“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.”
The problem, of course, is that such a perspective debases the value of labor to the value of products and vice versa
, ignoring the many other relationships and ripple-effects that production and trade are bound to inspire. Continue Reading...