The following is a lightly edited, slightly condensed transcript of the talk “Adam Darwin: Emergent Order in Biology and Economics,” presented by Matt Ridley at the Adam Smith Institute in 2012. I’ve called my lecture “Adam Darwin” to stress how congruent the philosophies of Adam Smith and Charles Darwin are. The common theme, of course, […]
One of the signature features of President Donald Trump’s campaign was his hostility to free trade. Then-candidate Trump repeatedly denigrated various multilateral trade pacts as bad deals for the United States. Pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, appointing opponents of free trade—such as Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro—into key positions, and promises of tariffs that are likely to […]
There’s a reason why, in times of war, countries have blockaded others.
Among economics data watchers, a country’s exports enjoy a hallowed status. The ability of producers in country A to sell goods and services to people in other countries is taken as a sign of A’s economic strength, although the underlying metric for economic strength goes unmentioned. In addition, job counters across the spectrum constantly count […]
“The market is not a place, a thing, a collective entity. The market is a process, actuated by the interplay of the actions of the various individuals cooperating under the division of labor.” – Ludwig von Mises
Free trade doesn’t just make us better off. It makes us better people. Donald Trump claims that raising barriers to trade is one of the things it will take to “Make America Great Again,” but he is wrong. Greatness—both of wealth and of moral character—comes from trade. And we have known this for a very […]