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Economics in One Lesson [Hardcover]

Henry Hazlitt
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Harper & Brothers (1946)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 112191523X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1121915237
  • ASIN: B0007DDZ8O
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 13.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,193,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
ECONOMICS IS HAUNTED by more fallacies than any other study known to man. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, elegant, persuasive 7 Jun 2006
Format:Paperback
This writing in this book is straightforward yet beautifully elegant. The author examines over twenty commonly held economic assumptions. In doing so, he exposes what he considers to be faulty thinking and widely assumed fallacies.

This book is written from a classical liberal standpoint. Each `fallacy' is considered in a discrete chapter. Each chapter is in itself a separate little essay. Each little essay builds upon the previous one in explaining a little more of the theories that underpin economic thoughts.

More than anything else, this book attempts to demonstrate that the art of economics is considering not just what is seen in any transaction, but also what is unseen. Often, it explains that a policy designed to achieve a desirable X will have the unintended consequence of creating an undesirable Y which is worse than the original problem that was to be solved.

For instance, if a shop window is broken it must be replaced. It will create employment for the glazier. Many will think this makes the economy richer. However, the shopkeeper may have been planning a different purchase, such as a car or a computer. The shopkeeper will have to purchase a new window. He may no longer be able to afford the computer. So at the end, the shopkeeper is poorer than before - he has only one window whereas he would have had one window and one computer.

This analysis is then applied to the state as a whole. Hazlitt points out what are the immediately visible results of any action. He then attempts to demonstrate what are the invisible consequences. His conclusion is that too often, we do not see the invisible consequences of our or our government's actions.

This is a very accessible work.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One simple lesson 15 Nov 2009
Format:Paperback
The authors who understand the subject really well are able to explain it in simple and easy to understand language. This is what I feel that this book is all about. The author explains the economy in one lesson: policies should take into consideration the long-term consequences as well as short-term, and they should consider the effects on all groups, not just few. Wow, so simple, but unfortunately this is not how our policy makers think.

I think that high school students should read this book before they enroll in economic courses that bore them to death with all the graphs and mathematical calculations. I really appreciate that this book is simple but to the point - even junior high school students would understand it. I highly recommend it.

- Mariusz Skonieczny, author of Why Are We So Clueless about the Stock Market? Learn how to invest your money, how to pick stocks, and how to make money in the stock market
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ecomomics for the Everyman 24 Mar 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For most of my life I have paid little attention to theoretical economics and I suspect this is true for most people. However the current disastrous financial dilemmas awoke my interest. I quickly came across the Austrian school of economists and Hazlitt can be classed with them. The writing here is succinct and non technical and full of common sense, a quality missing from almost all economists and politicians.

The economic theory advanced here is illustrative of a persuasive broader philosophy which argues against the interference of the state in our daily lives. I suggest that if this book is to your taste you explore his other works which (in the absence of availability on Amazon) can be obtained at the Ludwig Von Mises Institute in America with the other Austrian school writers.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Says all that needs to be said 1 Nov 2009
Format:Paperback
This book is a great introduction to economics. Hazlitt's writing is concise and devoid of academic jargon. Although much of this book was written sixty years ago - though he did add some new stuff in the late seventies - his lesson is still very relevant. Sadly, governments seem incapable of heeding this advice.

Opportunity cost is perhaps the central theme of this book, or the fact that there's no such thing as a free lunch. Every benefit governments choose to dole out on our behalf has a cost and needs to be paid for out of the proceeds of production. If more people took account of these hidden costs and long-term consequences we'd live in a better world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless classic without the politics 10 Sep 2011
By Den
Format:Paperback
If you wanted a crash course in Economic theory, you could do far worse than read Henry Hazlitt's `economics in one lesson'. The writing is an easy style that requires no previous training in economics, it is divided in to easily digested chapters covering a particular economic fallacy and correction, with each following chapter building upon its' predecessor.
This is very much from the Austrian economics branch, with a certain theme of more liberty and less Government being a key concept, but unlike say Paul Krugman, Hazlitt does not come down heavy on the politics, preferring empiricism over political ideologies. Hazlitt is able to succinctly tell us why things are the way they are, rather than the tired `if the world were a fair place' brand of left thinking economists.
A key ingredient in this book is in training the layman to think the way a good economist would think about things. For example while most people will applaud Governments that create jobs for people to get them off the dole queue, Hazlitt asks us to look beyond the obvious to the domino effect that Governments creating unnecessary jobs are doing. In this case if the Government creates a job that could or is being provided by the private sector, for each job created and paid for by taxpayers' money, someone in the private sector is no longer filling that job role. If they are no longer employed they are on the dole queue and not contributing to the false job recently created by central Government and over the long term this is entirely infeasible, costly and unproductive waste of tax payers cash. There are many more examples littered throughout the book that make you think differently to the norm, it makes you think like an economist, or at least a good economist.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are interested in economy then this is a book for you.
I would recommend this book for everyone who is really interested in economy.
I choose this rating because it explains the idea of `free market` which is in this case an... Read more
Published 1 month ago by pawelgonzalez
5.0 out of 5 stars Could not make it clearer
Despite gross simplifications, makes the essence of economic policy making crystal clear. Direct, amusing style. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Eugene Belin
5.0 out of 5 stars The only book on economics that you need to ever read.
If you only read one book on economics make it this one. It should be compulsory at school level, as much for the teachers as the pupils! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars SIMPLE TRUTHS THAT ARE SIMPLY IGNORED
First published in 1946, Hazlitt's slim volume is an all-out attack on Keynesian macroeconomic theory in general and President Franklin D Roosevelt's 'New Deal' interventionist... Read more
Published 5 months ago by AD Coker
5.0 out of 5 stars Explodes the myths
I bought this some time ago and it ended up in the 'to read' pile. As I was going on hols I thought I should read it as it was recommended. Glad I did. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Tim Burr
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on economics I've read
Although it was written half a century ago, its language is fresher than most contemporary works. Hazlitt explains common economic fallacies in simple terms that are clear,... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Steve Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars The economics book that everybody should read
This is the book that debunks all the Keynesian nonsense that has damaged the advanced western economies. Read more
Published 10 months ago by dikdok
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
Arrived on time and was in excellent condition ... I am enjoying the lesson in Economics and am now understanding it, something I was told I wasn't intelligent enough to... Read more
Published 11 months ago by trishanne
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read; worth the time (and money, although not expensive)...
An excellent read; I fully recommend it. It's very insightful into the fundamentals that all of Economics is based on and easy to read for someone who has not really done Economics... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jordan Norris
5.0 out of 5 stars Crystal clear
This is a very readable book, written without jargon. Mr Hazlitt argues against some popular beliefs about the benefit of government interventions (e.g. Read more
Published 20 months ago by O kellie-smith
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