This argument doesn\’t work:
America is not a free trade nation and never has been, it is the home and bastion of protectionism. It built up its industries not in competition with Britain, but with intense protection from her output.
The internal US market was by far the largest free trade area on the planet. The astonishing growth, invention and efficiency of the US economy is not an argument in favour of protectionism at all: it\’s a sterling example of the benefits of free trade in action.
Further, it\’s a bit of a mistake to think that in the late 19th, early 20th century they were sheltering that huge market behind high tariff barriers. There were indeed high nominal tariffs, this is true, but they aren\’t the only barrier to trade. There are also transport costs to think about. And the technological revolution in shipping from 1860 ish to 1910 meant that, even as tariffs themselves rose, the actual trade barriers (tariffs plus transport costs) fell. (The figures are detailed here.)
So, no, we don\’t get to claim the US economy as proof that protectionism works.
Socialism as I understand it, is the only way to a better material existence and a more free life for all of us.
That\’s an assertion of which you\’ve offered no proof at all as yet.