Here’s another great passage from Landsburg’s The Big Questions. Here he discusses the moral implications of a common hot button issue, foreign trade:
Princeton Professor Alan Blinder has recently estimated that 30 to 40 million Americans face the prospect of losing their jobs to lower-paid foreign competitors. Or in other words, all Americans face the prospect of lower prices for the output of 30 to 40 million workers. That’s good, though of course 60 to 80 million would be better.
The italicized sentence made me smile. That’s an excellent way to frame it. We never think of it that way. We disassociate jobs from output or what we buy at the stores. Or we assume that somehow the costs of the good, high paying jobs are magically absorbed by shareholders of a company rather than paid by customers.
It gets better:
Let’s start by observing that there is almost surely no such thing as a net loser from free trade. (I owe this observation to George Mason University professor Don Boudreaux.) I doubt there’s a human being on earth who hasn’t benefited Continue reading