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North Korea: A Monument to the Pathosis of Protectionism

HT Russell Wood

“That’s different!” I hear red-white-and-blue protectionists object.

It is different – but only in its consistency.

Protectionism in North Korea is part and parcel of the economic philosophy of that government.  So the government there pursues protectionism vigorously and thoroughly, obstructing North Koreans’ trade not only with foreigners but with fellow North Koreans.  North Korean ‘leaders’ are principled protectionists – that is, they practice protectionism as a matter of principle.  They practice it thoroughly, consistently, proudly.

Fortunately in the U.S. (and in most other countries whose governments are less barbarous than the one that lords itself over North Koreans), protectionism is pursued far less consistently.  The result is that the freedom left to markets in countries such as the U.S. fosters creative destruction and economic growth in such significant magnitudes that the losses from whatever elements of protectionism that are practiced here are swamped by – and, hence, become very difficult to identify, or even to be distinguished from – the fruits of freedom.


BTW, here are some telling posts on North Korea from Mark Perry over at Carpe Diem: This, and this.