Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on February 15, 2017

in Crony Capitalism, Seen and Unseen, Trade

… is from page 242 of Milton Friedman’s 1962 article “Is a Free Society Stable?” as it appears in Liberty Fund’s 1981 single-volume collection of the New Individualist Review:

Unknown-2The benefits that are alleged to flow from a tariff are clear and obvious.  If a tariff is imposed, a specified group of people, whose names can almost be listed, seem to be benefited in the first instance.  The harm that is wrought by the tariff is borne by people whose names one does not know and who are unlikely themselves to know that they are or will be harmed.  The tariff does most harm to people who have special capacities for producing the exports that would pay for the goods that would be imported in the absence of a tariff.  With a tariff in effect, the potential export industry may never exist and no one will ever know that he might have been employed in it or who would have been.  The indirect harm to consumers via a more inefficient allocation of resources and higher prices for the resulting products are spread even more thinly through the society.


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