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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) The Misunderstandings of 'Free Trade' (Read 1943 times)
BobK71
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Re: The Misunderstandings of 'Free Trade'
Reply #20 - Mar 9th, 2018 at 12:41pm
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Tom Palven wrote on Mar 9th, 2018 at 4:26am:
I agree with your OP, including the last sentence, and also  agree that free trade is a win-win proposition, yet in this post you imply that England benefited from restricting trade for at least a while.


See, for example: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/trade_empire_01.shtml

"By 1815, Britain possessed a global empire that was hugely impressive in scale, and stronger in both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and around their shores, than that of any other European state. All of this had occurred within basically the same protectionist trade network as in 1688: free trade, much discussed by Adam Smith and Josiah Tucker, had failed yet to make much inroad into British economic policies."
  
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Don_G
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Re: The Misunderstandings of 'Free Trade'
Reply #21 - Mar 9th, 2018 at 12:53pm
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Tom Palven wrote on Mar 9th, 2018 at 4:26am:
I agree with your OP, including the last sentence, and also  agree that free trade is a win-win proposition, yet in this post you imply that England benefited from restricting trade for at least a while.


England was about free trade no more than the US is about free trade now. Trump is illustrating that as plain as the noses on your faces!

It's about large powerful empires forcing trade conditions on their subjects. Trump expects the world's countries to continue to enrich the US at those other countries' expense.

I think it's too late for that. Russia, China, and the Brics aren't going to crumble. Other countries now have choices of trading partners who will compete and trade fairly.

This is mostly what the demonization of Russia and China is about. The last attempts to strip them of power that prevents the US from running roughshod over the world.
  
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BobK71
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Re: The Misunderstandings of 'Free Trade'
Reply #22 - Mar 9th, 2018 at 1:12pm
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The Opposition wrote on Mar 8th, 2018 at 10:57pm:
Could you take me through this process? I'd like to know more about it.

See reply #7 in this thread as I explained it to Don.  Is this what you're looking for?

The Opposition wrote on Mar 8th, 2018 at 10:57pm:
I'm concerned about the occurrence of potential deliberate dysgenics. The truth about the American worker is that he needs to starve. His labour simply isn't worth enough to sustain him.


Starvation represents a market failure because nobody wants to starve...  A functioning market would have the price of American labor drop until it's competitive.  I've always argued the high price of American labor is not that the worker demands too much; it's that the dollar is artificially strong, and that the wealth of the lucky Americans in this artificial market are keeping many prices high.  (Food, health care, rent, college education, etc.)

Where does the wealth of the lucky Americans come from?  Various bubbles -- the various financial assets obviously, but even the technology bubble is indirectly created by cheap, central bank directed money flooding into anything that looks like it might be a good investment.

In the end, it all comes down to the manipulation of money.

The Opposition wrote on Mar 8th, 2018 at 10:57pm:
So what do we do about this? Let's say the American government intentionally did this to the American people. It's not just unearned wealth, they used welfare to subsidise babies from those whose labour was worth the least.


I don't believe the rot was intentional.  If anything, the elites wanted a strong country and population to ally with.  It was an inevitable side effect.  The most general statement is 'the incentives are for the elites to destabilize their own system.'

In the instance of 'welfare', the immediate incentives from the late 60s were to contain social unrest and keep propping up global confidence in America and its assets by projecting an image of a good life for everyone (however eventually hollow and self defeating that image and effort might be.)

As always, the problems for the system are left for future generations of elites to deal with.

The Opposition wrote on Mar 8th, 2018 at 10:57pm:
As a population, our fate is to be entirely displaced. If the government (just to throw out an admittedly ridiculous hypothesis) took a few billion dollars from Mexico to do this and replace us with their people who would then give the country to Mexico, would we still have to accept starvation on the free market or would we be morally justified in demanding that we somehow be allowed to continue to exist?

  
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Jeff
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Re: The Misunderstandings of 'Free Trade'
Reply #23 - Mar 9th, 2018 at 1:38pm
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BobK71 wrote on Mar 7th, 2018 at 9:18am:
The only true solution to most of the world's problems is a free market in finance as well as goods and services.
I agree, free trade is only one element of economic liberty. Free markets are not free without money that is free from government manipulation.

