Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Second quote of the day 14th March 2017

"If we ran our lives the way ­politicians talk about trade, we would insist on giving a shopkeeper as much money as possible, then reluctantly accepting some of his goods."

(Matt Ridley, article on trade barriers in The Sun which you can read in full here.)


Jim said...

A normal person would first look at a project that, in their mind, needs to be done, then they would write a business case as to how to do said project, and how to fund it, then he would raise the capital required to do exactly that.

A government does not do this, a government grabs every single last penny it can, by any means, ethical or otherwise, then looks at how much money it has, then looks for things to spend it on, then next year complains that it has to run an "austerity programme" due to it not being able to fleece enough, so there are cuts.

Chris Whiteside said...

A great deal of truth in that comment but it's not quite the same as the very good point that Matt Ridley was making.

His point is that politicians and journalists usually talk as if exports are wonderful and imports are disastrous when in fact the only point in exporting anything is to earn the money to buy things, and specifically the only benefit a nation gains from exports is that they earn the foreign currency which can be used to pay for imports.

See next post for a fuller explanation.