Living Bastiat

Like many of you, I have been living through Bastiat's economic arguments, and I would like to relate them here from a personal, rather than philosophical, perspective.  This helps make things more tangible, since the best teachable moments are the ones we go through ourselves. For those of you not up to speed on your dead economists, Frederic Bastiat argued in his "Broken Window" analogy and "That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen" that economic theory must take into account the whole picture, including second- and third-order effects of policy. For example, the government institutes a tax to pay for a stimulus project.  Money is collected, funneled through a bureaucracy, and then doled out to a construction company that will do the work.  That is what is seen.  What is not seen is where that money was to be spent had it not been taken from the taxpayer in the first place, and the results are often more positive had the money been left alone. Background I...(Read Full Article)