Economics: Lesson 160
Is free trade across a county border economically different from free trade across a national border?
When it comes to town borders, county borders, and state borders, nobody cares about them and they are simply invisible lines. Conservatives defend free trade across these domestic borders with no tariffs or sales taxes because they have learned that this makes the nation wealthier. But ask a Conservative about a national border, and that defence is suddenly thrown out the window! What happened? The national border is an invisible line just like the rest of them, but now everyone is terrified of foreign goods coming in and possibly putting some domestic businesses out of work. This is Polylogism: when someone verbally defends free trade until they get to a national border, then they throw that logic system away in exchange for a new logic system.
This happens because the logic of their position is statist. Conservatives do not base the logic of economics of the free market on free trade. They think of the nation as best being represented by the national state, not by individuals, families, or private business owners making exchanges. So there is the problem. Free trade is the free market, and the free market is all about individuals making exchanges without government interference.
“Either you are in support of high sales taxes or you are not, and an invisible line called a national border does not affect the logic of the case in favour of sales taxes.” – Gary North
In conclusion, free trade across a national border is no different than across a county border. Domestic tariffs have proved to make a nation less wealthy and negatively affect both sides of the border. This also applies to a national border. By placing tariffs on national borders, you are not only making neighbouring nations poor but your nation poor.