… is from my Mercatus Center colleague Dan Griswold’s excellent essay, in U.S. News & World Report, debunking U.S. Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross’s assertion that raising punitive taxes on Americans who buy foreign-made steel is necessary for America’s national defense:
Protection would not even be good for the steel industry in the long run. Protected industries tend be lazy about innovation and customer service because they are shielded from normal market competition – think the U.S. Postal Service. A protected domestic market will render the U.S. steel industry less able to face global competition in the future. It will spur domestic users to seek alternatives to steel, further reducing long-term demand.
DBx: Spot-on. Creating monopoly power weakens the domestic economy’s ability to support government activities (which, come to think of it, might be one of the few silver-linings around the dark cloud of monopoly power!).