If you are after a basic introduction to the economic science then the Austrian inspired high school textbook Lessons for the Young Economist by Robert P. Murphy is the best place to go. Starting from the principle of human action, the voluntary free market and then intervention in the market it builds on basic economic concepts step by step to provide an comprehensive summary of how the economy works in our daily lives and what leads to its breakdown.
Many of the great Austrian Economist Ludwig von Mises’ work is very long, uses technical language and is aimed at a more academic audience therefore making it difficult for the lay person to read. However the book Economic Policy which is collection of lectures he gave to students in Argentina in 1958 sets out not only economic benefits of the free market and why it is also more moral than Socialism and Interventionism. It is a fantastic summary of his economic views and life’s work in easy to read chapters.
The economic science and its application can be complicated for the average person to understand. This explains the widespread adherence to economic fallacies as on the face of it many government interventions in the economy can be seen to have a positive impact. This is why journalist Henry Hazlitt wrote Economics in One Lesson to point out that we should not just look at seen but the unseen of government actions. Going through all the major fallacies and why they are actually harmful to an economics Hazlitt provides what actions (or inactions) should actually be taken remedy economic ills.
What if in response to growing government interference in the economy, growing crony capitalism and demonization of business people the productive class of society went on strike? Ayn Rand’s magus opus describes a dystopian future where an out of control big government crushes the industry and productivity of a once great United States. Following railroad executive Dagny Taggart and steel inventor Hank Rearden it is also a beautiful defence of capitalism, humanity and progress. It will make your appreciate better the great accomplishments of our modern era and our high standard of living.
In life is it better peruse our individual ambitions or should we just go with crowd? This is theme of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead which follows architect Howard Roark, a stanch individualist who is passionate about creating modern architecture but is up against an architecture establishment who believes in replicating buildings from the past. Unwilling to compromise his vision the story with its colourful characters is always entertaining while maintaining its important message of individualism being superior to collectivism.
When there is a problem in society the conventional wisdom is we must turn to government to solve it, but a response by government just makes a problem worse. In this book long-time consumer affairs reporter John Stossel goes through government actions on a wide variety of public policy issues. He demonstrates how and why governments fail and only the free market with incentives for individuals to succussed and innovate can bring about proper solutions. When people chant ‘yes we can’ Stossel throughout this book proves ‘no they can’t!’
The stranglehold the left have on university campuses and their totalitarian antics have been on full display in recent years. However their control of higher education is not a new phenomenon has been building up for years. One of the organisations which has been fighting for the freedoms of students at universities is the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). The President of FIRE Greg Lukianoff has published Unlearning Liberty to document this takeover by the left of higher education and provides a blueprint for how it can be stopped. Relevant as ever this book should be read by anyone who cares about our university system.
There have been many great books published on libertarian philosophy and sound economics over the past 200 years. Some of the best which were in the past difficult to access have now been republished by the Ludwig von Mises Institute and are available to purchase from anywhere in the world from their Mises Bookstore at an affordable price. Obtaining knowledge from throughout history has never been easier.
An Australian book publisher which isn’t afraid to publish controversial titles is Connor Court Publishing. It has published some of the most important conservative books in Australia of the past decade on topics such as climate change, free speech and the culture wars. Its authors include Cory Bernardi, Ian Plimer, Gary Johns and James Allan. We recommended checking out their catalogue of titles for anyone interested in books that offer an alternative and conservative point of view.