Summary of The Darwin Economy

Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good

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The Darwin Economy book summary
America’s economy needs a government that functions without gridlock.


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Philosopher Adam Smith himself was skeptical about the real-world results of his “invisible hand,” but you’d never know it by the way modern-day free market fundamentalists try to push every regulation out of the way. As Cornell economist Robert H. Frank notes in his assault on the ideological force field that has blocked much US government action, naturalist Charles Darwin identified the problem: Evolutionary incentives benefit individuals, not groups. Frank uses that insight to argue that government must abridge some personal gains for the greater good. Frank is an economics professor, and his book sometimes falls into a challenging didacticism. But he writes with admirable clarity and verve, and – while his prediction that the world will one day recognize Darwin as the father of economics is perhaps a reach – he has done nothing less than provide a fresh intellectual foundation for progressivism. While always politically neutral, getAbstract recommends Frank’s treatise to lawmakers, economists, historians and civic-minded professionals who are concerned with the large questions society must tackle.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Charles Darwin’s findings apply to economics;
  • Why rules advance freedom; and
  • How good tax policy can create a more efficient, equitable society.


The past several decades have seen a decline in Americans’ standard of living. Societal crises exist throughout the United States: wage stagnation, a widening disparity between rich and poor, crumbling infrastructure, a potentially fatal denial of climate change, and a refusal to...
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About the Author

Robert H. Frank is a professor of economics at Cornell University and a frequent New York Times columnist. His books include The Economic Naturalist.

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    Scott Rainsberger 4 years ago
    He is a frigging IDIOT.... Correct that.... He is INTELLECTUAL IDIOT with Tenure!!!
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    Juan F Montoya 4 years ago
    It's the extreme case of not spending and just saving realy good for the group benefit?
    or the consumption tax finally will harm the society?

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