Economics in One Lesson

Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks | ISBN: 0786199172 | PDF (218pages) | 2.3MB | MP3(128kbps) | 140MB |

In this presentation you'll hear excerpts from along with quotes from Hazlitt's other works and from the authors who influenced his thought. You'll also hear Hazlitt's account of the fallacies that for decades have corrupted economic insight and understanding. Economics in One Lesson is a clear and concise explanation of opportunity cost and price incentives. This book is extremely useful as a supplemental text. The reason why is that most modern economics textbooks pass over opportunity cost too quickly. The basic idea of opportunity cost is easy, but students need to see how the opportunity cost concept applies universally.

One way to learn opportunity cost is to read Cost and Choice, by JM Buchanan. Cost and Choice is a great little book, but it does not work well for an intro class. Bastiat wrote some classic essays on opportunity cost, but his work could be seen as a little dated. Of course, opportunity cost is itself timeless, but Bastiat aimed at explaining the general applicability of opportunity cost reasoning to a nineteenth century audience.

Economics in One Lesson is a modern restatement of Bastiat's essays. Hazlitt writes to counter mid twentieth century Keynesian fallacies. This is an important aim. All to many of us believe that disasters like 9-11 and Katrina created jobs. Too many of us fail to see that the labor and capital that goes into reconstruction has forgone alternative uses. Too many of us believe that capital itself causes unemployment by replacing labor. Labor saved by capital has alternative uses. Even some economists can benefit from reading this book (if they have an open mind) because too few of us see how government spending and credit expansion can displace and distort private sector spending. This is not to say that the free markets never have any slack or are perfect, but the Old Keynesian belief that activist fiscal and monetary policy can permanently increase real GDP is not well founded. Any New Keynesian will tell you that Hazlitt was right about the Old Keynesian economic program.


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