The essential failure of Keynes' theories is imagining that controlling the value/quantity of money could/can produce constant economic expansion. It indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of market processes. To function well, markets must be free to set the cost of money by market forces.

Governments like Keynes' theory because it gives them control over the economy at the most basic level
  
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The Opposition
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Re: The Misunderstandings of 'Free Trade'
Reply #24 - Mar 9th, 2018 at 3:32pm
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BobK71 wrote on Mar 9th, 2018 at 1:12pm:
See reply #7 in this thread as I explained it to Don.  Is this what you're looking for?


I'm not sure why the yuan would increase and the dollar would drop due to more stuff coming out of China (the trade surplus you mentioned).

BobK71 wrote on Mar 9th, 2018 at 1:12pm:
Starvation represents a market failure because nobody wants to starve...  A functioning market would have the price of American labor drop until it's competitive.  I've always argued the high price of American labor is not that the worker demands too much; it's that the dollar is artificially strong, and that the wealth of the lucky Americans in this artificial market are keeping many prices high.  (Food, health care, rent, college education, etc.)


Many sellers of goods find it profitable to raise prices rather than lower them in this kind of a market. American labour drops in price... and the cost of food goes even higher. The price of food is outpacing inflation, and has been even during and after the 2008 crash.

If a bunch of people suddenly get poor, it might be a better investment to stop trying to sell to them, quintuple your prices, and cut your losses by selling one tomato for $5 rather than trying to make ends meet by selling 5 tomatoes for $1. A couple businesses who refuse to do this can ruin it for the others, but it's weird that everything from Ramen noodles to fancy stuff has gone up by about the same.

This is why I think it's the fate of the American labourer to starve if we ever get capitalism.

BobK71 wrote on Mar 9th, 2018 at 1:12pm:
Where does the wealth of the lucky Americans come from?  Various bubbles -- the various financial assets obviously, but even the technology bubble is indirectly created by cheap, central bank directed money flooding into anything that looks like it might be a good investment.


I agree with this.

BobK71 wrote on Mar 9th, 2018 at 1:12pm:
I don't believe the rot was intentional.  If anything, the elites wanted a strong country and population to ally with.  It was an inevitable side effect.  The most general statement is 'the incentives are for the elites to destabilize their own system.'

In the instance of 'welfare', the immediate incentives from the late 60s were to contain social unrest and keep propping up global confidence in America and its assets by projecting an image of a good life for everyone (however eventually hollow and self defeating that image and effort might be.)

As always, the problems for the system are left for future generations of elites to deal with.


It would have been immensely easy to do something similar to what China does and limit welfare babies to one per female. This would have prevented wages from being driven down due to excess labourer population in comparison to the population of people who owned the means of production.

In the 50's, you could feed a family of four on a plumber's salary and no one thought he was being overpaid. Now, if he holds down a second job and has one kid, and the wife works too, the family is likely to be struggling and everyone (including me) understands that he doesn't even deserve what he gets, because minimum wage is holding his wages artificially high and if all the immigrants who wanted in got in, he wouldn't be able to remotely compete with them.
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
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Snarky Sack
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Re: The Misunderstandings of 'Free Trade'
Reply #25 - Mar 9th, 2018 at 3:45pm
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The Opposition wrote on Mar 9th, 2018 at 3:32pm:
I'm not sure why the yuan would increase and the dollar would drop due to more stuff coming out of China (the trade surplus you mentioned).


Many sellers of goods find it profitable to raise prices rather than lower them in this kind of a market. American labour drops in price... and the cost of food goes even higher. The price of food is outpacing inflation, and has been even during and after the 2008 crash.


Well, sure.  Once the government mandated that people poor corn into their vehicle gas tanks, the price of corn went up so people switched to corn production causing the prices of other agricultural commodities to go up also.

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If a bunch of people suddenly get poor, it might be a better investment to stop trying to sell to them, quintuple your prices, and cut your losses by selling one tomato for $5 rather than trying to make ends meet by selling 5 tomatoes for $1. A couple businesses who refuse to do this can ruin it for the others, but it's weird that everything from Ramen noodles to fancy stuff has gone up by about the same.


It's not really weird.  I happened for the above reason and it is very predictable when government artificially creates a demand that did not exist before.


