Student Of Liberty

12. – THE MAN WHO ASKED EMBARASSING QUESTIONS.

I am in favor of democracy if what you understand by this word is: ‘to each the ownership of his own work, freedom for all, equality for all, justice for all, and peace among all.’

Frédéric Bastiat
Economic Sophisms Third Series

This article shows in a convincing manner how the country is made poorer further to the tariffs and other protectionnist measures. It is also an opportunity for Bastiat to remind us what he stands for which is close to the motto of the French Republic (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity) but not quite. Most importantly, he notes the main objective of all this: peace among all.

Besides, it is interesting to note the fake example coming up with figures that Bastiat invents in order to illustrate the consequences of protectionism, i.e. a reduced wealth for the country as a whole at the same time as an increased wealth for the beneficiaries of protection. Later, economists will show this on a chart when analysing tariffs: using the offer and demande curves, it is possible to show the effect of tariffs increasing producer’s surplus, reducing consumer’s surplus and increasing deadweight loss. Bastiat’s short demonstration captured it all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *