The Mere Mortal’s Journey To Economic Literacy

1) -The Single Idea-
Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt : Economic thought, unlike Moral thought, asks us to think about equilibrating consequences, and opportunity costs. If you understand the “one lesson” of the broken window fallacy, then that teaches you economic thinking in a nutshell.

2) –The Application of The Single Idea To The Civic Society–
Basic Economics, by Thomas Sowell : Basic Economics applies this single principle.

3) –The Application of the Single Idea To Production Distribution and Trade–
Principles of Micro Economics, by Greg Mankiw : Micro Economics textbooks deal with patterns of cooperation (business).

4) –The Application of the Single Idea To Monetary, Fiscal, Industrial and Social Policy–
Principles of Macro Economics, by Greg Mankiw : Macro economic textbooks deal with the impact of fiscal policy (government spending) and monetary policy (issuance of new money or credit) on the economy, in the government’s effort to keep us all busy.

5) –The “Missing Link”: The Operations of the Financial System that connects political policy with production, distribution and trade.–
Rothbard’s Mystery of Banking, and;
Nial Ferguson’s History of Money

The book that is missing between Micro and Macro, I do not think has yet been written, which is how the financial sector services the relationship between micro and macro. I think that book has not been written. In the meantime Rothbard’s Mystery of Banking, and Nial Ferguson’s History of Money, are the best and most accessible works. (Others might disagree). Rothbard was a terrible philosopher, but his works on money and banking are still the best I have found.

6) –The Study Of Applications, Eddy’s And Flows-
Most advanced (niche) applications of economics are useful for professionals, but not terribly meaningful for citizens.

Personally, I don’t understand why we don’t get this stuff in high school.