Frédéric Bastiat (June 30, 1801– December 24, 1850) was a French political economist, classical liberal theorist, and legislator. His literature has been instrumental in influencing the development of libertarianism and the Austrian school of economics. Bastiat is famous for developing the fundamental concept of opportunity cost. He was a firm believer in free markets and the individual’s right to life, liberty and property and that government should be restricted to protecting these rights from aggression and theft.
Fun Fact: Bastiat was raised and educated by his paternal grandfather.
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Frederic Bastiat ranks among the most spirited defenders of economic freedom and international peace. Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek called Bastiat a publicist of genius. The great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises saluted Bastiat's immortal contributions. Best-selling economics journalist Henry Hazlitt marveled at Bastiat's uncanny clairvoyance. Said intellectual historian Murray N. Rothbard: Bastiat was indeed a lucid and superb writer, whose brilliant and witty essays and fables to this day are remarkable and devastating demolitions of protectionism and of all forms of government subsidy and control.