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Ha-Joon Chang takes on Free Trade in his book The Bad Samaritans
Howard Richman, 1/26/2010

For an excellent interview with the author, see The Free Trade Heretic by David Sirota at inthesetimes.com. Partly, Chang is taking on the economics profession. Here's a selection from the interview. Here's Sirota's question:

Bad Samaritans claims that most trade “experts” ignore the history of trade policy in building up industrialized countries. Specifically, you assert that protection and tariffs — not free trade — have always been a cornerstone of any successful industrial policy. Why do you think these experts ignore this history?

And here is part of Chang's answer:

When 99 percent of economists believe in free trade, it is easy to pretend that the 1 percent does not exist or that they are incompetent. With their numerical advantage, free-trade economists can always assert that professional consensus is on their side. Of course, if the numerical majority was always right, the sun would still be going around the earth and the earth would still be flat.

Reminds me of what I wrote in my April 10 2009 posting The Age of Scientific Conformity




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