Open Letter to Lou Dobbs

by Don Boudreaux on April 4, 2010

in Balance of Payments, Books, Seen and Unseen, Trade

Dear Mr. Dobbs:

During our recent debate on John Stossel’s show (to air in a few weeks on Fox Business), you insisted that free trade exists only – and trade is mutually beneficial only – when both parties to a trade are equally willing to purchase each other’s outputs.

A few years ago I bought your book Exporting America.  Have you bought my book, Globalization?  If not (and the evidence is that you, indeed, haven’t bought my book), was I made worse off by my purchase?  Were you the only party to gain from that trade?  Should I be concerned about the trade deficit that I now have with you?  Were you practicing “unfair” trade?  Was I “exporting” a part of myself – a part never to be regained unless and until you buy my book?

Judging from your analysis of Americans’ trade with the Chinese – and believing you to be a man whose intellect despises inconsistencies – I’m sure that you’ll answer ‘yes’ to each of the above questions.  So I’ll be happy to return your book for a full refund from you, or to sell you my book – autographed, of course.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

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Here’s an earlier letter to Lou Dobbs that appeared in 2007 in the Christian Science Monitor.

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