Friday, 11 March 2011

On Free Trade

Thinking about free trade, I thought again of the repeal of the corn laws, as occasionally I do. The repeal of the corn laws was undoubtedly a good thing for grain merchants, millers, bakers and The Great British Public. It was a bad thing for those tenant farmers struggling to pay their rents each quarter day who relied on wheat for their income and a very bad thing for those they employed at a pittance who could not afford to journey with their families, on foot or by cart, to an industrial town in the hope of an unskilled factory job and a home in a building that was a slum when built.

Free trade is a good thing for traders and those who profit from supplying them, and a bad thing for everyone else.

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