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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 475 of the 5th edition (2015) of Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics:

But international trade is not a zero-sum contest.  Both sides must gain or it would make no sense to continue trading.  Nor is it necessary for experts or government officials to determine whether both sides are gaining.  Most international trade, like most domestic trade, is done by millions of individuals, each of whom can determine whether the item purchased is worth what it cost and is preferable to what is available from others.

While the world has no shortage of politicians, pundits, and preachers who say otherwise, very few economists would assert that science (or scientifically justified modesty) requires that we remain skeptical of the benefits of economic competition in the domestic market.  Very few economists would say about domestic competition what Paul Krugman recently said about international competition – namely, that the conventional case for such competition is built upon the assumption that government will transfer gains from the ‘winners’ of today’s round of domestic competition to compensate today’s ‘losers’ from today’s round of domestic competition.  The conventional economic case for competitive domestic markets and for consumer sovereignty in domestic markets has never assumed, or depended upon, such government transfers.  And – contrary to Krugman’s recent claim – nor has the economic case for competitive international markets and for consumer sovereignty in international markets ever assumed, or depended upon, such government transfers.