Happy 118th, Mr. Hazlitt

Henry Hazlitt, the noted libertarian economist and journalist, was born 118 years ago yesterday. Albeit belated, these anniversary wishes are gratefully offered.

Hazlitt’s works were many and diverse, but I don’t think he’d object to a summary of his thinking as an emphasis, consistently, on considering carefully the actual consequences of economic policies. (To this end, he introduced Bastiat to many who might not otherwise have read that great French author, through an introduction both simple and powerful.)

Far beyond advancing others’ works, Hazlitt uniquely illustrated why theorists were surprised when their programs came to nothing – or worse than nothing – through their own stubborn misconceptions.

I’ll leave with an observation of Hazlitt’s, that captures the spirit of whole work, from Economics in One Lesson:

Today is already the tomorrow which the bad economist yesterday urged us to ignore.”

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