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The Intellectual Challenges of Protectionism

Mr. Sam Williford
Economy In Crisis blog

Dear Mr. Williford:

In today’s blog post entitled “‘America’s Got Product’ Works to Stem Import Invasion” you advise Americans to “Buy American.”  In that post you favorably quote one Chris Kilcullen who warns that “The more money that leaves the country, the less money there is to earn in this country.”

Well now….

Immediately above your post is a banner ad from Seven Islands/Sept-iles, a region in Quebec, Canada.  That region is advertising on your site – and I quote – “Steel Mill Needed in Booming Strategically Located Canadian Port City,” and “Millions of Tons of Iron Ore Shipped Out Yearly,” and my personal favorite “Land, Government Subsidies, Low Energy Cost, and Ideal for Lowest Cost Manufacturing and Distribution.”

Your “Buy American” website is financed in part by U.S. dollars transferred to your organization from Canadians in exchange for advertising space on your site.  So what are we to make of Mr. Kilcullen’s warning that dollars that leave America are no longer available to be earned in America?

More fundamentally, aren’t you a tad bit hypocritical to publicly fret and wail as you do about the loss of manufacturing and jobs in the U.S. on a venue supported by advertising dollars spent by a foreign government urging American producers to relocate their operations outside of the U.S.?

Donald J. Boudreaux