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August 11, 2007

Sanctimonious Selfishness

Quite, exactly right from Jamie Whyte:

You cannot help people by preventing them from engaging in voluntary transactions. If a Bangladeshi wants to work in a clothes factory for 20p an hour, then chances are that this represents a good deal for him. Those who lobby to prevent the import of the clothes that he is “exploited” to make are not helping him. Giving him enough money to think it no longer worthwhile to work for 20p an hour would be an act of generosity. Running his employer out of business because cheap labour offends you is an act of selfishness.

August 11, 2007 in Economics | Permalink

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Comments

Quite right.

Those who campaign against such imports are merely depriving the poor guy of his daily bread, so they can feel good about themselves. His subsequent starvation, though a foregone conclusion, will not stain their lily white self-conciousness.

Entry level economic activity, starting on a pittance and making good. It's the only path to economic security the world has ever found. Every prosperous nation got there the same way. But our chattering classes are hell bent on undermining the humble beginnings of success in the developing world. All they are offering in return is static poverty.

Monty

Posted by: Monty | Aug 11, 2007 9:58:25 PM