This is one area where I will find myself at odds with both liberals and conservatives alike. Both groups are united against the one concept where almost all economists agree, that Free Trade is the best answer for any nation who would seek to employ it, and further, it is even the best possible answer for dealing with a nation that imposes tariffs upon your country in return. What it comes down to basically are two concepts that are difficult to explain to the average layman. Describing the effects of the unseen versus the seen, and the broken window fallacy. Tariffs may protect the Steel Workers so that they can charge a higher wage than what the market dictates for producing steel, while it may temporarily protect their jobs, industries that purchase steel for their businesses will be harmed by the additional costs associated with the, "protection." Those jobs, which remain unseen, at least in terms of consideration of the tariff, are put at risk. Long term, tariffs do more harm to the nation instituting them than those asked to pay the wasteful tax. So why is it that in the one area where you have as close to unanimity amongst economists as is possible to achieve, they are ignored completely, while simultaneously invoked in the argumentation in favor of the folly?
Our, "unfavorable trade balance," is almost entirely due to the fact that we import almost all of the oil we need in order to drive our cars and run our manufacturing sector. This is in fact a self inflicted problem. Like all self inflicted problems, it can be solved by simply not doing that which self inflicts the problem upon us any longer.
What seems a little unusual for this lecture when compared to the others in this particular series was the absence of young communists who challenged Dr. Friedman's arguments. Perhaps there is hope for Kansas after all.