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Here’s another letter to a new, vigorous correspondent, Tony Dye:

Mr. Dye:

You dismiss as “shallow” Pierre Lemieux’s observation that “One wonders why people who appreciate subsidies from their own government would reject them when they come from foreign taxpayers.”

I disagree. Far from being shallow, Mr. Lemieux’s point is quite deep. It points to the bizarreness of the protectionist dogma – a dogma that holds that we Americans are wickedly impoverished when foreign governments force their taxpayers to send gifts to us, and that an effective and righteous response to prevent this impoverishment is for our government to force us as taxpayers to send gifts to foreigners.

On a wackiness scale of one to ten, protectionism is a thirteen.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030