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Economics Help -- What 3 books to recommend to a friend?

I have a friend that I have been discussion economics for a couple years with... I loev what Ron Paul says, believes, discusses... I agree with the Austrian arguments, etc. My friend is a big solcialist type, he hates rich people, etc. I've done my best to discuss these things with him, and we've gotten to a point where he has requested my three best books on the subject... So, what do you say? Help me out here...

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Don't forget The People's Pottage. Not necessarilly an economics book, but a great read on the "New Deal".

Sprout's picture

Great Economics Book - Thomas Sowell

"Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy" is a very easy to understand book on economics. It's written by Thomas Sowell who appeared in Milton Friedman's videos. I like this book because he explains things in today's terms. He talks about companies everyone knows about. Everything is explained in ways that are extremely interesting and easy to understand. This book gives me a way to challenge the liberal thinkers because it explains why socialism fails.


Oh, I forgot

In the ironic fiction category--"The Auctioneer" by Joan Samson. Fantastic, if you get it. Whatever happened to her?? She went into hiding after she wrote it. It was a huge bestseller.

Sheldon Waxman


If reading is difficult for you, get the video of Friedman's TV series, "Free To Choose". One of the best documentaries ever on economics.

Sheldon Waxman

Complete library of "Free to Choose"


Ironically, the introduction of this series when remade in the 90's was made by the Govenator, who at the time seemed to have more sense than he has now.


1. Free To Choose--Friedman
2. The Law--Bastiat
3. In The Teeth of The Wind--A Study of Power and How To Fight It--- Waxman

Sheldon Waxman

3 books

1) "Economics in One Lesson" by Henry Hazlitt - for a good solid foundation.

2) "Man, Economy, and State" by Murray Rothbard - for a little bit more advanced stuff and a great synopsis of "Human Action" by Mises.

3) "Meltdown" by Tom Woods, Jr. - applies the concepts and knowledge described in the above to our current economic situation.

I'd stay away from Mises and Hayek for now...they're fantastic writers and minds, but they're a bit hard to read, especially for those not versed in political history (i.e. the difference between a modern liberal and a classical liberal). The context of their works (esp. the time period) is extremely important to being able to really understand them. Also, Mises mostly wrote scholarly works for his colleagues and students, not for laymen, and assumes the reader already has a wide body of reading and knowledge under their belt.

My favourite three are:

'Its Good to be King', by Michael Badnarik - One who believes in free markets should understand our law first and foremost!

'The Wealth of Nations', by Adam Smith - historic theory of lassiez faire capitalism and the wisdom behind it.

'Meltdown', by Tom Woods, Senior Fellow of the Mises Institute - Modern day Free Market economics depends on a fully functional 'free society' with a limited government.


"The courage of one man is a majority" - Andrew Jackson

Take him on an adventure with...

1) The Creature from Jekyll Island by G Edward Griffin
seriously, it discusses economic and monetary issues through American and European history, very easy to understand.

2) The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek

3) The Case Against the Fed by Murray Rothbard

4) Meltdown by Tom Woods


Speaking of...

economics books, I am reading America's Great Depression by Murray Rothbard. I am a few chapters into it but am a bit confused.

I noticed that all economists agree on the subject of deflation, as in 29-33 ish, where a central bank contracts the money suppy, as really bad. They all believe that a contraction of the money supply by the central banks is bad.

But, what we have now, as I assume is normal, is not so much a contraction of the money supply by the banks but a contraction of the value of most assets like real estate, stocks, and commodities and so forth. Is this really "deflation" as defined by economist?

The bankers, right now, in the midst of a so-called deflation period are printing more money than before. Maybe the smaller bankers, who loan to the poor folks, are not lending as much but the big central banks are wearing out their keyboard number buttons.

Rothbard never talks about asset deflation and I am really confused.

A little help?


start a new thread, so we can get some insight into this! I want to know too!

Here are my three:

Ludwig von Mises wrote Planning For Freedom and Planned Chaos which are collections of essays in Mises' lucid prose.

Ayn Rand: For The New Intellectual and The Virtue of Selfishness and Capitalism:The Unknown ideal even more lucid and get to the psychological and ethical and philosophical roots of these issues.

Ayn Rand's magnum opus Atlas Shrugged dramatizes the clash between the prevailing theology and the rational, comprehensive, integrated view of existence which holds that Man has a right to his or her own life and whose moral purpose is his or her own happiness.

"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine" Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged p731

No Man's need constitutes an obligation on the part of another man to fulfill that need.

Try vids

Tell him to take the Red Pill and watch Money Masters,
Go here~ http://trueworldhistory.info/

My karma ran over your dogma~

Don't forget...

the most profound little book, The Law, by Freidrich Bastiat! One must start at the very basics of society and government to fully understand economics.

