If you’ve been keeping track with the blog, you probably noticed things have been a bit sluggish in getting posted. Hopefully we won’t have another down time like that.
Nevertheless, you’ll remember last week we were graciously provided with our first set of books by Students for Liberty (the national organization).
As I understand it, they work with the Cato Institute, a Libertarian ThinkTank in D.C., and provide books free of charge to student liberty groups everywhere. Hopefully we’ll be able to thank them in some meaningful way in the future.
So, the book we’re reading now is Frederic Bastiat’s “Selected Essays on Political Economy.” Bastiat was French economist, who wrote before and after the revolution in France, a time during which France was undergoing huge upheavals in its political-economic structures. He led the free-trade movement, and founded Le Libre Echange, a weekly newspaper promoting free trade ideals.
For tomorrow, you should have read Chapter 1, “What is seen and what is not seen.” I’ll post a couple questions below. Don’t feel compelled to write out answers to them, but be prepared to come with answers tomorrow and be able to defend them. I’ll gradually start creating pages with resources on each of the individuals we read and summary guides of the chapters.
So, here are some questions for you to consider:
- What does Bastiat mean by ‘What is seen and what is not seen?”
- Why should one be valued over the other, if at all.
- Should the state subsidize the arts?
- What parallels do you see between the examples Bastiat provides, and economic issues we have today? What would he say about the current health care ‘crisis’?
- “Moral: To use force is not to produce, but to destroy.” (pg. 30) Is this always true? When is it acceptable?
It rings interestingly similar to a John Marshall quote, “The power to tax is the power to destroy.” (McCulloch v. Maryland) Was Marshall a free-market thinker and I never knew it?
See you all tomorrow,