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"Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself".

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Introduction

"Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself" Free trade (FT), a form of international business not restricted by Government interference or restriction in the form of tariffs and sanction; the idea has been praised for well over three hundred years so why is it not in practice today? The benefits of FT have been indicated as, "limit[ing] the power of the state and enhance[ing] the freedom, autonomy and self-responsibility if the individual" ("Seven moral argument for free trade", Daniel T. Griswold, 2001), maximising global efficiency and reducing war through mutually beneficial trade. However western governments choose to protect their own interest whist pointing to the Word Trade Organisation and the World Bank when funds for developing countries are needed and so seems hypocritical. The impression that one cannot help but be left with is that the western governments would rather protect its own interests, gain funds for its own use and maintain control on the Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDCs) ...read more.

Middle

The European Common Agricultural Policy (quota based), has meant that good have been grossly overproduced and so lowered the percentage that the producers receive; therefore the protectionist policy has further stunted the development of certain countries. The next argument against FT is that it would not work in practice, that 'text-book economics' is not practical in the 'real world', which is true. It has been found that most LEDCs would have to spend the entire annual humanitarian budget in order to meet to World Trade Organisation's (WTO) criteria for membership and there are other things within the country that the money is needed for. However, if we gave the countries free trade they could strengthen their economies, their comparative advantage and eventually lead to economies of scale. Another factor against it is that International trade is not a self-regulating activity, governments need to cushion their markets against shocks; furthermore the WTO talks keep collapsing underneath the continually dividing regional FTA and the differences between development and industrial speed of countries; in this way smaller countries will lose out significantly. But is this just an excuse? ...read more.

Conclusion

Zoellick said, "The agreement would move beyond trade, and also emphasise growth and development" and finally but most poignantly "Ultimately it has to be done by Africans themselves. We can create opportunities. The age of dependency in Africa was over." Free trade has given them freedom, it has worked and because it has worked somewhere it weaken the arguments against. Finally another control mechanism for LEDCs is that of world debt; if we were to have FT and a single market, world debt should surely be cancelled. World debt it seems, like the denial of FT is a control device. It keeps the west strong and LEDCs weak, and it's pointless from a moral and financial point of view, even if not an economic point of view. The arguments against FT as presented here, are arguments against freedom itself, if we chose to not be protectionists and were not afraid of meeting people on an even playing field we could allow LEDCs the freedom they greatly deserve. ...read more.

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