Economics in One Lesson
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Top customer reviews
If you believe that government is the answer to every problem then this isn't the book for you - you will disagree with something on almost every page. If you think our government is the problem then buy this now and you will be reassured to discover just how right you are.
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.
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
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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