Freakonomics

Freakonomics For my birthday one of my friends gave me the book Freakonomics with a subtitle that reads “A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything.”  If you think the subtitle promises more than it can actually achieve you would be fooled.  I am halfway through book and this book it quite literally, about ‘everything’.  At the very least, everything you never thought of which happens to be the hidden side of everything.  I have discovered what the hidden side of everything is and it is not whaty you might think.  And I am not inclined to tell you.  It is a journey you must take on your own.

For the last several months every time I have been in a book store I have seen this book on the shelf but I was never compelled to buy it, thinking I had other more important books to read before I read one for “mere pleasure”.  However, since it was a gift I  felt obliged to read it, that, combined with the need for light reading on a plane (I found that I can’t concentrate on a plane so light reading is best, especially with the take off – it does something to my head).  I have had a difficult time putting this book down.  Levitt and Dubner(the writers of this book one is an economist the other a writer) make compelling cases for what school teachers and sumo wrestlers have in common.  Yeah, exactly what I thought, “How could two men talk about everything?”  You will just have to read the book see for yourself.

The following line is what sold me.  “If morality represents the way  we would like the world to work and economics represents how it actually does work, then the sotry of Feldman’s bagel business lies at the very intersection of morality and economics.” (pg 46) As a pastor it is my responsibility to bridge our understanding of the way things should be and how things really are.  I strongly recommend this book.  It is insightful, thought provoking and extremely well written and reasoned.  Everyone needs to read this book if for nothing else because it will force you think beyond what you are used to.

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