Famed Economist Dr. Arthur Laffer Adds Children to his Audience

Famed Economist Dr. Arthur Laffer Adds Children to his Audience

Let’s Chat About Economics book links adults and children with the basic principles through familiar scenarios

DETROIT – October 10, 2014 – World-renowned economist Dr. Arthur Laffer has advised presidents and world leaders, taught college students and addressed audiences globally, and now, after an unlikely pairing with a suburban Detroit mother, a whole new audience will be reached: children.

Dr. Laffer, known for his Laffer Curve illustration and for having served on President Reagan’s economic policy advisory board, guided stay-at-home-mom turned author, Michelle Balconi, through the writing of Let’s Chat About Economics. Combining short stories with whimsical art, the book aims to create a connection between adults and children on basic economic principles.

“I am so proud of the book that we wrote and truly hope that it leads to a lifetime of family conversations about economics,” says Dr. Laffer. “I think kids are really smart and can easily understand the laws of supply and demand.”

The 48-page book, available in print and ebook formats, features Detroit illustrator Mary Kinsora’s creative charts and graphs, a departure from the red and blue plot points that typically accompany economics lessons.  Real-life situations – in the grocery store, a family trip, summertime, a yard sale – impart lessons in supply and demand, diminishing returns, opportunity costs and taxes.

Let’s Chat About Economics is written for families with elementary aged children – though the lessons are applicable to all ages. Each chapter takes less than 10 minutes to read and introduces economic terms that are reinforced in a glossary. The book is available through www.amazon.com in soft cover for $12.99, Kindle for $6.99 and pre-orders for hard cover editions are offered at $16.99 for mid-November delivery.

Dr. Laffer, grandfather to 11 and great grandfather to one, was approached to co-author the book with Balconi, a mother of two, nearly two years ago after she saw his presentation at the Detroit Economic Club in downtown Detroit.

“The night after Dr. Laffer’s presentation, our family had a fun conversation about economics and everyday observations. It was clear we had connected in a new way,” Balconi recalls. “I knew the children could understand supply and demand if Dr. Laffer explained it to them, and I wanted to write a book that would put him on the family couch in many other homes.”

Families who read Let’s Chat About Economics will learn that economics can be applied in overall decision-making, in addition to money matters, which teaches children that they too are a scarce and valuable resource. 

While the book was being illustrated earlier this year, Balconi, like her partner Dr. Laffer, took the principles of Let’s Chat About Economics to a variety of audiences. Hers included Detroit school students, foster care children, parenting groups, rotary clubs and wealth managers.

“Talking with children about economics is powerful because it teaches them how the world works as well as how to see the value of themselves,” says Balconi.

Dr. Arthur Laffer is the founder and chairman of Laffer Associates, an economic research firm focusing on interconnecting macroeconomic, political and demographic changes. Dr. Laffer was a member of President Reagan's Economic Policy Advisory Board (1981 - 1989) and was noted in TIME magazine's 1999 cover story as "One of the Century's Greatest Minds." Dr. Laffer is well known for the Laffer Curve, an illustration of the theory that there exists some tax rate between 0% and 100% that will result in maximum tax revenue for governments. He is a frequent cable news contributor and the author and co-author of many newspaper articles and books including Return to Prosperity and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of States.

Michelle Balconi is a freelance writer and speaker focused on creating connections between children and adults through economics. Before writing, Michelle worked in communications for 15 years alongside technology investors introducing first-to-market products. Michelle grew up in Florida, has lived many years in California and Massachusetts and now lives in the Detroit area with her husband and two children.

Mary Kinsora is a children's book illustrator currently working out of the Detroit Metro area. Having graduated from the College for Creative Studies with a bachelor's degree in illustration, she is currently working toward the creation of a new children's media company, and her own business in licensing products from her artwork.

Learn more at www.letschataboutecon.com or on Facebook and Twitter @LetsChatEcon.

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