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American Competitiveness

The author asserts that President George Bush is committed to a laissez-faire free-trade policy. If so, he has my vote. Protectionism is a foe of prosperity here and world-wide. It may be politically popular to talk about saving jobs. But economists understand that consumers benefit from the competition, and that everyone is a consumer.

Tariffs and quotas restrict trade and can cause worldwide sagging economies and even depressions. Free, open trade between nations not only leads to the highest efficiency and productivity worldwide, it also breeds contact and exchanges of all kinds between peoples, increased understanding, and interdependence.

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The only help United States companies should have is removing regulations and taxes that impede their effective competition abroad. If companies can't compete they should not be propped up by government subsidies, tariffs, quotas, or interferences in the market place on their behalf. Mary-Jo Wanzer Schumburg, Wantagh, N.Y.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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