Capitalism and socialism are too very different ways of managing an economy. These two conflicting approaches have been used by different countries around the world and both sides continue to have strong support. There have also been countries like the UK that have attempted to mix the two economic philosophies. The main difference between capitalism and socialism is in regards to how resources in a country should be owned and controlled.
John Maynard Keynes was a British economist who wrote extensively during the 1920s and 1930s. His work is still considered important today and has since become referred to as Keynesian economics. Up until the 1970s his ideas had a huge impact on government economic intervention in Europe. The economic collapse of 2008 saw Keynes’ ideas once again enter the spotlight, but there has also been a public backlash against the interventionist policies he favored.
Economic history is an important subject because we can learn a lot from the past. In fact many of our current theories are merely variations on ideas we had previously. This is a topic that is not only appealing to the economist but to all of us – economics is something that impacts everyone on the planet. Luckily there are some great economics history books available and we will mention just some of the best ones here.
Austrian Economics dates back all the way to the fifteenth century. It is based on the assumption that the actions of social groupings and individual humans follow natural laws much in the same way as other aspects of nature. It has been the aim of Austrian economics to produce theories to explain these actions; although the claim that this should involve different tools than used in hard science. Followers of this theory of economics are strong advocates for complete freedom in the marketplace; they believe that industry should be allowed to make voluntary contracts but they should not be coerced into anything. The reason why it is called the Austrian school is that many of the early proponents of the theory were from Austria; most supporters of the school these days do not come from anywhere near Austria.
Although there are many people who would disagree with the work of Karl Marx there are few who would doubt his contributions to economics. For much of the twentieth century one third of the world lived in economies that were strongly influenced by his ideas. Although the last few decades have seen the fall of many of these communist countries the ideas of Marx are still important today.
Adam Smith died over two hundred years ago but he is still considered one of the most important economists of all time. This Scottish philosopher wrote a book called the ‘Wealth of Nations’ and his writings still have an influence today. He is often referred to as the founding father of economics.