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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 120 of David Schmidtz’s and Jason Brennan’s 2010 book, A Brief History of Liberty:

As trade emerges, there emerges with it a new way of being self-sufficient: in a market society, people can produce enough to meet their own needs by producing enough to meet other people’s needs. Freedom of commerce under the rule of law empowers people to cooperate on a massive scale, liberating each other from poverty.

DBx: Indeed so.

Trade is a technique for transforming inputs into outputs; it’s a technique of production. And this technique doesn’t at all change its essence if trading partners happen to be separated by a political border.

Protectionists want figuratively to pour sand into the mechanism of the technique of trade. They seek to make this technique less efficient. Upset that this technique serves humankind as well as it does, protectionists are forever scheming to make this technique of production less efficient.

Among the many ironies that infect the economic case for protectionism is the fact that protectionists insist that they, more so than free traders, are the ones who focus on the importance of production. The only sense in which this protectionist insistence is true is that protectionists’ focus is on making production less efficient, less responsive to human needs, less productive.


Pictured above is an important tool used in the technique of trade. This tool is especially important in turning almost anything the people of one country wish to produce into almost anything else the people of that country wish to consume.

Nearly all of the gifts that you’re opening this morning were produced by the gift-givers’ use of the technique of trade. And many of these items were produced with the help of that remarkable machine pictured above.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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