A Case for Free Trade

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A Case for Free Trade

Postby Tom Palven » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:38 am

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby ElectricMonk » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:46 am

“What is harmful or disastrous to an individual must be equally harmful or disastrous to the collection of individuals that make up a nation.”

complete non sequitur
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby TJrandom » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:09 pm

This just isn`t true. Countries set tariffs and volume barriers on trade, and sometimes even establish national import companies which then sell to their domestic wholesalers while by-law blocking individual imports of the same commodity - the very stuff TPP is attempting to reduce, but not eliminate.

Atkinson reduces trade to some form of economic warfare between countries. The only problem is that countries don’t trade. Individuals trade.

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Balsamo » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:40 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:“What is harmful or disastrous to an individual must be equally harmful or disastrous to the collection of individuals that make up a nation.”

complete non sequitur



It is not if put into its proper context, but don't count on Journalists doing so.
Actually, Hazlitt's book is a must-read.
Actually the context of this quote is addressing the silly question if War is good for the economy. Well i guess that if your house is bombed, you won't take it as a good news for the economy, right? The same way, a country that loses entire cities don't see it a great economical stimulus. Hence, what is bad for you, losing your home, is equally bad for the country losing entire cities, as a State losing entire cities meaning a whole bunch of individuals losing their homes.
Now of course, rebuilding all the destroyed homes would be beneficial for well...home-builders, but meanwhile the economy will suffer because other sectors would be affected by the diversion of resources toward rebuilding the destroyed homes. Logical!
Otherwise, why would one need wars in the first place, you don't need a war to destroy a city...Let's fight unemployment in Michigan by dynamiting Detroit...makes no sense, right?

Again, those proliferation of articles, opinions people read is part of the problem. Most of the times it hits the wrong targets and misses the real issue.
The question should not be if Free Trade is good or bad, it is good as History shown. The issue is how Free Trade is implemented.
It is not Free trade that is a problem, but the TPP and how all the other agreements are being thought and applied.

More details available if there is an interest... ;)

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:41 am

thom Hartmann does a longish rant on how tariffs make a nations economy "strong." It was alexander Hamiltons view that was implemented in the Early USA. there was no income tax....the great majority of tax revenue was in fact from tariffs. Tariffs PROTECT THE HOME MARKET....and allow it to grow.

Most recently: gee.... there's China. STILL has tariffs.

NO--the notion that tariffs are bad is all to favor our Corporate Overlordss......not ourselves. You can not believe this and think otherwise.

The DEEPER TRUTH like all other truths is that a Tariff like anything else helps some while hurting others... just like no tariff does. If you aren't recognizing and doing the pro/con dance.... you really aren't dealing with the issue.
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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby ElectricMonk » Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:11 pm

Balsamo wrote:
ElectricMonk wrote:“What is harmful or disastrous to an individual must be equally harmful or disastrous to the collection of individuals that make up a nation.”

complete non sequitur



It is not if put into its proper context, but don't count on Journalists doing so.


If you need context for the conclusion to follow, it is on its own a non-sequitur: QED.

You can be a complete Kantian and say that by harming anyone we create a precedence for violence against everyone.


But as we know from evolution (and capitalism), creative destruction is so much more effective than slow progress; steady gains get locked-in into dead-ends.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Paul Anthony » Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:29 pm

If it was really "free trade", governments wouldn't be involved at all.
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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby OutOfBreath » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:57 pm

And if history is any guide, getting "the government" out of the market does not result in much added freedom but vast monopolies for the obscenely rich.

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Balsamo » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:04 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:
Balsamo wrote:
ElectricMonk wrote:“What is harmful or disastrous to an individual must be equally harmful or disastrous to the collection of individuals that make up a nation.”

complete non sequitur



It is not if put into its proper context, but don't count on Journalists doing so.


If you need context for the conclusion to follow, it is on its own a non-sequitur: QED.

You can be a complete Kantian and say that by harming anyone we create a precedence for violence against everyone.


But as we know from evolution (and capitalism), creative destruction is so much more effective than slow progress; steady gains get locked-in into dead-ends.


You would be right if that quote was a conclusion.

Actually, it is just a quote from a book.
A quote - to be understood - needs its context. So i agree it is a non-sequitur in the article by this journalist, while it is not in the book. The whole chapter - called broken windows IIRC - is about the use of fallacies in economic discourse.
In this case - on memory - it was about the argument that War and destruction are good for the global economy.

