What is Money? | Frederic Bastiat

What is Money?
by Frederic Bastiat

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Quick Review

Frederic Bastiat asks what to many is a simple question: what is money? In this work, set as a discussion between two friends, Bastiat shows that money is more than the paper bills issued by governments. Indeed, he shows that government action destabilizes the economy when it interferes with money and its value. In classic Bastiat style, this essay is both entertaining and illuminating.

Praise for What is Money?

“Bastiat’s analysis is so advanced that it is prophetic. Not only does he explain the inevitable consequences of mercantilist monetary policy, but he also goes on to explain the critical weaknesses of modern equilibrium approaches to monetary theory and monetarism. As one views the world and sees global economic chaos, growing class conflict, widely divergent economic opportunity, and perpetual war, Bastiat provides a clear and concise guide to its cause. Bastiat’s solution no doubt rests in the true understanding of the nature of money by the citizens, the abolition of fiat money and central banks, and a return to commodity money such as gold and silver coins.” – Mark Thornton, author of The Economics of Prohibition

What to Read Next

What Has Government Done to Our Money? | Murray Rothbard
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism | Robert Murphy


Economics // Economic Theory


What is Money? is included in this collection of Bastiat’s writings.