Thursday, September 23, 2004

I Am Not Us. We Are Not Me.

One of the best blog pieces I have seen - at Cafe Hayek
It looks at why most dicussions over international trade are fallacious because they use meaningless concepts, such as we meaning a country acting as an individual.

Talking about “our” trade with foreigners, or of “our” manufacturing base, or of how much of “our” currency or equity is held by “them” creates a too-ready illusion that each nation is a single, unified economic unit – America, Inc., Japan, Inc., Botswana, Inc.
It isn’t so. It isn’t close to being so.
What matters above all are the circumstances and preferences of each individual -- individual prospects, successes and set-backs, tastes and preferences, and opportunities


Of course, treating trade as the sum of the individual actions of billions of people would make it almost impossible for ignorant/deceitful/misguided journalists to write lazy headlines.

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