Friday, August 06, 2004

This Week's Best Economics Lesson 

Colby Cosh summarises the virtues of free trade in last Friday's column. I didn't get to read it then, but it's a straightforward no-brainer explanation to why free trade works for everyone.

Here's another formulation of the theory of Colby's column: it's better for individuals, towns, cities, and provinces to trade with each other for goods and services they want (verus producing, or trying to produce, everything themselves), so why not nations? Turns out the dismal science isn't all that nonsensical, eh?

I particularly enjoy this paragraph that takes aim at adherents to Marx's labour theory of value:
Still, zero-sum logic is terribly compelling to some minds: Every leftist heresy from pre-Marxian socialism through environmentalism is arguably founded on it. I believe it to be based on a certain kind of narcissistic projection. Consider: This column I'm writing is not worth as much to me in cash as it is to the National Post, so the paper takes it and sends me a cheque. I spend the money; the Post uses the article. Everybody wins. But what if I were convinced that there was some very high intrinsic, or essential, cash value to my words -- that, say, every column I wrote was, perhaps in God's or Marx's or Gaia's eyes, "really" worth $10,000?

It's the simplicity of the essay that makes it so convincing. I can only wish that I can explain things half as well as this.

And speaking of making the case for market solutions, observe Trudeaupia's take on the comical health care "debate" between McGuinty and Romanow. Watching two people you disagree with arguing with each other can be very soothing.
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