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Cuchulainn
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Is free trade the problem?

December 3rd, 2013, 4:33 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: Traden4AlphaQuoteOriginally posted by: HerdQuoteOriginally posted by: Traden4AlphaThird, there's the unmeasured benefits of trade: users/consumers of widgets gain 2*N in surplus from getting widgets that are worth $10 for only $8. The economy may be financially poorer but it's correspondingly utility-richer. In fact, the consumer surplus term entirely negates the losses in measurable GDP whilst the expanded demand is accretive to the economy.That's the thing: there is a short term benefit for most consumers.But long term it is a different story, because of job losses, disindustrialisation...Are cheaper technological gadgets and fashionable trainers worth the long term consequences?The long-term seems entirely beneficial, too. Disindustrialisation is beneficial. Why would a country actually want all those icky smoke-belching, chemical-emitting, dangerous factories that force their citizens to become automatons? Admittedly, being a factory worker is better than being a subsistence farm worker so I can see why China or Bangladesh would welcome the factories. Moreover, free trade causes net job gains, not losses, because N low-skill, low-pay workers (plus the added jobs in transportation and intermediaries) take the place of 1 high-skill, high-pay worker.If your goal is to protect a few privileged people in the developed world from losing their jobs, then why stop at halting free trade? Automobiles caused job losses in a horse-and-buggy industry so we should ban cars. Computers caused job losses among clerical staff, so we should ban them. Telephone switching equipment caused job losses among switchboard operators. Plastic bottles caused job losses for can makers, etc. Innovation and productivity cause short-term job losses. But do you really want to ban that?Since the word 'ban' has entered the conversation, you might be right. Just make bio-degradable stuff and ban the other junk. If you ban tobacco smoking, then this too should be possible. BTW I keep hearing about the 'innovation and productivity' (maybe define it plain English) mantra .. maybe I am missing the ideology, but I don't see much unless filling up the Pacific with plastic fits the bill, which the taxpayer picks up.
Last edited by Cuchulainn on December 2nd, 2013, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Traden4Alpha
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Is free trade the problem?

December 3rd, 2013, 5:03 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnQuoteOriginally posted by: Traden4AlphaQuoteOriginally posted by: HerdQuoteOriginally posted by: Traden4AlphaThird, there's the unmeasured benefits of trade: users/consumers of widgets gain 2*N in surplus from getting widgets that are worth $10 for only $8. The economy may be financially poorer but it's correspondingly utility-richer. In fact, the consumer surplus term entirely negates the losses in measurable GDP whilst the expanded demand is accretive to the economy.That's the thing: there is a short term benefit for most consumers.But long term it is a different story, because of job losses, disindustrialisation...Are cheaper technological gadgets and fashionable trainers worth the long term consequences?The long-term seems entirely beneficial, too. Disindustrialisation is beneficial. Why would a country actually want all those icky smoke-belching, chemical-emitting, dangerous factories that force their citizens to become automatons? Admittedly, being a factory worker is better than being a subsistence farm worker so I can see why China or Bangladesh would welcome the factories. Moreover, free trade causes net job gains, not losses, because N low-skill, low-pay workers (plus the added jobs in transportation and intermediaries) take the place of 1 high-skill, high-pay worker.If your goal is to protect a few privileged people in the developed world from losing their jobs, then why stop at halting free trade? Automobiles caused job losses in a horse-and-buggy industry so we should ban cars. Computers caused job losses among clerical staff, so we should ban them. Telephone switching equipment caused job losses among switchboard operators. Plastic bottles caused job losses for can makers, etc. Innovation and productivity cause short-term job losses. But do you really want to ban that?Since the word 'ban' has entered the conversation, you might be right. Just make bio-degradable stuff and ban the other junk. If you ban tobacco smoking, then this too should be possible. BTW I keep hearing about the 'innovation and productivity' (maybe define it plain English) mantra .. maybe I am missing the ideology, but I don't see much unless filling up the Pacific with plastic fits the bill, which the taxpayer picks up.Environmentalists should absolutely love productivity improvements because, in plain English, productivity improvements simply means using less resources to make something -- hiring someone in a low-wage country creates a much lower environmental footprint than hiring a high-wage worker and even when you add in transportation fuels, outsourcing can have lower carbon footprint (e.g., airfreighting flowers from Kenya has a lower footprint than growing them in a Dutch greenhouse). Innovation is trickier because anything new might have unforeseen consequences.I'm not sure how free trade causes Pacific trash piles unless your intention is to ban economic improvement in countries with less stringent environmental rules. Moreover, most plastics are biodegradable although some take a few years longer than others. And I don't know of any taxpayers paying to clean up the Pacific, so that's a red (plastic) herring.
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Is free trade the problem?

