- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Sheed Andrews and McMeel; 2nd edition (September 1977)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0836207513
- ISBN-13: 978-0836207514
- Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,768,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Power and Market: Government and the Economy Paperback – September, 1977
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Top Customer Reviews
Unlike most Austrian school economists, Rothbard was an anarchist. In fact, he was the twentieth century's seminal figure in anarcho-capitalist thought. This means that Rothbard thought that not only roads and the like, but also national defense and courts could be provided without a state. (See his Society Without a State in the Libertarian Reader, ed. Machan, for a succinct presentation of his views.)
Rothbard starts out this work with a discussion of various types of government intervention in the economy. He divides them into three types: autistic (violent crime), triangular (tariffs, wage and price controls, licensing, etc.)and binary intervention (taxation and government spending). Following this is a discussion of antimarket ethics. There isn't an aspect of government intervention in the economy that escapes Rothbard's scalpel. As a whole, this is certainly an outstanding book. Take Rothbard's discussion of taxation. Many "right wing" economists support the sales tax on the ground that it doesn't discourage savings and investment. But it reduces people's income and thereby reduces savings and investment. It is a tax on income. [pp. 92-93.]
My main problem with this work is the sometimes simplistic discussion of complex problems and the leaps in logic. (I've discussed this is my review of The Ethics of Liberty.) Take for example the issue of immigration laws. "The advocate of immigration laws . . .Read more ›
The publication of Power and Market was a major event in Austrian Economics. Up to this point Austrians all endorsed the minimal state. Since then Austrians have been divided between Anarchists and Minarchists. The case that Rothbard makes for comprehensive privatization is bold, especially when you consider the mindset of both professional economists and the general public in the 1960's. From a purely intellectual standpoint Power and Market is not really bold, it is just a matter of thinking critically about all forms of intervention. But when you consider the predominant ideological mindset back then, and even now, the intellectual courage exhibited by Rothbard becomes clear.
Power and Market should be read with Nozick's Anarchy State and Utopia and Sanford Ikeda's Dynamics of the Mixed Economy, and perhaps also Elinor Ostrom's Governing the Commons, Robert Caneiro's A Theory of the Origin of the State, and Higg's Crisis and Leviathan. Not everyone will embrace Rothbard's vision for a new world, but fair-minded thoughtful people should nevertheless find his book provocative and insightful. Power and Market is a major contribution to political economy, and as such it is a must read for those who seek to understand how society works, and how it might work better.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Power and Market is an advance in the comprehensive theory of free market economics, beyond the previous standard, which was Human Action by Ludwig von Mises and his associated... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Hunter Hastings
This so-called study of political economy is simply junk scholarship. The approach to the topic is artificial and inane and the 'conclusions' are predetermined by the author's... Read morePublished on November 28, 2012 by GBM
Murray Newton Rothbard (1926-1995) was an American economist, historian and political theorist. He was a prominent exponent of the Austrian School of economics in this country and... Read morePublished on February 14, 2012 by Steven H Propp
This book was shipped to me in excellent, safe packaging. My order arrived very quickly, I am very happy with the service.Published on January 13, 2012 by Kristi
This book is an important addendum to Man, Economy, and State. It explains the incompatibility of the free market and a statist government; they cannot exist together. Read morePublished on February 22, 2011 by Thomas M. Mcgovern
A great, in-depth, analysis of how the government is responsible for the "problems" of the free market. Assumes a small level of economics understanding. Read morePublished on October 29, 2009 by Joseph Flynn