Free Trade Please

I am always frustrated that any thinking person is opposed to free trade. Maybe people just need to hear about it in different ways. To that end, I’ve collected a bunch of free trade arguments in a Google Notebook.

The economic logic is clear: free trade leads to prosperity. The empirical evidence is clear: free trade leads to prosperity. The anecdotal information, while not conclusive, is impressive. Here is some new anecdotal information. I had not recognized that some industries are already free of trade barriers and, as you would expect, these industries are very healthy and lucrative for everyone involved.

So why are so many politicians so opposed to free trade? It’s simple, really. A lot of businesses and unions could make a lot more money if they restricted consumer options, i.e. disallowed free trade. These “special interests” are only too happy to bribe make big campaign contributions to politicians who will help them take money out of your pocket and put it into theirs. Many politicians are willing to go along, thinking they can con voters by talking about “protecting American jobs” or some such hooey. Lots of people get suckered in, just like P. T. Barnum said. People who would never condone shoplifting are often happy to help pick your pocket out of some twisted notion of “social justice” or “the common good”.

This is not a partisan issue. Politicians of both parties are willing to whore themselves in this fashion. Some are more brazen than others, and our choice is often to go with the lesser of two evils. Think about it come November.


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