Liberty Fund

Liberty Fund was founded in 1960 by Pierre F. Goodrich, an Indianapolis lawyer and businessman, to the end that some hopeful contribution may be made to the preservation, restoration, and development of individual liberty through investigation, research, and educational activity.


Great books are the repository of knowledge and experience. Liberty Fund seeks to preserve the wisdom and learning of the ages and to strengthen our understanding and appreciation of individual liberty and responsibility.

For over four decades, Liberty Fund has made available some of the finest books in history, politics, philosophy, law, education, and economics—books of enduring value that have helped to shape ideas and events in man’s quest for liberty, order, and justice.

Featured Book A Conversation with Anna Schwartz (DVD)

Anna Schwartz

In one of the most long-lasting and influential careers in economics, Anna Schwartz has made profound contributions to statistics, economic history, monetary policy, and international monetary arrangements.


A Conversation with Anna Schwartz (DVD)


These resources are designed to further Liberty Fund’s educational activities. They include classic works in the tradition of limited government, as well as lively current discussions of how classical-liberal principles apply in today’s world.

EconLog June 17, 2019

The Spectator and the Market Miracle, by Sarah Skwire

Long before Adam Smith wrote Theory of Moral Sentiments or Wealth of Nations, Joseph Addison and Richard Steele began their own project to portray and educate the rising merchant classes of 18th century London. Their project—a daily paper called The Spectator[1] that was issued from 1711-1712, is a treasure trove of humor, literary criticism, political and social gossip and advice for the early 18th century man or woman on the rise. For friends of this website, it is also a delightful and important early source of thinking about markets.

Issue #69 of The Spectator, published on May 19, 1711, begins, “There is no Place in the Town which I so much love to frequent as the Royal-Exchange” and the whole of the issue is devoted to the praise of trade and commerce. It amounts to a brilliant four-page love letter to the human propensity to truck, barter, and exchange. Indeed, the sight moves Joseph Addison, the author of this particular issue of The Spectator, to tears of pride and of appreciation.

Addison begins by emphasizing the international quality of the Exchange as something of a United Nations of trade.

Law & Liberty June 18, 2019

Constitutional Text and State Sovereign Immunity

Many of the Supreme Court’s decisions as to state sovereign immunity are problematic, but there is an originalist basis for some of those decisions.

OLL | Quotations June 17, 2019

The Jesuit priest and political philosopher Edward Bellarmine grapples with the problem of a subject’s obedience to kings or popes (1610)


EconTalk June 17, 2019

Anja Shortland on Kidnap

Kidnap.jpgAnja Shortland of King’s College London talks about her book Kidnap with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Kidnapping is relatively common in parts of the world where government authority is weak. Shortland explores this strange, frightening, but surprisingly orderly world. She shows how the interaction between kidnappers, victims, and insurance companies creates a somewhat predictable set […]

EconLog June 17, 2019

A Mistake in the Wall Street Journal Crossword Puzzle, by David Henderson

In the June 3, 2019 Wall Street Journal crossword, edited by Mike Shenk, the clue for 13 Down is “SFO screeners.” The answer is TSA.

The answer is wrong. Why?

Law & Liberty June 17, 2019

Donald Trump and the Political Philosophers

How best to think about Trump and contemporary America? Can political philosophy help?

Law & Liberty June 17, 2019

Józef Czapski: A Soldier and Artist Fights for Liberty

Held as a POW by the Soviets in 1940, Czapski later worked to bring to light their murder of 22,000 of his fellow Polish officers in the Katyn Forest.

EconLog June 17, 2019

Freedom to travel, by Scott Sumner

I’m always a bit skeptical when I hear talk about a recent trend toward “deregulation”. There is no doubt that regulations in a few areas have been relaxed, particularly environmental rules (such as burning coal). Banks are again being allowed to take greater risks with taxpayer insured funds. But I see many more examples of growing restrictions on freedoms.

The most obvious examples are international trade, international investment, and immigration. And now, travel is another area where the federal government is cracking down. Business travelers are increasingly being turned down for visas.

Charlotte Slocombe, a partner at London-based immigration law firm Fragomen, said she was seeing “one or two business travellers per week having difficulty getting into the US”, often to the surprise of their employers. “One of the more common issues that reach me are arrests, cautions or convictions for drug-related offences, either cocaine or marijuana,” she said.

OLL June 17, 2019

On Temporal and Spiritual Authority (Robert Bellarmine)

Robert Bellarmine, On Temporal and Spiritual Authority: On Laymen or Secular People On the Temporal Power of the Pope. Against William Barclay On the Primary Duty of the Supreme Pontiff. Edited, Translated, and with an Introduction by Stefania Tutino (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2012).

OLL | Quotations March 3, 2012

Molinari defends the right to property against the socialists who want to overthrow it, and the conservatives who defend it poorly (1849)


OLL March 15, 2013

Paul Heyne, “Economics Is a Way of Thinking” (1995) (Paul Heyne)

Paul HeyneThe Best of the OLL No. 14: Paul Heyne, “Economics Is a Way of Thinking” (1995) (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2013).

AdamSmithWorks August 9, 2018

The Theory of Moral Sentiments: Part III, Chapter IV

Of the Nature of Self-deceit, and of the Origin and Use of general Rules

Liberty Law Talk June 14, 2019

Borne Back to the American Founding: A Conversation with George Will

George Will discusses the meaning of the Conservative Sensibility in American politics.

