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.
Donald J. Boudreaux