ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2016 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Free Trade debate

At 7 PM Eastern, the free trade debate between Dr. James Miller, PhD, JD, and Associate Professor of Economics at Smith College, and Vox Day, Supreme Dark Lord of the Evil Legion of Evil, will begin.

There are 250 seats left, and you can register for the free event here

This is an open thread for those watching the debate to discuss it as it is happening. Please be polite to Dr. Miller regardless of whether you agree with him or think well of his arguments or not. As for me, well, feel free to identify any holes in the arguments I present... if you can.

UPDATE: Great turnout for such an esoteric matter. 278 people showed up over the course of the event. We held a show of hands before and after the debate. The numbers aren't even because there were 170 people at the beginning and 215 at the end.

FREE TRADE PRO: 35 to 24
FREE TRADE ANTI: 80 to 110
NEUTRAL: 55 to 50

While Dr. Miller graciously conceded the actual debate, I think he nevertheless won the evening with his AI bombshell. It was spectacular.

Labels: , ,

156 Comments:

Blogger Student in Blue April 13, 2016 5:21 PM  

Aha! I have determined why you are incorrect!

You are a racistsexisthomophobic and are thus wrong.

QED, etc, QE, I'll take my award now.

Anonymous Steed April 13, 2016 5:29 PM  

``Then old and young rejoiced, turned back/ from that happy pilgrimage, mounted their hard-hooved/ horses, high-spirted stallions, and rode the/ slowly toward Herot again.../and sometimes, when the path ran straight and clear/ they would let their horses race, red/ and brown and pale yellow backs streaming / down the rode. Beowulf, lines 853-56, 864-67

Blogger Student in Blue April 13, 2016 5:49 PM  

And if my logical deductions weren't enough for your likings, I will be forced to bring my greatest dialectical weapon to bear: calling you literally Hitler.

Anonymous Til April 13, 2016 6:02 PM  

They would read 'Supreme Dark Lord' as patting yourself on the back, Vox. Such narcissism!

Little do they know that the reason for being the Supreme Dark Lord is because there are many Dark Lords underneath, everywhere.

Blogger Nate April 13, 2016 6:05 PM  

Still sandbagging Vox?

Blogger praetorian April 13, 2016 6:16 PM  

Still sandbagging Vox?

Is Nate an alpha misinterpreting genuine humility as sandbagging?

Or am I a delta misinterpreting genuine sandbagging as humility?

Blogger Eric Wilson April 13, 2016 6:30 PM  

I have read this blog religiously (probably every post since the Great Inflation/Deflation Debate), and I still don't think I completely understand the Free Trade == Free Movement of Labor point that VD makes. I am very excited to listen.

Blogger Josh April 13, 2016 6:35 PM  

Still sandbagging Vox?

Is Nate an alpha misinterpreting genuine humility as sandbagging?

Or am I a delta misinterpreting genuine sandbagging as humility?


Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?

Blogger White Devil April 13, 2016 6:38 PM  

I think the idea is that if a nation can't assert its borders in relation to material, then it cannot hope to assert it in relation to people. You can assume this is possible, but that might or might not be true in practice.

Blogger Nate April 13, 2016 6:40 PM  

The idea that vox thinks he will lose is simply absurd

Blogger VD April 13, 2016 6:42 PM  

The idea that vox thinks he will lose is simply absurd

I don't think I will lose. But I understand why many people expect that I will. And I am always open to the possibility that I am fundamentally wrong.

Anonymous zzzz April 13, 2016 6:47 PM  

its usually a mistake to underestimate the opposition

Anonymous Dave April 13, 2016 6:48 PM  

Two hours to kickoff? What is this, Bears vs Vikings? Good 'ol fashioned Black & Blue divisional matchup

Blogger Lazarus April 13, 2016 6:50 PM  

zzzz wrote:its usually a mistake to underestimate the opposition

Overestimating the opposition is also a mistake.

Blogger Nate April 13, 2016 6:52 PM  

Hrmmm... ok... having read the debate do you suppose a post from me on it would clear it up or just make it worse?

Blogger Patrikbc April 13, 2016 6:53 PM  

SWEEP THE LEG JOHNNY!!

Blogger Nate April 13, 2016 6:53 PM  

Sure. 2 plus 2 may not be four this time...

Blogger Salt April 13, 2016 6:55 PM  

VD wrote:And I am always open to the possibility that I am fundamentally wrong.

Not fundamentally, but extraordinary intervention by Central Banks is hardly fundamental.

Anonymous zzzz April 13, 2016 7:08 PM  

can we download the audio from this later?

Blogger Young Heaving Bosoms of Liberty April 13, 2016 7:13 PM  

I believe the guest debater will be presenting it on his podcast.

