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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The price of free trade

Remember when the idea was that offshoring all the manufacturing jobs would lead to better, higher-paying jobs in technology? Yeah, about that....
The IT workers at Cengage Learning in the company's Mason, Ohio offices learned of their fates game-show style. First, they were told to gather in a large conference room. There were vague remarks from an IT executive about a "transition." Slides were shown that listed employee names, directing them to one of three rooms where they would be told specifically what was happening to them. Some employees were cold with worry.

The biggest group, those getting pink slips, were told to remain in the large conference room. Workers directed to go through what we'll call Door No. 2, were offered employment with IT offshore outsourcing firm Cognizant. That was the smallest group. And those sent through Door No. 3 remained employed in Cengage's IT department. This happened in mid-October.

"I was so furious," said one of the IT workers over what happened. It seemed "surreal," said another. There was disbelief, but little surprise. Cengage, a major producer of educational content and services, had outsourced accounting services earlier in the year. The IT workers rightly believed they were next.

The employees were warned that speaking to the news media meant loss of severance. Despite their fears, they want their story told. They want people to know what's happening to IT jobs in the heartland. They don't want the offshoring of their livelihoods to pass in silence.

The Web-based workers that the Cengage employees are training to take over their jobs are believed to be in India. Cognizant applies for thousands of H-1B visas annually, and is one of the top three users of the visa, according to government data. Cengage employees reached for comment didn't know what visa, if any, the contract workers in their offices were using.
There are four things you need to keep in mind if you are an ardent free trader:
  1. The arguments justifying free trade have always been entirely theoretical, not empirical. In this way, they are no different than the incorrect pre-scientific logical conclusions that were subsequently proven to be false by modern science. At the time they were formulated, inexpensive shipping, the free movement of capital, and the mass movement of labor were unknown.
  2. The USA historically enjoyed its fastest periods of economic growth under protectionist, restricted-immigration periods.
  3. The post-WWII growth was not the result of any trade or economic policies, but a positive application of Broken Window theory. Every other industrial nation had its industrial capacity smashed, so the US benefited from an intrinsic infrastructural advantage for around 25 years.
  4. Free trade levels all prices throughout the market. That's why a cashier in Miami gets paid about the same amount as a cashier in Portland. Even if free trade increases the overall amount of global economic growth, in doing so, it necessarily reduces wages and standards of living in the wealthier nations to bring them more in line with the wages and standards of living in the poorest nations.
Look, I was an ardent theoretical free trader for decades. I know the pro-free trade arguments better than you do; my father gave me Free to Choose to read when I was ten years old. But the fact is, the theoretical arguments are incorrect; the conclusions their logic predicted have turned out to be observably wrong.

And perhaps you remember what I wrote about how half of all young Americans will have to leave the country in order to find work under a true global free trade regime?  The stage for that is already being set.
Offshore outsourcing is having "a fairly strong impact" on IT employment, said Janulaitis. Students coming out of college are facing trouble starting a career "and a lot of that is driven by jobs that are taken by non-U.S. nationals in our economy, and a lot of that is H-1B [visa holders]," he said.

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195 Comments:

Blogger Markku November 10, 2015 5:13 AM  

Broken windows are all well and good, provided they are broken in the neighboring city.

Blogger JP November 10, 2015 5:32 AM  

Broken windows are all well and good, provided they are broken in the neighboring city.

It's such an obvious thing. I don't understand how folks can't grasp that little concept.

Blogger VD November 10, 2015 5:35 AM  

I don't understand how folks can't grasp that little concept.

Because most people are only half-educated and don't actually understand the things they read and cite. That's why they do stupid things like say "Ricardo" as if it is a rebuttal to an anti-free trade argument or appeal inappropriately to the "Broken Window" fallacy.

Blogger Rantor November 10, 2015 5:42 AM  

Neighbor is studying Econ at George Mason, one of the non-Marxist schools, but most of his profs sold on the ideas of global free trade. Might as well believe in the BS Marx taught. Socialism=slave to state. Free Trade=slave to employer. Unfortunately nationalist, free-market economics isn't catching on.

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery November 10, 2015 5:44 AM  

I'm pretty sure free trade is a good thing overall, when applied to goods and capital - the Chinese want to sell me a cheaper laptop or invest in my company? Fine by me. We get to sell £12.5Bn of our high-end machinery, whisky, and what-have-yous to China every year? Cool.

Globalisation caused a lot of pain in Western Europe as we moved away from heavy industry, but we're better off now than we were 40 years ago. Living standards and life expectancy are up. Pollution is down. There's a tendency (in Britain) to romanticise the lost coal mining jobs, shipyards etc. But in reality those were mostly shit jobs.

My grandfather was a miner, and going down a hot, damp, claustrophobic and dangerous pit for a pittance isn't any more romantic than earning your crust in an office. Dying of lung disease in your 60's isn't a barrel of laughs either.

But free trade isn't free trade when applied to people.

There's no free trade involved in bringing cheap labour into the country to displace the natives. It's not a market solution at all - employer-sponsored visa workers are just high-tech indentured labour, while their less impressive low-skilled migrant chums are a massive net drain on the taxpayers who have to feed, clothe, educate and provide healthcare for their kids.

Free trade levels all prices throughout the market. That's why a cashier in Miami gets paid about the same amount as a cashier in Portland. Even if free trade increases the overall amount of global economic growth, in doing so, it necessarily reduces wages and standards of living in the wealthier nations

Is this a result of trade, or a result of immigration? Wages respond to local supply and demand.

Interesting example: black women earn more on average in the UK than white women.

Why? Because black women are much more likely to live in London, where wages are higher than, say, Dundee. They have to be higher, because it's expensive to live in London and workers would just go on the dole if not offered a salary they can live on.

We could expect checkout girls and similar jobs to earn more if not for immigration. I was in Aberdeen recently meeting oil industry types. We went out for lunch, and all the waitresses were Eastern Europeans. I nipped into Tesco afterwards, and same thing there. It was in the middle of Union Street, the heart of the Granite City. And not a native Aberdonian to be found manning the tills.

It wasn't like this just 15 years ago, before EU expansion opened the floodgates to mass migration from the East.

Now, personally, I quite like high-cheekboned Polish girls. But it's true that their presence in the UK depresses working class wages, because supply and demand.

Blogger VD November 10, 2015 5:53 AM  

But free trade isn't free trade when applied to people.

Yes, it is, Steve. Your position is either dishonest or ignorant. Labor and services have ALWAYS been part of the free trade equation. You can't magically exclude a commodity from economics simply because people are involved.

The reason the effects of the free movement of labor and services was not properly accounted for was because none of the free trade theorists anticipated the social and technological changes that have made it not only possible, but desirable.

Blogger VD November 10, 2015 5:55 AM  

Is this a result of trade, or a result of immigration? Wages respond to local supply and demand.

It has nothing to do with immigration. It is the result of free domestic trade. Local supply and demand respond to larger inputs.

Blogger VD November 10, 2015 5:56 AM  

There's no free trade involved in bringing cheap labour into the country to displace the natives.

That's a very stupid comment. That's like saying "there is no free trade involved in bringing cheap goods into the country to displace the natively produced goods."

Come on, stop trying to defend your conventional dogma and start actually thinking it through.

Blogger Lisa Merkel November 10, 2015 6:01 AM  

Post war growth was also due to lower taxs. Your point about Europe being all blown up still stands, but going from something like ~70% to ~40% tax rate is a big factor.

Anonymous FriarBob November 10, 2015 6:19 AM  

Steve is right IFF he looks ONLY at what personally affects him.

When the good of the nation and/or those around him are factored in, he's not.

Blogger Stilicho #0066 November 10, 2015 6:26 AM  

Phase 1 kill free enterprise; phase 2, institute free trade; phase 3, profit!

Those gnomes were on to something!

Anonymous Johnycomelately November 10, 2015 6:38 AM  

If free trade does win out in the end what will be the relative advantage of Western economies? What on earth will Western economies produce? The high tech sector is only a small segment of the economy.

Blogger Hammerli280 November 10, 2015 6:38 AM  

I think free trade is good - among peer states. The big headaches come from free trade with non-peer states. The developed world has similar labor costs and regulatory overhead, and while it's possible for one state to have an advantage, others can copy it. Under those conditions, the larger marketplace of a free trade regime is beneficial.

When dealing with non-peer states, you have problems. A Third World country has a far lower cost of living, standard of living, and regulatory overhead than a high-end state. They can undercut pricing.

As Dr. Pournelle has pointed out, this carries serious social costs. When a manufacturing job is exported, the workers must find other employment - and many can't be economically trained for positions higher in the skill chain. They move to lower-paid positions. The social cost of this ought to be charged against free trade, but isn't.

And the whole H1b business is just adding insult to injury. Crony capitalism of the worst sort.

Blogger Phillip George November 10, 2015 6:41 AM  

Free trade works well at the governmental level. Outsource the government itself. For example the Chinese could run Washington for a fraction of the taxes it takes to run it now. Everyone's a winner. Offer sitting Congressmen a role in Beijing or the mystery door.

I was thinking today Vox if Putin offered to only Nuke Washington a silent majority of South Baptists would give their endorsement.

[Run a government like a family farm. Everyone has a job or no-one eats. You do what works or everyone starves. godonomics.] but this ain't Kansas Toto.

Blogger DadOfTen November 10, 2015 6:48 AM  

One of the reasons the H1B visa system works so well for employers is that the visa holders become indentured servants for the term of their visas. Theoretically they can change jobs without any worries. In reality the red tape is thick, expensive, and time consuming. So the visa holders are stuck in the US working very cheaply.

A solution to that particular problem is to turn all H1-B's into green card holders with the wave of a magic wand. Then they will be free to leave employers if underpaid or treated unfairly. It would make them less appealing to companies. That will also remove the incentive for companies to pay $3000-$6000 to bring workers from overseas who can leave their employ at will with no worries about being sent back home.

Not a perfect fix, but you could use SJW arguments for it in favor of equality and get the SJWs to help pass that law. And you could use current immigration laws to limit immigration if you are so inclined.

Blogger Markku November 10, 2015 6:48 AM  

I was thinking today Vox if Putin offered to only Nuke Washington a silent majority of South Baptists would give their endorsement.

I don't know about that. Is neutron bomb on the table?

Blogger ZhukovG November 10, 2015 6:50 AM  

I was once a true believer in free trade. But that was when I was living off the tax payers. Oh, and for Gary North, I also had a 'badge and gun'.

Anonymous Goodnight November 10, 2015 6:53 AM  

Post war growth was also due to lower taxs. Your point about Europe being all blown up still stands, but going from something like ~70% to ~40% tax rate is a big factor.

But they didn't drop that low until the tail end of the Carter administration. The top rate during the economic boom years of the 1950s and 60s was between 70-90%. There were also tons of available business deductions. That is why you hear so many stories about celebrities back then buying or investing in every odd business.

Blogger Markku November 10, 2015 6:58 AM  

I couldn't find any evidence, however, that free trade in its original intent demands any particular degree of immigration. From the definitions I saw, it is a stretch to suggest that any wholesale restrictions of entry to a country constitute "restriction of services", as long as they don't specifically target people of a particular country who intend to offer a particular service.

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery November 10, 2015 7:01 AM  

Vox -

You can't magically exclude a commodity from economics simply because people are involved.

Eh, not sure if we're talking about the definition of free trade or which trade policies are desireable.

Trade policy is just human action. So we can, if we want to, decide to freely trade booze with the French, and computer chips with the Chinese, but not people. It's trivially easy to keep immigrants out if we don't want them.

So if we think the current free trade equation isn't working, change the equation. I'd call free trade in goods - but not migrants - "free trade". But I'm not bothered about the description, just the outcomes.

That's a very stupid comment. That's like saying "there is no free trade involved in bringing cheap goods into the country to displace the natively produced goods."

Dunno Vox, I think there's a huge difference between me, as a private individual, voluntarily choosing to buy (say) an American car, and politically connected employers getting the government to let them bring in foreign labour to undercut the local workforce, then dumping the externalities on the taxpayer. Or mass migration of people looking for welfare handouts.

Without government subsidies via the education, healthcare and benefits systems the latter would dry up. To me, that doesn't look like free trade, it looks like we're being forced by government to finance our own dispossession.

FriarBob - Steve is right IFF he looks ONLY at what personally affects him.

When the good of the nation and/or those around him are factored in, he's not.


Depends which nation.

Britain can't feed herself without foreign trade. So we need to trade for our daily bread. It's in our best interests to buy the things we want as cheaply as possible. We don't want to pay £20 for a sandwich, so free trade in agricultural produce is good for Britain.

We don't want to be colonised by the Third World, so it's in our interests to restrict immigration.

