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Today’s guest is Arvind Panagariya of Columbia University. We discuss his book, Free Trade and Prosperity: How Openness Helps Developing Countries Grow Richer and Combat Poverty.

Free Trade and Prosperity offers the first full-scale defense of pro-free-trade policies with developing countries at its center. Arvind Panagariya, a professor at Columbia University and former top economic advisor to the government of India, supplies a historically informed analysis of many longstanding but flawed arguments for protection. He starts with an insightful overview of the positive case for free trade, and then closely examines the various contentions of protectionists. One protectionist argument is that “infant” industries need time to grow and become competitive, and thus should be sheltered. Other arguments are that emerging markets are especially prone to coordination failures, they are in need of diversification of their production structures, and they suffer from market imperfections. The panoply of protectionist arguments, including those for import substitution industrialization, fails when subject to close logical and empirical scrutiny.

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discussions

  • I’m interested in working for Bitcoin but atm it’s hard to find these kind of sites. At the moment it seems quite hard to benefit from Bitcoin unless you have purchased Bitcoins through your current accounts as investments. However, as someone noted somewhere else, buying and selling goods for Bitcoin online seems to be hard. How can Bitcoin make a real difference while it’s still not a feasible currency for most of us?

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  • Perhaps you will find this magnificent BBC documentary interesting. It tells the story of the ancient city of Caral, a little north of Lima on the coast of Peru, which is arguably the oldest city in and the beginning of civilization in the Americas. The Lost Pyramids Of Caral There are two points I would like to make about the story told therein of Caral which I think are relevant to libertarians. 1) The early civilization of Caral apparently arose purely out of commerce. This confirms the insights of the Austrian school of economics. And it may be an example of a commercially organized cooperative human society that antedates the rise of any state. 2) This contradicts the presumptions brought to the study by the archaeologists. For one example, at 7:20 one states the following. You can’t build … on the basis of consensus. You have to have leaders and followers. You have to have specialists. You have to have people who are in charge. People who can tell individual groups, alright, today you will be doing this. This group you are going to be doing something different. In other words, in his academic world, the possibility is inconceivable of that human cooperation could be organized by trade — the marketplace — rather than authority.

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  • Which do you think is an effective way of spreading the message of LIBERTY… of getting our message out there ??!!

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  • There are some ways in which buying a house can be a path to independent living.   On the other hand, we’re expecting currency devaluation and the housing market is propped up on limbo rates. Is it worth taking on debt to buy? Will inflation eat away at the principal, or would you have been better off in PMs?   Have you bought recently? What factored into your decision?

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  • Ok I was thinking about myself here: bills paid, only debt is a low interest mortgage, PM stored, some cash money saved. Which is it better to do when investing surpluses and savings between $500-$1000: 1) Put it all on one stock/etf/etc  the whole lump and then save up for the next buy (thus avoiding trading and transaction fees) 2) Pick a spread of affordable and undervalued stocks etc to avoid having all you investment money in too few stocks?

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