Irony is now dead.
Hold a mirror up to its mouth, and you'll see no fog.
Irony has achieved room temperature.
You can bury it now. Don't even bother to take the morgue tag off its toe.
In the past, liberal western democracies have understood that no nation has ever "protected" its way to prosperity. The only way for anyone or anything to prosper is through trade. Trade with other people, families, neighborhoods, counties, cities, states, and especially, nations. That's the only way for consumers in one area to take advantage of the comparative advantage held in another area.
Well, it ain't looking good for Free Trade these days, mostly because those who can only survive and prosper inside a Protectionist Greenhouse are bribing others to put up more trade barriers.
But wait ! ! ! Four unlikely heroes, men of good sense, logic, and an understanding of history have risen to save the day ! ! They understand math, psychology, and economics ! ! According to some accounts, they can read books ! ! Some say they can read books without moving their lips ! !
Here's Lee Hudson Teslik, writing for RCP :
Pleas for economic openness rang out at this year's summit, particularly among the leaders of emerging economies. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned against reliance upon intervention and protectionism to cure economic ills, saying such policies could backfire (Guardian). Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao backed Putin, saying world leaders must remain vigilant (Xinhua) in their efforts to curb trade protectionism. Egypt's trade minister echoed concerns (Reuters) about protectionism, as did India's (Reuters).
Russia, China, Egypt, and India. Four of the most bass-ackwards places on earth. They get it.
The date and time for Irony's funeral service has not yet been announced. But the family asks that you not bring any flowers or food that you didn't produce yourself. You might as well get used to it now.
Irony pic from here.