We can do both. Nobody's going to stop selling us stuff or buying our exports if we enforce our immigration laws.

Historically, the British definition of "free trade" meant we'd freely trade in goods - not that every Tomas, Dimitri and Mohammed would get to zerg rush our ports. It was the EU that insisted free trade include labour.

Blogger Josh November 10, 2015 7:02 AM  

I see we've already reached the "that's not real free trade" part of the discussion.

Blogger Shimshon November 10, 2015 7:04 AM  

I think even if you discount immigration, exporting jobs from higher to lower labor cost jurisdictions is inevitable, especially as the cost of doing so declines. Still, some of these exports are short sighted. Replacing technical workers like this rarely works out well.

Blogger Markku November 10, 2015 7:04 AM  

Josh, well, free trade is certainly CONSISTENT with unrestricted immigration (temporary or permanent). That's the simplest way to allow unrestricted services. But my question is, does it DEMAND it, because I see no reason to believe so from the original definitions.

Blogger Josh November 10, 2015 7:06 AM  

But my question is, does it DEMAND it, because I see no reason to believe so from the original definitions.

Free trade in labour, capital, goods, and services.

Blogger Markku November 10, 2015 7:08 AM  

I see no mention of labour in the original definitions, only goods and services.

Blogger Carnivore November 10, 2015 7:16 AM  

I still recall when the heavy industry was moved offshore about, what is it - 25 or 30 years ago? - and the free traders were blabbing about all the top notch, new jobs that would be created (like in computer/IT). Those displaced workers, with a little retraining, would now have much better paying opportunities, they said. That always made me laugh. As if everyone has the intelligence, drive and ambition to succeed at any job. More of the "you can be anything you want to be" nonsense spoon fed to our children and young adults.

I liked the comment above about outsourcing Washington. My take has always been - there are some really bright people in China and India. How about we outsource all those CEO and Board directorships? Our companies would be run just as poorly at a fraction of the cost.

Blogger Cail Corishev November 10, 2015 7:16 AM  

I think free trade is good - among peer states.

I'd say "trade" can be good between peer states, as long as it's trade in things they generally can't produce for themselves. If people in Vermont and Florida voluntarily trade maple syrup for oranges, that's probably a good thing.

But once you call it "free trade" you imply that it's always good as long as someone finds it profitable enough to do it, and there should be no oversight where someone can say, "No, we already grow tomatoes here; we're going to keep growing our own even though we can buy them from somewhere else a penny cheaper." Then it's just a consumerist race to the bottom.

Blogger Josh November 10, 2015 7:19 AM  

I see no mention of labour in the original definitions, only goods and services.

As you already said, immigration is the simplest way to allow unrestricted services.

If you want to hire a chinaman to provide services, he might have to actually move here to provide some of them.

Anonymous DJF November 10, 2015 7:21 AM  

“”””The post-WWII growth was not the result of any trade or economic policies, but a positive application of Broken Window theory. Every other industrial nation had its industrial capacity smashed, so the US benefited from an intrinsic infrastructural advantage for around 25 years.”””

It was domestic trade which drove the US economy not foreign trade. True during WW2 and just after there was a big spike of exports, but for the most part up to the 1970’s the percent of GDP which was imports/exports was no more then 8%. Today its over 30% GDP. And even during the spike in exports during and after WW2 the US paid for most of those exports via Lend/Lease and Marshall Plan. You don’t get rich by paying for other people to take your goods, you go into debt. And yes the US was deeper in debt after WW2 then before

On the other hand the US domestic market was the greatest in the world. US prosperity was based on Americans selling to Americans. But the international financiers don’t make a lot of money when Americans buy and sell to Americans so they pushed foreign trade and all these “free trade” agreements. So the international banksters went from 8% to 30% of US GDP passing through their sticky little fingers and made themselves rich.

So it was not the destruction of WW2 that made the US rich but its own internal economy. Remember the countries that suffered destruction during WW2 also had no money so how could export to them make the US wealthy? And the third world had even less money to spend.

Blogger Salt November 10, 2015 7:36 AM  

A Libertarian reassessment -

"Some libertarians have assumed that the correct libertarian position on immigration must be “open borders,” or the completely unrestricted movement of people. Superficially, this appears correct: surely we believe in letting people go wherever they like!

But hold on a minute. Think about “freedom of speech,” another principle people associate with libertarians. Do we really believe in freedom of speech as an abstract principle? That would mean I have the right to yell all during a movie, or the right to disrupt a Church service, or the right to enter your home and shout obscenities at you.

What we believe in are private property rights. No one has “freedom of speech” on my property, since I set the rules, and in the last resort I can expel someone. He can say whatever he likes on his own property, and on the property of anyone who cares to listen to you, but not on mine.

The same principle holds for freedom of movement. Libertarians do not believe in any such principle in the abstract. I do not have the right to wander into your house, or into your gated community, or into Disneyworld, or onto your private beach, or onto Jay-Z ‘s private island. As with “freedom of speech,” private property is the relevant factor here. I can move onto any property I myself own or whose owner wishes to have me. I cannot simply go wherever I like."

Anonymous RedJack #22 November 10, 2015 7:37 AM  

@26 That is already happening in some areas. Foreign CEO's are building their own companies.

OpenID paworldandtimes November 10, 2015 7:40 AM  

Now, personally, I quite like high-cheekboned Polish girls. But it's true that their presence in the UK depresses working class wages, because supply and demand.

The open labor market in the UK is a net negative for Eastern Europe as well. While many Poles and others work abroad seasonally or temporarily and make good money to buy a house or support their family back at home, many young people just leave for good or return home after it's too late for them to have children. There are also many divorces and family break-up caused by the separation. 

-PA

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery November 10, 2015 7:50 AM  

Salt - it's good that some libertarians are seeing the light on immigration, but I think they needlessly overtheorise things and try to use the property rights hammer on social issue nails it ain't necessarily suited for.

We don't need to frame immigration in terms of property rights. It's easier and more natural to do so in terms of "what's good for my tribe/town/city/nation".

After all, what if a deluded Chrislamian decides it would be a good idea to invite 20,000 Somalis onto their property? I don't think the libertarians have a good, practical, answer to that.

No society will remain a society for long without some form of discrimination against outsiders, oddballs, free riders, and quislings. It's why the ancients used social pressure through ostracism, exile, and having young children pelt weirdos with fruit while chanting "nyah! nyah! nyah!".

OpenID bc64a9f8-765e-11e3-8683-000bcdcb2996 November 10, 2015 7:50 AM  

In My Humble Opinion...
Free Trade of "goods" is meaningless without security of raw material, labor, manufacturing, and transportation.
Zero tolerance, by organized crime, has known this for +- 40 centuries.
"But...but...it's complicated. I have a NEW idea!"
No it isn't, and no you do not.
CaptDMO

Blogger VD November 10, 2015 7:52 AM  

I see no mention of labour in the original definitions, only goods and services.

Labor is implicit in services. Labor IS services.

Blogger VD November 10, 2015 7:55 AM  

Furthermore, there is no moral argument for the free movement of goods and capital that does not apply equally well to labor. That's why the free movement of labor is written explicitly into most free trade agreements and is one of the EU's Four Fundamental Freedoms.

Blogger VD November 10, 2015 7:58 AM  

So if we think the current free trade equation isn't working, change the equation. I'd call free trade in goods - but not migrants - "free trade". But I'm not bothered about the description, just the outcomes.

You can call it a fish if you want to. That doesn't change the facts. Free trade absolutely requires the free movement of labor. You don't believe in free trade, you're just quibbling about where to draw the line.

Anonymous DT November 10, 2015 8:06 AM  

I was thinking today Vox if Putin offered to only Nuke Washington a silent majority of South Baptists would give their endorsement.

I'm pretty sure more groups then just South Baptists would give their endorsement.

Blogger Chris Mallory November 10, 2015 8:09 AM  

@14 "I was thinking today Vox if Putin offered to only Nuke Washington a silent majority of South Baptists would give their endorsement."

It needs to happen during the State of the Union address, so most of the rats will be in one hole.

Blogger Markku November 10, 2015 8:10 AM  

After all, what if a deluded Chrislamian decides it would be a good idea to invite 20,000 Somalis onto their property?

He is free to make the invitation. But the difference between libertarianism and anarchism is that libertarianism believes in minarchist government whose sole responsibility is to guarantee the continued liberties of its citizens. The government may choose to hinder the ability of those Somalis, hopefully carrying high-powered rifles, from following through on that invitation. This is not a restriction of the inviter's liberties.

Blogger Durandel Almiras November 10, 2015 8:13 AM  

Vox, while you have so much going on as it is, this subject is another one that could use a longer and more thorough treatment by you. I disagree with Free Trade because of the immigration, emigration and outsourcing issues - all of which participate in the destruction of families and communities, including ethnic nations. But for the conservatives who have yet to come over to the dark side of the Alt-right and are not NeCons, it would be good to know how to crush their Free Market indoctrination and help them unplug - if possible.

As for those of us who are economically illiterate, any suggestions on where to start reading?

OT: And how did critical thinking become a lost art? Did people think more clearly in the distant past or is that just historical myth?

Blogger allyn71 November 10, 2015 8:18 AM  

@41

Durandel have you searched the archives? Vox has done quite a bit of extensive work on this already. That is why Steve's whole "immigration isn't part of free trade" argument falls so flat. We have been down this road before.

Just because someone told you that free trade is the besttest thing ever doesn't make it so.

Blogger ScuzzaMan November 10, 2015 8:26 AM  

"The post-WWII growth was not the result of any trade or economic policies, but a positive application of Broken Window theory. Every other industrial nation had its industrial capacity smashed, so the US benefited from an intrinsic infrastructural advantage for around 25 years."

There is some truth to this.

But it cannot be wholly coincidental that the boom followed closely the collapse of federal spending in the wake of massive demobilisation and materiel purchasing after the war ended.

Blogger Durandel Almiras November 10, 2015 8:32 AM  

@42 - I've been a reader since 2008. I've seen some of Vox's posts on this but if I wanted to give someone a full treatment of Vox's argument, I can't think of a through post made in the past. I'll check the archives but I do think a book, or a long post, should be made that makes the argument and states the main counters to the primary and common objections that will follow from those hearing it.

Anonymous Jody November 10, 2015 8:39 AM  

Free trade benefits both decision makers in every transaction. That's empirically and theoretically true.

However, the objects of trade are not guaranteed such a benefit.

Thus while GM and you both profit when you upgrade your horse to a shiny new car, the horse does not.

Likewise, while Zuckerberg benefits from importing H1B workers (as do the H1Bs), the displaced workers (who had no say in that transaction) do not benefit.

That the U.S. Worker or the U.S. as a whole need not benefit from the decisions of the titans of Industry should thus not be a surprise.

Blogger allyn71 November 10, 2015 8:40 AM  

By typing in "Ricardo" in the search bar at the top left one would get plenty of material to get the gist of Vox's position. Just an FYI

If Vox was inclined to write said book/post I am sure it would be useful and illuminating. Until then the archives are pretty good if you are looking to pass along the ideas.

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery November 10, 2015 8:44 AM  

paworldandtimes - Yes. I've heard there are high rates of alcoholism and mental illness among our new Eastern European chums too. Being far away from home, working your arse off for a barista's wage, can't be helping with that.

OTOH Eastern European girls are fit.

Vox - there is no moral argument for the free movement of goods and capital that does not apply equally well to labor.

Yes. But why did we start seeing trade in terms of morality? We should define it in terms of self-interest, same as with any other voluntary transaction.

That's why the free movement of labor is written explicitly into most free trade agreements and is one of the EU's Four Fundamental Freedoms.

Yes, but note: free movement of people within the EU.

So, as it was originally conceived, Johnny Frenchman could open a boulangerie in Berlin without some stiff-necked Prussian pushing him back over the Maginot Line.

The EU does not, and never has, practiced or preached free trade in either goods or people outside its own borders. The Four Freedoms were supposed to build a single European market, same as exists within the United States.

And the goal of this was indeed a moral one - which is why it has run into difficulty as the EU expanded - rather than a practical one based on self-interest. The founders of the EU weren't interested in maximising utility, they wanted to create a single European nation. Their version of "free trade" was never about trade, it was about political union.

The traditional British - and therefore correct - position was that we like buying in the cheapest markets and selling in the dearest, but the Royal Navy would rain hell down on would-be invaders.

Now you, noble Dark Lord, are telling me I'm wrong for understanding free trade in the same terms Adam Smith and Winston Churchill used to understand it.

Very well. I shan't quibble. I'd be happy to call it "fish" so long as I get my kippers.

