On capitalism, consumerism, and Fake Steve Jobs

1 Response

  1. Sympathizer says:

    The sentiment – objecting to the rank unfairness of differential wealth – is spot on, but it was not trade, commerce, and capitalism that produced these inequalities. The U.S. was a rich country and other countries were poor relative to us long before international trade was as significant as it is now.

    When someone in a poor country produces something we buy, they are slightly better off than they would otherwise be. Producing exports pays them at least slightly better than any real-world alternatives they face, such as producing goods for internal consumption, subsistence farming, etc.

    Are we taking advantage of inequality produced by history when we trade? Yes. But we're also ameliorating that inequality to at least a small degree by buying from them. It takes a long time to build the social and institutional infrastructure for wealth – or to rebuild it, in the case of China, which has destroyed its own wealth and potential with years of communist rule.

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