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That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Not Seen: The Unintended Consequences of Government Spending Paperback – August 7, 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 46 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453857508
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453857502
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #799,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
That which is seen: Government bailouts & a Stimulis Package to help the country recover from a severe recession; that which is not seen: The crippling effects of a budget deficit, which our children's children will be paying off with higher taxes, long after we're gone. Short term gain; long term pain. That's business as usual for practically every government on the planet; welcome to Obama Nation.

Of course, we know that sort of policy is not the proper solution to problems of finacial difficulties; however, it's the most expedient, and therefore, most politically advantageous. After all, it's politicians who are running things; not economists.

Frederic Bastiat's remarkable treatise on government spending was written a century and a half ago, but like his timeless masterpiece The Law, this particular endeavor is still very relevent. The language is perhaps a bit difficult to sift through; but it's message is clear: The government really needs much less intervention in dealing with our society's needs; that concept is still as compelling today as it was when Bastiat first wrote this book.

Big government needs to shrink; it's really that simple. Making that happen any time soon is going to be difficult, however, as long as politicians are still running things; and they are.
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One of Bastiat's finest essays. He appeals to the reader to question your public officials, or private companies, when they point to a positive consequence that we can see. What is often more important is the unseen effects, the other outcomes that result, which are often hidden from our view because their effects are messier and less visible.

This is a must read for anyone interested in economics or politics.
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This little book is the most insightful thing ever written by all of the great freedom thinkers. What is seen versus what is not seen explains why government gets away with such deception.

Read Bastiat along with Beitler's Rational Individualism: A Moral Argument for Limited Government & Capitalism. Essential reading for free-market thinkers.
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Bastiat's excellent book, despite its antiquity, is still completely valid and always will be. It is an excellent example of the case for conservatism and for do-nothing congresses. It is better that nothing be done than that very little be achieved despite a burdensome price being paid.

The book shows how feel-good liberal-progressive programs concentrate only on the (generally) tiny minority of good that they do without ever being submitted to real scrutiny about their unseen costs. It would be nice if a bill could be passed to ensure that every government program be submitted to a thorough cost/benefit basis scrutiny. That would sure hurt our career politicians by making them unable to simply demagogue and get get away with wasting our money on bad ideas but there just might be a chance that we would see a better class of representative in the long run.
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By 6Kathay9 on November 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We had just finished studying Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson and found it excellent. Part of that work is based on this classic treatise by Bastiat. We bought the book, knowing how lucid Mr. Bastiat's writing is, to understand Hazlitt's application better.
It is short and to the point. Brilliant.
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This is a great follow up to "The Law".

I'm not sure which was published first, but it seems to take up the theme of "The Law", and en devours to illuminate further the foibles of a government obsessed with righting the wrongs of the world through taxation (legal plunder).
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The booklet outlines what today we call "unintended consequences." The setting in the 1840 era means the illustrations are simple and difficult not to recognize. Contemporary economists consider those principles too simple to listen to. Contemporary economists would rather live in a Rube Goldberg economy exploiting a mechanism complex enough to convince the unwashed masses Utopia is here and it costs nothing.
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