Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Political Corruption’

Protectionism Is Immoral, Unjust, and Corrupt | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on October 29, 2021

Either the government has a valid moral reason for restricting one citizen’s freedom to boost another citizen’s profits, or a trade barrier is unjust. Protectionism means robbing Peter to pay Paul—or, more accurately, robbing a thousand Peters to pay one Paul.

James Bovard

Protectionism is reviving in Washington on both sides of the political aisle. Democrats are cheering proposals to restrict trade to benefit labor unions and save the environment while some Republicans are reviving Smoot-Hawley style salvation schemes. Protectionist advocates routinely seize the moral high ground—at least as it is scored in Washington—by promising that restricting imports will magically produce fair trade.

Thirty years ago, in my book The Fair Trade Fraud (St. Martin’s Press), I sought to drive a wooden stake into both the intellectual and moral pretenses of American protectionism. Obviously, that wooden stake “didn’t take.” So here’s a recap of why government cannot make trade more fair by making it less free.

Protectionism produces political corruption, economic stagnation, and international conflict. Yet many people will insist that even though protectionism hinders a nation’s ability to feed, clothe, and house itself, the moral gains from protectionism are greater than the economic losses. But what is the moral core of protectionism? What is the ethical basis for fair trade as it is practiced?

American trade law is dedicated to the pursuit of the just price—but only for imports. Medieval theologian Duns Scotus declared that a price was just when “the owners of things…. preserve equality of value in the things exchanged, according to right reason judging of the nature of the thing exchanged in relation to its human use.” US trade law assumes that imported goods have an objective value in themselves which can be determined in a bureaucratic vacuum thousands of miles from the market where the product is exchanged. The soul of American trade law is that bureaucrats and politicians, not buyers and sellers, are the proper judges of fair value. All the absurdities, biases, and scholastic methods of the US dumping law follow from this principle.

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Flynn Case Highlights Deep Political Corruption of US Security Services

Posted by M. C. on December 11, 2017

That thing which progressives consider an ever evolving document, the Constitution, has stopped evolving. It is dead.

…The argument used to justify the possible Flynn entrapment by the FBI, i.e. that there was unauthorized contact with a foreign official, is in itself curious as such contact is not in itself illegal. And it also opens the door to the Bureau’s investigating other individuals who have committed no crime but who find that they cannot recall details of phone calls they were parties to that were being recorded by the government. That can easily be construed as “lying” or “perjury” with consequences that include possible prison time.

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I am not a number. I am a free man!-Number 6

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