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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, elegant, persuasive
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...
Published on 7 Jun 2006 by Sébastien Pétain

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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An introduction, but can be a little wordy and tedious!
A fairly straightforward book explaining in simple terms some very basic economic principles. However, I felt that the information imparted could have been done in a much shorter book as it tends to go on in much the same way about each subject, often veering dangerously close to being a rant. Mr Hazlitt writes in the style of a grumpy, opinionated Daily Mail reader,...
Published on 10 Nov 2011 by David Hampson


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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, elegant, persuasive, 7 Jun 2006
This review is from: Economics in One Lesson (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. It is inviting in its style and flattering in its treatment of the reader. The book does not seek to instruct in complicated economic theories. Instead, it lays out the simple underpinnings of the liberal market analysis and attempts to highlight the immediate shortcomings of rival positions. It is a book that is a pleasure to read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One simple lesson, 15 Nov 2009
By 
Mariusz Skonieczny "Author" (classicvalueinvestors com) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Economics in One Lesson (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
By 
Shane Slade (Sevenoaks, Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Economics in One Lesson (Paperback)
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
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
This review is from: Economics in One Lesson (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.
No mathematical equations or graphs make this book easy on the eye as you are not stumbling at each chapter's new interpretation of how maths can help in economics. Hazlitt instead uses hidden mathematics, in the form of logical arguments, designed to highlight the truth stripped bare of advanced maths and technical jargon. This was a large part of the books appeal for myself as even though I read many popular economics books in my spare time, the study of academic economics escapes me via my lack of a mathematical degree, though that doesn't stop many people, this makes the perfect book for the economic hobbyist, writer or commentator, as it covers the groundwork with great precision and gives enough to get by in any debate between friends over dinner.
Even though this was originally written in 1946, over sixty years ago, the advice Hazlitt imparts seems timeless. If we could make every politician read and absorb this book, we would get more interesting debates and chances are a more positive outlook for Britain. Unfortunately because it is not biased by political agendas, chances are it would be ignored by all parties, which is a shame.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An introduction, but can be a little wordy and tedious!, 10 Nov 2011
By 
David Hampson "kuma" (Reading, Berkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Economics in One Lesson (Paperback)
A fairly straightforward book explaining in simple terms some very basic economic principles. However, I felt that the information imparted could have been done in a much shorter book as it tends to go on in much the same way about each subject, often veering dangerously close to being a rant. Mr Hazlitt writes in the style of a grumpy, opinionated Daily Mail reader, something I found a little irritating, and his general response to anyone who has an outlook different to him is to label them fools, idiots or just plain stupid rather than clearly refuting their arguments.

The economics is solid, unbending free market economics presented without any figures or real-life examples (with some minor exceptions), there is certainly no social dimension to the subject, and there is no consideration that economies may be distorted by anything other than supply, demand and/or government interference. Personally I was a little uncomfortable with the lack of what I would regard as a key element to the subject and certainly strikes me as needing consideration as this factor is why the practice differs so radically from the theory presented here.

Personally I was expecting something a little more substantial from what the book promised. Condensed into maybe 40-50 pages with some clear examples and further chapters translating the theory into practice combined with a friendlier tone would have made this the essential primer this book masquerades as.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest One Lesson You'll Ever Have, 24 Dec 2009
I studied economics for two years at A level, but my economics education really started when I discovered this book.

Economics in One Lesson is based on That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Not Seen, and in particular, a specific famous insight in Bastiat's essay, known as "The Broken Window Fallacy". This is the idea that a breaker of a window (or any other economic resource) should be praised because his destruction has actually spurred increased economic activity (for the glazier, his baker, butcher etc.). This is false because it ignores the other side of the "transaction". If the citizen whose window was broken wasn't broken, they would have spent the money elsewhere, and the exact same amount of economic activity would have occurred, albeit in slightly different spheres -- to boot, of course, society would be one window richer. Thus the destruction actually destroys economic wealth.

Hazlitt applies this to various socialist/interventionist policies (or proposed policies) of his day, and shows how these all actually reduce society's total wealth. Although this book wasn't written contemporaneously, all Hazlitt's analysis is extremely relevant today.

In short, I think everyone should read this book.

Other similar recommended books:

Economics for Real People: An Introduction to the Austrian School
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism (Politically Incorrect Guides)
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars free market economics, 17 Nov 2004
This review is from: Economics in One Lesson (Paperback)
If you want a simple book about right wing - free market economics this is the book. It's written in a simple manner that even I with no economic background can understand. Specifically the book adovacates less government, less tax and less bureacracy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The economics book that everybody should read, 1 Jun 2013
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This is the book that debunks all the Keynesian nonsense that has damaged the advanced western economies. It provides a lucid explanation of basic economics through one basic lesson - when considering what economic policy to pursue it is vital to consider not just what is seen - i.e. the obvious consequences of that policy - but also what is not seen. This is sometimes known as the 'broken window fallacy' first set out by the eminent 19th century French economist Bastiat. We see versions of this still cropping up today - even by Nobel prize winning economists who claim that such things as disasters (natural or man made) can be good for the economy by providing work for reconstruction. The idea that destruction of things that are not obsolete is a good thing could only be believed by an academic economist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book, 13 May 2013
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This review is from: Economics in One Lesson (Paperback)
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 understand. I now realise I knew more than that person... :)
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Economics in One Lesson
Economics in One Lesson by H Hazlitt (Paperback - 20 May 2010)
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