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Friday, September 29, 2006

KISFUD: Keep It Simple For Us Dummies

Unlike Chomsky or Cornell West, the great economists were able to boil down complicated concepts into simple, understandable points. From modern economists like Sowell, Williams and Friedman to predecessors like Hayek and Mises to the Founding Fathers of economics like Smith, Ricardo and Bastiat, the best approaches to an efficient and rewarding social order were those that provided simple freedom to each man to do what he wants to do voluntarily. Each man can decide the subjective value of his possessions, his labor and his time. Those that intrude on the personal choice, impinge on those liberties and hinder order.

For instance on Competition, Bastiat wrote:

After all, what is competition? Is it something that exists and has a life of its own, like cholera? No. Competition is merely the absence of oppression. In things that concern me, I want to make my own choice, and I do not want another to make it for me without regard for my wishes; that is all. And if someone proposes to substitute his judgment for mine in matters that concern me, I shall demand to substitute my judgment for his in matters that concern him. What guarantee is there that this will make things go any better?

Thanks to Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek for this nugget.

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