≡ Menu

Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 197 of Steven Landsburg’s 2009 book, The Big Questions:

Bullying and protectionism have a lot in common.  They both use force (either directly or through the power of the law) to enrich someone else at your involuntary expense.  If you’re forced to pay a $20-an-hour American for goods you could have bought from a $5-an-hour Mexican, you’re being extorted.  When a free-trade agreement allows you to buy from the Mexican after all, rejoice in your liberation.  To compensate your former exploiters is to succumb to Stockholm syndrome.

Finally in modern America, the face and voice of protectionism belong unmistakably to a bully.  This protectionist isn’t camouflaged and prettied-up for public consumption.  This pig doesn’t wear even lipstick.  This protectionist more fully than any that I’ve ever encountered reveals the true nature of protectionism.  The bullying, boorish, bloviating, ignorant, hypocritical, megalomaniacal, greedy, grasping, and unprincipled Donald Trump is the unmasked image and un-euphemized spokesman of protectionism. “Progressive” supporters of protectionism might think – they certainly wish – that protectionism (and its mercantilist accouterments, such as that great geyser of cronyism, the U.S. Export-Import Bank) is something different than what Trump threatens to unleash, but these “Progressives” are mistaken: protectionism, like Trump, is by its nature bullying.