Re: The Crawford Flap

by Jonah Goldberg

My buddy Nick Schulz, editor of the new, improved, TCS Daily writes in regard to the CAP Crawford denounces in that email:


Europe’s CAP is truly a moral horror. To give a sense of how bad it is – and forgive me as I get nerdy about it — but the World Bank just came out with this really interesting report called ‘Where is the Wealth of Nations?’. In the report, Bank pointy heads try to quantify the value of various forms of capital in countries for comparison purposes. They do this to help determine how valuable something like natural capital (such as natural resources, farmland) is to a nation compared with intangible capital (such as education, and institutions such as the rule of law). For France, the value of its tangible capital is worth a mere 1% of the total wealth of its economy. Its intangible capital is worth 86% of its total wealth; contrast that with Niger, where tangible capital such as farmland is 53% of its total wealth. In developing countries, crop and farmland is worth over 20% of the total wealth of the country.

In other words, protection of France’s natural capital is utterly irrelevant to its overall well-being. African nations, meanwhile — which have their goods blocked from Euro markets — are utterly dependent on exploiting their natural capital for survival.

There’s a lot of blame to go around in the trade game (and developing countries have their own harmful protectionist policies). But France is risking scuttling the entire poverty-alleviating global trade system to protect 1% of its total wealth. It is one of the most evil government policies known in the history of man. Your ambassador friend is right.

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