Sunday, January 23, 2005

Classics of Conservatism - part III

This month's book recommendation is Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt. [My previous recommendations are found here and here.]

originally published in 1946

Americans, conservatives and bloggers need a deeper understanding of freedom and capitalism than what we can obtain through discussion of the latest polls or listening to talk radio. The classic books can bring us that understanding.

I read this book early in my college days. As an economics major, I knew that I was in for an onslaught of leftism for which I needed to prepare. I approached both sides of economics arguments with an open mind, but I knew that I would need a deeper understanding of the free market approach than the leftist professors and textbooks would allow or provide.

Economics in One Lesson is a relatively basic introduction to economics and leftist economic fallacy. This small book made its mark on the world long before Ronald Reagan popularized free market economics. The book reveals two economic fallacies:
(1) the tendency of government to focus its policy only on short term goals and (2) the tendency of government to focus economic policy only on the group immediately affected, instead of those who suffer the hidden effects.

Hazlitt uses numerous practical, easy-to-follow examples to demonstrate these fallacies.

Economics in One Lesson has enjoyed numerous reprints and a 50 year anniversary edition. By remembering the lessons of this book, we can dissect more easily the latest speeches from leftist politicians or the local high school teacher.

Henry Hazlitt 1894-1993

Henry Hazlitt was as well known as any free market economist could have been in the 1930's, 1940's, 1950's and 1960's.

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