How do you define "best." In terms of providing goods and services at high (or better) quality levels for reasonable/low prices is pretty much assured in a free trade world that maintains its framework. I fully realize that what we actually have today is managed trade which is a good thing. Fully free capitalistic free markets don't stay that way for long.It is almost certain that at least a modest amount of free trade will decrease prices and probably increase quality but this fundamentalist style doctrine that seems to suggest free trade is always the best because it allows "natural" market forces to be unleashed and seems to measure benefits only in very strict and narrow economic terms is hardly the most convincing of arguments.
Ah, here we have the development argument. I agree with you. That a country trying to develop from the periphery to the core best does so under some levels of protectionism to ensure speedy growth. However, a developed country with a few exceptions for national defense, is best served by open free trade with minimal of protectionist legislation. But this thread was in the context of a developed country, not on which model a developing country should use. That's another story and like I said, I agree with your take on protectionism and interventionist regimes in moving from the 3rd to the 1st world. Some of the largest industries in the US, Germany, Japan and South Korea are directly due to government interventionist policies.One should also not overlook the history of protectionism and free trade which seem to show that most great powers like Britain, Germany and the USA became great economic powers under quite protectionist and/or state interventionist regimes.
Perhaps, but considering what this board is coming to, complex discussions are generally ignored. That said, it does work in the context of a developed country.I'm not saying protectionism or state interventionism a good idea, simply that simplistic assertions are unhelpful.