Markku - The government may choose to hinder the ability of those Somalis, hopefully carrying high-powered rifles, from following through on that invitation. This is not a restriction of the inviter's liberties.

Damn. You Finns are scary. No wonder the Russians had such a bad time visiting your country between 1939 to 1940.

Blogger allyn71 November 10, 2015 8:45 AM  

@45

The train is fine.

Blogger Robert What? November 10, 2015 8:46 AM  

Vox, how much of the problem is "free trade" and how much of the problem are the regulations, costs and impediments put up by the government to hiring native tech workers. I run a micro tech company (eight people). I don't plan to ever hire another American. It is just too risky and cost prohibitive for a small business. Besides, most of the Americans I have interviewed and/or hired over the years have an enormously inflated sense of their own value and capabilities.

Blogger James Dixon November 10, 2015 8:50 AM  

> Free trade works well at the governmental level.

I also vote for off shoring CEO and other executive positions. Ah, I see Carnivore also mentioned it.

> I see no mention of labour in the original definitions, only goods and services.

In the broadest terms, isn't labor a service? Ah, I see Vox has answered that question.

Blogger VD November 10, 2015 8:54 AM  

Free trade benefits both decision makers in every transaction. That's empirically and theoretically true.

That's totally false. That's absolutely and utterly ridiculous. The correct formulation is this: "Every free trade transaction is believed to be relatively beneficial by both decision makers."

Blogger Markku November 10, 2015 8:56 AM  

In the broadest terms, isn't labor a service?

As I said, every counterexample I saw was about tariffs, and those type of restrictions. Based on a cursory look, I conclude that extending this to unrestricted immigration is a deliberate misrepresentation from the part of EU and such entities, of what was originally meant by "unrestricted".

So, "we allow you to be in the country due to our existing laws regarding that, but if you provide service X as a legal alien, we will impose a penal tax of 10% on your profits from that service" would be such a restriction.

I believe "we would have treated you as an American business, but you currently don't fulfill the requirements of being on American soil (for reasons unrelated to the service), so you'll have to figure out some other way of providing the service" is in line with the original intent.

Blogger S1AL November 10, 2015 8:56 AM  

I don't see how "free trade" in any way necessitates the free movement of people. That's like saying free trade prevents zoning restrictions.

But this entire thread feels like a rehash of every free market debate semantic quibble ever written - no, I don't want a completely unregulated market, but I'm still a big fan of capitalism. Same thing applies to free trade.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar November 10, 2015 8:57 AM  

Free Trade is an oxymoron. There is nothing free about trade. Capitalism is Evil. The Love of Money is the Root of All Evil. Guys like Henry Ford and Thomas Edison weren't Capitalists. They were industrialists who believed in the ethos of hard work leading to a better life.
If I rounded up all the jews and threw them into prison and closed the Federal Reserve and ended their legalised counterfeiting ring, this Depression would be over.
The United States is one of the largest countries on Earth. It has tons of unmined natural resources locked up as "national parks". The environmental movement is just a Big Lie by jews to keep resources locked up and undeveloped so they can maintain their illegal monopolies using slave and child labor in the Third World which is literally against the law. They could all go to prison for 10,000 years if there was an honest government in America.
After WWII, The United States had enough resources and Industry to supply all of Europe and Asia that were bombed out by the War. This country needs trade about as much as a bicycle needs a third wheel. Free Trade is a way greedy Satanic jews disenfranchise Whites from the nation of their ancestors and make money the only way these talentless stupid fuckers know how, by theft and closed market crony capitalism through corrupt bought politicians like Hillary and Senor Boosh.

Blogger Rusty Fife November 10, 2015 9:03 AM  

@49 Robert What?

Not this argument again. "When I compare the costs of hiring a native with the same credentials as some foreigner without the same regulatory overhead; the native is too expensive! We need to make it easier to hire more foreigners!"

Why do none of you cucks ever think of lowering the regulatory overhead?

Blogger VD November 10, 2015 9:04 AM  

I don't see how "free trade" in any way necessitates the free movement of people. That's like saying free trade prevents zoning restrictions.

This is so deeply stupid it makes me embarrassed that you posted it here. It indicates that you don't even know what the arguments for free trade are, let alone understand them.

It is not like saying free trade restricts zoning restrictions.

Blogger VD November 10, 2015 9:07 AM  

As I said, every counterexample I saw was about tariffs, and those type of restrictions. Based on a cursory look, I conclude that extending this to unrestricted immigration is a deliberate misrepresentation from the part of EU and such entities, of what was originally meant by "unrestricted".

You don't know the literature well enough. Again, I point out that they didn't take the movement of labor possibility seriously because they didn't think it was possible. But their arguments, particularly the moral ones, still implicitly included them. Mises even noted this, if I recall correctly, and anticipated a potential problem there.

Anonymous Jody November 10, 2015 9:07 AM  

Re imperfect information - true, but irrelevant to the vast majority of trades, at least in terms of the sign of the benefit.

Far more important, however, are the effects on third parties, as illustrated in your link.

Blogger overcaffeinated November 10, 2015 9:08 AM  

I'm actually less concerned about outsourcing than visas, since I think a lot of these companies doing outsourcing are going to find that you get what you pay for, and are going to be overtaken by companies willing to invest in IT for a competitive edge. The usual reason given for needing more H-1B's is some kind of "skills gap" -- i.e., there aren't enough Americans with high tech skills.

Now, if you just think about this for a moment, it's obviously absurd. Where were the airplane, telephone, television, automobile, personal computer, and internet invented? Not in India, but in the United States. So if we were able to invent all those things during a period of reduced immigration, why in the world would anyone think we all of a sudden need 2nd world immigrants to stay competitive?

( Here's an article showing that wealthy executives have been crying about having to pay their workers a decent wage for decades now: http://spectrum.ieee.org/at-work/education/the-stem-crisis-is-a-myth )

Oh right, because they cost less. That's the only reason tech billionaries like Mark Zuckerburg (with his FWD.US project) are whining to Congress about not having "enough" visas. Apparently it was "enough" to make him billions of dollars, but let's ignore that.

Blogger Robert What? November 10, 2015 9:18 AM  

@Rusty Five,

You might want to read my post before replying to it. I am talking about the regulatory costs and impediments.

Blogger Cail Corishev November 10, 2015 9:26 AM  

Why do none of you cucks ever think of lowering the regulatory overhead?

@49 told us the real reason in his last sentence:

"Besides, most of the Americans I have interviewed and/or hired over the years have an enormously inflated sense of their own value and capabilities."

He doesn't want to hire Americans. Make the regulatory burden the same, get rid of the liability risks, require him to pay foreigners the same wage, make the cost the same in every way -- it won't matter. He will still prefer not to hire American workers, because he doesn't like them. Likewise, Zuckerberg would still fight for open borders even if you proved to him that his H-1Bs are costing him money, because it's not primarily about his bottom line; it's about other things.

Now, whether he's right not to like American workers is an open question. But it's not one that a nation's government should base policy upon.

Blogger Rusty Fife November 10, 2015 9:26 AM  

@60

I did read it. " I don't plan to ever hire another American. It is just too risky and cost prohibitive for a small business. Besides, most of the Americans I have interviewed and/or hired over the years have an enormously inflated sense of their own value and capabilities."

Too much regulation of natives = therefore I only hire foreigners. Do you not see it yourself?

Blogger S1AL November 10, 2015 9:30 AM  

This is so deeply stupid it makes me embarrassed that you posted it here. It indicates that you don't even know what the arguments for free trade are, let alone understand them.

It is not like saying free trade restricts zoning restrictions.


What difference is there, when treating labor as a good, between "you cannot have that business in this location" and "you, as a physical entity, are not allowed in this location"? I'm not saying that the original purveyors even argued along those lines at all, but rather that the abstract concept of "free trade" doesn't necessitate the free movement of persons (across borders).

Granted, I'd assume you're correct that this is an issue of me not understanding the formalized concept of free trade.

Blogger Carnivore November 10, 2015 9:51 AM  

@59 - There's the additional problem of corporate leaders not really caring if they no longer have a competitive edge - especially considering a company's long term prospects. It's only the next quarter's numbers that matter.

A nation as rich in resources as the USA should also be well placed in security matters and autarky. Now, I've never held a job requiring security clearance but after 30 years in telecom, I can say it will be very interesting if access to Chinese tech contractors (in China) is ever cutoff suddenly. The WWII shortages of rubber, glass eyes and shellac for 78's will seem trivial.

Blogger Artisanal Toad November 10, 2015 9:56 AM  

The big post-WWII bust began with three things that happened in 1972: Nixon closed the gold window allowing the FED to inflate the money supply, the Roe v Wade decision (not issued until 1973 but decided in 1972) and the policies of Earl Butz, Sec of Ag under Nixon and Ford. He put in place policies intentionally designed to destroy the small family farm and told the farmers "get big or get out." Whether God has a hand in the rise and fall of nations is something many might reject, but the other two are easy enough to see and impossible to deny.

The stagnation of real wages (adjusted for inflation) that began in 1975-1978 should not be a surprise to anyone, but while the effect of inflating the money supply is difficult to miss, most economists don't even know what Butz did (other than the famous "blacks want 3 things: tight pussy, loose shoes and a warm place to shit" quote) and wouldn't understand parity pricing of agricultural products if the concept hit them in the head.

Restructured farm policy came with restructuring of the American economy from a production economy to a FIRE economy and a massive increase of the money supply, which stimulated the stock market boom in the 90's and the housing boom in the 2000's. The only reason the current economic depression isn't a lot worse is we are currently seeing the largest inter-generational transfer of wealth the world has ever seen as the last reasonably successful generation in the US is dying and what little wealth they still have is being transferred to more profligate children after the health care industry extracts as much as possible before handing over their corpses for burial.

The importation of cheap foreign labor and products has had a predictable effect on the US economy and surprise: everyone is suddenly struggling to explain what went unnoticed for years, the incredible spike in the deaths of middle-aged white males. Incredible as it sounds, suicide of white males is now neck and neck with the death rate for all automotive deaths in the US. What you won't see in the explanations for this is any hint of feminism or the war on men. No, according to the BBC the leading *cause* of these suicides is the easy access to guns.

Nothing to see here folks, move along.

Blogger ncartist November 10, 2015 10:02 AM  

I remember reading circa 2000 a book written in the 1980s by a man who had been a minor insider to the economic planning of the '70s and '80s; he was distraught enough to write a book warning the public: in it, he described the elites' deliberate plans to move the American economy off shore, both industry and labor: the destruction of both American industry and labor was deliberate and fully understood from the start.

Anonymous Anonymous November 10, 2015 10:06 AM  

Vox's comments echo my own views on this matter precisely. I was an ardent free-trader for a long while (although being a good deal younger than Vox not for decades). Some of the very critical assumptions underpinning free trade theory are just that assumptions with no empirical support for their validity outside specific portions of economic history. When you take a college economics classes they actually make clear that Ricardo's theory of comparative advantage means that free trade will create more wealth in aggregate. Distributional questions are clearly not addressed. If you look at the situation in the economy today it seems at least plausible that the free trade system has put massive downward pressure on wages in the developed economies, created huge accumulation of wealth for the owners of capital, but has also dragged millions out of dire poverty in the developing countries. Furthermore the debt fueled (either personal or government financed debt distributed through transfer payments) consumption in the high wage economies has enabled the run-up of massive fiscal imbalances between countries (and contributed to massive run-up in asset prices in certain markets as those fiscal imbalances end-up reinvested in the west (real estate, art, etc...)). In a way the massive deficits runs by western governments were political grease to keep the wheels of the globalized financialized economy going. I do wonder if this automation trend, and the virtually limitless supply of labour in Asia and ultimately Africa will mean that that the economy will (eventually) grind to a halt for lack of consumer demand.

Blogger Stilicho #0066 November 10, 2015 10:07 AM  

Markku, it doesn't matter how free trade is described, we know from experience that limiting it to goods and capital harms our labor pool. Capital follows cheap labor even with poor quality because it's margins are better even with replacement costs on returns. If labor can't follow the capital, imbalance results. When that imbalance is made worse by immigration to the country already suffering unemployment/underemployment, instability and war become part of the equation.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar November 10, 2015 10:17 AM  

Anybody who believes that Free Trade and Cheap Labor are actually profitable is either stupid or naive. Everybody is going broke. Companies that have been in business for over a Century are closing down. Even recession proof businesses like McDonalds and Wal-Mart are now bleeding red on their books.
Look at the push to marginalize Whites in our society. Every bad guy on TV and movies is a White male. They have made traditional American Heroes like Captain America black and Thor is now a woman.
None of this is profitable. They want to make James Bond black. They will lose millions just to give the finger to White men. This is the jew hatred of Whites. It has nothing to do with Hitler or even Jesus Christ. White people are generally smarter than jews. The ridiculous claim of jew intellectual superiority is just another Big Lie. They have to marginalize Whites for their mad dream of ruling a World of Slaves that serve them White people are smart and strong enough to stop them. That's what this is, not profit.

