There has always been a slippery slope to trade protectionism -- if it makes us all richer to draw a line around the United States and prevent more goods from crossing that line one way vs. the other, shouldn't it make us even richer to draw that line even smaller? What about around a state? If the US is better self-sufficient, shouldn't the same thing apply to Missouri? Or St. Louis? Or University City? Or the Delmar Loop? Or just the house on corner of Waterman and Kingsland?
We see this idea in full flower here, from Michigan's Governor Granholm (via my Princeton classmate Henry Payne):
At its conference here last week, the Midwest Governor's Association (MGA) -- chaired by green queen Jennifer Granholm of Michigan -- said it wants to claim the future by transforming the Rust Belt into the Green Belt. But in calling for energy independence from other U.S. states and embracing a 30 percent renewable energy standard by 2030 (up from 2 percent today), the MGA's prescription is a giant leap backwards.Governor Granholm and Gov. James Doyle of Wisconsin seem to be tormented by the fact that the Midwest industrial engine imports much of its energy needs from coal states in the east and west. "Doyle has estimated that $226 billion leaves the region each year in energy costs that could be saved with alternative-energy installations and support jobs here," reported the Detroit Free Press.
My personal view is that Granholm actually hates Michigan. How else to explain why she keeps doing things like raising the minimum wage and keeping taxes high to fund goofy energy schemes in a state with the highest unemployment in the country.