Monday, September 01, 2003


An old fallacy debunked once again: "Whenever an expert touts a totally new theory, invention or miracle medicine, a healthy dose of skepticism is called for. The recent writings of Paul Craig Roberts fit the mold. He claims that two centuries of economic thought in support of free trade, dating back to Adam Smith and David Ricardo, have been overturned by new developments and his own unique insights. But reality is more straightforward, and far less ominous, than he depicts.... In his Aug. 6 column, "Seeking Jobs in the U.S.A.," he claims that American workers face an unprecedented threat from low-wage countries such as China and India, where an endless supply of workers can now substitute for millions of middle-class American workers at a fraction of the wage"

For those who do not know it, the great satire of the protectionist fallacy is Frederic Bastiat's wonderful petition to the French parliament on behalf of candlemakers.

Australia has a record of foolish protectionism too. Alfred Deakin was one of Australia's early Prime ministers -- beginning in 1903. He is generally well-spoken of by historians but his legacy in the economic field is distinctly dubious. My recent link to an article on his policies by economist Alan Wood has inspired one of my readers to take another look at his lasting destructive effect on Australian prosperity. See here

Any reduction of government attempts to prop up failing industries is good for the taxpayer: Senators from tobacco states -- yes, from tobacco states -- are now negotiating to end federal support of the crop with a buyout."

This article describes the anti-globalists as engaged in 'moral colonialism'


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