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Dudley North on Free Trade

One way to state the case for free trade is to note that government has no business protecting politically influential producers from consumers who spend their money in ways that naturally enhance their (the consumers’) satisfactions rather than in ways that artificially enhance others’ (the privileged-producers’) profits.

As the 17th-century champion of free trade Dudley North observed,

That to force Men to deal in any prescrib’d manner, may profit some as happen to serve them; but the publick gains not, because it is taking from one Subject, to give to another.


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