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Ideally, one factory’s more-efficient production method would result in a larger economic pie that would be fairly distributed amongst everyone.

In practice, especially when you consider regional trade barriers and the lack of perfect and instantaneous wealth redistribution, many people care about factors such as, “will my friends and family still have economic opportunity if this factory is offshored?”

This concern may at first seem like nationalism or nativism, but through a bit of moral algebra we’ll reveal it as that blessed market motive of rational self-interest. Put simply, factory workers in foreign countries won’t help raise your children, watch over you in times of ill health, or take care of you in old age. In the United States, such aid is also unlikely to come from the anonymous shareholders and C-level executives who’ll reap the main economic benefits of any offshoring.




These incentives aren't enough for any single rational actor to change their behavior.

At the national level, sure, there's an argument for protectionism. But, not at the individual level as whenchamenia suggested.




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