Why is protectionism seen as bad?

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whorace
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I quote the great Friedrich LIst
Any nation which by means of protective duties and restrictions on navigation has raised her manufacturing power and her navigation to such a degree of development that no other nation can sustain free competition with her, can do nothing wiser than to throw away these ladders of her greatness, to preach to other nations the benefits of free trade, and to declare in penitent tones that she has hitherto wandered in the paths of error, and has now for the first time succeeded in discovering the truth

When the British Empire was at its height, it switched to free trade, it was built on protectionism.

The US used protectionism from the Civil War to WW2.

Germany used it to industrialise.

Japan used protectionism after the war, and it was one of the biggest growing economies despite losing.

Deng Xiaoping used it to build industry in China.

It is now being used to industrialise India...

So if free trade is so good and how come all of the big hitters only use it after they've industrialised?
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MatureStudent36
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empire wasn't built on protectionism.

Read this book if you get a chance.

Global shift by peter Dickens.


It explains global economics quite well and also highlights how protectionism holds industry back. It stops innovation. Just look at British Leyland.
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whorace
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(Original post by MatureStudent36)
empire wasn't built on protectionism.

Read this book if you get a chance.

Global shift by peter Dickens.


It explains global economics quite well and also highlights how protectionism holds industry back. It stops innovation. Just look at British Leyland.
This seems the consensus but we still use protectionist measures today with the Common Agricultural Policy and indeed you say the Empire wasn't built on protectionism, true the later phrase wasn't, however lifting tariffs was the foundation of the Conservative party.
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by whorace)
This seems the consensus but we still use protectionist measures today with the Common Agricultural Policy and indeed you say the Empire wasn't built on protectionism, true the later phrase wasn't, however lifting tariffs was the foundation of the Conservative party.
You are correct. Protectionist policies are actually illegal under the world trade organisation. If you do it you get sanctions imposed by other nations against you.

Unless they fall into two categories. Ring fencing a new sector you wish to develop or for strategic needs.

Europe initially had food shorthaes after WW2 and ensured protectionist measures were introduced to ensure it could feed itself in the future.
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Libtardian
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Protectionism is a form of tyranny.
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Maker
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Protectionism increases prices and tariffs from competing nations. The Great Depression was made much worse because countries raised tariffs and global trade slumped resulting in even worse economic conditions.
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SeaPony
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Globalist liberal elites hate protectionism and scream SELFISH or RACIST at anyone going against the new collective neo- communist agenda.
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by SeaPony)
Globalist liberal elites hate protectionism and scream SELFISH or RACIST at anyone going against the new collective neo- communist agenda.
Lots of big words that are incoherently thrown together.
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SeaPony
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(Original post by MatureStudent36)
Lots of big words that are incoherently thrown together.
Thanks for the input mate
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Rakas21
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(Original post by whorace)
I quote the great Friedrich LIst
Any nation which by means of protective duties and restrictions on navigation has raised her manufacturing power and her navigation to such a degree of development that no other nation can sustain free competition with her, can do nothing wiser than to throw away these ladders of her greatness, to preach to other nations the benefits of free trade, and to declare in penitent tones that she has hitherto wandered in the paths of error, and has now for the first time succeeded in discovering the truth

When the British Empire was at its height, it switched to free trade, it was built on protectionism.

The US used protectionism from the Civil War to WW2.

Germany used it to industrialise.

Japan used protectionism after the war, and it was one of the biggest growing economies despite losing.

Deng Xiaoping used it to build industry in China.

It is now being used to industrialise India...

So if free trade is so good and how come all of the big hitters only use it after they've industrialised?
Protectionism reduces technology transfer. If a developing economy is protectionist then it's citizens will have a lower standard of living than they otherwise would and less jobs are created by reduced offshoring from the developed world. If a developed economy is protectionist then the market for it's latest innovation is reduced and goods and services may cost more than they otherwise would.

For economic growth globally, free trade is very advantageous provided you accept that some industries cannot compete internationally (hence why British companies make satellite components rather than cars these days). Protectionism in terms of standard of living can either be very good if your the market leader (all jobs in the country that invented it, but the cost is high) or very bad (phones made the state Kenyan company may be rubbish). It should be noted however that in the long term, the states which embrace technology transfer will likely produce a better good than the states which are protectionist because they can have a motherboard from x and graphics card from y.

Since we peruse economic growth above all else, we peruse freer trade.

.........

India is protectionist but need i remind you that it's around 5 times poorer than China who embraces trade.

Japan had a comparative advantage in production which decimated its rivals, it no longer has that advantage today (innovation has moved to the US and South Korea as things stand).
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TheDefiniteArticle
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It's inefficient on a global scale.
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St. Brynjar
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(Original post by MatureStudent36)
empire wasn't built on protectionism.

Read this book if you get a chance.

Global shift by peter Dickens.


