29 September, 2010

Ed vs. Claude Frédéric Bastiat

It can be only a pleasant dream, I guess, but wouldn't it be wonderful if Frederic Bastiat could travel 160 or so years forward in time, get a plane ticket to the U.S. and be a guest on The Ed Show (MSNBC) or on a similar forum where cheap labor is still seen as a terrible threat?

Ed: "Big business addiction to cheap labor, in my opinion, is un-American. They have no sense of economic patriotism any more and it seems to me that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants to protect American [sic] jobs in India and doesn't give a damn about jobs in Indiana."

Bastiat: "If man were a solitary animal, if he worked solely for himself, if he consumed directly the fruits of his labor—in short, if he did not engage in exchange—the theory of scarcity could never have been introduced into the world. It would be all too evident, in that case, that abundance would be advantageous for him, whatever its source, whether he owed it to his industriousness, to the ingenious tools and powerful machines that he had invented, to the fertility of the soil, to the liberality of Nature, ox even to a mysterious invasion of goods that the tide had carried from abroad and left on the shore. No solitary man would ever conclude that, in order to make sure that his own labor had something to occupy it, he should break the tools that save him labor, neutralize the fertility of the soil, or return to the sea the goods it may have brought him. He would easily understand that labor is not an end in itself, but a means, and that it would be absurd to reject the end for fear of doing injury to the means...But exchange hampers our view of so simple a truth." [Bold added.]

Import more of Frenchman Bastiat's economic wisdom for $0/hour here.

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