Free Trade vs. Patriotic Spending

Advocates of free trade assert that everyone benefits from a “world market”. If all countries were equally productive, it would not matter where trade flowed. However, some countries are more productive in one area and less in another, and so it makes sense for the countries to trade their excess to countries with a deficit. In a perfect world, everyone would have something that another wanted, and be willing to trade until each was satisfied. That fantasy is similar to the ideal wish fulfillment of sellers of vintage movie posters when it comes to movie posters appraisals. Everyone is hopping that their old movie poster is worth thousands of dollars. Some folks even believe that movie poster reproductions are worth something. However most appraisers and collectors are only interested in the original movie poster. And since this is not the ideal world, people and countries alike must face reality.

Most countries tend evolved around the means of resource and capital, as well as for other geo-political reasons. The population of any given country is neither completely mobile nor completely skillful — in other words, all people are never equally free (or willing) to relocate to a country that will best suit their financial needs, and all people are never equally free (or willing) to learn the skills that are currently in demand.

Therefore, there are (and possibly always will be) countries that lack more than they can provide, as well as countries that can provide more than others. This leads to an inequality that is commonly exploited by the owners of capital — which is nearly always much more mobile than the people of a nation. Cheaper labor allows cheaper goods to be produced with potentially undesirable consequences for each nation.

What if every job could be done more cheaply somewhere else? What would that mean to your family, your community, your country?

Patriotic spending is an attempt to combat that trend by using the market itself to demand that goods and services are both produced and purchased in the country of origin. By increasing demand, the workers of the country are more likely to increase their standard of living; better job stability and more control over the quality and responsibility of the methods of production.

Is this “protectionism”? The word has an ugly connotation, a selfish and narrow view of the world. On the other hand, would you call it reasonable to give away all your food when your family is starving?

Detroit is nearly a ghost town at this very moment. Properties there are being sold for pennies on the dollar of what they were previously valued. The city will likely never fully recover from the current state of near ruin. That great city was once one of the most stable in our country & it took very little time in the big scheme of things to shake it to the very core. There have actually been strides in the area of bringing back the economy. Much of the effort has been put forth by the very people who have called the city home. They have spent their whole lives there & refuse to let the city slip into the darkness. Through their efforts the city has brought back some of the manufacturing jobs but the economy is still in trouble.