Thursday , February 22 2018
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Cafe Hayek

A Protectionist is Someone Who…

… if he sells an automobile to a stranger for cash, believes that the value of this exchange for him is maximized if he stashes every bit of the cash into his mattress and never, ever spends it.  That is, this protectionist believes that he would make himself worse off if ever he would spend any of the cash on goods and services that would improve his standard of living.  This protectionist also believes that the automobile buyer is a gullible sucker or irresponsible fool for parting...

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On a Scale of 1 to 10 – With 10 Being Undoubtable Truth – Protectionism is a Zero

From time to time, when I write a blog post I feel as though I’m setting a trap.  Setting a trap is never my intention, but on such occasions I have a pretty good sense of the specific contents of the retorts that my post will elicit – retorts that will give me the opportunities to explain just why the retorts are mistaken. I had such a sense when writing this post earlier today and, sure enough, the retort that I felt confident would come actually came (as it happens in this case from...

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A Protectionist is Someone Who…

… according to Michael Connell of Monmouth College, “wants to reward his neighbors with low productivity jobs to provide him with something he values highly — a sense of self-righteous smugness.” (I thank Michael for e-mailing to me this insight and for giving me permission to share it here.) Comments

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Some Links

Shikha Dalmia argues persuasively that United States border bouncers (as she so aptly calls them) already have too much power; they do not need additional powers, such as those of spying on private people. John Tamny draws an important lesson from “the awful Republican budget.” Richard Rahn makes the case for privatizing as many government agencies as possible. Todd Zywicki, a colleague from over in GMU’s Scalia School of Law, writes in today’s Wall Street Journal on the Consumer...

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A Protectionist is Someone Who…

… cannot adequately explain why each and every household in the world does not itself literally build its own home, literally grow its own food, literally spin the thread and weave the textiles that it literally sews together into its own clothing, literally manufacture its own automobile, literally treat its own medical ailments, and literally produce for itself each and every good and service that its members consume. When asked why we don’t observe each and every household being...

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Freeman Essay #92: “Oblivious to the Obvious”

In the November 2003 Freeman I attempted to bust some myths about the alleged dangers of population growth.   My column is below the fold. “Ironically, the birth of a child is registered as a reduction in national income per head, while the birth of a farm animal shows up as an improvement.” – Peter Bauer (1991) Each passing year makes me more and more aware of human beings’ astounding capacity for overlooking the obvious. I have in mind here not those parts of reality that can be...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 280-281 of Douglas Irwin’s vital 2017 volume, Clashing Over Commerce; Doug here is writing about, roughly, the half-century following the U.S. Civil War (link added): [P]roductivity growth in non-traded sectors (such as transportation, services, utilities, and communications) was much more rapid than in agriculture and in manufacturing, the sectors more affected by trade.  Productivity growth in the service sector is usually explained by particular technological...

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A Political Survey

A team of researchers from Stony Brook University have asked me to help them study the role that emotion plays in politics.  I have completed the survey myself, and it only took me a few minutes to finish.  The survey is completely anonymous. Click the link below to begin the survey:

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A Protectionist is Someone Who…

… believes that years of historically unprecedented state brutality (such as reigned in Maoist China), continuing abnormal oppression, a relatively weak rule of law, comparatively poor infrastructure, comparatively little education, comparatively primitive skill-sets, and comparatively few capital goods to work with make workers who live and toil under these conditions such fearsomely adept, talented, and productive – indeed, indomitable – competitors of workers in the United States and...

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