… believes that, if a list of protectionist impositions is made according to the time sequence in which they are implemented, and if each of these impositions is numbered from 1 to n (with the very first protectionist imposition, regardless of which government imposes it, being numbered “1” and the next protectionist imposition, regardless of which government imposes it, numbered “2,” and so on), all odd-numbered protectionist policies are destructive and unjustified while all even-numbered protectionist policies are productive and justified.
That is, the protectionist believes that, starting in a hypothetical world of no trade restrictions, if government A is the first to impose a trade restriction, this first trade restriction is destructive and unjustified, while government B’s “retaliatory” trade restriction – the world’s second trade restriction – is productive and justified as long as the first trade restriction remains in place. If government A itself “retaliates” by imposing another trade restriction in response to government B’s “retaliatory” measure, the protectionist regards this third trade restriction to be destructive and unjustified. If government B responds with yet another trade restriction, the protectionist regards this fourth trade restriction to be productive and justified.
This belief is odd, even for protectionists (who are known neither for their smarts nor for the consistency of their ‘analyses’). In the bizarre and illogical world that exists in the minds of protectionists, the very same government policy that harms the citizens of some country if the government of that country imposes it first (and third, and fifth, and seventh, and so on) is a policy that helps the citizens of that same country if their government imposes it second (and fourth, and sixth, and eighth, and so on).
Again: very odd.