Q: What do you do when your lawsuit against Freakonomics gets thrown out?

A: Write a copy cat book.



  1. #1 Mike Maltz
    March 28, 2007


    I hope you buy (or better yet, review) this on your website; this is one book I’m definitely not going to buy. Free markets have their place, so I’m sure that some of his points will be well taken (taken, perhaps, from others, including the incomparable Mary Rosh), but others will be off the deep end. Please guide your readers through the thickets.

  2. #2 Zeno
    March 28, 2007

    Ha! And it’s published by Regnery. Whenever a book is published by Regnery, you know it’s 99% right-wing propaganda. (I say only 99% because I consider most of the punctuation to be neutral.)

  3. #3 El Cid
    March 28, 2007

    I at least give the copycat authors credit for taking a brilliant, pithy title and making it inexplicably dumb and unwieldy. FreedomNomics. Freedomnomicon. Freedomnominy. Freedomnitude. Freedomnymous.

    Wait — is this maybe already a Stephen Colbert word?

  4. #4 talboito
    March 28, 2007

    Wow, and the cover even completely reverses the symbolism of the apple.

    It screams: “This is conventional wisdom compounded by more conventional wisdom!”

  5. #5 Ian Gould
    March 28, 2007

    Actually the apple is interesting because it suggests Lott and his publishers believe “free markets” (and hopefully unlike most rightwingers/libertarians Lott will actually be able to define what a free market is) is indistinguishable from the United States.

  6. #6 armed southerner
    March 28, 2007

    Check out the “also bought” list at Amazon.

  7. #7 Gsnorgathon
    March 28, 2007

    Zeno – I dunno, man. First you consider the punctuation to be neutral, then the conjunctions, then the prepositions… you don’t wanna go there. It’s a slippery slope. Come back from the brink!

  8. #8 Markk
    March 28, 2007

    Ugh. This is just begging to be mocked. It’s almost as ridiculous as “Freedom Fries”. No wait, it’s possibly even more ridiculous as “Freedom Fries”. Are you sure it isn’t a parody?

  9. #9 Markk
    March 28, 2007

    That should read “even more ridiculous than Freedom Fries”. Clumsy me. At least I didn’t make any “personal atttacks”.

  10. #10 llewelly
    March 29, 2007

    Favorite also bought title: America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It .

  11. #11 llewelly
    March 29, 2007

    By the way, acorrding to, America Alone: The End of the
    World as We Know It has this gem on the inside front cover:

    And liberals will still tell you that “diversity is our
    strength” – while Talibanic enforcers cruise Greenwich Village
    burning books and barber shops, the Supreme Court decides sharia law
    doesn’t violate the “separation of church and state,” and the
    Hollywood Left decides to give up on gay rights in favor of the much
    safer charms of polygamy.

    I wonder – was that blurb written before Alito and Roberts joined
    Scalia and Thomas? Or after? (Publishing date seems to be sept 16, 2006 – but I’ve no idea what the lead times are like.)

  12. #12 poptrot
    March 29, 2007

    If you want to learn about economics or if you want to learn about many of the myths involving economics, this is the book to get. It was very interesting reading and Lott writes very well. He explains things in an understandable commonsense way. I have loaned out my copy a dozen times and while it may have taken some effort to get people started on the book, once they read it no one was disappointed.If you want an emotional book, this is not the book for you. If you want a book with the facts, a book that tells you the benefits and risks from free market economics, a book that will explain the facts in a straightforward and clear way, this is the book to get.This is by far the largest most comprehensive study on economics, let alone on free market economics.

  13. #13 Mary Rosh
    March 29, 2007

    I want to second Poptrot’s recommendation. Even though Freedomnomics hasn’t been released yet, I too have read it from cover to cover, only pausing to marvel at the penetrating and timely insights that John Lott has brought to the world of economics. The chapter on how concealed weapons stimulate liquidity flows was particularly profound.

    Also did you know the author of this breakthrough text has a very firm warm dry handshake, can benchpress 200 kilos and smells very nice indeed?

  14. #14 Pablo Stafforini
    March 29, 2007

    *Wow, and the cover even completely reverses the symbolism of the apple.*

    There is one aspect where the parallel fails, though: *Freakonomics* was written by two authors, whereas only one name adorns the cover of *Freedomnomics*. The book hasn’t been published yet, however, so there’s still time for a solution. I suggest:


    >by John Lott, Jr.

    >and Mary Rosh

  15. #15 Abe G.
    March 29, 2007

    I at least give the copycat authors credit for taking a brilliant, pithy title and making it inexplicably dumb and unwieldy.

    But you know there were high-fives a flyin’ around the conference table when someone thought of that title.

  16. #16 Dano
    March 29, 2007

    I come to DelFreedomtoid mainly for the comfreedomments. And how the free market will unban DDT.



  17. #17 Matthew B.
    March 29, 2007

    llewelly: Mark Steyn’s America Alone predicts that the European nations will be hardline Islamic states by 2020. By 2020. The man is deranged. Lott’s arguments might even be rational in comparison.

  18. #18 Thom
    March 29, 2007

    Wow. This is pretty horrible. The fact that Lott has been reduced to writing copy cat books, just shows how far someone’s star can fall.

    This is like the academic version of the child star series “Where are They Now?” Like Gary Coleman of “Diff’rent Strokes”, I imagine that we’ll one day see Lott working as a security guard at a 7-11.

    Maybe he’ll become a janitor at the Cato Institute.

  19. #19 Chris O'Neill
    March 29, 2007

    At least he believes the free market is a freaky theory, either that or he needs a lesson in what his words mean.

  20. #20 John McCormick
    March 29, 2007

    Pablo, I am getting confused. Which of the two authors benchpresses 200kg?