Blogger Krul April 13, 2016 7:13 PM  

The good Doctor is giving us the Econ 101 "trade is good" lesson so far. Important but very basic. Hopefully they'll get beyond that quickly.

Blogger Earl April 13, 2016 7:16 PM  

Is the train fine?

Blogger Patrikbc April 13, 2016 7:16 PM  

Vox is debating Steve Corel?

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 13, 2016 7:19 PM  

Thanks for coming on, Dr. Miller.

Anonymous Dave April 13, 2016 7:23 PM  

Patrikbc wrote:Vox is debating Steve Corel?

*Throws penalty flag, blows whistle

False start, 5 yd penalty

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 13, 2016 7:28 PM  

Comparing the corruption between local or even national governments and companies vs. Global dishonesty...it isn't even close.

VW emissions. Thus endeth the lesson.

Blogger Eric Wilson April 13, 2016 7:30 PM  

Nate:

Hrmmm... ok... having read the debate do you suppose a post from me on it would clear it up or just make it worse?

Was this directed at me? If so, just tell him to get the .pdf or whatever of it published. If not, carry on.

Blogger Eric Wilson April 13, 2016 7:31 PM  

VD, stop saying, "ummm."

Blogger Salt April 13, 2016 7:33 PM  

Mexicans prefer the short term of coming here, not the long term of building their future econoomic well being.

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 13, 2016 7:33 PM  

Uhh...Mexican flight to the US increased following NAFTA.

Blogger Salt April 13, 2016 7:33 PM  

NAFTA harms us way more than helping Mexico.

Blogger Fatherless MRA April 13, 2016 7:34 PM  

If Mexicans will move here because of free trade, he contradicted his argument about buying power.

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 13, 2016 7:35 PM  

The Romans had indoor plumbing, so I don't quite buy the low hanging fruit theory.

Blogger Salt April 13, 2016 7:35 PM  

Ther American middle class are not innovators... they're workers.

Anonymous PR April 13, 2016 7:36 PM  

Dr Miller needs to hire an illegal alien to clean up his room! It's obviously a job that he's not willing to do.

Blogger Salt April 13, 2016 7:37 PM  

China makes our chips

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 13, 2016 7:38 PM  

Free trade means that lower quality foreign students beat out high quality instate students for seats in college, eroding innovation.

Blogger Earl April 13, 2016 7:40 PM  

I can see that both have made arguments based on presumptions about human nature. Miller thinks that politicians are bad but "the market" is something he can trust. But Vox believes that executives, banksters, and politicians are all equally corrupt.

Anonymous Engineer April 13, 2016 7:43 PM  

Miller has a good point about trade providing competition for large companies that would otherwise use corruption to gain monopolies, oligopolies, or monopsonies. Harsh competition can force industries to re-examine their practices, product quality, and customer satisfaction. In a sense, this reduces the "corruption" of settling for -- and insisting upon -- long-standing low-quality practices.

Blogger John S April 13, 2016 7:46 PM  

Heh... Guess that was a good Marx quote I dropped in the earlier thread

Blogger John S April 13, 2016 7:47 PM  

Although I used google... Damn! I'm a hypocrite...

Blogger Eric Wilson April 13, 2016 7:48 PM  

GNP vs. GDP was a great point.

Anonymous Engineer April 13, 2016 7:49 PM  

GNP and GDP are metrics of countries' tax bases. The measure was switched from GNP to GDP because countries lost their ability to get tax revenue from overseas assets of U.S. companies and ex patriates.

Anonymous Engineer April 13, 2016 7:50 PM  

@43 -- oops. Change "U.S. companies" to "their companies". The switch from GDP to GNP started outside the U.S.

Blogger John S April 13, 2016 7:54 PM  

I wonder if Vox will slip the shiv in with a gentle inquiry about poors selling themselves off for parts?

Blogger John S April 13, 2016 7:55 PM  

SJW dominated companies put the lie to that last point

Blogger GK Chesterton April 13, 2016 7:55 PM  

Did not know about GNP vs. GDP thought it was just a name change. Learned something already.

Blogger Earl April 13, 2016 7:56 PM  

Dr. Miller has granted Vox's premise in a round about way. Miller supports individual sovereignty above national sovereignty. Vox believes that the nation is the only thing protecting individual sovereignty, and that to undermine the nation is to undermine individual sovereignty.

Blogger GK Chesterton April 13, 2016 7:56 PM  

On poor people selling, I'm surprised he hasn't noted that large income differentials are _not_ desired.

Blogger John S April 13, 2016 7:59 PM  

Bingo Chesterton

Blogger Josh April 13, 2016 8:00 PM  

BUT VOX IT WOULD HAVE BEEN EVEN WORSE ABSENT TRADE!!!

