Book of Letters-to-the-Editor

by Don Boudreaux on June 4, 2011

in Books, Economics

Sometime next year (probably in May 2012) a book of 100 of my best letters-to-the-editor will be published, in both paper and e-book form. The publisher and I (with the help of Jim Tusty and Bob Chitester at Free To Choose Network) are now in the process of winnowing down nearly 5,000 letters to 100.

The plan is to have a letter on the left-hand page and, on the right-hand page across from the letter, some new material that relates somehow to the letter – for example, a cartoon; an updating of any data that might be in the letter; an especially interesting reaction to the letter; etc.

I welcome from you any suggestions you have for which of my letters are good candidates to be included in the book.

I welcome also suggestions for the book’s title.


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robert June 4, 2011 at 10:58 am

“Yours, marginally…”

Krishnan June 4, 2011 at 11:05 am

“What if Mike Royko wrote about economics?”

(A title, really)

You write with a punch – Like Mike Royko used to …

Art Carden June 4, 2011 at 11:12 am
SAM June 4, 2011 at 11:14 am

Title: “Letters from the Earth”

Too bad it’s already taken.

Frank33328 June 4, 2011 at 11:23 am

Your letter titled “The Problem Began When the Invention of the Spear Reduced the Price of Food” was great for the title alone. I good cartoon can be easily imagined for the facing page. The contents too (aside from the title) were also very enjoyable.

Randy June 5, 2011 at 7:39 am


flotsam June 4, 2011 at 11:23 am

To Whom It Damn Well Better Concern!

(sorry, i’m crude)

Trentmcbride June 4, 2011 at 11:25 am

Is there any plan to have the original article that prompted the letter as well?

Reuvain Borchardt June 5, 2011 at 8:55 am

yeah, I also thought that would be a good idea; but the publisher would probably have to get permission from each newspaper to re-print the articles. And some letters were written in response to comments on radio shows…

vikingvista June 4, 2011 at 11:30 am

What a great idea. Better than a book of poetry.

Scott G June 4, 2011 at 11:32 am

Fantastico! I’m looking forward to reading another book by Don Boudreaux. Will there be a chapter at the beginning of the book which discusses the letter writing process? This might be a sort of a behind the scenes look at the Don Boudreaux letter-writing factory.

Maybe we can also have, 10 of the most memorable comments in an appendix? Or maybe just memorable or unique phrases that appeared in the comments.

Ken June 4, 2011 at 11:44 am

Maybe something from your much younger days….I’m sure you wrote some zingers to the AU Plainsman many moons ago:)

BTW, really enjoyed your class in 1983/4ish.

rhhardin June 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Lazlo Toth (Don Novello) had a series of very entertaining letters books, printed across from the provoked response. Alas, you’re not getting a response to print.

Ironman June 4, 2011 at 12:09 pm

There’s only one possible title if you think about it:

“Sincerely, Donald J. Boudreaux”

And here are the 3,590 (and counting) reasons why….

Larry Wasserman June 4, 2011 at 12:44 pm

This is wonderful news.
I save your letters so I can send them to my economically illiterate
friends. This will save me lots of time!

I have 2 suggestions.

(1) Use more than 100 letters. 100 seems way to small.

(2) In addition to the
book, whay not have a link to a website repository with all your letters.

As for a title, how about:

Letters form an Economist


Letters From Reality

–Larry Wasserman

Reuvain Borchardt June 5, 2011 at 8:58 am

I second that!

Don, Can you please print more than 100; and at the very least, have a new website in which you have full archives of ALL your letters?

You are the best!

Chris Martin June 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm

As a novice student of Austrian Economics, it would greatly add to my reading experience if you grouped the letters in categories, much like the web site. I tend to learn a little more when there’s a connection between subsequent letters as they relate and reinforce key theories. This would also help me in my daily quest to convert others, as my brother did to me.

Best of luck in this endeavor.

A. June 4, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I’d be interested in the book if it had some analysis of the issues, and not just updated data/reactions. That would be more work of course.

kyle8 June 4, 2011 at 1:32 pm

how about, “Let me clear things up…”

Chandran June 4, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Epistolary Economics

DG Lesvic June 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm

How about

I’m Madder Than Hell and I’m Not Going to Take it Any More

A Real Economist Speaks Out

Michael Orlowski June 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I side with DG Lesvic

Moggio June 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Epistolary Economics is a good title! :)

DG Lesvic June 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Great news. Put me down for a copy now.

As for the title, I loved flotsam’s

To Whom It Damn Well Better Concern!

Or, how about The Sayings of Chairman Don

that’s not too original though

How about

What Bastiat Would Say Today

Good luck with it. If anything can save freedom, that’ll be it.

Richard Stands June 4, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Corresponding Points

Ben Hughes June 4, 2011 at 2:47 pm

“Letters from Reason (How the Laws of Economics Cannot be Repealed)”

Stephan June 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Hmmm … concerning your nasty habit to write letters to the world without the world asking for letters from Don Boudreaux it is hard to find an appropriate title. Anyway I’m thinking a Jack Reacher quote from Lee Child’s novels would be a good title:

You mess with me? I’ll answer you.

