Saturday, 9 June 2018

"The best trade deals are the millions of such that occur when trade is free"

Economist Don Boudreaux agrees with a correspondent that, no, he doesn't trust Trump to "work out better trade deals" for Americans -- and then delivers him (and us) a free lesson in free trade.
Dear Mr. O’Brien: 
Thanks for your e-mail in which you upbraid me for, as you put it, “not trusting our President to work out better trade deals for us.”
You’re correct that I don’t trust Trump to work out better trade deals for us. You are incorrect to upbraid me for this distrust.
The fact is, I trust no one to “work out” better trade deals for us. Each and every trade to which an American voluntarily agrees is a trade – a “deal” – that that American believes makes him or her better off. Therefore, because each and every trade restraint blocks some of these trades, each and every trade restraint makes some Americans worse off.
Put differently, I trust each and every American to work out for himself and herself the trades that are best for him and her. And I trust only each and every American with this authority, and only over himself and herself. The very fact that Trump must use threats of force to obstruct countless voluntary trades – countless voluntary deals – that would otherwise occur is virtual proof that his trade obstructions harm Americans.
Far from ‘working out’ for each of us trade deals that are better, tariffs – regardless of who negotiates them – work out for us trade deals that are worse.
    Donald J. Boudreaux
    Professor of Economics
    Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
    George Mason University
    Fairfax, VA 22030


  1. Here are tens thousands of men and the poverty, unhappiness, and social dereliction in the rust belt. Ruined by the free trade which allowed China to use its slaves against us.

    1. The difference between the professor quoted and you is that the professor respects these folks enough to believe they are capable of learning new skills and obtaining new jobs. You on the other hand, presume (as a necessary assumption of your argument) that these people are too stupid to learn.

    2. So you're presumably implying it's the role of the state to stop free trade in an attempt to alleviate the poverty, unhappiness, and social dereliction of the rust belt. Two questions then:

      1. Do you think it's right that US consumers should be forced to purchase products offering inferior value for money from the rust belt so that poverty can be alleviated? If so why?

      2. Do you think there's any sustainable long term way the US can achieve prosperity, and address what caused the rust belt by propping up businesses that can't compete on the world stage? If so how?


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