Comment: Not only is protectionism not economically beneficial...

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Not only is protectionism not economically beneficial...

it is economically harmful and therefore socially harmful as well.

my whole post was about how, on a political basis, nations might choose to take protective measures even if they conflict with economic efficiency.

They may take them. That's obvious. Nations have and continue to employ protectionism. It is pointless to point out that "nations might choose to take protective measures even if they conflict with economic efficiency" without making an argument for or against the potential effectiveness of such measures. Everyone knows nations practice protectionism. If that was your true intention - to point out an obvious fact - you could have simply written that one sentence.

maximum efficiency may well be realized with unlimited division of labor between all sentient creatures. that does not guarantee that

1) the interests of every nation, class or individual is automatically served by the removal of all trade and labor barriers.

Exactly. A free market guarantees no winners or losers. Equal opportunity does not guarantee equality of outcomes.

china has a goal of industrializing, so they've used the modern equivalent of the tariff by holding down the yuan. in floating FX (exchange rate), currency policy is equivalent of what tariffs were on fixed exchange rates. their trade surpluses and capital accumulation are a political goal, even if it doesn't maximize universal global efficiency, it serves their specific goal.

Qualify the statement, "it serves their specific goal [of industrializing]." It very well could be the case - and probably is - that China is benefiting from increased trade while protectionism is likely retarding their growth to some degree. With that realization, in order to validate your argument, you need to show a direct cause and effect relationship.

another example. low cognitive demand (blue collar work)in country A gets lower pay in a system in which it competes globally against impoverished near subsistence labor. universal global output goes up, yes, many products are cheaper, and those specializing in cognitively demanding work in country A might benefit much more due to their somewhat more insulated position in the new schematics.

In a free market, this is not a problem. Demand increases for more highly skilled labor. In addition, there would be a reallocation of unskilled labor to other labor intensive industries. Your argument is similar to the traditional argument against technological progress - that is, "machines take away jobs." In that case, we should get rid of heavy equipment and dig ditches with spoons. In reality - as in the above case - new demand is created for workers to build, service, and operate the heavy equipment - ie a re-allocation of labor. The argument you present has been shown to be fallacious many times over in the past.

the distribution of wealth can change drastically, with the upper quintile income/networth going up exponentially while the bottom three quintiles stagnate or fall in real terms, despite everyone being richer in the sense of more productive output, falling prices.

History shows that free markets foster an environment where middle classes burgeon. Modern banking cartels also act to concentrate the wealth towards the top. However, banking cartels cannot survive without an alliance with government. True free trade and the abolition of central banking would result in the creation of the largest middle class the world has ever seen.

some might actually be hurt in by the effects of globalization.

Inefficient producers.

in the real world, the self interest of nations, groups, and classes, and individuals is what drive politics.

More accurately: In the real world, central banking cartels and lobbyists are what drives politics.

There - all fixed.

the liberties the middle class demanded during the past centuries were based on their economic influence. it rose to a point that allowed them to challenge their imposed political limitations.

What about slave rebellions? What about the fall of the USSR? Did the USSR fall because the people there gained a sufficient amount of economic influence to challenge the "imposed political limitations"? Your statement is incorrect. As well, the middle class - here in the US - gained more economic viability because of the lack of "imposed political limitations" - not the other way around.

libertarian political ends are not necessarily served by the outcome of globalization of labor and trade, even if they make economic sense. it could easily serve elitist or authoritarian political ends to have tremendous concentration of wealth.

...only if central banking schemes are allowed to continue.

2) economic efficiency of total output is not necessarily a higher value than political considerations, such as privacy (in the prism example), or national autonomy (China's mercantilist industrialization by suppressing the Yuan). politics trumps economics.

I've already demonstrated that your "concrete" "prism example" is glowing with shortsightedness. In addition, you have not shown that China's policy of mercantilism actually benefits them. Like I said, the policy likely retards their potential rate of growth.

As for "politics trumps economics," it is bogus. The crash of 2008, the fall of the USSR, the monetary policy of Diocletian, the upcoming economic collapse, ...

The list can go on and on. Economics is more powerful than governments - and, accordingly, politics.