Bastiat makes three central contributions in Economic Sophisms. First, he reminds us that we should care about the consumer, not just the. SOPHISMS. Frédéric. Bastiat. Translated from the French and Edited by. ARTHUR GODDARD. Introduction by. HENRY HAZLITT. Foundation for Economic. Bastiat was a French liberal of the 19th century and perhaps the best popularizer of free market economics ever. This collection centers around.

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But, you say, if foreigners flood us with their products, they will carry off our money! Let us make no mistake, this is a great book, but it is a great book that exists under a bit of a shadow. Then began the outpouring of a brilliant series of articles, pamphlets, and books that did not cease till his premature death in I, for my part, refuse to buy the product, and I shall wait until your climate, by sohpisms inclement, forces you to demand twice as much labor on my part; then I can deal with you on an equal footing.

All that will be equalized are the conditions of sale: His writings have become immensely popular. If, bastit, the usefulness of an industry is to be judged, not by the number of needs that it is capable of satisfying with a definite amount of labor, but, on the contrary, by the increase in labor that it demands in order to satisfy a given quantity of needs, what we should wish for, clearly, is that each hectare of land produce little wheat, and that each kernel of wheat contain little sustenance—in other words, that our land should be unfruitful; for then the amount of land, capital, and labor that would be required to feed the people would be comparatively much greater; one could even say that job opportunities would be in direct proportion to this unfruitfulness.

Economic Sophisms by Frédéric Bastiat – Free Ebook

I do wish someone would tell me what would be the use of large standing armies and powerful navies if trade were free I baetiat also cited the opinion of another Minister of Commerce, M.

No solitary man would ever conclude that, in order to make sure that his own labor had something to occupy it, he should break the tools that save him labor, neutralize the fertility of the soil, or return to the sea the goods it may have brought him. It may be basstiat perhaps that I am playing on words, but I reply by making the same charge against my opponents.


Also what about countries which export only raw materials that are necessarily finite, is it possible that protectionism could actu Makes good points and is eloquently written, but is also super repetitive. By paying the producer in A simply for his labor, B receives into the bargain more natural utility than it gives.

The law has taken away none of the heat from the sun at Lisbon, nor has it rendered the frosts at Paris less frequent or less bitter. What we should desire still more is that human intelligence should be enfeebled or extinguished; for, so long as it survives, it ceaselessly endeavors to increase the ratio of the end to the means and of the product to the effort. Our opponents have adopted a tactic that puts us in a most embarrassing position.

What he was, beyond all other men, was an economic pamphleteer, the greatest exposer of economic fallacies, the most powerful champion of free trade on the European Continent. And you can never go wrong with Bastiat.

There are two elements to be noted in this quotation: And to whose profit? Is this not Sisyphism in its purest form? Schumpeter’s judgment of Bastiat is not only ungenerous but unintelligent, and for the same reason that it is unintelligent to deride an apple tree for not bearing bananas. But we do pay for that of gas, of tallow, of oil, and of wax, because in these cases there is some human labor to be remunerated; and note that the remuneration is proportioned so closely to the labor, and not to the utility, that one of these illuminants, although casting a much more intense light than another, may still cost less simply because the same quantity of human labor produces more of it.

Catalog Record: Economic sophisms | Hathi Trust Digital Library

Let us pass a law that will preserve both of them. As for domestic taxes that produce little revenue, abolish them if you can; but surely the strangest imaginable sohisms of neutralizing their effects is to supplement taxes levied for public purposes with taxes levied for the profit of individuals.

For one, this book is probably not best tackled in one swoop, but rather as sardonically amusing reading taken one or two essays at a time.

However, the producer of wheat cannot go on forever earning much more than the producer of potatoes. However, on each French orange consumed, ninety centimes, or nearly that much, will be lost; for the buyer will certainly lose it, and the seller just as certainly will not gain it, since, on this hypothesis, he will leave received for the orange no more than its net cost.


This natural equalizing tendency of economic phenomena is so important to the discussion and at the same time so well suited to fill us with admiration at the providential wisdom that presides over the regulation of a society based on equal rights that I ask leave to dwell on it for a moment. But if one scrutinizes social phenomena in detail and the attitudes of men as they have been modified by exchange, one soon sees how men have come to confuse wants with wealth and obstacle with cause.

How does this process take place?

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How have I not read this book until now? Want to Read saving…. He may wish that food and shelter, roof and hearth, education and morality, security and peace, strength and health, all be his without effort, without toil, and without limit, like the dust of the roads, the water of the stream, the air that surrounds us, and the sunlight that bathes us; and yet the realization of these wishes would in no way conflict with the good of society.

Whether the principle that he takes as his initial premise is true may be open to question, but at least he does base his reasoning on a principle. Naturally, the proponents of the first doctrine welcome everything that tends to diminish exertion and to increase output: Let us assume that, while foreign iron cannot be sold on our market for less than eight francs, French iron cannot be sold for less than twelve.

When the buyer goes to the market, he wants to find it abundantly supplied.

His writing is brief, clear, and often amusing. In all seriousness, this book is not quite as good as “The Law,” but that doesn’t say much since “The Law” is such a masterpiece.

But if, before the enactment of the proposed law, the French public was paying the tax, and if, after the law is enacted, it economid pay the customs duty as well as the tax, I really cannot see what will be gained by the law.