Free Trade & Trade Policy

The Commerce Clause: Route to Omnipotent Government

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In 1990, the U.S. Congress passed a law forbidding possession of a firearm within 1,000 feet of any school. The Gun-Free School Zones Act was touted as a blow on behalf of education and against violence among children. Two years later, Alfonso Lopez Jr., a 12th-grader at Edison High School in San Antonio, Texas, carried a concealed .38-caliber pistol ... [click for more]

Farming on Our Own

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My husband Jerry and I are farmers in Corvallis, Oregon. We started with ten acres of strawberries on rented ground in 1961. We now own and farm 1,500 acres of riverbottom land along the Willamette River. We have grown green beans, carrots, cauliflower, table beets, black-berries, alfalfa, barley, sweet corn, ... [click for more]

As Capitalism Wins, the U.S. Drops Out

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American political and economic life has entered a twilight zone. As countries everywhere are embracing capitalism, the United States, unfortunately, is moving toward democratic socialism. As I travel the world, the irony could not be more profound. I've been to Mexico to talk about free-market reform, to Russia and Eastern Europe — to meet with young entrepreneurs, and all over ... [click for more]

The New, New Left

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The anticapitalist Left has devised a new intellectual attack on the market economy. The straw in the wind was a blistering article in The New York Times that appeared on May 8, 1994. The article, written by Peter Passell, was headlined "Life's Hard? Blame the Market." Like other attacks on market fundamentals, it complains about unequal income distribution. ... [click for more]

The Case for Unilateral Free Trade and Open Immigration

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The American people are extremely fortunate. Two hundred years ago, their Founding Fathers used the Constitution to prohibit American government officials from ever enacting trade and immigration restrictions between the respective states of the Union. This meant that the citizens of any state could buy and sell goods and services with the citizens of any other state, without tariffs ... [click for more]

Clinton, Castro, and Cuba

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August 19, 1994, will go down as a black day in the history of the United States. On that day, President William Jefferson Clinton began jailing Cuban refugees in an American concentration center on the American side of Cuba. It was the first time since the Cuban revolution in 1959 that ... [click for more]

The Forgotten Argument for Free Trade

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Like most public policy debates in the United States of the Bush-Clinton era, the debates preceding congressional approval of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) consisted mostly of extensive public wrangling over who might gain and who might lose if NAFTA passed. Self-proclaimed champions for various special-interest groups debated the job-creating versus job-destroying potential of the agreement, the implications ... [click for more]

The United States: A Protectionist Nation

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In talking about trade, many politicians rely on the Big Lie — the simple assertion that America is the most open market in the world, and, therefore, that any criticisms of our existing trade policies for being protectionist are absurd. But sifting through the details of trade policy can provide insight — and entertainment. One of the best ways ... [click for more]

The Immorality of Protectionism

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The tariff is the protection the wolf gave the lamb. —Rep. James Beck, 1882 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 ... [click for more]

National Conflicts, Market Liberalism and Social Peace

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For three years, civil war has caused massive death and destruction in the former Yugoslavia. Almost every day, the television evening news has broadcast pictures of devastating artillery bombardments, ruined towns and villages, and multitudes of killed and wounded men, women and children. Tens of thousands of people have been turned into refugees forced to leave their homes and belongings ... [click for more]
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