Open Letter to U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman

by Don Boudreaux on December 4, 2010

in Trade

4 December 2010

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA)
U.S. House of Representatives
Capitol Hill

Dear Rep. Sherman:

Skeptical of freer trade with South Korea, you proclaim that “It’s all well and good to increase exports, but not if we increase imports by an even larger amount” (“Statement of Congressman Brad Sherman on proposed U.S. – South Korea Trade Pact,” Dec. 3).

Sooo….  a nation becomes poorer if the goods and services that it receives from others increase by more than what that nation ships to others in exchange?

If you’re correct, it must also be true that a family becomes poorer if its hourly income rises.  Because the typical household exports work effort to others and uses the income it earns to import goods and services into that household from others, your economics implies that the key to household prosperity is to work as long and as hard as possible and insist on receiving in return as little as possible.

Sounds dopey strange to me, but at least I now better understand the logic behind so many of the policies championed by you and your colleagues in Congress.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030

(HT to Mary O’Grady for forwarding to me Rep. Sherman’s press release.)

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