Friday, February 10, 2006

U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

(No this isn't about the Olympics.)

Just a thought...

Maybe there's a reason why people in the U.S., even the "poor" here, enjoy historically unprecedented standards of living.

And maybe, just maybe, it's a reason that's compatible with the notions of comparative advantage and positive-sum exchange. Maybe all that prosperity isn't stolen, and doesn't all come at others' expense.

Other prosperous nations, Sweden, the U.K., and Canada, for example, have something in common with the U.S. It's not flag-waving ass-kicking at the Olympics, or carpet-bombing Iraq that I'm talking about. It's trade. A lot of trade. And not just exports, but the most prosperous nations in the world have high levels of imports(I'll look for a per-capita measure when I find time). What exactly is the reasoning behind a belief that imports are bad?

On a related point, Don Boudreaux argues that a trade deficit is a silly thing to worry about.