Just like the recession would have been even worse absent government stimulus...

Blogger Salt April 13, 2016 8:01 PM  

UN political Agenda 21.

Blogger John S April 13, 2016 8:01 PM  

Glad I decided to listen. This is quite a good debate

Anonymous Dave April 13, 2016 8:01 PM  

@Earl

Yes +1

Blogger SouthRon April 13, 2016 8:02 PM  

Dammit Vox. You can do better. My 100ish IQ wife is sitting here pointing out the holes in Dr. Miller's argument and she's never read a lick of econ.

Blogger Eric Wilson April 13, 2016 8:02 PM  

Haha, Dr. Miller talking about how free trade hasn't done it quite right yet. Crap. Someone in the thread earlier today called it. I thought it was a pretty even fight until this. GSM, Vox.

Blogger Josh April 13, 2016 8:03 PM  

IF THE PEOPLE REALLY DID CARE!!!

ALSO JOURNALISTS WOULD EXPOSE CORRUPTION!!!

Blogger John S April 13, 2016 8:03 PM  

Wait... We're too dumb to follow politics, but perfectly rational when it comes to wise economic decisions?

Anonymous Engineer April 13, 2016 8:04 PM  

One big problem with Miller's textbook "lecture" about free trade increasing total wealth, and overall innovation is this:

Many industries naturally coalesce into "clusters" of related firms. For example, Amish furniture makers; Dalton, Georgia's textile industry; Detroit's automobile industry.

As Vox pointed out (about doctors moving to Hong Kong to learn a subspecialty), free trade can kill economic clusters. When there are fewer clusters in a given industry (and shipping costs are still non-trivial), there will be fewer places where innovation will happen easily.

For example, many parts of the world used to have convenient access to moderately priced, good-quality textiles. This allowed most parts of the world to develop clothing styles, and other spin-off technologies derived from the textile industry.

Today, the U.S. textile industry clusters are dead or dying. The textile industry has moved to East Asia and Southeast Asia. My wife can no longer shop for good quality cloth locally. (For example, it is cheaper for her to buy a finished Chinese pillow, than to buy pillow stuffing.) Without access to raw materials and craftsmen, Americans who might otherwise develop textile innovations are far less likely to do so.

A similar effect is happening in the automobile and aerospace industries. In these industries, the effect is amplified by government regulations that require new products to be expensively safe.

Blogger Earl April 13, 2016 8:04 PM  

The free market solution to corporate corruption is to turn to the corporate controlled and segregated free-market non-net-neutral internet(s), and global news corporations run by SJWs, to expose them. Got it.

Blogger Josh April 13, 2016 8:05 PM  

That's a weird way to pronounce Carthage.

Blogger Salt April 13, 2016 8:05 PM  

The printing press, banking, and credit.

Blogger Salt April 13, 2016 8:06 PM  

Josh wrote:That's a weird way to pronounce Carthage.

To long in Italy

Blogger Krul April 13, 2016 8:06 PM  

THAT'S how you pronounce "Carthage"? Like "Fromage"?

Blogger John S April 13, 2016 8:06 PM  

CAR-thoj? Is that the Minnesota coming out, or has vd been in Eyetalia too long?

Blogger Salt April 13, 2016 8:07 PM  

I'm curious if Dr. Miller is a globalist.

Blogger SouthRon April 13, 2016 8:10 PM  

Kudos to Dr. Miller on his honesty and openness. Very refreshing.

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 13, 2016 8:11 PM  

OT:

Request somebody properly document SJW actions by Arthur Chu. I had to take him off the main page (presumably this will be temporary).

Anonymous Engineer April 13, 2016 8:11 PM  

Miller assumes that Japan will use its revenues from selling automobiles to buy American products. This will produce American jobs, which unemployed American auto workers can compete for.

The reality is very different. Japan used its revenue to buy American government bonds, which the U.S. government used to pay welfare to American subjects.

The result -- fewer Americans doing productive work, and fewer less-educated Americans inventing things.

Blogger Josh April 13, 2016 8:12 PM  


I'm curious if Dr. Miller is a globalist.


He said earlier that he didn't care about national sovereignty.

Anonymous Engineer April 13, 2016 8:18 PM  

Miller ignores James Watt's development of steam tables -- which helped coal mines get steam engines. This development was incentivized by England running out of coal, and in turn allowed England to have much lower energy costs.

Anonymous Engineer April 13, 2016 8:19 PM  

@71 -- oops. I meant "England running out of wood charcoal". Steam engines let England mine more coal.

OpenID aew51183 April 13, 2016 8:20 PM  

So will the debate or transcript be posted somewhere for those of us who had paychecks to earn?

