If I say that foreign investment was the greatest historical event of the nineteenth century, you must think of all those things that would not have come into being if there had not been any foreign investment. All the railroads, the harbors, the factories and mines in Asia, and the Suez Canal and many other things in the Western hemisphere, would not have been constructed had there been no foreign investment.
DBx: Also, as Mises (among others) pointed out earlier, the same is true for railroads in the United States. Yet those who today decry trade deficits in market-oriented economies miss this historical reality. Those Americans who decry America’s trade deficit in fact – although often unwittingly – decry maximum possible capital formation in America. And because capital formation is a major source of, or necessary complement to, economic growth and of rising real wages, those who decry America’s trade deficit decry – again, often unwittingly – maximum possible economic growth and rising wages in America.