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. #51
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    Re: Has free trade been good for the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    China has very few labor and environmental laws. I don't buy that this is all fault of the Union. Its easier for corporations to support child labor and massive pollution than to pay the engineers to automate a work force. So long as they have the reasonable option to use cheap labor, they will not tech up.
    ...

    I didn't say it's the fault of the Union.

    I said it is the fault of the unions. The union laws = laws that allow the formation of powerful unions for factory workers and for a lot of things like public workers of all sorts. And it is the fault of the unions, at least in part. Because they never allowed people to get fired. The reality is, in order to automate, people need to lose their jobs. That's the reality. A machine is replacing people so therefore, unless you're building up or opening up a new factory, some people get fired.

    Cheap labor is not as efficient as automated work or even as desirable today. A machine does it better and it does it faster and in the long run, cheaper.
    In 2010, the cost for automatization is half of what it was in 1990. This is the reality.

    So here is a website:
    Learn about Industrial Robots

    A six-axis robot like the yellow one below costs about $60,000.
    Six axis means that it can do basically everything a human hand does (3 axis + 1 axis wrist turn) including and up to the elbow motion (1 axis) and to mimic shoulder motion (1 axis) for positioning. Only it is more accurate, more precise, faster and more reliable and also, it never makes a mistake unless there is a technical problem. Heck, it can even to things the human arm can't. And it works non stop.

    60k $ is cheap. Given the choice, companies would rather innovate and make automaization in a country they like then deal with mass employment of a lot of people. Less paperwork. But unions are in the way of that so they need to go.

  2. #52
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    Re: Has free trade been good for the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    China has very few labor and environmental laws. I don't buy that this is all fault of the Union. Its easier for corporations to support child labor and massive pollution than to pay the engineers to automate a work force. So long as they have the reasonable option to use cheap labor, they will not tech up.
    I'm not so sure that it's cheaper. Can you demonstrate that?

  3. #53
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    Re: Has free trade been good for the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post
    I don't agree with you. It may take a devastating event like a nuclear war to make it happen, but it will happen eventually. The large scale use of technology requires the use of limited resources such as metals, oil, coal, uranium, chemicals, etc. These things cannot be replaced as rapidly as they are used when there is the large scale use of technology. Then there is the harm to the environment itself that will render it unsuitable to sustain life.

    Furthermore, the technology itself becomes dangerous. Like I said, unless the leaders of the world change, it is very likely that there will be a big nuclear war. There would be very little left in North America that would be able to sustain human life. The human race would survive, but there would have to be some drastic changes in the way we live.
    I like Fallout series. I really do. I played from the first game and I played the last one. But that is a fantasy scenario.

    Nuclear war is not going to happen. The nuclear deterrent doesn't really exist between nations who have nuclear weapons.

    There will be no end-war only in video games, where such scenarios and the imagination are welcomed to be expressed and should be expressed.

    Ever since the dawn of mankind, in all societies and all cultures there is the idea of the end of times. It's simply a manifestation on a grand scale of our mortality. You find one in all religions that exist and that have existed. And with the advent of technology we replaced the phantasms of annihilation from religious lore with the very real possibility of a technological ragnarok.

    But it will not happen. Technology is, indeed, like humanity, both good and evil. Or rather, we humans use it for good and evil. That's just how we are. But we will never exterminate ourselves. We're too greedy for it. To make the case that we as humans should stop innovating and stop pursuing technology is to make the case that we should abandon the one thing that makes us superior, that makes our great. Our intelligence.

    We will change the way we live. We will adopt a greener lifestyle. We will automate all that is to automate and we will give people a new direction. If we're smart. Some jobs die. Some jobs are born. That's the cycle of the economy.

  4. #54
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    Re: Has free trade been good for the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman05 View Post
    I like Fallout series. I really do. I played from the first game and I played the last one. But that is a fantasy scenario.

    Nuclear war is not going to happen. The nuclear deterrent doesn't really exist between nations who have nuclear weapons.

    There will be no end-war only in video games, where such scenarios and the imagination are welcomed to be expressed and should be expressed.

