Noble Lord Goes Gaga

In the debate upon the Constitutional sell out M\’Lord Maclennan of Rogart says:

It is also pure fantasy to think that we can, through our lone voice in the councils of the world, influence trade policy to protect our citizenry without aligning others in support.

When has trade policy, uni- or multi-lateral, ever been used to protect our citizenry?

To protect producers, yes, but that\’s always at the expense of the citizenry.

Protection of the citizenry would be unilateral free trade, something which requires no voice in the councils of the world nor the alignment of support.

We simply tell the special interest groups to bugger off and buy what we wish from where we wish.


3 thoughts on “Noble Lord Goes Gaga”

  1. Precisely. Isn’t it comforting to know we have such intelligent people sitting in the HoL and that we are unable to remove them?

  2. And that has exactly what to do with the end of an additional 60 vetos and the passing of an enabling bill?

    In addition to being technically wrong, like all politicians he is answering a question that wasn’t asked.

  3. Yes, but he is making a politically astute statement of a very general type, all the more effective because of its non-specificity.

    It is a bad mistake to blame certain producer firms for corrupting politicians for favored treatment–restriction of foreign competition–in their particular lines. If trade restrictionism dep;ended on such process, we’d be living in a
    laissez-faire, free-trade world already.

    The sad fact is that, under democratic regimes (as are most of the places that count), the producer firms are actually only the nominal leaders of large voting blocs; together, they seek the rent-advantage which they can reap from a protected status. Thus, though there is, indeed, a conflict between the interets of protected producers and the consumers of their products, large segments of such consumers view themselves as potential beneficiaries of similar protected status to the extent that their own employer (and thus their employment) enjoys such advantage. Perhaps we might have spoken in such simplistic terms in the 19th century (when liberals–now referred to as “classical liberals”) favored free trade on behalf of the consumers and workingmen. But, with the rise and spread of democracy, the appeal to the greed of the economically ignorant is a reliable route to political influence. So, instead of producers trying to mulct consumers, the main thrust is the working classes in each country pitted against their counterparts in other parts of the world.

    Such process brought us WW I and WW II. And, if there’s going to be a WW III, it’ll be for essentially the same reasons.

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