Monday, January 07, 2008

Economics in One Lesson

I am reading Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt, and will be enjoying Dana's and Cindy's tutorials as I go along.

Two things about this book appealed to me from the start - on the cover is this subtitle: "The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics," and on the back is this great plug from H.L. Mencken: "He is one of the few economists in human history who could really write."

I started reading this today and am wondering why I waited so long. This is a good book. And I think my children will enjoy it. At least they'll find it as understandable as books they've read by Thomas Sowell and by Walter Williams.

Two ideas in these first five chapters that are easy to understand, and that I want my children to know are these:
"...need is not demand."
"...the wanton destruction of anything of real value is always a net loss, a misfortune, or a disaster, and whatever the offsetting considerations in a particular instance, can never be, on net balance, a boon or a blessing."

Now go read Cindy and Dana and learn something.



Blogger Dana said...

*Need is not demand* is a good one for children to learn....

It would make a good essay title :)

6:29 AM  
Blogger Carmon Friedrich said...

That's great your children have been reading Austrian economics! Do you have them do it for school?

Did you hear Walter Williams's wife just died? He wrote a beautiful tribute to her.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Yes, for school, but also so they can learn that writers of non-fiction can write books that are enjoyable for pleasure-reading, too!

I did not know about Walter Williams's wife. Is the tribute to her available on the internet?

9:44 AM  
Blogger Dominion Family said...

I have only read one book by Thomas Sowell but I found it enjoyable. I only know WW from Rush Limbaugh but I am sorry to hear about his wife; he always spoke lovingly of her.

Which of their books do you recommend for high school students?

9:52 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

By Williams: Do the Right Thing and More Liberty Means Less Government.

By Sowell: Basic Economics and Classical Economics Revisted.

Everything I've read by both of those men has been good - to the point of recommending the books to others and buying them to give as gifts. And my children also enjoy their columns on the opinions page of the newspaper.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

That should read "Classical Economics Revisited." Not "revisted."

10:15 AM  
Blogger Brandy said...

It excites me to see your children studying this! We are still little, but I think it would be so fun to study together in the future. My dad started me on Hayek in late high school. Road to Serfdom and one other, the name of which escapes me. Have you ever used him? I have never read Sowell, but I am feeling the urge after poking around your blog. :)

3:41 PM  
Blogger Carmon Friedrich said...

I thought I saw a longer tribute, but you can read some of what he wrote here.

12:47 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

About halfway through the first page of Hazlitt, I thought that I would definitely be reading it with my children.

I am jotting down these other titles. Thanks!!

8:02 AM  

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