Blogger SouthRon April 13, 2016 8:23 PM  

WTF on higher waged American Programmers due to exporting them??? Hello, we are importing a scad of H1B lower-wage workings and exporting a large number of higher wage US jobs to lower waged workers in India. $60/hour US for $12-15/hour in India.

Blogger weka April 13, 2016 8:24 PM  

Carthage emphasis first syllable and short vowel... Correct in received pronunciation.

American pronunciation wrong. As usual.

Anonymous Engineer April 13, 2016 8:26 PM  

Miller pointed out that the synergy between free trade and multinational corporations creates incentives for hiring engineers and inventors gives the U.S. (and Japan) a comparative advantage in innovation.

This point has profound implications. It implies that free trade is systematically transferring income opportunities from factory workers to engineers. This is consistent with the increasing wealth inequality (along IQ lines) in the U.S., as pointed out by Charles Murray.

Blogger John S April 13, 2016 8:27 PM  

Look for "Future Strategist" in a podcast app. He should upload it shortly, I would guess

Anonymous polyhedron April 13, 2016 8:38 PM  

Why does free trade in goods necessarily entail the free trade in labor? I'm failing to grasp Vox's central point.

Anonymous Engineer April 13, 2016 8:41 PM  

Most of Miller's arguments made me support free trade less. The problem was that they were implicitly all-or-nothing. But complete free trade kills most industry clusters, which reduces cultural diversity and innovation.

The all-or-nothing choice ignores intermediate choices that are probably better.

Anonymous mature-Craig April 13, 2016 8:42 PM  

locus

He despised it for showing war not as an arena of bravery and honor but as a locus of dread and fear.

Anonymous JRL April 13, 2016 8:46 PM  

Thank you Dr. Miller for a lively and all around kick-ass discussion.

Anonymous Engineer April 13, 2016 8:50 PM  

The biggest reason poor countries benefit from trade with rich countries, in the presence of multinationals or lots of ex-patriates, is that good managers move to the poor countries and teach them how to make things better and serve people better. This is called "technology transfer".

Blogger John S April 13, 2016 8:51 PM  

Heh... Got my question in about organ sales

Blogger SS April 13, 2016 8:53 PM  

This discussion is taking a disturbing turn

Anonymous Sjonnar April 13, 2016 8:53 PM  

May as well go with free trade, because the AIs will kill us all for our atoms in the end. Interesting position, Doc.

Blogger John S April 13, 2016 8:57 PM  

How about being made at Foxconn, where you can't even escape your miserable working conditions by jumping off the roof. Suicide nets...

Anonymous Engineer April 13, 2016 8:59 PM  

Miller argued that more trade with Mexico makes Mexico richer relative to the United States, and that this will tend to reduce Mexican immigration to the U.S.

The opposite might well be the truth: More trade will increase Mexican awareness that the U.S. is richer, and that there are cost-effective ways to move to the U.S. and return home to visit. Thus, more trade may increase immigration from Mexico to the U.S.

Anonymous polyhedron April 13, 2016 8:59 PM  

Dr. Miller asserts that, some limited intermingling notwithstanding, free movement of goods and labor are separate, whereas Vox believes the former necessarily entails the latter on a massive scale. Sure, specialists may need to go where the specialty is needed or practiced, but I'm not seeing the necessarily problematic scale of which Vox is wary. Would someone care to clarify?

Blogger Salt April 13, 2016 9:00 PM  

It's not trade I object to, it's mass immigration's affects on wages and culture.

Anonymous Sjonnar April 13, 2016 9:05 PM  

Engineer wrote:Miller argued that more trade with Mexico makes Mexico richer relative to the United States, and that this will tend to reduce Mexican immigration to the U.S.

Yeah, that was a bad argument on his part. Making Mexico richer relative to the US means making the US poorer relative to Mexico. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of free trade if you're a US citizen. We can reduce immigration by closing the border.

Anonymous It's 2015+1 April 13, 2016 9:06 PM  

Engineer - logically, Miller is correct. It's just other factors "push" and "pull" mexican migrants towards the US. Migration should always be looked at within the push/pull framework. It is the lever that the globalists manipulate for their own gain.

Blogger JACIII April 13, 2016 9:06 PM  

@87 My thoughts exactly. Vox and Miller were talking past each other using "country" and "nation" interchangeably. Common enough, but the discussion requires accurate language.

Blogger John S April 13, 2016 9:12 PM  

Well, I enjoyed that. I still think Miller is naive and Pollyanna-ish in his outlook (except for the murderous AI's...), but he was a good sport about walking into semi-hostile territory and acquitted himself as well as it's possible to advocating the free trade position.

Maybe I'll actually make time to finish his Singularity book now...

