Protectionism vs. Free Trade

With the governments plunging copious amounts into local industries, what will the result on free trade be? Simple example - everyone and their uncle is applying for the US TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) funding (there is a form below that even you can use to apply). The US automakers take the cake - they build products that are unappealing, unmarketable, unreliable and anachronistic - and then go for a handout asking for taxpayers $$s so they can continue to build the same products? And they get it!

OK so now think - the government props up a domestic industry which is uncompetitive in the global marketplace. This is the classic definition of Protectionism, without the tariffs/duties on the imports of the same product.

We are faced with a global problem. It will *not* be solved by any one country. There needs to be a coordinated effort - fast, massive and systemic. Protectionism will only slow down this process, and make governments wary of each other. Bad time for this, really bad.

"The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so must we think anew and act anew" - Abraham Lincoln

And for those of you who want to apply for tarp funding - read on..... and when you do the cheque, don't forget who gave you the pointer!

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