Economics in One Lesson
by Henry Hazlitt
Henry Hazlitt wrote this boldly titled book in 1946, offering to his readers one lesson that would enable them to understand economics. What lesson could fulfill such a claim? It is simply this, says Hazlitt: “The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.” An extension of Frederic Bastiat’s What is Seen and What is Not Seen, written a century before, Hazlitt applies this lesson to a wide variety of economic questions and arrives at the same conclusion as Bastiat – that government action cannot enrich the country, and that the appearance of enriching certain segments of the economy is simply the act of taking from one group of people and giving to another.
Praise for The Forgotten Depression
“A magnificent job of theoretical exposition.” – Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged
“If you simply read and comprehend these relatively short texts, you will know far more than most educated people about economics and government. You certainly will develop a far greater understanding of how supposedly benevolent government policies destroy prosperity.” – Ron Paul, former U.S. Representative from Texas
What to Read First
What to Read Next
Although Hazlitt is updating and expanding Bastiat’s work in What is Seen and What is Not Seen, I personally prefer Bastiat’s work and would recommend beginning with it first and then moving on to Hazlitt’s book.