on Economics

HARRY BROWNE (1933-2006)

1.  How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World, Harry Browne, 1973.
2.  Fail-Safe Investing: Lifelong Financial Security in 30 Minutes, Harry Browne, 1999.
3.  Why Government Doesn’t Work: How Reducing Government Will Bring Us Safer Cities, Better Schools, Lower Taxes, More Freedom and Prosperity for All, Harry Browne, 1995.
4.  The Great Libertarian Offer, Harry Browne, 2000.
5.  Why the Best-Laid Investment Plans Usually Go Wrong, and How You Can Find Safety and Profit in an Uncertain World, Harry Browne, 1987.
6.  The Secret of Selling Anything, Harry Browne, 2008.  There’s a free PDF version of the book here
7.  How You Can Profit from the Coming Devaluation, Harry Browne, 1970.
8.  The Permanent Portfolio: Harry Browne’s Long-Term Investment Strategy, Craig Rowland and J.M. Lawson, 2012. 

DOUG CASEY (1947?-       )

1. Right on the Money: Doug Casey on Economics, Investing, and the Ways of the Real World, Doug Casey, 2013.
2. Crisis Investing: Opportunities and Profits in the Coming Great Depression, Doug Casey, 1980.
3.  Crisis Investing for the Rest of the 90s, Doug Casey, 1995.
4.  The International Man, Doug Casey, 1976.  
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MILTON FRIEDMAN (1912-2006)

1.  Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman, 1962.
2.  Free to Choose, Milton Friedman, 1980.
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HENRY HAZLITT (1894-1993)

1.  The Failure of the New Economics: An Analysis of the Keynesian Fallacies, Henry Hazlitt, 1959.  The book is also here at the Mises Institute.
2.  The Foundations of Morality, Henry Hazlitt, 1964.
3.  Economics in One Lesson, Henry Hazlitt, 1946.
4.  From Bretton Woods to World Inflation: A Study of Causes and Consequences, Henry Hazlitt, 1984.  
5.  The Anatomy of Criticism: A Trialogue, Henry Hazlitt, 1933.  
6.  The Conquest of Poverty, Henry Hazlitt, 1973.  
7.  Will Dollars Save the World, Henry Hazlitt, 1947.  
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RICHARD J. MAYBURY (1946-        )

1. The Clipper Ship Strategy: For Success in Your Career, Business, and Investments (An Uncle Eric Book)Richard J. Maybury & Jane A. Williams, 2003.
2. Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? Richard J. Maybury, 2004.
3. The Money Mystery: The Hidden Force Affecting Your Career, Business, and Investments, Richard J. Marbury and Jane A. Williams, 2004.
4.  Whatever Happened to Justice, Richard J. Marbury, 2004.  
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6.  His Wikipedia entry.  He maintains a newsletter, An Early Warning ReportArticles at the Mises Institute.

LUDWIG VON MISES (1881-1973)

1.   Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, Ludwig von Mises, 1949.  The prices for books at the Mises Institute are unbeatable. 

Mises wrote

Economics does not allow any breaking up into special branches. It invariably deals with the interconnectedness of all phenomena of acting and economizing. All economic facts mutually condition one another. Each of the various economic problems must be dealt with in the frame of a comprehensive system assigning its due place and weight to every aspect of human wants and desires. All monographs remain fragmentary if not integrated into a systematic treatment of the whole body of social and economic relations.

2.   Bureaucracy, Ludwig von Mises, 1944. 

“The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau. What an alluring utopia! What a noble cause to fight!”

3.  The Theory of Money and Credit, Ludwig von Mises, 1912.

Mises wrote this book for the ages, and it remains the most spirited, thorough, and scientifically rigorous treatise on money to ever appear. It made his reputation across Europe and established him as the most important economist of his age.

This classic treatise on monetary theory remains the definitive book on the foundations of monetary theory and the first really great integration of microeconomics and macroeconomics. As Rothbard points out in his introduction it is “the best book on money ever written,” and economists have yet to absorb all of its lessons.

Mises shows how money had its origin in the market, and how its value is based on its usefulness as a commodity in exchange. In a step-by-step manner, Mises presents the case for sound money with no inflation and presents the beginnings of a full-scale business cycle theory. This edition includes Mises’s early blueprint, improved later in life, for a return to a fully backed gold standard and competitive banking.

4.  Marxism Unmasked, Ludwig von Mises, 1952.  
5.  The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science: An Essay on Method (Liberty Fund Library of the Works of Ludwig von Mises), Ludwig von Mises, 1962.
6.  Economic Calculation in the Social Commonwealth, Ludwig von Mises, 1920.

