Who Said It?

by Don Boudreaux on May 13, 2007

in Trade

Frederic Bastiat is often credited with having said something like "If goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will."  Bastiat almost certainly believed these words to be true, but I can find no evidence that Bastiat really did write such a thing.  (I’m happy to be corrected.)

But on page 255 of Jeffry Frieden’s Global Capitalism (2006) I find the following: "As one of [FDR’s Secretary of State Cordell] Hull’s supporters put it, ‘If soldiers are not to cross international borders, goods must do so.’"

Frieden’s footnote to the above sentence attributes these words to one Otto Maller, and gives a citation to page 37 of Alfred E. Eckes, A Search for Solvency: Bretton Woods and the International Monetary System, 1941-1971 (1975).

I can find nothing about this Otto Maller; Googling that name produces a mere five hits, none of which seem to point to the person referred to above.


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