There's No Free Lunch: 250 Economic Truths (Hardcover)
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The best way to defend the cause of human flourishing against this current onslaught of dangerous economic thinking is to relearn time-tested economic truths.
The verdict is in: Free enterprise has lifted billions of people out of abject poverty all over the world and provided a higher quality of life than has ever been thought possible. But a growing case is forming in public opinion against free markets, and for a significantly larger command & control management of the economy. Whether you call it socialism or progressive leftism, more and more people are turning away from the forces of freedom and social cooperation that made the last two hundred years of prosperity possible, and embracing a system that deprives human beings of their dignity, impoverishing whole societies both financially and spiritually.
What David Bahnsen does here is pull from the masters—the great economic voices of the past and the present—to remind readers of the basic economic truths that must serve as our foundation in understanding the challenges of today. In 250 vital points, he combines pearls of wisdom from economic legends with his own careful commentary to provide readers the perspective, information, and reaffirmation they need in order to see economics for what it is. It will empower you and equip you with the truth—250 truths—that are crucially needed to keep the lights on in civilization and advance the cause of human flourishing.
About the Author
David L. Bahnsen is the founder, Managing Partner, and Chief Investment Officer of The Bahnsen Group, a bi-coastal wealth management firm managing over $3 billion in client capital. He is annually recognized as one of the top advisors in the country by Barron’s, Forbes, and the Financial Times. He is a frequent economic and political writer for National Review, Forbes, and his very own Dividend Café. He is the host of the weekly economic podcast, Capital Record, and is a regular guest on Fox Business, CNBC, and Bloomberg.
He is a committed conservative, American patriot, and political enthusiast, and serves on the board of the National Review Institute, King’s College, and Pacifica Christian High School.
He and his wife of twenty years, Joleen, split time between New York City and Newport Beach, CA, and have three children.
“I thoroughly enjoyed There Is No Free Lunch, which has a lot of my favorite economic quotes and a bunch of new favorites. The book is a reminder that truisms in life are truisms in finance as well while underscoring it is the individual that is best positioned to unlock his or her own potential and it is wise for the government to move out the way and allow it to happen. This will end up on your desk as a handy reference guide and from time to time as a pick me up when your faith in free markets might be waning.”
— Charles Payne, Fox Business
“What this book does is champion the case that economics is about incentives, and incentives are at the core of what it means to be human. David’s book mixes the old and the new, the classical and the modern, and does so in a readable way that teaches readers what they need to know about economics. No matter what you've been taught, or what you think you believe, your understanding of economics will benefit and expand by reading this superb book."
— Larry Kudlow
“In writing this book, David Bahnsen has done much to advance the building and understanding of a free and virtuous society. Here we have a reliable and useful tutorial on economic foundations. As both a thinker and a practitioner, Bahnsen is able to graft economics into a more complete worldview, enabling us to see the transcendence in economics done well.”
— Father Robert Sirico
"David Bahnsen is a vital voice in a time of complete economic chaos. Let him guide you through the basic truths of economics, and come out smarter on the other side!"
— Ben Shapiro, Daily Wire
“Economics is a complicated field, but it gets a lot easier when one masters the basics first. David has here laid out a series of foundational steps one can take to understand what many have made excessively complex and confusing. The dismal science is less dismal because of this book.”
— John Mauldin
“Economics is not merely a science of managing scarcity through mathematical formulas, but a study of human flourishing, and the navigation of its short and long term consequences. As David Bahnsen brilliantly shows, There’s No Free Lunch, but there is a banquet of creativity.”
— Andrew C. McCarthy, New York Times bestselling author and National Review contributing editor
"In his new wise and bracing new book, David Bahnsen says the promotion of human dignity and human flourishing are the truest and highest purposes of economic inquiry. This is a message everyone—right, left and center—needs to hear.”
— John Podhoretz, Commentary
“One of the reasons we have such division today on such key issues is a lack of agreement on basic economic principles. David’s book does a lot of things, but at the top of the list is set some foundational principles in place that will guide the discussion well. A needed book!”
— Anthony Scaramucci, Skybridge Capital, Founder and CEO
“It’s like textbook, only fast-paced, easily accessible and consistently interesting. It also has one of the best collections of quotes from champions of liberty that I’ve ever seen in a book of this size, from authors both old and new. But the thing I love most about this book is that it is celebratory. It’s more a party than a party-line. Bahnsen loves the idea of human flourishing and understands that sound economics is not mainly about demolishing the errors of socialism, but instead about unleashing human-kind to improve (with demolishing socialism as a means to that end). This book represents a mood which one finds in just a few of our current authors, such as Kudlow, Gilder and McCloskey, a mood of ebullience. All the main topics are here: division of labor, the knowledge problem, human action, but vivid and pulsing with life. Bahnsen sets exactly the right tone for our economic renewal. Will it change any minds? I think it can. At least in my case it changed my mind about one thing, my (former) belief that Crisis of Responsibility is Bahnsen’s most important book.”
— Jerry Bowyer, Townhall Financial, Editor; Bowyer Research, President
“There are very few people who understand free market economics but who also spend most of their time actually working in the real economy. David Bahnsen is one of those very rare individuals. His reflections upon economic truths not only embody a deep intellectual appreciation of markets; they also arise from his everyday praxis as one of America’s leading capital entrepreneurs. If you want to understand economics and the economy from the “inside,” read this book. Put simply, it is a revelation.”
— Samuel Gregg, Research Director, Acton Institute, and Visiting Scholar, Heritage Foundation
"What a perfectly brilliant idea! Free market economics for non-economists, organized into 250 bite-sized nuggets of timeless truth. Like the free market itself, David Bahnsen's delightfully accessible There's No Free Lunch will do the greatest good for the greatest number of general readers."
— Nick Murray, author of "Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth"
“David Bahnsen is one of the most important economic and financial analysts in America. In this book, he draws on history’s most profound economic thinkers to advance a deeply humane view of market economics as not just efficient or better than the alternative, but necessary to human flourishing. An essential contribution to an economic debate that has lost touch with the wisdom in these pages.”
— Rich Lowry, Editor-in-Chief, National Review
“I read an advance copy of this book in a PDF, and as soon as I get my hard copy, I intend to read it again. It’s that good. This book promises no free lunch, but it is a *good* lunch, worth every penny. Where else could you get a master class in economics that weighs just a few pounds, and in digital form, weighs nothing at all?”
— Douglas Wilson, Christ Church
“If you want to gain wisdom about economics, I think it would be hard to do better than David Bahnsen’s new book. It contains 250 economic truths in digestible bites. My journey with economics began with James Gwartney at Florida State, but yours may begin with David.”
— Hunter Baker, Dean, Union University
"Without an equation in sight, David Bahnsen guides the reader through 250 fundamental economic truths. There's No Free Lunch is a breezy, myth-busting book in the spirit of Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson. He makes complicated things seem easy to understand while never taking his eye off the most important principles of economics – and life.”
— Jonah Goldberg, The Dispatch
“To describe David Bahnsen’s There’s No Free Lunch as a great book about economics would be to vastly undersell it. This is really a brilliant book about anthropology, properly understood—about what human beings are, and therefore how they might best thrive.”
— Yuval Levin
"When cultural Marxism is on the march through our institutions, it's refreshing to read books that remind us what keeps us prosperous and free. David Bahnsen has collected a lot of wisdom in his newest book There's No Free Lunch. I recommend it."
— Ted Cruz