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Quotation of the Day…

is from page 28 of The Fiscal Policy of International Trade: Being a Summary of the Memorandum by Prof. Alfred Marshall, Published as a Parliamentary Paper in 1908, J.M Robertson, ed. (1910):

In her [England’s] case, therefore, import duties, levied otherwise than with a direct view to revenue, seem to me to have no economic justification. They cannot, I have argued, cause foreigners to contribute appreciably to her public burdens. Though they may cause new employment to appear in certain directions, they will necessarily lessen the National Dividend; and therefore will necessarily lessen the amount of employment at good wages.

DBx: Alfred Marshall was no fan of protective tariffs.

Marshall believed that the case for a policy of free trade was especially powerful in “old” countries, such as his native England, that had long histories of established, modern manufacturers. (America today, of course, is one such “old” country.) And although Marshall believed there to be validity in the textbook demonstration that in a ‘young’ country a public-spirited government, through the wise use of protective measures, might nourish ‘infant’ industries into vigor in ways that enrich the people of the country, he says earlier in this memo – on page 15 of the version linked to above – that as a practical matter this textbook demonstration should be ignored. The best policy remains one of free trade.