Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Some Good Words on Economics

I am nearly finished reading Henry Hazlitt's classic, Economics in One Lesson. It is an excellent book--one that should be required high school reading. There are many great quotes and lessons in the book. This first quote demonstrates the prophetic power of truth:

"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 requird, 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 eventually costly overexpansion. In brief, in the long run they do not increase overall national production but encourage malinvestment." Economics in One Lesson, p. 47

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