Who would use a word like ‘phantasmagorical’ in an economics text?

I met with my publisher today and we briefly discussed a third edition of my Free Market Economics. It’s now on the agenda but distantly since I have pretty well said what I want to say. I bring this up for a series of additional reasons, and let me start with this much appreciated comment on a previous post:

Hi Steve

Off topic here (apologies Cats) but I wanted to congratulate you for finding an opportunity to slip the wonderful word ‘phantasmagorical’ into your book . To find such a word embedded within an economic text was a great little ‘Easter egg‘! I am about half way through and am thoroughly enjoying it. I only studied economics in high school but have always had more than a passing interest in the subject. Jump forward 20+ years and I am bashing my way through an MBA and found your book really relevant for my elective unit on ‘Entrepreneurship’, a great refresher on some of the base principles of the subject and a refreshing perspective on the functions of supply and demand in any economy.

Cheers Nathan

And then, also just today, there was this from a student who is studying from the book as part of an online course I run. He had a question to ask about a coming test, but then wrote this:

For the book, I have to say I really enjoy it and though I really hope you don’t mind in me giving some suggestions as such. Firstly just on the premise on the book i could see it being a love hate for some students just as it continuously goes through as an argument of sorts rather than laying down the facts as they should be, if you know what I mean. Not a dig just meaning that if it were more just this is as it is then we could just focus on that.

The second one is on the explanations for say’s law and the business cycles. I have kind of found for me in learning it I keep trying to apply it to real life as we should and ended up looking through all of the recessions in the past. And actually looking at them it makes the classical views blatantly obvious and correct even in the great depression where there wasn’t a reduction in the demand but that the economy was rapidly changing to the more modern economy with the setting of the public market for stocks. Not sure if I explained that quite right, though what I am getting at is if in the explanations or even in an assignment we were looking at what has caused every recession it would really hammer in the concepts of the book and prove that they in fact are correct and that Keynes is some funded by government full of shit fraud.

Again really enjoying the book now that I have got into it, just more on the output as I really hope it would become universal proof of the correct concept.

I will think about what I can do now that the issue has come up, but I have to say I am very reluctant to mess with the text again. It’s not perfect, but it remains the only anti-Keynesian textbook available anywhere in the world and there’s much else in it besides.

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