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Lance Kennedy » Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:02 pm

In 1984, the NZ government eliminated most tariffs and subsidies. Our economy has gone from strength to strength ever since. Not bad for a tiny little country with no significant natural resources.

On the idea that total freedom leads to wealthy monopolies.
Yes it does, if the government is corrupt and subject to bribes by those wealthy. The USA is the perfect example. The American government dances to the tune of the wealthy and has done for a long time. As a result, the USA has ultra rich people and corporations, and its poor are many, and (while not starving) have a tiny, tiny fraction of the wealth.

You need to reform the government first. The USA needs a law preventing any politician accepting money from anyone to pay for its political campaigning. Including their own resources, if they are independently rich. Easy to do, by simply giving each campaigner a campaign allowance care of the tax payer. Anyone who breaks this law does hard time. That would put a stop to most of the corruption, and permit a more enlightened government to care for the people instead of for the wealthy.

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Balsamo » Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:39 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:In 1984, the NZ government eliminated most tariffs and subsidies. Our economy has gone from strength to strength ever since. Not bad for a tiny little country with no significant natural resources.

On the idea that total freedom leads to wealthy monopolies.
Yes it does, if the government is corrupt and subject to bribes by those wealthy. The USA is the perfect example. The American government dances to the tune of the wealthy and has done for a long time. As a result, the USA has ultra rich people and corporations, and its poor are many, and (while not starving) have a tiny, tiny fraction of the wealth.

You need to reform the government first. The USA needs a law preventing any politician accepting money from anyone to pay for its political campaigning. Including their own resources, if they are independently rich. Easy to do, by simply giving each campaigner a campaign allowance care of the tax payer. Anyone who breaks this law does hard time. That would put a stop to most of the corruption, and permit a more enlightened government to care for the people instead of for the wealthy.



I jumping in because i am please that we agree on something.
;)
Free trade is good, privatization of the State is bad.

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Paul Anthony » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:59 pm

OutOfBreath wrote:And if history is any guide, getting "the government" out of the market does not result in much added freedom but vast monopolies for the obscenely rich.

Peace
Dan


Silly me, I thought that was what happened when the government is involved. I don't have to dig very deep into history to confirm that. US...present day.

But if I travel a little bit down history's path I find that small businesses fared rather well before crony capitalism.
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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:44 am

Balsamo wrote:
I jumping in because i am please that we agree on something.

Free trade is good, privatization of the State is bad.


I have a sneaking feeling, Balsamo, that we do not disagree as much as you think. A lot of these debates are really a struggle to make yourself understood. Bobbo has already made it very clear that he fails to understand what I am saying in the other thread. That may be my fault, of course. But misunderstandings are all too damn common.

Free trade is definitely good. Apart from anything else, it increases the complexity of the economy, and hence creates mechanisms to stop economic disasters. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Privatisation of the state takes many forms, and I am not prepared to say all kinds are bad. We recently had a case here in NZ when a state prison was handed over to a private company to run. It was a disaster! The government had to take it back. In that case, privatisation of the prison by government gave a better result. On the other hand, there are lots of cases where government taking over private enterprise results in disasters too.

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:08 am

Paul Anthony wrote:Silly me, I thought that was what happened when the government is involved. I don't have to dig very deep into history to confirm that. US...present day.

Fair point.

There probably will always need to be government intervention for lots of different reasons. I think a better approach to reviewing government intervention, is to review those different reasons on their own individual merit. For example:


Trade Practices Law : Government will always need to regulate the quality, fitness for purpose and truth in advertising of free trade products, in local environments. However it could be considered this is a matter of the courts rather than the government which supplies the courts.

Anti Dumping laws : Multi Nationals can dump over production in local areas to harm existing producers of the same product, for anti-competition reasons rather than long term economic reasons.

Food Security : This is a bit dubious, but the USA does subsidise agricultural 22 billion a year to maintain the USA's food security. That is a form of government intervention, which may be justified. I don't have a strong opinion.

Market Failure : This is also dubious, but pragmatic. After four years of drought, should not the Australian government "help" Aussie farmers get back into surplus production financially?

Mixed up State and Commercial Entities : The USAF needs the best plane and does not make a profit. Should not the USA give tax breaks for the development of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, when commercial international sales are restricted?

I don't have fixed views on any of the above because the world economy is ever changing. What is "right" today, maybe "wrong tomorrow"

(If you want to read something that really confuses free trade and government intervention, it would be Fords expansion and manufacturing into communist Russia in the 1930's during the Great Depression).

