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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!) (Read 452 times)
BobK71
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Re: More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!)
Reply #20 - Mar 19th, 2018 at 10:17am
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Jeff wrote on Mar 14th, 2018 at 6:00pm:
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.


That's the whole idea, my friend.  'Free trade' was designed primarily to benefit America, in the same way it was designed primarily to benefit Britain in the mid- and late-19th century.

When you control what is deemed global money, you can turn trade into an exploitative system in your favor.  When things are well (ie global hope for the future is good,) everyone benefits, and you especially.  When things turn sour (ie people realize there will never be enough growth to repay the debt,) American elites benefit again, in a different way, and everyone else suffers (though Westerners tend to be protected by some safety net.)

America doesn't mind too much its goods being restricted by some other countries -- its most important export is money and other financial assets, and its real goods export is in constant decline anyway.  What it wants most importantly is free flow of capital around the world, and free flow of cheap goods into the West.

If you google the term 'exorbitant privilege of the dollar' you'll find out a good part of this in the existing economic literature.
  
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Jeff
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Re: More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!)
Reply #21 - Mar 19th, 2018 at 10:33am
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BobK71 wrote on Mar 19th, 2018 at 10:17am:
That's the whole idea, my friend.  'Free trade' was designed primarily to benefit America, in the same way it was designed primarily to benefit Britain in the mid- and late-19th century.

When you control what is deemed global money, you can turn trade into an exploitative system in your favor.  When things are well (ie general hope for the future is good,) everyone benefits, and you especially.  When things turn sour (ie people realize there will never be enough growth to repay the debt,) you benefit again, in a different way, and everyone else suffers.

I have to say Bob, when you start out saying free trade was "designed" I'm not inclined to give much credence to what follows... It is restrictions on free trade that are designed. Free trade just happens if governments allow people to trade freely.

Britain became wealthy and powerful because of its mostly freerer trade, and then, the Pound Sterling became the worlds reserve currency.

People wanted the Pound because it was real money, available, and backed by silver.

The same thing happened in America, except we started out with even fewer controls on trade than England had.

The gold backed U.S. Dollar became the worlds most desired currency after free trade had made America wealthy.

Certainly manipulation of fiat currency and interest rates and borrowing at astronomical levels are all things that distort and prevent actual free trade on an international level and severely distort the economy in America.

All the empirical evidence shows that lifting trade restrictions, even unilaterally, benefits everyone, and of course sound money would also.
  
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Sicklers Dink
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Re: More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!)
Reply #22 - Mar 19th, 2018 at 11:42am
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BobK71 wrote on Mar 19th, 2018 at 10:10am:
In what sense do you think trade is Orwellian?  (Assuming that's what you think.)


I don't. I was trying to make some sense out of what he said. I just think he has heard the term 'Owrellian' and mistook it for meaning 'Darwinian'?

I've asked everybody to try to make some sense of his reference to 'Darwinian' but so far there hasn't been any real answers.
  
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Sicklers Dink
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Re: More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!)
Reply #23 - Mar 19th, 2018 at 11:52am
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BobK71 wrote on Mar 19th, 2018 at 10:17am:
That's the whole idea, my friend.  'Free trade' was designed primarily to benefit America, in the same way it was designed primarily to benefit Britain in the mid- and late-19th century.

When you control what is deemed global money, you can turn trade into an exploitative system in your favor.  When things are well (ie global hope for the future is good,) everyone benefits, and you especially.  When things turn sour (ie people realize there will never be enough growth to repay the debt,) American elites benefit again, in a different way, and everyone else suffers (though Westerners tend to be protected by some safety net.)

America doesn't mind too much its goods being restricted by some other countries -- its most important export is money and other financial assets, and its real goods export is in constant decline anyway.  What it wants most importantly is free flow of capital around the world, and free flow of cheap goods into the West.

If you google the term 'exorbitant privilege of the dollar' you'll find out a good part of this in the existing economic literature.


You've hit on the key point Bob. Trump is under the impression that the US can still dominate in free trade agreements. That's not surprising considering his repuatation. He may find some success in asking for a lot and settling with a little.

But I think it's more likely he brings US crooked trade deals to light and others gain by insisting on fariness. Canada has always won in trade disputes with the US, although it's been costly.

The US will no longer be able to reap the benefits of free trade by cheating on deals or demaning an unfair advantage. There are other world powers that won't allow it.

