View Poll Results: Has free trade been good for the United States

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Thread: Has free trade been good for the United States?

  1. #21
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    Re: Has free trade been good for the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman05 View Post
    well overall I think it's a good thing. After all, who wants low wage manufacturing jobs in your country? this is a failure in policies and unions. If automatization were allowed to happen, the country that develops the best automatization robots and technology will become the new industrial capital of the world or have a chance at least to compete with low cost labor in countries like India and China.
    And free trade has mostly been beneficial. Cheaper goods is a good way to stimulate the economy. What you don't realize is that Walmart makes the most money, not China. Walmart buys the goods from China for cheap, puts a huge sales markup on them and sells them at an amazing profit.
    Exactly! Why pay a man 15 bucks/hour in America when you can make some kid in China do it for 35 cents/day. Why pay for environmental protection when you can get some country that has no quarrels polluting the earth and dumping toxic chemicals in the water. It's a lot cheaper when you don't have to pay your workers or clean up after yourself.
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  2. #22
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    Re: Has free trade been good for the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post
    Economists have advocated the notion of comparative advantage to advance the cause of free trade. The idea is that group A can produce a commodity B more efficiently than group C. C can produce commodity D more efficiently than A. Therefore A and C should trade B and D instead of trying to produce it themselves. It sounds good in theory, but when applied on a global level between nations, problems can arise.

    Today we see the United States runs a huge trade deficit with China as a result of the implementation of such ideas. In fact the United States does not have sufficient commodities or manufactured goods to trade with China. The deficit is only maintained because China is willing to accept US dollars as payment for it's goods.

    This arrangement has resulted in the loss of US jobs to other countries which has hurt many Americans. Not only that but it has increased the debt of individual Americans and the US government.

    So the question is, has free trade been good for the United States?
    Economists do NOT believe that free trade between all nations is good for everyone. Economists regularly recognize that free trade can be good for a small group of society's members, while harming the vast majority. I wish people wouldn't misrepresent what economists believe, because it wouldn't lead to policies that benefit only the few at the expense of the many.

    Free trade is most likely to be good for the majority of society when the middle classes in the economies involved are on a fairly equal footing.
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    Re: Has free trade been good for the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dezaad View Post
    Economists do NOT believe that free trade between all nations is good for everyone. Economists regularly recognize that free trade can be good for a small group of society's members, while harming the vast majority. I wish people wouldn't misrepresent what economists believe, because it wouldn't lead to policies that benefit only the few at the expense of the many.

    Free trade is most likely to be good for the majority of society when the middle classes in the economies involved are on a fairly equal footing.
    Can you point to some reference that supports your assertion that economists regularly recognize that free trade benefits only a few?

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    Re: Has free trade been good for the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    That part is pretty much unavoidable. If you demand equal wages worldwide, manufacturing will just go all tech, and many of not most of the jobs will dissappear.
    The manufacturing jobs will be automatized regardless. It's not unavoidable, you can require that the manufacturing be done here when possible or impose tariffs to take away the incentive to outsource.

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    Re: Has free trade been good for the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman05 View Post
    ...

    In the 1920s the USA was the greatest manufacturing country in the world. It made more than a third of the worlds goods. Who was the USA's biggest customers? After Europe, it was China. Tons of goods were being sold to China, mainly to the aristocrats.
    This was because the USA was good at manufacturing. There were ideas on how to manufacture, like the assembly line and specialized work and so and so forth that made work efficient.
    Today that efficiency means automation. No amount of assembly line specialized work will help that. That's just the reality. And when it comes to costs, it's cheaper to get 1000 people working in a factory in China than it is in the USA. And nobody will come back, even if you raise tariffs to all hell (and not get kicked out of the WTO), to hire 1000 people to make Adidas shoes in the USA on an assembly line. That's an economic reality. If someone will open up a factory it'll be at the highest levels of automation possible to cut down costs and increase productivity.

    You want to know why VW is still making most manufacturing in Europe, like in Germany? because innovation. There is an assembly factory in Dortmund i think where there is a train line coming into the factory with supplies and and whatever you need to build a car and the assembly line is public viewing. A customer can go in and look at how his car is assemblied by specialists in the final parts and screw in the final screws. PR + ingenuity and automation wherever it is possible as much as it is possible.

