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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 69 of Georgetown University philosopher Jason Brennan’s brilliant 2014 book, Why Not Capitalism?:

Economists have long understood that in a market economy, the systematic effect of private citizens’ pursuit of private ends is to create background conditions of wealth, opportunity, and cultural progress.  Each of us does as well as we do because of the positive externalities created by an extended system of social cooperation.  This extended system of cooperation explains why each of us in contemporary liberal societies have our high standards of living and easy access to culture, education, and social opportunities.  We are engaged in networks of mutual benefit, and we benefit from other people being engaged in these networks.

DBx: Because the number of individuals helpfully served by a new producer in a market is almost always much larger than is the number of individuals who compete against that new producer, a greater number of producers serving a market means more mutually beneficial social cooperation.  Tariffs and other trade restrictions (including domestic trade restrictions, such as occupational-licensing requirements) are obstacles to such social cooperation.  Trade restrictions artificially limit the number of individuals with whom you may choose to cooperate to mutual advantage.  In this, as in other ways, trade restrictions are genuinely uncivilized, for they restrict the growth and deepening of civilization.

Trade restrictions are a barbarous relic of antediluvian superstitions and fallacies mixed with venal interest-group politics.  It’s understandable why many of the people who find Trump to be an appealing character cheer for this barbarous relic; it is much less understandable why so many people who fancy themselves to be all modern-like and “progressive” are among this relic’s most vocal cheerleaders.