Minnesota Farms Fight Protectionist Nitwitery
According to the Institute for Justice (a national public interest law firm that has filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court challenging Lake Elmo’s trade ban as a violation of fundamental constitutional rights): "Lake Elmo, Minn., forbids farmers from selling agricultural products from their own land unless the products are grown within the city limits. If a Lake Elmo farmer grows some of his crops in another town or another state, he cannot sell them from his Lake Elmo farm. Products grown in town are allowed; products from elsewhere are not."
Why stop there? Why not apply this same trade ban to grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, car dealers, clothing stores, and movie theaters in Lake Elmo? That is, if self-sufficiency for agricultural products is good for Lake Elmo, wouldn't self-sufficiency for all products be even better?
And if self-sufficiency for the entire community is good, wouldn't self-sufficiency for neighborhoods within Lake Elmo be even better? Why should residents of the west side of Lake Elmo patronize businesses, restaurants and farms on the east side of Lake Elmo by buying their agricultural products, food and other items - doesn't that take away jobs from the west side and export them to the east side of the city?
But then why not self-sufficiency at the household level, wouldn't that be even better? Why should you export your family's jobs to your neighbors across the street by buying their tomatoes? Why buy any "out-of-household" goods or services - doesn't that just take away jobs from your own household?
This kind of protectionist self-sufficiency at the city level simply doesn't make any economic sense - it will impoverish the Lake Elmo residents, not make them better off, just like self-sufficiency doesn't make sense at the national level, household level, or any level.
HT: Veronique de Rugy