Blogger CM November 10, 2015 10:24 AM  

We should define it in terms of self-interest, same as with any other voluntary transaction.

Oh the beauty of being borderless and nationless! All our interactions are boiled down to self-interest with no concern for our neighbor who may or may not be our kinsman so we owe him nothing!

NOTHING!

I think Nate's previous mention of labor (as opposed to service) was for Steve's benefit rather than Vox's. If you get your computer chips from China with no disincentive to do so, people in your country lose jobs whether you have an open door policy or not.

OpenID PW November 10, 2015 10:25 AM  

Vox, another point to make is that the free flow of capital tends to create bubbles as investors and capital jump to from the last *hot* market to next *hot* market.

Blogger Derrick Bonsell November 10, 2015 10:28 AM  

Is there a book that concisely attacks free trade arguments and puts up an alternative? I would love to crib from it for arguments.

Anonymous Roundtine November 10, 2015 10:32 AM  

The free trader says he must offshore jobs to China because of low wages, but then he says we must flood America with Mexicans to compete with low wage China.

If Nigeria legalized slavery and filled the factories with slaves, American corporations would be pushing to repeal the 13th amendment.

Blogger JaimeInTexas November 10, 2015 10:33 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger JaimeInTexas November 10, 2015 10:34 AM  

@54. Joshua Sinistar

"Free Trade is an oxymoron. There is nothing free about trade. Capitalism is Evil."

Where in hell is Nurse Ratched?

Anonymous Roundtine November 10, 2015 10:34 AM  

@71 Vox, another point to make is that the free flow of capital tends to create bubbles as investors and capital jump to from the last *hot* market to next *hot* market.

And a significant portion of this, from the investment side, is currency changes.

Blogger JaimeInTexas November 10, 2015 10:37 AM  

Isn't the scope of free trade the issue? We have free trade among the States in union with no limitation to people moving among the States.

Anonymous The Obvious November 10, 2015 10:40 AM  

@72

Free Trade Doesn't Work by Ian Fletcher was mentioned by Vox in a interview he did a while back.

Blogger Desiderius November 10, 2015 10:44 AM  

Robert What?

"Besides, most of the Americans I have interviewed and/or hired over the years have an enormously inflated sense of their own value and capabilities."

Sounds to me like they'd be the perfect fit with the man doing the hiring.

Blogger Markku November 10, 2015 10:51 AM  

Isn't the scope of free trade the issue?

Well, the most pressing issue is that in the political arena, you don't really get to nuance your views. If your message to the powers that be is "plz to give us free trade", chances are that you are getting unrestricted immigration and migration, no matter what your personal definition was.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar November 10, 2015 10:52 AM  

If offshoring is such a windfall of easy money then explain why half the floor space at Wal-Mart is now a grocery store? There are already plenty of major grocery store chains and food is nowhere near as profitable a product as consumer electronics or appliances. The reason they're selling groceries is because their other products are collecting dust on the shelves. Those cheap Mexicans are living on Food Stamps and sending half their checks to a dozen family member in Mexico.
Most major consumer electronic and appliance stores have already gone broke. Radio Shack didn't close their stores because they had a bad business model. It was always a staple for home and garage electronics wizards who liked to kitbash and tinker their own shit. But all those guys were White and brown people don't know a computer chip from a paint chip. Radio Shack is just one of the many industries that depended on smart White consumers that are now broke because they put Whites out of work.
This downward spiral will kill you all. These jews are not sane. They will destroy the entire world for their stupid mad dreams of ruling a world of slaves who serve them. Their vistory will be the funeral wreath of mankind, and Earth will orbit the Sun as a lifeless orb like Pluto due to all the smart people being eterminated by inferior insane jews who don't have the slightest idea of how anything really works.

Blogger Josh November 10, 2015 11:01 AM  

Radio Shack didn't close their stores because they had a bad business model.

Yes they did

Blogger VD November 10, 2015 11:01 AM  

Good comment, Anonymous, but do choose a Name under Name/URL. Anonymous comments are not permitted.

Blogger Josh November 10, 2015 11:02 AM  

It was always a staple for home and garage electronics wizards who liked to kitbash and tinker their own shit.

Until this thing called the internet happened and they could buy many more components online.

Blogger Josh November 10, 2015 11:04 AM  

Good comment, Anonymous, but do choose a Name under Name/URL. Anonymous comments are not permitted.

But free trade! Information wants to be free!

Blogger Rez Zircon November 10, 2015 11:06 AM  

Vox, thank you for your concise explanations of economics. Today I gained a new enlightenment about free trade vs immigration. I'd appreciate a future article centered around tariffs, and the concept of making government subsist on export tariffs.

Blogger Brad Andrews November 10, 2015 11:09 AM  

@77,

It would seem to be, but Vox has claimed to me in the past that allowing free trade to my house means I would have to allow the butcher to setup shop in my house. The conclusion doesn't follow, but it is made. (I expect to be slammed for some detail, but that was the essence of the last time I saw this argument.)

I agree with you Markku, the case has not been made.

Vox said,

Labor is implicit in services. Labor IS services.

Labor is a form of services, but does not fully encompass services. Free trade in goods has not been proven to require free trade in labor either.

The other huge flaw here is that no one has shown what is better. Merely stating "this is bad" does not prove it is not the best among all choices. What option is better? I go back to the question of "who chooses?" I have no trust in political powers to select wise controls on what goods can come into the country. I don't trust them to have free trade either, since we do not have that now under the existing situation.

Taking modern situations and saying free trade is bad is not a sound argument. Maybe this is supposed to be a rhetorical argument though.



Blogger Brad Andrews November 10, 2015 11:11 AM  

@84,

Until this thing called the internet happened and they could buy many more components online.

Online didn't exist before the Internet, almost by definition. Mail order did, but I would not call that online. Perhaps a few BBS did this, but I still wouldn't call that online.

Blogger Maple Curtain November 10, 2015 11:17 AM  

@72, @78: also see

http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2011/09/30/1000000-economists-can-be-wrong-the-free-trade-fallacies/

where Steve Keen discusses free trade and refers to an article by Dani Rodrik on harm caused by trade liberalization.

Blogger allyn71 November 10, 2015 11:17 AM  

@77

How has all that free movement of Yankees and Mexicans been working out for Texas? Culture changing any? Immigration is great ain't it.

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery November 10, 2015 11:17 AM  

CM - If you get your computer chips from China with no disincentive to do so, people in your country lose jobs whether you have an open door policy or not.

Maybe... if you make computer chips in your country.

It's never been a big industry in the UK. IIRC, our biggest computer hardware manufacturer was Ferranti, which went bust after one of the CIA's fake companies defrauded them.

Electricity (thanks to green regulations) and labour in the UK is too dear to compete with Chinese commodity component makers anyway. But we are very good at designing chips and collecting royalties from selling those designs - ARM (and others) make good money through this business model.

Anonymous 11B November 10, 2015 11:31 AM  

Britain can't feed herself without foreign trade.

But she can feed herself without free trade. Free trade and trade are not one in the same. Not that you are necessarily doing so, but many conflate free trade with trade itself and believe the only alternative to free trade is complete economic isolation. As VD pointed out, the USA went through its greatest growth periods under protectionists trade measures. China's nearly thirty year economic boom has been done under protectionists measures too.

Blogger Danby November 10, 2015 11:37 AM  

@15 DadOfTen
One of the reasons the H1B visa system works so well for employers is that the visa holders become indentured servants for the term of their visas. Theoretically they can change jobs without any worries. In reality the red tape is thick, expensive, and time consuming. So the visa holders are stuck in the US working very cheaply.
Very true, I've seen it literally hundreds of times

A solution to that particular problem is to turn all H1-B's into green card holders with the wave of a magic wand. Then they will be free to leave employers if underpaid or treated unfairly. It would make them less appealing to companies. That will also remove the incentive for companies to pay $3000-$6000 to bring workers from overseas who can leave their employ at will with no worries about being sent back home.
Are you insane? How about stop bringing in foreigners to do the work? Maybe ship their Hindu asses home now?

Look, I work in IT. My workplace has literally 70% of the people as H1B contractors. Most of the remainders are offshored and outsourced. Of the relatively few "Americans" who work in the IT shop, about half are former H1Bs who got their green cards and stayed. This is at a very large US company that is the 2nd largest tech employer in the state. This one company's policy of not using Americans for IT work (and it is a definite policy, despite public denials of the same) depresses IT wages regionally.

Not a perfect fix, but you could use SJW arguments for it in favor of equality and get the SJWs to help pass that law. And you could use current immigration laws to limit immigration if you are so inclined.
Think it through, man. Do you think that such a policy would not be used to simply add another 800.000 immigrants each year? I mean, I hate these SJW clowns as much as anybody, but I'm not going to shoot myself to get at them. You're arguing "Let's surrender, that'll teach them!"
How about this: As many H1Bs as you want, but they must be paid 50% more than the prevailing wage for that job description, and a 10% payroll tax surcharge. That at least would put an end to claims of shortages of qualified candidates.

Anonymous BigGaySteve November 10, 2015 11:42 AM  

You can't call a 5000+ page document a free trade agreement.

Interesting example: black women earn more on average in the UK than white women.

That can not possibly be true unless you are ignoring welfare, not counting it as zero or counting all of the taxpayer expense as positive.

For example the family in this story would earn more than I with their £8,000 a month housing benefit current conversion $12,095.99 a month is $145,115.88 just in housing payments & the family of 6 low IQ Somalis pushing taxpayer paid payments well over $200,000 a year. If any have HIV you are looking at $24,000-$60,000 each in just meds per year. While they earn more than I do looking at it like that, there is no chance they or their descendants positively contributing to the 1st world. I wont bother posting the squatmonster family of 8 in Switzerland that eats up ~$60,000 taxpayer currency a month. If I recall 80%+ of moslems in the UK are on benefits.

"A family of former asylum-seekers from Somalia are living in a £2.1million luxury townhouse in one of Britain's most exclusive addresses at a cost to taxpayers of £8,000 a month
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1293730/Somali-asylum-seeker-family-given-2m-house--complaining-5-bed-London-home-poor-area.html

Anonymous The OASF November 10, 2015 11:42 AM  

With the technology advances and the collapse of communist Russia and China, free trade theory then only served as a cloak to hide the US Chamber of Commerce's desire for absolute labor arbitrage.

What is truly discouraging is that the disemployed can't seem to figure out that they are victims of economic treason and therefore don't act accordingly, if you know what I mean.

OpenID elijahrhodes November 10, 2015 11:44 AM  

I too echo the sentiment of those calling for Vox to write a more thorough treatise on the subject.

I'm reflexively anti free trade because it defies basic logic. Imposing free trade on nations of varying levels of wealth and productivity will pull everyone to the mean. Poor nations get richer and rich nations get poorer. Everyone ends up average.

Blogger Josh November 10, 2015 11:48 AM  

That can not possibly be true unless you are ignoring welfare, not counting it as zero or counting all of the taxpayer expense as positive.

It was true in 2008.

On average, women who described their ethnicity as 'Black Caribbean' have taken home more pay in 2008 than their white counterparts. The pay gap grew to 6 per cent in the three months to October, when black women earned an average £462 per week - against £436 for white women.

Blogger James Dixon November 10, 2015 11:52 AM  

> Online didn't exist before the Internet,...

Sigh. You've obviously never heard of Compuserve and the other online services.

Blogger Josh November 10, 2015 11:55 AM  

Oh hell, we've jumped from the "not real trade" arguments to "not real internet" arguments

Blogger BrianE November 10, 2015 11:58 AM  

Not directly related to free trade, but the cumulative balance of trade deficit approximately equals the national debt.
So we have been sending money offshore for the last 30 years-- the money has returned to the US in the form of financing government deficit spending.
I suppose the two are completely unrelated, but still...hmmm.
I supported NAFTA at the time because I thought strengthening the Mexican economy would reduce the need for illegal Mexican immigration here. The loss of manufacturing jobs here would offset the costs of illegal immigration. I don't think that has abeen the case-- and I suspect some of the cause is the corrupt political system in Mexico-- of course crony capitalism here is having an effect here.

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery November 10, 2015 12:01 PM  

Big Gay Steve - nah, it's based on earnings, not welfare.

And why wouldn't you expect it to be true? Average female earnings aren't high in Britain - about £450 a week. London salaries have always been weighted more highly than provincial salaries.

