The Electric Commentary

Monday, October 08, 2007

I'm for free x, except...

One reason that political discussions drive me insane and cause me to lose interest in blogging is that there are basically no intelligent discussions about politics anywhere, ever.

One statement that you will commonly hear is the title to this post. For instance, on college campuses you will generally hear some poor stupid socialist say something like "I'm for free speech, except for racists." Sometimes, when I hear this sentence, I laugh out loud, and am confused when the speaker does not join me in a hearty guffaw. Then I realize that the person in question is serious, and I slowly back away while attempting to avoid eye contact.

Anyway, grown-ups are usually (but not always) mature enough to understand that free speech means that the Nazis get to talk too, even if it does take an occasional South Park episode to keep the message fresh. That said, most adults are economic illiterates, and commonly make this statement about free trade.

Of course, most people don't actually support free trade, and I applaud the Republicans for finally owning up to that fact and making themselves even more like the Democrats. Kudos fellas.

It used to be that everyone was for free trade, except in agriculture, the steel industry, manufacturing in general, the auto industry, textile production, drugs, gambling, etc. Now it's becoming more hip to just dispute that free trade is good. Fine, at least we're being honest.

I won't rehash here, again, why free trade is actually, factually, 100% good. Go read Free Trade Under Fire by Douglas Irwin, or, if that's too much for you, try this Wikipedia entry on the law of comparative advantage.

Yet almost all Democrats and most Republicans don't believe this well-established law of economics to be true. I believe this to be far worse than the shockingly large number of people who believe in Creationsim, as the former has bad, real-world consequences, whereas the latter just gives me something to make fun of.

And, since immigration is basically a form of trade every close-the-border, xenophobic weirdo is wrong about that too.


  • I have a hard time with a general rule of thumb such as "free is good" being the answer to everything.

    By Blogger Scott, at 2:35 PM  

  • It's not the answer to everything, just almost everything.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 11:40 PM  

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