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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!) (Read 483 times)
BobK71
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Re: More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!)
Reply #10 - Mar 14th, 2018 at 9:49am
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Sicklers Dink wrote on Mar 12th, 2018 at 1:17pm:
A lot lower prices! And definitely not always lower quality. Corporate profits quadrupling in the US is due to the unjust system and how it's allowed income inequality to grow. Not because of China! As are the negatives on the environmental aspect, as well as other, not the fault of China or other trading partners.


I always tell people who complain about 'poor Chinese quality,' if the quality is so bad, we don't have to buy it, and they don't have to make money.  Luckily, that part of the system is still free.

'A lot lower prices':  This would seem to depend on which Westerners you're talking about.  The lucky ones who kept their professional jobs, or better, really enjoyed the cheap prices.  For the ones whose jobs were displaced by imports, yes, they could buy cheap goods, but their income also stagnated, went down, or became unstable.  How much they gained or lost overall is not so clear-cut as for the former group.

CH Smith does allude to something important when talking about corporate profits, IMO.  In the current environment, a lot, if not most, of what the West 'produces' for the world in exchange for imported goods is money and financial assets.  Since this capital is artificially propped up by the imperial system (through allowing undemocratic countries to suppress their own exchange rates, geopolitical arm-twisting to protect 'free trade' and free flow of capital, etc.) those who have capital are given a lot of power by this system.  They can perform the 'arbitrage' Smith talks about and out-perform everyone financially.

So, if you like, money, finance, weaponry, and military power are really the US 'comparative advantage!'  (Those are what we have to sell.)

Sicklers Dink wrote on Mar 12th, 2018 at 1:17pm:
This guy is responding to Trump's policies after only a year in. Maybe he still thinks Trump is poor man's friend who's going to save all poor Americans from China?


I'm pretty sure he doesn't like Trump in general and doesn't think Trump's tariffs will save poor Americans.  Like me, he is only exposing the status quo for what it is.

Ultimately, there are no easy solutions to the problem.  The world is already heavily addicted to 'free trade.'  Any disruption will be painful, at least for the short term.
  
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Sicklers Dink
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Re: More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!)
Reply #11 - Mar 14th, 2018 at 12:49pm
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BobK71 wrote on Mar 14th, 2018 at 9:49am:
I always tell people who complain about 'poor Chinese quality,' if the quality is so bad, we don't have to buy it, and they don't have to make money.  Luckily, that part of the system is still free.

'A lot lower prices':  This would seem to depend on which Westerners you're talking about.  The lucky ones who kept their professional jobs, or better, really enjoyed the cheap prices.  For the ones whose jobs were displaced by imports, yes, they could buy cheap goods, but their income also stagnated, went down, or became unstable.  How much they gained or lost overall is not so clear-cut as for the former group.


Why would you bother telling me that Bob? Did you think I'm not aware of free trade having an effect on American workers' income?

Quote:
CH Smith does allude to something important when talking about corporate profits, IMO.  In the current environment, a lot, if not most, of what the West 'produces' for the world in exchange for imported goods is money and financial assets.  Since this capital is artificially propped up by the imperial system (through allowing undemocratic countries to suppress their own exchange rates, geopolitical arm-twisting to protect 'free trade' and free flow of capital, etc.) those who have capital are given a lot of power by this system.  They can perform the 'arbitrage' Smith talks about and out-perform everyone financially.

So, if you like, money, finance, weaponry, and military power are really the US 'comparative advantage!'  (Those are what we have to sell.)


I'm pretty sure he doesn't like Trump in general and doesn't think Trump's tariffs will save poor Americans.  Like me, he is only exposing the status quo for what it is.

Ultimately, there are no easy solutions to the problem.  The world is already heavily addicted to 'free trade.'  Any disruption will be painful, at least for the short term.


I'm aware that there are no easy solutions. I think his reference to 'Darwinism' was so off-base that he sold his credibility with it.

I'm alluding to Trump's maneuvering on free trade and how he thinks there 'is' an easy solution. As you suggest, there's not and especially not Trump's.

Both the Dem and the Repub parties know that Trump is making a fatal mistake and it just astounds me that they would allow him to get away with it.

It could be that the teabagger no-mind idiot faction has gained control and there are enough of them to be onside with Trump. Sadly, some of the pseudo-libertarians fit into that same basket of rotten apples.
  
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BobK71
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Re: More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!)
Reply #12 - Mar 14th, 2018 at 4:59pm
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Jeff wrote on Mar 12th, 2018 at 7:34pm:
He has lost heart. He thinks that we might as well throw up our hands and settle for a Medieval style mercantile system because that's the system that governments mostly like these days.

Warring Mercantile States is Darwinian in that it is the law of the jungle.

Doesn't he envision a whole new system developed from the ground up?  He's promoting his books on that all the time?

Jeff wrote on Mar 12th, 2018 at 7:34pm:
I choose to believe the empirical evidence that shows that reducing trade barriers, even unilaterally, is a net benefit and reduces the chances of war.


'Free trade' might be OK when there is no single global hegemon (e.g. during the 18th century.)  When one country controls global money (which is the definition of hegemony,) 'free trade' tends primarily to enrich that country only (which is not to say it doesn't have side benefits from time to time, but that doesn't change its core predatory nature.)
  