OLL | Liberty Matters May 1, 2019

David M. Hart, "Reassessing Bastiat's *Economic Harmonies* after 160 Years" (May, 2019)

Liberty MattersWith the completion of a draft of Liberty Fund's new translation of Frédéric Bastiat's economic treatise on Economic Harmonies we have invited a group of scholars who know Bastiat and his work to reassess his contributions to economic theory some 160 years after the book's first appearance in 1850-51. Bastiat is widely known for his brilliant economic journalism (the series of Economic Harmonies) but less so for his contributions to economic theory. As an economic theorist, Bastiat has suffered from being misunderstood (even by his colleagues and contemporaries), neglected and forgotten (by most economists since his death), being subjected to abusive or dismissive criticism (Marx and Schumpeter), and being damned with faint praise (Hayek). David Hart, the Academic Editor of Liberty Fund's Bastiat translation project, argues that out of a list of 18 or so key economic ideas Bastiat can be said to have made significant contributions to 11 of them, and so must be considered a serious economic theorist. He is joined in the discussion by Donald J. Boudreaux, professor of economics at George Mason University; Jörg Guido Hülsmann, professor of economics at the University of Angers in France; and Joseph T. Salerno, academic vice president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and the editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, and professor emeritus of economics in the Lubin School of Business of Pace University in New York City.

See the Archive of "Liberty Matters".

OLL | Quotations February 19, 2018

Jeremy Bentham on how the interests of the many (the people) are always sacrificed to the interests of the few (the sinister interests) (1823)

Jeremy Bentham

Liberty Forum June 3, 2019

China Since Tiananmen: Not a Dream but a Nightmare

The extinguishing of the democracy movement and the flowering of the economic miracle are closely linked.

OLL November 21, 2011

The Winter’s Tale (William Shakespeare)

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (The Oxford Shakespeare), ed. with a glossary by W.J. Craig M.A. (Oxford University Press, 1916).

OLL | Liberty Fund Books November 21, 2011

The Lamp of Experience (Trevor Colbourn)

ColbournLampIn a landmark work, a leading scholar of the eighteenth century examines the ways in which an understanding of the nature of history, seen as as a continual struggle between liberty and virtue on one hand and arbitrary power and corruption on the other, influenced the thinking of the founding fathers.

OLL November 21, 2011

Outlines of an historical view of the progress of the human mind (Marie-Jean-Antoine-Nicolas Caritat, Marquis de Condorcet)

Outlines progress human mindOutlines of an historical view of the progress of the human mind, being a posthumous work of the late M. de Condorcet. (Translated from the French.) (Philadelphia: M. Carey, 1796).

CEE February 5, 2018

Edmund S. Phelps

Edmund Phelps 2017

Edmund S. Phelps was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in economic science “for his analysis of intertemporal tradeoffs in macroeconomic policy.” He focused on two distinct areas of macroeconomics: the tradeoff between unemployment and inflation and capital accumulation and economic growth.

In the early 1960s, many economists believed that the tradeoff between unemployment and inflation was stable. (See phillips curve) Government policy makers, according to this view, could pick a combination of inflation and unemployment almost as if they were ordering from a menu.

In the late 1960s, however, Phelps challenged this view by going back to basics—that is, by considering how individual employees and employers act. He assumed that employees would act based on their expectations of future inflation. If they expected, say, 3% inflation, they would build this into their wage bargains.

OLL | Images of Liberty April 13, 2016

The People and the Ruling Elite in Caricatures (Wade and Daumier)

Wade ruling elite caricature John Wade (1788-1875) was active in British reform circles throughout the 1820s. This group included people such as James Mill (the father of J.S. Mill) and other “Philosophical Radicals”. One of their key demands was to enlarge the franchise to include better representation of the new cities which had grown during the industrial revolution and to reduce the number of “rotten boroughs” which were very small electorates in the countryside which were dominated by the local landowners. The First Reform Act of 1832 increased the size of the electorate by over 50%, enabling some 1/6 of the English population to vote. One reason why reformers like John Wade wanted a larger electorate was to enable them to protect themselves from the aristocratic and wealthy elites who benefited from the large number of government pensions, subsidies, monopolies, and other privileges which control of Parliament gave them. He chronicled these abuses in several editions of The Extraordinary Black Book, or Corruption Unmasked (1820-1835). The cartoon comes from the Appendix to the 1835 edition.

OLL | Quotations November 18, 2010

Sidney argues that a People's liberty is a gift of nature and exists prior to any government (1683)

Algernon Sidney

Econlib June 1, 2018



A consumer is someone who is the final user of an item–a good or service. For example, when you eat, you consume the food. You are the final destination, the final user of the food, making you a consumer of food. When you use a laundromat or dry cleaner to clean your clothes, you consume the services of the laundromat or dry cleaner, making you a consumer of laundry services. When your classmate draws you a Valentine’s Day card and gives it to you, you are the consumer of that card.

The items you consume are collectively called goods and services by economists, or goods for short. Everything you consume is by definition a good. Economists sometimes use the longer term “goods and services” as a reminder to emphasize that they are not merely talking about physical goods.

Do not be confused by the word “good.” Some things called “goods” by economists may not feel or taste “good.” For example, you may hate liver, but you might sometimes eat it just because your mom cooked it for dinner. That makes you a consumer of liver, and it makes liver a good in the terminology of economics. The economics course you take in college may not be as much fun as playing frisbee, but it’s still a good in the terminology of economics, and you are a consumer of that course–a consumer of that good, a consumer of those education services.

OLL November 21, 2011

The Character and Logical Method of Political Economy (John Elliot Cairnes)

Character logical methodThe Character and Logical Method of Political Economy (London: Macmillan, 1875 2nd ed).

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