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Open Letter to Sethstorm

Mr./Ms. Sethstorm

Dear Sethstorm:

Commenting on my explanation for why there’s nothing unusual about Americans specializing in designing products such as iPhones but not specializing in assembling them, you write “Bollocks,” and then accuse me of supporting slavery.

Let me make my point even simpler.  Ernest Hemingway specialized in writing prose fiction.  But he himself never manufactured any of the paper or printed any of the books that were used to make his novels and short stories accessible to millions of readers.

Did some economic snafu happen in Hemingway’s case?  Would you have been impressed had the TIME pundit written that “conventional economics tells us that since Hemingway had a clear advantage in writing novels, Hemingway should not have outsourced the process of physically manufacturing his books to non-Hemingwayians.”

I suspect that you, correctly, would understand such a claim to be absurd.

The TIME pundit committed an error in economic reasoning identical to the error committed by someone who would suggest that Hemingway should have also manufactured the paper and printed the books used for his novels.  Pray tell, how does my pointing out this error lend support to slavery?

Donald J. Boudreaux