The Science of Economics
Economics is the study of the forces that govern the production, distribution & consumption of goods & services in a society.
In his brilliant work, Economics in One Lesson, Henry Hazlitt explains both basic & advanced economic principles in a way that anyone can understand. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to develop an understanding of economics that will give them the knowledge to form an intelligent opinion on the subject.
One main theme of Hazlitt’s work is comparing a good economist with a bad economist. Both economists can make a case for a certain policy but the bad economist does not properly examine how that policy affects all groups over time. Rather, the bad economist (or the economist with an agenda) simply spouts “half-truths.”
For example the bad economist will tell you how a policy will positively affect one group, hence why this policy should be implemented. However the bad economist will leave out how the policy would also negatively affect other groups.
Bad economists also fail to properly look at time. The bad economist will advocate for a policy that helps one (or even all) groups in the short-term, without admitting how the same policy will have a negative impact in the long-term.
Understanding the most basic principle of economics is simple if we can understand the simple fact that all things must balance out. Something cannot be given to one group without being taken from another.
Economic Belief Systems
There are many modern schools of economic thought but two that stand out: Keynesian & Austrian.
The Keynesian’s are the bad economists. Keynesian’s advocate for inflation, spending & government or central bank interference. Their beliefs always harm at least one group while benefitting only a few select groups.
The Austrian’s are the good economists as they use logic & common sense to advocate for policies of savings, production & free markets. These beliefs benefit all groups, always.
Publishing Fiction & Labeling it Fact
Unfortunately, Keynesian’s and other bad economists are very good at muddying the waters & confusing the issues. So good, in fact, that they can be published by what used to be a top newspaper in the world, the New York Times. In this piece (of garbage), the New York Times publishes Paul Krugman, one of the leading BAD economists on the planet.
I know that Krugman is full of shit, and hopefully after reading my thoughts and gaining the faintest bit of economic knowledge you do too. Unfortunately, the NY Times and other outlets continue to spread Krugman’s nonsense to the uneducated and unsuspecting general public. This wouldn’t be quite a huge issue save for the fact that these people have a vote on matters that affect me, you and society.
While I don’t believe that unintelligent, uneducated, unqualified people should have any inherent “right” to vote on matters that affect others, there’s no getting around the fact that they can and do vote. This is what makes the Times & people like Krugman dangerous: they spout off half-truths to push their Keynesian agenda, inevitably harming multiple groups over time when the unsuspecting public drinks their kool-aid and votes Keynesian.
Drinking The Kool-Aid
Just because someone puts some words on paper and you find them published online, or in a newspaper or magazine, don’t assume these words to be truth. Think for yourself. The best way to gain knowledge on a subject is to study as much of that subject as you can including all sides and points of view.
Put another way, don’t just take my word that Paul Krugman & the NY Times are harmful, small-minded thinkers. Form that conclusion yourself by reading their beliefs and then reading as many others as you can, starting with Austrian thinkers like Peter Schiff & the aforementioned Henry Hazlitt.
Using Amazon Prime, I read Hazlitt’s ‘Economics in One Lesson’ on my Kindle App for iPhone, while listening to some of the book using Amazon’s Whisper Sync with Audible.com. Hazlitt’s teaching is clear, concise & easy to understand. Peter Schiff can be found online here. I greatly enjoy his podcast/radio show and recommend that you give it a listen as part of your research.
Educate yourself. Be better. Don’t fall in to the trap of thinking the Keynesian way is best because that’s the way it’s been. You should not be ok with having things taken from you against your will nor should you advocate for taking things from anyone else, yet this is what happens when you allow taxes, inflation & other Keynesian principles to rule.