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Run-on Sentence Summary

A simple intro to libertarian economics that lacks enough nuance or evidence to be persuasive of anything.


I picked up this book hoping for an intro textbook. Instead, I got a repetitive lecture in the basic concept behind free market libertarianism. The core concept of the book is summarized as follows:

"The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.”

Ok, great, obvious enough. Unfortunately, it never really gets past this and instead harps on it without addressing any potential counterarguments or proposing real evidence. I got so bored that I gave up half way.

I believe that economic inequality brought forth by automation is a central issue of modern times. Sadly this book didn’t do much to address it more than superficially. I’ll look for something else.

Final Thoughts

Maybe this book would be useful as a snarky gift to convince somebody that a 20% tariff on Mexico is just money out of American pockets. If that concept makes sense to you already, you will get nothing from this book.

Favorite Quote

“The belief that machines cause unemployment, when held with any logical consistency, leads to preposterous conclusions. Not only must we be causing unemployment with every technological improvement we make today, but primitive man must have started causing it with the first efforts he made to save himself from needless toil and sweat."