Blogger VD April 13, 2016 9:15 PM  

My thoughts exactly. Vox and Miller were talking past each other using "country" and "nation" interchangeably. Common enough, but the discussion requires accurate language.

No, we really weren't. He made it clear, both implicitly and explicitly, that he doesn't care about the nation or the state.

Blogger VD April 13, 2016 9:16 PM  

I still think Miller is naive and Pollyanna-ish in his outlook (except for the murderous AI's...)

That alone made the entire evening for me. Just thinking about it makes me laugh again. Hi-freaking-larious.

Blogger Markku April 13, 2016 9:17 PM  

Here's the problem as I see it: Free trade is "absolutely no tariffs, or other means of pressure whatsoever in any circumstances." Non-free trade is EVERYTHING else. There is just so much territory there compared to the other. If you think "in optimal government of my own personal design, tariffs should be on the table", then non-free it is.

Blogger guest April 13, 2016 9:18 PM  

Good Job Vox.

Blogger Krul April 13, 2016 9:19 PM  

So let me get this straight. Dr Miller thinks any AI will most likely destroy us in the process of pursuing whatever objective we give it because efficiency will eventually require it to reallocate our molecules, right? And the only way to prevent this, short of preventing AI itself, is to give it an objective that requires our survival, right?

Well, Vox gave him the answer. Just make sure the AI is a sexbot. If the AI's objective is to satisfy us sexually, then it must ensure our survival. Everybody wins.

Blogger John S April 13, 2016 9:20 PM  

That alone made the entire evening for me. Just thinking about it makes me laugh again. Hi-freaking-larious

You're welcome. *bows*

Anonymous zzzz April 13, 2016 9:22 PM  

"85. Blogger John S April 13, 2016 8:57 PM
How about being made at Foxconn, where you can't even escape your miserable working conditions by jumping off the roof. Suicide nets..."

why not just quit?

if they have a hangnail do they chop their hand?

Blogger Aeoli Pera April 13, 2016 9:24 PM  

Aeoli Pera wrote:OT:

Request somebody properly document SJW actions by Arthur Chu. I had to take him off the main page (presumably this will be temporary).


Ditto Anita Sarkeesian. I may be a cyborg but I can't do everything.

Blogger John S April 13, 2016 9:25 PM  

One would assume they'd try that first, might have something to do with the whole "communist dictatorship" thing...

Blogger Nate April 13, 2016 9:28 PM  

". He made it clear, both implicitly and explicitly, that he doesn't care about the nation or the state."

Yep. He values individual liberty above all else.

Which is fine.

So long as the individual can protect it himself.

Anonymous BGKB April 13, 2016 9:29 PM  

Dr Miller needs to hire an illegal alien to clean up his room! It's obviously a job that he's not willing to do.

Perhaps he picked up some Mexicans at the home depot that got the room messy?

Blogger Nate April 13, 2016 9:29 PM  

i really didn't expect him to play the nations don't matter card. Once a free trader goes there... its hard to gain ground.

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 13, 2016 9:30 PM  

Salt...mass immigration IS trade.

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 13, 2016 9:33 PM  

An honest free trader has to go to "nations don't matter."

It is the only logical conclusion, and good for Dr. Miller for standing by it.

Anonymous zzzz April 13, 2016 9:33 PM  

"100. Blogger John S April 13, 2016 9:25 PM
One would assume they'd try that first, might have something to do with the whole "communist dictatorship" thing..."

so they are forced to take these jobs at FoxConn?

Blogger Krul April 13, 2016 9:36 PM  

"Car-THOJ"

"I think I can man-OJ to gain an advant-OJ if I tear up the mess-OJ and throw it in the gar-BOJ."

Anonymous VFM #6306 April 13, 2016 9:38 PM  

I hope you both debate the Singularity next.

Just don't let Dr. Miller bring his magical wheat machine. I'd hate to see that AI.

I found his dual faith in the benevolent Invisible Hand contrasted with his equal certainty of malevolent Machine Intelligence to be a fascinating paradox. And funny as hell.

Blogger Lana J April 13, 2016 9:45 PM  

One thing that wasn't discussed that I thought of but was having difficulty putting into question form was the idea that ideally we sell things to China and they sell things to us. Given the cultural differences, they are just as likely to steal, pirate or cheat to sabotage our industries to the benefit of their own people at our expense. The belief that other cultures will share our values and morals and even begin to participate in fair trade is highly questionable.

I enjoyed the debate. It was very informative to someone who has a very basic knowledge of the issue and wants to think more deeply on the topic. Thanks to both participants!

Anonymous Rick W April 13, 2016 10:01 PM  

Dr. Miller said that trade between nations decreased the possibility of war between them.

