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Essays on political economy

4.45 of 5 stars 4.45  ·  rating details  ·  177 ratings  ·  15 reviews
This volume is produced from digital images created through the University of Michigan University Library's preservation reformatting program.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by University of Michigan Library (first published June 1st 1968)
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Frederic Bastiat is an economic genius. His work is timeless because he excoriates a government that steals from one group to give to another under the rubric of welfare, or helping the downtrodden. By definition it is stealing from one group to enrich another. The government, be it 19th century France, or 21st century America (strange how he praises mid 1800's America except for slavery because of their economic freedoms, which we've since given up) will laud the "impulse" they have exerted on ...more
Bastiat, in his usual entertaining, simple style outlines what seem to be complicated questions of economics and not only makes them accessible, but makes clear the costs and benefits of each proposed path and its opposite. Some may question whether there is any benefit to reading a Frenchman writing in the first half of the 19th century; yet the questions he faced are the same that plague us today, and we would do well to consider how the "solutions" we have been bringing to bear for decades ar ...more
Sumirti Singaravel
Mar 11, 2015 Sumirti Singaravel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone interested in economics, political economy, government vs private arguments.
Where the purpose of the book 'The Law' by Mr.Bastiat ends, the necessity of his 'Essays on Political Economy' begins.

Originally published as a pamphlet, 'The Law' was written to appeal the public at large. It flows with brilliant eloquence, with sentences constructed in active voice, instructing, revealing and lambasting the over-reach of the government in formation of law to use it as a tool of plunder, instead of employing the same to protect the liberty and property of man. He had further ex
Otto Lehto
This is a good and easy-to-read collection of Bastiat's polemical, witty and sharp essays.

It includes the ever-green "The Law", which is a fantastic piece of polemical writing in the right-libertarian tradition. I have reviewed it elsewhere; it remains fantastic.

"That Which is Seen" is a rhetorical masterpiece. It contains the famous "broken window fallacy" but it treats a whole plethora of subjects under the sun (that which is seen), and in the shadows (that which is not seen). The rhetorical e
Everyone should require themselves to read this book. Though written in the middle of the 19th century in France, it addresses the important policy questions facing the citizens of the United States (and indeed other nations as well) in a manner so timely one is reminded of the line in Ecclesiastes, "[w:]hat has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."

It's translation is in the public domain and available for free at Stylistic
Marcelo Reis
Sensacional. Bastiat é um autor que todos deveriam ler. Seus textos são simples e, ao mesmo tempo, poderosos e atuais.
Joshua Goller
This text presents a very convincing argument for classical liberalism, provided that you aren't bothered by its total lack of cited evidence. However, "what is seen and what is not seen" is a very useful heuristic for auto-optimization.
“That which is Seen …” is probably one of the best political economic essays in existence. If only this was required reading in high school, Bryan Caplans Myth of the Rational Voter may not have been necessary.
Not as concise a treatise as "The Law," but it deserves four stars simply for containing the "broken window fallacy." So eloquent and so simple, but apparently beyond the comprehension of Paul Krugman.
Feb 03, 2012 Jimbo added it
Everyone's reading Hayek's The Road to Serfdom lately--this guy's worth the time invested in making economic reality comprehensible.
Marts  (Thinker)
A series of essays by Bastiat focusing on the duties of government in relation to the liberties of individuals...
How did this guy get so dang smart? How can he see things so clearly that people love to confuse? Amazing!
Excellent stuff. I've said it before, I'll say it again. I love the clarity of thought and the relevance.
Economy is generally boring, but Bastiat can be a snoot sometimes, and that's always fun.
May 18, 2010 Nick rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nick by: Ian Hosking
Eloquent and brilliant.
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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...
The Law That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Not Seen Economic Sophisms The Economics of Freedom: What Your Professors Won't Tell You Bastiat Collection

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