Regular readers of Maphead's Book Blog, (if there are any), have probably noticed that I don't read too many business or economics books. However, I am happy to say that I recently finished two such books and I must say, I was generally pleased with both of them.
The first one was Roger Lowenstein's 2008 book While America Aged. I found out about this book from the good people at Book TV.
By looking at the pension debacles of GM, the NYC subway system and the
city of San Diego, Lowenstein shows that having and more importantly maintaining a
pension system is incredibly expensive. As more and more workers retire
in the next 5-10 years this is going to be a huge issue in both the
private and public sectors. Not a spectacular book, but not a bad one
either. For a business writer, I thought he did a very good job of giving us the historical overview of things. Given the current state of the country financially, this might be a good book for all you "managerial types" out there.
Late the other night I finished the other book, Tim Harford's excellent 2006 book The Undercover Economist.
Applying the wisdom of classical economists to the things of everyday
life, the English economist Harford takes on supermarket prices, spendy
coffee drinks, rush hour traffic and the trials and travails of the
stock market. While I enjoyed his last three chapters on globalization,
I'm still not sure I agreed 100 per cent with what he said. But, keeping it all in perspective I found his points valid and worth
I highly recommend his book.