Protectionism, the policy of imposing tariffs, quotas, and other trade barriers to protect domestic industries and jobs, has been a popular political stance throughout history. However, as a libertarian conservative, I firmly believe that protectionism is not only bad economic policy, but it also brings poor outcomes for individuals and society as a whole.
First and foremost, protectionism is detrimental to economic growth. By placing tariffs and quotas on imported goods, domestic prices are artificially inflated, making it more expensive for consumers to purchase goods and services. This not only leads to decreased purchasing power for consumers, but it also makes domestic businesses less competitive in the global market. Furthermore, protectionist policies often lead to retaliation from other countries, resulting in a trade war that harms everyone involved.
Additionally, protectionism harms individuals by limiting their freedom of choice. By artificially inflating prices and limiting the availability of goods and services, consumers are forced to pay more for products and may not have access to the best quality or most affordable options. This is especially harmful for low-income individuals and families who may be struggling to make ends meet.
Furthermore, protectionism can lead to inefficiencies in the economy. By shielding domestic industries from competition, businesses are not incentivized to innovate, improve their products and services, or lower their prices. This can lead to a lack of competition, resulting in higher prices and less choice for consumers. Furthermore, protectionist policies often result in a misallocation of resources as businesses are not forced to operate as efficiently as they would in a free market.
In addition, protectionism can lead to political corruption. Because protectionist policies are often implemented to benefit specific industries or regions, businesses and special interest groups may use their influence to sway government officials to implement policies that benefit them at the expense of the broader population.
In contrast, a free market economy allows for greater economic growth, more choices and better prices for consumers, and a more efficient allocation of resources. By removing trade barriers and allowing businesses to compete freely in the global market, individuals and society as a whole can benefit.
In conclusion, as a libertarian conservative, I firmly believe that protectionism is bad economic policy that brings poor outcomes for individuals and society as a whole. Instead, we should embrace free trade and a free market economy to promote economic growth, individual freedom, and overall prosperity.
originally posted at: https://www.talkpolicy.net/1168900_protectionism-exposed-how-it-s-killing-competition-and-driving-up-prices