Eat the Rich (book)

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Eat the Rich is a 1998 book by P. J. O'Rourke which explains economics in a humorous way. Its chapters include Good Capitalism (United States), Bad Capitalism (Albania), Good socialism (Sweden), Bad socialism (Cuba), and an intermission on "Economics 101", teaching facts that your economics professor didn't tell you, including the "ten less basic rules of economics". Subsequent chapters are on How to make everything out of nothing (Hong Kong), How to make nothing out of everything (Tanzania), How (or how not) to reform (maybe) an economy (if there is one) (Russia) and Eat the rich, the last an encomium to capitalism — "the worst economic system anyone ever invented, except for all the others",[1][2] a reference to Winston Churchill who described democracy the same way.

O'Rourke uses wit and an entire lack of mathematics (except in rare glances for parody) to claim that economics is something we all do every day, and only economists seem to find it difficult. He states, for example, that he has read The Wealth of Nations without finding any mathematics in it at all.

In the introduction, O'Rourke admits that he stole the title from the Motörhead song, "Eat the Rich", but that actually the phrase has been in existence for centuries.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Caron, John B. (25 August 1995), Capitalism worst system except for others, National Catholic Reporter, retrieved 2009-05-04 
  2. ^ Baum, Caroline (4 January 2009), Capitalism is worst system except for all the rest, Arabian Business, retrieved 2009-05-04 

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