Pizza from Scratch, 141

21 April, 2008

Protectionism backfire?

© Bill Lemmond (Actually, you're welcome to download and share these web-resolution images, and you probably won't be happy with printing them.)

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And yes, I really did here that quote on NPR. Occasionally they quote someone who's words aren't supported by facts, such as the guy with the worried, quavering voice who said a US attack on Baghdad alone would cost "millions and millions and millions of casualties."

So let's count. That's millions (at least 2) and millions (+2) and millions (+2) for a total of 6 million. I've checked, and according to an almanac and an encyclopedia, there have never been that many people living in Baghdad. And total Vietnamese casualties for ten years of war have been estimated at about 6 million. That took ten years. Even the Nazis took years to kill about 6 million Jews (Yes, and they did kill another 5 million people from other groups, in the same camp system.). So this guy thinks the US military is composed of by far the most vicious, efficient killers ever - or he's ,,, oh - exaggerating! And NPR repeated that sound bite two other times in the same afernoon's news.

So yes, this could be wrong. Maybe protectionism isn't all that expensive. Yet we should still look into it, to see if we can get businesses to fund the retraining and resettling of displaced workers - with only a part of their savings from going off-shore. This would let everyone benefit equally from the very real, win-win benefits of what economists call comparative advantage. When whole countries specialize in what they do best, everyone can benefit. Also, if no one fears the loss of a job, we'll stop having oppostion to globalization - by anyone with any sense.

But no, I did not mean to make Peter look like he's wearing eye shadow. My cat Winston does have dark markings around his eyes. I should have remembered that my late cat Peter had been an orange and white tabby, without dark fur or skin around his eyes.

Sorry, Peter. You were a good cat, and you deserve better recall.