… is from page 114 of Ludwig von Mises’s 1938 paper titled “The Disintegration of the International Division of Labor” as this paper appears in Money, Method, and the Market Process: Essays by Ludwig von Mises (Richard M. Ebeling, ed., 1990):
The most famous objection [to free trade] once was the infant industry argument. But everything that could be said about the inability of newly established industries successfully competing with old and well-established producers holds good in both cases whether the competitors are of the same or of different nations. That nobody likewise ventured to demand protection for new firms starting a new business against the overwhelming competition of older firms working in the same town, district, or country can already be considered as a proof that the argument is not economic but political.
DBx: Protectionism as a means of enriching the ordinary people of a nation has always been, remains, and will always be economic alchemy. Attempting to create greater abundance by intensifying the bite of scarcity is as likely to succeed as is the most whackadoodle attempt to create gold out of lead, leather, or legumes.