O prevestire a unui om politic – Milton Friedman

(de la Ion Cotarla)

Economist Milton Friedman in a 1978 lecture at Utah State University:

Let us suppose, for a moment, that the Japanese flood us with steel. That will reduce employment in the American steel industry, no doubt. However, it will increaseemployment elsewhere in America. We will pay for that steel with dollars. What will the Japanese do with the dollars they get for the steel? They aren’t going to burn them. They aren’t going to tear them up. If they would, that would be best of all, because there’s nothing we can produce more cheaply than green pieces of paper. And if they were willing to send us steel, and just take back green pieces of paper, I can’t imagine a better deal!

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Milton Friedman. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

But they’re not going to do that. They’re not stupid; they’re smart people. They’re going to use those dollars to buy goods and services. They’re going to spend them. In the process of spending them, they may spend them directly in the United States, and that directly provides employment in the United States. They may spend them in Brazil or in Germany or in China or anywhere else. But whoever gets them in turn is going to spend them. So the dollars that we spend for the steel will find their way back to the U.S. as demand for U.S. goods and services. You will have less employment in the steel industry; you will have more employment in the industries producing the goods we export. Overall, total employment will not be affected. But overall, the American consumer will be benefited, because he will get the steel more cheaply, and the goods made from the steel more cheaply, than he otherwise would. That’s the benefit to the American consumer. . . .

You very often bring out the logic of an argument by carrying it to an extreme. You know, you could have a great employment in the city of Logan, Utah, of people growing bananas in hothouses. If we had a high enough tariff on the import of bananas, it could become profitable to build hothouses and grow bananas in those hothouses. That would give employment. Would that be a sensible thing to do? . . .

Now with respect to the charge that the Japanese government is subsidizing the export of steel. Number one, it’s very dubious that it’s true, but suppose it were true. Then that would be a foolish thing for the Japanese to do from their own point of view. But why should we object to their giving us foreign aid?

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Categories: Articole de interes general

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