I have been captivated by the concept of the seen and the unseen in economics since I was first introduced to the idea. It is a seminal part of my understanding of economics, at least the small part I do grasp. The idea was first written about by Frédéric Bastiat, who was a French classical liberal theorist, political economist, and member of the French assembly. He was notable for developing the important economic concept of opportunity cost. He was a strong influence on von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Henry Hazlitt, and even my friend Ron Paul. He was a strong proponent of limited government and free trade, but he also advocated that subsidies (read, stimulus?) should be available for those in need, "... for urgent cases, the State should set aside some resources to assist certain unfortunate people, to help them adjust to changing conditions."