Monday, November 28, 2016

Henry Hazlitt and the Art of Economics

Journalist Henry Hazlitt popularized the ideas of Austrian economics and was a co-founder of the Foundation for Economic Education.

Henry Hazlitt (1894-1993) was a well-known journalist and economics writer for publications such as TheWall Street JournalThe Nation, and The New York Times. He popularized the ideas of Austrian economics and was a co-founder of the Foundation for Economic Education. He is still widely cited for his writings on free markets, especially his best-selling book Economics in One Lesson.

Growing up, Hazlitt endured a difficult family and financial situation. After his father passed away when he was a baby, Hazlitt grew up in poverty, and spent several years at Girard College, “a school in Philadelphia for poor, fatherless boys.” His family’s financial situation temporarily improved after his mother remarried, but his stepfather, who was an alcoholic, died when Hazlitt was 13.
Hazlitt’s economic perspective was impacted by an experience he had with his uncle during a summer vacation. Hazlitt’s uncle was an electrician who worked at an amusement park for a show called “The Galveston Flood”; he was in charge of the electrical effects that simulated the disaster. His uncle hoped that Fourth of July would bring in crowds to see the show, but it rained all day. According to Hazlitt in his essay My Life and Conclusions,
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