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The Law, by Frederic Bastiat.    The study of economics used to be termed the study of  "political economy."  Bastiat was a nineteenth century French farmer, political economist, philosopher and lawmaker.  This short classic, written just after the French Revolution, is a timeless work on how ostensibly democratic political methods have often been used to effect "legal plunder."  Bastiat argues that just laws are those that protect our natural rights--such as those described in the U.S. Declaration of Independence--whereas unjust laws limit choices and burden an economy.  (Accordingly, during the first half of the 1800s he argued forcefully for the abolition of slavery.)  If you think that market economies lack a moral dimension, with their emphasis on competition and advancement, then you should read this profound book.  Though over 150 years old and less than 100 pages in length, it is one of the most articulate and influential works ever written.

ISBN: 1572460733
Format: Paperback, 79pp
Pub. Date: Sept 1998
Publisher: Foundation for Economic Education, Incorporated

 

 

 

"A great prophet of liberty, the free society, and the free market."

Vaclav Klaus

 

 

"The most brilliant economic journalist who ever lived."

Joseph Schumpeter