CHAPTER 35
EXTERNAL INVESTMENT

THERE are two distinct groups of reasons why international trade has always been the subject of a special compartment of economic theory.

The first is that for everyone some country is my country, and all problems may be looked at from the point of view of that country, treating the rest of the world as part of the economic environment, on the same footing as natural resources or the state of technique. The interests of the rest of the world come into the argument only to the extent that the behaviour of the rest of the world (say, by way of retaliation for some damage to its interests) reacts back upon the country being considered.

Problems of this kind do not depend upon the nature of the economic differentiation between nations (whether there is a single world monetary system or separate national systems, whether migration of labour is possible or not, etc.) but upon the focus of interest. If people had the same degree of patriotism for the county they live in as they have for the country, there would be books written about the problems of intercounty trade, studies of the manner in which a County Council could use its powers to foster the economic welfare of the inhabitants of the county, and sermons from inter-county- minded economists on the evils of using these powers so as to damage the rest of the world.

The second group of considerations does not concern the standpoint from which the argument is being viewed but arises from the very fact that the world is divided into nations. The relations between geographical areas each organised politically, each with its own patriotism and its own institutions, are different in important ways from the relations between regions

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