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The Imbecilic Illogic of So-Called “Trade Wars”

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My great colleague Walter Williams responds tongue-in-cheek, by e-mail, to this recent letter [2] of mine:

You miss the point.  This example might help.  If you and I are at sea, and if I shoot a hole in my end of our row boat, naturally you’re supposed to retaliate by shooting a hole in your end of the boat.

Walter here perfectly captures the insane (il)logic of so-called “trade wars” and trade “retaliation.”  To cheer on your government in a “trade war” is to cheer on your government seizing money from you each time another government seizes money from its citizens.  To engage in such cheering is, of course, imbecilic – but, being ignorant of economics, many (most?) people in fact cheer their being plundered by their own governments.

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