Libertarianism and Free Trade

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Lucie Bandelac
3997915
LBS 3001
Essay #3

Free trade is the process of trading certain materials between countries for free, without taxation. The government cannot intervene. By reading nobodies and the complementary Sandel reading, we distinguish two major opposing arguments on free trade. First, there is the libertarian side of things and then there is Bowe’s point of view. Libertarianism seems very philosophical, while Bowe uses concrete examples to argue his point. In this essay, we will first distinguish Libertarian ideas and Bowe’s ideas and then we will try to come to a conclusion as to who has the most convincing argument, those promoting free trade, or those fighting against it. According to the Sandel supplementary reading, the concept of libertarianism is quite simple. They have taken the word freedom to its most simple meaning: you have the liberty of doing anything as long as it does not harm anyone around. To be more specific, Sandel has broken down libertarianism into three “no, no’s”: No paternalism, no morals legislation and no redistribution of income or Wealth. Libertarians are in favor of free trade. They do not think there should be any taxation; they believe a company should be free to delocalize their workforce if they so choose and that they should be allowed to pay their workers whatever they want. If the worker is willing to work for that price then, where is the problem? Bowe however, has a whole different vision on the world. He believes that financial inequalities in the world are too great and that they should not be. He does not clearly state that he is against the concept of free trade, meaning, being able to trade products freely amongst countries. On the contrary he writes: “my own feeling is that it’s a neat idea.” He describes it as an ideal and compares it to communism. However, his entire argument is based on the flaws and wrong turns that the free trade agreement has taken. According to Nobodies, because of...
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