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Bastiat is one of economics’ great early thinkers, though sadly much less known than his contemporary Karl Marx. Diametrically opposed to Marx’ thinking, Bastiat was responsible for the concept of opportunity cost (though he didn’t call it that) and used the concept to argue strongly for the smallest possible role for government. Taxation, he argued, shifted money from citizens and the more productive private sector to the less efficient public sector and therefore had a detrimental effect on a...more
Dec 27, 2013 Lauren rated it 2 of 5 stars · review of another edition
I wound up torn on this book. The first half or so, the part that actually consisted of Bastiat's writing, was engaging and fun to read, if a little awkwardly translated at parts. I felt that he relied a little too strongly on straw men and reductio ad absurdum, but I'll take the foreword's advice and chalk it up to historical difference. Overall, it was a fun read for someone who tends to disagree the libertarian position more often than not. The second half or so, however, I found drearily dul...more
It is popularly said, "We're all Keyensians now." The world has bought into the idea that the economy is fueled by spending rather than by saving. In a time when savings has fallen by the wayside, Bastiat's economic arguments in favor of thrift are needed more than ever. This volume provides a useful explanation of how thrift grows the economy in the long run. It also describes how protectionism harms the economy. Concrete analogies are used, and Bastiat emphasizes the importance of what is "uns...more
I cannot recommend this collection of essays highly enough. For over 160 years now a battle of ideas (and sometimes, more than ideas) has been raging between competing political, social, and economic philosophies. While you have no doubt heard of the likes of Karl Marx, it's not as likely that you have heard of the likes of Frédéric Bastiat. Both were publishing their ideas at roughly the same time, but their views were light years apart. First, if you haven't done so already, read "The Communis...more
It boggles the mind that the so-called intelligent economists of our time could be so un-intelligent in their decision making, giving government more and more powers to intervene in a so-called free-market system. Refreshing and simple arguments debunking complicated economic problems.
Claude Frédéric Bastiat (29 June 1801 – 24 December 1850) was a French classical liberal theorist, political economist, and member of the French assembly.More about Frédéric Bastiat...