David Boaz nicely summarizes the case against allowing alleged (or even Certified by God) “dumping” of foreign products in the domestic market to serve as an excuse for protectionist policies against the unimpeded importation of such products.
In the context of discussing Mitt Romney’s tax burden, Steve Landsburg reminds us of a valid and important point made long ago by John Stuart Mill. Here’s a relevant excerpt from Book V, Chapter II, of Mill’s Principles:
It has been urged as an objection to exempting savings from taxation, that the law ought not to disturb, by artificial interference, the natural competition between the motives for saving and those for spending. But we have seen that the law disturbs this natural competition when it taxes savings, not when it spares them; for as the savings pay at any rate the full tax as soon as they are invested, their exemption from payment in the earlier stage is necessary to prevent them from paying twice, while money spent in unproductive consumption pays only once.