The Price of Everything by Eduardo Porter examines the underlying principle of most business and personal transactions – “if I analyze the benefit I get from spending X amount of dollars for Y products or services, I should make a rationale decision about whether the transaction is worth it”.
Porter acknowledges that our decisions are not always rationale or explicit, but he posits that the pricing mechanism is always at work.
The book is a cogent weaving together of the economics of pricing on religion, global warming and politics, among others facets of our lives:
- The Price of Faith is examined by, among other things, looking as the history of the Catholic Church in the middle ages allowing royalty to make donations to obtain plenary indulgences and guarantee spots in heaven.
- The Price of Life is a bit grim but is a reality when governments have to decide how much to spend on flu vaccines, etc.
- The Price of the Future includes commentary about climate change and what we should do about it.
Seth Godin rates this book as one of his top ten most important books.
I don’t know that it makes my top ten, but I found it illuminating.
I think you’ll rate the time invested reading it as an economic plus.
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