It explains global economics quite well and also highlights how protectionism holds industry back. It stops innovation. Just look at British Leyland.
Global Shift is a fantastic book and an essential read for anyone interested in the geography of economics. However protectionism isn't something which should be frowned upon. Developing countries NEED it, the neoliberal agenda of the 80s (Bretton Woods institutions imposing structural readjustment on countries without competitive industries) set back development by a decade or more.
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by St. Brynjar)
Global Shift is a fantastic book and an essential read for anyone interested in the geography of economics. However protectionism isn't something which should be frowned upon. Developing countries NEED it, the neoliberal agenda of the 80s (Bretton Woods institutions imposing structural readjustment on countries without competitive industries) set back development by a decade or more.
It depends if developing country's are trying to develop that industry. If not, it just costs money.
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Maker
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(Original post by St. Brynjar)
Global Shift is a fantastic book and an essential read for anyone interested in the geography of economics. However protectionism isn't something which should be frowned upon. Developing countries NEED it, the neoliberal agenda of the 80s (Bretton Woods institutions imposing structural readjustment on countries without competitive industries) set back development by a decade or more.
Protectionism has consequences. For example, a developing country might want to grow its IT industry by putting tariffs on IT imports. The countries that have its goods affected by the tariffs would then put tariffs on the country's exports such as cotton or sugar.

At the same time, the price for IT goods in the country increases due to tariffs. The country may also find its IT exports being prevented from being exported or has tariffs put on it as well.

So protectionism increases prices, affects exports and cost the taxpayer a lot of money.
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william walker
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Free trade only exists because of the Pax Britannica and Pax Americana. Without American and allied ships protect world trade the world couldn't trade. So those nations that can seek to limit their dependence upon the US by doing protectionism so they didn't have to trade as much.

Broadly for Britain protection worked and free trade worked at different times for different thing. Protectionism can work and has done so. Free trade doesn't always work.
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ChaoticButterfly
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I don't think it is fundamentally a bad thing. It can be bad or it can be good. It's just when our leaders tell us of the wonders of free trade and markets it gets annoying. They are hypocrites on a massive scale. It normally means protectionism that benefits the uber wealthy whilst the discipline of markets falls on everyone else. "free trade" is just used as a tool to create ever increasing wealth inequality, shifting the money upwards.


Say your economy was reliant on steel. Well the steel making factories could be nationalized and ran at a loss, keeps steel prices low which helps the rest of your economy to prosper, where you get the tax back, or more, that you lost propping up an unprofitable steel manufacturing sector. Or you could go all nutty and and decide nationalization is the work of the devil, pull out protecting the steel manufacturing sector, steel prices rise massively, ****s the rest of your economy up, get less tax back and your government coffers falls to lower levels than if it were propping up an unprofitable steel sector.
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MatureStudent36
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Some modern day examples.

http://m.thestar.com/#/article/news/...ling-laws.html

http://thediplomat.com/2015/04/russi...ans-trade-war/
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
I don't think it is fundamentally a bad thing. It can be bad or it can be good. It's just when our leaders tell us of the wonders of free trade and markets it gets annoying. They are hypocrites on a massive scale. It normally means protectionism that benefits the uber wealthy whilst the discipline of markets falls on everyone else. "free trade" is just used as a tool to create ever increasing wealth inequality, shifting the money upwards.


Say your economy was reliant on steel. Well the steel making factories could be nationalized and ran at a loss, keeps steel prices low which helps the rest of your economy to prosper, where you get the tax back, or more, that you lost propping up an unprofitable steel manufacturing sector. Or you could go all nutty and and decide nationalization is the work of the devil, pull out protecting the steel manufacturing sector, steel prices rise massively, ****s the rest of your economy up, get less tax back and your government coffers falls to lower levels than if it were propping up an unprofitable steel sector.
If your economy was reliant on steel you'd make damn sure you were better than the other person making steel.

Otherwise you'd nationalise an industry and have nobody to sell anything to.

You'd be hard pushed to show any significant group of people who are worse off long term through free trade.

May i recomend some education on the subject. Global shift by peter Dickinson.
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Little Popcorns
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Did not read too long

BUT did answer the title...

Perfectionism is an excess of trying to do something right, to the point it becomes unhealthy for that person. Another example is hygiene ocd, hygiene is good but to the extent of ocd it can impair normal functioning.
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Maker
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
I don't think it is fundamentally a bad thing. It can be bad or it can be good. It's just when our leaders tell us of the wonders of free trade and markets it gets annoying. They are hypocrites on a massive scale. It normally means protectionism that benefits the uber wealthy whilst the discipline of markets falls on everyone else. "free trade" is just used as a tool to create ever increasing wealth inequality, shifting the money upwards.


Say your economy was reliant on steel. Well the steel making factories could be nationalized and ran at a loss, keeps steel prices low which helps the rest of your economy to prosper, where you get the tax back, or more, that you lost propping up an unprofitable steel manufacturing sector. Or you could go all nutty and and decide nationalization is the work of the devil, pull out protecting the steel manufacturing sector, steel prices rise massively, ****s the rest of your economy up, get less tax back and your government coffers falls to lower levels than if it were propping up an unprofitable steel sector.
I doubt getting rid of a lost making steel industry will screw up a country, companies that use steel can simply buy it from other countries.

If a country tries to subsides it own industry, other countries would put up tariffs on exports from that country nullifying its effect.
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