©1962, 1979 by Henry Hazlitt; (P)1996 by Blackstone Audiobooks
"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)
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.
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?
I mistakenly thought this was a basic textbook on economic theory - a good starting place or refresher. But it's not. Instead, it's a series of of arguments in favor of post-WWII conservative economic policies. It doesn't start with "what is economics" like a real course, but dives right into critiques of high taxes, big government, etc. It makes some good points, but it's so one-sided that it seems untrustworthy. Also, it's from the mid-1940's, and some of the proposals are obsolete. If the author had limited himself to teaching basic economic theory, the book would have aged better, but since he's arguing for specific doctrines, it's out of date. If you're very conservative, you might like hearing these arguments for what you already believe. If you're looking for an even-handed objective book on economic theory, I don't recommend this.
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.
Family on the move.
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.
If it had a few chapters on how things had changed in a global economy
Not only an economic lesson, but preaching from the pulpit. Lots of one sided examples to support his theory, with no explanation of how other things worked that did well and go against his theory. There is one point of view that is right and it is the authors.
Avid Book Listener
Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell is equally brilliant.
I don't understand the question
This book is all you need to know about economics and nothing you don't.
This is the best primer on economics ever. If you know nothing about economics you must listen to this book. This book explains how the economy actually works. It is as timely today as it was 30, 40 or 50 years ago.
This is a great refresher of basic economic principals. It takes the tact of refuting economic fallacies proffered by politicians pandering to various special interests and the broad voting class with little or no understanding of economics. While the book is somewhat dated in context having been rewritten in the late 1970s, the principals are intact. In fact, there are frightening correlations for our current state and many statements that foreshadow turmoil we have since encountered.
Economics should be taught in every high school and probably required before we receive the right to vote.
Blast from past.
While you listen to Hazlitt expound upon the mistakes of 1940's America, the darkness closes in on you as you realize that none of the lessons have been learned and that the same mistakes are being repeated. And not just repeated, but repeated with grandeur as Hazlitt predicted 70 and 40 years ago (the book was revised in the 1970's but not much).
He has an engaging and professional voice.
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.
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.
"awesome book. must read"
only negative is that Jeff isn't the most excitable narrator, but the content is too good and an awesome purchase
"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.
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