Here’s a snippet from Don Beaudreaux’s excellent January 2nd blog post, The Lament of the Merely Decent Economist:
Any decent economist can point to tariffs and note that the result is the protection of some jobs and firms at the expense not only of other jobs and firms (and of consumer welfare), but also at the expense of the economic openness and dynamism that are essential for sustained economic growth. But it takes a Very Special economist to craft an economically coherent account of why the man-in-the-street is, after all, correct that tariffs are a boon for, rather than a burden on, the economy.
So why would an economist strive to become “Very Special”, when becoming such exposes him/her to the decent economist, and the freshman econ student of a decent econ professor, as a manipulator who preys on the average citizen’s lack of a basic understanding of economics? Well, he/she gets appointed to high posts (as his manipulations support the interests that support the political ambitions of the high post appointer), becomes a journalist for a politically-motivated publication, gets quoted, gets attention, rubs elbows, etc. While we the people get, excuse me, screwed!