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Larry "Smith" Kudlow

Posted By Don Boudreaux On June 28, 2005 @ 6:23 am In Trade | Comments Disabled

Adam Smith [1] wisely pointed out (in Book IV, Chapter 2, of The Wealth of Nations [2]) that

What is prudence in the conduct of every private family can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom.  If a foreign country can supply us with a commodity cheaper than we ourselves can make it, better buy it of them with some part of the produce of our own industry employed in a way in which we have some advantage.

Larry Kudlow [3] very effectively and very appropriately strikes this same theme in this op-ed [4] appearing in today’s Washington Times.  Kudlow is angry (as he should be) that politicos in D.C. — either out of ignorance or, more likely, because they themselves freely trade favors with K Street lobbyists — are working now to prevent Americans and Chinese from trading freely with each other.

Kudlow opens his op-ed with an appropriate question: "If a store is selling quality products at low prices, why would anyone want to shut it down?"

Indeed, why?

I invite Sen. Charles Schumer, Sen. Lindsey Graham, or any other protectionist to offer a compelling justification for protectionism — a justification that’s consistent with what almost every economist this side of the AFL-CIO has long known — one that deals with centuries of hard evidence [5] showing that trade promotes prosperity and protectionism promotes poverty — one that goes beyond scaring people with ominous-sounding but virtually meaningless terms such as "bilateral trade deficit" — one that recognizes that the ultimate purpose and challenge of economic activity is not to ‘create jobs’ but to raise individuals’ standards of living — one that recognizes that trade is a positive-sum activity — and one that honestly admits a ready willingness, if not an eagerness, to inflict violence on consumers who insist on spending their money as they see fit.

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Article printed from Cafe Hayek: http://cafehayek.com

URL to article: http://cafehayek.com/2005/06/larry_smith_kud.html

URLs in this post:

[1] Adam Smith: http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/bios/Smith.html

[2] The Wealth of Nations: http://www.econlib.org/library/Smith/smWN.html

[3] Larry Kudlow: http://www.lkmp.blogspot.com/

[4] this op-ed: http://www.washingtontimes.com/commentary/20050627-090227-2473r.htm

[5] hard evidence: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0691122474/qid=1119698814/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_ur_1/103-1296418-0122223?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

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