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Protectionism debunked

I came across this today in a newspaper discussion group.

“You misunderstand (bet that’s not the first time someone has said that to you!) the tariffs you refer to protect the jobs of EU workers”

I responded as follows. “Yes I am well aware that is the aim but it has the opposite effect in the long run. It is one reason why unemployment is so high across the EU. It has not worked, has it?”

otherwise the markets would be flooded with products made at a cheaper cost.


That means consumers have surplus cash to spend on other things. That leaves them with purchasing power which creates jobs.Are you one of those people who refuses to shop at Aldi or Lidl and chooses to pay twice as much for the same thing?

Protectionism is based on the mercantilist theory of economics which had been discredited by 1800 but has returned zombie-like to haunt us. It results in an aggregate economic loss. Its effect is precisely the opposite of what is intended. It destroys jobs. I do not suppose that the brexiters in the depressed regions drew the connection but they are the ones who have borne the brunt of this nonsensical economic policy.

“Protectionism has the same effect as laying mines and other obstacles at the entrances to our ports. If the theory behind it was true, then remote inaccessible islands would be the most prosperous places in the world.

“I hope you can see this is obvious nonsense. It is peddled by inefficient producers who want to protect their corners and have brainwashed the rest of us into believing it. The main concern is that a UK government will introduce retailiatory tariffs against the EU. That would be a big mistake.”