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Stossel's Stocking Stuffers

Six gifts to help people learn about liberty.

Holiday season is here. To help your friends or family learn about liberty, why not give them a book?

John Stossel has some ideas.

First, there's The Road to Serfdom. In it, Friedrich Hayek explains why government intervention in the economy leads to serfdom. He explains why no central planner can allocate resources as well as individuals can.

Stossel says this is a great book for your socialist friends—if they are willing to read it.

They might not be, Stossel says, because the language is old. Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics is more current. Sowell explains that trade is not a zero-sum game—it's not as if one country wins and another loses. Both sides benefit. Stossel suggests that someone should give Sowell's book to our President.

Another myth-busting book is The Myth of the Robber Barons. Historian Burton Folsom explains that Cornelius Vanderbilt and John D. Rockefeller didn't get rich by robbing people. They got rich by creating better things.

Another good book that covers basic economics is Free to Choose, by Milton and Rose Friedman.

Stossel also briefly mentions a bonus book by a former clueless, lefty, big-government loving reporter who finally woke up to the benefits of markets. That book is Give Me a Break.

Prefer fiction? Stossel recommends two classics, Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand, and Animal Farm, by George Orwell.

Any of these books, Stossel says, would make a great Christmas gift.


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The views expressed in this video are solely those of John Stossel; his independent production company, Stossel Productions; and the people he interviews. The claims and opinions set forth in the video and accompanying text are not necessarily those of Reason.

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  • Conchfritters||

    Oh the robber is very real. My brother in law kept putting him on my forest hex in Catan when we played over thanksgiving and I almost punched him in the face.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Damn "7" always comes up.

  • Demosthenes of Athens||

    I'm sure that was extra painful because you had the 2:1 wood port locked down. I feel for you.

  • Don't look at me!||

    Pffft. Like people read books.

  • lap83||

    "To help your friends or family learn about liberty, why not give them a book?"

    Because we don't want to be like progressives who use personal relationships as a vehicle to push their agenda.

    Not that some people wouldn't appreciate it, but if you are trying to educate people with your gifts you suck at human interaction

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The Washington Post editorial board calls "the heart of the chaos" the tension between what Brexit referendum supporters thought they were voting for "and the reality of the deal" May made."

    This sounds a lot like other progressive fantasies, like the one about how Donald Trump didn't really win the election in 2016. It was because of Russian meddling, the evil electoral college, and the blundering of James Comey!

    Meanwhile, Le Pen won 34% of the vote in France, and Paris is under siege by protestors who are effectively protesting the Paris accord. Meanwhile, Merkel has been kicked to the curb by a populist anti-immigration party.

    The UK voted for Brexit for the same reason every democracy in the developed world is experiencing populist convulsions. It's because people everywhere in the developed world have rejected progressive elitism on all sorts of issues.

    People in the UK knew what they were voting for and why. It's people like the editorial board at The Washington Post who still haven't figured it out. If the vote were held again today, the Brexit people might well win again.

  • Ken Shultz||

    wrong thread!

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt. Available from Amazon as a printed book or from several sites as free downloadable PDFs of varying formatting. The title is misleading; it's standard book length, not a pamphlet or cheat sheet. But the quality is top notch.

  • Jerry B.||

    L. Neil Smith's "The Probability Broach" (and subsequent books in that series) and Robert Heinlein's "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress" would be good Libertarian fiction, and not as preachy as Rand or Orwell.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    I remember The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress primarily for its discussion of making it easier to repeal than enact laws. My version of that is to require majority (or 2/3 or whatever) approval in each chamber to enact a law, but only majority approval in a single chamber to repeal a law.

  • StackOfCoins||

    Second for Moon.

    TANSTAAFL!

  • Cthulunotmyfriend||

    Thie Moon is a Harsh Mistress is one of the best all time books! And still relevant, though it was SciFi book written in 1966. TANSTAAFL.

  • ||

    Escape From Childhood by John Holt is in desperate need of reading inside as well as outside our political tribe. Too many self-described libertarians hypocritically refuse to expand the circle of liberty to include those under eighteen.

  • No Time for Fishing||

    "it's not as if one country wins and another loses. Both sides benefit. " In a fair and perfect world/relationship yes. If one side is not playing by the same rules as the other the relationship can become so one-sided that benefit is so far beyond balanced that it can no longer be considered mutually beneficial.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Thanks Stossel!

  • STRAMBOTIK||

    As usual, I stand in awe of John Stossel's flea-market principles.
    Hayek's The Road to Serfdom is a collection of idiotic remarks that was adroitly disemboweled by Carl Stoll in his essay "Why Hayek Sucks - A critique of The Road to Serfdom"
    at https://blueplanetnotes.blogspot.com
    Don't miss Carl Stoll's unmasking of Hayek as a historical forger in "Hayek Flunks History (Again)", at blueplanetnotes.blogspot.com
    And for a brief rebuttal of the underlying assumptions of The Road to Serfdom, read "Detour on the Road to Serfdom" on the same blog.

  • STRAMBOTIK||

    As usual, I stand in awe of John Stossel's flea-market principles.
    Hayek's The Road to Serfdom is a collection of idiotic remarks that was adroitly disemboweled by Carl Stoll in his essay "Why Hayek Sucks - A critique of The Road to Serfdom"
    https://blueplanetnotes.blogspot.com
    Don't miss Carl Stoll's unmasking of Hayek as a historical forger in "Hayek Flunks History (Again)", on the same blog
    And for a brief rebuttal of the underlying assumptions of The Road to Serfdom, read "Detour on the Road to Serfdom" on the same blog.

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