Tuesday, March 27, 2012

One can hope

Penguin publishers sent me Joe and Blake Kernan's Your Teacher Said What?! and it was engaging enough for me to put down what I had been reading and have a look.  Joe hosts CNBC's Squawk Box and Blake is his ten-year old (at the time of the book's inception) daughter.

I decided to keep reading when, on page 2, the authors revealed how their project began.  Blake came home from school and started asking questions about the recession which they had discussed in class.  "And my teacher says it's 'cause we care too much about buying stuff, and it might not be so bad if we stopped."

Hence the book's title and how the book was launched.  Joe Kernan takes Blake through Smith-Schumpeter-Hayek-Friedman-Coase-Buchanan.  I assume that the teacher never could nor would.

The book is clear and written in a father-daughter chat fashion.  Blake asks great questions.  Leanard Read's I, Pencil is nicely elaborated as "Who Made My Shoelaces?" (Ch. 4), which launches a fine discussion of supply chains.  Those are always more poignant than the standard textbook presentation of comapartive advantage (which is also covered).

I accept that we all live in bubbles (my March 19 post) of various thicknesses.  But we keep hoping that the likes of Kernan will be read and appreciated by a few brave souls who think like Blake's teacher.  One can hope.