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Economics in One Lesson | [Henry Hazlitt]

Economics in One Lesson

Called by H.L. Mencken, "one of the few economists in history who could really write," Henry Hazlitt achieved lasting fame for his brilliant but concise work. In it, he explains basic truths about economics and the economic fallacies responsible for unemployment, inflation, high taxes, and recession.
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Publisher's Summary

Called by H.L. Mencken, "one of the few economists in history who could really write," Henry Hazlitt achieved lasting fame for his brilliant but concise work. In it, he explains basic truths about economics and the economic fallacies responsible for unemployment, inflation, high taxes, and recession. Covering considerable ground, Hazlitt illustrates the destructive effects of taxes, rent and price controls, inflation, trade restrictions, and minimum wage laws. And, he writes about key classical liberal thinkers like John Locke, Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, John Stuart Mill, Alexis de Tocqueville, and Herbert Spencer.

©1962, 1979 by Henry Hazlitt; (P)1996 by Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"If there were a Nobel Prize for clear economic thinking, Mr. Hazlitt's book would be a worthy recipient...like a surgeon's scalpel, it cuts through...much nonsense that has been written in recent years about our economic ailments." (J.W. Hanes, former Undersecretary of the Treasury)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Kenrick Alhambra, CA, USA 10-10-03
    Kenrick Alhambra, CA, USA 10-10-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Truly an amazing work."

    The book explains sophisticated concepts in very understandable terms. It helped me analyze the strengths and weaknesses of various economic actions even though I had no real prior economics training. A must for lawyers, investors, or any person who uses money in society.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ferg Merkl Canada 10-12-07
    Ferg Merkl Canada 10-12-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    "New to Economics? Start here!"

    This book is a wonderful introduction to Economics for those (like myself) unfamiliar with the field. The author clearly and logically illustrates economic principles by examining what he takes to be the major economic fallacy of modern times: That all public spending and intervention is only good, and has no secondary consequences.

    Mr. Hazlett sets out his one lesson in the first 20 minutes, and then uses the rest of his effort to illustrate using easily understood examples and actual scenarios. This contact with reality is refreshing for those wearied by the large amount of theoretical illustrations employed by other economists.

    Although his views will be out of favour with many North Americans and their increasing devotion to government spending & protectionism, Hazlett presents a surprisingly balanced case for his one lesson.

    As the examples unfold, we are reminded that unions are NOT always bad, government spending is NOT always bad, we DO need to consider those who have lost work due to large scale shifts in the workplace due to technology.

    The one lesson comes back to it's origin: There are consequences to our actions.

    We are encouraged to consider those consequences, think first, and then act. This is a bad thing?

    19 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Captain Amazing Amazingville, USA 02-01-03
    Captain Amazing Amazingville, USA 02-01-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The truth about Economics"

    This book is excellent as it takes the myths that people have about economics and gives instruction on the falsehoods of those statements. Myths people have such as "War is good for the economy" etc. are expertly handled. This book was written some time ago and stands the test of time. These principles ring true years later. If you want to continue to believe that you can get something for nothing or that through higher taxes and more government spending you will have a greater society then don't buy this book. If you want to understand the truth of economics then look no further.

    32 of 39 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Squires 12-30-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is a timeless classic"

    The way economics is explained today is intimidating. Henry Hazlitt takes the intimidation out of it and lays out a common sense masterpiece that half a century later is as relevant today as when it was written.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grunt Style 10-08-09
    Grunt Style 10-08-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent, Could of been written yesterday."

    Very a-matter-of-fact with data to reinforce positions. However, no political positions are taken. Speaks of whole economics between nations and within governments, not personal or very much business economics. This book could of been written yesterday on topics such as, unions, welfare, stimulus, subsities, government price fixing and tarrifs.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erin&Merilee DeSpain Virginia 08-13-05
    Erin&Merilee DeSpain Virginia 08-13-05 Member Since 2001

    Family on the move.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    61
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    "Guide to Conservative Economics"

    While this book has a hugely conservative bent and doesn't take into account the value of any other economic ideas. It is a very good overview of the major arguments with which macro-economists work. It is quite insightful in some of its analogies and comparisons, and sure to be mind-expanding for those unfamiliar with economics.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Moorestown, NJ, USA 10-16-09
    Eric Moorestown, NJ, USA 10-16-09 Member Since 2009
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    "Hazlitt debunks the biggest fallacies"

    Dumb title, awesome content. For anyone interested in the truth about economics and government intervention. Hazlitt doesnt get caught up in numbers. Just the truth about economics and unintendend consequences of free market interventions. Great book for people just starting out with economics OR people already schooled in it. Suits the whole range.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Petticrew Colorado 10-21-05
    Dennis Petticrew Colorado 10-21-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "A great primer on economics"

    If you've ever wondered about the effects of government intervention in the economy and why they continue to try failed policies, this is the book for you.

    Highly recommended.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Ewing Clayton, CA, United States 10-09-08
    David Ewing Clayton, CA, United States 10-09-08 Member Since 2005
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    "Should be required reading for all voters"

    I LOVED this book. It was clear and easy to follow. Most of all, it was so compelling and the logic was so sound. Too often we ignore sound economic wisdom in the pursuit of small gain. The results are all to predictable. (Can you say financial crisis?) Do yourself a favor and enjoy this quick listen. You will be so much wiser as a result.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noah Ames, IA, USA 04-30-05
    Noah Ames, IA, USA 04-30-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A rational approach to economics"

    This book is an excellent choice for anyone who holds reason and logic as values. Hazlitt takes a clear, methodical approach to economics, explaining the problems with Keynesian doctrines and their adoptance by politicians everywhere.

    What is the one lesson Hazlitt wishes to teach us? It is simple and common sense: with economics, one must think long-term and long-range. In economics, like in any other aspect of reality, there are no silver bullets, no magic, and those policies that promise results that seem to good to be true, probably are.

    The most important consequence of this book is that government control cannot result in good economies. The current policies of governments across the world are causing their economies to collapse. The reason is simple, and it is explained by Hazlitt in crystal-clear detail: you cannot avoid the long-range consequences of bad policy. For those who wonder why deficits continue to increase and inflation is mistakenly considered a fact of life, listen to this book for a clear understanding of the underlying causes.

    The author DOES have a one-sided view, and that is precisely what is needed. The current fashionable economic views in politics must be opposed, not presented as some sort of acceptable alternative.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
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  • Sean
    benfleet, essex, United Kingdom
    10/24/10
    Overall
    "Sensible economics"

    This book provides an elementary lesson in Economics. It's a plea for free market economics and only for government to intervene when it's absolutely necessary. It shows up economic fallacies like trying control prices, rent controls, subsidizing farmers, unions and protectionist activities and lots of other things. This book really made me think and change some of my views.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Adam
    londonUnited Kingdom
    6/2/08
    Overall
    "Flawed, but still an interesting read."

    Whilst interesting from a historical point of view, the ideas in the book have become dated.
    The book is not a basic introduction to economics, but rather a dissection of many economic policies (mainly from the middle of the 20th century, and not terrible applicable to 21st century England).
    The book is espouses a view point that was popular in 1970?s American right-wing economic thinking. Whist great in theory many of the augments don?t hold up in the real world, and there are also some inconsistencies between his own ideas within the book. Where the book really falls down is to mistake economics for an exact science, and to suggest policies based purely on theory.
    If it was less preachy, had even the slightest bit of supporting data, and slightly more aware that it was dealing with theory not real-life, it would have been great. Never-the-less an interesting read.

    6 of 11 people found this review helpful
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