Trade Deficits: People Still Being Told They Are “Draining the Wealth of the Country”

The Washington Times takes
us back to the glorious mercantilist days of yestercentury in
its piece the other day crowing about shrinking “trade deficit”
numbers (which they credit to weakening dollar, increased domestic
energy production):
Trade deficits act like a dead weight on the economy by draining
the wealth of the country and bleeding domestic
industries.
As Milton
Friedman told me in 1995, and we weren’t even talking about
Adam Smith, Bastiat, and the basic notion that more trade, at least
if it represents the sought-out free choices of individuals trying
to better their perceived cirumstances, the same fallacies about
economics recur eternally and will never be defeated.Or to put it more baldly, I don’t feel “drained” by my grotesque
trade deficit with the Von’s supermarket on the corner. I’m pretty
sure they haven’t bought a single book or article from me.Murray Rothbard with the Austrian/free-market perspective on the
non-issue of “trade deficits” writ large (which is not the same as
saying that the specific numbers associated with “trade deficits”
at any given time might or might not be caused by some government
policy that is ill-advised for some other reason):

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Trade Deficits: People Still Being Told They Are “Draining the Wealth of the Country”

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