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Paul Anthony » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:47 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:

There probably will always need to be government intervention for lots of different reasons. I think a better approach to reviewing government intervention, is to review those different reasons on their own individual merit.


Agreed.

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Matthew Ellard wrote: Trade Practices Law : Government will always need to regulate the quality, fitness for purpose and truth in advertising of free trade products, in local environments. However it could be considered this is a matter of the courts rather than the government which supplies the courts.


Debatable. "Let the buyer beware" would suffice if consumers used their brains. Misleading advertising would result in a loss of sales and lots of bad publicity, especially today, with Face Book and other social media. Those who are damaged could sue, so yes, the courts are necessary.

Matthew Ellard wrote: Anti Dumping laws : Multi Nationals can dump over production in local areas to harm existing producers of the same product, for anti-competition reasons rather than long term economic reasons.


Good point. Not sure what governments can do about it unless you advocate tariffs. I have no problem with Ford building plants in Mexico or China if the cars produced there are to be sold in Mexico, South America or China. I do have a problem with building cars there and then selling them in the US.

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Matthew Ellard wrote: Food Security : This is a bit dubious, but the USA does subsidise agricultural 22 billion a year to maintain the USA's food security. That is a form of government intervention, which may be justified. I don't have a strong opinion.


I support random testing of food supplies, but not subsidies. In a free market, any product that can't survive without subsidies is not popular enough to be produced profitably. Those resources would be better spent producing something people want.

Matthew Ellard wrote: Market Failure : This is also dubious, but pragmatic. After four years of drought, should not the Australian government "help" Aussie farmers get back into surplus production financially?


Unsure, but I suppose government assistance after a major natural disaster is warranted - but only for a limited time.

Matthew Ellard wrote: Mixed up State and Commercial Entities : The USAF needs the best plane and does not make a profit. Should not the USA give tax breaks for the development of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, when commercial international sales are restricted?


No. The profit potential from the sale should be sufficient reward. Tax breaks + profits is crony capitalism.
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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby OlegTheBatty » Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:26 pm

Paul Anthony wrote:
Matthew Ellard wrote:

Food Security : This is a bit dubious, but the USA does subsidise agricultural 22 billion a year to maintain the USA's food security. That is a form of government intervention, which may be justified. I don't have a strong opinion.


I support random testing of food supplies, but not subsidies. In a free market, any product that can't survive without subsidies is not popular enough to be produced profitably. Those resources would be better spent producing something people want.



One of the reasons I've heard for farm subsidies (not just in the US) is to keep food prices down where low income people can afford it. The alternative is to increase welfare. Supposedly, the former is cheaper and more effective, though I've not seen an actual calculation.

Encouraging a corporation to build a plant at place B rather than A via incentives may be more effective over all than moving people from place B to place A because there is not enough employment at place B otherwise. Determining which is better takes considerable research. A WAG doesn't cut it.
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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Lance Kennedy » Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:49 pm

Oleg

That is a rationalisation.

There are heaps of overseas suppliers of various foods that can, without tariffs, supply the US people with food at a better price than locals can get it even with government subsidies. Tariffs and subsidies are anti-competition, and operate to the detrement of the people.

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby OlegTheBatty » Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:40 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Oleg

That is a rationalisation.

There are heaps of overseas suppliers of various foods that can, without tariffs, supply the US people with food at a better price than locals can get it even with government subsidies. Tariffs and subsidies are anti-competition, and operate to the detrement of the people.


But Lance, the tariffs are on the foreign supplies so that they can't compete with the locals, putting the locals out of business . . .

I agree it's a rationalization, but it is one that is believed by many people, so it may as well be true. A congresscritter or senator elected by Wisconsin farmers has a duty to represent Wisconsin farmers, not Botswanan farmers.
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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:22 pm

Free trade is more likely to lower food prices than raise them. If a local farmer has to operate without tariff or subsidy protection, then he has get his act together and get efficient, so he can compete. The end result is a better run farm, lower food prices, and even a chance for those more efficient farmers to compete by exporting. It even reduces taxes, since the government is not subsidising inefficiency using taxpayer resources.

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Tom Palven » Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:42 am

So far, it seems that Trump will take a strong political view of "free trade" versus free trade, which will not benefit the US or any other country as a whole:
https://mises.org/blog/free-trade-versus-free-trade
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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Tom Palven » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:48 pm

TransPacific Trade Pact (TTP) explained?

