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Essays on political economy

4.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  235 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
This volume is produced from digital images created through the University of Michigan University Library's preservation reformatting program.
Kindle Edition
Published (first published June 1st 1968)
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Mar 07, 2011 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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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
Mar 09, 2015 Todd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Pedro Jorge
"it all comes to the same thing: political economy, justice, good sense, are all the same thing"

while this book is not flawless, its central message is of the utmost importance for Humanity and Civilization. Liberty brings the development and prosperity of Mankind and Economics is the science that shows how this is true. All those econometrics of nowadays are just mist that is shrouding common sense and the efforts of fellow human beings to aspire to a better life.
This book was released in 1874,
Mark Geise
Oct 08, 2015 Mark Geise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Essays on Political Economy” is the first work I have ever read by Bastiat beyond quotes and excerpts. I come away very impressed with his lines of reasoning and his simple examples to depict more complicated economic interactions and concepts. Bastiat is a precursor to the Austrian school of economics; he believes that government intervention in the economy does more harm than good and that paper money is extremely dangerous. He believes that government should exist only to protect private pro ...more
Sumirti Singaravel
Mar 11, 2015 Sumirti Singaravel rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Dec 07, 2013 Otto Lehto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 09, 2009 P. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Matthew Hockley
Jul 22, 2015 Matthew Hockley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is where you start. Bastiat accurately analyzes, dissects and destroys one fallacy and false view after another. He covers economics, government, consequences and the law. This is a must read.
Pedro Faraco
Aug 17, 2015 Pedro Faraco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ALGUNS DOS ENSAIOS mais importantes de Bastiat sobre economia política — escritos em estilo bem humorado e didático — que impressionam por terem sido produzidos há mais de 160 anos.

No clássico "O Que Se Vê E O Que Não Se Vê", o autor revela os efeitos negativos e nocivos de ações governamentais aparentemente positivas. Em "O Estado", Bastiat busca por uma definição para o termo título e acaba por encontrar aquela que acabou se tornando uma de suas citações mais famosas. Em "Petição" ele simula u
Marcelo Reis
Dec 02, 2014 Marcelo Reis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sensacional. Bastiat é um autor que todos deveriam ler. Seus textos são simples e, ao mesmo tempo, poderosos e atuais.
Jun 02, 2016 Fred rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book, provides great and accessible insights on free market political economy
Josh Kraushaar
Historically relevant, incredibly repetitive.
Neil Rempel
Jan 18, 2016 Neil Rempel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition attention to the unseen....
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.
Sep 05, 2009 Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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.
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...
Nov 27, 2008 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How did this guy get so dang smart? How can he see things so clearly that people love to confuse? Amazing!
Jul 16, 2011 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent stuff. I've said it before, I'll say it again. I love the clarity of thought and the relevance.
Mar 05, 2008 Ki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Economy is generally boring, but Bastiat can be a snoot sometimes, and that's always fun.
Jul 13, 2016 Nick rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
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“Under the influence of ignorance and custom, the day's pay of a country labourer will remain for a long time at a franc, while the saleable price of all the articles of consumption around him will be rising. He will sink into destitution without being able to discover the cause. In short, since you wish me to finish, I must beg you, before we separate, to fix your whole attention upon this essential point:--When once false money (under whatever form it may take) is put into circulation, depreciation will ensue, and manifest itself by the universal rise of every thing which is capable of being sold. But this rise in prices is not instantaneous and equal for all things. Sharp men, brokers, and men of business, will not suffer by it; for it is their trade to watch the fluctuations of prices, to observe the cause, and even to speculate upon it. But little tradesmen, countrymen, and workmen, will bear the whole weight of it. The rich man is not any the richer for it, but the poor man becomes poorer by it. Therefore, expedients of this kind have the effect of increasing the distance which separates wealth from poverty,” 0 likes
“Now, labour being in itself a pain, and man being naturally inclined to avoid pain, it follows, and history proves it, that wherever plunder is less burdensome than labour, it prevails; and neither religion nor morality can, in this case, prevent it from prevailing. When does plunder cease, then? When it becomes less burdensome and more dangerous than labour. It is very evident that the proper aim of law is to oppose the powerful obstacle of collective force to this fatal tendency; that all its measures should be in favour of property, and against plunder.” 0 likes
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