Sunday, November 13, 2011

Brave new world

There is a lot of talk today about what amounts to protectionist ideas. We need to "protect" such and such sector from unfair competition. What this amounts to is the majority should fork over a few dollars more to help out a special minority in such and such sector. The result is a trade war in which everyone loses, even the protected industries because in the end they are consumers as well.
We've also learned about fair trade policies and I see this soon being applied here at home for buying local. The result is basically incentivizing people to perform a task at which they have no comparative advantage in. I don't mean farmer's markets are necessarily bad but I do see a pressure group growing that wishes to use government power to mandate the grown local economy. This could come in the form of school lunches being mandated to provide healthy, local diets for children. If these steps were to be implemented there would be a loss for local economies as money was poured into not the most efficient goods but the most protected goods.

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