“People Are Enriched When They’re Free To Purchase From Whomever They Choose Regardless Of Political Boundaries”
George Mason University economist Don Boudreaux responds to the political outrage over the US Olympic team’s duds being made in China.
Mr. Reid’s outburst reveals his ignorance of a foundational conclusion of economic science, namely, that people are enriched when they’re free to purchase from whomever they choose regardless of political boundaries. Yes, there are economists who emphasize (mostly purely theoretical) exceptions to the case for free trade – none of which are relevant here – and even a few fringe economists who reject that case altogether. But economists’ overwhelming, non-partisan, and research-based consensus today is, as it has been for years, that free trade (even when unilateral) is beneficial. Mr. Reid’s temper tantrum proves that he is either inexcusably dimwitted about matters on which he legislates, or interested, not in science and realism and truth, but in scoring political points by appealing to the uninformed emotions of constituents.
If Mr. Reid had announced that locating water in the Mojave is easily done with divining rods, that cancer is best cured with crystals, or that the Senate chamber is haunted by Daniel Webster’s ghost, he’d be laughed out of office. But let him make a similarly laughable remark about trade and he continues to be treated as if he and his opinions deserve respect.
Boudreaux makes the mistake of assuming that this sort of rank trade protectionism is intended to be based on any facts or underlying economic research. It’s not. Trade protectionism is purely political, based on emotion and economic illiteracy.Tags: china, olympics, trade protectionism