… is from page 235 of George Will’s 2021 book, American Happiness and Discontents: The Unruly Torrent, 2008-2020 – a splendid collection of many of Will’s columns over these years; (the essay from which the quotation below is drawn originally appeared in the Washington Post’s print edition on March 26th, 2015):
Every day the Chinese go to work, Americans get a raise: Chinese workers, many earning each day about what Americans spend on a Starbucks latte, produce apparel, appliances and other stuff cheaply, thereby enlarging Americans’ disposable income. Americans similarly get a raise when they shop at the stores that made Sam Walton a billionaire.
DBx: Protectionists – ironically including those who boast of their intent to “Put America First!” – oppose foreigners contributing to improvements in Americans’ standard of living. Quite bizarre.
It cannot be too often said that protectionism as a means of enriching the people of country is as valid as is the miasma theory of disease spread. So it’s also ironic that protectionism is embraced not only by ‘National Conservatives’ but also by many ‘Progressives.’
Protectionism is rank nonsense. It survives only because too many people remain ignorant of the most basic bits of economic logic and facts, and politically powerful producer groups (who do gain from protectionism) intently peddle this hogwash to an unsuspecting public.