Great question. 1) Economics

Great question.

1) Economics in One Lesson by Hazlitt
2) Milton Friedman - Capitalism and Freedom (the first two chapters on the link between political and economic freedom are a must read. There are some problems with the chapters on monetary policy)
3) Tom Woods - Meltdown
4) Thomas Sowell - Basic Economics
5) How an Economy Grows and Why It Doesn't (by Irwin Schiff)
6) Rothbard - What the Government Has Done to Our Money

www.chaostan.com have

www.chaostan.com have them read Richard mayburys books.. look them up at that link.

"When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny."
-Thomas Jefferson

I am more concerned about the return of my money than the return on my money. --Mark Twain

1) economics in one lesson

2) the day the dollar dies

3) crashproof.

My 3

Meltdown, Crashproof, and basically any Mises book. The case for gold as an alternate.

Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/freeist
Check out my Freedom Blog! http://www.freeist.wordpress.com

Capatilism and Freedom

Milton Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom does a good job of settling some misconceptions that "liberals" tend to have about the free market and the role of government. It's a pretty quick and easy read also, only getting a little heavy in text book speak in a few places. I thought it did a good job of discussing the "gray areas" of the free market like neighborhood effects and monopolies.

I've also heard that Friendman's Free to Choose is a good book on the same subject that might be a little easier to read, but I haven't read it yet, so I can't recommend it.

A Reading Lists - for all etatists

this is a link to the forum where I mention books of my recommendation.


Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt is a great one.


I have not read this one. It is officially placed on my wish list.

Healing Our World

While I too greatly admire and recommend The Law and Economics In One Lesson its important to understand the mindset one is attempting to reach. Wiseguy says his friend is a rich-hating socialist. Socialists nearly always cry rivers of tears for the poor, the oppressed (aren't we all oppressed by government) and want to appear to be helping the downtrodden, in other words, all life's losers (whether deservedly so or through just plain bad luck). For years they have been taught and readily believe free markets cause impoverishment for the many while benefitting only the rich. Yes, its a stupid view but many leftists think that way. Such socialists are not likely to be impressed with cold, hard logic that points out that their cherished policies of coercion will not only not work but will harm the very people for whom they proclaim to care so much. The only way to wean them from the smug comfort of their freedom-hating bias is to get them to see that the free market is fully consistent with compassion and that free market advocates do care about everyone's welfare. If they can be brought to realize that liberty (of which the free market is its expression in economic affairs) is the true path to abundance for all, that liberty lovers want the same things they do - a joyous world of freedom for all - they may turn our way. As it is now, they cling to their socialism despite recoginizing its failures as they see no alternative. But once shake that belief that there is no caring alternative to jackbooted government and they may finally embrace liberty.

There is one book that addresses these people's concerns in language they can relate to. They can read it, understand that free markets really will enable the poor and powerless to achieve their dreams and that they can still be caring and compassionate while wholeheartedly upholding free markets. That book is Mary Ruwart's "Healing Our World In An Age of Aggression". Its available through Advocates for Self-Government or www.ruwart.com. An earlier version is available as a free download.

For anyone who is growing intellectually in the freedom movement I would also highly recommend Stefan Molyneau's podcasts and free books at www.freedomainradio.com.




I really like this particular reply... Excellent commentary of what our conversations sound like... I like the sound of this...

Thanks to everyone, I have downloaded a couple of these to prequalify for him. I'll report back my results...

reedr3v's picture

Good additions to this thread,


By the way.

I am glad to see people educating others from the bottom up. Good work. I'm with you all the way!

indeed, The Law and

indeed, The Law and Economics in one lesson are MUST READ !!!

He can start with The Law, it's online for free, it's not long to read and it's such a wonderful contribution to the message of liberty.

3 books.

Economics in One Lesson by Hazlitt
Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins
The True Story of the Bilderberg Group by Daniel Estulin

Confessions of an Economic Hitman

has rather socialist leanings. The man is saying that private influences are storming the third world countries in order to "privately run" energy sources etc. He claims that the oil and other resources in those countries ought to be public and controlled by the state.

"Greater than the force of mighty armies is the power of an idea whose time has come"
- Victor Hugo

3 easy rads plus will stun senses clear

1) The Law by Bastiat - this will disarm socialists who think they are moral. Very easy read.

2) Economics in One Lesson by Hazlitt - this is the pure common sense portion of the lesson. Easy read.

3) The Case Against the Fed by Rothbard - this will play to sensible folks' anger against being screwed over by connected corporatists. Easy to read and lays out the self-interested history of those corporatists who pushed the Fed on us.

Any sensible person who reads these three books (which could be read in a single weekend, easy) will be influenced for life in a good way.


My liberty-minded home base of thought:



Freedom - Peace - Prosperity