AARP the Little Book of Economics. How the Economy Works in by Greg Ip

By Greg Ip

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We’ve been through a lot of economic trauma in the last few years, but economics still offers essential tools for understanding it. This book will put those tools in your hands. Chapter One The Secrets of Success How People, Capital, and Ideas Make Countries Rich POP QUIZ: The year is 1990. Which of the following countries has the brighter future? The first country leads all major economies in growth. Its companies have taken commanding market shares in electronics, cars, and steel, and are set to dominate banking.

Exports, the fourth engine to track, represent about 11 percent of GDP and imports account for 15 percent of GDP. These main economic engines can all be monitored in the quarterly GDP figures. There are also numerous other economic indicators that offer more detailed views of the economy. The following are some of the most important. ) • Manufacturing. A legacy of the United States’ industrialized past is that we have a lot of manufacturing data. Each month the Census Bureau reports shipments, orders, and inventories of durable goods (goods designed to last at least three years).

In 1989, Greg LeMond put bars on the front of his bicycle that enabled him to ride in a more aerodynamic position. This simple idea sliced seconds off his time, allowing him to beat Laurent Fignon and win the Tour de France. New ideas transform economic production the same way. By combining the capital and labor we already have in a different way, we can produce different or better products at a lower cost. “Economic growth springs from better recipes, not just from more cooking,” says Paul Romer, a Stanford University economist.

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