Sunday , December 16 2018
Home / Carpe Diem / You might be a protectionist if…. – Publications – AEI

You might be a protectionist if…. – Publications – AEI

Summary:
AEI You might be a protectionist if…. …. you support government officials putting locks on the homes of Americans against their will as a way for the government to decide which foreign goods will be allowed to enter your home, under what conditions, and at what price. From the comment section of this recent CD post: “Why does any country have tariffs?” Walt Greenway: For the same reasons you probably have locks on the doors to your house: to decide what and who to let in and under what conditions you will allow entry. Don Boudreaux responds on Cafe Hayek (“Bad Analogy“): Precisely because I am indeed able and willing – in fact, eager – to decide for myself what and who to let in to my house and under what conditions, I don’t need a third party to make such decisions for me. Tariffs

Topics:
Mark Perry considers the following as important: ,

This could be interesting, too:

Mark Perry writes Kevin Williamson: The price of labor is an economic reality and you can’t legislate it away – Publications – AEI

Mark Perry writes Holiday shopping? Consider the most economically efficient gift of all: cash, and avoid the deadweight loss of Christmas – Publications – AEI

Mark Perry writes Charts of the day: Trump tariffs and EV tax cuts for the rich – Publications – AEI

Mark Perry writes Monday evening links – Publications – AEI

AEI
You might be a protectionist if….

…. you support government officials putting locks on the homes of Americans against their will as a way for the government to decide which foreign goods will be allowed to enter your home, under what conditions, and at what price.

From the comment section of this recent CD post:

“Why does any country have tariffs?”

Walt Greenway: For the same reasons you probably have locks on the doors to your house: to decide what and who to let in and under what conditions you will allow entry.

Don Boudreaux responds on Cafe Hayek (“Bad Analogy“):

Precisely because I am indeed able and willing – in fact, eager – to decide for myself what and who to let in to my house and under what conditions, I don’t need a third party to make such decisions for me. Tariffs diminish my ability to make such decisions. Tariffs are a means used by third parties to override my choices with their commands.

To use Mr. Greenway’s analogy, tariffs are locks imperiously put on my doors against my will by state officials and to which only they, and not I, have the keys.

MP: We should always be mindful of one of the main reasons that protectionism and tariffs should be objectionable, especially for those who express concerns about “fairness” — those policies always involve the use of government force to prevent mutually advantageous trades from taking place between domestic buyers and foreign sellers. How can that be fair, to in essence allow the government to lock your doors so that it can decide which international transactions are allowed?

Further, when tariffs are imposed on Americans they involve transferring resources from the relatively more efficient private sector to the relatively inefficient public sector, which necessarily reduces economic efficiency and overall wealth. Therefore, the greater the degree of protectionism in a country, the greater the concentration of wealth, power, and control over citizens in the hands of the state. Or to use Bastiat’s term, protectionism is always an act of legal plunder whereby politically-favored domestic industries are granted the power to legally pick the pockets of American consumers and businesses. How can that be fair and acceptable to increase the power of the state over private citizens by allowing the government to put locks on the doors to your house, sanctioning legal plunder, and letting the government decide which foreign goods enter your house at artificially high prices that result from tariffs?

 

You might be a protectionist if….
Mark Perry

Mark Perry
Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *