"Protectionism is a misnomer. The only people protected by tariffs, quotas and trade restrictions are those engaged in uneconomic and wasteful activity. Free trade is the only philosophy compatible with international peace and prosperity."
Dr. Walter Block
Senior Economist, The Fraser Institute
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Reader comments about this quote:
This is a guy that gets a lot of money from those who profit from free trade...
 -- Adriaan, Brussels     
  • 2
    Here again we have a policy implemented by government that "protects" their buddies from competition. Just another aspect of an overall system of corruption and cronyism.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  • 3
    (Note) The philosophy of Free Trade may sound good but it only works when commerce is just, where there is an exchange of equal value. When you have products produced by slave or nearly slave labor in one part of the world then sold at a high mark up elsewhere, it serves the super rich moguls who are controlled and consumed by greed, but that is exploitation not free trade. iL Jedy
     -- Wm J. Murphy, Modesto     
  • 2
    Private ships once sailed the seas buying and selling in port after port. No government or trade sanctions were ever involved. Ship owners and crews did well. Why does government have to get involved and mess it up today. Like they say-Special Interests!!!!!!!!!!!!
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
  • 2
    Not quite sure how to rate this quote or comment with stars. For accuracy it gets 10 stars. As to explaining a broader scope, Carlton and Murphy are correct. By way of example, I can't get certain products for my business because of protectionism. I can provide better products if I move my operations outside the US. Only the people protected by the tariffs are benefiting. On the other hand, it is because of unlawful canon regulation that the US has become so commercially despotic, forcing industry out.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1
    What do tariffs do if not to raise prices on imported goods that we buy. Naturally, labor unions are always trying to get congress to put tariffs on foreign goods and we pay the price.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
  • 2
    I have never known of a tariff that did not hurt more than it helped. In Texas we have sugar workers. We protect them with tariffs so they do not have to compete. We loose tons of jobs in the candy industry because they can no longer compete or they refuse to lower quality with corn sugar as a substitute. Bush gets worried about the politics of cheap steel coming in so he puts a tariff on it to help the steel workers. That put a huge hit on our struggling auto manufactures and threatened more jobs there than were threatened by the cheap steel. The market always corrects itself. The dishonest need government interventionism to stay in business. With out the governments help they would have to clean up their act or they would be run out of business by their competitors. If China makes it impossible to compete in making cheap crap then we will put everyone to work making quality products. The pay would be better anyway. This can only work if the interventionist system that we have is abolished and we once again have a free enterprise system in this country. If that happened the rest of the world would have to follow our lead or be left in the dust. The government restricts, it never helps. That is the nature of government. There are necessary restrictions but they have to be kept at a minimum. Better to err on the low side. Don't fall for those who say the government "helps" by subsidies and tax breaks. Those actions always are at the expense of others. We may think that subsidizing lowers cost of some item but we more than pay for it in other ways. When it comes to government less is always more.
     -- warren, olathe     
  • 2
     -- RBESRQ     
  • 1 1
    As long as everyone practices it but when they don't tariffes are necessary!
     -- Waffler, Smith     
  • 2
    BS- Where is the prosperity for the average American of which 47% live pay-check to pay-check - you talk to them about free trade and you may get your ears clipped.
    The big problem with free trade is that it operates in the interest of the corporate conglomerates and not in the interest of the people. In essence, there is no such thing as FREE TRADE. The working class and the poor always pay the price of corporate greed.
    And the money flowing into the pockets of the lobbyists (political prostitutes) and then to the legislators is proof enough that it is not in the best interest of the people but the corporatism/capitalists. The day is coming fast when the people will take back their country from corporatism, and the fiat economy.... The whole system stinks and will implode as all things do that cannot be contained.... Free Trade, capitalism, greed, and corruption, all sleep in the same bed....
     -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
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