If Not Us, Who?
The Girl Who Brung Us Is A Lovely Girl. Why Not Go And Dance With Her Again?
By Pejman Yousefzadeh Posted in Economy | Featured Stories — Comments (6) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
One of the salient characteristics of the Republican Party has been its reputation as a pro-trade, pro-free market political movement. In embracing trade and the power of markets to bring prosperity, Republicans have historically put themselves on the right (no pun intended) side of the economic argument, ensuring that they will be in a position to embrace and advocate long-range policies designed to bring about an enlightened economic policy that will be consequential in improving the quality of life for people in America and around the world.
I remain confident that the Republican Party will continue to distinguish itself as the pro-free trade, pro-free market party. But if the image has been somewhat tarnished in the past few years, it is because of things like this.
Read on . . .
After running down the list of deleterious policy consequences that will follow the Bush Administration's misguided decision to impose tariffs on Chinese paper, Don Boudreaux concludes--quite rightly--with the following:
Protectionism is the freakish poster-child for the failure to see the full range of consequences of a policy action. This latest episode is no different. Nothing at all about subsidies -- real or imagined -- to foreign exporters changes matters.
Doubtless, we will get some reply stating that our trade policies are enriching the Communist Chinese. To that I have a twofold response:
- I don't like Communists and don't need to be lectured on the undesirability of their political movement. Indeed, I find it more than passing strange that the Bush Administration appears willing to embrace the command-and-control characteristics of a state-dominated economy when it imposes tariffs on Chinese paper (and for that matter, when it imposed steel, lumber and shrimp tariffs during the first term).
- I am not interested in free trade as a means of enriching the Communist Chinese. I am interested in free trade as a means of enriching us. When we trade with the Chinese--and when we ensure that we don't push for the implementation of shortsighted economic policies like yuan revaluation--we enrich ourselves. I thought that was a good thing. Evidently, however, some people--and sadly, they include people in the Bush Administration and Republican members of Congress--seem to have made prosperity less of a priority than it used to be.
And no, I don't like writing this. But when one's side is acting badly, one has an obligation to call one's side on such behavior in the hopes that said behavior will change for the better.