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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 314 of the 2004 Liberty Fund edition of David Ricardo’s 1817 treatise, On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation:

The sole effect of high duties on the importation, either of manufactures or of corn, or of a bounty on their exportation, is to divert a portion of capital to an employment, which it would not naturally seek. It causes a pernicious distribution of the general funds of the society – it bribes a manufacturer to commence or continue in a comparatively less profitable employment. It is the worst species of taxation, for it does not give to the foreign country all that it takes away from the home country, the balance of loss being made up by the less advantageous distribution of the general capital.

DBx: Attempting to enrich the people of the home country by imposing protective tariffs and dispensing export subsidies makes no more sense than attempting to enrich the people of the home country by routinely destroying a portion of the goods purchased by households for consumption along with a portion of the materials and tools used by businesses for production.

Protectionism is the illogical assertion that 10-3=15.