7.  Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow, Ludwig von Mises, 1958. 

These chapters were originally delivered as lectures in Argentina in 1958, at the University of Buenos Aires, and later written up in prose. Mises had urged Argentina to turn from dictatorship and socialism toward full liberty, so there is a special urgency behind the cool logic employed here.

8.  The Causes of Economic Crisis, Ludwig Von Mises, 1931.
9.  Planning for Freedom: Let the Market System Work, Ludwig von Mises, 1952.  I list this book because of this article on ABL (Ass-backward Libertarians) by Robert Wenzel, who shows how some libertarians in their move toward freedom call upon the government to institute a new program to fix a bad government program.  
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GARY NORTH (1942-         )

1.  An Introduction to Christian Economics, Gary North, 1973.
2.  An Amazonian list of North’s books.  
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MURRAY ROTHBARD (1926-1995)

1.  Austrian School Business Cycle Theory, Murray Rothbard, 2014.  Buy this book today!  If you want to understand economics in all countries that have a central bank, which is all of them, then you’ll need this book to learn how the machinations of the different central banks’ inflationary policies produce wild swings in prices and devalue your currency and savings.  Apparently, this book is just the first three chapters of Rothbard’s “America’s Great Depression.”  As soon as I earn more money on my job, I will buy more of these books.
2.  The Anatomy of the State, Murray Rothbard, 1974.  This essay will absolutely uproot your any good assumptions you may have formed about government.  And you will not like what you find and that’s good.  Here is a free PDF.

This gives a succinct account of Rothbard’s view of the state. Following Franz Oppenheimer and Albert Jay Nock, Rothbard regards the state as a predatory entity. It does not produce anything but rather steals resources from those engaged in production. In applying this view to American history, Rothbard makes use of the work of John C. Calhoun

How can an organization of this type sustain itself? It must engage in propaganda to induce popular support for its policies. Court intellectuals play a key role here, and Rothbard cites as an example of ideological mystification the work of the influential legal theorist Charles Black, Jr., on the way the Supreme Court has become a revered institution.

3.  Man, Economy, and State, Murray Rothbard, 1962.  
4.  What Has Government Done to Our Money, Murray Rothbard, 1963.
5.  America’s Great Depression, Murray Rothbard, 1963.
6.  The Panic of 1819, Murray Rothbard, 1962.

The panic of 1819 grew largely out of the changes wrought by the War of 1812, and by the postwar boom that followed. The war also brought a rash of paper money, as the government borrowed heavily to finance the conflict. The government depended on note-issuing banks spread throughout the country. All of this put tremendous strains on the banks’ reserves of specie held against such notes. This would inevitably lead to suspension of specie payments in some parts of the country in 1814.

7.  David Gordon on Murray Rothbard’s Favorite Books, 2009.
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1. Hormageddon: How Too Much of a Good Thing Leads to Disaster, Bill Bonner.
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David Gordon on Murray Rothbard’s Favorite Books, 2009.
5.  An Introduction to Christian Economics, Gary North, 1973.
6.  The Clipper Ship Strategy: For Success in Your Career, Business, and Investments (An Uncle Eric Book)Richard J. Maybury & Jane A. Williams, 2003
7.  The Failure of the New Economics: An Analysis of the Keynesian Fallacies, Henry Hazlitt, 1959.
8.  The Undercover Economist, Tim Harford, 2007.
9.  The Raven of Zurich: The Memoirs of Felix Somary, Felix Somary, 1986.  Gary North writes,

Schumpeter borrowed the concept from a pair of revolutionists, Bakunin and Marx. They preached rival social philosophies that were both based on literal murder, not figurative murder. Schumpeter was impressed by their concept. Felix Somary records in his autobiography, The Raven of Zurich (1986), a discussion he had with the economist Joseph Schumpeter and the sociologist Max Weber in 1918. Weber was the most prestigious academic social scientist in the world when he died in 1920. Schumpeter expressed happiness regarding the Russian Revolution. The USSR would be a test case for socialism. Weber warned that this would cause untold misery. Schumpeter replied, “That may well be, but it would be a good laboratory.” Weber responded, “A laboratory heaped with human corpses!” Schumpeter retorted, “Every anatomy classroom is the same thing.” Weber stormed out of the room (p. 121). I don’t blame him. (I am indebted to Mark Skousen for this reference.)

