Don’t worry, Greg, the protectionists aren’t winning the real race!

Never one to let a chance go by, Centre for Independent Studies founder Greg Lindsay sent out a great email to supporters of his think tank this afternoon following Protectionist’s Melbourne Cup win:

What a great day for racing! My mother won handsomely on Protectionist but as we know the Australian economy can only thrive by weeding the protectionists out and making sure they are beaten by better ideas for Australia.

We can’t all win the cup but we can all win with a dollar on CIS to deliver the great ideas Australia needs now.

Greg then provided a link to the donations page for the CIS, which is one of the few think tanks in Australia that is worth supporting, due to the consistent high quality of its output and its completely non-partisan stance.

While I wouldn’t want to diminish Greg’s message in any way, I would say that the protectionists clearly aren’t winning the real race. Despite a lot of silly policy still existing, the Australian economy has been profoundly transformed over the last few decades. Microeconomic reform has affected large parts of our economy, and we no longer have a high tariff wall protecting inefficient industries (e.g. see the chart below I’ve copied from my article on car industry assistance published by the CIS in 2011). So, the protectionists aren’t winning, thankfully, and that owes a lot to the intellectual leadership shown by people like Greg and his colleagues at the CIS.


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