Of course, it's quite possible black women also take more welfare benefits on average than white women, but I haven't seen the stats.

11B - many conflate free trade with trade itself and believe the only alternative to free trade is complete economic isolation.

Yar. Both extremes are retarded.

If by "free trade" we mean everybody and his dog can come live here, we'll lose our country.

If by "isolation", we mean becoming a hermit kingdom and eating tree bark and grass soup, we'll starve.

Anonymous BGS November 10, 2015 12:05 PM  

relative advantage of Western economies? What on earth will Western economies produce?

The only advantage the West ever had was creation. When we could keep processes secret from those better at copying at least until we came up with something better. Now Israel and Asia steal new ideas before people can make their way to the patent office. Chinese with PHDs in Biology have been caught stealing simple hybrid seeds that they should have been able to make their own.

So if we think the current free trade equation isn't working, change the equation. I'd call free trade in goods - but not migrants

You still have the problem of cheap labor putting lead in your toys/food. Every time you hear of an E Coli outbreak it comes from 3rd world people handling your food but not washing hands after they take a dump. Those are part of the socialized costs.

Britain can't feed herself without foreign trade. So we need to trade for our daily bread.

If you didn't close down all the ports except for those owned by foreigners, would they UK still be able to feed itself from the sea?

A Libertarian reassessment "Some libertarians have assumed that the correct libertarian position on immigration must be “open borders”

That argument rests on the ability to do restrictive covenants which civil rights made illegal.

If Nigeria legalized slavery and filled the factories with slaves, American corporations would be pushing to repeal the 13th amendment

Slavery might be more expensive than hiring Nigerians with current practices. Now you only need to be ready to shoot them when they strike.

Blogger Josh November 10, 2015 12:09 PM  

And why wouldn't you expect it to be true?

Because it's big gay Steve

Anonymous BGS November 10, 2015 12:09 PM  

Big Gay Steve - nah, it's based on earnings, not welfare

But all of those earning zero currency would drag the average down. Its like counting the black arrest rate in a town that only has blacks in prison, that can't be arrested, Steve Sailer found those are the only communities that don't have massively "disparate" black arrest rates.

OpenID Jack Amok November 10, 2015 12:13 PM  

I think free trade is good - among peer states.

This is a good description of the United States for most of its history. We've been a constitutionally mandated Free Trade zone for about 10 generations now. We've also been a Free Movement zone too. I work in Washington State. Of the 15 people in my group, 12 are native-born Americans and only 2 were born in WA.

I know it's tempting to say it doesn't have to be that way, that we could be a Free Trade zone without being a Free Movement zone, but in practice, when has there ever been a free trade zone that lasted for more than a couple of generations before turning into a free movement zone?

Free trade without free movement is possible, but unstable. Instability means economic stagnation. Let the instability get bad enough and you get economic disruption through revolution and bloodshed.

Blogger Steve, the Dark Ninja of Mockery November 10, 2015 12:18 PM  

Josh - Because it's big gay Steve

Oh yeah.

Big Gay Steve - But all of those earning zero currency would drag the average down.

It wasn't a survey of all women, just all women in paid employment.

Anonymous Quartermaster November 10, 2015 12:33 PM  

@77
We don’t have full free trade even between the states. As an Engineer and Surveyor, I have to be licensed in each state I take work in. I know Engineers and Surveyors with massive “I Love Me” walls with licenses from 20 or more states. Maintaining those licenses is a significant expense and is a method of curtailing competition across state lines.

@84
I used to buy a lot of electronic components at Radio “Shaft.” Mail order kicked off big time in the late 70s with a lot of suppliers offering stuff at a fraction the cost of Tandy and the Internet sealed their doom. Radio shack was overpriced, but handy. Being handy was the only thing keeping them going in the late 80s.

@91
I’d never heard of Ferranti. I always thought the CIA was run by scum. Just more confirmation.

Blogger DadOfTen November 10, 2015 12:36 PM  

@93. Danby
I think your solution is nifty and better than mine if it could get passed. I think mine is more possible. The idea is not to allow more folks in, I am in favor of less. But if we reduced the incentives for companies to hire in any way, yours or mine, then there will be less pressure to bring the folks in.

I remember 30 years ago when EDS first brought 16 programmers from India or Pakistan into PA for a project. They sent 14 back within 3 months. The other two were very good and got to stay. They didn't repeat the experiment at that time because the results were so bad. Now they are outsourcing programming to Brazil so the time zone is similar, or India, the Philippines, or Pakistan. They now brag of having all those local resources offshore. I would rather have those folks working in the USA and staying, than train them in our processes and send them back to take our jobs with them.

Blogger DadOfTen November 10, 2015 12:44 PM  

> Online didn't exist before the Internet,...

I remember paying $500/month to use a bulletin board service for technical recruiting. It was called "Dice". Yes, the same one as Dice.com . And I remember getting a huge phone bill when my son discovered bulletin board games he could dial into with our blisteringly fast 600 baud modem. I paid over $500 for that speed demon modem when the standard was 300 baud.

Blogger justaguy November 10, 2015 12:45 PM  

I echo the property rights argument. While I understand the advantages of free trade in materials, I disagree with free trade in people. An illiterate, uneducated worker in a country to the South of the US can make X/hour in his country. Transport that worker to the US and he can make several times X/hour here. Why? Who knows or cares, its just our apps,culture,abilities,magic dirt, whatever, enable people to be more productive. Is this large increase in productivity free? NO.

Why can't a country have property-like rights in citizenship. A nation's citizens worked and developed that culture over generations (it takes generations to change a culture) and wants to maintain/enjoy the benefits of that culture (obviously culture is here for the long list of unknowns above- use term magic dirt?). As a nation we can decide who to give this benefit to-- our children or to millions of another nation's people. I choose my children and the children of citizens who worked, fought and developed that culture.

So, yes I support restricting immigration severely--see Ann Coulter and VDare. I support an empirical approach to restrictions on trade with some rational and open discussion/feedback on benefits vs costs (dispersed costs versus concentrated benefits) as well.

We have keep up with the world and maintain trade, but we do not have to give up our advantages over the world in those few areas where we still have them. Advantages in magic dirt (whatever lets the US be so efficient and productive) might be less transferable than advantages in technology to other countrie, so we should try to use what advantages we have. At least we can slow the Schumpeter destruction of massive numbers of jobs to allow for changes and minimizing impact to our society. Lots of fertile ground in competition among cultures/laws/magic dirt between nations, once technology differences shrink.

Blogger mistaben November 10, 2015 12:55 PM  

@108 DadOfTen You assume the lower payroll cost is the only incentive for Zuck et al to bring in the H1Bs. This is almost certainly not correct.

Blogger Markku November 10, 2015 12:57 PM  

Legend of the Red Dragon.

Just sayin'

Anonymous Alrenous November 10, 2015 1:09 PM  

The price of overregulation, you mean.

Shockingly, when about half of the firm's cost per employee is regulatory overhead, they can't compete with non-nanny-state labour. Similarly, if you tax domestic oil at 100% but let in foreign oil with no tariff, you'll see domestic oil production go down. A bit.

Regulatory costs are growing faster than the market can adapt. Tariffs would actually make it worse. These firms are becoming unprofitable; the jobs are going away regardless, the only question is whether Americans will still get the products or not. With tariffs, the new jobs they get, being paid less, wouldn't be able to afford their old standard of living.

Blogger Danby November 10, 2015 1:12 PM  

@11 mistaben
Actually you completely mistake Dad's argument. He's saying the major incentive is not lower pay, but the indentured servitude nature of the employment. I for one disagree with him. I think it's primarily about depressing wages generally, but the dependency of the H!B holder on the employer is also attactive for some of the more psychopathic coporate types. (see @49 Robert above)

Blogger VD November 10, 2015 1:16 PM  

I agree with you Markku, the case has not been made.

Sweet Adam Smith, but some of you people are complete fucking morons. Your economy is collapsing, your currency is shot, your debt is sky high, you have 59 million invaders occupying your country, and yet you COMPLETE FUCKING MORONS insist that, well, you know, the jury is still out on free trade. Maybe it's really good for us like they say it is.

You deserve what you're getting. Just know that. You absolutely deserve it.

Anonymous BGS November 10, 2015 1:18 PM  

As for those of us who are economically illiterate, any suggestions on where to start reading?

Perhaps Vox will write "Those who self identify as free traders always lie" or "If you were a 5000 page free trade agreement my love"

OT: And how did critical thinking become a lost art? Did people think more clearly in the distant past or is that just historical myth?

A combination of Carlos Slims + 5 jews didn't control most of the media outlets in the world pushing anti critical thinking, stupid people died far more often in K selected environments, and only the best thinkers had their works remembered though the ages.

I'm actually less concerned about outsourcing than visas, since I think a lot of these companies doing outsourcing are going to find that you get what you pay for

I remember a big scare in outsourcing was before 2005, a woman in india threatened to release patient info (violating the Hipaa law)onto the net of a hospital if she didn't get back pay owed, there was 3 levels of outsourcing between the hospital and the worker.

Online didn't exist before the Internet, almost by definition. Mail order did, but I would not call that online

Radio shack vs. one month mail order is not the same model as Radio Shack vs. free 2 day shipping.

You assume the lower payroll cost is the only incentive for Zuck et al to bring in the H1Bs. This is almost certainly not correct.

They are more willing to break the law, cut corners & ignore fraud because he can just deport them if they don't play dirty pool.

Blogger Markku November 10, 2015 1:24 PM  

Note that I'm not saying that if free trade doesn't necessiate immigration, then free trade has to be a good thing. I'm just interested in accurate definitions.

Even if we strike out immigration, the fact is that a nation that offers human rights (as defined by God, not as defined by United Nations) to its citizens, cannot compete in price of commodities with a nation that utilizes actual or de facto slave labor. Unless it opts for slave labor itself.

Blogger VD November 10, 2015 1:24 PM  

"The sole justification for distinguishing in economic theory between domestic and foreign trade is to be found in the fact that in the case of the former there is free mobility of capital and labor, whereas this is not true in regard to the commerce between nations."
- Ludwig von Mises

If the free-traders cannot understand how one nation can grow rich at the expense of another, we need not wonder, since these same gentlemen also refuse to understand how within one country one class can enrich itself at the expense of another.... But, in general, the protective system of our day is conservative, while the free trade system is destructive. It breaks up old nationalities and pushes the antagonism of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie to the extreme point. In a word, the free trade system hastens the social revolution. It is in this revolutionary sense alone, gentlemen, that I vote in favor of free trade.
- On the Question of Free Trade, Karl Marx, 1848

Now we've seen decades of a free-trade regime do exactly what Marx said: break up old nationalities. And yet you STILL SUPPORT it? Because you think it will make you RICH when it is doing the exact opposite?

Blogger VD November 10, 2015 1:26 PM  

Note that I'm not saying that if free trade doesn't necessiate immigration, then free trade has to be a good thing. I'm just interested in accurate definitions.

Hans Hoppe has written an entire book trying to deny that free mobility of labor is an intrinsic part of free trade. I will read it soon, but it's worth noting that he felt the need to write it... because most economists understand that free mobility of labor is as intrinsic an aspect of free trade as the free mobility of goods or capital.

Anonymous foo November 10, 2015 1:28 PM  

"Are you insane? How about stop bringing in foreigners to do the work? Maybe ship their Hindu asses home now?"

Heh. How ironic, complaining about "outsourcing" using an entirely outsourced computer, keyboard and monitor, all outsourced to manufacturers abroad.

In-sourced H1-B are about .1% of total USA immigration. Ship them back home and they will (like 90% of more already) do outsourced will work from their homes. So we also loose all the benefits of circulating income here..and..they do exactly the same work, from *there*.

IT work can be done from anywhere and it's even simpler than moving (already done) heavy industry abroad. IT work has nothing to do with H1-B's (who again are .1% of the amount of mexicans sneaking in here)...

Blogger Josh November 10, 2015 1:29 PM  

and yet you COMPLETE FUCKING MORONS insist that, well, you know, the jury is still out on free trade. Maybe it's really good for us like they say it is.

Free trade's got electrolytes?

Blogger SirHamster November 10, 2015 1:33 PM  

I know it's tempting to say it doesn't have to be that way, that we could be a Free Trade zone without being a Free Movement zone, but in practice, when has there ever been a free trade zone that lasted for more than a couple of generations before turning into a free movement zone?

And with free movement ... Well, I've noticed quite a few states not happy that California is exporting Californians.

Blogger allyn71 November 10, 2015 1:44 PM  

@114

You deserve what you're getting. Just know that. You absolutely deserve it.

Yes we do

Blogger allyn71 November 10, 2015 1:49 PM  

Churchill: “Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?”

