Of the doctrine of free will, Doctor Johnson observed that all theory is against it but all experience for it. Ian Fletcher’s book inspires a converse reflection on free trade: all theory is for it, all experience against it.
For sure nearly all economic theoreticians favor absolute free trade: 93 percent, according to Ian Fletcher. His book persuades me they are wrong. Check it out.
I’ve also become a skeptic of free trade after being a rabid proponent of free trade for better than a decade.
I still think the theory of free trade is correct. In a free market, free trade is by far the best policy.
Unfortunately, the prerequisite is almost never met: we don’t live in a free market.
In reality, free trade does cost people jobs. The newly unemployed go on welfare, spend endless time in subsidized re-education programs, or sell subprime mortgages. Given the infinite number of possible consequences, it’s pretty much impossible to know which policy is best. At this point, I have more sympathy with people who are willing to admit that they don’t really know.