Economics: A Simple Twist on Normalcy by Kirsten L. Kelly is an excellent reading for the general public and students just being introduced to economics for the first time. The author discusses consumer choices, elasticity, inelasticity, substitute goods, the link between education and income, the housing bubble and many other topical items in contemporary economics.
Gasoline is an example of an inelastic good for consumers dependent upon a car. Cigarettes are an inelastic good for people who smoke. There are substitutes like artificial cigarettes, but these don't provide the same thrill. Increases in the price don't impact demand substantially. There are no available goods that provide the same substitute for a cigarette. Higher taxes will not entice enough people to quit smoking. The known health consequences of smoking don't preclude investors from purchasing tobacco company stocks.
Kirsten L. Kelly discusses pharmaceutical patent monopolies in some detail. Traditionally, expiring pharmaceutical patents have provided opportunities for other manufacturers to develop generic versions of the basic formulation. The author's discussion does not include other available modalities like nutrition, vitamin support, diet and exercise.
For instance, there are supplements like blood sugar balance which seek to normalize glucose levels with proprietary combinations of substances like magnesium, zinc, elemental chromium, bitter melon, lipoic acid, quercitin and vanadium. In addition, the author does not discuss that the word cure cannot be utilized in connection with any treatment or modality. This requirement will comply with the Food and Drug Administration protocols which discourage manufacturers from claiming cures on treatment modalities designed to manage pain and the symptoms thereof.
The author discusses some of the coping strategies employed by consumers during the Great Recession. People used coupons as an outlet to replace lost jobs. Barter was another method employed to conduct trade when people did not have cash. McDonald's grew during the recession by offering the Dollar Menu and other customized products which appealed to the cost conscious consumers.