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The Choice by Russell Roberts - Book Report/Review Example

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The author analyzes the book “The Choice” by Russell Roberts which deals with the subject of trade protectionism and makes the claim is that dumping is not practical for anyone because even the persons dumping would need to make up for the profits which are lost by lowering their prices…
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The Choice Book by Russell Roberts
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Book review The book d “The Choice” by Russell Roberts deals with the of trade protectionism and makes two major claims Protectionism is not correct or justified on moral grounds because the issue of freedom is involved. No one person has the right to force another into a particular kind of behaviour.
The second claim that the author makes is that dumping is not practical for anyone, because even the persons dumping would need to make up for the profits which are lost by lowering their prices.
The author offers an excellent argument to support the first claim. At the outset, he claims that protectionism violates the moral code. The practice requires traders within one country to refrain from trading with anyone outside the country and similarly, also restricts import of products. In this way, it is regulating the behaviour of traders by forcing them to carry out their business in a particular manner. In the book, Roberts argues that free will requires that people be allowed the freedom to pursue the actions that they desire and to carry them out in the manner they are accustomed to. Protectionism however, imposes restrictions and conditions on traders which could be construed to be a violation of their free will. In proving this point, he states that no one person has the right to force another into a certain kind of behaviour, such as for example, buying American products. Viewed from a moral basis, protectionism is therefore not a valid perspective from a moral point of view.
Additionally, the author also supports the above claim by showing that protectionism is difficult to execute in practice. In a globalized world and especially with the availability of technology, American items are for example, being sold all over the world. He states that the American way is all about dreams and growth, so that any individual by working hard can achieve the American dream and rise above the barriers of caste, class and ethnicity to rise to the top. This would not be possible in a world where protectionism is the practice, because it would restrict the available options to traders.
The second claim the author makes is in reference to the practice of dumping. This occurs where there is price discrimination practiced in different national markets. It essentially means that foreign imports into a particular country after the levy of import duties, are sold below the prices at which the products are generally sold in the importing countries by other foreign suppliers or local suppliers who also sell the same product (Wilczynski, 1966). Dumping occurs when the products from one country are introduced into the economy of another country at a value which is less than the normal value of the products. As a result, the practice of dumping causes a substantial amount of damage to the industry of the country that is importing the products. The practice of dumping works out to be detrimental to both dumpers and those in the foreign country selling their products. This is because those who import the goods legitimately suffer because of the competing goods at lower prices, while those dumping the products also suffer because they are forced to sell their products at lower prices as compared to other sellers in order to get the goods off their hands as a result, they end up losing out on the profits that they could have potentially made on the product. On this basis, Roberts argues that the practice of dumping is not practical for anyone.
References
Roberts, Russell, 2006. “The Choice”, Prentice Hall.
Wilczynski, J, 1966. “Dumping in trade between market and centrally planned economies”, Economics of Planning, 6(3), Retrieved April 27, 2010 from http://www.springerlink.com/content/x28pu6q77h2n8h64/ Read More
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