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Quick question on Economics in one Lesson

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Wheylous posted on Tue, Nov 8 2011 7:25 PM

Is this version:

have the same content as this version:

Or would I miss something? (besides Block, whom I can likely read online)

The first version is much cheaper factoring in shipping, so I would like to know which to buy.

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What could be cheaper than this?

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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Suggested by Groucho

You're right, you can read Block's intro online (at that link above, actually), but yes, the Mises 2007 printing is a reproduction of the 1946 edition.  Hazlitt updated and added to this original text and published a 3rd edition in 1978 that does contain significantly more info.  Here's Hazlitt's preface to the new edition:

The first edition of this book appeared in 1946. Eight translations were made
of it, and there were numerous paperback editions. In a paperback of 1961, a new
chapter was added on rent control, which had not been specifically considered in
the first edition apart from government price-fixing in general. A few statistics and
illustrative references were brought up to date.

Otherwise no changes were made until now. The chief reason was that they were
not thought necessary.  My book was written to emphasize general economic prin-
ciples, and the penalties of ignoring them—not the harm done by any specific piece
of legislation. While my illustrations were based mainly on American experience,
the kind of government interventions I deplored had become so internationalized
that I seemed to many foreign readers to be particularly describing the economic
policies of their own countries.

Nevertheless, the passage of thirty-two years now seems to me to call for extensive
revision. In addition to bringing all illustrations and statistics up to date, I have
written an entirely newchapter on rent control; the 1961 discussion now seems
inadequate. And I have added a new final chapter,"The Lesson After Thirty
Years," to show why that lesson is today more desperately needed than ever.

H.H. Wilton, Conn.June 1978


One notable passage that I noticed was added is this one...which, even for being written for the later edition is still incredibly precient:

The case against government-guaranteed loans and mortgages to private busi-
nesses and persons is almost as strong as, though less obvious than, the case
against direct government loans and mortgages. The advocates of government-
guaranteed mortgages also forget that what is being lent is ultimately real capital,
which is limited in supply,and that they are helping identified B at the expense of
some unidentified A.

Government-guaranteed home mortgages, especially when a
negligible down payment or no down payment whatever is required, inevitably
mean more bad loans than otherwise. They force the general taxpayer to subsidize
the bad risks and to defray the losses. They encourage people to ‘‘buy’’houses that
they cannot really afford. They tend eventually to bring about an oversupply of
houses as compared with other things. They temporarily overstimulate building,
raise the cost of building for everybody (including the buyers of the homes with
the guaranteed mortgages), and may mislead the building industry into an eventu-
ally costly overexpansion. In brief in the long run they do not increase overall
national production but encourage malinvestment.


A reader may not lose a lot from a passage like that being absent, but I certainly think a lot is to be gained from insight like that, as obviously it is so applicable (and verifiable) in today's economy.  I think being able to see how accurate he was, even 30 years prior, would do a lot for a reader.  The minute I read that part I had to post it here.


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I'm hoping to buy this book as a present (and get to read it as well ;P ).

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If you're interested, Jeff Riggenbach narrated the audiobook of the 1978 edition.  You can find it along with a PDF here.


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