Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on May 1, 2013

in Civil Society, Trade, War

… is from page 85 of Leland Yeager’s and David Tuerck’s outstandingly excellent – and still relevant – 1966 volume, Trade Policy and the Price System (footnote excluded; the Viner reference is to his March 1944 American Economic Review article, “International Relations between State-Controlled National Economies”):

Free trade would contribute not only to good government at home but to better relations among governments.  As Professor Jacob Viner has correctly said, “War … is essentially a political, not an economic phenomenon.”  But, as he added, “If states reduce to a minimum their involvement in economic matters, the role of economic factors in contributing to war will likewise be reduced.”

Protectionism injects government decisions into trade, mixes business and diplomacy, widens the range of possible international frictions, and raises private frictions into intergovernmental frictions.

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