    Retail is steadily and surely going to start employing less and less people. Walmart will start employing less and less people as machines will become smart enough to replace cashiers. It's just the reality of it. There already is a technology that by picture you can identify the product as long as you can see the bar code. So you don't need to precisely drag it in front of that scanner like it is now where you get fustrated that someone is too slow or has to do it more than once. The future of cashier work will be a line where you dump all the stuff you have, it goes through a machine and comes out on the other side already intelligently placed in bags and you just have either pay by card or put a money in one of those machines not unlike the ATMs that can count money like there are when you put money on the card. that's the future. You may not like it, but its' coming.

    The reality is a lot of jobs are going to go away. And if you don't keep up with technology, they're still going to go away no matter what. The times of big industry that employs thousands of people is over. Next up, large retailers who employ thousands of people. And you know what? That'll be good if it is handled properly. Keep up with the times or else you lose because the times wait for no one.
    I think the days of economies based on mechanized technology are numbered. The environment will simply not support it. Either we will run the environment in the ground and people will start to die off in large numbers and it will stop, or humans will realize it's simply not sustainable and return to a sustainable, agrarian based economy. That's what's coming.

  6. #26
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    Re: Has free trade been good for the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post
    Economists have advocated the notion of comparative advantage to advance the cause of free trade. The idea is that group A can produce a commodity B more efficiently than group C. C can produce commodity D more efficiently than A. Therefore A and C should trade B and D instead of trying to produce it themselves. It sounds good in theory, but when applied on a global level between nations, problems can arise.
    Actually that's not comparative advantage. That's a common misunderstanding of what comparative advantage is.

  7. #27
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    Re: Has free trade been good for the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post
    The manufacturing jobs will be automatized regardless. It's not unavoidable, you can require that the manufacturing be done here when possible or impose tariffs to take away the incentive to outsource.
    it's really not that simple. the incentives to outsource are so great that it would require serious tariffs that have absolutely no chance of becoming law, and if those tariffs were put into place, technology would replace workers. the best bet is to not enter into free trade agreements with nations that don't observe OSHA and pollution controls, but even that's a done deal now.

    honestly, i'm all for the tariffs with sweatshop labor markets regardless, but it will not be the protection for labor that you think it will be. the only thing it will accomplish is to give government more money to hire people, which frankly needs to be done. the private sector simply isn't providing enough good, secure career opportunities at this point.

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    Re: Has free trade been good for the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by tlmorg02 View Post
    This is a dangerous concept. Karl Marx predicted that once capitalism conquered the entire globe, raising wages around the world would lead to mass unemployment and of course the breaking down of barriers creating the working class and the owners. We are ever creeping closer to this reality.

    Once owners move to have machines replace people, the world will be a very dangerous place as global wariness of the super rich is ever growing. While I am a firm believer in capitalism, I am afraid that the system has become too stacked to really call the global market free and competitive. At some point, if changes are not made, the whole house will come crashing down.
    Come crashing down to what is the question. Perhaps a system in which the powerful have private armies that simply enslave people.

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    Re: Has free trade been good for the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by the_recruit View Post
    Actually that's not comparative advantage. That's a common misunderstanding of what comparative advantage is.
    Well it's been a while. That's what I remember off the top of my head. Please tell us what is the correct understanding.

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    Re: Has free trade been good for the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    it's really not that simple. the incentives to outsource are so great that it would require serious tariffs that have absolutely no chance of becoming law, and if those tariffs were put into place, technology would replace workers. the best bet is to not enter into free trade agreements with nations that don't observe OSHA and pollution controls, but even that's a done deal now.
    Let's ignore the obstacles for enacting the tariffs into law. What I'm saying is that technology would replace workers anyway and at least we would not be sending money to places like China. Not only that, but I think at a certain point, technology will reach it's limit. It requires energy and the supply is finite. It ruins the environment and one day that will ruin into it's upper limit as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    honestly, i'm all for the tariffs with sweatshop labor markets regardless, but it will not be the protection for labor that you think it will be. the only thing it will accomplish is to give government more money to hire people, which frankly needs to be done. the private sector simply isn't providing enough good, secure career opportunities at this point.
    If the government used the money for educating people properly and creating the infrastructure for a sustainable economy, e.g. renewable sources of energy and localized, environment friendly farming that doesn't rely on huge transport costs, it would be well worth the investment.

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