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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 178 of my colleague Walter Williams’s 1995 volume, Do the Right Thing; specifically, it’s from Walter’s April 1993 column (for which I cannot find a link) “Smart Economic Policy?” (original emphasis):

Unknown-2Because of Japan’s import restrictions on foreign goods, Japanese citizens pay $53 for jeans that cost us [Americans] $32.  A spark plug costs them $8.60; we can get one for $1.69.  They pay $2,000 for a laser printer that costs us $1,100.  So, what should we do in response to Japan’s restrictionist policies?  Trade restrictionists, like Representative Richard Gephardt, advise that because Japan and other countries force their own citizens to pay higher prices, we should retaliate with restrictions that force Americans to pay higher prices as well.  In other words, because Japan’s trade restrictions force its citizens to pay $8.60 for a spark plug, Congress should punish Japan by adopting a policy that forces Americans to pay the same.  We won’t hear a congressman put it that way because his stupidity would be apparent to all.  Instead, you’ll hear such terms as fair trade, antidumping, and voluntary restraints.  No matter how it’s put, the bottom line is higher prices for us.


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