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Yet Another Mercantilist-Cronyist (But I Repeat Myself)

Here’s a letter to the Los Angeles Times:

Jonah Goldberg properly advises Mitt Romney that Americans need less cronyism and more capitalism (“Free the Markets, Mr. Romney,” April 10).  But Mr. Goldberg too quickly dismisses as mere carelessness Gov. Romney’s pro-business – as opposed to pro-free-market – talk.

Strong evidence that a President Romney will shamelessly cultivate cronies is candidate Romney’s long-standing practice of complaining that Beijing’s monetary policies put undue competitive pressures on American producers even as these policies enable American consumers’ dollars to stretch farther.  And consider that Gov. Romney thundered in a debate in Iowa last August that, as president, he’ll pursue “trade policies that work for us, not just for our opponents.”  Gov. Romney here speaks the all-too-familiar code of politicians and their cronies who insist that trade’s benefits are found, not in more abundance for consumers, but in more sales for producers.

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


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