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Tom Shillue

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‘Zero sum game’ distorts thinking on tax cuts, foreign affairs

(File, Associated Press)

As Congress debates immediate, substantial cuts in federal tax rates, liberal opponents invoke the discredited concept of a “zero sum game” –
the idea that if one citizen gains, then another must lose, because they believe that one individual’s good fortune must always mean someone else’s misfortune.

This thinking ignores the way economic growth can benefit everyone; creation of wealth means more opportunities, not fewer, for everyone in the vicinity of the wealth creator.

Unfortunately, some conservative nationalists make similar mistakes regarding foreign affairs: believing that one nation’s progress, brings suffering for others. Instead, today’s global economy makes prosperity contagious.

The United States has everything to gain from the economic advancement around the world: that means more markets for our producers, and more products for our consumers.

We should favor, not fear, the advancement of our neighbors down the block, as well as prosperity for peaceful nations on the other side of the world.

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