It is not, however, the only thing that needs protection in a society and to be honest, when the chips are down, it's certainly not the first thing that needs protection. Unless and until we are willing to change our societal rules to 'suceed or die', we have other responsibilities besides simply free market protection.
When the chips are down, when you have a bust, it's in everybody's best interest to see the bust go bust. To prevent a bust to bust is to kick the can down the road and create a bigger bust when you no longer can afford to kick the can.
What you see right now in those countries is what happens when any country goes from the 3rd world to first.
And what is fueling that transition? Government? No, production in a free market.
We've been trying to fuel this transition for 50 years with government money, didn't do any good. Actually, it did more harm then good. And now in just a few years of trade, these countries can rise from the gutter on their own merit.
And we've run out of un-owned resources and people to exploit, so we aren't able to continue the boom times. We _could_ invade canada or mexico...
Hogwash. You are in the middle of a shale gas revolution that make America the next Saudi Arabia. Technology is what drives the efficient use of the resources you have. No need to invade other countries.
BRIC countries are already starting to slow their growth and will continue to do so because growth isn't sustainable forever. Unless we find new resources here or get out of the gravity well into space, growth like we just saw for the last 100-200 years is just not going to happen.
There are plenty of resources, it's a myth that resources are dwindling. Just take a look at the total economic reserves of oil. It's up from millions of barrels to billions of barrels in 50 years. All due to better technology.