Asher’s Resolution of the Absence of any GATT/WTO Membership on Trade


I’ve had few Eureka moments, but one took place in the mid-summer of 2003 when I flew with my family from San Francisco to Singapore.  We had to stop for couple of hours in Hong Kong to change planes, and we gave Asher (who was turning three that day as it turned out) the choice of either playing at the airport playground or going to one of the lounges (as a United Premier Executive, he was entitled to the Gold lounge even at age two).  He wisely chose the playground and I got to watch him while Miriam went to the lounge.  He played, ran, shouted, and let off steam while I tried (and again failed) to figure out why I couldn’t find any effect of GATT/WTO membership on trade (here’s the relevant paper that I was finishing).


After a while, Asher told me that he’d had enough and wanted to go to the lounge.  Fine, I explained, but in the lounge you have to be calm, quiet, orderly and so forth.  He agreed.  We went to the lounge and sure enough, he went wild as soon as we got in, tearing around, yelling and having fun (as three-year olds do).  I reminded him that we’d agreed to a deal, and he was supposed to shape up when we entered the lounge.  “Yes,” he said to me, “but now I’m in.”