“Silence will save me from being wrong (and foolish), but it will also deprive me of the possibility of being right.” -- Igor Stravinsky
I don't even know what protectionism or free trade mean anymore.Cambridge economist Ha Joon Chang says that a 71% weighted average tarriff is low enough to be considered free trade. That's because US in protectionist era had tarriffs several times that.Meanwhile, Japan currently is at a weighted average tarriff rate of 6.5%, and this article thus calls Japan currently protectionist.What the hell? I swear, Mr. Callahan, you work in one of the most annoying and bizzare professions ever created.I wish economists actually were tools for moneyed interests - as Noam Chomsky accuses them of being - because that would make them more predictable. Currently, you folks are a capricious lot.
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Lidia, I am just noting one person's findings. But I am curious: when someone complains about some corruption or corporatism or something of the sort and blame that on the free market, libertarians inevitably protest that the "true free market" has never existed. But they also are always contending that free markets work.So how can something both:1) not ever have existed; and2) work really well, and be responsible for conferring all sorts of benefits on mankind?
Gene, I'm not asking this with hostility: Do you believe in the very concept of economic theory at this point?
Is not economic theorizing supposed to tell you that?
So how can something both:1) not ever have existed; and2) work really well, and be responsible for conferring all sorts of benefits on mankind?An economic system can resemble an ideal market to a greater or lesser degree. If economic theory indicates that free markets are beneficial, and if countries that are closer to the free market ideal tend to do better than countries that are less market oriented, then that would seem to be pretty good evidence that freer markets do confer substantial benefits on mankind, even if the ideal has never existed. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of Big Rock Candy Mountain thinking that takes place among some free market advocates. Your point about the "trufry market" is well taken. But one shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. -Blackward
"But one shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. "Markets certainly confer benefits. And they have downsides.The attempt to eliminate markets has been a disaster. Market fundamentalism has hardly been less disastrous.
"Is not economic theorizing supposed to tell you that?"Well, some people think so, but that is just not true!
"Do you believe in the very concept of economic theory at this point?"Answered in full post soon.