June 9, 2014 by History in a Hurry
What Henry Hazlitt can teach us about inflation in 2014
by James Grant
This article is adapted from a portion of the Henry Hazlitt Memorial Lecture, delivered at the 2014 Austrian Economics Research Conference by James Grant.
Believe me, ladies and gentlemen, when you stand at the pinnacle of financial journalism, you’re standing at sea level. There are exceptions to the rule, of course. The Victorian polymath Walter Bagehot, second editor of The Economist, was one. The twentieth century Americans Garet Garrett, John Chamberlain and — my old mentor at Barron’s — Robert M. Bleiberg were others. Each brought something extraordinary to the prosaic business of financial and economic reporting and commentary. Then there was Henry Hazlitt (1894-1991), author, critic, self-taught economist and visionary. I stand before you in the reflected glory of his reputation.
The author of Economics in One Lesson, a longtime columnist for Newsweek and an editorial writer for The New York Times in the distant, pre-Krugman era, Hazlitt waged a career-long battle against inflation. He was at it in 1946 — and he was still going strong in 1966. It may be well at this point to define terms — Hazlitt would have certainly wanted us to.