Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. 03 Dec '10 06:52
    Are most of us agreed that free trade is good in the long run for the participants?

    What to make of such slow-moving but eventually expanding free trade groups such as ASEAN, APEC, Trans Pacific Economic Partnership, NAFTA, EuroZone, etc?

    I for one would like to see Mexico and the US take part in more free trade agreements as they already both benefit from NAFTA as economists will point out.

    Do you all agree free trade make the poor better off too?

    Chile and Mexico are both free trade enthusiasts, only that Chile has more solid institutions (such as well functioning judiciary) to resolve conflicts and take advantage of such growth opportunities as it is not failing to judge/enforce rules of the game, crime & punishment, contractual obligations, bankruptcy proceedings, asset seizures for breaking drug laws or for failing to pay, ruling against monopolies/cartels, etc. Mexico has benefited some but has a lot to do to get its house in order compared to Chile, with its solid institutions to take advantage of trade (technology transfers, knowledge exchange, efficient allocation of resources, etc). If Mexico had better repossesion laws and banks could get some of their assets back more reliably, they would lend more too. The judicial system basically addresses many of the most major bottle necks in such economies as Mexico and even with these bottlenecks it is still benefiting from its export-led recovery.

    Trade is good, agreed?
    The Republicans have a chance to foster growth in a way the Democrats' labor constituents would not allow.
  2. 03 Dec '10 09:42
    Free trade is good and generally increases productivity. Whether it makes the poor better off depends, among other things, on tax policy.
  3. 03 Dec '10 09:52
    Originally posted by eljefejesus
    Are most of us agreed that free trade is good in the long run for the participants?
    No, and most countries recognize that - hence the near absence of truly free trade.
    Generally protectionism trumps free trade for the protectionist party. Double protectionism however can result in harm to both. So those who can push their weight around or who can cheat under the radar are better off being protectionist. Its basic game theory.

    Maximum benefit for both parties = free trade.
    Maximum benefit for one party = unfair trade in their favor.
  4. 03 Dec '10 09:56
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    No, and most countries recognize that - hence the near absence of truly free trade.
    Generally protectionism trumps free trade for the protectionist party. Double protectionism however can result in harm to both. So those who can push their weight around or who can cheat under the radar are better off being protectionist. Its basic game theory.

    Maximum ...[text shortened]... fit for both parties = free trade.
    Maximum benefit for one party = unfair trade in their favor.
    That's why you have free trade agreements which are binding to all parties involved.
  5. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    03 Dec '10 11:14
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Free trade is good and generally increases productivity. Whether it makes the poor better off depends, among other things, on tax policy.
    The Ivory Tower ideas haven't proven to be very accurate at least for the workers in the US. 30 years of free trade policy have caused the loss of millions of good paying, good benefit manufacturing jobs and contributed to the stagnation of worker income. Present policies of unlimited capital mobility have led to a Lowest Common Denominator race to the lowest wage population in places with authoritarian pasts and presents which inhibit labor bargaining power. "Free trade" has proven to be a boon to the wealthy and a curse to the worker leading to the greatest income inequality since the 1920's.

    But students in economic courses are still indoctrinated with theoretical models that have little basis in reality and thus our educated elite continue to make intellectual arguments in support of policies that, surprise of surprise, favor the same elite. Only by ignoring what has actually happen in the real world do such arguments have any traction.
  6. 03 Dec '10 11:37
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    The Ivory Tower ideas haven't proven to be very accurate at least for the workers in the US. 30 years of free trade policy have caused the loss of millions of good paying, good benefit manufacturing jobs and contributed to the stagnation of worker income. Present policies of unlimited capital mobility have led to a Lowest Common Denominator race to the l ...[text shortened]... by ignoring what has actually happen in the real world do such arguments have any traction.
    Manufacturing jobs have disappeared because of advances in technology. Income differences are determined mostly by tax policy.
  7. 03 Dec '10 12:35 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    The Ivory Tower ideas haven't proven to be very accurate at least for the workers in the US. 30 years of free trade policy have caused the loss of millions of good paying, good benefit manufacturing jobs and contributed to the stagnation of worker income. Present policies of unlimited capital mobility have led to a Lowest Common Denominator race to the l by ignoring what has actually happen in the real world do such arguments have any traction.
    And why do those jobs and companies leave the US? It is because of the mandated higher state of living with minimum wages, minimum benefits, and higher corporate tax rates. So they go elsewhere because of statist policies. To appeal to your leftists tendencies, just look at it as a form of corporate welfare as they go to poorer areas of the world to help feed them.
  8. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    03 Dec '10 13:05
    Originally posted by whodey
    And why do those jobs and companies leave the US? It is because of the mandated higher state of living with minimum wages, minimum benefits, and higher corporate tax rates. So they go elsewhere because of statist policies. To appeal to your leftists tendencies, just look at it as a form of corporate welfare as they go to poorer areas of the world to help feed them.
    Yes whodey if we would only give our workers even less and our rich people even more all our problems would be solved.
  9. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    03 Dec '10 13:07 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Manufacturing jobs have disappeared because of advances in technology. Income differences are determined mostly by tax policy.
    Really?? How many manufacturing jobs world wide are their now compared to 1980? Are their 50% less like there are in the US?

