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Planning for Freedom: Let the Market System Work (Lib Works Ludwig Von Mises PB) Paperback – August 19, 2008


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Planning for Freedom: Let the Market System Work (Lib Works Ludwig Von Mises PB) + The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality + The Road to Serfdom: Text and Documents--The Definitive Edition (The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek, Volume 2)
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Product Details

  • Series: Lib Works Ludwig Von Mises PB
  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Liberty Fund (August 19, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865976619
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865976610
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #408,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. W. MacKenzie on November 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
Planning for Freedom is very much like two other books by Mises: Liberalism, the Classical Traditions and Bureaucracy. This book is notable for its clarity and brevity. It is a much easier read that Human Action. Anyone who wants to learn Austrian Economics would do well by starting with the two aforementioned books (see also Cost and Choice by JM Buchanan and Hayek's Individualism and Economic Order).

The section on Profit and Loss is perhaps the most insightful essay in this collection. Profits are the product of superior foresight in a world where nobody can fully anticipate the future economic conditions. Mises recognized that profits in a free market represent superior planning, rather than so called market power. This is important because it undermines numerous misconceptions regarding the need for governmental regulation of business.

Mises examines other types of intervention as well, especially inflation. Inflation is not merely a tax, as most economists recognize. Inflation disrupts commerce by misdirecting capital investment. Inflation and other forms of intervention do not yield their intended results. Intervention results in economic regress instead of improved economic order.

The arguments of this book have not gained widespread acceptance by either most economists or the educated public. But this is due primarily to their unfamiliarity with these arguments. If proponents of intervention considered Austrian economics carefully, they would find it difficult to defend their position. That is why this book is important. Planning for Freedom makes it easier to understand the Mises-Hayek case for free markets. You do not need to plow through 881 pages (in Human Action) to understand Mises. Reading the 168 page in this book (or the 134 pages of Bureaucracy) will suffice.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By George F. Smith on August 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
I find it difficult to review books I'm enthusiastic about because I want to mention everything. Since this would not be helpful to a potential customer, I'll confine myself to commenting on one my favorite essays in this collection, "Stones into Bread: The Keynesian Miracle." (As I understand it, the idea of turning stones into bread is a reference to Matthew (4:3), in which Satan proposes to Jesus that he use his powers literally to perform such a miracle.)

The one conviction sustaining the Federal Reserve and its policy of low interest rates is the idea that cheap credit promotes prosperity. Indeed it does. It also inaugurates and sustains the trade cycle, which means the period of prosperity contains the seeds of its own destruction. If the banks continue to loan money at below-market interest rates, the eventual result will be the destruction of the currency through hyperinflation. If the banks raise interest rates to slow the rise in prices, which has been the historical pattern in the U.S., the result is a cessation of activities thought to be profitable but which in fact aren't. Prices drop, businesses fail, unemployment rises in what is usually called a recession or depression.

John Maynard Keynes, the British economist referred to in the essay's title, stated in a 1943 essay ("Paper of the British Experts") that a policy of bank credit expansion would perform the miracle of turning a stone into bread. I roughly interpret this to mean credit expansion - the creation of money from nothing -- would increase the real wealth of the nation. As Mises discusses, Keynes and his disciples dismissed those who thought differently as being "orthodox" or "reactionary." Today, of course, such dissidents are simply ignored -- at least in the mainstream media.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book is a compilation of 17 short treatises on various topics. Mises is one of the most important figures in (Neo)Austrian school of Economics. After reading this book, I felt tremendous urge to read other great books, such as "Socialism", "Human Action", or "Theory of Money and Credit". His writing is very clear and straightforward. The fundamental idea of this book is very appealing and irrefutable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thomas A. Guice on April 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I todays economic climate, this is a must read. There are two opposing idealogies that are at war with one another. This war is more evident today than ever before.
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