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EconoPower: How a New Generation of Economists is Transforming the World



"Imagine, economists solving the world's problems! Skousen's breakthrough book bring us up to date on this fascinating development. Visionary economists are showing us creative ways to reduce world poverty, eliminate traffic jams, solve the health care crisis, save more and invest better, make business and labor more productive, improve education, cut crime, and even reduce tensions and establish peace in war-torn regions of the world. We've used some of these techniques at Whole Foods, and they work. Read this book and discover a new brand of economics!"
— JOHN MACKEY, CEO, Whole Foods Market

"Mark Skousen is an able, imaginative, and energetic economist."
— MILTON FRIEDMAN, Nobel laureate in economics

"Economics is experiencing a golden age of discovery. Empirical economists are charting the economy and society with a wealth of detailed applied results that truly bear comparison with other epochs of discovery in other sciences."
— DIANE COYLE, author of The Soulful Science: What Economists Really Do and Why It Matters

"Mark Skousen is one of the best financial economists I know. His books on free-market economics and investing can't be beat. Like me, he's upbeat and optimistic about supply'side/Austrian economics, and has been instrumental in educating students, business people, government leaders, and fellow economists on sound economics and finance. Highly recommended."
— LARRY KUDLOW, CNBC's Kudlow & Company

"Skousen does a wonderful job explaining how a new generation of economists is making a difference. Economics is no longer the dismal science, but an upbeat, universal science fulfilling ever-expanding needs—helping people save and invest better, bringing millions out of poverty, alleviating traffic congestion, making companies more profitable, and helping countries achieve their own economic miracles."
— ARTHUR B. LAFFER, President, Laffer Associates

Mark Skousen is a professional economist, investment expert, university professor, and author of over twenty-five books. He has taught economics at Columbia Business School, Columbia University, and Rollins College. Currently, he holds the Benjamin Franklin Chair of Management at Grantham University. In honor of his work in economics, finance, and management, Grantham University renamed its business school, "The Mark Skousen School of Business." Since 1980, Skousen has been Editor in Chief of Forecasts & Strategies, a popular award-winning investment newsletter ( He is also Editor of The Worldly Philosophers Club, a weekly e-letter ( Skousen is a former analyst for the CIA, a columnist for Forbes magazine, and past president of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) in New York. He earned his PhD in economics from George Washington University.

Foreword ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction: A Golden Age of Discovery 1

Part One: Personal Finance: Earning, Saving, Investing, and Retiring 15

Chapter 1: Economist Discovers a Painless Way to Triple Your Savings Rate: The $90 Billion Opportunity 17

Chapter 2: Modern Portfolio Theory: Can You Beat the Market? 25

Chapter 3: Yes, You Can Beat the Market . . . with Less Risk 31

Chapter 4: High-Return Investing: Lessons from Yale's Endowment Fund 41

Chapter 5: How Chile Created a Worker-Capitalist Revolution 47

Chapter 6: The Call for Social Security Reform 53

Chapter 7: $4,000 a Month from Social Security? 57

Chapter 8: How the Private Sector Solved Its Own Pension Crisis 61

Chapter 9: The Four Sources of Happiness: Is Money One of Them? 65

Part Two: Economists Enter the Corporate Boardroom 69

Chapter 10: Improving the Bottom Line with EVA 71

Chapter 11: How Ludwig von Mises Helped Create the World’s Largest Private Company 75

Part Three: Solving Domestic Problems 81

Chapter 12: Look, Ma’am, No Traffi c Jams! 83

Chapter 13: Patient Power: The New Consumer-Driven Medical Plan 93

Chapter 14: Back to Basics: Competition Enters the Classroom 103

Chapter 15: Chicago Gun Show 107

Chapter 16: Economists Catch Auction Fever 113

Chapter 17: If You Built It Privately . . . They Will Come: The Economics of Sports Stadiums 125

Chapter 18: Who Is Henry Spearman? Economics of the Mystery Novel 131

Part Four: Solving International Problems 135

Chapter 19: Eco-nomics Debate: Angry Planet or Beautiful World? 137

Chapter 20: The Population Bomb: Economists Enter the Malthusian Debate 143

Chapter 21: A Private-Sector Solution to Extreme Poverty 147

Chapter 22: Poverty and Wealth: India versus Hong Kong 153

Chapter 23: How Real Is the Asian Economic Miracle? 157

Chapter 24: Whatever Happened to the Egyptians? 163

Chapter 25: The Irish Economic Miracle: Can We Grow Faster? 167

Chapter 26: The Marginal Tax Revolution: The Laffer Curve Goes Global 171

Chapter 27: The Debate over Economic Inequality: The Rich Get Richer, and the Poor Get . . . 177

Chapter 28: One Graph Says It All: The Development of the Economic Freedom Index 185

Chapter 29: Amazing Graph: Economists Enter Sacred Ground 197

Chapter 30: Peace on Earth, Good Will toward Men: The Case for Religious Competition 201

Part Five: Predicting the Future 205

Chapter 31: New Yale Forecasting Model: Has the Irving Fisher Curse Been Lifted? 207

Chapter 32: Forecasting Elections: Economists Do It Better! 213

Chapter 33: What Drives the Economy and Stocks: Consumer Spending or Business Investment? 217

Chapter 34: The Midas Metal: A Golden Comeback 225

Chapter 35: Is Another Great Depression Possible? 233

Chapter 36: Today’s Most Influential Economist? 239

Chapter 37: Economics for the 21st Century 243

Notes 247

About the Author 265

Index 267