    Ever since the dawn of mankind, in all societies and all cultures there is the idea of the end of times. It's simply a manifestation on a grand scale of our mortality. You find one in all religions that exist and that have existed. And with the advent of technology we replaced the phantasms of annihilation from religious lore with the very real possibility of a technological ragnarok.

    But it will not happen. Technology is, indeed, like humanity, both good and evil. Or rather, we humans use it for good and evil. That's just how we are. But we will never exterminate ourselves. We're too greedy for it. To make the case that we as humans should stop innovating and stop pursuing technology is to make the case that we should abandon the one thing that makes us superior, that makes our great. Our intelligence.

    We will change the way we live. We will adopt a greener lifestyle. We will automate all that is to automate and we will give people a new direction. If we're smart. Some jobs die. Some jobs are born. That's the cycle of the economy.
    It's not about an end of times as humans simply don't have the power to bring time to an end. It's about people, intoxicated with power, doing stupid stuff. What's going on now in Ukraine is an example.

    Again, the large scale use of technology simply requires the rate of depletion of natural resources to be greater than the rate at which they are replenished. And because the resources are finite, it is simply unsustainable. Agrarian based economies are natural and sustainable. At the end of the day, humans will revert back to this model.

    Economies based on the large scale use of technology are a dead end street.

    There was a song

    The train is at the station
    Leaving for your destination
    But the price you pay to nowhere has increased a dollar more
    And if you walk you are going to get there
    Tho it takes a little longer
    And when you see it in the distance, you will wring your hands and moan

  5. #55
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    Re: Has free trade been good for the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post
    It's not about an end of times as humans simply don't have the power to bring time to an end. It's about people, intoxicated with power, doing stupid stuff. What's going on now in Ukraine is an example.

    Again, the large scale use of technology simply requires the rate of depletion of natural resources to be greater than the rate at which they are replenished. And because the resources are finite, it is simply unsustainable. Agrarian based economies are natural and sustainable. At the end of the day, humans will revert back to this model.

    Economies based on the large scale use of technology are a dead end street.

    There was a song

    The train is at the station
    Leaving for your destination
    But the price you pay to nowhere has increased a dollar more
    And if you walk you are going to get there
    Tho it takes a little longer
    And when you see it in the distance, you will wring your hands and moan

    What is going on in Ukraine is corruption that has lead to a crisis to which now some agents are grabbing all they can in the chaos.
    Agrarian economies are not prosperous and are not the future. Agriculture, in any modern state, shouldn't employ more than 3-4% of the work force. everyone else, well... everywhere else.

    You can continue to believe what you believe. I won't waste anymore time to persuade you to see how wrong you are, time will show this.

  6. #56
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    Re: Has free trade been good for the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post
    If the Chinese didn't to that we would cheat them by devaluing the dollar. It's a problem for us because we have to pay back the money that we borrowed because we don't have enough to trade. And that is a result of the difference in wages and as some have pointed out different environmental and safety standards.
    I would not go along with that very far. As soon as you make prices sticky the allocation process no longer eliminates overhang and you get a build up of miss allocations. That happens especially badly, when the price of the central equalizing mechanism is not sticky but fixed. I mean, look at Breton Woods, Argentina's crisis or the Euros recent problems. It is always the same with small variations. We are getting something similar in the interest rate markets as well. The forces that build up can be controlled for a time and in the case of large economies for a longish time. That is a problem, because the pent up energy, if you will excuse the analogy, becomes so large that the destruction when it unloads is devastating. We might be seeing the effect of the pinned Yuan coming to this point in the urban real estate markets over there at this time.