From The Causes of War, by Geoffrey Blainey (1973) p.248

"31. The Manchester theory argues that increasing contact between nations - through common languages, foreign travel,and the exchange of commodities and ideas - dispels prejudice and strongly promotes peace. The evidence for this theory, however, is not convincing."

I find Blainey's summary point 11 more convincing and memorable. (p.246)

"11. Wars usually begin when 2 nations disagree on their relative strength, and wars usually cease when the fighting nations agree on their relative strength..."






Blogger SciVo April 13, 2016 10:03 PM  

I haven't seen a recap of it yet. Would this argument fit in?

There is no such thing as free trade. Both parties would have to not have any state industries, not even by corporatism, and that never happens.

And then if they attempted it anyway, the result would force population flows by taking jobs from here and sending them to there, so you can either move to the job or stop breeding.

And even if they all moved, the result would be to equalize qualities of life; which would be a detriment to the wealthier country, the interests of whose citizens -- such as Already-Americans -- the representatives are supposed to protect... unless they're traitors loyal to aliens.

Anonymous johnc April 13, 2016 10:17 PM  

I saw on NHK earlier this week that China will be increasing tariffs on a variety of products from 40% to 60% and on some other products from 15% to 30%.

The purpose is to encourage citizens to buy locally.

I guess this is what passes for "free trade" these days.

I doubt the news was covered in any mainstream US media.

OpenID aew51183 April 13, 2016 10:31 PM  

@92

"He made it clear, both implicitly and explicitly, that he doesn't care about the nation or the state."

Wow, so he admitted to being an NWO traitor openly? I hope you got that all on audio so you can upload it to youtube and link it every time someone cites him, then ask the person citing him if they also believe their nation should be dissolved, thus pinning them as a starry-eyed ancap.

Blogger Young Heaving Bosoms of Liberty April 13, 2016 10:34 PM  

Roads are required for free trade. Who maintains them? Who pays for this?

Blogger SciVo April 13, 2016 10:34 PM  

johnc wrote:The purpose is to encourage citizens to buy locally.

That was actually the purpose of the original "Keep Austin Weird" campaign by their Chamber of Commerce. Perfectly legitimate.

Blogger IM2L844 April 13, 2016 10:35 PM  

I think Jim has the same recurring ideological wet dream as most global villagers. Proponents of the global commune are, by definition, communists. In the long run, the great leveling requires all participants to cede logistical control of wealth, resources and determinative authority to a centralized administrative regulator/arbiter. It doesn't work in the long run because humans.

Blogger SciVo April 13, 2016 10:47 PM  

IM2L844 wrote:I think Jim has the same recurring ideological wet dream as most global villagers. Proponents of the global commune are, by definition, communists. In the long run, the great leveling requires all participants to cede logistical control of wealth, resources and determinative authority to a centralized administrative regulator/arbiter. It doesn't work in the long run because humans.

That is the ultimate goal of shriek-and-pointers. They always fail because of the lack of podhumans.

Blogger 1337kestrel April 13, 2016 10:51 PM  

Young Heaving Bosoms of Liberty wrote:Roads are required for free trade. Who maintains them? Who pays for this?

Gasoline is required for free trade. Who drills for oil? Who refines it?

Blogger Hoots April 13, 2016 11:00 PM  

Nice debate. I was neutral before and after. A lot of complicated issues to sort through, and economics is hard to approach scientifically. I thought you edged him in the one-on-one but that his rhetoric was a little more forceful when answering some of the questions. His strength was repetition of some simple and attractive analogies. Your counterexamples were strong but less coherent, although probably appropriate for the audience.

I thought you should have nailed him when he used pharma as an example of consumers being well served. Few industries benefit more from direct lobbying and cartel behavior, screwing consumers blind in the process.

Blogger Rambam April 13, 2016 11:08 PM  

Well I hope Vox won or at least held his own.
If not, please provide a link to Dr. Miller's website.

Blogger Jew613 April 13, 2016 11:21 PM  

Rambam, I was surprised at how weak Dr. Miller's arguments were. Rehashes of the standard free trade makes everything cheaper so your life will be better with free trade. He really didn't have anything new. Dr. Miller's best argument was politicians aren't trustworthy so we should trust the market. Which knowing anything about corporations is pretty weak. Vox seemed nervous at first but got better as the debate went on. I think VD won pretty hands down on free trade.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 13, 2016 11:21 PM  

Damnable work, making me miss things like this...

Anonymous Jack Amok April 13, 2016 11:38 PM  

Vox, any transcript for annual members?

Blogger Samuel Nock April 13, 2016 11:39 PM  

Excellent debate, and both parties were exceptionally gracious.

