[This post is actually the continuation of a magnificent comment thread that started in response to ‘McClintock Visits Nevada County’. That thread became an examination and debate between the economic policies of the Right and Left, especially in the context of what is happening today in Washington with the seeming sea change of the government’s launch of a stream of ‘stimulus’ packages that appear to be dysfunctional for their intended purpose, and have no foreseeable end in their issue. All of this may be viewed as a hearteningly civil discourse that seeks to build a workable bridge, or understand why one is not possible, between our country’s contending political philosophies.]
... Finally in extension and with the intent of starting a new thread, we come to sovereign nation states and protectionism. As this blog testifies, I am a proponent of retaining the plurality of nations and cultures which survive in their own homelands, and die/transform rapidly when forced into multi-cultural confines. From such sustainable diversity come good and competitive ideas for governance, technology, arts, etc. Yet I am also for free trade between nations - let all who can, offer what they can at the best value. But sovereignty becomes meaningless to a nation state (as it has to many countries today) when it cannot generate a certain critical mass/collection of goods and services internally.
The last exercises of sovereignty, that even the smallest countries can apply, always take the form of protecting some critical/strategic domestic supplier(s) from ‘unfair’ foreign competition. These notions of international diversity and integration of commerce contend with each other (witness the rapid spread of the financial crisis). I have yet to discover a rule set or algorithm to apply on to where/how to draw the reasonable line. And drawing the line is important because protectionism, seen from the inside, is the siamese twin of welfare. But as soon as we start national welfare programs in all their various shades, the mangling of the country’s original political structure and social order cannot help but follow, and its resulting form is never as intended. America is Exhibit A.
Does anyone have a recommended approach over our present form of making laws and sausages that would halt the growing schism between the Right and Left?