Monday, March 2, 2009

Bastiat: What Is Seen And What Is Not Seen

I cannot think of a better essay that should be read by all right now than Frederic Bastiat's What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen. His simple yet thorough examples are clear and understandable to the average person, and many are uncannily applicable to the current debates our coutry is having right now.

Bastiat was a French economist and statesman from the mid 19th century who led the fight against socialism at that time. He has the same unique ability that Milton Friedman had of taking complex economic issues and breaking them down into understandable terms.

I found amusing his exasperation at the end of the 3rd section in his essay which dealt with Taxes:

Good Lord! What a lot of trouble to prove in political economy that two and two make four; and if you succeed in doing so, people cry, "It is so clear that it is boring." Then they vote as if you had never proved anything at all.

Trust me, read it and I think you will gain a much better understanding of economics. Don't delay. Go read it now!

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