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Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? (Uncle Eric #2)

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,296 Ratings  ·  149 Reviews
In "Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?" Richard Maybury uses historical events from Ancient Rome to explain economic principles. This clearly written book about economics is a remarkably easy and fun explanation of investment cycles, velocity, business cycles, recessions, inflation, the demand for money and more. Essential for every student, businessperson and investor. Rec ...more
Hardcover, 191 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Bluestocking Press (first published 1989)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,011)
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Jodi Z
Sep 16, 2009 Jodi Z marked it as to-read
This is a great help for understanding the basics of economics. My children have been reading it to me as we drive places and it is explained clearly enough that they are understanding it but also in-depth enough that my understanding is being positively impacted.

Most importantly, it teaches a principle we Americans must come to understand and accept if we ever hope to stop the downward spiral of our economy: there is no such thing as a free lunch! The government can't give us anything that he
...more
Celeste Batchelor
I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand economics. I was very impressed with how the topics are explained and with how pertinent this information is to our day and time. I wish I had known this information when I was a young adult, I know I would have made different decisions based on that knowledge.

For homeschool curriculum, we were able to do several exercises to help bring the knowledge into "real world" use. There are a few exercises in the back that pinpoint how investi
...more
Karen
Jun 08, 2015 Karen rated it it was amazing
This book explains economics in a way that just about anyone could understand! Absolutely marvelous and clearly explained! The book is structured as a set of letters from "Uncle Eric" to his nephew "Chris". The book says that it's intended for grades 9 and up. However, this is part of my 5th grade daughter's homeschool curriculum and she had no trouble grasping the concepts. I think that this book should be required reading for every student before graduating from high school and a lot of adults ...more
Kathryn
Nov 18, 2009 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone! esp those wishing to understand economics and the princples of America's founders
I read this as a teenager and appreciated the principles. Reading it again now, as a "grown-up" with a career, a house, a vote, a share of taxation and facing the repercussions of our insane national debt and this scary economy made the book even more riveting. I only wish we could more easily implement the principles Maybury advocates; that is, surely we can do so in our own lives, but translating that to the greater economy and government will take some doing!
Andy
Jul 06, 2011 Andy rated it it was amazing
One of the best explanations of economics, especially macroeconomics, ever written for a general audience from late grade school/middle school to adults. He makes it real, shows how it affects your life, uses real life examples. There is an outstanding review of this book on the May 15th 2004 edition that I'm going to crib for sake of time, because Jodi Z did such a great job of reviewing that she summarized pretty much everything else I was going to say.
Thanks for reading! Andy
>> begin co
...more
Liz
Nov 26, 2014 Liz rated it really liked it
This book is a very approachable introduction to Austrian economics suitable for youth - perhaps ages 12 and up. Topics covered include: Money (coins and paper); fiat money, TANSTAAFL, legal tender, printing presses, wage/price spiral theory, inflation, boom and bust cycles, federal debt, velocity, natural law, etc.

The author includes a recommended reading list, website list, and suggestions for economic magazines to check out. A glossary of important terms is included at the end. With little or
...more
John Hunt
Aug 17, 2012 John Hunt rated it it was amazing
In my capacity as a father, I have found the Uncle Eric series, including first and foremost, Whatever Happened to Penny Candy, to be of superb value to me as I work to help my children understand honest economic and legal principles. As an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, I wish I could use the series to teach the doctors I train how to understand the strange medical economy, and how to help overcome its flaws, but as has been long suspected, I find that the academic system actively pushes as ...more
Angie Libert
Nov 18, 2014 Angie Libert rated it really liked it
Shelves: scholar
I just loved that the author took a "complex" subject and made it so easy for the average person to understand. I am looking forward to reading the rest in this series and learning more of what I should have learned in high school. :) Speaking of high school, I would recommend that all high school student read this book!
Rebekah
Jun 14, 2014 Rebekah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, best
This is the second Uncle Eric book I've read, and so far I am very impressed. I think the topic is important and Maybury writes on a level easy to understand. He teaches that economics is a result of law. I think he's on to something!!!


"At bottom, inflation is an ethics problem. It is a result of The Lie that is popular with voters. The Lie is, I will give you what you want, and you will never need to pay for it; I will force someone else to pay for it."


"Inflation is an increase on the amount o
...more
Alissa Thorne
Nov 10, 2009 Alissa Thorne rated it really liked it
It's hard for me to tell if a work on economics has a free market bias, or if it is just that the natural result of understanding economics is ending up very pro-free market. *ducks*

