Most people think that exports are good, and imports are bad. Exports create jobs, imports destroy them. Don Boudreaux, in one of his inimitable letters to the editor, quotes the economist Frank Knight on what this actually means:
“The man from Mars reading the typical pronouncements of our best financial writers or statesmen could hardly avoid the conclusion that a nation’s prosperity depends upon getting rid of the greatest possible amount of goods and avoiding the receipt of anything tangible in payment for them.”
Yes, people really do think that way. We call many of them politicians. Read Don’s entire letter here.