While not a simplistic explanation of economics and economic policy, Behravesh does a superb job of bringing the facts to light, but with a language any reader could reasonably understand. Although outwardly not influenced by political distinction and language, Part I of the work praises the efficiency model of the free market, declaring it to best society’s best hope for a brighter future, and critiquing the notion of a command and control (or socialist) model. Clearly these remarks in Part I are up for debate among economists, regardless of their political affiliations. Nevertheless, Part I contains much to say about the latest news and notes from the business world all around the globe, including insights into market failures, government failures, and social failures.
Behravesh, in critiquing the notion of a command and control economy, utilizes the example of East Germany and the mundane fact that there were no bananas in East Germany during its time as a socialist state. While it cannot be denied that East Germany and other socialist states were abject failures in the 20th century, what cannot be denied, according to Behravesh’s account, is the lingering effect of governmental influences in the marketplace that cause market failures. In the situation in which no one in particular decides the right distribution of products, markets serve as the aggregators of information, and represent a process of trial and error (Behravesh 36). In the end, economic freedom leads to greater sustained improvements, as was seen in post-communist states as they transitioned into far more prosperous market economies. Although most communist dictatorships are now dead, the problem still lingers in developed areas like the United States, China, and Europe. Government interventions, to Behravesh, represent a failure in understanding basic principles of economics.
Although we would typically equate Behravesh’s analysis to that of a