How can you not love the title. It is, of course, due to Don Boudreaux at the Cafe Hayek blog. Boudreaux has written to website Economy in Crisis and makes a point similar to my previous posting Imports Good; Exports Bad. Boudreaux just says it better.
Setting up a straw man for the slaughter, Dustin Ensinger asserts that “Proponents of unfettered free trade have long claimed that lowering trade barriers will allow America to export more and more goods, eventually leading to trade surpluses and economic prosperity” (“Exports Won’t Solve America’s Many Trade Woes,” March 6).One of the most strange, and dangerous, ideas on trade is the idea that exporting is good as it -somehow- leads to trade surpluses and thus economic prosperity. Of course it doesn't. Importing expands our consumption possibilities and this increases our prosperity.
Proponents of unfettered free trade have long claimed that lowering trade barriers will allow America to import more and more goods, eventually leading to greater economic prosperity. Period.
Proponents of unfettered free trade – at least those who understand economics – don’t give a damn about trade ‘deficits’ or ‘surpluses.’ They agree with Adam Smith that “Nothing, however, can be more absurd than this whole doctrine of the balance of trade.”