… is from page 123 of Daniel Griswold’s excellent 2009 book, Mad About Trade :
For a nation, free trade is like fresh air and exercise. It can be uncomfortable at first as the body adjusts to the new regime. We breathe hard, we sweat, and our muscles ache. But soon our aerobic capacity expands, and we discover that we can run faster and farther, we can lift more weight, and we can more quickly shake off the ups and downs of life. In contrast, protectionism is like lounging on the couch, watching reruns, and eating Cheetos in a stale room with the windows shuttered. It may feel comforting in the short run, but it leads to flabbiness, fatigue, and decline for the protected parts of the body.
DJBx: And I add: decline, therefore, for the entire body – not to mention stupidity.