Quick Thought on Free Trade

The standard refutation I have heard against protectionist trade policies (tariffs and such intended to protect local industry) is almost gleeful rejoinder:  look, if other countries want to make stuff and send it to us for cheap, why on earth are we against that?  They do all the work, and we get the stuff!

And indeed, I think this argument has a lot of merit.

That said, it does make a mistake in its evaluation of the winners and losers in the situation.   “They do all the work” is counted as a pure negative on their side.

But work is a good thing.

“Cursed is the ground for thy sake…in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread…”

Economic plans that fail to account for this will undervalue work, and see the humans in the system deteriorate.

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