Socialite: “My goodness, Mr. Churchill… Well, I suppose… we would have to discuss terms, of course…”

Churchill: “Would you sleep with me for five pounds?”

Socialite: “Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!”

Churchill: “Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price."

Free trade requires free movement of labor. Anything else in not free trade. If you are not for free movement of labor but for free movement of goods you are not a free trader. You are just haggling about the price.

Blogger mistaben November 10, 2015 1:49 PM  

@113 Danby He did say that earlier. Thanks.

Like you I don't think the primary incentive is related to the immediate hire of H1B workers; it's definitely longer term.

Blogger Anonymous Robot November 10, 2015 1:50 PM  

Hasn't free trade always been used by those with access to capital and goods made in any country where the labor is cheap to subvert the incomes of workers in any country?

Blogger Joshua Sinistar November 10, 2015 1:58 PM  

The only people who support Free Trade and Cheap Labor are those whose jobs have not been outsourced. Eventually even these jews will be thrown into a cannibal's pot. White Supremacy is Western Civilization. Without White people running things your life will not remain the same, ever.
You can't move to China and be Chinese. Chinese is a race not a land. America is also a race. It is Whites from Northern Europe and England. Anyone who believes different is living in a fantasy world.
If you don't believe me go to Harlem. Either the black or Hispanic part. Is that America? Are they American? Do you feel like that is America and that your life is the same there as where you live? If you think so, you're stupid.

Blogger JaimeInTexas November 10, 2015 2:05 PM  

@90. allyn71

"How has all that free movement of Yankees and Mexicans been working out for Texas? Culture changing any? Immigration is great ain't it."

I know, I know. One required feature of free trade is that the entities are free to engage or disengage. I am all for us in Texas to disengage. I hope in my lifetime.

Blogger praetorian November 10, 2015 2:09 PM  

The free movement of people/labor (as opposed to capital) undermines social trust, since it destroys cultural expectations.

The destruction of trust makes it more difficult for a people to specialize: specialization becomes more risky, since you can't trust your neighbors not to screw you over as the natural monopolies in many production processes assert themselves. You must necessarily become more autarkic.

Time preferences necessarily become higher as well: who *knows* what's gonna happen with all these strangers washing over your life and with you being essentially rootless, and ready to move at the drop of an employers hat. Gather rosebuds while ye may.

A sane and forward-looking society cherishes social trust and protects it.

Blogger JaimeInTexas November 10, 2015 2:10 PM  

I am for free trade and open borders, just that it cannot happen until Jesus returns. Until then, we have to do things according to how the fallen world really is.

Especially with Mexico, another side effect of not having a border is the Mexico continues to muddle in their internal economic, social and economic life. We are their dumping grounds and valve relief. Otherwise, they might have to actually work through their issues and do the hard work of fixing them.

Blogger allyn71 November 10, 2015 2:12 PM  

@127

Why when free trade means that the people you are disengaging from are free to come back in?

Free trade means free movement. From a globalist perspective that if fine, one grand homogenized world.

If you want a future different than that then you should oppose free trade. Free Trade=Tower of Babel

Blogger JaimeInTexas November 10, 2015 2:17 PM  

@130

To disengage, we want. If cannot or not allowed, it ain't free.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar November 10, 2015 2:21 PM  

Everything in life has a social cost. The reason Leftists make emotional appeals based on warped concepts of fairness and past injustices real or imagined is to prevent you from noticing the massive loss of social capital due to their policies of importing foreigners to steal your jobs and destroy your native culture. Demagogues who seek power always make emotional appeals because concentrations of power in anyone's hands is intrinsically dangerous and impossible to justify with an intellectual argument. Government itself is only necessary to perform the functions necessary for the safety of the community and the prevention of crimes. The need for massive surveillance and a police state cannot be justified intellectually as they are detrimental to your safety and reduce your ability to defend yourself from enemies either foreign or domestic. The use of boogeymen like terrorists and the reduction of safety due to the importation and cultivation of a dangerous underclass of uncivilized savages is an obvious ploy by ruthless demagogues to justify violations of privacy and a severe reduction in rights due to the reduction of social trust due to the population being heavily infiltrated by criminals and savages. They are purposely allowing criminality and terrorism to introduce their police state. The failure to enforce border controls and the easy access to America by people from lands engaging in warfare against you demonstrates that the government is facilitating rather than preventing criminal acts and terrorism.

Blogger allyn71 November 10, 2015 2:25 PM  

@Jamie

In a lot of ways the United States is a great microcosm of the effects of free trade on a global scale. Vox's original statement "At the time they were formulated, inexpensive shipping, the free movement of capital, and the mass movement of labor were unknown." gets to the point of it. The theory doesn't work in reality.

In the US before the above stated conditions existed you had regional areas that were unique and different, little nations if you will.

Today those nations are dying under the "free trade" that is homogenizing the entire US. Same thing on a global scale.

Anonymous A.B. Prosper November 10, 2015 2:25 PM  

Free trade is a religious ideology among many in the Right and it will take more than a mountain of evidence to sway anyone. It will change in time but whether we will have the time, I don't know.

As for the people doing to outsourcing, I like the French approach. They started holding people personally liable. we can't do that, the would go nuclear, probably literally to stop and it would end up a full bore civil war if its spread.

Given the Right/Left Economic Divide that isn't a war that can be won .

Still it would be nice if actual Americans understood that civilization itself is collective not individual. There are no civilizations of individualists that work at sustained low violence, high trust, prosperous systems.

If that had that and dare I say a trifle of "class consciousness" the basic idea that people are different and social strata matters and without huge effort at rigging the game and hard work no one can move up. And yes the ultra-rich are mostly out to get rich and stay that way at everyone else's expense, we might get ahead.

Its also worth noting that the high taxes of the 1950's did play a part in the property. It had nothing to do with revenue and everything to do with enforced boundaries.

This prevents a wealth gap so large that the people can disconnect from society in general.There is nothing wrong with being rewarded but after a point, excess wealth in too few hands is a liability and as such, making sure that no one is making millions time more than a the lowest paid is of benefit.

Imagine say personal wealth was capped at 50x baseline annually with foreign ownership controls people would still make tons of money , be rewarded for work but , the prices would level enough that it would be much harder to opt out and choose policies that harm everyone but them.

To my way of thinking there is a ton to be said for wealth cap,creating incentives smaller corporations and more level pay. . The means foreign ownership limits, capital controls and high taxes (say 99%-100% on everything over 50x the minimum wage) and all that

Seeing the US has a continent of wealth and enough goods to trade for what we must import or luxury goods, its an upside for most Americans, well after the deportations and closed borders anyway.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar November 10, 2015 2:43 PM  

Like I said previously, The United States of America has no need for trade. It has enough resources and workers already to be completely autonomous. Free Trade has damaged National Security by allowing Geopolitical opponents like China to leap forward by decades technologically. Before Free trade and factories went to China they had no weapons that could effectively reach the United States. We could unilaterally annihilate them with no counterattack possibility. Now they have rockets and ICBMs and even supercomputers to attack our cities and take down our communications and electrical grid.
Our standards of living were much higher when trade was virtually unknown. Except for the post WWII period when the rest of the world needed our goods due to being bombed out by war, trade has never been anything but a loser for Americans.

Blogger Josh November 10, 2015 3:01 PM  

This prevents a wealth gap so large that the people can disconnect from society in general.There is nothing wrong with being rewarded but after a point, excess wealth in too few hands is a liability and as such, making sure that no one is making millions time more than a the lowest paid is of benefit.

Commie.

To my way of thinking there is a ton to be said for wealth cap,creating incentives smaller corporations and more level pay. . The means foreign ownership limits, capital controls and high taxes (say 99%-100% on everything over 50x the minimum wage) and all that

Commie

Blogger Josh November 10, 2015 3:02 PM  

Before Free trade and factories went to China they had no weapons that could effectively reach the United States.

China got nukes in 1964, well before Nixon went there.

Anonymous Roundtine November 10, 2015 3:08 PM  

Free trade's got electrolytes?

It's got what cuckservatives crave.

Blogger Cail Corishev November 10, 2015 3:33 PM  

Your economy is collapsing, your currency is shot, your debt is sky high, you have 59 million invaders occupying your country, and yet you COMPLETE FUCKING MORONS insist that, well, you know, the jury is still out on free trade.

I guess my question on this, as on many similar issues such as immigration, would be: what harm would there be in trying it the other way for a while? What calamity do the free-traders think would descend upon us if we were to try some protectionism for a while? Yeah, some rich people wouldn't become richer as quickly as before; but other than that, what harm would it do that would be worse than the current situation?

Blogger Josh November 10, 2015 3:40 PM  

What calamity do the free-traders think would descend upon us if we were to try some protectionism for a while?

GUNS AND BADGES! BADGES AND GUNS!

Blogger MrBourchakoun November 10, 2015 3:40 PM  

That example of "Free Trade" is net negative to the 99%. Think about it:

For the example here replacing a 80k job in the US with a 30k job in India lets the company gain 50k. Part of it will be distributed to the management who are members of the 1%, but the far majority will be gobbled up by the 0,01% who own the companies. Also those 0,01% will never ever spend the same amount into circulation as the 80k IT worker would do.

In addition the income is being transferred from the US to India. But in truth the global 99% got poorer and this does not help anyone in the long term.

Blogger Cail Corishev November 10, 2015 3:42 PM  

IT work can be done from anywhere and it's even simpler than moving (already done) heavy industry abroad. IT work has nothing to do with H1-B's (who again are .1% of the amount of mexicans sneaking in here)...

Complete and utter bullshit. If you're right, why is Zuckerberg working hard and spending money to expand the program? You sound like one of those people who brags that only 5% of PBS's funds come from taxes, but screams bloody murder when someone tries to cut that 5% by 1%. If it's so inconsequential, why the battle?

Yes, thanks to the Internet, there's nothing to stop an enterprising guy in India from writing software (or starting an e-book publishing business) and going into direct competition with Americans and Europeans doing the same thing. The government probably couldn't do anything about it, and probably shouldn't.

But here's the thing....that guy doesn't exist. With very few exceptions, people in other parts of the world, even in supposed high-IQ parts of Asia, just don't do that. They haven't, and there's no sign that they will. We could kick around likely reasons for it, but the reasons aren't that important, because they just don't do it.

So companies like IBM decided to go over there and put them to work on-site. That didn't work so well either, though, because even with a corporate structure and a boss in place, employees need to have an enterprising mindset to be really productive. So you can get basic customer service stuff done, but you won't get innovation or anything extra. You don't get any loyalty either: a guy will work for you for a few weeks to learn the job, and then go down the street to a place that's offering a nickel more for "experienced" workers. And the overseers don't want to go live there, and the infrastructure sucks. So the whole outsourcing thing is kind of a flop for anything but low-level work.

So the next scheme is to transplant them here, where maybe they'll pick up the "enterprising" bit from their co-workers. The overseers don't have to live in the Third World, the infrastructure is good, and as a bonus, once you have them here, they can't easily switch to your competitors.

If a guy in India wants to compete with me, good luck to him. I'll take that challenge, and I suspect we'll both prosper in the end. But I don't need my government and my nation's corporations working together to give him an advantage over me.

Anonymous A.B. Prosper November 10, 2015 3:43 PM  

Josh, I'm feeling mildly bored right now so I'll respond to your name calling. I don't believe in State ownership of all property ,a hallmark of Communism, or free trade ,another hallmark as our host noted.

I'm an economic nationalist and a proponent of social stability through incentives.

Wealth concentration is as destabilizing as is reward with work and while some people are worth more than others, its not all supply and demand. Distribution is part of how a stable system works,

And note too that we have a vast wealth gap now, where has that gotten us? Ruin. Oh yea and near economic collapse.

Maybe you should go play some Monopoly with your kids , seriously. Wait till late game when one guy owns mostly everything. Yeah its an imperfect analogy but you'll notice that game stops being playable.

In a Monopoly game, the game just ends, In a civilization. Society ends.

As for limiting corporations and ensuring someone is personally liable at all times, this breeds caution and makes creates incentives for choices that better suit society as a whole.

Right now we have giant corporations? Nations state sized multinationals. What they are is untouchable people with an anti American agendas.

Limit personal wealth and corporate sizes and the Bloombergs Soros and Gates of the world will have a heck of a lot less power. This will benefit everyone

Heck our very national security is threatened by concentration. Too few aircraft companies gives us things like the "cost of a moon-shot" F35 Albatross instead of things that work.

Too few shipyard makes our navy vulnerable.

Blogger RobertT November 10, 2015 4:12 PM  

The good news is this has a decent chance of making it into the mindset of the general population as Trump & Rubio fight over voters. Every time they tangle, Trump hits him with the Disney angle.

