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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/8708/economics-in-one-lesson-is-still-relevant/

Economics in One Lesson Is Still Relevant

October 6, 2008 by

I continue to be struck by the relevance of Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson even though it was published over sixty years ago. The Mises Institute’s new edition, with an introduction by Walter Block, will make Hazlitt’s insights accessible to a new generation of students and readers. We have made much progress during the decades since Hazlitt first put pen to paper and applied Frederic Bastiat’s insights about “that which is seen, and that which is not seen” to a variety of issues. FULL ARTICLE

{ 6 comments }

Inquisitor October 6, 2008 at 11:46 am

Did Hazlitt ever delve into sociology? Philosophy? &c. Because I am sure there are other disciplines, such as those, with even more errors and fallacies present than economics.

Richard October 6, 2008 at 12:18 pm

This book will always hold a special place in my heart. While I had been bored to tears by my university economics classes, Hazlitt made economics supremely interesting and allowed me to see the far-reaching effects of policy decisions.
This book should be read by all. Maybe Paul Krugman could learn a thing or two…

Don October 6, 2008 at 1:24 pm

My experience is much the same as Richard’s. I latched on to Hazlitt’s work after already having been exposed to the dubious benefits of Paul Samuelson and Walter Heller. Once I had digested Hazlitt’s Economics In One Lesson, the journey led to Rothbard and von Mises as well as others disciplined via the Austrian School. I still give away a copy of the book now and then to a friend or customer, when the discussion turns to the economy, business and politics, because it remains today as relevant as it was in 1946.

Speedmaster October 6, 2008 at 2:19 pm

Still relevant?! That’s a massive understatement! ;-)

David Ch October 7, 2008 at 5:32 am

INquisitor said
Did Hazlitt ever delve into sociology? Philosophy? &c. Because I am sure there are other disciplines, such as those, with even more errors and fallacies present than economics.

I cant speak for philosophy because other than Spinoza, I cant make head or tail of what most were talking about, and it largely doesnt seem to matter in the here and now. But as for Sociology…..well, sociology does not contain fallacies and errors, it is itself fallacious and erroneous.

If psychology studies the human mind at the individual level, and sociology studies interaction between humans, then on the narrow view, economics is a sub-discipline of sociology.

But while this might be true of other schools, which tend to confine themselves to money-denominated transactions both individual and aggregated, economics as articulated by LvM in ‘Human action’ is not confined to mere money. It comprises all that is relevant in sociology. All human interaction is ultimately economic interaction, whether it is a husband and wife deciding who takes out the trash and who cooks dinner, or a charitable donor funding a worthy cause he believes in, or derivatives traders entering into futures contracts with one another. At root, all social activity is economic in nature.

ramiro August 9, 2011 at 5:29 pm

You quoted the following:
“Profits and losses tell entrepreneurs whether they have created value or wasted resources, and market prices tell people what others are willing to give up to get an additional unit of a good or service. If the market is left to its own devices, the price will be an accurate reflection of what something is worth at a given point in time. When the government intervenes, it forces the prices to lie: the signals about the costs and benefits of different actions will be distorted.”

So let me ask you the following:

You are sitting down watching TV and suddenly there is a massive earthquake that cuts off your city’s potable water supply. You are incredibly thirsty, but there is no water. However, if you truly believe what you just wrote down, they you would have to conclude that if government intervenes by bringing in fresh water supplies, then this distorts the true value of the water from a supply/demand point of view. In not many words, the market knows best. So if the market determines that the price of potable water in an emergency should be $25/gallon with no government intervention, then I would expect you to stick to your principles and not complain a bit about the price.

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