Saturday, March 10, 2012
This is a post from Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist. Mr Ridley makes the point that self sufficiency leads to poverty, where specialization creates wealth.
Paul Krugman writes that trade does not equal jobs and concludes that trade restrictions cannot even in principle trigger a depression. After all, restricting trade means restricting exports (less jobs!) but it also means restricting imports (more jobs!) so everything washes out.
Well, let’s try an extreme example. Suppose I prevent everyone in America from trading with anyone outside their own households. We’d eat only what we could raise in our own gardens, burn only the fuel we could gather from our own backyards, and wear only the clothes we could make for ourselves. In other words, we’d all be living pretty much at the subsistence level. Would you be willing to call that a Depression? I would. Krugman, apparently, would not.
Here's another post by Mr Ridley