Has anyone free-traded themselves to poverty?

I ask the question to the gallery (including any American Joblog folks - I know you're looking in) in all honesty. I know of plenty of cases where the erection of barriers to capital, goods, and even labor flow have impoverished a country with phenomenal natural resource wealth (Russia) and an industrious population (East Germany, Czechland), and plenty of cases where free trading countries have become fabulously wealthy even without any resources and far too many people per square foot (see also Hong Kong)- but I don't have many in my "free trade left me in the poorhouse" file.

Can anyone help me out?

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It's also noteworthy that

It's also noteworthy that for hundreds of years the several United States have essentially comprised a very large free-trade zone. Last I checked, it's not an impoverished country.

Brian, don't count out

Brian, don't count out Kanadastan just yet. When they sign agreements here they have a funny habit of hearing the word 'crony' when someone says 'free'. The best example is our 'cultural protection' policies, which force producers and broadcasters to emit/regurgitate >30% Kanadian content. this looks good on the surface until you realize its basically making it illegal for the 5 people who control this industry from Toronto to not make less than 1/3 of every dollar spent on content. tada, cronyism. Brain Adams nailed it right on in a magazine rant and had his royalties de-listed for some of his hits by the pukes who work for the culture nazis. Basically there will never be free trade in this place. It will be some conivingly grimy ugly piece of legislation professing power to the workers while you hear a giant sucking sound coming from over the horizon in the direction of eastern Kanadastan, where they've had a particularly nasty outbreak of human filth virus.

qwest, assuming you to be

qwest, assuming you to be male...you are the man.

Point taken about Canada,

Point taken about Canada, but that falls under the "capital, labor, and goods" controls bit. We know that those countries go down the crapper.

Hmm. Perhaps Canadastan *is* a case-in-point for a formerly free-wheeling economy reduced to rubble through statism?

Just remember, no one would

Just remember, no one would work at Wal-mart for the wages they pay people!

Especially not 1.5 million!

seems like you are

seems like you are anthropomorphizing countries here. is that wise?, asked the aaardvark, arbitrarily.

ArbAard- Would you prefer


Would you prefer the question restated as:

"Is there any evidence of a country allowing free trade becoming impoverished as a result of said policies of noninterference?"

[...] Way back in May I

[...] Way back in May I asked an open question to protectionists and free traders alike: Has any country free-traded themselves into poverty?