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Spoken by Tayssir in the "least giving" thread.

"Protectionism is useful, and we've seen it used to save whole industries. Spook stories that it raises prices seem countered by the fact that pretty much everyone is both a producer and consumer."

Let's resolve this once and for all, and we'll submit the findings to the WTO and incorporate it as official policy.

Protectionism: Good, or bad?
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
August 23rd, 2005
Depends. ;)
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 23rd, 2005
I'm going to skip ahead to the logical end of this discussion:

It's good, but in bad way. Moron.
Permalink ronk! 
August 23rd, 2005
> Protectionism: Good, or bad?

A prgram on PBS i.e. told me that communist Poland for example had a state-subsidized but inefficient (by global standards) steel industry ... and that after independence they had to allow it to collapse ... that the state couldn't afford to keep on subsidizing it (printing money to subsidize it would have been too inflationary).
Permalink Christopher Wells 
August 23rd, 2005
I think it's a good idea for developing nations. They should be allowed to build up their industries this way.

Bad idea for politically powerful groups (e.g. farmers in the midwest).

Free trade is a wet dream of a lot of right-wing economists, not reality.
Permalink Colm O'Connor 
August 23rd, 2005
I just think protectionism is just a tool. Honestly... to me it seems like wondering whether computers can be used for good or bad. And for whom are we answering this question, as not everyone is impacted equally?

Government's whole point is one kind of protectionism. As Adam Smith explained: "Till there be property there can be no government, the very end of which is to secure wealth, and to defend the rich from the poor."
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 23rd, 2005

Its the excuse that midwestern farmers get to hide behind:

"We need protection from _____ subsidized wheat/corn/sugar/rabbits/mohair/ostriches/etc"

Same for any other industry: steel, textiles, consumer electronics, programmers.

Protectionism is politics over economics. Call it what you want - there are certainly good political reasons for protecting certain industries. But that is what it is, so call it what it is.
Permalink hoser 
August 23rd, 2005
Oops, you found an error!