What Everyone Should Know about Economics and Prosperity

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From the Introduction: We realize that your time is valuable. Most of you do not want to spend a lot of time learning new terms, memorizing formulas, or mastering details that are important only to professional economists. What you want are the insights of economics that really matter - those that will help you make better personal choices and enhance your understanding of our complex world. And you want those insights to be presented in a concise, organized and readable manner, with a minimum of economics jargon. This short book attempts to meet both of these objectives.

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Page 25 - Every individual is continually exerting himself to find out the most advantageous employment for whatever capital he can command. It is his own advantage, indeed, and not that of the society, which he has in view. But the study of his own advantage naturally, or rather necessarily leads him to prefer that employment which is most advantageous to the society.
Page 75 - Still one thing more, fellow-citizens: a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.
Page 106 - ... seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society, with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board...
Page 106 - ... that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might choose to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on easily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful. If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must...
Page 47 - It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.
Page 63 - It is protection that requires force, for it consists in preventing people from doing what they want to do. Protective tariffs are as much applications of force as are blockading squadrons, and their object is the same — to prevent trade. The difference between the two is that blockading squadrons are a means whereby nations seek to prevent their enemies from trading ; protective tariffs are a means whereby nations attempt to prevent their own people from trading. What protection teaches us, is...
Page 115 - So men may have to pass through a terrible ordeal before they find again the central truths they have forgotten. But they will find them again, as they have so often found them again in other ages of reaction, if only the ideas that have misled them are challenged and resisted.
Page 85 - The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest amount of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing".
Page 43 - Competition and Monopoly in American Industry, Monograph no. 21, Temporary National Economic Committee, Investigation of Concentration of Economic Power, 76th Congress, 3rd Session (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1940).
Page 115 - The predominant teachings of this age are that there are no limits to man's capacity to govern others and that, therefore, no limitations ought to be imposed upon government. The older faith, born of long ages of suffering under man's dominion over man, was that the exercise of unlimited power by men with limited minds and self-regarding prejudices is soon oppressive, reactionary, and corrupt. The older faith taught that the very condition of progress was the limitation of power to the capacity and...

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