Friday, November 12, 2010

My Letter to National Review re: "Red Scare" by Kevin D. Williamson

Subject: Re: Red Scare by Kevin D. Williamson
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2010 09:08:03 -0500

Re: Red Scare, by Kevin D. Williamson

Dear Sirs:
Many thanks to Kevin D. Williamson for his eye-opening and sober assessment of the Chinese economy and our government's fatuous policy of using China as the all-purpose whipping boy for problems of our own making. A common theme that ran through Mr. Williamson's essay is the harm done to ordinary people in every country by their governments' incessant economic interventions. Economics knows no political borders--a little understood rule of life that bears much repeating. It makes absolutely no economic difference if a product I buy is manufactured by my next door neighbor or a Chinaman. We both benefit from the exchange of my money for his good or service and do so at no cost to anyone else. No nation is somehow better off when other nations suffer economic disruptions. It is not true that Americans were better off at the end of WWII because our manufacturing base was undamaged by war while much of the rest of the industrialized world lay in smoking ruins. We enjoy a much higher standard of living by the spread of the specialization of labor which has occurred in the world since then. The only thing standing in the way of an even higher standard of living for all men everywhere is the foolish idea that economic gains for citizens of some nations come at the expense of others. Mr. Williamson is right to warn us that the policies that flow from this false view of the world can "lead to a trade war--or a war war." Instead of brow-beating our G-20 trading partners into agreeing to some new mercantilist agreement that will stifle trade with monetary and capital controls, the U.S. should renew its dedication to free-market capitalism.

Patrick Barron

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