Subtitled “A Short Guide to the Economics of Capitalism”, this book is a 100% worker-friendly introduction to the study of economics. Stanford is a researcher with the Canadian Auto Workers and a member of the New Unionism Network, and he is very much a man on a mission. You can sense it in every paragraph. He is hell-bent on demystifying “the dismal science”. Quite frankly, it’s hard to imagine how he might have done a better job.
Stanford’s regular columns for Canada’s Globe and Mail have given him the ability to be both zappy and authoratative at the same time. He avoids jargon instinctively, and yet he dives back and forth between the simple and the complex, between the big picture and the daily grind, between ideologically-driven policies and household budget blow-outs. Perhaps it’s this sheer energy in his writing style that allows him to lay bare such daunting subjects as the development of neoliberalism, taxation, free trade agreements, competition, the commodification of labor, inflation, globalization, pensions, and financialization without ever once seeming to break stride. If these words intimidate you, or make your eyes glaze over, then you owe it to yourself to read this book.
It is good news for unions and other activist-based organisations that Economics for Everyone will soon be backed by a set of free web-based instructional materials, including a course outline, lecture notes, student exercises, and a glossary. To access these, and to order your own copy of this indispensible little book, see http://www.economicsforeveryone.ca/