December 3rd, 2013, 5:28 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: Traden4AlphaQuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnQuoteOriginally posted by: Traden4AlphaQuoteOriginally posted by: HerdQuoteOriginally posted by: Traden4AlphaThird, there's the unmeasured benefits of trade: users/consumers of widgets gain 2*N in surplus from getting widgets that are worth $10 for only $8. The economy may be financially poorer but it's correspondingly utility-richer. In fact, the consumer surplus term entirely negates the losses in measurable GDP whilst the expanded demand is accretive to the economy.That's the thing: there is a short term benefit for most consumers.But long term it is a different story, because of job losses, disindustrialisation...Are cheaper technological gadgets and fashionable trainers worth the long term consequences?The long-term seems entirely beneficial, too. Disindustrialisation is beneficial. Why would a country actually want all those icky smoke-belching, chemical-emitting, dangerous factories that force their citizens to become automatons? Admittedly, being a factory worker is better than being a subsistence farm worker so I can see why China or Bangladesh would welcome the factories. Moreover, free trade causes net job gains, not losses, because N low-skill, low-pay workers (plus the added jobs in transportation and intermediaries) take the place of 1 high-skill, high-pay worker.If your goal is to protect a few privileged people in the developed world from losing their jobs, then why stop at halting free trade? Automobiles caused job losses in a horse-and-buggy industry so we should ban cars. Computers caused job losses among clerical staff, so we should ban them. Telephone switching equipment caused job losses among switchboard operators. Plastic bottles caused job losses for can makers, etc. Innovation and productivity cause short-term job losses. But do you really want to ban that?Since the word 'ban' has entered the conversation, you might be right. Just make bio-degradable stuff and ban the other junk. If you ban tobacco smoking, then this too should be possible. BTW I keep hearing about the 'innovation and productivity' (maybe define it plain English) mantra .. maybe I am missing the ideology, but I don't see much unless filling up the Pacific with plastic fits the bill, which the taxpayer picks up.Environmentalists should absolutely love productivity improvements because, in plain English, productivity improvements simply means using less resources to make something -- hiring someone in a low-wage country creates a much lower environmental footprint than hiring a high-wage worker and even when you add into transportation fuels, outsourcing can have lower carbon footprint (e.g., airfreighting flowers from Kenya has a lower footprint than growing them in a Dutch greenhouse). Innovation is trickier because anything new might have unforeseen consequences.I'm not sure how free trade causes Pacific trash piles unless your intention is to ban economic improvement in countries with less stringent environmental rules. Moreover, most plastics are biodegradable although some take a few years longer than others. And I don't know of any taxpayers paying to clean up the Pacific, so that's a red (plastic) herring. Which topic shall I respond to first? BTW as Herd said, there is no such thing as free trade; it is a Fata Morgana.
Last edited by Cuchulainn on December 2nd, 2013, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Traden4Alpha
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Is free trade the problem?

