Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Of chips (made of potato or silicon)

Professor Jagdish Bhagwati, the long-time champion of free trade, gave a lecture at the WTO on 8 October 2007 on his favorite topic. As always, his talk is refreshing. The line I like best from the lecture is the following:

"You can produce potato chips, export them and import computers which you may use to do creative things. Equally, you could produce semi-conductors, export them and import potato chips which you could munch as a couch potato, mindlessly watching television and turning into a moron. What you "consume", in a broad sense, is likely to be far more important to you and your society's well-being, than what you produce."

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