Some Thoughts on Teaching “Economics as a Way of Thinking”. Or, on getting students to see “the Seen” and “the Unseen” in the world around them

By David M. Hart

Version: 25 Aug. 2017

See also:


The “Top Ten” most common Economic Fallacies (Sophisms)

These have been draw up from FBastiat’s collection of Economic Sophisms. Available online: The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 3: Economic Sophisms and "What is Seen and What is Not Seen." ( Liberty Fund, 2017). <>

  1. Taxes are a Good Investment
  2. Government provides Society with lots of Useful Services
  3. Sacking Large Numbers of Government Employees will cause Economic Chaos
  4. Protectionism allows high wages to be paid to workers
  5. The Over-Production Fallacy
  6. Only Specialists in an Industry know what is best for that Industry" Fallacy
  7. Real Wealth is measured by the Amount of Labor/Effort expended to Create Goods and Services, not the Total Amount of Goods and Services made available to Consumers
  8. Free Trade harms the Interests of Ordinary Working People
  9. the Balance of Trade fallacy
  10. The National needs to be Economically Independent from other Nations
  11. Only Government can provide Theatres, Museums, and Roads fallacy
  12. Middlemen are Unproductive and Wasteful
  13. Profit, Interest, and Rent are Unjust