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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 64 of historian Frank Trentmann’s 2008 volume, Free Trade Nation: Commerce, Consumption, and Civil Society in Modern Britain (footnote excluded; link added):

‘Competition’, Free Traders explained, ‘acts on our selfishness, like the automatic governor of the steam engine acts on the steam, regulating it to the ever changing needs of society.  Remove your governor (competition) and the steam (selfishness) soon jars your body politic to pieces.’

“Progressives'” hostility to free trade would be amusing were its consequences less baneful: deeply distrustful of the motives of business people, and convinced that profits are ethically suspect, Sandersnistas and many other “Progressives” are in the front lines of the troops who are intent on using trade restrictions to protect business people from competition and, thus, to enhance business people’s prospects of earning excess profits – profits that truly are ethically unjust because they are the fruits of the forced removal from consumers of choices on how they, consumers, may spend their own money.  (Of course, the very same economically damaging and ethically unjust consequences spring from trade restrictions supported by Trumpkins and many other conservatives.  The tales that each of these economically ignorant groups tell to each other to justify their mercantilist policies differ, but the policies and the harmful results are identical.)


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