Tag Archive: commerce

  • What Charles Darwin owes Adam Smith

    The following is a lightly edited, slightly condensed transcript of the talk “Adam Darwin: Emergent Order in Biology and Economics,” presented by Matt Ridley at the Adam Smith Institute in 2012. I’ve called my lecture “Adam Darwin” to stress how congruent the philosophies of Adam Smith and Charles Darwin are. The common theme, of course, […]

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  • Trump, Trade, and Great Power War

    One of the signature features of President Donald Trump’s campaign was his hostility to free trade. Then-candidate Trump repeatedly denigrated various multilateral trade pacts as bad deals for the United States. Pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, appointing opponents of free trade—such as Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro—into key positions, and promises of tariffs that are likely to […]

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  • Exports only matter because they let us import

    Among economics data watchers, a country’s exports enjoy a hallowed status. The ability of producers in country A to sell goods and services to people in other countries is taken as a sign of A’s economic strength, although the underlying metric for economic strength goes unmentioned. In addition, job counters across the spectrum constantly count […]

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  • The moral and spiritual blessings of trade among all nations

    Free trade doesn’t just make us better off. It makes us better people. Donald Trump claims that raising barriers to trade is one of the things it will take to “Make America Great Again,” but he is wrong. Greatness—both of wealth and of moral character—comes from trade. And we have known this for a very […]

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  • The rules of trade

    One of the most egregious misunderstandings about trade is that the government of country A should allow its people to trade freely with peoples of other countries only if governments of, and producers in, other countries “play by the rules” – which usually means “plays according to the rules that the rulers and politically powerful […]

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