According to John Walsh, the TTP trade agreement that President Trump rejected with a stroke of the pen wasn't about free trade as advertised, but was a provocative neocon plan to isolate and weaken China, which was excluded from the 12-nation pact.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/01/...h/djt-tpp-rip/
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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:31 pm

Tom

Not so.
But on the other hand, Trump is not honest about WHY he rejected it. The problem is that Trump has no interest in fair trade. He wants trade that is skewed towards making himself and (very secondarily) the USA richer. The TPP was too equitable for him.

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Paul Anthony » Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:34 pm

a healthy economy needs more than low prices. It also needs wage-earning people. If everyone was out of work, prices would have to be lowered to zero.

Protecting local industry may result in higher prices on those things produced by that industry, but it provides consumers for all goods. (It also provides an increase in the tax base).

In a closed economy (before globalization) the profits made by a company flowed into that country's economy. When the consumer struggles to buy goods from another country, the profits enhance that other country's economy and drains the nation of the consumer.
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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:59 pm

Paul

Economies adapt. Jobs are created in areas where there are strengths, and are lost in areas where there are weaknesses. Protecting weak spots just lowers the level of wealth for all. We have learned that here in NZ. In 1984, we removed protection off a wide range of activities, and threw ourselves into open competition with the rest of the world. We now have a much stronger economy, and a very low rate of unemployment.

As far as the USA is concerned, most jobs are now in the service sector, anyway, and overseas competition has little impact. Where there is direct competition, the USA has its areas of strength. Where it is weak, the people of the USA benefit from imports that give them goods at a lower price. Protectionism is a destructive philosophy.

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Paul Anthony » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:38 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Paul

Economies adapt. Jobs are created in areas where there are strengths, and are lost in areas where there are weaknesses. Protecting weak spots just lowers the level of wealth for all. We have learned that here in NZ. In 1984, we removed protection off a wide range of activities, and threw ourselves into open competition with the rest of the world. We now have a much stronger economy, and a very low rate of unemployment.

As far as the USA is concerned, most jobs are now in the service sector, anyway, and overseas competition has little impact. Where there is direct competition, the USA has its areas of strength. Where it is weak, the people of the USA benefit from imports that give them goods at a lower price. Protectionism is a destructive philosophy.


It could be argued that the reason most jobs in the US are in the service industries is because we failed to protect industries that pay better. The destruction of the US economy is the result of too little protectionism.
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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:39 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote: Economies adapt. Jobs are created in areas where there are strengths, and are lost in areas where there are weaknesses. Protecting weak spots just lowers the level of wealth for all.

You have beautifully summarised Comparative Advantage Economic Theory between nations.

Interestingly, the comparative cost of manufacturing made manufacturing viable again in the UK a decade ago. One factor was the high quality and consumer regulation required in the EEC, that Britain could match and make an average profit. Sadly, with Brexit the UK has lost this market advantage factor.

By bringing back high tariffs on imports, Trump will remove USA workers from advantageous opportunity cost manufacturing sectors to silly manufacturing sectors like making clothing, shoes and other labour intensive tasks. When Trump gets the boot and the USA is stuck with a further 5 trillion dollar hole from infrastructure spending, I really don't think the USA is going to be able to pay that back, exporting shoes, TV sets and cheap clothing. Why would Mexico want to buy expensive USA products with a retaliatory tariff imposed on them, when they can buy the same product from Vietnam or Malaysia, with no tariffs?

I think Trump has a 1960's view of the world. He has missed that the standard of living and disposable income of consumers around the world is rising rapidly. He is starting a USA VS the rest of the world tariff war, while China, India, the EEC& Russia, Australasia and Asia are all going to trade with each other....., with growing disposable income, as has been evolving since the 70s.

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Lance Kennedy » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:31 pm

Yes, Trump may be the beginning of the end for the USA as a major economic power.

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Matthew Ellard » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:10 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Yes, Trump may be the beginning of the end for the USA as a major economic power.


I prefer to say "Trump missed that the rest of the world caught up with the USA". (Which is exactly what the USA said we should do since the end of the war).

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Matthew Ellard » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:23 am

I'd like to add one more economic concept. Predictability

It does not really matter if CPI, or inflation, is 1% or 7%, or if corporate tax is 30% or 15% if the firm can predict the ten year investment profit window.

