Against trade wars as class wars

Debates between free-traders and protectionists routinely devolve into competing variations of class warfare – each claiming the cause of the “common man” against a wealthy and entrenched elite. Whereas protectionists argue that trade liberalization primarily benefits the rich, displacing disproportionate numbers of working-class employees, free-traders rush to the defense of working-class consumers, whose pocketbooks are undoubtedly harmed by tariffs and restrictions. Continue Reading...

Alejandro Chafuen in Forbes: State-owned enterprises and trade

Alejandro Chafuen, Acton’s Managing Director, International, published a piece in Forbes yesterday on the place of state-owned enterprises in international trade. The question also extends to industries that, even if not owned by the state, are significantly influenced by government interests, regulation, and so on. Continue Reading...

Toward a Godly globalization

Globalization is routinely decried for its disruptive effects, particularly as it relates to the health of our social relationships and community enterprises and institutions. Even as it’s proven to drive significant economic growth, questions remain about its steamrolling influence on the culture and society. Continue Reading...

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...