“The art of economics consists of looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.”
Henry Hazlitt was an American journalist whose columns appeared regularly in Newsweek, The Nation, The Sun, and The New York Times. Although he wrote prodigiously – enough to fill 150 volumes, by his own estimation – Hazlitt will forever remain best known for his book Economics in One Lesson. The vast majority of Henry Hazlitt quotes invariably come from it.
Hazlitt grew up poor in Brooklyn. He briefly attended City College before dropping out to help support his mother. In spite of this setback the precocious teenager became a managing editor for The Wall Street Journal – until the Great War demanded his full involvement.
Hazlitt resumed his journalism career shortly after the ink had dried on the Treaty of Versailles. Over the course of his very long career he grew increasingly opposed to government intervention in the American economy, especially as embodied by Roosevelt’s New Deal. Hazlitt’s views frequently met staunch opposition from his publishers, which on more than one occasion led to his resignation.
Hazlitt published Economics in One Lesson in 1946. It was an indictment of snowballing statism, an outline of the negative toll which greater government control would take on the economy, and, perhaps most importantly, extremely accessible to the average American reader. The “One Lesson” itself is summarized in the quote that prefaces this short biography. The chapters which follow demonstrate the inherent fallacies behind the various economic beliefs which conflicted with those of the author.
Economics in One Lesson still resonates through modern libertarian arguments in favor of free trade, as well as those against price control, rent control, monetary inflation, and government stimuli. The book has received much praise from other prominent libertarians including Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, and Ron Paul. In 1981 Ronald Reagan named Hazlitt one of the country’s intellectual leaders.
Economics in One Lesson should not overshadow Hazlitt’s other works. The Failure of the “New Economics” is a masterfully written rejection of Keynesian economics. In a similar vein, The Way to Will-Power refutes the Freudian philosophy of determinism. What You Should Know About Inflation details the horrendous impact which central banking has on the economy. And The Great Idea, a novel, depicts a dystopia that could only be remedied through the resurgence of private ownership and the competitive market.
Hazlitt also advanced libertarian thought in the United States in his capacity as a critic alone. His review of Ludwig von Mises’ Socialism compelled millions to pick up the book. Likewise, demand for F.A. Hayek skyrocketed once Hazlitt covered Road to Serfdom. Reader’s Digest even published a condensed version of Serfdom in their April 1945 issue. It is impossible to imagine a popular magazine doing anything like that today.
Hazlitt passed away in 1993 at the age of 98. His legacy doesn’t solely live on in his writing. As one of the founding members of the Mises Institute, he has ensured that what the Southern Poverty Law Center once dubbed “a radical libertarian view of government and economics” will carry on into the future.
Henry Hazlitt Quotes
Economics in One Lesson Quotes
Henry Hazlitt Quotes on History
Henry Hazlitt Quotes Subsidies
We hope you enjoyed our collection of Henry Hazlitt quotes. You ought to have taken at least one lesson from them.
An Austrian School economist, Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises devoted much of his life to writing and educating on the subject of classical liberalism. While several classical libertarians including John Locke and Jean-Baptiste Say preceded him, Mises’ revival of the ideology following the Second World War has cemented his place as one of libertarianism’s most revered figures.