Kidding aside though, it is safe to say that this has a very strong free market bias. That being said, it does give clear, easy to understand explanations of some of some of the fundamental economic concepts that are difficult to wrap one's head around, and I think these principles are presented fairly. Beyond that,
...more
Julianna
May 02, 2016 Julianna rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book for all ages. Easy to read and comprehend, it explains: inflation, the wage/price spiral, the difference between a depression and a recession, and common sense that everyone should know (yet unfortunately most do not) when dealing with money. But the most important thing that I took away was understanding why you can't get something for nothing, or in other words, tanstaafl.
Morgan Duplechin
Aug 29, 2015 Morgan Duplechin rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2015
I really wish I could have liked this book. Some of the topics he covered seemed like they would have been a lot of more interesting if anyone else would have written about it. The writing was extremely dull and boring and I just couldn't make myself be interested.
Melissa
Sep 14, 2015 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-read-alouds
I don't think I've ever read a book that explains economics better than this one! So simple my 12 year old probably knows more about how money, inflation, recessions and depressions work than the average grownup! I highly recommend this especially if you have kids, but even if you'd just like to learn more for yourself from a "teacher" (author) who can break it down to a child's level of understanding!
Julie
Jan 26, 2008 Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-events
I don't know if this book it written for a 5th grader or what? but I actually am getting these issues. These books are usually sleepers for me, but I look forward to seeing what his next "letter" is about. I like it so far. Inflation, National Deficit, Investments...not so foriegn to me anymore!
Dee Ann
Sep 05, 2008 Dee Ann rated it it was amazing
Uncle Eric books are written so young students can understand our world better. This book talks about money, inflation and many other topics. Most adults do not understand economics, they certainly don't teach this information in most schools. If you want to understand economics read this book!
Spencer
Feb 13, 2011 Spencer rated it it was amazing
Second book in Richard Maybury's Uncle Eric series and a great explanation of our economy, our money and inflation. Again, we would have a greater, more prosperous and secure nation if everyone read this series.
Aryn
May 11, 2010 Aryn is currently reading it
This book is great for teaching kids and some older kids like myself the abc's of economics. We read it to our kids and the author makes it very entertaining.
Sarah
Sep 21, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Fantasic summary of basic economic theory, presented clearly and simple with examples. No jargon here! Teenagers to grandmas need to read this one.
Janary
Jan 08, 2014 Janary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: economics
I can't believe the first book that I finished for this year has something to do with economics and law. Honestly I dislike reading about these two topics because the language they use turns me off. I can't digest their words. However, this book got me hooked and I only read it in two sittings.

I like the way the author used a character "Uncle Eric" sending letters to "Chris". He really did his best for his nephew to understand the basics of inflation, depression, recession, wages, coins, tokens,
...more
Delsa
Mar 24, 2008 Delsa rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
I don't think I understood inflation before I read this book. Very educational.
Ann
Jul 13, 2014 Ann rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone! So many important topics discussed in this book.
Previously read: June 18 - June 26, 2011
Catherine Anne
Oct 23, 2007 Catherine Anne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to learn about economics!!
Great economics book!!
Heather
Aug 04, 2007 Heather rated it really liked it
Now I totally get inflation.
Prohobo
May 27, 2014 Prohobo rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics
I purchased this book to help my son (10 years old) to begin to understand the value of money and economic systems. As an amateur economist and also a financial professional, this is an excellent, simple, and easy to understand book about the basics of money and the laws of supply and demand, which - regardless if we like it or not - drive our economic engine. It has, does, and always will, even if our politicians (and in many cases with the best of intentions) wish to control through price fixi ...more
Laura
Jul 16, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing
I love all the Uncle Eric books! I must own each one! I am so excited about these books that I talk about them all the time and enjoy discussing the concepts with other people. This book does a wonderful job of explaining economic history and economic principles in a fun, logical, and easy to understand format. Maybury has a gift for cutting through the fog of popular theories, instead centering his explanations and arguments on the underlying principles of the issue.

What is inflation? Why do we
...more
Caitlin
Mar 23, 2016 Caitlin rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone willing to learn
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? taught me some of the basic principles of economics. I didn't find it to be exciting, but it was broken down in an easy-to-understand way. (Which was great for me!!!) The author explains why people should read his book and gain a knowledge of economics when he says,
"You don't need to be a professional historian to understand it [economics] and once you do understand it, you will be better able to cope with the events of today. "
"Unfortunately, so few people unde
...more
Bob Collins
Nov 12, 2012 Bob Collins rated it it was amazing
This book was assigned to my 10 year old (5th grade) as an "economy/social sciences" book this year. When I saw it in the pile, I knew I had to read it. It is a clear, balanced explanation of how the free economy works and how it is influenced by inflation and the inevitable recession/depression that follows (the Boom/Bust cycle). It is written from the Monetarist school, or Chicago school of Economics, perspective (Greenspan and Milton Friedman were both Monetarists). When I think of the 16 tri ...more
LeeAnn
Jul 27, 2013 LeeAnn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education, economics
This book is written in plain English for the layman to understand what is happening to their money, why and how inflation happens, and what can be done to stop it. It fully explains the velocity of money, the effect of government printing more money leading to higher prices and the effects of government printing more money on the individual's ability to buy (otherwise called inflation. Richard Maybury also explains the formulas of figuring out the real costs of that on our investments. Tis book ...more
Scott Hayden
Sep 13, 2013 Scott Hayden rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Dayton Kannon
Shelves: sociology
Basic lessons in economics. Backed up with fascinating historical facts. Did you know, for instance, that one way the Roman leaders tried to overcome their money shortage was to shave the silver off their own coins to make more coins. But then people got wise to the lighter coins, and realizing that they were not getting their weight's worth in silver, raised prices. Inflation, the ancient way, TADA!

He goes on to show that nothing has really changed. Taxation and inflation are the prices we pay
...more
Elaine
Aug 18, 2015 Elaine rated it it was amazing
First off, this is a very specific view of economics, namely, the Austrian theory of economics. I have to say, I really did not know, nor had I thought about, the topics in this book at all, despite taking a bunch of economics courses in college. This book explains concepts in simple terms that the kids and I could understand. It uses examples from history and current times, and explains money, inflation, the economic cycle, wage/price spirals, the dangers of federal debt, government interferenc ...more
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Richard Maybury, also known as Uncle Eric, is a world renowned author, lecturer and geopolitical analyst. He consults with business firms in the U.S. and Europe. Mr. Maybury is the former Global Affairs editor of “Moneyworld” and widely regarded as one of the finest free market writers in America. MR. Maybury’s articles have appeared in “The Wall Street Journal,” “USA Today,” and other major publi ...more
More about Richard J. Maybury...

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