What Degree of -ization?

by Don Boudreaux on November 11, 2006

in Myths and Fallacies, Trade

Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson believes that general economic prosperity is created by monopoly power.  He’s happy that the newly enlisted army of politicians that will descend on Capitol Hill in January contains many protectionists — ooops, sorry, I should instead describe protectionists by using their favorite euphemism: "fair traders."  Here’s a letter that I sent today to the Post in response to Meyerson’s economic illiteracy:

Dear Editor:

Meyerson repeats the canard that "globalization entails [a] downward
leveling" of economic well-being ("Tipping Point for Trade," November

This belief is crushed by mountains of evidence.  It’s
crushed also by its own illogic: if ordinary people are served by being
"protected" from globalization, then they can be made even better off
by being protected from countryization – and better off still by being
protected from townization and neighborhoodization.  Protectionist
quackery implies that we achieve maximum prosperity when no one
consumes anything produced by anyone else.

Donald J. Boudreaux

As my friend George Leef asks, what degree of -ization do protectionists imagine to be ideal?


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