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The Utter Non-Uniqueness of International Trade

September 10, 2015

By Don Boudreaux

In this post from earlier today I mentioned one final point that I wish to make in response to Bret Wallach, who objects to my failure to sympathize more openly and frequently with people whose economic fortunes take a downward trajectory because of the forces of competition and creative destruction.  This additional point harkens back to the original discussion that prompted Mr. Wallach’s original remark.

The original point has to do with international trade.  A letter writer to the Wall Street Journal objected to my criticisms of Donald Trump’s protectionist rantings.  I responded by pointing out that someone who asserts that free trade has both winners and losers takes too narrow – too squinty – a perspective.

The point I have emphasized so far in response to Mr. Wallach is the fact that a innovative market economy based upon consumer sovereignty makes everyone better off over time, even though many – indeed most – individuals experience periods when their economic fortunes decline relative to the trend line.  The point I wish to make here is different (although it’s one that I’ve made at various times in the past at this blog).  That point is: nothing about international trade renders it a distinctive source of creative destruction that eliminates some jobs and lines of business.

Read the full article at Cafe Hayek: The Utter Non-Uniqueness of International Trade

Issue Categories : Donald Trump, Trade