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Jeff
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Re: More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!)
Reply #13 - Mar 14th, 2018 at 6:00pm
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BobK71 wrote on Mar 14th, 2018 at 4:59pm:
'Free trade' might be OK when there is no single global hegemon (e.g. during the 18th century.)  When one country controls global money (which is the definition of hegemony,) 'free trade' tends primarily to enrich that country only (which is not to say it doesn't have side benefits from time to time, but that doesn't change its core predatory nature.)
Yeah yeah, Blah blah. The evidence shows that unilaterally reducing trade barriers is a general benefit.

Free trade is proven to work better, even if no other nation will give up its Medieval Mercantile controls.

Look how well America did when it permitted mostly free trade while opposed by the rest of the world.

Working people got rich by any standard the world had ever known.
  
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Jeff
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Re: More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!)
Reply #14 - Mar 15th, 2018 at 8:37am
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I rather long dissertation, but it covers lots of ground.

https://qz.com/1220847/what-trumps-tariff-trade-war-could-mean-for-you-higher-pr...
  
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Sicklers Dink
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Re: More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!)
Reply #15 - Mar 15th, 2018 at 10:32pm
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BobK71 wrote on Mar 14th, 2018 at 4:59pm:
'Free trade' might be OK when there is no single global hegemon (e.g. during the 18th century.)  When one country controls global money (which is the definition of hegemony,) 'free trade' tends primarily to enrich that country only (which is not to say it doesn't have side benefits from time to time, but that doesn't change its core predatory nature.)


I think you're hitting on something very important Bob. Free trade in the 21st. century will really be 'free' trade. No country has the single power to dominate in trade relations. Lots of countries don't have the power and infulence to compete.

We are now seeing the last efforts of the US to maintain it's global hegemony in Syria and the rest of the ME.

The competitors Russia and China will suffer horribly but I believe the US has waited too long to establish farreaching empire.

Resorting to military measures would be a slamdunk for the US is it wasn't for other nuclear armed nations.

The North Korea situation makes a joke of US military power. If the US could destroy N.Korea risk free then it would, regardless of the slaughter that would be inflicted on South Korea.

The US can't because China and Russia won't allow it. China and Russia are allowing a facesaving for Trump, almost certainly, because it serves their purposes to do so.

Woudn't you think that real libertarians would be taking a position against what their country is trying to do in Syria? Isn't it pretty easy to do the math to figure out that it's money wasted..
  
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The Opposition
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Re: More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!)
Reply #16 - Mar 16th, 2018 at 3:41am
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Jeff wrote on Mar 15th, 2018 at 8:37am:
I rather long dissertation, but it covers lots of ground.

https://qz.com/1220847/what-trumps-tariff-trade-war-could-mean-for-you-higher-pr...


Yes it does. It would have me believe that US steel producers can't meet the demand and sort of implies that that can't change. It would also have me believe that the tariff will cost American jobs, not create them.

So what would happen if we slammed the borders shut to all trade? I'm not suggesting this is good, I'm just refusing to believe that if this happened, everyone would just starve.

I think markets would be forced to emerge and prices of goods would have to reach some reasonable point. After all, if your goods are priced out of reach of all your customers, you just have to lower the price. And if people can't live on what they're making, they starve. Let's say half the work force dies off. Well, the price of labour goes up too, and the price of food eventually has to come down, at least in proportion.

The article basically says that less trade with foreign countries means our economy is worse off. So if we extend that, and tariff everything, we all lose our jobs and die? Or does the economy just have to adjust?
  

Making Sci-Fi great again since 2063.

Not taking Jeff seriously until he admits this is animal abuse (which he says should be illegal): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WE-IT7_CaE4
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Jeff
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Re: More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!)
Reply #17 - Mar 16th, 2018 at 7:42am
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The Opposition wrote on Mar 16th, 2018 at 3:41am:
So what would happen if we slammed the borders shut to all trade?

If you had the least sense of how interconnected our economy is with the world economy, you could answer your own question.

Our economy would collapse. Lots of people would probably die, not all of them from starvation.
The world economy would also largely collapse. Russia and North Korea and Cuba would probably not be much affected, since they don't participate much in the world economy.
  
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Jeff
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Re: More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!)
Reply #18 - Mar 16th, 2018 at 7:46am
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The Opposition wrote on Mar 16th, 2018 at 3:41am:
The article basically says that less trade with foreign countries means our economy is worse off. So if we extend that, and tariff everything, we all lose our jobs and die? Or does the economy just have to adjust?
The economy, if it is free enough to be allowed to, will adjust.

A low uniform tariff on all imports would not do much to punish some industries at the expense  of others, and a free economy would adjust rapidly. Likely no one would even notice, as long as the tariff was low and uniform.
  
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BobK71
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Re: More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!)
Reply #19 - Mar 19th, 2018 at 10:10am
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Sicklers Dink wrote on Mar 13th, 2018 at 7:45pm:
That's what I thought Bob. He's likely stupid enough to have confused 'darwinian' with 'orwellian', even though it would take some clever thinking to even make 'orwellian' work.

A great big loss of credibility on his part Bob. You've better than that. I suggest you be a little more selective on what and who you support.


In what sense do you think trade is Orwellian?  (Assuming that's what you think.)
  
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