Free Trade

Monday, November 19th, 2018

One of the most common faulty premises that infects discussions of economic policy is the premise that a country is like a private for-profit company, only larger. Nearly everything that the United States President says about trade makes sense if you understand him to believe that the United States economy is a gargantuan for-profit firm.

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

International trade is millions of mutually beneficial, voluntary transactions between firms and consumers that happen to lie across international borders. But that’s not how politicians or many in the general public conceptualize it.

Friday, October 12th, 2018

To “buy American,” as the nationalists and nativists demand, is to eschew today’s beneficial products while underrating the benefits of yesterday’s globalization of trade and fearing tomorrow’s.

Monday, October 8th, 2018

Governments should treat each others’ economic policies as given, if only because almost all government interventions artificially help some producers and hurt others. Because every government is forever grasping for excuses to protect politically powerful domestic producers from foreign competition, each government can find such excuses in even the most mundane actions of foreign governments.

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

Free traders can only hope that future agreements will be improved and made universal.

Monday, October 1st, 2018

Opponents of free trade wish to prevent you and your fellow human beings from rendering to, and receiving from, each other the greatest possible amount of mutual assistance at improving your lives.

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

With the new round of announced and threatened tariffs, we are approaching a policy that coupled with the corporate tax cut, can best be described as a revenue-neutral free trade tax.

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

"It is not so much economic as political and philosophical: history must drive toward centralized power under great men and their intellectual advisors. Economic forces must be restricted to the bounds of the nation-state, because those bounds are the limits of the jurisdiction of the powers that be. Trade outside the borders, in this case, represents a kind of treason against state power." ~ Jeffrey Tucker

Friday, September 7th, 2018

This is perhaps the first lesson, and the most important, that students learn in economics.

Monday, September 3rd, 2018

The following tale about trade, protectionism, and trade agreements is more realistic than it seems on the surface.

Monday, August 27th, 2018

Trump’s trade war is heating up. How can the Fed ensure it doesn’t cool down our economy too much?

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

It is incredibly reckless to double taxes on imports from a particular country with the stroke of a pen. As robust and well-capitalized as the US is today, such actions foment more conflict, feed resentment, fuel nationalism, and take unnecessary risks with the economic well being of people the world over.

Friday, August 10th, 2018

Should the political order reflect a vision of society as a free association of individuals engaging in free exchange for mutual and general benefit and creating a complex society thereby?  Or should it come from one that sees membership of a collective entity as primary and allows trade among insiders but puts barriers in the way of trade with outsiders?

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

Rent-seeking is a problem that those on the left should have to answer for whenever they propose extensive new regulations. But as President Trump's recent steel tariffs show, the problem knows no political ideology, and is an inevitable occurrence at the friction point between personal connections and power. The only way out, it would seem, would be to greatly reduce the very power to regulate.

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

I do not deny that countless other modern-day politicians are also mercantilists. But this fact doesn't mean that Trump is less of a mercantilist than he really is. He is a poster-boy for modern-day mercantilism.

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

The cure for the deficit problem is not to hamper free trade but to replace the dollar as the international reserve currency with a private currency and to reduce America’s budget deficit, which absorbs the financial inflows from abroad.

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018

What’s called “economic nationalism” is really just a cover for a political power grab and the manipulation of the public. The price is paid by you and me and everyone.

Monday, July 30th, 2018

When aggression is military, each government attempts to protect its citizens from that which is unleashed by foreigners. But when aggression is economic, it is unleashed by each government against its own citizens. 

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

The cause of free trade is fortunate this time to have the support of the merchant class.