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Economic Sophisms Paperback – September 30, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Protectionists, beware - this book will change you forever.
Bastiat's starting point is that desirable economic decisions come from viewing voluntary exchange through the consumer's eyes rather than through the producer's. For example, the "negative railway" highlights the fallacy of adding barriers to productivity in order to increase the costs of transportation. By breaking the tracks from France to Spain, the City of Orleans and its hotels, boatmen, and porters benefit since goods need to unloaded and moved to a new train and passengers are made to disembark. This looks good for producers but terrible for consumers. Especially since following this logic would mean that every city along the tracks should also tear down the rails!
The genius of this book is that Bastiat does not need lengthy discussions of externalities and production frontiers to get his point across. Through the simple illustrations, the reader learns these concepts anyway even without being formally introduced to them.
Unlike Milton Friedman's "Free to Choose" or "Capitalism and Freedom" or Henry Hazlitt's "Economics in One Lesson" which deal with a large variety of applications, Bastiat concerns himself solely with trying to combat the menace of protectionism through a series of arguments that are both witty and satirical. Occasionally he also shows how a conversation between two parties having differing opinions on protectionism might evolve. For example, in one of his chapters, he shows how a tax collector might justify the exorbitant collection of taxes to a vineyardist who moans the loss of his wine as taxes whereas in another chapter, he conducts a thought experiment as to how three different merchants might conspire amongst themselves to pass legislation advantaging each one of them in their respective industries.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
great book for anyone interested in economics and political philosophy. A wonderful book about the myths surrounding free trade and the myths about the benefits or protectionism. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Carlos Danger
Fredric Bastiat explains what is wrong with the misleading view of economics being taught today. I also highly recommend his book, The Law and That which is Seen and That which is... Read morePublished on February 3, 2013 by Terry L Haney