If you want a textbook example of rent-seeking, look no further than your local State government. In Michigan, the governor wants more federal subsidies for the Auto industry to protect us from “harmful” competition, abroad.
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm says the federal government needs to invest more in research and development for auto-related alternative energy technologies such as the batteries for electric cars.
…South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd. on Monday was named as the lithium-ion battery supplier for General Motors Corp.’s Chevrolet Volt. Granholm says LG has benefited from its government’s commitment to research.
Damn those Asians!
Of course, I don’t believe that the South Korean taxpayers should be financing our fetish for all things “green”, but as long as the South Korean taxpayers are willing to subsidize our Electric Vehicles, let them do it. In a “race to the bottom”, the winner is the loser. It makes absolutely no sense, economically, to participate in such a competition.
Unless you can benefit from it, by forcing others to bear the lions’ share of the burdens.
Protectionism is a prisoner’s dilemma. The ruling class is deciding what move to make, the prisoners—the consumers—are not playing the game. Although open trade benefits people on both sides of the artbitrary borders drawn to secure Statehood, Protectionism serves the interest of the plutocrats in control of the State.