Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'frederic bastiat'

The cramped morality of trade protectionism

“If a product is seen only as the opportunity for work, it is certain that the anxieties of protectionists are well founded.” –Frédéric Bastiat, Economic Sophisms Drawing inspiration from a 1847 essay by the inimitable Frédéric Bastiat, economist Donald Boudreaux tackles a popular argument from today’s trade protectionists: namely, “that protectionism is justified if enough consumers or voters are willing to pay higher prices in order to help workers.” Continue Reading...

Protectionism leads to turmoil, strife, and disorder

Proponents of protectionism often ground their support in a quasi-nationalism; trade should be restricted for the benefit of the nation. Economically, the argument holds little weight. The benefits of more trade, like more and cheaper goods, outweigh the costs, like some temporary unemployment that results from the closing of a factory that couldn’t compete with foreign companies. Continue Reading...

It’s All in Bastiat!

“It’s all in Plato, all in Plato: bless me, what do they teach them at these schools!” – Digory Kirke in C.S. Lewis’s The Last Battle The way Professor Kirk feels about Plato is how I feel about Frederick Bastiat. Continue Reading...

How a Study on Hurricanes Proved Bastiat’s Broken Window Fallacy

After 6,712 cyclones, typhoons, and hurricanes the evidence is clear: Bastiat was right all along. In 1850, the economic journalist Frédéric Bastiat introduced the parable of the broken window to illustrate why destruction, and the money spent to recover from destruction, is not actually a net benefit to society (see the video at the end of this post for an explanation of the broken window fallacy). Continue Reading...