All Commentary
Thursday, September 26, 2013

What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen


In economics, an act, a habit, an institution, or a law produces not only one effect, but a series of effects. Of these effects, the first alone is immediate; it appears simultaneously with its cause; it is seen. The other effects emerge afterward; they are not seen. Basiat argues that a good economist must look at both the seen and unseen consequences of an action. (18:11 minutes)

  • Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850) was the great French liberal economist, philosopher, polemicists, and journalist.