Why This Book?

About twenty years ago I taught my first macroeconomics course and immediately faced a problem. Half of the students were studying business. The other half were studying liberal arts subjects like history and psychology. The difference between business school and liberal arts students became clear during a lecture early in the course. The news was filled with stories about the government’s debate over whether or not to cut capital gains taxes. Capital gains taxes are the money the government collects when someone sells a stock, bond, house or other asset for more money than they paid. I thought talking about the news would show students that macroeconomics was relevant to their lives.

The discussion quickly broke down into two competing sets of questions. Students from the liberal arts college wanted to understand how changing this tax, which targets the wealthy, impacted society and economic equality. Students from the business school wanted to know if passing the law would make the stock market go up or down. It was clear to me then that people in business had very different needs than the rest of society.

This book and website is a direct out-growth of that first course. Since 1999 I have primarily taught in a business school. Today in business schools around the world we use macroeconomic books primarily written with a liberal arts focus. While the liberal arts are important, people in business need and want to understand macroeconomics differently. Economic books written from the liberal arts focus on explaining the policy choices political leaders can or should make. This book and website provides no directions to future political leaders on how they should run a nation’s economy. Instead it provides clear directions for how current and future business leaders should react once political choices have been made.

-Jay Zagorsky