- Pasta dura: 288 páginas
- Editor: Princeton University Press (22 de septiembre de 2015)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0691168318
- ISBN-13: 978-0691168319
- Dimensiones del producto: 16.5 x 1.9 x 24.1 cm
- Peso del envío: 481 g
- Opinión media de los clientes sobre el producto: Sé el primero en calificar este artículo
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº45,190 en Libros (Ver el Top 100 en Libros)
Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception (Inglés) Pasta dura – 22 sep 2015
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One of The Times Literary Supplement's Books of the Year 2016, chosen by Paul Collier
Selected for Bloomberg View's "The Writing that Shaped Economic Thinking in 2016"
Winner of the 2016 Gold Medal in Economics, Axiom Business Book Awards
One of Foreign Affairs' Best Economic, Social, and Environmental (Economics) Books of 2016
Honorable Mention for the 2016 PROSE Award in Economics, Association of American Publishers
One of The Independent's Best Economics Books 2015
One of LinkedIn's Best Business Books of 2015
One of BusinessInsider.com's Best Business Books of 2015
One of Legal Theory Bookworm's Books of the Year 2015
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Ever since Adam Smith, the central teaching of economics has been that free markets provide us with material well-being, as if by an invisible hand. In Phishing for Phools, Nobel Prize-winning economists George Akerlof and Robert Shiller deliver a fundamental challenge to this insight, arguing that markets harm as well as help us. As long as there is profit to be made, sellers will systematically exploit our psychological weaknesses and our ignorance through manipulation and deception. Rather than being essentially benign and always creating the greater good, markets are inherently filled with tricks and traps and will "phish" us as "phools."
Phishing for Phools therefore strikes a radically new direction in economics, based on the intuitive idea that markets both give and take away. Akerlof and Shiller bring this idea to life through dozens of stories that show how phishing affects everyone, in almost every walk of life. We spend our money up to the limit, and then worry about how to pay the next month's bills. The financial system soars, then crashes. We are attracted, more than we know, by advertising. Our political system is distorted by money. We pay too much for gym memberships, cars, houses, and credit cards. Drug companies ingeniously market pharmaceuticals that do us little good, and sometimes are downright dangerous.
Phishing for Phools explores the central role of manipulation and deception in fascinating detail in each of these areas and many more. It thereby explains a paradox: why, at a time when we are better off than ever before in history, all too many of us are leading lives of quiet desperation. At the same time, the book tells stories of individuals who have stood against economic trickery--and how it can be reduced through greater knowledge, reform, and regulation.
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Without mentioning Marx, nor certainly without being Marxists, Akerlof and Shiller are "rediscovering" many of the basic truths of Marxism and then adding on an informational Marxism (information "haves" vs. information "have nots").
Instability of markets? Check.
Information haves vs. information have-not's? Check.
Opiate of the people? Check.
The production of an ideology to support capitalism that makes even those at the bottom "support" it? A.K.A. Antonio Gramsci? Check.
Instabilities, Inequities, and Informational Inbalances
The anecdotes of the book are a tale of instability, inequity and informational imbalance. They make a wonderful read. And to those of us who lived through the Financial Crisis and subsequent Great Recession, remind us of how the reputations of the bond raters were "phished" to make millions for the few yet cause misery for the masses. Not to mention how the capitalist state "came to the rescue" of capitalists and capitalism itself.
I am not a Marxist - don't get me wrong. I am a believer in capitalism and a conservative in the traditional (not American) sense of the word.
Perhaps Phishing for Phools is a small step towards a rediscovery of the instabilities and inequities that bedevil the capitalist system as well as a first step towards an intellectual framework that is non-Marxist yet cognizant of how unstable things really are.
I highly recommend the book. It's fun, it's easy-to-read, and when you really think about it... it gets you to think in a foundational way about what's fundamentally wrong with our current economic and political system.
Examples? Smoking. The book notes the efforts of tobacco companies to poo poo arguments that smoking was harmful to individuals. In short, such corporations masqueraded as trustworthy in order to “catch a victim.” Big pharma has done the same thing (note the example of VIOXX, which ended up costing the lives of thousands of people). In short, con people to purchase items that are not in the best interests of consumers. Is this an elitist argument (always a first attack by those who defend the indefensible—casting aspersions against those who speak truth to power).
Manipulation and deception are a part of this process. Corporations want to create demand for products that may or may not be of value (John Kenneth Galbraith, many years ago, used the term “induced consumption: to speak of a process by which ads and other messages convinced people to purchase items of dubious value to them).
Of course, free markets can be robust institutions facilitating efficient production and distribution of goods ands services. But there are plenty of opportunities to use the market to “phish” people. The authors have faith in the market—but understand that it can be manipulated.