At the moment, no USA firm could sit down and set out an accurate predictive spreadsheet for anticipated long term profit, concerning trading with Mexico, China or the UK.

This means they will delay making decisions for alternative projects cannot be compared using opportunity cost mathematics.

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby OlegTheBatty » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:31 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Yes, Trump may be the beginning of the end for the USA as a major economic power.


Making the US irrelevant again. Already, countries, even close allies like us, are starting to bypass the US for markets elsewhere.
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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby OlegTheBatty » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:39 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Lance Kennedy wrote:Yes, Trump may be the beginning of the end for the USA as a major economic power.


I prefer to say "Trump missed that the rest of the world caught up with the USA". (Which is exactly what the USA said we should do since the end of the war).

With China and India getting most of the publicity, a lot of people are unaware that there are growing, healthy economies in Africa, South America, and elsewhere. The world is a much bigger marketplace today than the USA.

That wasn't true in the 1920's when the US was forcing lopsided trade deals on disadvantaged countries, especially in South America. Nowadays, other countries are not in a position where they need to get into disadvantageous trade deals just so they can get a little bit instead of nothing.

The rest of the world can let the US protect itself to death, though I doubt that will happen. Individual states can still make their own deals, and will. Most of the trade deals between Canada and the US are between smaller entities, like provinces and states, and will be little affected by protectionism. A few are broader, and will be affected. NAFTA is one, but NAFTA is no longer as important as it once was.
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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:02 am

USA / Mexican entangled supply chains
I get annoyed when people talk about economic concepts like trickle down effect and Laffer curve equilibriums, without doing any modelling to determine where these equilibrium beak points probably exist.


It is now appearing that a good portion of USA and Mexican manufactures are entangled in complex supply chains. That is to say, a required number of specific manufacturing steps, to make a final product, take place back and forth, numerous times, over the border.

One problem with supply chains is that the removal of any one step causes the entire supply chain to come to a halt. That means a USA firm wishing to move all steps from Mexico has to get all steps working before the chain is complete again. This will probably take years.

The flip side problem is that the over manufacture of a product, for one step, (to ensure availability) starts weighing down the balance sheet with inventory, reducing profit. In the 1990 the concept of "Just in time" was introduced from Japan and big manufacturers and retail outlets, ordered products, the day before they needed them from arms length companies. The inventory existed on the arm's length firm's balance sheet. It is unclear what inventory is sitting on Mexican firm balance sheets.

Now I don't know the exact nature of all these transactions going on between the USA and Mexico, but it does seem that some very serious economic modelling should take place before Trump threatens to introduce a 20% tax, that at first glance, hurts USA manufacturing and consumers first.

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Paul Anthony » Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:47 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:USA / Mexican entangled supply chains
I get annoyed when people talk about economic concepts like trickle down effect and Laffer curve equilibriums, without doing any modelling to determine where these equilibrium beak points probably exist.


It is now appearing that a good portion of USA and Mexican manufactures are entangled in complex supply chains. That is to say, a required number of specific manufacturing steps, to make a final product, take place back and forth, numerous times, over the border.

One problem with supply chains is that the removal of any one step causes the entire supply chain to come to a halt. That means a USA firm wishing to move all steps from Mexico has to get all steps working before the chain is complete again. This will probably take years.

The flip side problem is that the over manufacture of a product, for one step, (to ensure availability) starts weighing down the balance sheet with inventory, reducing profit. In the 1990 the concept of "Just in time" was introduced from Japan and big manufacturers and retail outlets, ordered products, the day before they needed them from arms length companies. The inventory existed on the arm's length firm's balance sheet. It is unclear what inventory is sitting on Mexican firm balance sheets.

Now I don't know the exact nature of all these transactions going on between the USA and Mexico, but it does seem that some very serious economic modelling should take place before Trump threatens to introduce a 20% tax, that at first glance, hurts USA manufacturing and consumers first.


You're doing a great job defending companies that created this mess.

Do you know which car is the most American? That is, which car has the most made-in-the-USA components? The Toyota Camry. If Toyota can build a car in America for the American market, why can't Ford or GM?
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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:06 am

Paul Anthony wrote:You're doing a great job defending companies that created this mess.
It was small government deregulation that created the commercial and taxation environment for these companies to get into such a mess.

Paul Anthony wrote:Do you know which car is the most American? That is, which car has the most made-in-the-USA components? The Toyota Camry. If Toyota can build a car in America for the American market, why can't Ford or GM?
For a start Toyota's profits go to Japanese shareholders. I don't think Ford or GM want to do that with that lower profit margin expectation. Do you?

