Open Markets vs Big Government Debate: Is Dumping a "Form of Theft"?

Dumping is a form of theft says Matt Stoller, a Fellow at the Open Markets Institute.

Here is a Tweet that caught my eye.

That Tweet was from @matthewstoller

Curiously, Stoller is 180 degrees off target.

Mercy Me

Dumping steel, solar panels, etc, is to the explicit benefit of the US (assuming of course dumping is the accurate word).

In simple terms, people like Matt Stoller protest that fact that the US is getting a great deal.

Stoller supports tariffs to stop the US from getting a a good deal.

Now, how silly is that? And check this out.

More Government Control Demanded

While wanting more tariffs, Stoller wants more control of how and what farmers produce.

End Austerity

Like Krugman, Stoller wants to end austerity. Other than Greece, I am still waiting for someone to tell me where we have austerity.

Google Crackdown Requested

Corporations like Google and Microsoft exist in the US because socialists would not let them exist in Europe.

To save the bookstores, family farms, newspapers, or whatever, they would have been busted apart long ago if they ever thrived in the first place.

Google is an amazing corporation. People use its search engine because they like it. And Google took its profits and invested in amazing things like self-driving technology that will soon run cars everywhere.

This is the genius of free and open markets, unhampered by government interference.

The Not Open Market Society

Stoller and the allegedly "open market" committee both want more government spending, more tariffs, and more intervention by the government in virtually every aspect of our lives, even agriculture.

Committee to Support "Big Government"

Neither Stoller nor OpenMarkets.Org is one bit interested in "open markets" which I would define as free market enterprise.

Instead, Stoller, along with Krugman, ought to be on the Committee to Support "Big Government".

Big Government Madness

The irony in Stoller's and Krugman's madness is that the populist revolts in France and Italy are taking place precisely because those countries suffer from too much regulation, too much taxation, and too much government!

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (23)
No. 1-15


Since this is about Chinese imports, let us not forget the issues of toxic contamination in many Chinese products, and inferior quality issues in products like steel which can lead to disastrous consequences. Because I do not trust Chinese crap, I will gladly pay more for US made products.


When something is below cost, do not assume the seller is the one suffering.

There were many large shoplifting rings getting things without paying for them from Wal-Mart and selling them on E-Bay and even advertising that they could fulfill special orders and a shopping list.

Should I complain because I got stuff cheaper off E-bay and not think about why it was so cheap? Below cost?

The common externalities - interest rates, eminent domain (having to pay for the land for the factory instead of having the government seizing it and giving it to me), dumping toxic waste into the river and toxic smog into the air (you do know about China's air pollution problems)...

China has a printing press and while you will scream that inflation is theft here, when they use it to finance their dumping, well, that is more benefit from theft "over there where we don't want to ask questions about".

Dumping can only be either a form of charity where some rich person or organization will reduce their wealth to provide something below cost, or there MUST BE THEFT SOMEWHERE. Either by the goverernment below market interest rates or the printing press or subsidies, or regulations that remove property rights, or direct theft as my shoplifter example, or creditors in the case of bankruptcy where you don't have to pay back interest or principal.

One more - taking the wealth from stockholders - it may be simple stupidity where someone produced too much to sell at market so must sell at a loss, but in any case, it when something is sold BELOW COST, that cost MUST be borne by someone. It is either charity, theft, or the result of a management pricing mistake.

I do not think China is being charitable, nor do I think they have simply had an "oops, overcapacity! Hokudanode?", even if it wasn't an economic attack (we'll see you through while their free market destroys those with high fixed cost and latency).

Economic loss CANNOT be eliminated only transfered. Dumping implies economic loss. Who is losing and are they doing so voluntarily, or through volunatarily taking risks, or why don't you care about the violation?


Selling something below cost is a common business strategy. The reasons for employing this strategy are varied. A grocery store might sell eggs at a loss to attract shoppers into the store, hoping they will buy other items as well. A company might sell you a printer below cost (say $30) , in the hope that you will soon need ink that is priced at $100. Resource producers (agriculture, metals, oil and gas etc) are price takers, and have to sell their products at market prices, even if that means taking a loss. Other companies will take a loss on sales to gain market share. So selling products at a loss happens a lot. If you are a company that uses steel, aluminum, lumber etc, you are always looking for lower prices on your inputs. As long as the product quality is the same, you will naturally buy at the lowest price. You likely don’t care if the item is sold below cost. That is the free market working. When governments interfere in free markets with things like tariffs, it is to force companies to do things that they normally wouldn’t do, like forcing them to pay higher prices for their inputs. This makes these companies less competitive. And that is why Tariffs will eventually be removed on products that are input items for US companies. Tariffs on finished goods might remain a lot longer. What’s shocking is that the US never seems to learn its lesson, and keeps pursuing these failing strategies.


Selling and controlling information isn't clever, criminals have been doing it for centuries. Nor are search engine results biased towards the highest paying member, particularly useful. Controlling the flow of information is dangerous and it certainly isn't democratic.

Lauding corporations for producing anything of value is often shortsighted at best. The idea that corporate exploitation can benefit a population is kindergarten idealism. Capitalism is about choice by competition and not about monopolies that control courts, politicians and information.


The only real theft in this entire article is government "taking" of either tax revenues or manipulation of free markets! Get rid of government, reduce the real theft, and watch how everyone will prosper.