A Protectionist is Someone Who…

by Don Boudreaux on January 5, 2019

in A Protectionist is..., Trade

… believes that he’s entitled to force you to save more if he somehow divines that you spend too much on imports and, hence, save too little.

The protectionist is unsurpassed in his arrogance and officiousness.

The protectionist is also unsurpassed in his inconsistency. The reason is that if, in response to the protectionist’s obstruction of your ability to buy imports, you save not a cent more because you spend on domestically produced consumption goods all that you would otherwise have spent on imports, the protectionist no longer frets about the amount that you spend relative to the amount that you save. Indeed, if because of the higher prices brought about by the tariffs you spend even more on domestically produced consumption goods, the protectionist is especially delighted.

The protectionist doesn’t really care how much you save. All the protectionist cares about is that you spend as much as possible purchasing the outputs of the subset of domestic producers whom he – either because of his ignorance or because of his knavishness – serves as a contemptible apologist.

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