Blogger RobertT November 10, 2015 4:24 PM  

This is going to kill generic services. I get five emails a a day from overseas seo outfits using American names. Unless they're entirely incompetent, I don't see how domestic seo companies can stay afloat under this assault.

Blogger paradox November 10, 2015 5:34 PM  

But... Vox... free trade has improved US manufacturing. Why do you want to hold a US manufactured gun to Gary North's belly?

Blogger Karl November 10, 2015 5:41 PM  

@139 I guess my question on this, as on many similar issues such as immigration, would be: what harm would there be in trying it the other way for a while? What calamity do the free-traders think would descend upon us if we were to try some protectionism for a while?

If you look up WSJ editorials about NAFTA, GATT etc going back in time the one thing that they harp on is that the Great Depression was caused by the Smoot-Hawley Tariff . The tariff caused a trade war, which caused a depression, which caused you-know-who. Any opposition to a new free trade agreement is the same as endorsing Smoot-Hawley. It is one of the real bug-bears of American economists.

Anonymous Anonymous November 10, 2015 5:49 PM  

Same sort of reasoning goes on with Global Warming. Sounds reasonable on the surface but fails upon Observation. In the early 1990s I was working in Florida when the very first rumblings of GW started coming out. There were predictions and maps produced that if the sea levels rose 6 inches, or 1 ft, or 2 ft. The predictions where 10 yrs out, 20 years out. etc by 2010 1/3 of Florida would be GONE !!!!. Most of Florida is barely above sea level and a rise of 1 ft would gobble up miles and miles of coastline, this is true. And was scary stuff.

5 yrs later the sea level did not rise.
10 yrs later the sea level did not rise.
15 yrs later the sea level did not rise.
20 yrs later the sea level did not rise.

Do not believe the Global Warming liars. It is not happening ... to them its a religion and reality ... observation ... does not matter.

Blogger Cail Corishev November 10, 2015 6:16 PM  

Karl, I wondered if their only data point would be one correlation from nearly a century ago, but I hoped they'd have more than that.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar November 10, 2015 6:19 PM  

You know all these debates about economics and politics are wonderful mental masturbation if you have nothing better to do, but reality is something that can not be remediated away by theories. The fact is that the standard of living for Americans has gone down steadily for thirty years. It was hidden somewhat by easy credit, but has generated nothing but massive debts that can no longer be repaid due to the lower standards of living and jobs being given to foreigners instead of citizens.
Wall Street is just legalised gambling outside of Vegas run by crooks who have rigged it to only pay off for inside traders and crony stooges that play ball with these crooks. Its phony numbers are held up almost entirely by giant pension funds that can afford to lose money and ponzi schemes run by shysters who only go to jail if they get caught like Madoff.
Wall Street has no relation to Main Street. In fact, people who own common stock don't even really own any part of the company at all. Common shareholders don't get to vote for directors and get no dividends from profits like preferred shareholders. In truth preferred shares are the only real stake in these companies. The common stock is just junk you can sell to other suckers like sports memorabilia because you have no say or input into the company and get none of the profits they make at all. It might as well be printed on a souvenir hat, because unless you can sell it, it has no real value.
Capitalism is just a scam. Its a way that a parasite class of bankers and middlemen can get a lion's share of the pie without doing any work or generating any value. Venture Capitalists are just sharks that eat up start-up companies and squeeze out the founders if it becomes profitable. Capitalism is not the same as business or industry, it is a vampire that sucks the lifeblood out of the economy and leads to the boom and bust cycles with little relation to any actual real world conditions outside of banker credits and profit sharing that is run by the vampires themselves.

Blogger Rusty Fife November 10, 2015 6:27 PM  

@142 Cail Corishev

I do. I compete head-to-head with Indians, Nigerians (there are some brainy ones there), Vietnamese, Malaysians, & Chinese; funny thing is their wages end up moving towards American standards even in their own currency.

The ones who really cause me trouble are Brits. They don't have to pay taxes on foreign earned income like Americans.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar November 10, 2015 6:35 PM  

Yeah sure Rusty, I'm sure people on this site are dumb enough to believe that Nigerians and Vietnamese have standards of living similar to Americans. What do you think this is? The Huffington Post? Take your gruber numbers to a Leftist Hellhole Rusty boy. You're not tall enough for this ride.

Blogger Rusty Fife November 10, 2015 6:49 PM  

@152 Joshua Sinstar

Who said anything about standards of living? On an American engineer's $150-$180k they live like kings in their home country.

The Vietnamese guy showed me pictures of the compound he built for his family outside Ho Chi Mihn City. We were discussing the cost and it was around $300k.

Blogger Rusty Fife November 10, 2015 7:00 PM  

@152 Joshua Sinistar

Look I know that isn't the norm in these countries. That's why all the oilfield expats live in Thailand, Mexico, and the PI.

They avoid US confiscatory taxes and have hot wives & big houses.

I've also seen that you buy gasoline out of 1L Coke bottles from grass huts on the side of the road.

Blogger Rusty Fife November 10, 2015 7:03 PM  

@152 Joshua Sinister

However, perhaps you fail to realise that these guys aren't as stupid as the norm either. They try to drive up their wages to "International" rates as well. Once they have the relevant experience and skills, they can start pulling big bucks.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar November 10, 2015 7:17 PM  

Rusty these are not even similar to what is entering our country. We're not even screening these people for diseases anymore. All these mysterious outbreaks of diseases are coming from unvaccinated gutter trash escaping their countries and entering the USA.
We're now the garbage dump, where the world dumps its trash. These Mexicans are the guys who are too dumb and unskilled to find work in Mexico. These Indians are the guys who bathe in the Ganges river and are willing to work cheap because living in a rundown dump in America's Ghetto is still infinitely better than the shack where their whole family lives.
Americans can't find any jobs at all, because this isn't about profits its about Globalism. They need these people to outvote you at the elections because they have no concept of freedom and corruption in government is not unusual for them.

Blogger Rusty Fife November 10, 2015 7:33 PM  

@156 Joshua Sinistar

Ahh, what we have here is a failure to communicate.

I have no desire to bring even the most brilliant alien into the US. Let them use their brilliance to bring their own country out of the muck.

My point to Cail was that yes, it is possible to compete against the 3rd world's best. What has happened, in my experience, is that my wages may be depressed a little; but, the 3rd worlders work like the dickens to bring their wages up to my level. They want to be rich too.

However, you have to bring real value to the table. Even if there is a $30-$50k difference in wages has to be paid for, somehow.

What I do can easily cost a company $1Mper day based on a 30min decision. CAPEX is incremented in billions of dollars. I like to think I earn my salt.

Anonymous jon November 10, 2015 7:44 PM  

"The post-WWII growth was not the result of any trade or economic policies, but a positive application of Broken Window theory. Every other industrial nation had its industrial capacity smashed, so the US benefited from an intrinsic infrastructural advantage for around 25 years."

The 'Broken Window' theory is the criminological theory that the strict enforcement of minor crimes can have an overall impact on all crimes.

I'm not seeing the connection to post-WWII economic growth.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory

Blogger Rusty Fife November 10, 2015 8:06 PM  

@158 jon

Wrong 'Broken Window'. VD is discussing the fallacy. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window

Blogger Matt@Occidentalism.org November 10, 2015 8:13 PM  

Free trade can work for a country assuming that other countries markets are also open (often not the case today) and the government taxes are extremely low. As it stands government taxes are so high in most western countries that it is almost impossible to compete.

Anonymous pdimov November 10, 2015 8:16 PM  

VD: Free trade absolutely requires the free movement of labor. You don't believe in free trade, you're just quibbling about where to draw the line.

Nobody believes in free trade then. If you decide to employ a criminal who is in jail, this would require his free movement out of jail. There's always a line.

Anonymous jon November 10, 2015 8:26 PM  

"Wrong 'Broken Window'. VD is discussing the fallacy. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window"

Yeah, noticed the link to that after I posted. Had never heard of that one.

Thanks.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar November 10, 2015 8:38 PM  

All of you are deluding yourselves talking about free trade and open markets. You can't even open a business in America anymore without a business license and a tax registration. They've actually had policemen harass little girls selling lemonade outside their house because they didn't have a business license and were violating zoning laws.
Capitalism isn't about freedom at all. There is no requirement in Capitalism that freedom or good governance is a necessary component. Some of the largest profits being made is through the use of child labor and dissident prisoners in Third World countries. Profit only requires the accumulation of wealth by the profiteers and has no relation to the workers or even the country that the profits are being made.
The argument that capitalism creates higher standards of living and generates freedom is demonstrably false. If freedom was a result of capitalism I doubt that despots and communists who don't even allow their citizens to own property would allow it in their countries.
The idea that capitalism and communism are diametric opposites which represent the only possible economic models is a Big Lie by jews who run both systems.
Industry and employment does not require bankers or even the institution of a standard currency. Standardized currency can ease trade but is not a necessary component. Various economic systems which use different currencies already exist. The US Dollar is only the World Reserve Currency due to its adoption by Central Banking Monopolies and the forced agreement by OPEC to only accept US Dollars as payment for petroleum thus creating the concept of the petrodollar.
The fact that legalised counterfeiting rings like the Federal Reserve has debased the currency, indebted our nation and is now being used to dispossess us shows the fallacy of capitalism barefaced. It is a parasitic vampire that lives off of labor, generates no value and destroys the natives by allowing hostile aliens to gain control of industries, enslave people to unpayable debts and eventually lead to destruction of the nation itself.

Blogger Rusty Fife November 10, 2015 8:56 PM  

@162 Jon

You're welcome; anytime.

Blogger Frank Rosato November 10, 2015 8:59 PM  

Vox, although I am not that well versed in economic theory, it seems as if "Global Free Trade" was mainly sold as benefits that would accrue due to "scale", in other words, we would be better off if we expanded our economic "universe" so we could buy and sell to the Chinese, Indians, etc. The only advantage, really, seems to be the cheaper goods we can buy from them, due to lower labor costs. This same factor would seem to mitigate against our selling enough to them to prevent a trade imbalance; this would seem to have been borne out by experience. At some point, after a lot of labor price upheaval, the "constantly expanding" economic universe is going to become "steady state" again. What benefit could possibly have been gained by trading a "steady state" economic universe encompassing the United States and Canada for one including the rest of the world? Then factor the reality that there are certain industries that should not be out-sourced by any sane nation (steel, ship building, electronics). Would you expect to buy the steel to build aircraft carriers and cruisers from the same nation you might go to war with? Prior to WWI many thought a "World War" an impossibility due to the intertwined nature of economic activity. How'd that work out? Please forgive the rambling; like you I once believed in the benefits of free trade, like you, I have been forced to the conclusion that the whole idea is moronic.

Blogger Frank Rosato November 10, 2015 9:00 PM  

Vox, although I am not that well versed in economic theory, it seems as if "Global Free Trade" was mainly sold as benefits that would accrue due to "scale", in other words, we would be better off if we expanded our economic "universe" so we could buy and sell to the Chinese, Indians, etc. The only advantage, really, seems to be the cheaper goods we can buy from them, due to lower labor costs. This same factor would seem to mitigate against our selling enough to them to prevent a trade imbalance; this would seem to have been borne out by experience. At some point, after a lot of labor price upheaval, the "constantly expanding" economic universe is going to become "steady state" again. What benefit could possibly have been gained by trading a "steady state" economic universe encompassing the United States and Canada for one including the rest of the world? Then factor the reality that there are certain industries that should not be out-sourced by any sane nation (steel, ship building, electronics). Would you expect to buy the steel to build aircraft carriers and cruisers from the same nation you might go to war with? Prior to WWI many thought a "World War" an impossibility due to the intertwined nature of economic activity. How'd that work out? Please forgive the rambling; like you I once believed in the benefits of free trade, like you, I have been forced to the conclusion that the whole idea is moronic.

Blogger Frank Rosato November 10, 2015 9:00 PM  

Vox, although I am not that well versed in economic theory, it seems as if "Global Free Trade" was mainly sold as benefits that would accrue due to "scale", in other words, we would be better off if we expanded our economic "universe" so we could buy and sell to the Chinese, Indians, etc. The only advantage, really, seems to be the cheaper goods we can buy from them, due to lower labor costs. This same factor would seem to mitigate against our selling enough to them to prevent a trade imbalance; this would seem to have been borne out by experience. At some point, after a lot of labor price upheaval, the "constantly expanding" economic universe is going to become "steady state" again. What benefit could possibly have been gained by trading a "steady state" economic universe encompassing the United States and Canada for one including the rest of the world? Then factor the reality that there are certain industries that should not be out-sourced by any sane nation (steel, ship building, electronics). Would you expect to buy the steel to build aircraft carriers and cruisers from the same nation you might go to war with? Prior to WWI many thought a "World War" an impossibility due to the intertwined nature of economic activity. How'd that work out? Please forgive the rambling; like you I once believed in the benefits of free trade, like you, I have been forced to the conclusion that the whole idea is moronic.

