Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.”     Milton Friedman

January 16, 2008

Protectionism And Coercion

by Doug Mataconis

Economist Steven Landsburg has an excellent article in today’s New York Times on the relationship between protectionism and coercion:

Bullying and protectionism have a lot in common. They both use force (either directly or through the power of the law) to enrich someone else at your involuntary expense. If you’re forced to pay $20 an hour to an American for goods you could have bought from a Mexican for $5 an hour, you’re being extorted. When a free trade agreement allows you to buy from the Mexican after all, rejoice in your liberation — even if Mr. McCain, Mr. Romney and the rest of the presidential candidates don’t want you to.

Landsburg is right. Why should I be forced to pay more for a car because it was made in Japan ?


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