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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Joe the Plumber's intelligent Christmas book picks: "Ludwig von Mises important reading for these troubled times"

The Christmas issue of the The American Spectator magazine has recommended holiday reading lists from a variety of conservative figures.

The Economist's Democracy in America blog has the recommendations of Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher; three books about plumbing and a grand opus on monetary theory by the great classical liberal and Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises, normally encountered by economics students in second level courses on money and banking, alongside JM Keynes' Pure Theory of Money:

Temples of Convenience—and Chambers of Delight (Lucinda Lambton): "It shed a great deal of light on the development of the lavatory, or as we say over home, 'the hutch.'" Most of the privies in the book are "the product of non-union labor." A plus!

Flushed with Pride: The Story of Thomas Crapper (Wallace Reyburn): "Just when you think you know everything about plumbing, this book comes along."

Plumber's Handbook (Howard C. Massey): Particularly useful "on the topics of greasy waste systems, outside waste interceptors, and what for me has been a longtime conundrum, local gas codes." It's also water-resistant.

The Theory of Money and Credit (Ludwig von Mises): "It brought monetary theory into the mainstream of economic analysis. It is important reading for these troubled times."

In September, I attended the Mises Circle in Vancouver event where philosopher David Gordon gave a speech titled "The Ten Best Books on Money."

Mises' Theory of Money and Credit, which Gordon called "undoubtedly the greatest of all books on monetary theory" was number two on the list.

During the US presidential campaign, Western Standard editor Peter Jaworski gave three reasons to vote for Joe Wurzelbacher -- I'd like to add a fourth.

(h/t Andrew Sullivan and thanks for a heads up from Lew Rockwell)

Posted by Kalim Kassam on December 3, 2008 in Economic freedom | Permalink


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Dude, read that list again. This is a joke. Three books on plumbing and one by Ludwig von Mises? C'mon! It might not be April 1, but this is too funny to be for real.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-12-03 7:53:48 AM

BTW, just as more evidence that this *IS* a joke, I just checked "The Economist" article. The final sentence is this:

"Joe's first book, Fighting for the American Dream, is available for pre-order now, and will be available in remainder bins shortly thereafter."

Remainder bins. Yes... Furthermore, the Temples book and the Crapper book are peculiarly British books, much like the Economist magazine itself. Not likely Joe would be picking stories of British plumbing, or using the word "lavatory" in recommending it. Oh yeah. And the Crapper book? It's a humerous fictional account of the man. Much like this recommendation list.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-12-03 8:03:56 AM

Maybe it is a joke but I highly recommend any book by Mises. You will be a more informed person for reading his works. His best book (but have a dictionary near by) is "Human Action". The first edition is available from www.mises.org and it is the best edition.

Posted by: Tom | 2008-12-03 8:35:58 AM

"The Mystery of Banking" (Murray Rothbard)

While it was written 20 years ago or so, it still very clearly explains what is going on right now (and who's at fault).

Extremely educational.

Posted by: Johan i Kanada | 2008-12-03 10:44:40 AM


This is apparently real.

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2008-12-03 10:48:18 AM

"The Mystery of Banking" (Murray Rothbard)

Can be downloaded free from the following link.


Posted by: The Stig | 2008-12-03 11:38:09 AM

I haven't read Rothbard's "Mystery of Banking," but its been recommended to me a number of times.

From my quickly scribbled-down notes, here are the first few of Gordon's "Ten Best Books on Money":

Theoretical works:

1. Murray Rothbard - "What has Government done to our Money?"

2. Ludwig von Mises - "The Theory of Money and Credit"

3. Friedrich Hayek - "Prices and Production"

4. Jesus Huerta De Soto - "Money, Bank Credit and Economic Cycles"

Applied works:

5. Murray Rothbard - "America's Great Depression"

6. Melchior Palyi - "The Twilight of Gold, 1914-1936; Myths and Realities"

7. Jacques Rueff - "The Monetary Sin of the West"

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2008-12-03 2:43:18 PM

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