Robert Urbanek wrote:
Free trade is like free love. If you have different sex partners, you need protection. If you have different trading partners, you need protectionism.
Failure to take this precaution will expose your nation to Acquired Industrial Deficiency Syndrome, in which manufacturing muscle is replaced by service sector fat and the body becomes vulnerable to such parasites as derivatives traders and hedge fund managers.
As young cells struggle on low wages, a greater proportion of the body’s energy (Social Security and Medicare payments) is used to sustain old and dying cells.
Protection is really only useful as a temporary nursery for business trying to get market share.
We have a number of problems. The government needs to regulate, and the rich simply buy politicians, and usually get what they want.
A lot of our problems arise from income inequality, and this is a result of that.
A mature economy needs to innovate. We used to create huge numbers of new businesses, but what big business has done is create an environment that is well suited to their needs, but is actually hostile to small business, and discourages a lot of innovation.
In Cities and the Wealth of Nations, Jane Jacobs talks about import replacement. Economic growth is often about domestic production replacing imports. But that process gets reversed in aging empires. Their wealth means countries with lower costs can easily gain market share. That's what American did to the British Empire in the late 1800s.
We need to work the problem, to make innovation a top priority.