  7. #57
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    Re: Has free trade been good for the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman05 View Post
    What is going on in Ukraine is corruption that has lead to a crisis to which now some agents are grabbing all they can in the chaos.
    What is happening in Ukraine is a struggle going on between Russia and the US with regards to the nature of the extent of Russia's influence. It's actually unnecessary and is an example of how foolish people, intoxicated with power, could very well set in motion events that could lead to a nuclear war, contrary to your assertions that such a war is simply not possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman05 View Post
    Agrarian economies are not prosperous and are not the future. Agriculture, in any modern state, shouldn't employ more than 3-4% of the work force. everyone else, well... everywhere else.
    The vast technological infrastructure, on which the current economy is based was created with huge sums of artificial capital. Fractional reserve banking, a ponzi scheme in which large sums of money that are not really there, was the mechanism used to raise the artificial funds. It is the illusion of prosperity only, and the bubble is burst periodically because it is very difficult to maintain the ponzi scheme. Technology may be somewhat useful, but at the end of the day you cannot eat a cellphone. Agrarian based economies properly focus human economic endeavor towards the first priority of the sustainable maintenance of the human race.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman05 View Post
    You can continue to believe what you believe. I won't waste anymore time to persuade you to see how wrong you are, time will show this.
    In about 40 years time, it will start to become very difficult to maintain the current petroleum based technological economy. Large oil producing countries like Saudi Arabia and Mexico have seen very serious depletion in their largest fields. Mexico's Canterell field has been especially hard hit.

    The decline of the world's major oil fields - CSMonitor.com

    The decline of the world's major oil fields

    Aging giant fields produce more than half of global oil supply and are already declining as group, Cobb writes. Research suggests that their annual production decline rates are likely to accelerate.

    With all the talk about new oil discoveries around the world and new techniques for extracting oil in such places as North Dakota and Texas, it would be easy to miss the main action in the oil supply story: Aging giant fields produce more than half of global oil supply and are already declining as group. Research suggests that their annual production decline rates are likely to accelerate.

    The most recent research on giant oil fields has been available since 2009 so it doesn’t attract media attention the way new discoveries hyped by oil company public relations departments do. And yet, that research is far more important to understanding our oil future.

    Here’s what the authors of “Giant oil field decline rates and their influence on world oil production” concluded:
    The world’s 507 giant oil fields comprise a little over one percent of all oil fields, but produce 60 percent of current world supply (2005). (A giant field is defined as having more than 500 million barrels of ultimately recoverable resources of conventional crude. Heavy oil deposits are not included in the study.)


    “[A] majority of the largest giant fields are over 50 years old, and fewer and fewer new giants have been discovered since the decade of the 1960s.” The top 10 fields with their location and the year production began are: Ghawar (Saudi Arabia) 1951, Burgan (Kuwait) 1945, Safaniya (Saudi Arabia) 1957, Rumaila (Iraq) 1955, Bolivar Coastal (Venezuela) 1917, Samotlor (Russia) 1964, Kirkuk (Iraq) 1934, Berri (Saudi Arabia) 1964, Manifa (Saudi Arabia) 1964, and Shaybah (Saudi Arabia) 1998 (discovered 1968). (This list was taken from Fredrik Robelius’s “Giant Oil Fields -The Highway to Oil.”)
    The 2009 study focused on 331 giant oil fields from a database previously created for the groundbreaking work of Robelius mentioned above. Of those, 261 or 79 percent are considered past their peak and in decline.
    The average annual production decline for those 261 fields has been 6.5 percent. That means, of course, that the number of barrels coming from these fields on average is 6.5 percent less EACH YEAR.
    Now, here’s the key insight from the study. An evaluation of giant fields by date of peak shows that new technologies applied to those fields has kept their production higher for longer only to lead to more rapid declines later. As the world’s giant fields continue to age and more start to decline, we can therefore expect the annual decline in their rate of production to worsen. Land-based and offshore giants that went into decline in the last decade showed annual production declines on average above 10 percent.
    What this means is that it will become progressively more difficult for new discoveries to replace declining production from existing giants.
    And, though I may sound like a broken record, it is important to remind readers that the world remains on a bumpy production plateau for crude oil including lease condensate (which is the definition of oil), a plateau which began in 2005.

    One the clearest cases of the study’s key finding is Mexico’s Cantarell oil field, the second most productive in the world, until a steep decline began in 2004. Production from Cantarell stalled in the early 1990s leading Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), the Mexican national oil company, to begin an aggressive drilling campaign and to build what at the time was the largest nitrogen extraction plant in the world. Once completed, the plant captured nitrogen from the air and injected it into the Cantarell field in order to counter falling pressure.

