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Product Details

  • Paperback: 451 pages
  • Publisher: Ludwig von Mises Institute; 1 edition (March 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933550112
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,106,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

I really enjoy Hazlitt's style.
STEPHEN SHOOP
Henry Hazlitt's "The Failure of the New Economics" is an excellent discussion on the many Keynesian fallacies.
Rothbardian
This book should be a must read for economics students.
Dylan65

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Rothbardian on August 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
Henry Hazlitt's "The Failure of the New Economics" is an excellent discussion on the many Keynesian fallacies. Hazlitt clearly explains that the "The General Theory" by John Maynard Keynes is perhaps the most destructive book ever written and that Keynesian economics inevitably leads to socialism. Like Marx, Keynes attributes the business cycle to the market economy. Throughout "The General Theory", Keynes emphasizes the superiority of government and the inadequacy of individuals operating in free markets.

Hazlitt begins by reasserting the validity of Say's Law. He shows the Keynes didn't understand that Say's Law was a refutation of the popular belief that business downturns are a result of general overproduction. Of course, there can be no general overproduction, only relative overproduction. Say's Law is the economic truth that demand in the market place is derived from that which has been produced, that purchasing power grows out of production, and that people produce not for the sake of production but for the sake of consumption. Hazlitt reminds us that we must affirm the validity of Say's Law when anybody is foolish enough to reject it.[...]

Hazlitt illustrates Keynes's utter confusion on the Savings = Investment issue. Keynes foolishly argued that Savings did not equal Investment in "A Treatise on Money." Keynes was embarrassed to admit his confusion in the General Theory and states that Savings does equal Investment. Of course the whole Keynesian theory of unemployment rests upon Savings being unequal to Investment, so Keynes contradicts himself and returns to his older concepts in the latter part of "The General Theory".

Hazlitt points out that the Propensity to Consume is littered with fallacy.
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 31, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is still in print and can be purchased at the Mises Instituted web site (mises.org). One of the best, and least read books on economics. Most economics PhD's have probably never heard of this book, which refutes much of what they learned in graduate school. The book is essentially a companion volume to Keynes' "General Theory", and as such, deliberately follows the same organization, which Hazlitt explicitly apologizes for in the introduction. Hazlitt addresses "General Theory" paragraph by paragraph (and sometimes sentence by sentence) and demolishes almost everything Keynes wrote. By following Keynes'discussion in this manner, Hazlitt is able to clearly show how Keynes constantly contradicts himself and changes the meaning of his words, often within the same paragraph. At the end of the book, Hazlitt calls "General Theory" for what it is: Das Capital in (thin) disguise. And as always, Hazlitt's writing style makes even the most obscure issues easy to understand.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Tom on April 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
Hazlitt dissects Keynes' famous book line by line, clause by clause, occasionally word by word, and exposes every single writhing equivocation, fallacy, and idiocy. Keynes's child is held under a microscope and seen to be Gargantuan mass of [...].
Read this book prior to listening to any modern political speech, and be prepared to simultaneously laugh and cringe.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Paul Rantanen on April 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
Hazlitt probably did not have fun writing this book. After all a chapter by chapter refutation of the General Theory means that one has to actually read the General Theory first...

Since only a part of the General Theory has been adapted to modern mainstream thinking, Hazlitt goes through a lot of nonsense that hasn't been relevant for decades. But there are some really juicy parts in this book that make it worth the read. Whether it's the magic of the multiplier, how Say owns Keynes or when it's just so ridiculous it's almost funny.

Obviously there's nothing funny here, since to many Keynes is still the ultimate maestro of macro. These people should read this book, because this book documents almost every Keynesian fallacy that there is, and certainly the most relevant ones.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By R. Jongkind on November 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
Hazlitt crushes Keynes' theory bij pinpointing the flaws in the basic premises of the GT. Nevertheless it doesn't take an intellectual to see that absurdities like consumption limits production are completely fallacious. Economics is about voluntary actions not about psychological constructs. In addition I dare to state that Keynes' socialist propaganda has ruined many countries and people, e.g. The Netherlands.

I personally prefer Murray Rothbard's critics of the GT (in man, Economy and State). I would also recommend Hoppe's 'Misesian case against Keynes' (1992), available for free [...]

I'd like to conclude with the words of Hoppe:
"Here we have Keynes, then: the twentieth century's most famous "economist." Out of false theories of employment, money, and interest, he has distilled a fantastically wrong theory of capitalism and of a socialist paradise erected out of paper money."
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37 of 47 people found the following review helpful By D. W. MacKenzie on April 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
Henry Hazlitt critiqued Keynes at a time when Keynesian ideas dominated professional opinion (1959). Hazlitt lacked credentials as an economist, but he still weighed in with an effective critique of Keynes. First of all, Hazlitt makes the historical point that the ideas attributed to Keynes were largely not original to Keynes. While it is true that Keynes was involved in the development and popularization of what came to be known as Keynesian economics, the fact of the matter is that other economists published similar ideas years before Keynes, and aggregate demand type explanations of The Great Depression were already widely known and well on the way to broad acceptance.

Hazlitt also defends the idea that excessively high wages are the primary cause of unemployment, and rightly so. A recent study by two UCLA economists confirms that Great Depression unemployment was driven by excessively high wages. Hazlitt also picks apart the details of Keynes theoretical arguments, and defends Say's Law of Markets. Hazlitt further points out the absurdity of Keynes' contention that capital can be made abundant, so the marginal efficiency of capital can go to zero. Hazlitt also notes that Keynes advocated ultimate policies that would result in socialism (i.e. the euthanasia of the rentier and the socialization of investment).

Hazlitt pointed to serious deficiencies in Keynes' so called General Theory. In doing so he was ahead of the trend among professional economists, who rejected Keynesian economics in the late sixties and early seventies. Nowadays there is less need for a critique of Keynes actual writings, because his "General" theory is seldom read, even by professional economists. Consequently, Hazlitt's book may fall into obscurity.
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