Lol you really just need to read more and gasbag less.
You're OP begged the entire question of economics and it cannot be begged. You're OP assumes something demonstrably false, that even if it wanted to, which it does not, no government can possibly do anything positive the economy which it preys upon.
You're right about one thing. I'm wasting time talking to you. I can't do any better than Hazlitt, Rothbard, et al. H lays out the economics and R lays out the political implications.
In the liberty movement being economically and philosophically ignorant is really like being hungry in the middle of an apple orchard. You have no excuse. Nothing I could say on this matter hasn't been said far batter and it has nothing to do with self ownership or any of that.
You specifically asked for non simplistic answers. I could give them but I'd be repainting a Rembrandt. Anything anyone can say here will necessarily be simplistic. The full answer you know full well where it resides.
Then come tell us how Hazlitt (Hayek or Mises or, for political analysis Rothbard or Hoppe) is wrong on some point. Then you will know enough to at least participate in the discussion.
I'll give you a clue though. Just as welfare weakens individuals, corporate welfare, which is all protectionism is, weakens business. It can do nothing else. This should be simple for you.
In addition the empire feeds on those businesses, which it has weakened. This is why empires fail. If empires could successfully strengthen firms they would and the source of capital for those empires would never flag.
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