Introducing Cato’s Protectionist Madness 2023 Tournament

Let’s pick the worst protectionist bull ■■■■■ The 32 policies are all policies that are currently in force.

All protectionism is bad. But which is the worst.

You can participate in this tournament if you like.

We will find out the winner on April 6.

Creative way by Cato to cast a spotlight on current protectionist policies of the United States.

I will update this as winners advance in each round.

Image with each of the 32 policies on either side.

Are you referring to encouragement, as our Founders practiced in promoting the general welfare of the United States and her citizens?

“…a discount of ten percent on all duties imposed by this Act shall be allowed on such goods, wares, and merchandise as shall be imported in vessels built in the United States, and wholly the property of a citizen or citizens thereof.” SEE:An Act imposing duties on Tonnage July 20, 1789

This patriotic use of taxing at our water’s edge not only filled our national treasury, but gave American ship builders a hometown advantage and predictably resulted in America’s ship building industry to flourish and America’s merchant marine eventually becoming the most powerful on the face of the planet. Unfortunately, last time I visited the docks in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen area, I was very saddened that I could no longer read the names on the docked ships as they all seemed to be foreign owned foreign built vessels…an irrefutable sign of America’s decline traceable to the ravages of our international “free trade crowd” and a traitorous sellout of America’s sovereignty to the highest international bidders by members of Congress and our presidents, past and present!

I get the impression you also denounce an “America First Policy”. Is that not a globalist view on the subject?


A national revenue must be obtained; but the system must be such a one, that, while it secures the object of revenue, it shall not be oppressive to our constituents.______James Madison speaking before Congress during our NATION’S FIRST REVENUE RAISING ACT

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If only the citizens were so protected.

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Doesn’t look like any of them are working anyway.

That must be the madness.

Trump tariffs worked especially with Mexico.

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How quickly some are to forget Trump’s America First policies which worked!

Who in the thread stated, "All protectionism is bad"?


Why is the Democrat Party Leadership filling scarce public housing with illegal aliens when America’s needy Citizens, including U.S. Military Veterans, are going homeless?

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If you want to promote the general welfare of this country, the best way to do it is to take off the shackles of protectionism and enable world wide free trade.

Protectionism has always been a high way to hell and always will be.

and I almost expected to see Peter Sellers looking for someone to attack him…

According to you. But your theory has been debunked countless times, and it defies the most fundamental rational thought when applying it to international trade.

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Only in your mind.

It only takes a very cursory internet search to reveal hundreds of papers documenting the many failures of protectionism.

In any event, I will fight protectionism in its every ugly form.

As I correctly pointed out, your theory defies the most fundamental rational thought when applying it to international trade and how it would affect the general welfare of the United States and her citizens.

Free trade, my friend, begins with the people in every country being free to negotiate the value of their own labor, without government interference. So, if I am correct, you may want to take a trip to China, and start your fight with the Chinese Communist Party.


When Federal Reserve Notes were made a legal tender in violation of our Constitution, and a direct un-apportioned tax was imposed upon the people without their consent, America’s free enterprise, free market system was subjugated, and the tools of oppression and thievery were made available to some very immoral and nefariously evil people.

I used to be a free trader. Over the years my view has changed some.

The US MUST have food security. I would much rather protect agriculture by putting tarriffs on foreign ag than subsidizing US ag. Both are protectionist, one is a direct payment from treasury to farmers which I consider worse than putting money into treasury at the border even if consumers do eventually pay for it. Either way its the consumer who pays, but why shouldn’t they? Those who buy milk should pay the cost. If you don’t want to, don’t buy milk or buy only American produced milk.

Medicine is another area as we learned from COVID where we must maintain production capacity.

High end electronics, due to their use in weapons another. Steel and energy also.

That does not mean I believe we should blanket tarriff all goods that we need to have some production capacity for as a matter of national interest. Tarriffs should be targeted at those nations goods for whom we cannot compete due to their policies with regard to associated costs (subsidies, labor, dumping).


You are entirely correct.

Countries engaging in those practice are not free trading. A rival country can take counter measures and still fairly be considered a free trader


Hamilton’s maxim also applies to dependency upon foreign powers for products essential to our nation’s general welfare, i.e., weapons of defense, agriculture products, energy, medicine (as you aptly point out), etc.

Our free trade crowd cannot see the forest for the trees.


Is it not a self-evident fact our government educational system has produced a staggering number of manipulated and brainwashed, useful idiots?