Free our Markets: A Citizens’ Guide to Essential Economics is now available at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.com.


“Central to economics is the study of how people deal with the scarcity of resources. Unfortunately, among humanity’s scarcest resources are crystal-clear, compelling, and correct explanations of how economies work. With this truly outstanding volume, Howard Baetjer makes that vital resource much less scarce.”

—Donald J. Boudreaux, professor of economics, George Mason University


“Howard Baetjer takes a new look at economics – neither from the left nor from the right, but from the heart. Baetjer takes a refreshingly holistic approach in exploring how joyously talented and frustratingly limited humans interact to better their lives. You won’t find the graphs and equations that unnecessarily alienate so many economics students from this wonderful discipline. Instead, you’ll find a story of how people can come together to form a civil society – a story that will resonate with anyone who believes that, for all their shortcomings, humans are fundamentally good.”

—Antony Davies, professor of economics, Duquesne University


“In Free Our Markets Howard Baetjer demonstrates clearly that increased liberty, not government, is the way to improve our standards of living. Making his case with beautifully explained economic reasoning and a careful and unbiased examination of real-world examples ranging from the housing crisis to education markets, Baetjer has succeeded in producing that wonderful rarity – a book that is both so clear and so important that it really should be read by everyone. If we take the humane lessons of Free Our Markets to heart we will undoubtedly make our lives – and the lives of our children – far, far better.”

—James Stacey Taylor, professor of philosophy, College of New Jersey


“Howard Baetjer has produced a marvelous introduction to economics that will have great appeal to those who want to understand why economics matters both for making sense of our world and for improving it. In the tradition of the great communicators of sound economics, Baetjer makes complex economic ideas simple, and uses great storytelling and numerous effective examples to illustrate the productivity and humanity of the market. His final section on the housing boom and bust is particularly effective in showing the economic waste and human toll that arises even from the most well-intentioned attempts to intervene in the market. This book is a great place to start in understanding why we need markets that are more free not less.”

—Steven Horwitz, Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics, St. Lawrence University


Free Our Markets enables the educated layman to understand the fundamental reasons why economic liberty is the foundation for prosperity and societal flourishing.”

—John Allison, CEO and President, Cato Institute, Washington, DC.


“It’s no accident that Howard Baetjer is a highly sought-after speaker far beyond his home institution: few economists – few thinkers in any discipline – are as effective at communicating ideas. His explanations and examples of core economic principles and how they inform our understanding of a free society are clear and vivid; his writing is engaging and uplifting. Baetjer’s gifted ability as a lecturer translates nicely to the printed page. Readers of this book will not only come to a better understanding of economics, they will also come away with a better understanding of human freedom.”

—Aeon J. Skoble, professor of philosophy, Bridgewater State University


“Howard Baetjer, one of America’s great classroom teachers, has now written the definitive introduction to free-market economics for the twenty-first century. Clear, logical, and principled, Free Our Markets ranks with Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson as one of the very best books on free-market economics ever written. This book should be read by all Americans who care about prosperity and a free society.”

—C. Bradley Thompson, Executive Director of the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism


“We are at this moment in time confronted with the consequences of the perpetuation for decades of economic fallacies that captured the political elite and popular imagination and now have come to  threaten the economic future of Europe and the US. We need at this time a massive intellectual correction to defeat popular fallacies and to spread economic literacy. Howard Baetjer is a master teacher of the economic way of thinking, and Free Our Markets: A Citizens’ Guide to Essential Economics is the perfect antidote to the fallacious reasoning that dominates political speech on the left and the right in DC and Brussels (and everyone in-between).”

—Peter Boettke, University Professor of Economics, George Mason University


Free Our Markets is that rare treasure—an illuminating book about a complex and important subject that is so clear, so persuasive, and so inspiring that it is an absolute pleasure to read. Professor Baetjer makes the case for economic liberty with a masterful combination of show and tell that leads inexorably to his conclusion: that the way to prosperity, security, and abundance is freedom, not the coercive power of government.

—Clark Neily, Senior Attorney, Institute For Justice


An instant classic… Howard Baetjer’s vivid explanation of key economic principles stands out as not only sound and incisive but also humane and generous. Free Our Markets makes a clear and compelling case for the restoration of Thomas Jefferson’s vision for “a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”

—Robert M. S. McDonald, Associate Professor of History, United States Military Academy


The microeconomic sections of Howard Baetjer’s Free Our Markets, which are most of the book, are magnificent. He takes you on a voyage of discovery as he reveals the power of free markets to make our lives better. Whether he discusses corn row braiding, how to protect elephants in Africa, why central economic planning doesn’t work, or why price controls on water cause people to do without, Baetjer brings fresh energy to his subject. His enthusiasm is infectious. Read, learn, and enjoy.

—David R. Henderson, author of The Joy of Freedom: An Economist’s Odyssey.


One of the major failings of the economics profession is not making our subject comprehensible to the ordinary person. Free Our Markets: A Citizens’ Guide to Essential Economics comes to the rescue. Professor Howard Baetjer does a yeoman’s job in addressing that problem whilst proving that economics is not only exciting, it’s mostly plain common sense. Readable and fun, Free Our Markets provides valuable insights and possible solutions to many of the nation’s problems.

—Walter E. Williams, John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics, George Mason University

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