Free Markets, Free People

My book, Slackernomics, should be available for Kindle tomorrow

I’m happy to announce that sometime tomorrow my book, Slackernomics, will be available on Kindle at the Amazon store for the low, low price of $3. For those who don’t know, Slackernomics is a book on basic economics for people who think economics is boring. Instead of a bunch of charts and math, I present economics in a more enjoyable way.  For instance, here is a portion of my discussion on the role of prices:

Another feature of the price system is that it forces producers to put resources to their most valued uses. This is important because, quite often, consumers demand different goods that use many of the same components.

Let’s take petroleum, for example. People don’t just need gasoline; they need plastics to make computer keyboards and ugly furniture for college students. Businesses need chemicals for industrial production and dyes. Textile companies need artificial fabrics that don’t fade or discolor. Perverts need Vaseline.

So, in bidding for each of those items, their producers are also bidding for the petroleum required to make them. When more people buy Vaseline, Johnson & Johnson has to bid away some of that petroleum from refineries or textile mills. In turn, this increased demand in petroleum causes the price of oil to rise for everyone who uses it.

In order to keep buying oil, everyone now has to pay the price that Johnson & Johnson is willing to pay. As this raises consumer prices for these items, consumers are likely to buy less of them. For example, a consumer, noticing the increase in the cost of Vaseline, decides to spend Saturday night alone.

So, the price that Johnson & Johnson is willing to pay for oil becomes an added cost for all of the other businesses that use oil. If they want to bid away some of that oil, they have to be willing to pay the higher price. But since higher prices tend to mean lower sales, other producers will only bid away as much oil as they think they can use, now that sales are dropping.

The end result is that Johnson & Johnson ends up with a relatively larger portion of oil. In other words, the resource of oil has flowed to the highest valued product, an important…uh…medical lubricant.

Eventually, because there is an increasing supply of Vaseline, demand is affected. At some point, consumers are unwilling to buy it, because there’s enough of it on the shelves. And, of course, with all this petroleum bidding going on, the price has been increasing. So, some consumers may notice that the price of Vaseline has now increased relative to, say KY Jelly, and they may decide to purchase that instead.

Of course, either way, Johnson & Johnson wins.

So, if you’d like to get a better understanding of how economics work, and maybe get a few good laughs on the way, you can get it tomorrow for about 1/6 the price of the physical book.

I’ll provide the direct link to Amazon to purchase it when it becomes available tomorrow.

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7 Responses to My book, Slackernomics, should be available for Kindle tomorrow

  • Perverts need Vaseline.

    I think that was my favorite line in the whole book.
    Sadly, my PDF I bought years ago got eaten by numerous computer moves / hard drive swaps and it’s been so long that I don’t even remember where I bought it to redownload it.
    Not owning a Kindle, can I get it for $3 in plain old PDF?

  • Oh, and by the way Dale, your book helped shaped my views on economics right along side Friedman 😉

  • At some point, consumers are unwilling to buy it, because there’s enough of it on the shelves.
    That’s not quite true – at some point they’re unwilling to buy it because they don’t want any more. Stock on the shelves doesn’t cause a lack of demand.
    And stock on the shelves doesn’t indicate low demand – stock on the shelves that doesn’t move, does. Even products in high demand tend to be decently stocked, unless there’s a supply interruption.
    Might even be better to say that’s especially true of persistently high-demand products; something that barely sells, one won’t be in a hurry to keep in stock. Something that everyone buys, well, people get annoyed if you’re out.
    (Overall, quite apt as a description of how market pricing works, despite that nitpick.)

  • Another nit-pick.  If I had edited your book, I’d have blue-lined the term “end result”.  It’s bad English.  Does anyone ever say “interim result”?  No, the result is the result, it’s the end. The first time I ever heard the expression was back in the 1980s and it stopped me right in my tracks.

  • Still not seeing a Kindle version on Amazon