Selected Essays On Political Economy Bastiat

Selected Essays On Political Economy Bastiat-75
There is of course no guarantee that the market will satisfy each individual at each point of time.

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At the race track, if one of the horses wins the prize, the other loses it; but when two horses work to produce something useful, each will produce an amount in proportion to his strength; and although the stronger will render the greater service, it does not follow that the weaker will render none at all.

Bastiat's case for the free market was however not only based on refutations of individual government interventions, but also on a general refutation of the common premise of all proposals for government action.

Claude Frédéric Bastiat (1801 — 1850) is one of the greatest economists ever.

His role as organizer of the French, and inspiration of the nineteenth- century continental European free-trade movement is not controversial, and all historians recognize him as a great pamphleteer — some even calling him "the most brilliant economic journalist who ever lived." 1 It is however not generally recognized that Bastiat was also a significant theoretician whose discoveries have had a lasting importance.2 His intellectual legacy has been unduly neglected because it concerns problems that are not on the radar screen of twentieth-first-century mainstream economists.

And a creditor himself has an interest in the well-being of his debtor because only a healthy debtor can pay interest.

Bastiat discussed countless similar relationships, such as those between consumers and producers, proletarians and owners, workers and capitalists, rural and urban population, citizens and foreigners, landowners and residents, the people and the bourgeoisie, etc.

radically apart from the school of the economists is not this or that question of detail…; it is the point of departure, it is this preliminary and paramount question: Are human interests, left to themselves, harmonious or antagonistic?

A brief look at the history of twentieth-century economic thought confirms Bastiat's insight into the common denominator of interventionist schemes.

In other words, the free market does not inherently operate against the interests of any strata of the population.

The only group whose interests it cannot possibly reconcile with the interests of all other groups are the impostors or thieves who live off the invasion of other people's property.

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