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Quotation of the Day…

… is from chapter 3 of William Graham Sumner’s 1885 book, Protectionism: the -ism Which Teaches that Waste Makes Wealth:

The protected interests demand that they be saved from the trouble and annoyance of business competition, and that they be assured profits in their undertakings, by “the State,” that is, at the expense of their fellow-citizens.

DBx: Precisely. Sumner here nicely describes the core motivation of businesses that seek, as it is often said, “protection from foreign competition.” What in fact is sought by these businesses is a quantum of economic domination of their fellow citizens. The common habit of describing tariffs and other protectionist measures as actions taken against foreigners conveys the mistaken impression not only that the foreigners against whom the actions are taken are wrongdoers for offering to sell on our shores goods and services at prices that many of us find attractive, but also that any and all costs of protection are borne by these foreigners.

It cannot be said too often: protectionism is economic plunder masquerading as economic policy to ‘protect’ the nation. Yet protectionism protects nothing but special privileges for those who have so little self-respect that they have no qualms about seizing other people’s property if such seizures can be sufficiently camouflaged as “policy.”