    The result was a dramatic rise in production from about 1 million barrels per day (mbpd) in 1995 to above 2 mbpd in 2003, just two years after the nitrogen injection began. But, by the end of 2005 it was evident that Cantarell was in decline. What followed was a breathtaking slide from 2.136 mbpd in 2004 to just 394,000 barrels per day as of March this year. That’s a total decline of 81 percent in just over eight years.

    PEMEX has stabilized total Mexican oil output from all fields at about 2.5 mbpd—it was 3.4 mbpd at Cantarell’s peak—by successfully increasing production from its Ku-Maloob-Zap offshore field. But once again the company is using nitrogen injection to achieve the increase just as it did at Cantarell. And so, PEMEX may be on course to repeat at Ku-Maloob-Zap the rapid decline previously experienced at Cantarell.

    Four years on from the 2009 study it is possible that the percentage of world oil production from the giants has slipped as just enough production from new smaller fields has been added to keep global production flat. But if, as the study suggests, the decline rate for giant fields accelerates, the record-breaking expenditures and herculean technical efforts now being undertaken by the oil industry just to keep production flat may be overwhelmed.

    .................
    So you can believe what you want. Economies based on the massive use of technology are simply not sustainable. Therefore there is a need to again establish local agrarian based economies. People are prosperous when they are self sufficient in producing what they need for their sustenance. Agrarian economies are the best way to achieve this goal. Otherwise they become pitiful beggars, constantly threatened with unemployment at best, homeless, destitute and devoid of dignity at worse.

  8. #58
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    Re: Has free trade been good for the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by joG View Post
    I would not go along with that very far. As soon as you make prices sticky the allocation process no longer eliminates overhang and you get a build up of miss allocations. That happens especially badly, when the price of the central equalizing mechanism is not sticky but fixed. I mean, look at Breton Woods, Argentina's crisis or the Euros recent problems. It is always the same with small variations. We are getting something similar in the interest rate markets as well. The forces that build up can be controlled for a time and in the case of large economies for a longish time. That is a problem, because the pent up energy, if you will excuse the analogy, becomes so large that the destruction when it unloads is devastating. We might be seeing the effect of the pinned Yuan coming to this point in the urban real estate markets over there at this time.
    Regardless of whether it's good or bad, China pegs their currency to keep from being cheated because they are in essence loaning the US money so that it can keep buying Chinese products. If I owe you a dollar and pay you back a dollar in one year, but that dollar buys half as much as when you loaned it too me, you have lost 50 cents.

  9. #59
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    Re: Has free trade been good for the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post
    Regardless of whether it's good or bad, China pegs their currency to keep from being cheated because they are in essence loaning the US money so that it can keep buying Chinese products. If I owe you a dollar and pay you back a dollar in one year, but that dollar buys half as much as when you loaned it too me, you have lost 50 cents.
    Again the explanation does not ride. The pegging does not save you, as anyone who invested in Greek treasuries before 2008 or Europeans that had bought US Treasuries before 1970 know. The ideas sound fine in light discussion, but the economy doesn't work that way. If the Chinese want to be safe, they should repatriate the cash. That way you do not get the imbalances that cause the damage.

  10. #60
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    Re: Has free trade been good for the United States?

    Quote Originally Posted by joG View Post
    Again the explanation does not ride. The pegging does not save you, as anyone who invested in Greek treasuries before 2008 or Europeans that had bought US Treasuries before 1970 know. The ideas sound fine in light discussion, but the economy doesn't work that way. If the Chinese want to be safe, they should repatriate the cash. That way you do not get the imbalances that cause the damage.
    They have already been repatriating cash by buying US Treasuries. The US has around 120 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities, if my memory is correct. Therefore they don't want more of those. Maybe they could buy ExxonMobil and JP Morgan Chase, but that still would not absorb the excess. Not only that, it does not solve the fundamental difficulty that I mentioned. At the end of the day, all the Chinese can buy with US dollars are dollar denominated assets. The Federal reserve has control of US currency and it can therefore devalue it. That's the problem.
    Last edited by MildSteel; 04-24-14 at 08:05 PM.

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