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Download The Price of Everything: Solving the Mystery of Why We Pay What We Do Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Price of Everything: Solving the Mystery of Why We Pay What We Do Audiobook, by Eduardo Porter Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (649 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Eduardo Porter Narrator: Walter Dixon Publisher: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2011 ISBN: 9781596596412
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Many of the prices we pay seem to make little sense. We shell out $2.29 for a coffee at Starbucks when a nearly identical brew can be had at the corner deli for less than a dollar. We may be less willing to give blood for $25 than to donate it for free. Americans hire the cheap labor of illegal immigrants to fix the roof or mow the lawn and vote for politicians who promise to spend billions to keep them out of the country. And citizens of the industrialized West pay hundreds of dollars a year in taxes or cash for someone to cart away trash that would be a valuable commodity in poorer parts of the world.

The Price of Everything starts with a simple premise: there is a price behind each choice that we make, whether we’re deciding to have a baby, drive a car, or buy a book. Eduardo Porter uncovers the true story behind the prices we pay and reveals what those prices are actually telling us. He takes us on a global economic adventure, from comparing the relative prices of a vote in corrupt São Tomé and in the ostensibly aboveboard United States to assessing the cost of happiness in Bhutan to deducing the dollar value we assign to human life. His unique approach helps explain:

  • Why polygamous societies actually place a higher value on women than monogamous ones
  • Why someone may find more value in a $14-million license plate than in the standard-issue $95 one
  • Why some government agencies believe one year of life for a senior citizen is four times more valuable than that of a younger person

Porter weaves together the constant—and often unconscious—cost and value assessments we all make every day. While exploring the fascinating story behind the price of everything from marriage and death to mattresses and horsemeat, Porter draws unexpected connections that bridge a wide range of disciplines and cultures. The result is a cogent and insightful narrative about how the world really works.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 2/11/2014

    " A lot of interesting ideas and also fairly well written. only problem is that it's a bit thrown together and doesn't flow well to the point of becoming confusing and losing focus. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gary | 2/1/2014

    " i was very fortunate to have won this in first reads contest and found eduardo porter to be an excellent researcher. there were all kinds of interesting facts and statistics. perhaps more suited for several magazine articles instead of a book but many things made me say "aahhh". i had some trouble following the thread the author was weaving but sure it was my fault for having to read some things a few times as his thoughts and his iq are sometimes hard to transfer to words and the way something is expressed. a good read, thanks. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mohammed alkindy | 2/1/2014

    " was an interesting reading this month, is seems it is true that every thing has its tag price from the pair of socks we buy to the kidney in our bodies "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maeve | 1/27/2014

    " This is a book for people who know very little about economy or psychology. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nick | 1/17/2014

    " LOVED IT. Let's face it - I'm somewhat obsessed with economics and how prices effect our lives. This book does a great job breaking it down and discussing the price of everything from religion to healthcare. Thanks for the birthday gift, Mom! :) ~NR "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Daniel Currie | 1/9/2014

    " This reads more like a textbook than anything else. And unfortunately, I didn't learn much. Some of the facts and figures are interesting, but too much of is spent in rhetoric and his personal views on them. Maybe it just has a bad title because, to me, it certainly didn't follow thru on that promise. He covers lots of subjects that can't possibly be quantified (faith, the future, women, etc.) and tries to put some value on them, but it isn't possible, so it falls flat. It might have been more interesting if he took some everyday items and at least used them as an example instead of this promising, but highly unfocused, approach. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clare | 1/5/2014

    " I'm impressed by the amount of ground the author covered. So many topics - well-done in a thought-provoking manner. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan Ellis | 12/6/2013

    " Not a heavy read at all. I enjoyed the stories and ideas but nothing was revolutionary or mind blowing. A great read for someone interested in economics but that has no formal education in it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Charles | 11/16/2013

    " Interesting book, but when it wasn't a recitation of statistics, it was clear he had a Keynesian bias even before he called him a hero and then bashed both the Austrian and Chicago schools. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Smellsofbikes | 10/1/2013

    " Excellent review of microeconomics, irrationality, and bias in discussion of economics. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kirsten | 9/28/2013

    " It was an interesting read. Some chapters more so than others, but I enjoyed this economic view. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aggie | 8/12/2013

    " Very interesting look about society and money. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah Altmann | 6/4/2012

    " Good for what it was. I don't think like an economist, so that might have been part of the problem. However, I know a lot of it was slanted by opinion as well...still pretty interesting statistics and information. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 11/9/2011

    " Every single decision or choice has a consequence. We pay a price for everything we do - so it's up to each and every one of us to make sure we act in our own best interests. Mr. Porter explains the critical role prices play in our everyday lives. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carl | 5/21/2011

    " The author provides interesting in-depth discussions of a number of fascinating economic value questions. However, he makes his point early on that everything can be evaluated in terms of "price" and then keeps hammering it home. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 5/10/2011

    " This is an awesome economics application to real life book....if you liked freakonomics, you'll like this one! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 4/25/2011

    " A lot of interesting ideas and also fairly well written. only problem is that it's a bit thrown together and doesn't flow well to the point of becoming confusing and losing focus. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hashim | 4/21/2011

    " This book erects a number of profound question that most of us avoid answering or even thinking about because of the taboo associated with it or other tangible reasons. Very interesting read, and I highly recommend it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mohammed | 4/20/2011

    " was an interesting reading this month, is seems it is true that every thing has its tag price from the pair of socks we buy to the kidney in our bodies "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 4/13/2011

    " very informative in an understandable way for the most part.
    shows in a convincing way with proof of how irrational we determine the value of things and what we are willing to pay for things from tvs to culture to the future. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aggie | 3/20/2011

    " Very interesting look about society and money. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cheryl | 3/8/2011

    " This book started out well but then dragged on. A Malcolm Gladwell sort of book but Gladwell writes in a much more entertaining way. Two stars - just OK
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barry | 2/14/2011

    " I'd say that this is more of a book of economic history and perspective, rather than a book "solving the mystery of why we pay what we do." To that extent, it's OK, but I was hoping for more insight into "why we pay what we do." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruth | 2/11/2011

    " Lots of interesting facts but also some surprisingly inaccurate conclusions, especially where a cause-effect conclusion is made only considering price/cost as a cause. Still worth a read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cori | 2/8/2011

    " Interesting book. I particularly liked the chapter on the price of religion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Horsenwz | 2/4/2011

    " Fascinating! Can money make us happier? Read this, if knowledge is power we all need to be educated in this subject. Governments and companies are! "

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About the Narrator

Walter Dixon is a broadcast media veteran of more than twenty years’ experience with a background in theater and performing arts and voice work for commercials. After a career in public radio, he is now a full-time narrator with more than fifty audiobooks recorded in genres ranging from religion and politics to children’s stories.