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Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics Paperback – December 14, 1988
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"A magnificent job of theoretical exposition."
“I strongly recommend that every American acquire some basic knowledge of economics, monetary policy, and the intersection of politics with the economy. No formal classroom is required; a desire to read and learn will suffice. There are countless important books to consider, but the following are an excellent starting point: The Law by Frédéric Bastiat; Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt; What has Government Done to our Money? by Murray Rothbard; The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek; and Economics for Real People by Gene Callahan.
If you simply read and comprehend these relatively short texts, you will know far more than most educated people about economics and government. You certainly will develop a far greater understanding of how supposedly benevolent government policies destroy prosperity. If you care about the future of this country, arm yourself with knowledge and fight back against economic ignorance. We disregard economics and history at our own peril.”
—Ron Paul, Representative from Texas
From the Inside Flap
A simple, straightforward analysis of economic fallacies that are so prevalent they have almost become a new orthodoxy.
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For example, you can learn why the $15/hr min wage is bad, as was the $7.50/hr before it, and the $5/hr before that, ... and is it interesting reading, not loaded with boring theories and minutia.
The lesson is clear and concise. Whenever government creates an economic policy to aid a particular group, the long term effects on all groups must be considered. In short chapters free of technical economic jargon, Hazlitt explains how short term policies aimed at helping one group or another are damaging to other groups, and sometimes, even to the people the legislation is intended to help.
Everyone will have a favorite chapter or two. My own are his dissection of how the price system works in a free market system, and also, in less than six pages, an absolute devastation of the minimum wage mandate, a concept creating increased unemployment, higher costs and higher consumer prices. This is because this sort of government fiat disavows the economic truth that employees should be paid based on their own productivity. Hazlitt also points that out in his explanation that unions do not raise wages, the actual market rates for employees is the determining factor.
Underlying all of this, although unsaid, is the concept of human interaction as applied to economics, as developed by von Mises. But the complexity of that theory is too deep for Hazlitt's purposes of instruction on how macroeconomics works. And that is perfectly fine.
This is the book for everyone who wants to understand how markets work. Every legislator and every executive of any governmental body should read it, too. That however would put too much strain on most of them,for too many in the political class are concerned with their own continuous goal, staying entrenched in office. And that in itself tears sound economic policy to shreds, every day in every way.