- Paperback: 242 pages
- Publisher: Mises Institute; 3rd edition (2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 161016024X
- ISBN-13: 978-1610160247
- ASIN: B000WU1IJK
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,707,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Conquest of Poverty Paperback – 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
In an easily readable style, Hazlitt begins by first demonstrating the difficulty of objectively defining poverty, and how that problem hasn't stopped bureaucrats from executing public policy to combat it. He then recounts how societies have tried to alleviate poverty in the past - starting with ancient Rome, moving through England's "Poor Laws," and finally to modern-day America - all the while, using sound economic principles to demonstrate why each attempt failed. This part in particular is a stark commentary on how man keeps making the same mistakes in trying to eradicate poverty by not learning from history - even by policy-makers in America today.
He then tackles several individual topics such as the minimum wage, the affect of unions, income redistribution, government job programs, socialism, etc., and analyzes why each not only fails to reduce poverty, but actually exacerbates it. Finally, he discusses what the roles of the public and private sectors should be in alleviating poverty.
Since the book was written in 1973, it doesn't expound on the major economic events that have occurred since - like Jimmy Carter's "stagflation," which put a stake through the heart of Keynesian economics, and Reagan's successful supply-side revolution, which vindicates much of Hazlitt's economic philosophy. However, Hazlitt's historical analysis of man's attempt to eliminate poverty, as well as his analysis and conclusions of America's present attempt to do so, are transcendant - applying today just as they did in the early 1970s. This is a must-read for any serious scholar of economics in general and poverty in particular.
The Author is one of the top economists the world has ever known, and now his field defecates on his grave.
At least some of us can understand the difference between savings and investment, spending and consumption, freedom and tyranny.
A MESSAGE TO THE AVERAGE PERSON: STOP BLAMING WAL-MART FOR YOUR PROBLEMS! IT'S THE GOVERNMENT STUPID!
The governments main method for expansion is to utilize the effects of poverty to appeal to the impoverished; and even though Mises' knows that the unemployment check is CAUSING your perpetual misery, boy do you love it, and who can blame you! The government closed your factory because the air wasn't 99.999% clean enough to breathe. Never-mind you were building air conditioners. Well, everyone will have to sweat then, who needs air conditioners anyways! Maybe communist china can make them now? Do they still accept greenbacks?
As Austrians, we know that the capitalist tide lifts all boats, but unfortunately it doesn't do it overnight. The organization and utilization of land, labor, and capital takes time, and is an ongoing process of a perpetually rising quality of life; the standard of living!
Maybe it was just a fluke that U.S. Capitalism (and its inherent freedoms) managed to last to the beginning of the 20'th century; but as we know, this is when the government delivered it's death blow to the foundations of freedom and liberty.
Now that the wedge of poverty has been driven so widely open by government and bureaucracy, it seems the next step is to plant it's egg of tyranny and totalitarianism in this chasm, to explode society apart, in a violent birth of perpetual misery.
I guess we will all have to move to capitalist china.