View Poll Results: Americans should be forced to purchase inferior goods at higher prices

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Thread: Americans should be forced to purchase inferior goods at higher prices

  1. #51
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    Re: Americans should be forced to purchase inferior goods at higher prices

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    I think you are assuming to much. Most cheap stuff made in China or Vietnam is hardly known for its quality.
    Some stuff yes. However, remember that the price associated with those goods is rather low. The combination of so-so quality and low prices is often a winner. One contemporary example of this is solid state drives. Medium capacity, okay speeds and reasonable cost is a clear winner over high capacity, fast speed and exorbitant cost.

    It is almost certain that at least a modest amount of free trade will decrease prices and probably increase quality but this fundamentalist style doctrine that seems to suggest free trade is always the best because it allows "natural" market forces to be unleashed and seems to measure benefits only in very strict and narrow economic terms is hardly the most convincing of arguments.
    How do you define "best." In terms of providing goods and services at high (or better) quality levels for reasonable/low prices is pretty much assured in a free trade world that maintains its framework. I fully realize that what we actually have today is managed trade which is a good thing. Fully free capitalistic free markets don't stay that way for long.

    One should also not overlook the history of protectionism and free trade which seem to show that most great powers like Britain, Germany and the USA became great economic powers under quite protectionist and/or state interventionist regimes.
    Ah, here we have the development argument. I agree with you. That a country trying to develop from the periphery to the core best does so under some levels of protectionism to ensure speedy growth. However, a developed country with a few exceptions for national defense, is best served by open free trade with minimal of protectionist legislation. But this thread was in the context of a developed country, not on which model a developing country should use. That's another story and like I said, I agree with your take on protectionism and interventionist regimes in moving from the 3rd to the 1st world. Some of the largest industries in the US, Germany, Japan and South Korea are directly due to government interventionist policies.

    I'm not saying protectionism or state interventionism a good idea, simply that simplistic assertions are unhelpful.
    Perhaps, but considering what this board is coming to, complex discussions are generally ignored. That said, it does work in the context of a developed country.
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    joke Re: Americans should be forced to purchase inferior goods at higher prices

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    Americans should be forced to purchase inferior goods at higher prices.

    Agree or disagree?
    No I should't have to pay to read your posts

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    Re: Americans should be forced to purchase inferior goods at higher prices

    Quote Originally Posted by Travelsonic View Post
    Define "inferior"
    Define "define".

  4. #54
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    Re: Americans should be forced to purchase inferior goods at higher prices

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    Some stuff yes. However, remember that the price associated with those goods is rather low. The combination of so-so quality and low prices is often a winner. One contemporary example of this is solid state drives. Medium capacity, okay speeds and reasonable cost is a clear winner over high capacity, fast speed and exorbitant cost.
    I'm not an expert on this but I certainly don't see enough evidence for blanket declarations.



    How do you define "best." In terms of providing goods and services at high (or better) quality levels for reasonable/low prices is pretty much assured in a free trade world that maintains its framework.
    I see no actual proof that this is always true. Markets are part of society, there is a large social dimension involved. I meant as best for any particular nation, this calculation is something beyond the narrow, strictly economic argument you are giving.





    Ah, here we have the development argument. I agree with you. That a country trying to develop from the periphery to the core best does so under some levels of protectionism to ensure speedy growth. However, a developed country with a few exceptions for national defense, is best served by open free trade with minimal of protectionist legislation. But this thread was in the context of a developed country, not on which model a developing country should use. That's another story and like I said, I agree with your take on protectionism and interventionist regimes in moving from the 3rd to the 1st world. Some of the largest industries in the US, Germany, Japan and South Korea are directly due to government interventionist policies.
    I agree. Personally I think free trade is often a good idea and protectionism usually dangerous but I don't it is as one sided as has been suggested and I call attention to the fact that almost all argument for free trade are made in terms of very narrow, strict economic benefits.


    Perhaps, but considering what this board is coming to, complex discussions are generally ignored. That said, it does work in the context of a developed country.
    Perhaps, I don't think so blanket a statement can be made.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

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    Re: Americans should be forced to purchase inferior goods at higher prices

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    I'm not an expert on this but I certainly don't see enough evidence for blanket declarations.
    Perhaps not, but I don't see how a country can produce superior products at low prices when it is holds significant economic disadvantages compared to others in production of such goods. For instance, if there was no trade and the goods in question were t-shirts and jet fighters, who would be better at building t-shirts at good prices, Colombia or the US? Similarly who could build jet fighters more efficiently, Colombia or the US? Reducing trade causes countries to build things they frankly suck at making and consumers pay the price.

