Another birthday

Posted by Tory Historian Sunday, April 19, 2009

Let us turn away from those painful events in the Colonies as mentioned in the previous posting and look at the birthday of a great man, an economist and somebody who, to Tory Historian's amazement, became a Unitarian after he broke with his Sephardic Jewish family that had come over from Portugal via Holland.

Yes, the man is David Ricardo, one of the most influentical political economists, the man who put together the theory of comparative advantage both for individuals and countries. There are too many people who do a great deal of harm, especially to developing countries by denying or, more precisely, not understanding it.

As Wikipedia puts it, quoting an article from August 2003 in the Washington Times:

Ricardo argued that there is mutual benefit from trade (or exchange) even if one party (e.g. resource-rich country, highly-skilled artisan) is more productive in every possible area than its trading counterpart (e.g. resource-poor country, unskilled laborer), as long as each concentrates on the activities where it has relative productivity advantage.
No country, no people have ever become rich by concentrating on being self-sufficient. Trade, on the other hand ....

Ricardo, astonishingly enough, was also a successful businessman and a Member of Parliament.


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