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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/6649/plunder-or-enterprise-the-worlds-choice/

Plunder or Enterprise: The World’s Choice

May 18, 2007 by

As globalization has proceeded, writes Thomas Woods, the subject of the market economy has attracted more and more attention, with friend and foe alike seeking to understand the implications of the creation of a truly global marketplace. One of the market’s virtues, and the reason it enables so much peaceful interaction and cooperation among such a great variety of peoples, is that it demands of its participants only that they observe a relatively few basic principles, among them honesty, the sanctity of contracts, and respect for private property. This is not to say that the philosophical principles the market embodies come naturally to every cultural milieu. FULL ARTICLE

{ 6 comments }

Dennis May 19, 2007 at 7:45 am

In an essay that contains many excellent insights, Professor Woods states: “…the baser aspects of human nature can find in the state an irresistible attraction.”

Acknowledging this insight, I would argue that one way to describe the state is as the organized social manifestation of the baser aspects of human nature.

mam May 19, 2007 at 6:21 pm

Question:

Is, for example, US trade with China free trade when China pegs the exchange price of it’s currency to the US dollar? Or could this be called “economic suicide”?

mam May 19, 2007 at 6:21 pm

Question:

Is, for example, US trade with China free trade when China pegs the exchange price of it’s currency to the US dollar? Or could this be called “economic suicide”?

Björn Lundahl May 19, 2007 at 6:28 pm

Imports are prerequisites for exports.

If not anyone wants to import, there wouldn’t be any demand to exchange a national currency for example dollars for yuan, yen, euros, pounds etc and no exporter would be able to exchange their takings of yuan, yen, euros, pounds etc for dollars.

Exports are prerequisites for imports.

If not anyone wants to export, there wouldn’t be any supply of yuan, yen, euros, pounds etc in exchange for dollars and not anyone who wants to import would be able to buy yuan, yen, euros, pounds etc for dollars.

Imports and exports are intertwined.

The Chinese, for example, are therefore deluding themselves by making themselves poorer when they intervene in the currency market for the purpose to subsidize exports by depreciating the value of the yuan against the dollar. Those extra dollars takings are not in a free market demanded by the Chinese. The Americans on the other hand should not complain as it is they who are subsidized by the Chinese.

Poor people are subsidizing rich people. I know that the Chinese are not communists any more, but is this not going too far?

Björn Lundahl

N. Joseph Potts May 20, 2007 at 12:35 pm

If interfering with trade is always more harmful to the interfering party than it is to other harmed parties, then that goes for China, too (pegging the exchange rate is interfering with free trade).
From the premise, the logic is irrefutable: if China interferes with trade, the best course for the US is to not interfere with trade. If China does not interfere with trade, the best course for the US is still to not interfere with trade. No need whatever to distinguish what’s going on outside.
It’s not mindlessness – it’s just recognizing a principle that happens to be dead simple.

Charles Koberg May 21, 2007 at 3:36 pm

“America’s poor are better off than much of the European middle class today, and better off than the American middle class of the 1950s.”

As one of the American middle class of the 1950s and today, I disagree. Our quality of life in those times, in many ways, was better, subjectively, than even today’s middle class experiences.

What measurements did you consult to determine who’s “better off”?

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