Foreigners Are Our Friends | Econ Chronicles

Some people say technology is the driver of innovation, but society often takes great steps in prosperity by trading. Like technological shifts over history, trade is a powerful way of creating wealth for all parties. In one example, Professor of Economics Bryan Caplan imagines a machine that turned agricultural products directly into cars: it would disrupt the way we do business, but the US would be wealthier for it.

If, however, that machine was nothing but a freighter that exchanges corn for cars with another nation, many people think this is unfair. Whether in dislike for foreign trade or worry about immigration, Prof. Caplan calls this “anti-foreign bias,” and points out that most economists don’t share these concerns. Professional economists think trade and immigration benefit all parties involved – just like innovative technology. As we said before: trade is made of win!


  1. juliansfree

    I like the analogy of the free market as a form of technology. It reminds me of Isabel Paterson’s analogy of the market as an electrical circuit.

  2. Anonymous

    Free immigration and a welfare state can’t coexist. The welfare state and ultimately the society collapses. We did not have a welfare state during the free immigration period up to the early 1900s. So immigrants knew if they came here they had to assimilate and survive on their own labor. This is not the case today. The El Salvadorian Gardner scenario in this clip is an oversimplification of free immigration in today’s welfare state, and is a dishonest one at that.

  3. asexymind

    In another LL video, economic studies were cited that demonstrated that those areas with high immigration had better outcomes. The idea is that the immigrants who have the pluck to get the USA will have the drive to create a great live for their children/grandchildren (American Dream) rather than a desire to live on the dole (American Hammock).

  4. diamond_max

    It’s like a tasty recipe that everyone benefits from in the end. One person tries the product and it gets across to everyone eventually.

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