  21. #21 snuh
    March 29, 2007

    the thing that confuses me is the subtitle: “Why the Free Market Works and Other Freaky Theories Don’t”

    apparently lott thinks the free market is a “freaky theory”

  22. #22 Chris
    March 30, 2007

    Come on, anybody who calls himself Deltoid ought to be able to work out the solid geometry of the American flag inside the apple and give us some illustrative diagrams. I, at least, can’t see how the cut bit fits back in.

  23. #23 Tim Lambert
    March 30, 2007

    Chris, the geometry of the flag disturbs me. The apple is hollow with a flag blowing inside it (symbolising freedom fries, I guess). But there isn’t enough room. OK, so it’s like the TARDIS, bigger on the inside. But what about the cut piece? There’s another flag blowing around inside it as well?

    And the symbolism of the hollow apple doesn’t seem to be what Lott wants.

  24. #24 agricola
    March 30, 2007

    i wonder whether any of the chaps, who will invariably be attacked in the book, will consider legal action?

  25. #25 Mary Rosh
    March 30, 2007

    And apparently Michael Fumento is about to write a killer blurb for Freedomnonics. What more recommendation do you need?

    Incidentally, did you know John Lott can whip up a superb cold gazpacho soup on only 20 minutes notice?

  26. #26 Jack Strocchi
    April 1, 2007

    Why would anyone want to copy Levitt’s headline-themed book? Although the fact that Lott has had a go at it proves an important epistemological point: a thesis may be wrong even though Lott says it is wrong.

    Freakonomics is turning into a coffin for Levitt’s abortion-cuts-crime thesis, one which social scientists are still lining up to drive nails into. Among them, Foote & Goetz, Dills & Miron, James Q. Wilson, the doyen of US sociologists of crime. And now Hantgartner, Sykes and Hathaway.

    All of whom somehow seem to have slipped in under Tim L.’s science-watching radar. This is a pity, as the war on science is a many-fronted conflict. It is waged by the spiritual creationist Right, the social constructivist Left and the media-slut Centre.

    The Levitt abortion-cuts-crime myth is an example of how otherwise smart social scientists can drop the scientific ball when blinded by academic media blitzes. That and Levitt’s clever political play of mixing (overt pro-abortion) political progressivism with (covert pro-eugenics) political incorrectness.

    I note that Tim L. does not bother to defend Levitt’s central thesis anymore. Savvy, but he would do his reputation for honesty and even-handedness no end of good by conceding the error of his Levitt-boosting ways.

  27. #27 Ian Gould
    April 1, 2007

    Agricola: “i wonder whether any of the chaps, who will invariably be attacked in the book, will consider legal action?”

    I wonder if the authors or publishers of Freaknomics have trademarked the term and/or the apple motif.

    I’m sure a defender of property rights such as Lott would applaud such a lawsuit

  28. #28 Tim Lambert
    April 1, 2007

    Jack is it your thesis that Levitt is part of the social constructivist Left and is making war on science? Seriously?

  29. #29 Coin
    April 6, 2007

    Freakonomics is turning into a coffin for Levitt’s abortion-cuts-crime thesis… I note that Tim L. does not bother to defend Levitt’s central thesis anymore.

    Uh. I haven’t read this book, but my understanding is that the abortion/crime thing was only covered in one of Freakonomics’s six chapters and was merely presented as an example of economic analysis of rather than a central theme or thesis of the book. Meanwhile, the description of that part of the book I got from a [flamingly libertarian] acquaintance of mine who did read the book was that the abortion/crime link was not even presented as conclusive by the authors but more as a “here’s an interesting pattern we find if we the look at the data, and despite sounding crazy this is at least as well supported as any of the other theories floating around as to the generally unexplained fact that crime dropped in the 90s” sort of thing.

    Is this not accurate, and the abortion/crime link thing was both more central to the book and more definitively stated than I had been lead to believe? Or is Mr. Strocchi just engaging in one of those things of automatically assuming that just because something is controversial, it must have been important?

  30. #30 Stephen McCrackin
    February 10, 2008

    I read these blogs and have to laugh. Instead of reading the book you have to poke fun and make personal attacks. The book was well thought out and the best at referencing the material. I would guess about 10 facts per page were referenced. I read it in about 2 days, that is unusual for me. Except for Poptrot the rest of you guys have been taught by government schools which have a vested interest in teaching the government is the best solution for almost any problem. Economics is not Political, It is Mathmatical. Unfortunatly, most of Americans due to schools accepting poor porfomance in math can not comprehend, simple math. Then polititions make economics emotional. One thought to explain this. Social Security, figure an average man, making 40k, would get $1075 from social securty, that same man would get over $1200 if he would have invested in US savings bonds. Most of you will take this as right wing BS. The math factual, not emotional. In fact from my research 75% would recieve more retirement if simple put into bonds, and it costs americans 1 trillion dollars per generation. Before you jump to conclusions on how I think to fix this. I just use this to explain that an expansion policy like the 20 before would only hurt the US economy and make more people poor in retirement. We have to keep the benifits for those who were forced into a bad deal, we must keep them up. What I am saying that private programs beet the governments. Go to any finalcial advisor and tell them you plan to invest 10% in a roth IRA from 20 years to 67. ALl will tell you, you will be OK. Sadly Americans give about 10% to the retirement part of Social Security and most do not retire OK on Social Security.

  31. #31 bi
    February 10, 2008

    “I would guess about 10 facts per page were referenced.”

    Wow, best stupid argument ever!

    Lott should’ve printed his book in a smaller font. Then he can cram in 20 or even 30 references per page. Woohoo!

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