10.  Economic Calculations in a Socialist Commonwealth, Ludwig von Mises, 1920.

This is the essay that overthrew the socialist paradigm in economics and provided the foundation for modern Austrian price theory. When it first appeared in 1920, Mises was alone in challenging the socialists to explain how their pricing system would actually work in practice.

Mises proved that socialism could not work because it could not distinguish more or less valuable uses of social resources, and predicted the system would end in chaos. The result of his proof was the two-decade-long “socialist calculation” debate. This edition contains an afterword by Joseph Salerno, who applies the calculation argument to contemporary problems like environmentalism and business regulation:

11.  Principles of Economics, Carl Menger, 1890.   Gary North explains that

It was the most important book in the history of what became known as Austrian School economics. It argued that value comes from consumer demand, which is based on subjective value. It does not come from either labor time or the cost of production. . . .

That insight overturned what in retrospect became known as classical economics. Adam Smith had made a mistake in attributing value to the labor time invested in a particular consumer good. Karl Marx built a theory of revolution on that erroneous idea.

12.  Trade-offs: An Introduction to Economic Reasoning and Social Issues, Harold Winter, 2013.
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ECONOMICS
1. Economics in One LessonHenry Hazlitt, 1946.
2. Whatever Happened to Penny CandyRichard J. Maybury, 1978.
3. Mises Institute.
4. Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth, Ludwig von Mises, 1920.
5. A terrific list from Tom Woods.
6.  Armchair Economist, Steven E. Landsburg, 2012.
7.  “The Late Scholastics,” Lew Rockwell, April 20, 2018.
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SCHUMPETER, JOSEPH A. (1883-1950)

1.  History of Economic Analysis, Joseph A. Schumpeter, 1954.
2.  Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, Joseph A. Schumpeter, 1942.
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THOMAS SOWELL BOOKS
1.  Discrimination and Disparities, Thomas Sowell, 2018.
2.  Basic Economics, Thomas Sowell, 2000.
3.  Black Rednecks and White Liberals, Thomas Sowell, 2005.
4.  The Quest for Cosmic Justice, Thomas Sowell, 2002.  Here is the Amazon review:

This is not a comforting book — it is a book about disturbing issues that are urgently important today and enduringly critical for the future. It rejects both “merit” and historical redress as principles for guiding public policy. It shows how “peace” movements have led to war and to needless casualties in those wars. It argues that “equality” is neither right nor wrong, but meaningless. 

The Quest for Cosmic Justice shows how confused conceptions of justice end up promoting injustice, how confused conceptions of equality end up promoting inequality, and how the tyranny of social visions prevents many people from confronting the actual consequences of their own beliefs and policies. Those consequences include the steady and dangerous erosion of the fundamental principles of freedom — and the quiet repeal of the American revolution.

5.  Economic Facts and Fallacies, 2nd Edition, Thomas Sowell, 2011.
6.  The Economics and Politics of Race: An International Perspective, Thomas Sowell, 1983.  I thought that the Tony Brown Journal was an excellent talk/interview show and here he interviews Thomas Sowell on this very book. 

7.  Wealth, Poverty and Politics, Thomas Sowell, 2016.
8.  “Trickle Down” Theory and “TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH,” Thomas Sowell, 2012.
9.  A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles, Thomas Sowell, 2007.
10.  The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulations as a Basis for Social Policy, Thomas Sowell, 1996.
11.  Intellectuals and Society: Revised and Expanded Edition, Thomas Sowell, 2012.
12.  Ethnic America: A History, Thomas Sowell, 1981.
13.  Conquests and Cultures: An International History, Thomas Sowell, 1999.
14.  The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late, Thomas Sowell, 2002.
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ECONOMICS
1. Hormageddon: How Too Much of a Good Thing Leads to Disaster, Bill Bonner.
2. Austrian School Business Cycle Theory, Murray Rothbard, 2014.  Buy this book today!  If you want to understand economics in all countries that have a central bank, which is all of them, then you’ll need this book to learn how the machinations of the different central banks’ inflationary policies produce wild swings in prices and devalue your currency and savings.  Apparently, this book is just the first three chapters of Rothbard’s “America’s Great Depression.”  As soon as I earn more money on my job, I will buy more of these books on the Austrian Business Cycle Theory

3.  An Introduction to Economic Reasoning, David Gordon, 2000. 

4.  Economic Science and the Austrian Method, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, 1995.  

DEIRDRE MCCLOSKEY
1. Bourgois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World, Deirdre McCloskey, 2010.  Here works are listed here.
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