Murray Rothbard on Free Trade

Edit: The above link only mentions Free Trade in passing.  Here is a more in depth look at the issue.

An excerpt:
 “Many estimates have been made of the cost of “saving jobs” by protectionism. While the estimates differ widely across industries, they are almost always much larger than the wages of the protected workers. For example, one study in the early 1990s estimated that U.S. consumers paid $1,285,000 annually for each job in the luggage industry that was preserved by barriers to imports, a sum that greatly exceeded the average earnings of a luggage worker. That same study estimated that restricting foreign imports cost $199,000 annually for each textile worker’s job that was saved, $1,044,000 for each softwood lumber job saved, and $1,376,000 for every job saved in the benzenoid chemical industry. Yes, $1,376,000 a year!

While Americans may be willing to pay a price to save jobs, spending such enormous sums is plainly irrational.If you doubt that, imagine making the following offer to any benzenoid chemical worker who lost his job to foreign competition: we will give you severance pay of $1,376,000—not annually, but just once—in return for a promise never to seek work in the industry again. Can you imagine any worker turning down the offer? Is that not sufficient evidence that our present method of saving jobs is mad?”


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