Protecting a country from trade — “autarky” — does not make it rich: Protecting a country from trade makes it North Korea.
Some of you who went shopping on Black Friday may have noticed substantially higher prices, or found that certain products you were looking for were not to be had at any price. Some of you experienced the same thing when shopping for your Thanksgiving dinner. You have heard about “supply-chain disruptions,” which have made it difficult to get the world’s splendid produce to the United States with the ease and plenty to which we have become accustomed. Another way to think of that situation is that COVID-19 managed to do quickly what our anti-trade protectionists have tried to do slowly: deprive American consumers of inexpensive imports. Tariffs are not the only factor driving up lumber prices, but they are making things worse, and the National Association of Home Builders calculates that rising lumber prices by themselves have added about $36,000 to the price of a new home.
Tell me, how are you enjoying that?