To have a full understanding of the problems of government, it is essential to have at least a basic understanding of economics. Economics is the study of how human beings deal with scarcity, or the fact that human beings have unlimited wants and limited resources. Ludwig von Mises wrote that economics was a subset of the larger science of human action, and in this he was correct.[1] Nearly every action taken by an individual can be thought of in some sense as "economic" in so much as it is a cost vs. benefits analysis.

There is no "libertarian" version of economic thought. In fact, many libertarians disagree on a great many issues. For example, Kevin Carson and Walter Block do not agree on value theory, and there are even some libertarians who think the Federal Reserve is a necessary institution. Still, most libertarian economists believe that government intervention in the economy should be minimized.

It is essential to understand multiple schools of economic thought, both libertarian and non-libertarian, to be able to clearly advocate for a libertarian economic system. For more on competing schools of economic thought, see the article on Schools of Economic Thought.
  1. ^ Von Mises, Ludwig. Human Action: A Treatise On Economics. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1949.