… is from page 145 of Douglas Irwin’s excellent 2011 volume, Peddling Protectionism: Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression:
In enacting the Smoot-Hawley tariff, members of Congress considered only its immediate impact on their producer constituents. The well-being of the overall economy or the potential retribution by foreign countries rarely entered the discussion.
DBx: Thus it always has been, is, and always will be.
Politicians are not gods able and willing to engineer the national economy closer to earthly paradise. Politicians (and their appointees) are, like all human beings, poorly informed and self-interested creatures. Invariably. The fact that so many people continue sincerely to believe that holders of government power can be something higher than ordinary human beings is a fact that I will never, ever be able to understand.