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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 156-157 of Leland Yeager’s and David Tuerck’s still-vital 1966 volume, Trade Policy and the Price System:

Import and exchange-control systems often try to discriminate against imports destined for “mere” consumption and in favor of imported materials and machinery that contribute to production, especially the production of export goods.  Unless practiced with improbable cleverness the precision to compensate for known specific distortions in the price system, this discrimination has little to recommend it.  Since the entire purpose of production, including export production, is ultimately to yield consumer satisfactions, discriminating against imports of consumer goods amounts to favoring indirect over direct attainment of consumer satisfactions merely because it is indirect.  Steel production is no more inherently worthy an activity than importing perfume or producing entertainment; it is simply at a more remote stage from the final consumer.