Framing the Dialogue

Posts Tagged ‘economics in one lesson’

No Such Thing As A Stupid Question?

How many times have you heard the phrase that “there is no such thing as a stupid question?” You have probably heard it a hundred times and we generally agree that if someone doesn’t know about a subject the question cannot be stupid. The following comment was posted on a website and while you may allow that the question is not stupid, the person asking is either stupid or lacks intellectual honesty by not doing a little homework before expressing his opinion in the form of questions.

Anthem

A number of my recent book reviews were written decades ago.  The odd thing about all of them has been how pertinent they are to the world we live in.  Economics In One Lesson, written in 1946, seemed as if it was written to address our current economic woes.  The 5000 Year Leap was written in 1981, but is based on teachings from the 1970’s and unveils the glories of our Constitution for many of us who learned very little about our founding documents other that memorizing a few pages.

Stop The Presses

I was recently watching a movie that involved the newspaper industry.  The deadline had passed and the main characters were in the factory where presses were printing the next day’s papers and the rollers were folding and transporting them.  There was a furious debate about the feature article being wrong.  It was apparently too late to change the paper, but the brave editor gave the order, “Stop the Presses!”

Economics In One Lesson

In 1946 the price of gasoline was 15 cents a gallon, the average cost of a car was $1,120 and an average house was $5,600 and I wasn’t born.  Also in 1946, Economics in One Lesson was published as an economics textbook.  A few questions probably come to mind:

  • Why read a textbook?
  • Why read a book about economics?
  • Why read a book written in 1946?

I bought the book because Henry Hazlitt is credited as the author of the Broken Window Fallacy and I was interested in the concepts behind the story.  I did not realize that it was a textbook and didn’t expect much as I started to read.  It only took a few pages to become immersed in the pages.

The Broken Window

I started to write this posting a month ago.  As I started my research about the broken window economic “fable” I found out that it is attributed to Henry Hazlitt.  He was a noted economist that I had never heard about.  I really wanted to find out about his thoughts and purchased his book, Economics In One Lesson.

More about the book in a later posting, but here is an abbreviated version of the broken window: