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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 135 of Tomas Larsson’s 2001 book, The Race to the Top:

Unknown-1Those who do battle against global market forces often point to what is seen: for example, the job that is saved when a high tariff stops foreign competition.  What they don’t see or don’t want to acknowledge are the jobs lost- the cost in unnecessary human suffering  – as a result of the same high tariff.  A tariff designed to stop competition is, on net, an act of destruction that benefits only the immediately protected industry, and then only in the short run.  After all, glaziers themselves would not be better off in a world in which stones were constantly being hurled through windows.

DBx: Conservatives typically complain when government directly taxes or regulates industries so heavily that these industries contract and, in some cases, even die.  Such complaints are correct and just.  Yet let that same government damage or destroy those same industries indirectly – by giving special protections and privileges, such as tariffs, to other industries – and many of these conservatives cheer.  They observe the protected industries performing better with the privileges and protection than without; they observe the jobs saved and even created in the privileged and protected industries.  They imagine that they are witnessing the nation’s economic salvation and progress.  And they then applaud and cheer the politicians who pushed for the privileges and protections.

Yet those who so applaud and cheer are blind to nearly all of what is relevant in the real-world economy.  They see the water’s surface and the horizon and think that they see all that there is to see.  They do not understand that beneath that surface and beyond that horizon lies a deep and vast ocean.  And their applause and cheering are for destroyers, not creators.


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