  

"Taxes are morally justified theft" - Jeff
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Re: The Misunderstandings of 'Free Trade'
Reply #26 - Mar 9th, 2018 at 5:56pm
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Snarky Sack wrote on Mar 9th, 2018 at 3:45pm:
Well, sure.  Once the government mandated that people poor corn into their vehicle gas tanks, the price of corn went up so people switched to corn production causing the prices of other agricultural commodities to go up also.


It's not really weird.  I happened for the above reason and it is very predictable when government artificially creates a demand that did not exist before.


No matter how governments distort economies, it causes net losses and ancillary problems. It's well proven and should be well known.

Emperors for Life  and other sorts of tyrannical governments have always been opposed to economic liberty.
  
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Re: The Misunderstandings of 'Free Trade'
Reply #27 - Mar 10th, 2018 at 7:31am
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Doe the Sec. of Commerce really not understand, or is he just a tool?

http://reason.com/blog/2018/03/09/wilbur-ross-shut-up-about-soup-cans?utm_medium...
  
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BobK71
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Re: The Misunderstandings of 'Free Trade'
Reply #28 - Mar 12th, 2018 at 1:09pm
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They are already accepting poverty and might accept even more before they come to understand that they've been snookered by the American way nonsense.

I think blaming the media is the wrong approach. The media reports the news. The media is fed the propaganda from somebody and somewhere.

You seem to be ruling out change. I think that's common to libertarians who are just as propagandized and unable to accept change to the left.

Trump and Bernie promised change toward more leftist thinking but Trump was lying. How Trump did that would make a good discussion. But libertarians still don't want to accept that they have been snookered. In fact, they're becoming more hooked into being Trump supporters every day!

The lives of Americans don't have to be improved to cause them to support a politician. They only have to 'think' their lives are going to be improved.


As Gracchus said in the movie 'Spartacus', politics is a *practical* profession!

I'm not ruling out change as a matter of reality.  A big swing to the left may well happen soon.  (That seems to be the best play for the elites at this point.  I wrote about my image of standing on one foot and then the other, when one is on hot iron.)  We'll see.

It's no secret that people and societies often lose freedom because the lack of freedom creates problems that politicians will argue can only be fixed by giving them even more power.  And enough people believe them.

The media is fully and openly political at this point.  Another pillar of support that has been toppled that used to help prop up the imperial 'city on a hill' was the idea of an 'objective media.'  Regardless of whether such a thing is possible (and I've read good arguments that it's not,) even the pretension is gone by now.
  
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Don_G
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Re: The Misunderstandings of 'Free Trade'
Reply #29 - Mar 12th, 2018 at 1:43pm
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BobK71 wrote on Mar 12th, 2018 at 1:09pm:
As Gracchus said in the movie 'Spartacus', politics is a *practical* profession!

I'm not ruling out change as a matter of reality.  A big swing to the left may well happen soon.  (That seems to be the best play for the elites at this point.  I wrote about my image of standing on one foot and then the other, when one is on hot iron.)  We'll see.


I'm talking about something that the US has never tried. It's not something that could be compared to the Clinton years because I see that as standing on the same foot as you stood on with Reagan.

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It's no secret that people and societies often lose freedom because the lack of freedom creates problems that politicians will argue can only be fixed by giving them even more power.  And enough people believe them.


I don't advocate giving politicians more power. I've been consistent in criticizing US government as being corrupt. I have to ask you to relate to a comparison of Canada's government to US government. It has little to do with how much power government has, but more to how that power is used. The power is not handed to the very wealthy in Canada. There's a possibility of electing a people's government that will swing the pendulum to the left.

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The media is fully and openly political at this point.  Another pillar of support that has been toppled that used to help prop up the imperial 'city on a hill' was the idea of an 'objective media.' 


I think you want to say that the media is biased toward the left. I think that's somewhat true but not exclusively because Fox presents a formidable balance. However, the media will make news by opposing the government in power. As it should.

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Regardless of whether such a thing is possible (and I've read good arguments that it's not,) even the pretension is gone by now.


An objective media isn't possible? Why worry about it? Why object to the media's bias? The leftist media factor certainly hasn't accomplished anything meaningful.

Are you mostly concerned with the media's obsession over Trump and the Russia scandal/imagined scandal? If so then address the specifics.
  
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