As Josh Billings famously said, “It’s not what you don’t know that gets you in trouble. It’s the stuff you do know that just ain’t so.” Delightfully, it turns out Josh Billings never said this; neither did Mark Twain, or any of the other people who usually get credit. Misattributing a quote about false “knowledge” is a perfect introduction to this delightful book. It turns out that economics is not intuitive, for most people. Opportunity cost and unintended consequences are rarely considered, much less understood, by most people. Unfortunately, many of the most confused people are public officials. After reading this book, you may not understand economics perfectly. But you will be able to avoid believing six important “truths” that just ain’t so.
– Michael Munger, Professor of Political Science, Duke University
In carrying out his project, Fuller follows Frederic Bastiat and Henry Hazlitt, and he is a worthy successor of them, whom he calls “economics’ greatest communicators.”
– David Gordon, Editor, Mises Review
Even if the discipline of economics is not exactly the dismal science that Carlyle said it was, it is surely one of the least understood and most mischievous of disciplines owing to the myths and downright lies that surround it. Caleb Fuller abolishes such myths. Standing in the tradition of the likes of Frederic Bastiat’s The Law, Rose Wilder Lane’s The Discovery of Freedom, Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson, we now have Professor Fuller’s highly readable, No Free Lunch: Six Economic Lies You’ve Been Taught and Probably Believe. Anyone who wants to have a well-rounded education will not want to be without the knowledge this book contains.
– Fr. Robert Sirico, President, The Acton Institute
In No Free Lunch, Caleb Fuller masterfully explains the principles of economics and illuminates how they matter for human well-being. In doing so, he joins the ranks of the great economic communicators— Frédéric Bastiat, Henry Hazlitt, and Walter Williams—in demonstrating the power of the economic way of thinking for making the world a better and more prosperous place.
– Christopher J. Coyne, Professor of Economics, George Mason University
Fuller’s book is a worthy, and needed, update to the Bastiat-Hazlitt tradition. It helps that Fuller is an excellent storyteller. Even veteran economists will find new material here. No Free Lunch shows how the simple concept of opportunity costs can help anyone gain insight into how everything, from bounties to retailing, actually works.
– Ryan Young, Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute
A welcome addition to the literature striving to eradicate one of the greatest social ills humanity faces— basic economic illiteracy.
– Peter J. Boettke, University Professor Economics and Philosophy, George Mason University
With this first book of (hopefully) many, Fuller is well on his way to securing a place as one of the great economic communicators of our generation.
– David S. Lucas, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, Syracuse University
Fuller dismantles economic myths people still believe, which makes his book well-suited to our time.
– Shawn Ritenour, Professor of Economics, Grove City College