07 November 2012

Book Review

Free Trade Doesn’t Work by Iain Fletcher 

Here’s another book I read a couple of months ago. The main point of the book is suggested, though not fully articulated by the title. In reality, the main theme of the book is something like this: the theory of free trade, though likely correct, is not put into practice properly, and therefore leads to terrible results.

The above assertion should be obvious to all but the most oblivious economists, like Bryan Caplan. While the theory of free trade is generally correct, assuming you deny the existence and/or legitimacy of the state and/or borders, its application leaves much to be desired.

In his book, Fletcher details how what often passes for free trade is nothing more than foolish, counterproductive statism. He also spends a lot of time looking at how free trade principles are applied in practice (hint: rather stupidly). He also spends some noting the difference between the functioning model of free trade and current reality. When all is said and done, it’s a wonder than anyone takes policy prescriptions from free traders seriously; they have their heads so far up their rectum that it’s impossible for them to see the light of day.

At any rate, the book is a fairly engrossing and eye-opening read. While theories are always nice, it’s considerably more important to know how a theory will be applied in reality. In the case of free trade, the translation from theory to practice is often lacking. Fletcher’s book does a good job explaining why, and offering better alternatives and solutions.

No comments:

Post a Comment