Free Trade & Trade Policy

The Consumer Is Boss

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The morning paper brings two pieces of news about Wal-Mart. The first tells of an effort by politicians and so-called community groups to pressure the retail chain to raise its wages. The second describes Wal-Mart’s plans to meet competition from Target and other stores by including products that ... [click for more]

Tear Down the Trade Walls

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“Please tear down this wall,” the president said. No, it wasn’t President Reagan challenging Soviet President Gorbachev about the Berlin Wall in the 1980s. It was the Ukrainian president, Viktor Yushchenko, recently addressing a joint session of the U.S. Congress. Yushchenko was asking the senators and representatives to ... [click for more]

“Buy American” Hurts Americans

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President Bush has a plan to address the so-called trade deficit, which worries people so much. According to the wire services, Bush said, “People can buy more United States products if they’re worried about the trade deficit.” That will appeal to many Americans in a nationalistic fever. What could ... [click for more]

Bra Wars

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President Bush continually scapegoats foreigners for his decisions to pilfer Americans. While Bush loves to praise free trade, in reality, “free trade” is whatever George Bush says it is. For Bush, like other recent presidents, “fairness” is the magic word to sanctify whatever trade restrictions he imposes. In his speeches, President Bush ... [click for more]

Examining Reagan’s Record on Free Trade

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The following article originally appeared in the May 10, 1982, issue of The Wall Street Journal. Copyright Dow Jones and Company, Inc. Reprinted by permission. Hardly anyone was surprised when the Reagan administration imposed quotas on sugar imports last week. This is at once remarkable and understandable. It’s remarkable because Mr. ... [click for more]

Is Free Trade Obsolete? Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 Is it time to throw out all the textbooks that defend free trade? Some people — including one former free trader — think so. Last month we saw how Ricardo’s law of comparative advantage, operating through the price system and the phenomenon of opportunity cost, induces people and groups to specialize in the production of ... [click for more]

Wal-Mart as a “Wedge Issue”

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The major political parties thrive on what are known as “wedge issues.” A wedge issue is one that takes advantage of the fact that many voters are motivated far more by emotion than by reason. It works at the gut level, driving people into anger first, and then into the voting booth, even though, when ... [click for more]

The Keys to Economic Development:

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VIDEO: The Keys to Economic Development Dear FFF Supporters, I just returned from Porto Alegre, Brazil, where I delivered a speech entitled “The Keys to Economic Development” to a conference sponsored by the Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies, one of the most prestigious free-market ... [click for more]

Ignoring the Fear-Mongering about Outsourcing

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From the way some people talk in this political season, you’d think all the good jobs are being shipped to India, leaving nothing for Americans to do but flip hamburgers and shine shoes. Don’t expect to hear sensible talk about economics in an election year. It doesn’t fit into ... [click for more]
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