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Tag Archives: Trade

Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from a 1906 electoral address by Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, as shared on Facebook by Steve Davies: I hold that protection is not only bad economy, but that it is an agency at once immoral and oppressive, based as it is and must be on the exploitation of the community in the interest of favoured trades and financial groups. I hold it to be a corrupting system, because honesty and purity of administration must be driven to the wall if once the principle of taxes for revenue be...

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Some Links

Mike Munger writes on “how pathological a reliance on politics as a solution can be.” Brian Doherty remembers the late David Koch. A slice: In a 2005 interview for my book Radicals for Capitalism, Koch told me his father taught him that “big government was bad, and impositions of government controls on our lives and our economic fortunes was not good.” In the mid-1960s, with encouragement from Charles, he attended the Freedom School, an early libertarian educational institution run by...

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Some Links

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy tells the harsh truth about Social Security. A slice: It looks even worse in the long run. The Social Security Board of Trustees reports that over the next 75 years, the program will be underfunded by $13.9 trillion. To make Social Security solvent over this period would require an immediate and permanent payroll tax increase (today) of 2.78 percent of overall wages — which raises the average Social Security payroll tax bite by 25...

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No Saving Cass’s Case

Longish and wonkish, this letter is to an economics major. Ms. Shell: Thanks for your e-mail. You ask if it’s “possible to compromise with policies like the ones supported by [Oren] Cass by recognizing the tradeoff between consumers’ interests and producers’ interests.” My answer is no, if by compromise you mean for me to endorse government policies that slow consumers’ abilities to switch whatever amounts of their spending they like to imports. My reasons are many, but I’ll here mention...

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Bad Arguments for Free Trade

Here’s a letter to a very kind reader of Café Hayek, Mr. Jairaj Devadiga: Jairaj: Thanks for your kind e-mail. Your question – how I “handle people who make poor arguments for free trade and free markets” – is a good one. As you recognize, these poor arguments inflict especially heavy damage on the case for freedom. But I don’t think that I address these arguments any differently than I address poor arguments against free trade and free markets. Among the most common of economic errors –...

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Some Links

Vincent Geloso brilliantly explains that America’s economic riches were not, and are not, the product of slavery – quite the opposite. Here’s his conclusion: It is clear that one cannot infer that America was made richer from the often-used facts about growth and slavery. It is even clearer that America was made poorer by slavery. Slavery leaves a nasty legacy. Its preservation required the use of racist ideological constructs to justify it. These constructs persist today and, since...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 441 of Abba Lerner’s October 1957 article in the Journal of Political Economy, “The Backward-leaning Approach to Controls” (original emphasis): The free-trade doctrines are valid as general rules whose general use is generally beneficial. As with all general rules, there are particular cases where, if one knew all the attendant circumstances and the full effects in all their ramifications, it would be better for the rule not to be applied. But that does not make the rule a...

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Backfire economics: Consumers are and will be paying higher prices due to Trump’s tariffs/taxes on Americans – Publications – AEI

AEI Backfire economics: Consumers are and will be paying higher prices due to Trump’s tariffs/taxes on Americans From CNBC: The average American household will be down $1,000 per year thanks to the newest round of tariffs on Chinese goods, according to J.P. Morgan. The firm estimates the average annual tariff cost per household will increase from $600 from the first two rounds of tariffs. The new tariffs are scheduled to begin Sept. 1 and in mid-December. “What distinguishes China...

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Some Links

Jeffrey Tucker sets straight the economically and factually misinformed Pope Francis I. A slice: Let me offer my own definition of libertarianism. It is the political theory that freedom and peace serve the common good better than violence and state control, thus suggesting a normative rule: societies and individuals must be left unmolested in their associations and commercial dealings so long as they are not threatening others. My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy is...

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I, Asparagus

This morning in the Whole Foods Market at Fair Lakes (in northern Virginia) I noticed that asparagus are selling for $3.99 per pound – asparagus grown in Peru! What a spectacular world! A production or nonsupervisory worker in the United States today who is paid the average wage for such workers must spend a mere 17 percent of one-hour’s wage to purchase a pound of fresh asparagus grown on another continent. Are you not amazed? If not, you should be. Not only did some number of farm...

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