Has it ever occurred to you that the USA expectations for standard of living may be a bit too high for its economic output? If the rest of the world has caught up and reduced the USA's competitiveness, then no amount of restructuring is going to maintain an unsustainable long term standard of living.

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Paul Anthony » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:06 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Paul Anthony wrote:You're doing a great job defending companies that created this mess.
It was small government deregulation that created the commercial and taxation environment for these companies to get into such a mess.

Paul Anthony wrote:Do you know which car is the most American? That is, which car has the most made-in-the-USA components? The Toyota Camry. If Toyota can build a car in America for the American market, why can't Ford or GM?
For a start Toyota's profits go to Japanese shareholders. I don't think Ford or GM want to do that with that lower profit margin expectation. Do you?

Has it ever occurred to you that the USA expectations for standard of living may be a bit too high for its economic output? If the rest of the world has caught up and reduced the USA's competitiveness, then no amount of restructuring is going to maintain an unsustainable long term standard of living.


So your solution is to have Americans lower their standard of living? Yes, let's all become like third-world nations. Equality demands that we all be poor together. :twisted:
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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby OlegTheBatty » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:18 pm

Paul Anthony wrote:
Matthew Ellard wrote:
Paul Anthony wrote:You're doing a great job defending companies that created this mess.
It was small government deregulation that created the commercial and taxation environment for these companies to get into such a mess.

Paul Anthony wrote:Do you know which car is the most American? That is, which car has the most made-in-the-USA components? The Toyota Camry. If Toyota can build a car in America for the American market, why can't Ford or GM?
For a start Toyota's profits go to Japanese shareholders. I don't think Ford or GM want to do that with that lower profit margin expectation. Do you?

Has it ever occurred to you that the USA expectations for standard of living may be a bit too high for its economic output? If the rest of the world has caught up and reduced the USA's competitiveness, then no amount of restructuring is going to maintain an unsustainable long term standard of living.


So your solution is to have Americans lower their standard of living? Yes, let's all become like third-world nations. Equality demands that we all be poor together. :twisted:

Straw!

Really, Paul, do you not see any place between filthy rich and dirt poor?

There are vastly more poor people outside the US than within it. Please explain to me why they should have no aspirations to prosperity. The fact is, they do, and another fact is that they are building and becoming more competitive. Incomes throughout the third world are rising, not falling as in working class America. Why are they falling in America? Because a larger and larger share is going to the tiny minority of extremely wealthy.
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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:15 pm

There is absolutely no reason why we cannot all be rich together.
I point to the example of Singapore, which was left desolate after the Japanese occupation in WWII, and received little aid from the west. Despite that, and despite a total lack of natural resources, it raised itself over 50 years till it was wealthier than most western nations. It can be done.

Bangla Desh is poor, but has an economic growth rate of nearly 8%. Over several decades, that is enough to do a variation on the Singapore story. Sub Saharan Africa has an average growth rate of 3.5%. Nothing like Bangla Desh, but that is enough to generate substantial wealth over the next 40 to 60 years.

Once we dump the bullsh*t myth of limited resources, it becomes clear that the whole world could, in time, become as wealthy per capita, or wealthier, than the USA is today. Of course, protectionism and economic garbage such as Donald Trump espouses is a threat to that outcome.

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:48 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:Has it ever occurred to you that the USA expectations for standard of living may be a bit too high for its economic output? If the rest of the world has caught up and reduced the USA's competitiveness, then no amount of restructuring is going to maintain an unsustainable long term standard of living.
Paul Anthony wrote:So your solution is to have Americans lower their standard of living?
It isn't my solution. It is the economic situation you and your fellow Americans, have found yourself in.

As a conservative, what would you say to a family, on limited income, buying an expensive Mercedes Benz? "Restructure" or "Don't buy an expensive Mercedes Benz"?

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Matthew Ellard » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:54 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:There is absolutely no reason why we cannot all be rich together.
I prefer "There is absolutely no reason why we cannot all reach an equitable balance between our effort given and resources taken, from society, while simultaneously slowly improving the standard of living for all nations"

However as this sentence is too long for Twitter, I can never become President of the USA!
:D

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Re: A Case for Free Trade

Postby Lance Kennedy » Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:19 am

Matthew

Speaking purely for my own selfish interest, I would rather be rich.


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