The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protectionism

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Book Review: The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protectionism In the acclaimed novel, The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protectionism, author Russell Roberts, an economist and writer, tells a fictional story that enlightens readers to the wonders of the economic system. Russell provides an insightful, thought provoking story that illustrates protectionism and free trade, while making the concepts and arguments easy to comprehend. The story is told through dialogue with two main characters, David Ricardo, an 18th and 19th century economist and Ed Johnson, a CEO for a company that produces televisions. Johnson’s company is facing competition from an overseas Japanese company. Through the use of these characters, Russell shows how the economic system works. David Ricardo is illustrated as one of the early advocates for free trade. After his death, he returns to Earth to complete one final act, involving Ed Johnson. The Choice begins by following David Ricardo on his journey to heaven. At heaven’s entrance, Ricardo faces his judgment. The master of the gates does not allow him to pass because of his theory on free trade. Ricardo then presents a challenge that will prove his theory and allow him to enter his resting place. The master of the gates then challenges him to change the mind of Ed Johnson, a man who is for protectionism and wants to enact a tariff on Japanese televisions. Ricardo must persuade Johnson of his ideas, that it is more efficient for countries to produce more of what they are efficient at producing and import everything else, instead of producing items that they are not efficient in producing. Johnson is chosen as the man to intervene on because Ricardo sees a problem that Johnson is making. During the t... ... middle of paper ... ...nson realizes his responsibility in the economic system. He learns of the role that he plays in continuing the country’s economic success. The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protectionism is a novel unlike others. It tells a fictional story, while be educational and informative. This lends itself to appealing to both the logical and emotional side of the reader. The reader is logically stimulated through the education of the economic system, while also emotionally appealed to throughout the story of David and Ed and Ed’s realization. From this novel, the reader can learn more about the economic system, and how it is applied to life. The reader is able to enjoy the narrative along with learn the principles that are introduced by Roberts. Works Cited Roberts, Russell. (2006). The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protectionism. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

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