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Here’s another letter to my new correspondent, Tony Dye:

Mr. Dye:

Thank you for your follow-up e-mail.

Because I support free trade, you attempt to discredit me and my preferred policy of free trade by calling me names – specifically, a “globalist.”

You miss my motive. If I must be labelled, I am a freedomist.

I support a policy of free trade, ultimately, because I believe to my bones that each income earner should be free to spend his or her income as he or she sees fit. I reject out of hand and unconditionally the superstition that a country’s “leaders” are ethically entitled to obstruct peaceful, voluntary commerce amongst adults simply because that commerce crosses political borders.

Of course I recognize that, in practice, a policy of free trade results in citizens of the home country becoming tied ever more closely, economically and culturally, with citizens of foreign countries. This outcome – this globalization – is also one that I celebrate. But contrary to your allegation, my support for free trade, at bottom, is not driven by a desire for a globe-spanning economy or for any diminution of Uncle Sam’s sovereignty relative to that of other governments. Instead, my support for free trade is rooted, ultimately, in my love of freedom. Period.

My government has no business obstructing my freedom to trade simply because some of the persons with whom I wish to trade are residents of political jurisdictions that are ruled by states different than the one that claims sovereignty over me. And what I hold to be true for me, I hold to be true for every person on earth.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030