… is from page 112 of the 2015 Fourth Edition of Dartmouth economist Douglas Irwin’s superb volume, Free Trade Under Fire:
Theoretical work on optimal trade interventions is usually developed in the context of an omniscient government that has full information and the capability of setting policy in an optimal manner. In the real world, governments are neither omniscient nor immune to external pressure.
DBx: Once again, those who ground their policy prescriptions on faith and dogma are not free traders; they’re protectionists. Protectionists are filled with the faith that politicians not only cease to behave politically when crafting trade policy, but also have a superhuman capacity to gather, process, and act on ever-changing and highly nuanced information.
Entrusting politicians to enrich the country by obstructing free trade is akin to entrusting a medical quack to transform a healthy, if not perfectly healthy, person into a superhero-like specimen by pumping that person full of poisonous concoctions the listed contents of which impress the gullible.