    I see no actual proof that this is always true. Markets are part of society, there is a large social dimension involved. I meant as best for any particular nation, this calculation is something beyond the narrow, strictly economic argument you are giving.
    A veiled reference to the Kurgman variety theory. I was wondering if anyone was going to mention it. You do have a point that countries are better off with a variety of products at varying levels of quality as determined by social dimensions. But in terms of efficiency, I don't see how I'm wrong.

    I agree. Personally I think free trade is often a good idea and protectionism usually dangerous but I don't it is as one sided as has been suggested and I call attention to the fact that almost all argument for free trade are made in terms of very narrow, strict economic benefits.
    Not necessarily. Arguments for free trade also include intertwining of economies leading to less chances for war. That's not a strict economic benefit. Also such trade likely increases culture transfers which adds to both, again not a strict economic benefit argument.
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    Re: Americans should be forced to purchase inferior goods at higher prices

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    Perhaps not, but I don't see how a country can produce superior products at low prices when it is holds significant economic disadvantages compared to others in production of such goods. For instance, if there was no trade and the goods in question were t-shirts and jet fighters, who would be better at building t-shirts at good prices, Colombia or the US? Similarly who could build jet fighters more efficiently, Colombia or the US? Reducing trade causes countries to build things they frankly suck at making and consumers pay the price.
    The problem is that this is Ricardo's theory of relative advantage which aside from being very deductive as much of his work, and neoclassical economics today, tended to be, it was based on relatively fixed capital. Today the advantages are only in some goods where a nation retains a natural edge such as having access to a sparse resource needed. Otherwise advantages are social and reflect social differences.

    Markets take place in society, a society full of power relations and state intervention and to a degree any prices or signals reflect this. There are no natural market forces outside particular societies.

    China can produce cheap goods because it pays its workers hardly anything and employs them in crap conditions. This may or may not have been better than they were used to but what matters is such "advantages" are an all important part of any measure of "efficiency" using the price mechanism.


    A veiled reference to the Kurgman variety theory. I was wondering if anyone was going to mention it. You do have a point that countries are better off with a variety of products at varying levels of quality as determined by social dimensions. But in terms of efficiency, I don't see how I'm wrong.
    Do you mean Krugman? I actually do not know that theory.

    I was simply stating that there are all sorts of broader political and social elements to look at. For instance the rise in TNC which effect the local economies of regions greatly and are hardly very accountable to local interests and concerns in many cases. People have differing views on such things but they need to be taken into account.

    Not necessarily. Arguments for free trade also include intertwining of economies leading to less chances for war.
    Or more devastation and dislocation when the inevitable war comes.War is a human constant.

    The intertwining also means that there is more unaccountable power over the economy and particularly local economic concerns of individuals and communities.

    That's not a strict economic benefit. Also such trade likely increases culture transfers which adds to both, again not a strict economic benefit argument.
    Which leads to social and cultural tension as cultures experience rapid change and hybridisation not to mention the decline of many traditional cultures and values. Let's not forget the important role culture has in forming a significant part of the very personality and meaning of those who live in it. If it is coming under intense, rapid change and attrition this is hardly going to bode well for them.

    As a decentralist I see a lot to be apprehensive about in globalisation and what is commonly associated with free trade these days but then again a protectionism that gives a lot of power to the central state is hardly what I want either.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

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    Re: Americans should be forced to purchase inferior goods at higher prices

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    How does it not limit quality? Less competition leads to inferior products. Less competition leads to artificial price hikes. By supporting protectionist agendas, you directly limit Americans' capacity to buy high quality goods at low prices and force them into choices between inferior goods at high prices.
    Competition can only be between people who choose to compete. That's like saying a football game is inherently limited because the people in the stands aren't playing. In any given marketplace, anyone who wishes to participate can do so and so long as no one is unduly stopped from participating, the marketplace is free. Someone choosing not to participate is not an undue restriction.
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