Next on your reading list…

…is this superb post from Don Boudreaux on why protectionism fails:

Pat Buchanan writes:

You cannot have a rising standard of living when your highest-paid production jobs are being exported overseas.

I suspect that the above sentence strikes most readers as merely stating an obvious, indeed trivial, truth.  But it’s wrong.  And understanding why it’s wrong – why it’s wrong beyond its use of the familiar yet misleading notion that jobs are “exported” – is necessary to any informed discussion of trade.

Comparative advantage: it works, bitches!


2 Responses to “Next on your reading list…”

  1. September 23, 2011 at 19:12

    “…But is their labor so robotic, so narrow, so inflexible, so specific to doohickey production, that they have no other ways to earn good incomes? No other way to produce other outputs? Clearly not – for if it were, this labor’s opportunity cost would be near-zero. And if this labor’s opportunity cost were near zero, it would be extremely unlikely that these workers would ever have been able to command high pay for producing doohickeys.”

    Unless, of course, they were union workers, in which case we would absolutely need to protect them with tariffs on Brazilian doohickeys and a government bailout of US doohickey manufacturers.

  2. September 30, 2011 at 13:34

    Hey guys, if we end up with the same amount of stuff but have to do less work, it turns out we become not poorer, but richer! Who’d a thunk it, huh?

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anarchocapitalist agitprop

Be advised

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