Saturday, August 13, 2016

Protectionists Steal Jobs

Stuart K. Hayashi

It is protectionists who wail about jobs being “stolen” from them who are the ones who express an entitled victim mentality and are trying to steal jobs.

Suppose I want you to hire me. Instead, you hire a Mexican because you judge that that Mexican will give you more “bang for your buck.” I wail that that Mexican “stole my job” when, in fact, the Mexican earned it from you peaceably.

I therefore run to the State and say the State ought to penalize you—by hiking your taxes—if you continue to purchase that Mexican’s services. The State agrees. To avoid that penalty, you fire the Mexican and hire me for that position.

I have, in effect, used the threat of physical force to obtain a job from you that that Mexican otherwise would have kept. I have used protectionist rhetoric and the threat of government-imposed force to steal from that Mexican a job that that Mexican had rightfully earned.