View Full Version : David Gay on Economic Sanctions

Crash Martinez
06-26-2008, 02:15 PM
Free Market = Free World

by David A. Gay Sr. on Thu, 06/26/2008

The recent easing of the US sanctions on North Korea calls on us to consider anew our stance toward other nations as well. It may be expedient at this moment for the US to reopen the paths of free trade to a particular country, but this kind of activity should not be used simply as a tool of diplomacy or furthering our government’s perceived interests; rather, the unrestricted flow of free commerce ought to be our categorical, principled policy toward all foreign nations.

The free market is the ideal environment for the people of any nation to better their condition and interact with other nations in a mutually-beneficial way. Government restriction, intervention, and sanctions run counter to such progress by definition. Even in cases of oppressive or bellicose regimes, our government should be careful to address threats on the basis of a strong national defense, rather than by further restricting the freedom of citizens in all countries involved to conduct business with whomever they choose.

In theory, economic sanctions are expected to choke out the monetary lifeblood of a dictatorial or threatening foreign regime. In addition to the fact that a sovereign nation’s economy should not be presumptively taken under control of other nations, the reality is that such sanctions rarely achieve the desired purpose.

In the case of Cuba , nearly a half-century of inconsistent economic sanctions has not resulted in any discernable change in the Communist government’s oppressive control over the Cuban people; it seems the “embargo” has only served to create of the US a scapegoat for all the hardships visited on the people by that Marxist dictatorship.

It is also appropriate to consider what our policy ought to be toward nations such as Iran , as there are concerns they may be developing nuclear weapons. In the light of the history of economic sanctions, I believe that such efforts are not likely to play a significant role in discouraging the government of Iran in their potential pursuit of nuclear arms. America should serve as an example of peace and free trade at all times. While governments such as Iran may oppress their citizens and strangle the freedom of their markets, we should not respond by cutting off our own citizens’ right to a free market.

At home and abroad, most problems are not solved but exacerbated by government intervention. I am hopeful that the efforts to open up the avenues of trade with North Korea will result in more freedom and prosperity on all sides, and that the same policy might be the future of our relationship with Iran, Cuba, and the rest of the nations of the world.

In the timeless words of President Jefferson, the United States should pursue “peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.”