    Tax policy could mitigate the results of "free trade" but that is hardly a reason to continue with such a disastrous policy.
  10. 03 Dec '10 13:18
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Really?? How many manufacturing jobs world wide are their now compared to 1980? Are their 50% less like there are in the US?

    Tax policy could mitigate the results of "free trade" but that is hardly a reason to continue with such a disastrous policy.
    Why has it been "disastrous" for the US but not e.g. Germany? A lot of manufacturing in the Ruhrgebiet has disappeared but they seem to be coping just fine and have replaced the jobs with other jobs.
  11. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    03 Dec '10 13:25
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Why has it been "disastrous" for the US but not e.g. Germany? A lot of manufacturing in the Ruhrgebiet has disappeared but they seem to be coping just fine and have replaced the jobs with other jobs.
    Maybe because: "It would be unthinkable for the German government to facilitate the outsourcing of industry as the Clinton and Bush administrations did."

    http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=germanys_economic_engine

    German manufacturing still has about a 20% share of GDP compared to the US' 11%.
  12. Subscriber FreakyKBH
    Acquired Taste...
    03 Dec '10 13:35
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    No, and most countries recognize that - hence the near absence of truly free trade.
    Generally protectionism trumps free trade for the protectionist party. Double protectionism however can result in harm to both. So those who can push their weight around or who can cheat under the radar are better off being protectionist. Its basic game theory.

    Maximum ...[text shortened]... fit for both parties = free trade.
    Maximum benefit for one party = unfair trade in their favor.
    How is one able to respond both in the negative and in the affirmative? You start off with "no," but then end your post by saying the exact opposite!
  13. Subscriber FreakyKBH
    Acquired Taste...
    03 Dec '10 13:47
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    The Ivory Tower ideas haven't proven to be very accurate at least for the workers in the US. 30 years of free trade policy have caused the loss of millions of good paying, good benefit manufacturing jobs and contributed to the stagnation of worker income. Present policies of unlimited capital mobility have led to a Lowest Common Denominator race to the l ...[text shortened]... by ignoring what has actually happen in the real world do such arguments have any traction.
    Perhaps the "Ivory Tower" people who are extolling the benefits of free trade are actually considering free trade universally applied, not in its current form.

    The industrial/manufacturing age of America brought enormous wealth to a few and relative wealth to many. All boats benefit from a rising tide. Pure capitalism will always seek maximum profit and inevitably leads to parity: cheap labor--- like all other resources--- is a limited commodity. As other countries' economies are elevated by their brushes with industry, a higher acceptable standard of living is pegged. The companies doing business there either adjust to those demands, or they move on... but they'll only be able to move on so many times before they run out of people to fool.

    Ethical capitalism always seeks the maximum good. Granted, not a lot of companies out there operate on this basis, but enough do to show that such an animal exists. For 22 years, I have worked for just such a company and I am happy to report our continued robustness and future hope.
  14. 03 Dec '10 14:11
    Originally posted by eljefejesus
    Are most of us agreed that free trade is good in the long run for the participants?

    What to make of such slow-moving but eventually expanding free trade groups such as ASEAN, APEC, Trans Pacific Economic Partnership, NAFTA, EuroZone, etc?

    I for one would like to see Mexico and the US take part in more free trade agreements as they already both bene ...[text shortened]... cans have a chance to foster growth in a way the Democrats' labor constituents would not allow.
    Define free trade.

    I can't tell you it if it is good or bad unless I know what it is. Once we have established what free trade is you might find out it does not exist. I have never understood why they call it "Free". What is free about it?
  15. 03 Dec '10 14:21 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by eljefejesus
    Are most of us agreed that free trade is good in the long run for the participants?

    What to make of such slow-moving but eventually expanding free trade groups such as ASEAN, APEC, Trans Pacific Economic Partnership, NAFTA, EuroZone, etc?

    I for one would like to see Mexico and the US take part in more free trade agreements as they already both bene ...[text shortened]... cans have a chance to foster growth in a way the Democrats' labor constituents would not allow.
    For most of American history (until the 1930's), the party of Big Business was very much opposed to free trade. Instead they strongly supported extremely high tariffs to protect American industry from competing imports. And they did so even while otherwise being extreme laissez-faire fundamentalists.

    Would the US have become the world's top industrial power had it not imposed those tariffs? Is it not hypocritical of anyone in the US to denounce China for doing what the US itself did while it was a developing nation?