December 3rd, 2013, 7:55 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnQuoteOriginally posted by: Traden4AlphaQuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnQuoteOriginally posted by: Traden4AlphaQuoteOriginally posted by: HerdQuoteOriginally posted by: Traden4AlphaThird, there's the unmeasured benefits of trade: users/consumers of widgets gain 2*N in surplus from getting widgets that are worth $10 for only $8. The economy may be financially poorer but it's correspondingly utility-richer. In fact, the consumer surplus term entirely negates the losses in measurable GDP whilst the expanded demand is accretive to the economy.That's the thing: there is a short term benefit for most consumers.But long term it is a different story, because of job losses, disindustrialisation...Are cheaper technological gadgets and fashionable trainers worth the long term consequences?The long-term seems entirely beneficial, too. Disindustrialisation is beneficial. Why would a country actually want all those icky smoke-belching, chemical-emitting, dangerous factories that force their citizens to become automatons? Admittedly, being a factory worker is better than being a subsistence farm worker so I can see why China or Bangladesh would welcome the factories. Moreover, free trade causes net job gains, not losses, because N low-skill, low-pay workers (plus the added jobs in transportation and intermediaries) take the place of 1 high-skill, high-pay worker.If your goal is to protect a few privileged people in the developed world from losing their jobs, then why stop at halting free trade? Automobiles caused job losses in a horse-and-buggy industry so we should ban cars. Computers caused job losses among clerical staff, so we should ban them. Telephone switching equipment caused job losses among switchboard operators. Plastic bottles caused job losses for can makers, etc. Innovation and productivity cause short-term job losses. But do you really want to ban that?Since the word 'ban' has entered the conversation, you might be right. Just make bio-degradable stuff and ban the other junk. If you ban tobacco smoking, then this too should be possible. BTW I keep hearing about the 'innovation and productivity' (maybe define it plain English) mantra .. maybe I am missing the ideology, but I don't see much unless filling up the Pacific with plastic fits the bill, which the taxpayer picks up.Environmentalists should absolutely love productivity improvements because, in plain English, productivity improvements simply means using less resources to make something -- hiring someone in a low-wage country creates a much lower environmental footprint than hiring a high-wage worker and even when you add into transportation fuels, outsourcing can have lower carbon footprint (e.g., airfreighting flowers from Kenya has a lower footprint than growing them in a Dutch greenhouse). Innovation is trickier because anything new might have unforeseen consequences.I'm not sure how free trade causes Pacific trash piles unless your intention is to ban economic improvement in countries with less stringent environmental rules. Moreover, most plastics are biodegradable although some take a few years longer than others. And I don't know of any taxpayers paying to clean up the Pacific, so that's a red (plastic) herring. Which topic shall I respond to first? Feel free to respond to whatever you wish!QuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnBTW as Herd said, there is no such thing as free trade; it is a Fata Morgana.You and Herd are totally right. All countries have trade barriers of varying types: regulatory, cultural, linguistic, etc. For example, if everyone would just speak English, then trade would be a lot freer! Yet some countries make it easier than do others. Should the producers of product should control trade or the consumers of the product control trade?
 
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Is free trade the problem?

December 4th, 2013, 12:50 pm

The other day my dog was limping. She had a sticker in her paw was "the" problem. I took it out, though she has no trouble pulling them out herself.My dog does some odd things, like wake me up in the morning, and also alert me to strangers. These things may ultimately benefit her in some way.But nobody wants to be woken up by a gorilla. I shudder to imagine being held captive as a pet, by some beast that imagines it can solve my problems for me. A government can block voluntary transactions between two strangers, or block or force anything else. And in doing so, it can solve its own problems.The absence of a gorilla blocking trade is one of many "causes" in the world we see today. But whether it is a "problem" can only be measured against a local scale of values. To call something happening between two strangers a "problem" is to usurp their values and freedom. Lawyers do it, dictators do it, police and security guards do it. The people whose values and freedom have been usurped have never prospered as a consequence of it.
 
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Is free trade the problem?

December 4th, 2013, 6:11 pm

Originally posted by: Traden4AlphaThird, there's the unmeasured benefits of trade: users/consumers of widgets gain 2*N in surplus from getting widgets that are worth $10 for only $8. The economy may be financially poorer but it's correspondingly utility-richer. In fact, the consumer surplus term entirely negates the losses in measurable GDP whilst the expanded demand is accretive to the economy.The original question was: suppose that two countries are equally efficient at producing a widget, but one country has a lower cost of labor. (Or really, suppose that the cost of labor was dominant difference). Is it better for the economy for the the production to be moved to the low cost countryThat's only dealing with the supply side. One the demand side, there is less money to buy the widgets, so the demand may go down, and the utility could also go down
 
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Is free trade the problem?

December 4th, 2013, 6:12 pm

I.e., you may get $10 widgets for $8, but if your income gets halved, then your total satisfaction ain't going up.
 
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Is free trade the problem?

December 4th, 2013, 6:34 pm

The long-term seems entirely beneficial, too. Disindustrialisation is beneficial. Why would a country actually want all those icky smoke-belching, chemical-emitting, dangerous factories that force their citizens to become automatons? Admittedly, being a factory worker is better than being a subsistence farm worker so I can see why China or Bangladesh would welcome the factories. Moreover, free trade causes net job gains, not losses, because N low-skill, low-pay workers (plus the added jobs in transportation and intermediaries) take the place of 1 high-skill, high-pay worker.Isn't this false economy? A) total money going into wages has decreased; B) total labor going into production increasing.Only an economist would call this optimal.The point to having high cost labor is that it drives productivity gains; output per human-hour goes up. If labor is dirt cheap, no one will invest time and expertise to improve productivity. Isn't the relative paucity of labor in Britain vs. the continent cited as one of the primary causes of the industrial revolution?
 
