Walt Whitman on protectionism

The protectionists are fond of flashing to the public eye the glittering delusion of great money — results from manufactures, mines, artificial exports — so many millions from this source, and so many from that — such a seductive, unanswerable show — an immense revenue of cash from iron, cotton, woollen, leather  goods, and a hundred other things, all bolstered up "protection".  But the really important point of all is, into whose pockets does this plunder go?…The profits of "protection" go altogether to a few score select persons–who, by favors of Congress, State legislatures, the banks, and other special advantages, are forming a vulgar aristocracy full as bad as anything in the British and European castes, of blood, or the dynasties there of the past…

That is from p.332 of Specimen Days & Collect, Dover edition.  Thanks to Michael Gibson for the pointer.


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