A Protectionist is Someone Who…

by Don Boudreaux on March 9, 2018

in A Protectionist is..., Myths and Fallacies, Trade

… upon seeing the satisfaction that a hungry man experiences when that man buys and eats a hearty meal, attributes the man’s satisfaction not to the consumption of the meal but, instead, to the hunger that the meal was purchased to satisfy.  The protectionist commits himself, therefore, to maximize the man’s satisfaction by keeping the man near starvation.

Put differently, the protectionist, being impressed with the high incomes earned by producers who sell to consumers goods and services that are very scarce, believes that the incomes of everyone in the nation can be raised to impressive heights by government restrictions that make all goods and services very scarce within the nation.

GMU Econ doctoral candidate Jon Murphy is spot-on correct to call protectionists “scarcityists.”


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