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Is free trade the problem?

December 4th, 2013, 6:40 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: PatOriginally posted by: Traden4AlphaThe original question was: suppose that two countries are equally efficient at producing a widget, but one country has a lower cost of labor. (Or really, suppose that the cost of labor was dominant difference). Is it better for the economy for the the production to be moved to the low cost countryI think this question is related to what happened in the Netherlands, for example, officially the Dutch DiseaseI saw the effects from the mid-70s. So, not better in this context. I used to work in CAD and manufacturing and the decline is striking. The classic economic model describing Dutch Disease was developed by the economists W. Max Corden and J. Peter Neary in 1982. In the model, there is the non-traded good sector (this includes services) and two traded good sectors: the booming sector, and the lagging sector, also called the non-booming tradable sector. The booming sector is usually the extraction of oil or natural gas, but can also be the mining of gold, copper, diamonds or bauxite, or the production of crops, such as coffee or cocoa. The lagging sector generally refers to manufacturing, but can also refer to agriculture.
Last edited by Cuchulainn on December 3rd, 2013, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Traden4Alpha
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Is free trade the problem?

December 4th, 2013, 8:49 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: PatQuoteOriginally posted by: Traden4AlphaThird, there's the unmeasured benefits of trade: users/consumers of widgets gain 2*N in surplus from getting widgets that are worth $10 for only $8. The economy may be financially poorer but it's correspondingly utility-richer. In fact, the consumer surplus term entirely negates the losses in measurable GDP whilst the expanded demand is accretive to the economy.The original question was: suppose that two countries are equally efficient at producing a widget, but one country has a lower cost of labor. (Or really, suppose that the cost of labor was dominant difference). Is it better for the economy for the the production to be moved to the low cost countryThat's only dealing with the supply side. One the demand side, there is less money to buy the widgets, so the demand may go down, and the utility could also go downThere's only less money to buy the widgets under a restrictive set of assumptions about price elasticity, the capital spending to boost production in the new location, the employment prospects of the displaced workers, and government fiscal policy. I think if you look at typical values for price elasticity, capex for production, durations of unemployment, and fiscal policy, then most cases of free trade will increase the total GDP. Yes, some widget-company workers and investors suffer in the high-cost country but they will be out-voted by consumers, as well as by workers and investors in industries that benefit from trade (e.g., transportation, distribution, and retail).The case of equal labor efficiency but different wages seems a strange one. If two workers can produce the identical product in the identical time, why should one deserve more money than the other. That's both an ethical question and a question for consumers who are being ripped off by protected manufacturers. And if it costs more to live in one country vs. the other than the high-cost country is hardly equally-efficient.
 
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Is free trade the problem?

December 4th, 2013, 9:05 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnQuoteOriginally posted by: PatOriginally posted by: Traden4AlphaThe original question was: suppose that two countries are equally efficient at producing a widget, but one country has a lower cost of labor. (Or really, suppose that the cost of labor was dominant difference). Is it better for the economy for the the production to be moved to the low cost countryI think this question is related to what happened in the Netherlands, for example, officially the Dutch DiseaseI saw the effects from the mid-70s. So, not better in this context. I used to work in CAD and manufacturing and the decline is striking. The classic economic model describing Dutch Disease was developed by the economists W. Max Corden and J. Peter Neary in 1982. In the model, there is the non-traded good sector (this includes services) and two traded good sectors: the booming sector, and the lagging sector, also called the non-booming tradable sector. The booming sector is usually the extraction of oil or natural gas, but can also be the mining of gold, copper, diamonds or bauxite, or the production of crops, such as coffee or cocoa. The lagging sector generally refers to manufacturing, but can also refer to agriculture.Oh how the mighty forget their roots! The Dutch should have stuck to what they were good at! As another famous Daniel noted:QuoteOriginally posted by: Daniel Defoe, ~1659-1731The Dutch must be understood as they really are -- the middle persons in trade, the factors and brokers of Europe. They buy and sell again, take in to send out, and the greatest part of their vast commerce consists in being supplied from all parts of the world, that they may supply all parts again.
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Is free trade the problem?

