Friday, October 20, 2006

Free Trade: From George to Greenspan

I was educated a protectionist and continued to believe in protection until I came to think for myself and examine the question. -Henry George

Free trade consists simply in letting people buy and sell as they want to buy and sell. Protective tariffs are as much applications of force as are blockading squadrons, and their objective is the same to prevent trade. The difference between the two is that blockading squadrons are a means whereby nations seek to prevent their enemies from trading; protective tariffs are a means whereby nations attempt to prevent their own people from trading.- Henry George, Protection or Free Trade 1886,

The evidence is overwhelmingly persuasive that the massive increase in world competition—a consequence of broadening trade flows—has fostered markedly higher standards of living for almost all countries who have participated in cross-border trade. I include most especially the United States.
- Alan Greenspan, Speech, June 2, 1999.