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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 208 of my great teacher Leland Yeager’s, and David Tuerck’s, excellent 1966 book, Trade Policy and the Price System (footnote deleted):

The protectionist slogan that free trade may be right in theory but wrong in practice becomes more sensible (if the theory-versus-practice distinction is not itself nonsense) when the word “protectionism” replaces “free trade.”  Drawing up tariff schedules in even rough accordance with the intellectually respectable protectionist theories would require knowing how sensitively production, consumption, and imports would respond to price changes caused by import duties, and how these responses would change over time, as well as how interference in the market for each particular thing would directly and indirectly affect the markets for all other things.  It would involve adjusting tariff rates frequently to keep abreast of the changes continuously occurring in everything affecting supplies and demands and the sensitivity of responses to price changes.  In addition, it would require the tariff-makers to have immunity from being pressured or mislead by the clamor of special interests.