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Monday, February 27, 2006

Free Market Means Refusing To Trade With Socialists?

On ABC's "This Week" yesterday, WaPo writer E.J. Dionne made a comment, the same one I have read during this week, that free market libertarians are hypocritical for supporting the sale of the US ports to a UAE company. Dionne stated that since the UAE government either owns or controls the acquiring company, that free market libertarians should not be in favor of this sale. The logic is that if libertarians are so against government ownership of private companies, then supporting the sale is akin to supporting socialism.

How ridiculous.

Free market proponents seek no restrictions on voluntary trade. Free market proponents see the consumer as having the right to trade with anyone. We feel it makes no sense to deny ourselves a good deal even when the other side chooses to reduce its prices because it receives its own government's subsidies, favorable regulations or money from its great aunt Hilda.

Does Dionne believe that free traders seek to restrict their market to those producers who receive no tax breaks, are unaffected by employment and environmental regulations or other government involvement? Certainly, if so, there would be no reason to trade with US companies.

We care less about the other party's make-up than we are with the concept of making the transaction. We are less about discerning the state of origin, skin color, hair color or other irrelevant traits of our trading partner. Socialism is what restricts trade.

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