The Wall Has Already Been Built: Protectionism

Conservatives rejoiced two months ago when Trump announced the wall was under construction, however, he also began work on a much more insidious barrier: Protectionism. Protectionism is an economic strategy where the government of a country tips the scales in favor of domestic goods by way of tariffs and subsidies to local business.

This, sadly, does not work quite that way. Raising the “Tariff Wall” will increase prices by cutting the US off from the global market, and making more affordable goods, like Bangladesh-produced $5 T-shirts, unavailable, and forcing American customers to resort to, say, $15 Brooklyn-produced T-shirts. Now, imagine price hikes like that in a large percent of the existing industries within our economy.

Your wallet is imagining it, and cringing in fear.

The fact is, we can’t win the race to the bottom with Asian manufacturers, and Americans aren’t going to get their jobs back, no matter how many Hail Mary passes our politicians make, and the only way we can extract a win from the tide is to retrain.

I understand that people oppose free trade because of the clearly proven decline of American manufacturing, but trying to push away inevitable progression is not the answer. Retraining our workers to compete with other nations in the higher education fields is the answer.

We may not be able to crank out thousands of T-shirts at the same rate as China, but every day we come up with new innovations. We invented the Internet, and played a major role in developing the splitting of the atom. We are one of the most literate countries in the world, an unquestionable power, if not superpower. I see no way we cannot change course, and make the inevitable progression from a manufacturing country to a technology country. We have some of the best colleges in the world, some of the best school systems in the world. Let’s put them to use, instead of rushing our heads against the same old wall, only to get a concussion.