Scott G June 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Here’s a title for your book: “My Nasty Habit: A Memoir of Commenting at Cafe Hayek”, by Stephan.

Don, can you please write more letters?

Stephan June 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Scott, that title sounds good. The only problem I foresee: There won’t be enough aggregate demand to make the endeavor worthwhile. In this regard I definitely will need some federal fiscal stimulus.

Bill Dupre June 4, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Since you hold Mencken in such high regard, how about “A Boudreaux Chrestomathy.” Something similar but with a bit more flair, “The Canons of Boudreaux.”

Scott G June 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Why not go little farther an rename the site: Cafe Boudreaux?

Bill June 4, 2011 at 5:03 pm

To steal an idea from Mike Munger, “Going All Boudreaux.”

I trust the collection will include a letter or two dealing with Current Account Deficit = Capital Account Surplus?

Speedmaster June 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm

That would be great! Love your letters. My only request would be to ask if you could make a larger number online, maybe an extra for those who have purchased the book?

Bob June 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Reality Bites Back!

Troll Finder June 4, 2011 at 6:42 pm

A few letters addressing the misconceptions regarding the trade deficit should certainly make the cut. It’s one of the most grossly misunderstood concepts, and you do an excellent job of articulating why. And…I’m tired of hearing talking heads tell me that this deficit must be “financed”.

Pfloyd June 4, 2011 at 6:47 pm

It needs to have some teeth in the title, after all these letters are essentially attacking the wrong-headed notions of people in the media who are using their platform to spout off about that which they know little about.

Dan Hill June 4, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Don, all your letters are gems so I’m happy with whatever goes in. But please, please, please make sure your publisher does a decent job on formatting the ebook version.

Jason June 4, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Beaucoup Boudreaux.

W.E.Heasley June 4, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Letters to the White Queen’s Before Breakfast Club


The White Queen Letters and other impossible things.

Observer_Guy1 June 4, 2011 at 8:23 pm

It’s about darn time! I almost began copying your letters into Word and then turning them into PDFs for download onto my Kindle. Now I won’t have to.

Your letters are a great reference and refutation of all things Statist.

Long live Boudreaux!

River June 4, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Can’t wait, and count me a buyer. Lots of good titles already but how about:
“Letters to Stupid

indianajim June 4, 2011 at 9:26 pm

B o u d r e a u x n o m i c s: Letter by Letter

kyle8 June 5, 2011 at 10:57 am

Damn, I like that one!

Emerson June 4, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Put a bottle of wine on the cover and call it Vintage Boudreaux.

Jack Swan June 4, 2011 at 11:42 pm

I second this.

argosyjones June 5, 2011 at 2:54 am

Vintage Boudreaux Whines!

Captain Profit June 4, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Oh yeah?

SKK June 5, 2011 at 4:03 am

To Uncommon Sense, with Love.

Linda Seebach June 5, 2011 at 4:16 am

Science fiction writer John Scalzi published a book of selected blog posts and called it “Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded.” It won a Hugo, but I don’t think economists have contests like that.

TheMichaelOnline June 5, 2011 at 6:41 am

I like the idea for the book.

I second the idea of a website for your letters.

I like the Man of Letters recommendation.

James Buchanan June 5, 2011 at 8:12 am

I have worked with Bob and Jim and I must say that you are in excellent company! I look forward to seeing the final product.

Good luck!

James Buchanan (not the Nobel Laureate)

Mark Wonsil June 5, 2011 at 8:31 am

An Editor to the Letters

James June 5, 2011 at 8:49 am
mitt romney hater June 5, 2011 at 9:07 am

that is an article,not a letter to the editor

James June 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm


mitt romney hater June 5, 2011 at 9:05 am

RE: those who have asked for a website for ALL of Don’s letters: Don used to have one in which he posted all letters that he and Prof. Andrew Morriss of U. of Alabama wrote ( ) but it’s no longer up, I think the host closed up shop or something. Here’s hoping a new site will be up soon!

Reuvain Borchardt June 5, 2011 at 9:09 am


Any collection of your greatest letters MUST MUST MUST include the one where you refused to lobby Congress to allocate public funds for research of the disease that killed your mother
IMO This one is among your greatest ever, if not the greatest :-)

Mike White June 5, 2011 at 9:10 am

Only 99 spaces available. “Why I Don’t Vote” should lock up a spot.

Ed Cabaniss June 5, 2011 at 10:13 am

Everything you write is great. Once in a while I print one out and lay it on the bar at the local watering hole. Conversation is different after that. Best of luckwith the book. 100 seems like a small number to me but I’ve never found a letter I disagreed with. Keep writing.
Ed Cabaniss
Holden Beach, NC

Bill June 5, 2011 at 11:00 am

“Krugman Antidote”

vikingvista June 5, 2011 at 2:07 pm

That it certainly will be. Only problem is that would seem to elevate Krugman to the level of economist.

James June 5, 2011 at 3:40 pm


“May I have a word with you?”
“Excuse me, your slip (up) is showing”

Jeffrey neal June 5, 2011 at 7:05 pm


Dear Editor:

Edit This.


Reuvain Borchardt June 6, 2011 at 9:27 am

Letters for Liberty

David June 6, 2011 at 5:32 pm

A Letter from Don to the Cantthinkians

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