Bonus Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on September 2, 2022

in Myths and Fallacies, Trade

… is from page 121 of the 1903 3rd edition of Edwin Cannan’s Elementary Political Economy:

But as a rule Protection is established and maintained in consequence of complete misconceptions as to what constitutes the advantage of foreign trade.

DBx: Alas, what was true over a century ago – and, indeed, over two centuries ago – remains no less true today. Whenever the typical 21st-century politician, regardless of political party, speaks of trade, he or she talks as if the benefits of trade are the exports sent abroad by people of the home country, while imports received in exchange are an unfortunate if unavoidable cost that people of the home country must bear in order to enjoy the great privilege of producing goods and services for foreigners. Such nonsense talk is commonplace today from the mouths also of pundits, reporters, and interest-group rent-seekers (such as the one pictured here).

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