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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 27 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
By Kliment - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Historically speaking, it is not infrequent that tyranny presents itself as good. Skillful rhetoric and unjust laws can accomplish a greater level of public plunder and serfdom than guns and brute force. It is not the tyranny of the aristocracy or the royalty that is most dangerous, but the popular tyranny - the tyranny of democracy - when the envious poor - the dumb majority - empowers the elite government to enact unjust laws, to abrogate personal freedoms, to eliminate the free market and free competition, to regulate economic activity, to cancel the right to private property and private freedom and to become that omnipotent and mandatory big brother without whom no significant aspect of human life can be lived. And all of that in the name of justice and public benefit. Frederic Bastiat unmasks the carefully implemented political and economic process through which the American and European people have been losing their individual freedoms bit by bit now for two centuries. The book demonstrates that very little of our freedom once bestowed by God and guaranteed through the constitution is left.

Besides Bastiat, I highly recommend reading the following books

1. Freedom and Prosperity in the 21st Century by George Stasen, Zviad Kliment Lazarashvili, etc.
2. Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman
3. American Heroes: Thoreau and Brown by Zviad Kliment Lazarashvili
4. The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Best Kindle edition 26 Mar. 2012
By R. Adams - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Carefully assembled, this Kindle edition contains an active table of contents. Editing and assembling this digital edition has been expertly done.

Table of Contents

Introduction by Mark Thornton

I. That Which Is Seen, and That Which Is Not Seen

1. The Broken Window
2. The Disbanding of Troops
3. Taxes
4. Theaters and Fine Arts
5. Public Works
6. The Intermediaries
7. Protectionism
8. Machinery
9. Credit
10. Algeria
11. Frugality and Luxury
12. He Who Has a Right to Work Has a Right to Profit
II. The Law

III. Government .

IV. What Is Money?

V. Capital and Interest

1. Introduction
2. Ought Capital to Produce Interest?
3. What Is Capital?
4. The Sack of Corn
5. The House
6. The Plane
7. What Regulates Interest?

VI. Economic Sophisms--First Series

1. Abundance--Scarcity
2. Obstacle--Cause
3. Effort--Result
4. To Equalize the Conditions of Production
5. Our Products Are Burdened with Taxes
6. Balance of Trade
7. Petition of the Manufacturers of Candles
8. Differential Duties--Tariffs
9. Immense Discovery
10. Reciprocity
11. Nominal Prices
12. Does Protection Raise Wages?
13. Theory--Practice
14. Conflict of Principles
15. Reciprocity Again
16. Obstruction--The Plea of the Protectionist
17. A Negative Railway
18. There Are No Absolute Principles
19. National Independence
20. Human Labor--National Labor
21. Raw Materials
22. Metaphors
23. Conclusion

VII. Economic Sophisms--Second Series

1. Natural History of Spoliation
2. Two Systems of Morals
3. The Two Hatchets
4. Lower Council of Labor
5. Dearness--Cheapness
6. To Artisans and Workmen
7. A Chinese Story
8. Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc
9. The Premium Theft--Robbery by Subsidy
10. The Tax Gatherer
11. Protection; or, The Three City Aldermen
12. Something Else
13. The Little Arsenal of the Free-Trader
14. The Right Hand and the Left
15. Domination by Labor

VIII. Harmonies of Political Economy (Book One)

To the Youth of France
1. Natural and Artificial Organization
2. Wants, Efforts, Satisfactions
3. Wants of Man
4. Exchange
5. Of Value
6. Wealth
7. Capital
8. Property--Community
9. Landed Property
10. Competition
Concluding Observations

IX. Harmonies of Political Economy (Book Two)

11. Producer--Consumer
12. The Two Aphorisms
13. Rent
14. Wages
15. Saving
16. Population
17. Private and Public Services
18. Disturbing Causes
19. War
20. Responsibility
21. Solidarity
22. Social Motive Force
23. Existence of Evil
24. Perfectibility
25. Relationship of Political Economy and Religion
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Bastiat is brilliant. 4 Feb. 2012
By Luke Orem - Published on
Format: Paperback
Every word I have ever read by this man has made me reevaluate what I know about government and economics. I believe he is on par with Thomas Paine in opening a person's mind. Find his works anyway you can and read the brilliant arguments put forth. You will be quoting him for the rest of your life.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Needs More Than Five Stars 17 Mar. 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Please read this book. Bastiat, writing in 19th century France, provided better analyses of economic and legal problems than any of the authors I have read from this century. He reduces complex problems to simple examples, and explains how many law makers provide benefit for the few at the expense of the general populace, while appearing work for the good of their constituents. He is clear (though not always concise), and the translations are very clean. If you are interested in the economic and political problems of today, start with Bastiat. He will give you an excellent basis for evaluating the works of today's authors.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A brilliant collection of brilliant works 13 Sept. 2012
By Geoff Puterbaugh - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I will try to keep this review short.

First, the Kindle price for this collection is astonishingly low. You may spend more on lunch at McDonald's than for this 1,000-page compendium of the world's greatest economist.

Why is he great? Because he knows how to keep things simple, and point out "that which is unseen" as opposed to "that which is seen." I'll give just one example.

Suppose you meet some gushing bejewelled woman at a party, who exclaims, "It is SO important for government to support the arts! We're not barbarians, after all!"

Bastiat would simply reply, "So, is it the duty of the government to decrease the salary of the average working-man, so it can increase the salary of the 'artist'?"

That is a good example of "the unseen." "Oh, let's have the government support XYZ" usually overlooks the fact that some poor sucker is going to be coerced into paying for XYZ.

A fabulous compendium.
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