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Thomas Sowell is brilliant at highlighting the unexpected nature of many parts of economics as well as the countless government policies initiated in the name of helping the poor or lower class that end up either doing little to help or, more often, ultimately helping the upper-middle class and above the most.

He helped me grow beyond a cliche idealistic libertarian worldview into something much more practical and based in real world policy.

I highly recommend his 'Wealth, Poverty and Politics': https://www.amazon.com/Wealth-Poverty-Politics-Thomas-Sowell...

Or for something more lightweight see his book 'Basic Economics': https://www.amazon.com/Basic-Economics-Thomas-Sowell/dp/0465... --- Despite it's name it's not an economics 101 guide, it basically a teaching-through-example guide by listing policy after policy that were implemented in the realworld, for ex:

- rent control in NYC/Toronto in the 1970s which severely reduced access to affordable housing, disincentivized building maintenance, incentivized arson, and gave countless upper/middle class residents cheap rent for beautiful properties

- various industry licensing pushed by market incumbents not protecting consumers, such as interior designers requiring 4yr bachelors degree to choose the colorscheme of an apartment

- etc, etc

He digs into their good intentions but unintentional self-defeating side-effects. Many of which have countless analogies to today (see Uber vs Black cabs in London).

After reading it I'm hardly surprised Japan's economy has stagnated, to the point where it's almost so obvious it saddens me. They are one of the worst proponents of the type of heavy handed economic-intervention he critiques.




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