December 5th, 2013, 9:14 am

T4A said "The long-term seems entirely beneficial, too. Disindustrialisation is beneficial. Why would a country actually want all those icky smoke-belching, chemical-emitting, dangerous factories that force their citizens to become automatons? Admittedly, being a factory worker is better than being a subsistence farm worker so I can see why China or Bangladesh would welcome the factories. Moreover, free trade causes net job gains, not losses, because N low-skill, low-pay workers (plus the added jobs in transportation and intermediaries) take the place of 1 high-skill, high-pay worker.If your goal is to protect a few privileged people in the developed world from losing their jobs, then why stop at halting free trade? Automobiles caused job losses in a horse-and-buggy industry so we should ban cars. Computers caused job losses among clerical staff, so we should ban them. Telephone switching equipment caused job losses among switchboard operators. Plastic bottles caused job losses for can makers, etc. Innovation and productivity cause short-term job losses. But do you really want to ban that? "Don't forget Germany. Don't you think the Germany industry is propably the reason why Germany is in much better shape than its neighbours? I'm not sure "automatons" is the best way to describe the German system. Re jobgain: you are saying that there are job gains in other countries (with low wages), and jobloss in the original/base country. First, you assume that people in the low wage country are less productive (because you say they need more people to do the job): I am not sure about that. But crucially, you agree that in the disindustrialised/original/base country there is a job loss. But this is what the politician/decision maker should care about. The politician should care more about unemployment in his country than in other countries!re your 2nd paragraph:I am familiar with this argument, but it is different because it is within the same country. Jobs in one country are replaced by other jobs in the SAME country.I agree that progress should not be stopped in the name of job protection. We are moving into Schumpeter's beautiful argument of creative distruction here. But, in practice, things do not happen that smoothly. And it is tough for people whose jobs have disappeared.To summarise my post: I think it is important in which country the jobs are lost/created. For you it is irrelevant, for me it is relevant. It is a problem if jobs are destroyed in my country and created in other countries. We can look beyond unemployment too: I'm not sure it is too good if a country is too dependent (food, industry, and more importantly military). If you are too dependent you 'll always get skrewed.
Last edited by Herd on December 4th, 2013, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Is free trade the problem?

December 5th, 2013, 9:15 am

QuoteThe original question was: suppose that two countries are equally efficient at producing a widget, but one country has a lower cost of labor. (Or really, suppose that the cost of labor was dominant difference). Is it better for the economy for the the production to be moved to the low cost countryOn the follow on ...One can cite even more concrete (empirical) examples of countries where manufacturing might has been eroded. Around 25-30 years ago the outsourcing idea become popular; let cheap labour do the QUOTE grunt work UNQUOTE and we will do design/marketing/sales and thus be able to keep management jobs.Things are working out differently.Japan had very few natural resources but still (in spite of the fact) has a large manufacturing base.
Last edited by Cuchulainn on December 4th, 2013, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Traden4Alpha
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Is free trade the problem?

