Friday, January 10, 2014

A simple way to truly help low and middle-income consumers...

Congressman Devin Nunez is pushing hard for the fast-tracking of a couple of "free trade" agreements that he promises will do wonders for the U.S. economy. He stresses that these "historic trade agreements"
would dramatically boost economic growth by integrating America in free-trade zones incorporating about 65 percent of the world's economy.

On behalf of his home state, he proclaims:
As America's second-largest exporting state, California would be a major beneficiary of these agreements. There would be more business for our small manufacturers and service providers, increased traffic through our ports, new customers for Silicon Valley technology, and more exports of dairy goods, nuts, citrus and other agricultural goods.

While perhaps we should praise Mr. Nunez for his efforts, it's clear in his message that he suffers from the age-old misconception that the benefits of free trade lie primarily in the exporting (and/or he benefits from the age-old politician's-penchant for cozying up to exporters). And that gross misconception (and cronyism) is what gets in the way of yours and my freedom to buy the goods we desire at the world's most competitive prices.

Sure, exporting's a wonderful thing when you're an exporter. Ah, but when you're an everyday American consumer (especially the low and middle-incomers politicians profess their concern for), the beauty of trade lies in the importing. The bringing to your doorstep the wealth of affordable goods the outside world has to offer. In fact, as Milton Friedman explains crystal clearly below, we'd be far better off if we'd simply allow the American consumer the freedom to purchase whatever goods or services he desires from wherever under the sun he finds the best value for his money---without any regard whatsoever for the protectionist policies of the nations where his suppliers reside.

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