Resources: Books: Economics and the Free Market
Updated: Sep 26, 2020
What makes me the expert on conservatism, you ask? I’m certainly not claiming to be an expert. But I do read the experts and strive to faithfully translate their writings into blog posts and podcasts for contemporary eyes and ears. If you'd prefer to go straight to the source material there are plenty of books I highly recommend from the actual "experts".
In this post, you will find links to books on economics and the free market that demonstrate the importance of economic liberty and order.
Basic Economics is a citizen's guide to economics, written for those who want to understand how the economy works but have no interest in jargon or equations. Bestselling economist Thomas Sowell explains the general principles underlying different economic systems: capitalist, socialist, feudal, and so on. In readable language, he shows how to critique economic policies in terms of the incentives they create, rather than the goals they proclaim. With clear explanations of the entire field, from rent control and the rise and fall of businesses to the international balance of payments, this is the first book for anyone who wishes to understand how the economy functions. Drawing on lively examples from around the world and from centuries of history, Sowell explains basic economic principles for the general public in plain English.
A Wall Street Journal columnist delivers a brilliant narrative of the mugging of the millennial generation-- how the Baby Boomers have stolen the millennials' future in order to ensure themselves a comfortable present. The Theft of a Decade is a contrarian, revelatory analysis of how one generation pulled the rug out from under another, and the myriad consequences that has set in store for all of us. The millennial generation was the unfortunate victim of several generations of economic theories that made life harder for them than it was for their grandparents.
Then came the crash of 2008, and the Boomer generation's reaction to it was brutal: politicians and policymakers made deliberate decisions that favored the interests of the Boomer generation over their heirs, the most egregious being over the use of monetary policy, fiscal policy and regulation. For the first time in recent history, policymakers gave up on investing for the future and instead mortgaged that future to pay for the ugly economic sins of the present. This book describes a new economic crisis, a sinister tectonic shift that is stealing a generation's future.
An unimpeachable classic work in political philosophy, intellectual and cultural history, and economics, The Road to Serfdom has inspired and infuriated politicians, scholars, and the public for half a century. Originally published in 1944 - when Eleanor Roosevelt supported the efforts of Stalin, and Albert Einstein subscribed lock, stock, and barrel to the socialist program - The Road to Serfdom was seen as heretical for its passionate warning against the dangers of state control over the means of production. For F. A. Hayek, the collectivist idea of empowering government with increasing economic control would lead not to a utopia but to the horrors of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.
First published by the University of Chicago Press on September 18, 1944, The Road to Serfdom garnered immediate, widespread attention. The first printing of 2,000 copies was exhausted instantly, and within six months more than 30,000 books were sold. In April 1945, Reader's Digest published a condensed version of the book, and soon thereafter the Book-of-the-Month Club distributed this edition to more than 600,000 readers. A perennial best-seller, the book has sold 400,000 copies in the United States alone and has been translated into more than 20 languages, along the way becoming one of the most important and influential books of the century.
F. A. Hayek gives the main arguments for the free-market case and presents his manifesto on the "errors of socialism." Hayek argues that socialism has, from its origins, been mistaken on factual, and even on logical, grounds and that its repeated failures in the many different practical applications of socialist ideas that this century has witnessed were the direct outcome of these errors. He labels as the "fatal conceit" the idea that "man is able to shape the world around him according to his wishes."
F. A. Hayek is considered a pioneer in monetary theory, the preeminent proponent of the libertarian philosophy, and the ideological mentor of the Reagan and Thatcher "revolutions."