Bonus Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on January 7, 2019

in Myths and Fallacies, Trade

… is from page 152 of the 2016 Third Edition of James D. Gwartney’s, Richard L. Stroup’s, Dwight R. Lee’s, Tawni H. Ferrarini’s, and Joseph P. Calhoun’s excellent Common Sense Economics:

Some people may feel that they are at a disadvantage when they trade with others who earn far more money. But remember that trade benefits both parties. And generally, the more accomplished and wealthy the people you trade with (and working for someone is the same as trading with them), the better off you are because your service is typically worth more to them than to those who are less accomplished and wealthy.

DBx: This simple yet profound truth is easy to overlook. And this truth applies also on the global scale. When Americans worry about, for example, the Chinese becoming richer, this worry is the product of either destructive envy or economic ignorance. Americans who wish to gain as much as possible by trading with the Chinese should want the Chinese to be as accomplished and as wealthy as possible. (But note: ultimately it is the business of the Chinese people, and not of Americans, what policies the Chinese government pursues. If Beijing pursues policies that slow or even reverse economic growth in China, that would be unfortunate chiefly for the people of China. It is not our government’s business to use force – either against the Chinese government or against the American people [for example, ‘retaliatory’ tariffs on Chinese exports to America] – in attempts to change those policies.)

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