I must say, however, that, following Dr. Miller's opening remarks, I was very quickly reminded of Mike Tyson's quote: "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face." Miller lives (admittedly) in the world of theory, and it really showed in his lack of preparation in dealing with the practical and reality-based arguments that Vox mustered.

Blogger Samuel Nock April 13, 2016 11:49 PM  

Miller noted that the debate couldn't really be resolved because a lot of the disagreements were about "values", and that it is therefore impossible to view those as right or wrong. I disagree with Miller on this. Some of the "values" he is talking about: national vs. individual sovereignty, the lack of importance of culture, a belief in diversity, etc., are very much subject to the weight of objective evidence.

I don't sense that -- as a matter of economic analysis -- any of those things are "values" from Vox's point of view: there is objective evidence as to which side of those things is true: Vox does not factor "national sovereignty" into his economic argument because it is something he "values" (again, for purposes of economic theory). He factors it in because he has weighed the evidence and determined that it must be accounted for regardless of whether he (or anyone) likes it or not.

This gets into the question of evidence that was amply discussed in On the Existence of Gods. Much of the evidence regarding national sovereignty, race, IQ, culture, diversity, etc., is historical, anecdotal and piece-meal. It may not be scientific evidence but it is evidence that must be accounted for. Miller ignores it and says he has "different values". Vox factors it in without refernce to whether it is a "value" he believes in because to leave it out would screw-up the model and the analysis.

Anonymous johnc April 14, 2016 12:17 AM  

Discussions regarding free trade are purely academic. Actual human experience shows that, in practice, free trade is nothing more than a global redistribution of wealth scam. And like all redistribution of wealth scams, the people administering the scam are the ones who get rich off of it.

That's all. No need to over-think it.

Blogger Young Heaving Bosoms of Liberty April 14, 2016 12:24 AM  

1337kestrel wrote:Gasoline is required for free trade. Who drills for oil? Who refines it?

You clearly have no idea where I was going.

Anonymous Urban April 14, 2016 12:25 AM  

@125 Spot on. Economists never make clear all that they must assume for their math to work out right. They claim it's beyond the scope of their field and then never make these underlying assumptions about the nature of man and what ought to be valued explicit in their models. They presume people, or "economic agents", are to serve the economy to maximize per capita GDP instead of looking at the economy being in service of the people and maximizing what they actually value (culture, God, etc.)

Blogger Young Heaving Bosoms of Liberty April 14, 2016 12:25 AM  

Jack Amok wrote:Vox, any transcript for annual members?

Yes. And everybody else can buy it from the CH site for probably 4.99

Blogger Bosefus April 14, 2016 12:44 AM  

LOL... this is stupid. You have to actually argue who would benifit most by where you buy your shoes, your neighbor or some chink? Geniuses!

Anonymous George of the Jungle April 14, 2016 3:08 AM  

Ceteris paribus is a copout for assholes and economists, assuming there's any difference.

Blogger SciVo April 14, 2016 3:14 AM  

Bosefus, we are having a meaningful dialogue, whereas you are likely to end up arguing with a Bernie supporter (who is LARPing his politics) over it.

Blogger John S April 14, 2016 3:26 AM  

For those that missed the live debate; Dr Miller has already posted it to his podcast feed. Search for "Future Strategist" in your podcast app.

Anonymous Deadlocked April 14, 2016 3:32 AM  

I think Samuel Nock (@125) and Urban (@128) nailed the importance of Dr. Miller's "differing values" point. However, I think that argument ended up in Miller's favor. I understood it to mean exactly what Urban said - Dr. Miller claimed the things Vox values about nations were "beyond the scope of [his] field". I also don't think Vox effectively countered that.

I started at neutral and left as neutral. I think both sides debated well; Vox's overall presentation was stronger, but he didn't clearly counter Dr. Miller's economic points. Vox could have done one of two things to win my vote:

1. He could have made it clear before the debate that we weren't limiting the discussion to economics. That may not have been appropriate given Dr. Miller's academic background; however, the professor may also have changed his arguments.

2. Vox could have focused on the economic benefits of nations (or the cost of weakening them). He hinted in that direction but never really went down that road.

Blogger SciVo April 14, 2016 4:03 AM  

To clarify what I said above, there are at least three kinds of people that are LARPing their politics. Live Action Role Play is a fun game where (for example) you may pretend to be a vampire where no one else knows except the participants. I've done it once before.

But it has no place in something as serious as our nation's politics. The reputation of nation socialism has been irreparably damaged. And communism will never work.

And thirdly, a nation of atomized free men will immediately begin forming groups to forcibly take advantage of each other, while their neighbors plan how to take advantage of their collective weakness too.

