Mobility of goods and services is an elaboration or extension of man’s own mobility. It cannot be said that man has mobility except as the manifestations of his labors are free to move….
That the general welfare is served by the free mobility of man’s goods and services domestically is generally conceded. Then, why is mobility not equally desirable on the international scale? It is, of course. However, competition — the life of trade — fares badly in international dealings, primarily because arguments against competition can be made to appear more plausible when “foreigners” are involved….
True, many American businesses are less and less able to compete with foreign enterprises, but this is due to costs imposed by overextended government and by the coercive practices of trade unions. It ought to be obvious that the remedy is not in a further restriction of exchange but in removing the practices which are now hampering exchange.
Man’s mobility — his own uninhibited travel and the free movement of his goods and services — is the road to health, education, peace, wealth, that is, to human evolution.
Let us exalt, not stifle, man’s mobility!
Leonard Read was the founder of the Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington, New York. This is taken from his book Accent on the Right, published by FEE in 1968.