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Hypocrites & Half-Wits: A Daily Dose of Sanity from Cafe Hayek Hardcover – July 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Free To Choose Press (July 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983968705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983968702
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Donald J. Boudreaux served as chairman of the department of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, from 2001 to 2009. He runs a blog, CafeHayek.com, with Russ Roberts and has lectured in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and Europe. He is the author of Globalization (2008), and his writing has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Investor's Business Daily, Regulation, Reason, Ideas on Liberty, the Washington Times, the Journal of Commerce, the Cato Journal, and several scholarly journals.

Before chairing the economics department at George Mason, Boudreaux was president of the Foundation for Economic Education; associate professor of legal studies and Economics at Clemson University, and assistant professor of economics at George Mason University.

Customer Reviews

This book is a selection of 100 of the letters he has written.
Tino
An easy to read, unbiast and eye opening book. very entertaining and informative!
Isidro
I was able to go through the book in just a leisurely few hours.
John R. Lott Jr.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By redjinn on June 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To relieve his frustration at misguided popular reporting on economic issues that affect each of us, often in ways we don't appreciate at first glance, Don Boudreaux, a Professor of Economics, writes one letter-to-the-editor every day. I suspect he voted for Ron Paul, but he spares no one, whether "The New York Times", Fox News, "The Wall Street Journal", or Nobel-winner Paul Krugman. Each has received at least one (usually more) short pithy letter explaining why a pronouncement on a current government program or a commonly accepted nostrum is bunkum.

So when Randi Weingarten says markets won't solve the schooling crisis, Boudreaux asks her to imagine groceries being supplied the way education is. Folks would pay property taxes, and the Government would spend the taxes on building and supplying grocery stores. Of course you would be "assigned" to your neighborhood "public" grocery store where you would receive your weekly allotment of groceries for "free". Grocery administrators would decide the quality and quantity of groceries you would receive. Wealthier counties would have better stores, and Boudreaux suspects that the quality of the local public supermarket would play a major role in your choice of where to live if you could afford to move.

When a Mr. Warner writing to the "Los Angeles Times", hoping to defeat members of Congress who voted against Obamacare, asked readers to remember these opponents "Every time you have to pay an extravagant co-pay ... or deductible", Boudreaux chides Mr.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Before I begin my review, I must state in the interest of full disclosure: I am one of the (many) people that are thanked in the Acknowledgements of this book -- because I am a friend of the author Donald J. Boudreaux, and over the past few years, I have often chatted with Boudreaux about the content of his letters to the editor; some of which were ultimately compiled for this book -- although I had nothing whatsoever to do with the publishing of the book. I am recommending this wonderful book on its own merit; I truly believe that it is a gem. I greatly enjoyed reading it, and so will you!

----

Donald J. Boudreaux is a professor at George Mason University: an economist and a lawyer, he was Chairman of the Economics Department at GMU for 8 years, and currently teaches in GMU's economics department and law school. He is a staunch advocate of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and non-interventionist foreign policy. He frequently writes letters-to-the-editor in support of these principles, in opposition to newspaper articles/editorials that counter these principles, or display what he believes to be economic illiteracy. But newspaper editors are not the only targets of Boudreaux's pearls of wisdom: he will write a letter to anyone whom he encounters displaying economic illiteracy or advocating Big Government, whether it is a radio talk show host regurgitating talking points that have no basis in sound economics; a politician arguing for ever-more governmental power; or a blogger arguing that America is somehow economically harmed by importing cheap goods made in foreign countries.

He almost certainly has the world record for letters written to the editor -- he has written nearly 5,000 letters over the past decade!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John R. Lott Jr. on September 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
For those who have enjoyed Don Boudreaux's letters to editors at various newspapers and other news organizations at this website CafeHayek.com, Free To Choose Press has collected those letters and other musings in one place. This 248 page book is an extremely fast read, but even those who don't have the attention span to tackle econ books will find this a very painless way to learn economics in simple, very well explained small bites. I was able to go through the book in just a leisurely few hours. As someone who has taught economics for 20 years and tried myself to explain economics to the general public, I can only hope that some professors will have this book as a supplemental reading for their principals classes.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Studio Hayek on August 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I read a book I often fold over the corners of the pages which contain interesting or valuable stuff, so that if I ever want to find the valuable stuff in the book later I just have to read those pages. One way to measure a book's worth to me is to look at the book's corner and see how many page corners have been folded over. Until recently Milton Friedman's book Free to Choose held the honor of the most folded corners of any book on my shelf. At 57 folded corners it still holds the record, but Donald J. Boudreaux's new book Hypocrites & Half-Wits takes the honor of having more folded corners per page than any book I've read. Free to Choose has 57 folded corners in 316 pages and Hypocrites & Half-Wits has 47 folded corners in 227 pages. In terms of density, Hypocrites & Half-Wits is better than Free to Choose.
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More About the Author

Donald J. Boudreaux served as chairman of the department of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, from 2001 to 2009. He runs a blog, www.CafeHayek.com, with Russ Roberts and has lectured in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and Europe. He is the author of Globalization (2008), and his writing has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Investor's Business Daily, Regulation, Reason, Ideas on Liberty, the Washington Times, the Journal of Commerce, the Cato Journal, and several scholarly journals.

Before chairing the economics department at George Mason, Boudreaux was president of the Foundation for Economic Education; associate professor of legal studies and Economics at Clemson University, and assistant professor of economics at George Mason University.

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