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.