Today on Facebook I participated in a ‘Davos’ question regarding protectionism. You can see from the image below that I voted against it, while 61% voted for it.
This is yet another bad data point for entrepreneurs as the Federal Government has more leeway to dig deeper into our economy. This will allow govts to use protective measures to preserve 19th/20th century industries and business models. Entrepreneurs, alternatively, benefit from international competition, cooperation, and interaction.
If this ‘Facebook Nation’ attitude represents wider swaths of the public, this will open many policy windows for those who want to buy many votes in the short and medium term. This will lead to higher prices, lower quality, and less innovation. This will also damage international opportunities for social entrepreneurs looking to work outside the US.
The worst part about this is that it highlights that consumers of products and services from global firms (like Facebook, Nintendo, Toyota) have no notion of the international web of partners, suppliers, financial markets, competitors, and others that help produce the goods or services they love. 61% supporting protectionism is shocking.
The fight to keep markets open and barriers to trade and cooperation low is crucial to entrepreneurs (both social and commercial) and overall societal improvements in standards of living.