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Nov 19, 2008

Economics in One Lesson: The Lesson

Economics in One Lesson
11/19/08 - Henry Hazlitt (1946) at Hacer.org (pdf)

These are the simple facts you need to know about economics. But, you say that you don't need to know? That is why you let politicians ruin the economy and steal from your future. Henry Hazlitt's plain, short, and important book is available free in the PDF file at the above link, or purchase it at Amazon. Short chapters cover all the details.

[edited] Economics is haunted by more fallacies than any subject known to man. This is no accident. The difficulties of the subject are great enough, and they are multiplied a thousandfold by the special pleadings of selfish interests.

Every group has interests antagonistic to all other groups. Some public policies benefit everybody in the long run. Other policies benefit only one group at the expense of all other groups. The group that benefits by such policies has such a direct interest in them that they argue for them plausibly and persistently. The group hires the best buyable minds to present its case. It will either convince the public that its case is sound, or so befuddle the argument that clear thinking becomes next to impossible.

A second factor spawns new economic fallacies every day. People see only the immediate effects of a given policy or its effects only on a special group. They neglect to ask what the long-run effects of that policy will be, not only on that special group, but on all groups. It is the fallacy of overlooking secondary consequences.

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