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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    16 Aug '11 06:27
    For those of you unaware, Congress has indicated its plans to support a series of free trade agreements after it returns from recess.

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/08/15/news/economy/jobs_free_trade_deals/?hpt=po_bn1

    Although my thread here will likely devolve into a "FTA's kill U.S. jobs" vs. "FTA's make U.S. jobs" argument chain, I'm actually interested in seeing whether any sort of consensus among economists exists as to whether FTA's generally help an economy of a country like the U.S.--surely some sort of aggregate study has emerged over the years? It seems like a divisive but interestingly non-partisan/bipartisan debate.
  2. 16 Aug '11 06:39 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    For those of you unaware, Congress has indicated its plans to support a series of free trade agreements after it returns from recess.

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/08/15/news/economy/jobs_free_trade_deals/?hpt=po_bn1

    Although my thread here will likely devolve into a "FTA's kill U.S. jobs" vs. "FTA's make U.S. jobs" argument chain, I'm actually interest r the years? It seems like a divisive but interestingly non-partisan/bipartisan debate.
    Good question. I wonder too. My bias is that they are good for US overall, but I don't really know. All presidents since Bush, Sr. have supported them.

    An issue with the current series of FTA being proposed is that it may take a long time to have an impact.
  3. 16 Aug '11 07:28
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    For those of you unaware, Congress has indicated its plans to support a series of free trade agreements after it returns from recess.

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/08/15/news/economy/jobs_free_trade_deals/?hpt=po_bn1

    Although my thread here will likely devolve into a "FTA's kill U.S. jobs" vs. "FTA's make U.S. jobs" argument chain, I'm actually interest ...[text shortened]... r the years? It seems like a divisive but interestingly non-partisan/bipartisan debate.
    I think the consensus is that it will be good for everyone in a hundred years or so, when we reach some semblance of global equilibrium and capital has nowhere to run for cheap labor and lax regulation of environmentally destructive practices. Basically, if we want to compete we have to become a third world nation.
  4. 16 Aug '11 07:53
    On the upside, exports are up a bit.

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2011/08/la-port-traffic-in-july.html
  5. 16 Aug '11 09:47
    Perhaps the EU is a nice case study.
  6. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    16 Aug '11 11:05
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    For those of you unaware, Congress has indicated its plans to support a series of free trade agreements after it returns from recess.

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/08/15/news/economy/jobs_free_trade_deals/?hpt=po_bn1

    Although my thread here will likely devolve into a "FTA's kill U.S. jobs" vs. "FTA's make U.S. jobs" argument chain, I'm actually interest ...[text shortened]... r the years? It seems like a divisive but interestingly non-partisan/bipartisan debate.
    They are a complete and utter disaster.

    Whether economists agree with that by and large is irrelevant. As though economists have the slightest idea of what is going on in the world. As a whole, their profession consists of a greater number of charlatans than any other. Why anyone believes their opinion is more trustworthy than that of alchemists or of fortune tellers is beyond me.
  7. 16 Aug '11 11:16 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    I'm actually interested in seeing whether any sort of consensus among economists exists as to whether FTA's generally help an economy of a country like the U.S.
    The real problem with your question, is that the FTAs you are talking about are not global ie they would be for specific industries and between specific countries, and obviously, each case would be different, and therefore the conclusion would be unique to a given case.
    There must be cases where an FTA is beneficial to the US and cases where it is not.
    There are cases where an FTA benefits both parties and cases where it benefits only one, or neither party.
    But the problem is even bigger than that. How do you measure benefit? In terms of jobs? In terms of GDP? In terms of net flow of wealth? Availability of cheap goods? Long term gain vs short term gain? Benefit to the wealthy or to the poor?

