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A Protectionist is Someone Who…

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… fancies that if he has memorized a handful of favorable-sounding academic terms (such as “optimal tariff”) and can pull quotations out of context from pro-free-trade scholars such as Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and F.A. Hayek, that he is thereby a genuine expert on the economics of trade, and that his flimsy case against free trade is rock-solid.

In short, a protectionist is someone who mistakes his glibness, carelessness, superficiality, and ignorance for wisdom, scholarliness, depth, and knowledge.