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Protectionism Is Sound Economics

Posted by libhom Friday, March 10, 2006

Every nation that has expanded its economy since the industrial revolution has done so using protectionism. This is especially true of the US and Japan in the past and equally applies to China's present situation, which is booming due to protectionist practices.

Corporate interests despise protectionism because it interferes with their efforts to pit workers in different countries against each other, lowering wages and benefits for all workers in the process.

Here in the US, thoughtful observers realize that living standards for the overwhelming majority of Americans continued to improve as long as our country practiced protectionism.

Ever since our government started to abandon protectionism in the 60s and 70s, living standards for all but the wealthy few have gone down. This is hardly surprising because replacing protectionism had its intended effect, making it easier for corporations to export jobs, lower wages, cut benefits, attack unions, ravage the environment, and reduce worker and consumer safety.

The term "free trade" is a misnomer. A more accurate term would be "corporate-controlled trade." Corporate-controlled trade limits the freedom of workers, environmentalists, and consumers to participate in a democratic society and to have any say over their lives.

Support for corporate-controlled trade might be rational for extremely wealthy people who think they can shield themselves from the instability caused by the poverty, debt, war, and desperation that corporate-controlled trade generates. For everyone else, support of corporate-controlled trade is absolutely foolish. Trade barriers protect the vast majority of people on both sides of borders. Unfortunately, those people do not own media outlets and cannot afford major donations to economics departments at universities.


  1. FREE trade is what will make us a Wal-mart world.

  2. Anonymous Says:
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