Profile image
By Cafe Hayek (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

Bloody Hypocritical!

Monday, November 7, 2016 4:37
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

(Don Boudreaux)


Last night I had cause to revisit parts of historian Frank Trentmann’s superb 2008 book about the politics of trade in Britain during roughly the first third of the 20th century, Free Trade Nation.  I stumbled upon an anecdote that didn’t strike me when I first read the book but that amused me when I encountered it yesterday.

Trentmann offers a long and detailed explanation of how both Tariff Reformers (those who sought to move Britain away from free trade) and Free Traders used the latest technologies in their retail politicking to try to persuade the public of the merits of their respective positions.  On page 122 Trentmann notes about one such piece of technology that was new in the early 20th century, the graphophone, that it is

an early dictaphone developed by the American inventor Charles Tainter in the late 1880s.  The graphophone was used to sing songs as well as to show off the marvels of this new technology capable of recording and replaying the human voice on the spot.  Tariff Reformers and Free Traders sometimes fixed a graphophone to the top of their vans.

Those opposed to free trade in Britain – then as now, and there as everywhere – fell mainly for the myth that economic policies that permit domestic citizens to acquire goods and services not produced by current workers in the home country are policies that cause unemployment in the home country to permanently rise and wages to permanently stagnate or fall.  Yet not only did these misguided champions of existing domestic jobs eagerly use labor-saving technologies to perform their politicking tasks, they also used ideas (and perhaps even physical products themselves) imported from abroad – in this case, the USA – to make their case that the British should shield themselves from economic influences from abroad.

Bloody hypocritical!


We encourage you to Share our Reports, Analyses, Breaking News and Videos. Simply Click your Favorite Social Media Button and Share.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories



Top Global

Top Alternative




Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.