‘Visible Hand’: A Guide to Help You Better Understand Economics | David Weinberger – Foundation for Economic Education

by | Aug 18, 2022 | Financial

Life is not about what we want. It is about the choices we make. Many of us are familiar with this old saw, but how many know that it is more than merely a life lesson, that it is in fact the central core of economics?
Matthew Hennessey’s new book, Visible Hand: A Wealth of Notions on the Miracle of the Market, explains how this is so, and in so doing he shows that economics need not be intimidating to the man on the street. In fact, as someone who confesses to have known nothing about economics before age 30, Hennessey, who is currently an opinion editor at the Wall Street Journal, reveals that we intuitively understand it even when we do not realize it.
Take the notion of “opportunity cost.” Hennessey notes that we all face choices about where to spend our time, energy, and money. In high school, for example, Hennessey mentions he had the desire to both act in the school play and go out for the baseball team, but because they overlapped with one another, he had to choose between them. If he chose the play, he had to give up baseball, and vice versa.
As it happened, he chose acting. Losing the chance to play baseball was thus an “opportunity cost” of that decision. And it was not the only one. Indeed, choos …

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