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A Protectionist is Someone Who…

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… practices single-entry bookkeeping.

When assessing the employment effects of tariff hikes, the protectionist counts only the jobs added and maintained in protected domestic industries; he doesn’t count the jobs that the higher tariffs destroy elsewhere in the domestic economy. When assessing the employment effects of tariff cuts, the protectionist counts only the jobs lost in domestic industries subject to more-intense foreign competition; he doesn’t count the jobs that the tariff cuts create elsewhere in the domestic economy.

By looking only at part of the picture, the protectionist draws utterly mistaken conclusions about the whole picture.

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