Blogger Frank Rosato November 10, 2015 9:01 PM  

Vox, although I am not that well versed in economic theory, it seems as if "Global Free Trade" was mainly sold as benefits that would accrue due to "scale", in other words, we would be better off if we expanded our economic "universe" so we could buy and sell to the Chinese, Indians, etc. The only advantage, really, seems to be the cheaper goods we can buy from them, due to lower labor costs. This same factor would seem to mitigate against our selling enough to them to prevent a trade imbalance; this would seem to have been borne out by experience. At some point, after a lot of labor price upheaval, the "constantly expanding" economic universe is going to become "steady state" again. What benefit could possibly have been gained by trading a "steady state" economic universe encompassing the United States and Canada for one including the rest of the world? Then factor the reality that there are certain industries that should not be out-sourced by any sane nation (steel, ship building, electronics). Would you expect to buy the steel to build aircraft carriers and cruisers from the same nation you might go to war with? Prior to WWI many thought a "World War" an impossibility due to the intertwined nature of economic activity. How'd that work out? Please forgive the rambling; like you I once believed in the benefits of free trade, like you, I have been forced to the conclusion that the whole idea is moronic.

Blogger Were-Puppy November 10, 2015 9:52 PM  

@59 overcaffeinated
I'm actually less concerned about outsourcing than visas, since I think a lot of these companies doing outsourcing are going to find that you get what you pay for, and are going to be overtaken by companies willing to invest in IT for a competitive edge.
---

This is where outsourcing is really pernicious.

An Insurance company considers IT a big expense, not a way to a competitive edge. A paper and pulp company will consider IT a big expense, not a way to a competitive edge.

Same with pretty much any company that does not produce a specific tech based or software as their primary goal.

So now you have a company who saved a lot of money on IT costs. But they never factor in the problems hiring a bunch of off shore foreigners create.

I'm not even sure it's a net positive over a period of years. These places all think of the next quarterly report.

Blogger Derrick Bonsell November 10, 2015 10:18 PM  

@78, thank you.

Blogger Were-Puppy November 10, 2015 10:37 PM  

@90 allyn71
@77

How has all that free movement of Yankees and Mexicans been working out for Texas? Culture changing any? Immigration is great ain't it.
---

It's been a hell of a boon for the South...

Blogger Were-Puppy November 10, 2015 10:47 PM  

@93 Danby
Are you insane? How about stop bringing in foreigners to do the work? Maybe ship their Hindu asses home now?
---

+100

There are so many people out of work here that can do those jobs, but they bring in these h1b. Do away with H1B visas, watch several multinational and foreign companies cry for a while, and hire native citizens.

Blogger Were-Puppy November 10, 2015 10:55 PM  

@98 James Dixon
> Online didn't exist before the Internet,...

Sigh. You've obviously never heard of Compuserve and the other online services.
---

Woops, you missed an opportunity to wax nostalgic about 300 baud modems and their ribbon cables that somehow got miraculously impossible twists.

Blogger Were-Puppy November 10, 2015 11:07 PM  

@110 justaguy
I support an empirical approach to restrictions on trade with some rational and open discussion/feedback on benefits vs costs (dispersed costs versus concentrated benefits) as well.
----

With the rise of the SJWs there will be no more empirical approach, no more rational and especially not open discussions. That would be racist.

Blogger Were-Puppy November 10, 2015 11:17 PM  

@126 Joshua Sinistar
The only people who support Free Trade and Cheap Labor are those whose jobs have not been outsourced. Eventually even these jews will be thrown into a cannibal's pot. White Supremacy is Western Civilization. Without White people running things your life will not remain the same, ever.
You can't move to China and be Chinese. Chinese is a race not a land. America is also a race. It is Whites from Northern Europe and England. Anyone who believes different is living in a fantasy world.
If you don't believe me go to Harlem. Either the black or Hispanic part. Is that America? Are they American? Do you feel like that is America and that your life is the same there as where you live? If you think so, you're stupid.
---

Without using Jews please explain to me Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Harry Ried, Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, oh hell that's plenty for now. If I'm not mistaken, these are all white people.

Blogger Josh November 10, 2015 11:20 PM  

Without using Jews please explain to me Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Harry Ried, Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, oh hell that's plenty for now. If I'm not mistaken, these are all white people.

Bernie Sanders is Jewish

Blogger Josh November 10, 2015 11:21 PM  

Capitalism is just a scam

And you're just a communist.

Blogger Were-Puppy November 10, 2015 11:27 PM  

@142 Cail Corishev
But here's the thing....that guy doesn't exist. With very few exceptions, people in other parts of the world, even in supposed high-IQ parts of Asia, just don't do that. They haven't, and there's no sign that they will. We could kick around likely reasons for it, but the reasons aren't that important, because they just don't do it.
---

I've observed this for years.

Blogger Were-Puppy November 10, 2015 11:43 PM  

@176 Josh

Bernie Sanders is Jewish
---

Well, maybe he can explain the others then :P

Blogger Were-Puppy November 10, 2015 11:47 PM  

@175 Were-Puppy
@126 Joshua Sinistar
White Supremacy is Western Civilization. Without White people running things your life will not remain the same, ever.
---

Here, let me clean this up some. Regarding this part, and I'm not playing a gotcha, I am genuinely curious what your answer will be. Would we really want any of the below white people running things? Or is there a secret method to root out the unfit?

Hillary Clinton, Harry Ried, Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, practically any white democrat.

Blogger Josh November 10, 2015 11:57 PM  

Well, maybe he can explain the others then :P

Clearly they're just puppets controlled by Big Jew

OpenID Jack Amok November 11, 2015 12:12 AM  

And with free movement ... Well, I've noticed quite a few states not happy that California is exporting Californians.

Well, yeah. Other states don't want Californians to do to them what New Yorkers did to California forty years ago. California used to be a conservative state, before all the New Englander's moved in.


The free movement of people/labor (as opposed to capital) undermines social trust, since it destroys cultural expectations

Don't you realize the free movement of capital does the same thing? If I buy from your store, or work for your factory, and you take the capital that I've helped you accumulate and use it to better some far off place instead of the place where I live, that's going to undermine trust as well.

Blogger Groot November 11, 2015 2:07 AM  

@75. JaimeInTexas:
"Where in hell is Nurse Ratched?"

Thread winner.

To steal one of Instapundit's favorite Heinlein quotes:
“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

"This is known as 'bad luck.'”

If you're being outcompeted by a Nigerian brainiac, you're not an employee, you're a pet. If I choose to remove your ballsack, your legal recourse is to quietly mull regret. Look around, little helper mammals, the smartest people in the room, who never think about competition because it doesn't touch them, are Asian, Jewish, a few white guys, and a tree. Are Hispanics entering? Are starlings infesting your neighborhood? Do not give one rat's ass.

Free trade helps us. We improve things. We get rich, bitches. You benefit by trickle-down. Be grateful. Or don't be grateful. Not one rat's ass. Bitches bitch.

Blogger rho November 11, 2015 4:33 AM  

Nobody seems to know what free trade is.

Free trade is shoveling the snow out of your driveway so you can drive your Subaru to the Meijers and buy strawberries. Free trade is designing a computer accessory in Europe, having it built in China and delivered mail-order to Florida.

Free trade is not losing your computer janitor job to a Third World indentured servant who works at half price. Free trade is not losing a vital manufacturing industry to a Third World nation because regulation is lax.

But of course, as BigGaySteve noted, there isn't a single free trade agreement that doesn't come with a multi-thousand page document to back it up. "Free trade" is as evil or as good as the person being abused or using it.

It doesn't matter if 100% of economists agree that free trade is horrible, I would still like to buy Argentinian wine for what it costs them to produce it and ship it to the US. It doesn't matter if 100% of economists agree that free trade is awesome, you can't import your labor force; if it's that important, incorporate over there.

TL;DR: free trade is great when it benefits your personal interest. It's less attractive in the abstract. The balance is kinda hard to pin down.

Blogger Tucci November 11, 2015 5:21 AM  

"Free trade levels all prices throughout the market. That's why a cashier in Miami gets paid about the same amount as a cashier in Portland. Even if free trade increases the overall amount of global economic growth, in doing so, it necessarily reduces wages and standards of living in the wealthier nations to bring them more in line with the wages and standards of living in the poorest nations."

Is it appropriate to assume that once the wages of employees in the wealthier nations are brought more in line with the wages of their equivalent workers in the poorest nations, it does nothing to bring the wealthier nations' citizens cost of living into line with those prevalent in the poorest nations?

Anonymous Contaminated NEET November 11, 2015 8:05 AM  

>If you're being outcompeted by a Nigerian brainiac, you're not an employee, you're a pet. If I choose to remove your ballsack, your legal recourse is to quietly mull regret. Look around, little helper mammals, the smartest people in the room, who never think about competition because it doesn't touch them, are Asian, Jewish, a few white guys, and a tree. Are Hispanics entering? Are starlings infesting your neighborhood? Do not give one rat's ass.

Groot, if those pathetic harmless little Hispanics ever realize they vastly outnumber you and your unparalleled Jewish-Asian supergenius buddies and decide to take what you have by force, please don't go asking any merely average white men for any help.

Blogger Danby November 11, 2015 9:49 AM  

@184 Rho
Free trade is not losing your computer janitor job to a Third World indentured servant who works at half price. Free trade is not losing a vital manufacturing industry to a Third World nation because regulation is lax.
Free Trade demonstrably is both those things. You don't want it to be, because you want to buy cheap Argentinian wine. But what you want Free Trade to be is not what it is. and what it is, is a huge civic and cultural sinkhole that has bankrupted this country and is threatening to destroy even the culture.
Fuck your Argentinian wine. I'd rather have America back,

OpenID Jack Amok November 11, 2015 11:09 AM  

Is it appropriate to assume that once the wages of employees in the wealthier nations are brought more in line with the wages of their equivalent workers in the poorest nations, it does nothing to bring the wealthier nations' citizens cost of living into line with those prevalent in the poorest nations?

If anything, it makes the cost of living higher in the (previously) wealthy nation. Look around - the cost of living is increasing in the US, even as jobs are going overseas.

Doesn't seem theoretically possible, does it? Welcome to the study of Economics, where Theory goes to fall flat on its face and die.

So what's happening? We are paying people in other countries to make our stuff instead of making it ourselves. Even if we aren't paying them much, we are still paying them, and that means there is a net outflow of productivity from our society. That means we have less to divide up among ourselves, and one economic theory that has survived enough to become a law is the Law of Supply and Demand. Same demand, less supply means higher prices and a higher cost of living.

Blogger Were-Puppy November 11, 2015 12:09 PM  

@181 Josh
Well, maybe he can explain the others then :P

Clearly they're just puppets controlled by Big Jew
---

I think this is going to return to the idea that there has never been white solidarity at any time in history.

Anonymous map November 11, 2015 12:14 PM  

Vox,

There really is no reason to dig too deeply into the problems of free trade. Just look at how trade was sold to the public and ask if any of the supposed benefits materialized. We were told that the jobs going overseas would not have an impact here. The result would be cheaper goods which would lower the cost of living and better quality jobs as we "Ricardian equivalenced" our way into higher paying work.

Have any of these benefits materialized? None have. Mass unemployment and a rising cost of living has been the primary result, with vast concentrations of wealth as the secondary result. Politically, those vast concentrations of wealth have turned against the public as well.

Blogger mistaben November 11, 2015 12:24 PM  

This article provides some insight into the motivations of Silicon Valley bigwigs

Blogger Groot November 11, 2015 9:13 PM  

@187. Contaminated NEET:

I didn't expect anybody to self-identify. Put down the bag with the two items: it's pathetic. The only thing my gardener is going to rise up and do is thank me for his Christmas tip.

"asking any merely average white men for any help"

I don't have to ask. The cops work for us. They're generally very decent sorts, committed to being the good guys.

Anonymous Discard November 13, 2015 6:18 PM  

Groot: When the Hispanics are the majority, they won't need to rise up and rob you, the politicians will do it for them. The cops will be Hispanic too, and you'd better pay the mordida.

Anonymous Anonymous May 04, 2016 7:57 PM  

You know the free trade arguments very well...

But are saying free trade levels all prices (absolutely false - and a other theoretically faulty assumption).

Besides, free trade (free from government), doesn't mean there won't be trade restrictions or agreements. The term is in a sense a misnomer. It should be called VOLUNTARY trade (Ie. trade free from government coercion).

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