Freakonomics Essay

737 Words Feb 20th, 2013 3 Pages
The Hidden Side of Everything
Steven D. Levitt is an award winning economist. Stephen J. Dubner is an award winning writer. The two met in Chicago, and the result was Freakonomics, a book that claims to explore the hidden side of everything, using real-life examples such as studies and polls conducted by Levitt to explain how economics is everywhere, that economics is how the world really functions. Through everything from analyzing the inner thought processes of real-estate agents and crack dealers, to predicting the next popular baby names, Levitt and Dubner guide readers to think differently, ask questions, and to use “Freakonomics” in their daily lives.
Freakonomics is divided into six chapters, each containing studies and stories
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For a person who believes that 1 newborn is worth 100 fetuses, those 1.5 million abortions would translate-dividing 1.5 million by 100-into the equivalent of a loss of 15,000 human lives. Fifteen thousand lives: that happens to be about the same number of people who die in homicides in the United States every year. And it is far more than the number of homicides eliminated each year due to legalized abortion” (Levitt 144). Levitt and Dubner’s use of critical thinking and connection is evident throughout their exploration of “The hidden side of everything”, and it guides the reader to start thinking the same way.
But perhaps the most prevalent tone is the authors’ sense of conversationalism and humor. Levitt and Dubner often use slang, including some unconventional writing styles, and joke with the reader, all while maintaining focus and applying the facts to the topic at hand. This usually shows up in small, yet noticeable ways. It is always apparent that the authors are talking directly to the reader as if there is a conversation going on between them. They will often say things like: “But let’s consider...” (144). Or when presenting new information: “Now, here’s what it cost...” (101). The most commonly used devices in Freakonomics; however, are questioning the reader and the use of short, emphatic sentences. When used together, as they sometimes are in this work, Levitt and Dubner can have a big impact on the reader’s thoughts. As they begin to discuss the