A Rather Stupid “No One Loses from Free Trade” Argument

Greg Mankiw says John Stossel makes sense:

I suspect ignorance about economics leads many to believe that when two people exchange goods and money, one wins and the other loses. If rich capitalists profit, the poor and the weak suffer. That’s a myth.

Stossel wants to dismiss the concerns over movements towards freer trade by focusing on the direct effect of an exchange. If Joe purchases something from Jose, both Joe and Jose benefit from the exchange. But the critics of free trade are not denying this proposition. To suggest they are is the old Straw Man trick.

Recently, a friend gave me a copy of Stossel’s Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity, which shot down all sorts of straw man arguments. The stupidity here is why would anyone read such nonsense from Mr. Stossel? Now if Mr. Stossel wish to rebut the Stopler-Samuelson proposition, then maybe it’s time to read his “wisdom”.