2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your Government Has No Idea How Bad A Mess It's Making
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...
Published on Feb 16 2011 by D Glover
2.0 out of 5 stars Too simplistic
Although though we're (presumably) members of the same political choir, the author treats economics much too simplistically.
Calling this book a polemic on Keynesian economics would be accurate, calling it an economics treatise would be just plain wrong.
Time would be better spent reading Bastiat.
Published on Mar 30 2000
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your Government Has No Idea How Bad A Mess It's Making,
This review is from: Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics (Paperback)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. Along with his use of common sense and plain logic, Hazlitt effectively uses statistics to prove his points (mercifully he limits his use of statistics, unlike many modern writers who use almost nothing but).
If Keynes is the alchemist wizard who has masterfully entranced his economist minions through a combination of academic sophistry and elitist intimidation, Hazlitt is the plain speaking sage who breaks the spell by speaking words that ring true with every person's experience of the real world and the economic forces at work within. This is not only a great place to begin one's study of economics but it is something that politicians and voters alike should have to re-read every election year before they cast their ballots. If we had been doing that up until now, we would not be in the economic disaster we currently are.
4.0 out of 5 stars Readable,
This review is from: Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics (Paperback)A concise summary of how legislation and the outcome of ithe legislation sometimes differ in practise from the intended purpose.
5.0 out of 5 stars An Economic Handbook,
This review is from: Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics (Paperback)This book is a fantastic introduction to economics. The language is in plain spoken terms. The issues covered by Hazlitt are everyday events, that anyone can relate too. In fact, it is hard to believe, the book was first written in 1946.
As the reader proceeds through the book, a reoccurring theme presents itself. Hazlitt starts off by explaining, how and why an interested party will try to alter an economic policy. One example was in regards to rent controls. Obviously there are a large group of renters, that are interested in limiting the cost of rental properties. Hazlitt lays out the political process, that is taking place in the case of rent controls. Then he takes things a step further. He outlines how this effects other groups, within a society. He also examines the big picture, and sums up the total effect on all of the population. This is Hazlitt over all theme; to explain events in terms of the effects on the entire population.
Hazlitt analyzes all sorts of various economic issues. Most of these will be very familiar to the reader. Some examples include; tariffs, minimum wage laws, savings versus spending, company profits, public work projects, and government price fixing. All of these issues, will be evaluated in a straight forward format. In fact Hazlitt himself states, "the conclusions we arrive at usually correspond with those of unsophisticated common sense". Economic common sense, may perhaps be the best description of this book.
I highly recommend this book, to anyone looking to achieve a basic understanding of many economic issues.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Choose some alternatives and map them to the real world,
The real danger, according to Hazlitt, is when the choices of a few people, with same kinds of fallacies noted above, are coercive, enforced by government or monopolies. Which leads us to to the negative reviews.
The negatives, if we can be allowed to throw out the obvious loser rants, seem to be concerned mainly with rapacious corporations, free trade among inequal countries and natural monopolies. While these are certainly provide distortions of individual choice and informed consent, they do in the long run tend to be self correcting -- see government-sanctioned coal and oil monopolies. The real interest is in how to minimize the effects of these diseconomies.
Hazlitt would argue that they are self-correcting via the collective effect of individual choices. The Marxists would argue that action based upon the sceeding of individual choice to a collective power is the solution. Surely, if we can assume there is no absolute, theoretical winner in this debate, we can look to the real world, based upon the actions of multiple forms of government and millions of individuals to provide some guidance on which path leads to the most for the most.
To that end, I would challenge you to read Hazlitt's book and a Marxist equivalent like Ivan Ilich's "Tools for Conviviality" and then, accepting both as plausibly complete and material, match them against your experience of recent history and your hopes for your personal future.
5.0 out of 5 stars Learned a lot!,
Recommend to anyone :)
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Intro to Important Economic Principles,
Granted this book is a bit dated, but most of it is still useful and much of it seems as if it were written today.
I sincerely wish more politicians and voters today would read this book, it would go a long way toward restoring some knowledge of basic economics and some common sense to the decisions that get made on the political sphere.
There are many economics books that are so dense that I would take no delight in reading nor would I feel comfortable recommending to someone who is not already an economics wonk. However, with this title, I have no such reservations. I can wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone. I guarantee it will be enlightening in at least one or two areas!
5.0 out of 5 stars Great economics starter!,
After this book, I would recommend "Naked Economics" by Charles Wheelan. I started off reading Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell, and in comparison, this is a much easier read. I think I might have started backwards. =).
A must read for beginners.
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy the audio version from audible,
By A Customer
Their programming skills are terrible. I could not download some of the books I bought, could not burn into cd the ones I could download, and forget about making it work with an mp3 player, unless you're lucky.
I know about 5 people who bought stuff from there and only one had the luck of downloading a working file and burning it successfully to a cd.
The quality of the narrations is awful, at least in the books I managed to hear (only on windows media player, nothing else worked). If you're used to books on cd or tape, you're up for a big disappointment buying from audible.
On top of all that, they have the worst customer service I have ever witnessed. The site was not working right when I tried to purchase there for the first time. I sent them a message with no answer.
In a second attempt, I bought the stuff and some files never downloaded (which means they just stole my money and I don't know what I can do since I don't live in USA). I sent another message with no answer again.
Then their weird program, which turns Windows Media Player automatically on instead of working alone, showed no compatibility to Itunes and no possibility of burning cds or dreaming about hearing books on Ipod. I sent them a third message and nothing. A fourth and guess what? Nothing again.
So I am at least trying to warn other people here to avoid being caught by such scheme. I hope Amazon gets rid of audible as soon as possible. I always got great service from Amazon and the affiliated bookstores, or even other stores selling electronics, health products and others, but audible is just the worst company I ever wasted my money with. Too bad we cannot give notes to them like with the affiliated booksellers.
Sorry by the poor text, I am just mad with them.
5.0 out of 5 stars Economics in One Lesson by Hazlitt,
has a permanent benefit. What would we do today without cars?
Tariffs tend to benefit producers at the expense of consumers.
This book is a solid value for economists, households, students of economics , journalists and a whole host of constituencies.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great Introduction to Economics,
As a retired Army officer and student of political philosophy, I found "Economics in One Lesson" a great book for anyone who wants to understand basic economic theory.
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Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics by Henry Hazlitt (Paperback - Dec 14 1988)
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