Economics for Everyone, 2nd Edition

A Short Guide to the Economics of Capitalism

by Jim Stanford  

Economics is too important to be left to economists. This brilliantly concise and readable book provides nonspecialist readers with all the information they need to understand how capitalism works (and how it doesn’t).

Shop direct

Are you a student?

  • April 2015
  • ISBN: 9781552667651
  • 430 pages
  • $35.00
  • For sale in Canada

Or via your local bookstore
Shop Local

About the book

This concise and readable book provides non-specialist readers with all the information they need to understand how capitalism works (and how it doesn’t). Economics for Everyone, now in its second edition, is an antidote to the abstract and ideological way that economics is normally taught and reported. Key concepts such as finance, competition and wages are explored, and their importance to everyday life is revealed. This book is a must read for those working for a fairer world and for students of the social sciences who want to engage with economics. It is supported by comprehensive web-based course materials for popular economics courses.


What people are saying

Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything

“Stanford is that rare breed: the teacher who changed your life. He has written a book — both pragmatic and idealistic — with the power to change the world.”

Frank Stilwell, Professor Emeritus of Political Economy, University of Sydney, Australia

“Economics for Everyone is quite simply the best critical introduction to economics you can find.”

Robert Pollin, Distinguished Professor of Economics and Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), University of Massachusetts-Amherst, U.S.A.

“Do you want to really understand economics and the workings of the capitalist system? Who the system benefits, who it crushes, and how it all happens? Jim Stanford lays everything out in Economics for Everyone. This book is clear, compelling, lively, and anger-provoking, all at once.”

Steve Keen, Professor and Head, School of Economics, Politics & History, Kingston University, London, U.K

“If you’re not an engineer, you can go about your day not knowing about engineering because you can trust engineers to know what they’re talking about. By and large, failures of engineering are extremely rare events, affecting very few people. But you can’t afford not to know about economics, because economic failures are frequent, and affect us all. Jim Stanford explains what’s worth trusting in economics and what’s not in an accessible way that starts from and respects your own knowledge. Read this book.”


Jim Stanford

Jim Stanford is an Economist in the Research Department of the Canadian Auto Workers, Canada’s largest private-sector trade union. He received his Ph.D. in Economics in 1995 from the New School for Social Research in New York. He also holds economics degrees from Cambridge University in the U.K. (1986) and the University of Calgary (1984). Jim is the author of Paper Boom (published in 1999 by James Lorimer & Co.) and co-editor (with Leah F. Vosko) of Challenging the Market: The Struggle to Regulate Work and Income.


  • Introduction: Why Study Economics?
  • Part 1: Preliminaries — The Economy and Economics
  • Capitalism
  • Economic History
  • The Politics of Economics Part 2: The Basics of Capitalism: Work, Tools, and Profit — Work, Production, and Value
  • Working with Tools
  • Companies, Owners, and Profit
  • Workers and Bosses
  • Reproduction (for Economists!)
  • Closing the Little Circle Part 3: Capitalism as a System — Competition
  • Investment and Growth
  • Employment and Unemployment
  • Dividing the Pie
  • Capitalism and the Environment Part 4: The Complexity of Capitalism — Money and Banking
  • Inflation, Central Banks and Monetary Policy
  • Paper Chase: Stock Markets, Financialization, and Pensions
  • The Conflicting Personalities of Government
  • Taxing and Spending
  • Globalization
  • Development (and Otherwise)
  • Closing the Big Circle
  • The Ups and Downs of Capitalism Part 5: Challenging Capitalism — Evaluating Capitalism
  • Improving Capitalism
  • Replacing Capitalism?
  • Conclusion: A Dozen Big Things to Remember about Economics
  • Notes
  • Index


Don’t know your password? We can help you reset it.

Are you a student?

Answer a few questions to get a special discount code only available to students.

Your Cart

There is nothing in your cart. Go find some books!