In addition to ‘frictional’ unemployment, the postulate is also compatible with ‘voluntary’ unemployment due to the refusal or inability of a unit of labour, as a result of legislation or social practices or of combination for collective bargaining or of slow response to change or of mere human obstinacy, to accept a reward corresponding to the value of the product attributable to its marginal productivity (via Chapter 2 of the General Theory)
Due to such unnecessarily complex language, the average person has become detached from the science of economics. John Q. Public is intimidated by ivory-tower elites who look down upon and slander him for using his own logic to make sense of the world. Everyday the modest observer is told by PhD wielding intellectuals that “savings is bad,” “debt is good,” and that prosperity comes with the endless printing of money. These notions go against common sense but are somehow regarded as prevailing wisdom. The end result has been economics continuing to be seen as a discipline reserved for the highest of thinkers.
It has taken the very life out of the science whose chief concern is life itself. The great economist Ludwig von Mises once wrote,
Economics must not be relegated to the classrooms and statistical offices and must not be left to esoteric circles. It is the philosophy of human life and action and concerns everybody and everything.
And it is in the vein of Hazlitt and Callahan that Spanish author Félix Moreno de la Cova writes Blondie Economics.
The task of Blondie Economics is to present the science to the layman not only by explaining simple concepts such as individual methodology and mutual transactions but to do so with the unassuming character of Blondie. Blondie is your average blond haired girl who enjoys pleasing her pet panda and selling orange juice. But it is through her daily activities that Cova illustrates why economics is a dominating aspect of everyone’s life. From harvesting bamboo to making friendship bracelets, Blondie is presented as a type of Robin Crusoe character who labors at first in isolation and eventually finds herself interacting within the marketplace. It is through her journey that Cova presents the all important concepts of scarcity, marginal utility, property rights, remunerative exchange, and price-reducing competition. These explanations are accompanied by colorful imagery befitting of the innocent nature of Blondie.
Where Blondie Economics excels is explaining Crusoe economics in a more updated fashion. Capital theory, which most major schools of economics don’t focus on, is thankfully given the limelight where it belongs. It is through emphasizing the role of capital that many important economic concepts arise such as time, scarcity, entrepreneurship, production structure, and the process through which intricate consumer goods finally reach the market. By having Blondie save up bamboo sticks for her pet panda, Cova shows just why capital investment is necessary to build upon the productive capacity of any economy; even the economy of the individual. This is a lesson sorely lacking in the writings of those considered leading minds of the science today.
Where Blondie Economics doesn’t exceed as well is briefly introducing complicated matters like the distortionary effects of fiduciary currency and homesteading, the libertarian view of justifiably acquiring property, with little explanation. Concepts such as these may require more understanding on the part of the reader to contemplate their full significance.
Overall, for the novice but curious reader, Blondie Economics teaches valuable lessons such as the virtue of thrift and why prices act as signals for entrepreneurs. For the more learned, it is a refresher course in the principles that must never be forgotten when blowing up the utopian ideals of big government apologists. It is short, descriptive, and the illustrations are bright and appealing. Parents could even use it as a teaching tool for their young children if they posses enough patience.
Teaching the world sound economics is no easy task. But it is books like Blondie Economics that provide a gateway to those inquisitive enough to learn one of the most, if not the most, important science of all. As Mises wrote, economics “is the pith of civilization and of man’s human existence.” In understanding this, Blondie’s world will seem not so different from yours.