Quote Of The Day

Dave Killion — July 21, 2012

“So the very concepts imports and exports are founded on an arbitrary construct that has little practical consequence for people’s economic activities. Back in the 1980s, when neomercantilists feared Japan’s economic success at selling us stuff (seems a little crazy now, no?), I used to ask what would happen to the trade deficit if Japan were made the 51st state. Obviously, the deficit would have disappeared because we don’t reckon trade imbalances between states. Why not?

In reality there are no imports and exports. From my point of view, there is only what I make and what everyone else makes.”

Sheldon Richman, Made Everywhere

I have long recognized that imaginary political boundaries have terribly negative consequences for liberty, but I never realized the distortionary effect they have on the way we view our world. Without people like Richman, would it ever occur to most of us that imports and exports are figments of the imagination? I think not.


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