Woodrow Wilson’s radical vision for free trade

One hundred years ago today—on January 8, 1918—President Woodrow Wilson gave an address before Congress in which he outlined his goals for ending World War I. American forces had entered the war almost nine months earlier and Wilson wanted to let the world know exactly what he believed the Allies were fighting for. Continue Reading...

Edmund Burke, free marketer

It’s not just millennials and other young people who are souring on free markets (44 percent according to a new poll) — there’s also a growing disenchantment among some conservatives. Acton Research Director Samuel Gregg explains the conservative angst as rooted, among other things, in the threat that upheaval in market economies presents to the “permanency, order, tradition, and strong and rooted communities.” Conservatives who advocate for free markets should take this critique seriously and “rethink about how to integrate their case for markets into the broader conservative agenda.” And who better to make this case than Edmund Burke himself: Rather fewer people know that Burke was a committed free trader, a strong defender of private property, and a skeptic of government economic intervention. Continue Reading...

Protectionism is economic suicide

The most charitable assumption you can make about people who support tariffs and other forms of protectionism is that they are economically illiterate. But if they are able to demonstrate they understand the economics of protectionism and still support such policies, then we are justified in assuming they don’t care about harming their neighbor. Continue Reading...