The side issue to consider is US aggression that's ongoing. There's a purpose. If gains can't be made by cooperating in free trade agreements then there are still military solutions, even though they are  quickly disappearing.

All libertarians should be capable of understanding this, not just you. Some do but are too proud to admit it.
  
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Jeff
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Re: More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!)
Reply #24 - Mar 19th, 2018 at 3:09pm
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Sicklers Dink wrote on Mar 19th, 2018 at 11:52am:
The US will no longer be able to reap the benefits of free trade by cheating on deals or demaning an unfair advantage.
Cheating on deals and demanding unfair advantages isn't free trade. The main effect of such unfree trade is to hamper the creation of wealth and make everyone less well off.

That is just as true on an international level as it is on a local level.
  
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Jeff
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Re: More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!)
Reply #25 - Mar 21st, 2018 at 9:18am
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This is a worthwhile read for anyone who thinks barriers to free trade are a "win" for governments/nations that erect them.

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/see-unseen-how-view-world-economist...

The unseen consequences must be considered, they must also be "seen".
  
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BobK71
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Re: More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!)
Reply #26 - Mar 28th, 2018 at 10:54am
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Jeff wrote on Mar 19th, 2018 at 10:33am:
People wanted the Pound because it was real money, available, and backed by silver.


On the eve of World War I, Britain had only 3% of the gold required to redeem its total issue of paper pounds, under an official gold standard, which legally bound the Bank of England to pay gold to all comers who held the paper, at the official rate.

Certainly this was unstable and unsustainable, and perhaps why Britain needed a war to transfer global empire to a friendly US.

Paper pound was the world's biggest bubble, supported in part by Britain's colony network, and in part by world trade.

Britain's main 'product' was paper money, geopolitical and military power were the means to 'create demand' for this money, and trade was a key channel for realizing that demand.

Change a few words above, and we're talking about today.  I'll try to answer the other points you raise if time allows.
  
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Re: More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!)
Reply #27 - Mar 28th, 2018 at 11:09am
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Sicklers Dink wrote on Mar 19th, 2018 at 11:52am:
All libertarians should be capable of understanding this, not just you. Some do but are too proud to admit it.


I hope this analogy is good: we are certainly all for property rights in the abstract, but do property rights mean anything after property ownership has just been 'reassigned' by force?

The left has a term 'odious debt' to describe the enforcement of debt obligations against poor countries.  But I suppose even the left doesn't understand how debt is forced on those countries in the first place.

'Honoring of debt obligations' is another of those things that sound good in the abstract.
  
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Re: More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!)
Reply #28 - Mar 28th, 2018 at 11:38am
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BobK71 wrote on Mar 28th, 2018 at 11:09am:
I hope this analogy is good: we are certainly all for property rights in the abstract, but do property rights mean anything after property ownership has just been 'reassigned' by force?

The left has a term 'odious debt' to describe the enforcement of debt obligations against poor countries.  But I suppose even the left doesn't understand how debt is forced on those countries in the first place.

'Honoring of debt obligations' is another of those things that sound good in the abstract.


Are you interested in what the left understands and thinks Bob?

I say the 'left' because it's my opinion that most Americans consider nearly everybody to be left of them. I'm not, I'm a capitalist Canadian.

Where I disagree with US libertarians on property rights is in my belief that property has already been stolen by the right, which is represented by the very wealthy in the US, and the left wanting a part of it is fact just wanting back what was theirs.

And I'll back my argument by relating to the huge income inequality already existing and  then growing more quickly with Trump's maneuvers.

I take the old mantra of the left running out of other people's money and turn it around. The left just wants some of that money back which was theirs.

I'm definitely more left than Americans in general but I don't consider myself fitting the definition of 'left'. We in Canada have a very workable and socially responsible capitalist government at the moment. We do stray further left and right at times.

If you look at property being reassigned by force, with that in mind which I've said, then you will understand my claim that the US needs socially responsible capitalism. And you may then be able to understand how that is 'libertarian'.
  
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Jeff
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Re: More good stuff on 'free trade' (quotes intended!)
Reply #29 - Mar 28th, 2018 at 5:09pm
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Sicklers Dink wrote on Mar 28th, 2018 at 11:38am:
I say the 'left' because it's my opinion that most Americans consider nearly everybody to be left of them. I'm not, I'm a capitalist Canadian.
Really?

How do you manage to be a capitalist who is deeply committed to "socially responsible systems" of unlimited government?

I see some tension and potential internal conflicts with your thinking...

Are you schizy?
  
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