Tim Harford speaks on aid, free trade and environment
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
The much-talked about author of the much-talked about book, now speaks on price-gouging, free trade and why "if you would like to be rich and have nothing change, then you will be disappointed".
That free trade can actually be helpful to the environment is something that never struck me, and it pulls the rug from beneath the feet of the many moralising environmentalists.
The countries that have the highest trade barriers, Japan and Korea use so much fertilizer.
And then countries like Brazil that don’t have a lot of agricultural protectionism don’t use much fertilizer either. And when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The protectionism is necessary because the land is not good. And the fertilizer is necessary because the land is not good. So free trade in agricultural products is -- well it’s good for a lot of reasons. But one of the reasons is it is good for the environment.
Read the interview. He gives a lot of pithy explanations for why we must embrace free trade and change, how all aid need not necessarily be bad and how businesses are fleecing us all the time through price targeting. His tone is even, un-hysterical, un-moralising and his arguments make sense. Unlike much of the arguments made on either sides of the debate on globalization.