Henry Hazlitt’s book, Economics in one lesson, brings to perspective numerous topics that are mainstream issues in the economy today. His book breaks down in detail specific concepts that have their effects on the economy. Hazlitt explains topics such as war and the expenses, the tariff system, and productivity and the minimum wage laws.
One concept Hazlitt emphasized on was how economics was viewed for temporary needs, versus more permanently viewed.
“In addition to theses endless pleading of self-interest, there is a second main factor that spawns new economic fallacies every day. This is the persistent tendency of men to see only the immediate effects of a given policy, or its effects only on a special group and to neglect to inquire what the long-run effects of that policy will be not only on that special group but on all groups. It is the fallacy of overlooking secondary consequences” (Hazlitt p15-16).
This simple fact that Hazlitt brought up is the dominating factor that separates good and bad economics. A good economist will look at the effects a certain policy will have on all groups, while a bad economist will only see the effects that a policy will have on a particular group. This ties in with the long-run effects because if a group is only looking at how a policy will affect itself then in the future another group that was affected could lose their business because of the way the first group viewed a policy. For example if a clothing company decides to increase revenues by selling more products at a lower price, it will cause the company that has to supply the materials for the shirt to have to increase the amount of materials they need to use in order to keep up with the sales the clothing company makes. If the shirt company acted in the best interest of all the groups they would make sure the company that is supplying the materials is able to increase production instead of making the decision on their own. The bad economist believes that tomorrow is not as important as what is at hand today. “Nine-tenths of the economic fallacies that are working such dreadful harm in the world today are the result of ignoring this lesson. Those fallacies are stem from one of two central fallacies or both: that of looking only at the immediate consequences of an actor o proposal, and that of looking at the consequences only for a particular g...
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... that were not as clear, and not as strong. The broken glass itself is not a blessing, but because it helps the economy overall, that can be a blessing. Hazlitt made a good point explaining this in great detail. He also thoroughly explained how war does increase production but only to the point where everything goes back to normal. Jobs do open up for people as long as there is war, but as soon as it is over the economy usually goes right back to where it started before the war. Hazlitt also made a good point about employment and how full employment does not exactly make the situation better for that person because there are many institutions that have full employment and there are no benefits for the employer. In dealing with credit system, Hazlitt pointed out how a person that is having trouble economically seems to have a better chance to get yet another loan that will most likely not get paid back, as opposed to a person that can pay it back immediately does not usually receive one at first glance. Overall Hazlitt did a great job, especially emphasizing on the long-run economics as the best way to handle things and not the short, quick, and temporary way of handling business.
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