An Introduction to Economic Reasoning Learning for Liberty

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These three books, all relatively short and available online or for purchase, are an excellent starting point for an education in sound economics.

Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt; online here Essentials of Economics by Faustino Ballve; online here (.pdf) An Introduction to Austrian Economics by Thomas C. Taylor; online here and here (.pdf)

A useful companion to Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson is
this
series of videos
, recorded in July-August 2008, in which various
professors comment on each of the book’s chapters — explaining the
argument, elaborating on it, and applying it to present conditions.

Video 1: The Lesson Video 2: The Broken Window Video 3: Public Works Mean Taxes Video 4: Credit Diverts Production Video 5: The Curse of Machinery Video 6: Disbanding Troops and Bureaucrats Video 7: Who’s Protected by Tariffs? Video 8: “Parity” Prices Video 9: How the Price System Works Video 10: Minimum Wage Laws Video 11: The Function of Profits Video 12: The Assault on Saving

Additional Introductory Reading in Economics

The Revolution: A Manifesto by Ron Paul, ch. 4; the audiobook is here

The Concise Guide to Economics by Jim Cox

Making Economic Sense by Murray N. Rothbard

Pillars of Prosperity: Free Markets, Honest Money, Private Property by Ron Paul

Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow by Ludwig von Mises

Free Market Economics: A Reader by Bettina Bien Greaves

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism by Robert P. Murphy

Free Market Economics: A Syllabus by Bettina Bien Greaves

The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? by Richard J. Maybury (a great introduction to economics for homeschoolers; study guide included)

Introduction to Austrian Economic Analysis: A Ten-Lecture Course

This course with Professor Joseph Salerno of Pace University, courtesy of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, is available in both video and mp3 audio at the links below. To learn more about the Austrian School of economics, read this essay and this essay.

Advanced Texts in Austrian Economics

Man, Economy, and State: A Treatise on Economic Principles by Murray N. Rothbard The Scholars’ Edition of this book, which we link to, also contains the book Power and Market, which had originally been intended as the concluding section of Man, Economy, and State but was released in 1970 as a separate book. The entire text is also available online here. A study guide is available for purchase and online here (.pdf).

Human Action: A Treatise on Economics by Ludwig von Mises This entire book is available online here. A study guide to this book is still being compiled; the chapters that have been finished so far are available online here.

Money, Banking, and Economic Cycles by Jess Huerta de Soto A sweeping and historic contribution to the literature of the Austrian School, showing how monetary freedom avoids the disadvantages of fiat money, including inflation, business cycles, and financial bubbles.

Foreign Aid and Development Economics

Equality, the Third World, and Economic Delusion by Peter Bauer

From Subsistence to Exchange and Other Essays by Peter Bauer

“The Marshall Plan: Myths and Realities” (.pdf) by Tyler Cowen

The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics by William Easterly

“The History of Foreign Aid Programs” (mp3) by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Miscellaneous
Readings in Economics

“Politically Contrived Gasoline Shortage” (.pdf) by Craig S. Marxsen

“The Anatomy of Social Security and Medicare” (.pdf) by Edgar K. Browning

Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980 by Charles Murray

The Conquest of Poverty by Henry Hazlitt

The Economics and Ethics of Private Property (advanced) by Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Because monetary economics is so central to the Campaign for Liberty’s mission, it has been given its own section: Sound Money

Thomas E. Woods, Jr. [view his website; send him mail] is senior fellow in American history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He is co-editor (with Murray Polner) of We Who Dared to Say No to War: American Antiwar Writing from 1812 to Now and co-author, most recently, of Who Killed the Constitution? The Fate of American Liberty from World War I to George W. Bush. His other books include Sacred Then and Sacred Now: The Return of the Old Latin Mass, 33 Questions About American History You’re Not Supposed to Ask. How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization (get a free chapter here), The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy (first-place winner in the 2006 Templeton Enterprise Awards), and the New York Times bestseller The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History.

Thomas Woods Archives

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