Economics in One Lesson

The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics

by Henry Hazlitt

First published in 1946 and then republished in 1962 and 1979, Hazlitt’s definitive work has been lauded by thousands as the unsurpassed primer on economics.

Hazlitt’s premise is boldly contained in his classic “one sentence” found in Chapter One and it goes like this:

“The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.”

Hazlitt relates the story of the “broken window” which Fredrick Bastiat so eloquently exposed when he proved that war, or destruction of any person or property, can never stimulate the economy but only benefits specific individuals or élites within a society.

From minimum wages to inflation, and from taxation to unionized labor, Hazlitt consistently proves that only by considering the consequences on an entire population rather than specialized specific sects of society can one really determine if the economy is improved or worsened because of any regulation or policy that is forced or adopted by that society.

Economics in One Lesson is a book that needs to be read and re-read by everybody who truly wants the world to become a better place to live and enjoy.

Review by Tomas McFie

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