GDP ratio with high tax rates so the comparison may not be entirely fair.

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