December 5th, 2013, 4:43 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: HerdT4A said "The long-term seems entirely beneficial, too. Disindustrialisation is beneficial. Why would a country actually want all those icky smoke-belching, chemical-emitting, dangerous factories that force their citizens to become automatons? Admittedly, being a factory worker is better than being a subsistence farm worker so I can see why China or Bangladesh would welcome the factories. Moreover, free trade causes net job gains, not losses, because N low-skill, low-pay workers (plus the added jobs in transportation and intermediaries) take the place of 1 high-skill, high-pay worker.If your goal is to protect a few privileged people in the developed world from losing their jobs, then why stop at halting free trade? Automobiles caused job losses in a horse-and-buggy industry so we should ban cars. Computers caused job losses among clerical staff, so we should ban them. Telephone switching equipment caused job losses among switchboard operators. Plastic bottles caused job losses for can makers, etc. Innovation and productivity cause short-term job losses. But do you really want to ban that? "Don't forget Germany. Don't you think the Germany industry is propably the reason why Germany is in much better shape than its neighbours? I'm not sure "automatons" is the best way to describe the German system. I think the Germans benefit tremendously from free trade -- just look at their trade surplus. And if the Germans have retained their industry in an era of free trade and gobalization, it says more about German efficiency, quality, and ingenuity that enables them to produce competitive goods at competitive prices despite their higher wage costs.QuoteOriginally posted by: HerdRe jobgain: you are saying that there are job gains in other countries (with low wages), and jobloss in the original/base country. First, you assume that people in the low wage country are less productive (because you say they need more people to do the job): I am not sure about that. But crucially, you agree that in the disindustrialised/original/base country there is a job loss. But this is what the politician/decision maker should care about. The politician should care more about unemployment in his country than in other countries!re your 2nd paragraph:I am familiar with this argument, but it is different because it is within the same country. Jobs in one country are replaced by other jobs in the SAME country.I agree that progress should not be stopped in the name of job protection. We are moving into Schumpeter's beautiful argument of creative distruction here. But, in practice, things do not happen that smoothly. And it is tough for people whose jobs have disappeared.I'd imagine that horses required a lot more labor than cars so the transition caused net labor losses (stables, hay production, livery, shoeing, etc.) in the country adopting cars. Ditto telephone switching equipment vs. operators. Ditto computers vs. secretaries/clerks. If politicians care about jobs in their country, they would ban these inventions. Yet in each case, a relatively large number of people benefited from the new technology whilst a relatively limited number of people where pushed into lower-wage jobs. And, again, there's the short-term economic benefits of price elasticity, capex, and consumer surplus that are missing from the "cheaper-wage-widgets must imply lower GDP" story.QuoteOriginally posted by: HerdTo summarise my post: I think it is important in which country the jobs are lost/created. For you it is irrelevant, for me it is relevant. It is a problem if jobs are destroyed in my country and created in other countries. We can look beyond unemployment too: I'm not sure it is too good if a country is too dependent (food, industry, and more importantly military). If you are too dependent you 'll always get skrewed.I'm not saying that the country-level job-losses issues are irrelevant, I'm saying they are unethically selfish. No doubt, some people don't care about the standards of living of people outside their our little village and they'll vote in the stores and in the polling places to protect their local industries. Yet unless ALL people in all countries think this way (or unless a village can be truly self-sufficient on 100% of the resource needs), the protectionist village will become increasingly non-competitive (and lagging in standard of living) WRT more open economies. A country with 0 imports has no need for exports.Actually, dependence is good, too. It's countries that believe they are self-sufficient that are the most prone to saying "screw you" and going to war.
 
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Is free trade the problem?

December 6th, 2013, 11:00 am

T4A said:"I think the Germans benefit tremendously from free trade -- just look at their trade surplus. And if the Germans have retained their industry in an era of free trade and gobalization, it says more about German efficiency, quality, and ingenuity that enables them to produce competitive goods at competitive prices despite their higher wage costs."Ok so you agree that keeping an industry is a good idea You are wrong about "their higher wage costs". It is the exact opposite in fact. Only now they are talking about minimal wage. And they use a lot low paid labour from central/eastern Europe.Plus, the euro has actually helped them (this is another discussion I can expand if you like?).The thing is that they have resisted delocalisations. Instead of disindustrialisation they have imported cheap labour and paid german workers less.Finally by looking at the trade surplus as a good thing you say that exporting more is good, and importing more is bad [EDIT]. So it is a game with winners (exporters) and losers (importers). I remind you that your original argument was that importing was good....re your 2nd paragraph, I agree with you. But for me there is a big difference when jobs are replaced within the same country or when they move abroad.now your last paragraph: "I'm not saying that the country-level job-losses issues are irrelevant, I'm saying they are unethically selfish. No doubt, some people don't care about the standards of living of people outside their our little village and they'll vote in the stores and in the polling places to protect their local industries. Yet unless ALL people in all countries think this way (or unless a village can be truly self-sufficient on 100% of the resource needs), the protectionist village will become increasingly non-competitive (and lagging in standard of living) WRT more open economies. A country with 0 imports has no need for exports.Actually, dependence is good, too. It's countries that believe they are self-sufficient that are the most prone to saying "screw you" and going to war."I think the president of one country should think about his citizens before the citizens of other countries. That doesn't mean he should not care about the standard of livings of people abroad, just that there is a sense of priority. And I don't think I'm saying something controversial when I say that. Maybe one day we'll have a world goverment, all world taxes will be put into a big pot and redistributed, but we are not there yet. Nation states still exist, they cooperate, but they defend their own interests too. There is not one single president in the world who thinks like you, i.e. generously and willing to share wealth etc.... Transnational companies are different: they don't care about the nationality of their workers, all they want is to pay low wages and to sell to a bigger market. They have no nationality. They only remember their nationality when they are in trouble and need money from the government.
Last edited by Herd on December 5th, 2013, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.