Sunday, July 31, 2005

Protectionist Extreme Paranoia Department

Brad delong's Blog is probably the best from an economist regularly poring out lively and striking pieces. I don't agree with everything he writes, but the following item taken from is too precious to miss.

It comes from a Washington DC source and purports to be from what I can only describe as 'nutters'. It is in line with a wide range of distant drumbeats trying to march towards US protectionism; against the Chinese on this occasion.

"AFF's Brainwash :: Gene Healy :: China's Earthquake Weapon: Did anyone catch this line in Max Boot's recent "yellow peril" op-ed, warning that China may be looking into "creating man-made earthquakes" as a way of fighting an asymmetric war against the United States? Meanwhile, neocon national security maven Frank Gaffney warns of a Chinese Pearl Harbor attack on the US via electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon. It occurs to me, as it has before, that a capacity for embarassment is a severe liability for a D.C. wonk, especially when it comes to foreign policy. Having recently crapped the bed on the Iraq issue, one would think that Boot, Gaffney, Woolsey, Kristol, et al. would have the decency to maintain a studied silence on national security issues for a time. Or, failing that, to proceed soberly, cautiously into the discussion--rather than spinning doomsday-weapon scenarios drawn from a 1930's Buck Rogers filmreel. But D.C. is a town where you can't get laughed off the stage. Why bother to be careful and judicious?"

For the record, no country need fear a neighbour's prosperity (and in the global trading age, we are enighbours of everybody in it). Adam Smith understood this truth; some politicos do not - and they are more scary than their fantasies.


Blogger Unknown said...

interesting but short.

2:49 pm  

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