While I disagree with protectionists, I have to admit they have a pretty cool theme song - Mad In America.
With unintended irony, the lyrics by the band ETx, describe an immigrant from Finland - a hard working, low wage baker - coming to America in the early 20th century; moving to find a low skill job. Two generations later his descendants are helpless as the jobs move instead of the person; to lower wage workers in China and India.
Lacking an understanding of how competitive advantages must be upgraded over time with more education, constant innovation and personal creativity, the song simply laments reality - that ideas, jobs and capital are mobile.
What many Americans fail to recall is the United States was where people and jobs moved to in the 19th and 20th centuries. We were the cheap laborers with the strong work ethic, the desire for a better life for our children, the commitment to building schools for compulsory education.
Listen to Mad In America
The 21st century demands that America adapt or decline. In the new millennium, we need to up our game - raise our standards of education, invest in advanced R&D and teach our children to be more entrepreneurial. We can't "protect" our way to prosperity. For the 21st century, it is Bob Dylan's lyrics that should guide us:
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.