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Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics Paperback – Dec 14 1988

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business (Dec 14 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517548232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517548233
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.4 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 9 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"A magnificent job of theoretical exposition."

—Ayn Rand

“I strongly recommend that every American acquire some basic knowledge of economics, monetary policy, and the intersection of politics with the economy. No formal classroom is required; a desire to read and learn will suffice. There are countless important books to consider, but the following are an excellent starting point: The Law by Frédéric Bastiat; Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt; What has Government Done to our Money? by Murray Rothbard; The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek; and Economics for Real People by Gene Callahan.
If you simply read and comprehend these relatively short texts, you will know far more than most educated people about economics and government. You certainly will develop a far greater understanding of how supposedly benevolent government policies destroy prosperity. If you care about the future of this country, arm yourself with knowledge and fight back against economic ignorance. We disregard economics and history at our own peril.”

—Ron Paul, Senator from Texas

About the Author

Henry Hazlitt (1894-1993), was a libertarian philosopher, an economist, and a journalist. He was the founding vice-president of the Foundation for Economic Education and an early editor of The Freeman magazine, an important libertarian publication.  Hazlitt wrote Economics in One Lesson, his seminal text on free market economics, in 1946, bringing his ideas and those of the so-called Austrian School to the American scene. His work has influenced the likes of economist Ludwig von Mises, novelist and essayist Ayn Rand, and 2008 Libertarian Party Presidential nominee and congressman, Ron Paul. Hazlitt has been cited as one of the most influential literary critics and economic writers of his time.

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Inside This Book

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ECONOMICS IS HAUNTED by more fallacies than any other study known to man. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D Glover TOP 500 REVIEWER on Feb. 16 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Henry Hazlitt has done the layman a huge favour in writing this book. Unfortunately, it is not only the layman who desperately needs this book. It is the world's politicians, the presidents of central banks, and those who control monetary policy who have severed their moorings with common sense and are now afloat on a raging sea of market fall-out and who don't understand how they got there who need to read this book, like, yesterday.

A proponent of Austrian Economics (the free market, self-governed through the law of supply and demand, with minimal gov't intervention), Hazlitt puts forth an irrefutable case against the foggy-headed reigning economic model of the day - Keynesianism. He does this by effectively exposing and refuting the many fallacies which Keynesians embrace as orthodoxy. Where Keynes is complex and convoluted, Hazlitt is simple and straightforward. And unlike Keynes, whose work wreaks of ivory-tower arrogance and elitist snobbery, Hazlitt writes with everyday wisdom and appeals to the common sense of the average person who knows instinctively that you can't improve your financial standing by plunging into debt in order to spend your way to affluence. If only our governments understood this.

At the heart of Hazlitt's book is the principle that true economics must consider the general effect over the long term of any policy it enacts. It is from the solid foundation of this principle that Hazlitt attacks all modern economic fallacies which, he argues, all have at their heart the problem of looking only at the effects of a policy on one special group in the short term. And Hazlitt reminds us that what would be foolish for household finances is all the more foolish for a nation since it the same foolishness magnified a million times over.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lord Chimp on Sept. 12 2003
Format: Paperback
In fact, I think most economists need to read Hazlitt's classic too. And if they've already read it...they should read it again, because I think quite a few of them need to be reminded of some simple truths.
I am a graduate economics student and I have trudged through extremely technical economic literature in my time. Most leading economists these days become hyperspecialized and esoteric in some paltry technical issue to the point where their work is practically useless to the average person. This is a very terrible thing. Because knowledge of economics is so crucially important to our understanding of human behavior and the world, I think it *should* be accessible to more people. For this reason, I am always on the lookout for books that help people understand economics easily. That way, we can have a much better world.
I have found few books better for the beginner than _Economics in One Lesson_. Henry Hazlitt's book here is very highly regarded and for good reason: it's an excellent, simple look at economic issues that teaches an important lesson. That lesson? That good economics entails looking at the long-term effects of economic policies on *everyone*, rather than the short-term effects on one group. With this, we can see that when the government intervenes in the economy, there are always consequences that not immediately evident.
Although the book was originally published in 1946, the topics covered by Hazlitt are pertinent and explore issues that still confront us more than 50 years later. Topics include inflation, tariffs, taxation, price fixing, labor unions, savings, the importance of profits, rent control, and more. Hazlitt writes well and doesn't obfuscate the truths of matters with cumbersome graphs and math.
Please ignore James McDuffie's fatuous review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hayekian on Jan. 13 2004
Format: Paperback
I have read at least 5 of the newer intro to economics books around and this classic is still the best. It is just barely 200+ pages with big easy to read letters, in one weekend this book can transform you from average ignorant american to inspired concerned citizen. The chapter on inflation was worth the price of the book by itself . I have noticed how the reviews for this book have increased dramatically over the last 6 months. It is happening, something wonderfull is about to happen...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Twian on Feb. 9 2004
Format: Paperback
For as important as Economics is to the Past, Present and Future of Humanity, its met with a collective yawn and almost completely missunderstood! For just 20 bucks and 8 hours of your time you can have a mental grasp on the engine that drives...everything. Unless you are completely vacant this book can change your mind. Very important ideas. Give this one to everyone you know. If one person reads it, you have helped humanity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Gaughan on Sept. 26 2003
Format: Paperback
Hazlitt has a gift for clarity. His arguments simply cannot be misunderstood. With nearly unassailable logic he explains the subtle economic implications of many government policies in terms the simplest novice can follow. This is an awesome book for any reader.
This book was not at all what I expected when I ordered it. I expected a textbook like approach to all the classic concepts of economics (supply/demand curves, law of diminishing returns, effects of shortages/gluts on prices, etc.) Instead, Hazlitt simply states that true economics involves tracing both the seen and unseen consequences of each action or policy. This is primarily a book about government policy in economics, but it scope reaches to every choice we make with regard to the economic well-being of our nation.
I had many 'Ah ha!' moments while reading this book. I felt I had a fairly good grasp on many economic prinicples after reading Skousen's 'The Making of Modern Economics', but Hazlitt has a way of crystalizing thoughts that are still fuzzy. One thing that comes through consistently is how money confuses and distracts people from a true understanding of wealth. Money is not wealth. True physical wealth lies in the products (goods and services) you have or can afford to buy. The wealth of a nation lies in the aggregate products it produces. If you want economic prosperity, increase production. Not senseless production, but production of things people actually want. When all is said and done, money is just the "medium of exchange". Ultimately, all products are paid for by other products.
Despite my high regard for this book, at times it dragged. Many topics are similar, and it seemed at times repetitive to go over the same ground again.
I wish every American (especially politicians and aspiring politicians) would read this book.
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