…er, I only saw James Buchanan speak twice. The first time he changed the way I thought about trade. The second time I saw him speak, shortly before he passed away, he said something very deep and paradoxical. He said something like this: When I look to the future, I’m a pessimist. But when I look the past, I’m an optimist. What did he mean by that? He meant that right now, the future looks pretty bleak. But if we look to the past, we see times like the 1930s, when things must have looked a lot bleaker. Unemployment reached 25% in the United States and elsewhere. Fascism was on the rise around the world. And yet, the world recovered from those times and while things got worse, much worse before they got better, the resulting path was unimaginably more positive than could have been imagined at the time.