A Protectionist is Someone Who…

by Don Boudreaux on March 11, 2018

in A Protectionist is..., Seen and Unseen, Trade

… believes that the moon is a two-dimensional object that daily changes shape – from fully round disc to a sliver of a crescent – and regularly dissolves into nothingness before it rematerializes.  The protectionist believes that reality is no larger than – and consists only of – what is immediately visible to his and the public’s naked eyes.  While some people argue that the moon is in fact a three-dimensional spherical object the shape of which does not change daily throughout the course of each month, the protectionist dismisses this argument as speculative, fanciful, and – the most damning of accusations – “theoretical.”  “If it can’t be seen, we have no reason to believe that it exists,” proclaims the protectionist, proud of what he mistakenly fancies is his hard-nosed scientific stance.

The alleged ‘dark side of the moon’,” laughs the protectionist haughtily, “clearly is unreal because we clearly do not see it when we gaze into the night sky.  Likewise with the wealth and economic opportunities that those theory-mongering free traders claim are destroyed by protectionism.  These jobs and that wealth are mere figments of the imaginations of free traders – just as the alleged dark side of the moon is a figment of the imaginations of other hare-brained ‘theorists’.


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