    For example, I believe rwingett advocates 'buy local' which obviously benefits the local people. In my opinion, that can be a bad thing globally because it increases the wealth gap and encourages waste, but I do not deny that it will benefit the local community.
  8. 16 Aug '11 12:26
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    The real problem with your question, is that the FTAs you are talking about are not global ie they would be for specific industries and between specific countries, and obviously, each case would be different, and therefore the conclusion would be unique to a given case.
    There must be cases where an FTA is beneficial to the US and cases where it is not.
    ...[text shortened]... e wealth gap and encourages waste, but I do not deny that it will benefit the local community.
    Why would buying local encourage waste? Think of all the transportation you save, for starters.
  9. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    16 Aug '11 12:43 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    The real problem with your question, is that the FTAs you are talking about are not global ie they would be for specific industries and between specific countries, and obviously, each case would be different, and therefore the conclusion would be unique to a given case.
    There must be cases where an FTA is beneficial to the US and cases where it is not.
    e wealth gap and encourages waste, but I do not deny that it will benefit the local community.
    How much waste is generated by shipping goods across the globe that could instead be produced locally?

    Edit: Essentially the same question as dryhump.
  10. 16 Aug '11 13:01
    Originally posted by rwingett
    How much waste is generated by shipping goods across the globe that could instead be produced locally?

    Edit: Essentially the same question as dryhump.
    How much of a waste is it to force someone to buy a junky product just because it is produced locally when with the costs of shipping and the unknown of getting something from far away it is still more desirable?

    If everything were equal, I can't see why people wouldn't buy locally. But things often are so unequal that it is desirable to obtain goods from further away. I'm for free trade and the freedom to decide what good you want.
  11. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    16 Aug '11 13:10
    Originally posted by rwingett
    They are a complete and utter disaster.

    Whether economists agree with that by and large is irrelevant. As though economists have the slightest idea of what is going on in the world. As a whole, their profession consists of a greater number of charlatans than any other. Why anyone believes their opinion is more trustworthy than that of alchemists or of fortune tellers is beyond me.
    Bravo rwingett, I agree 100% with these sentiments regarding economists, they're nearly as bad as the amateur economists that inhabit this message board, nice one. The question is not what do the economists think, and the debate is not about whether free trade is good for US jobs or not, the argument is for freedom, and against oppression. Or in other words between 'right and wrong'.

    "Whether economists agree with that by and large is irrelevant. As though economists have the slightest idea of what is going on in the world. As a whole, their profession consists of a greater number of charlatans than any other. Why anyone believes their opinion is more trustworthy than that of alchemists or of fortune tellers is beyond me."

    Unfortunately you went off the rails here with this:


    They are a complete and utter disaster.
  12. Standard member telerion
    True X X Xian
    16 Aug '11 14:00
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    For those of you unaware, Congress has indicated its plans to support a series of free trade agreements after it returns from recess.

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/08/15/news/economy/jobs_free_trade_deals/?hpt=po_bn1

    Although my thread here will likely devolve into a "FTA's kill U.S. jobs" vs. "FTA's make U.S. jobs" argument chain, I'm actually interest ...[text shortened]... r the years? It seems like a divisive but interestingly non-partisan/bipartisan debate.
    Economist overwhelmingly recognize the potential benefits from free trade. Of course that doesn't endorse any specific plan. It also doesn't mean that everyone in a country benefits on net.
  13. Standard member telerion
    True X X Xian
    16 Aug '11 14:35
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    Bravo rwingett, I agree 100% with these sentiments regarding economists, they're nearly as bad as the amateur economists that inhabit this message board, nice one. The question is not what do the economists think, and the debate is not about whether free trade is good for US jobs or not, the argument is for freedom, and against oppression. Or in other words ...[text shortened]... you went off the rails here with this:


    They are a complete and utter disaster.
    "In other words, objective data analysis doesn't support all of my ideological positions. Therefore I reject the messenger and ignore the data."

    This goes equally for rwingett.
  14. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    16 Aug '11 15:16
    Originally posted by telerion
    "In other words, objective data analysis doesn't support all of my ideological positions. Therefore I reject the messenger and ignore the data."

    This goes equally for rwingett.
    As though that doesn't apply to you as well.
  15. Standard member telerion
    True X X Xian
    16 Aug '11 15:32 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    As though that doesn't apply to you as well.
    I try to remain open to the data. That's probably why I spent six years in grad school learning how to work with it, and now work professionally at it. I attend seminars weekly and read professional papers to better understand what the data show on various topics. I discuss current events and debates with other professional, well-published economists whose political views range from liberal to libertarian. Am I perfect? Far from it, but I guarantee I make a far greater effort at it than you do.