Economics

Books & Essays

The Law

by Frederic Bastiat

The Law was originally published in French in 1850 by Frederic Bastiat. It was written two years after the third French Revolution of 1848 and a few months before his death of tuberculosis at age 49. It is the work for which Bastiat is most famous.

In The Law, Bastiat says "each of us has a natural right – from God – to defend his person, his liberty, and his property". The State is a "substitution of a common force for individual forces" to defend this right. The law becomes perverted when it is used to violate the rights of the individual, when it punishes one's right to defend himself against a collective effort of others to legislatively enact laws which basically have the same effect of plundering.

The True Gold Standard - A Monetary Reform Plan Without Official Reserve Currencies

by Lewis E. Lehrman

This Monetary Reform Plan proposes to establish the framework for an enduring, stable value for the United States dollar; that is, to define the dollar by statute as a certain weight unit of gold to be coined into lawful money.

Money, Gold, and History

by Lewis E. Lehrman

The authentic and effective American solution is neither esoteric nor complicated. It is simple and straightforward. The solution is authorized by the United States Constitution in Article I, Sections 8 and 10 whereby the control of the quantity of dollars in circulation is entrusted to the hands of the people because the definition of the dollar was entrusted to Congress. In 1792, Congress defined by statute the dollar as a specific weight unit of precious metal.

The Creature From Jekyll Island: A Second Look At The Federal Reserve

by Edward Griffin

Where does money come from? Where does it go? Who makes it? The money magicians' secrets are unveiled. We get a close look at their mirrors and smoke machines, their pulleys, cogs, and wheels that create the grand illusion called money.

Human Action: A Treatise On Economics

by Ludwig von Mises

In the foreword to Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, Mises explains complex market phenomena as "the outcomes of countless conscious, purposive actions, choices, and preferences of individuals, each of whom was trying as best as he or she could under the circumstances to attain various wants and ends and to avoid undesired consequences." It is individual choices in response to personal subjective value judgments that ultimately determine market phenomena—supply and demand, prices, the pattern of production, and even profits and losses.

Reliving the Crash of '29

by Murray N. Rothbard

[First published in Inquiry, November 12, 1979.]

A half-century ago, America — and then the world — was rocked by a mighty stock-market crash that soon turned into the steepest and longest-lasting depression of all time. It was not only the sharpness and depth of the depression that stunned the world and changed the face of modern history: it was the length, the chronic economic morass persisting throughout the 1930s, that caused intellectuals and the general public to despair of the market economy and the capitalist system.

Liberalism: The Classical Tradition

by Ludwig von Mises

The term "liberalism" comes from the Latin word liber meaning "free." Mises defines liberalism as "the liberal doctrine of the harmony of the rightly understood interests of all members of a free society founded on the principle of private ownership of the means of production." This book presents the theoretical and practical arguments for liberalism in the classical tradition.