So don't even talk to me about the NAP, unless you're a GM making NPCs behave in an unrealistic way.

Blogger Samuel Nock April 14, 2016 4:24 AM  

@134 @Deadlocked: "Dr. Miller claimed the things Vox values about nations were "beyond the scope of [his] field". I also don't think Vox effectively countered that."

Then the question is how valuable Dr. Miller's field is. If he concedes that his field cannot adequately account for a range of fundamental and absolutely critical aspects of "human action", to use Mises' term, then why is his analysis useful to us? Miller strikes me as someone absolutely enamoured of logic and reason. I sympathize. But the economic models he will create based on logic and reason will be flawed because they refuse to deal with critical and relevant factors. To me, his admission that those things are beyond the scope of his field is admirable only in that he is being intellectually honest. But it is tantamount to saying that his field is useless.

Vox is trying to revitalize that field by, in effect, acknowledging its limitations. If Mises, Friedman and Rothbard could see the importance of national borders, other economists should as well.

Blogger Stilicho April 14, 2016 5:37 AM  

Free traders always assume comparative advantage rather than looking. To see if it is actually there or checking to see if it got exported too.

Blogger Rantor April 14, 2016 5:47 AM  

I was amused at his support for the TPP. It is a multi thousand page agreement, written by government bureaucrats to open up specific areas of trade while allowing protection of others. It is the government picking winners and losers. I will confidently predict that within 3 years of TPP enactment our trade balance with participating nations will be worse.

Now I realize the good doctor doesn't believe that the balance of trade matters. That is another idea I must reject. China got rich not from balanced trade with the USA but by exporting more to us than they import. The delta is called profit. They taxed that profit and used it to build a stronger military with which to control their near abroad. Since we bought stuff from China, more than they bought from us, we suffered an economic loss. I can't see how that doesn't matter.

Blogger Cataline Sergius April 14, 2016 5:57 AM  

As a former Libertarian I'm actually rather sorry that the professor couldn't do a better job defending Free Trade.

Sadly I don't think anyone else could do better.

Goodbye lingering doubts, I'll miss you.

Blogger SciVo April 14, 2016 6:02 AM  

Rantor wrote:I was amused at his support for the TPP. It is a multi thousand page agreement, written by government bureaucrats to open up specific areas of trade while allowing protection of others. It is the government picking winners and losers. I will confidently predict that within 3 years of TPP enactment our trade balance with participating nations will be worse.

Now I realize the good doctor doesn't believe that the balance of trade matters. That is another idea I must reject. China got rich not from balanced trade with the USA but by exporting more to us than they import. The delta is called profit. They taxed that profit and used it to build a stronger military with which to control their near abroad. Since we bought stuff from China, more than they bought from us, we suffered an economic loss. I can't see how that doesn't matter.


Because it made a Uniparty partygoer better off. And that's what matters (to them). They literally don't understand us, and if they did they wouldn't care.

The currency has to be balanced, so the way they fix it is by buying our Treasuries. So our bargain is "we'll send you our production capacity, and then buy your shit back from you, while you buy IOUs from us to balance it out, at the same time that we became less capable of doing so on account of our loss of production capacity. Sound good?"

Blogger John S April 14, 2016 6:33 AM  

The AI/Singularity scenario also seems to me to be a variation of the prisoner's dilemma.

I first heard Dr Miller speak about the subject on a podcast called "Singularity One on One" (this kind of stuff fascinates me, guess I'm a nerd...). The host of that show has interviewed nearly every big name in AI research, going back several years; and most of them seem to think "yep, the machines will probably kill us, but we need to proceed with our research into artificial intelligence ;because everyone else is going to, and they'll therefore have a tremendous advantage over us (militarily, economicly, ect.). But we're going to try to make "friendly" AI!".

Also, a few of the interviewees don't think human level AI is possible in the near future, if ever. So, who knows?

Blogger Samuel Nock April 14, 2016 6:45 AM  

The coup de grace of the debate was when Vox pointed out the discrepancy between the assumptions in free trade and those in the prisoner's dilemna: Miller has to maintain a huge degree of cognitive dissonance to not see how the game theory / prisoner's dilemna point completely undermines free trade. And the power of the point is in seeing that this is exactly how things play out between nation states in the real world of trade. (Miller's fields include game theory as well as free trade.)

Blogger pdwalker April 14, 2016 6:46 AM  

you'd be wrong.

it doesn't work that way anymore. it's not a state run enterprise and people are throwing themselves at the company trying to get hired because they pay more than other factories.

Blogger Ahazuerus April 14, 2016 6:52 AM  

One of my favourite authors on the subject of trade was Isabel Paterson. In her book "The God of the Machine" she formed one of the few original metaphors for trade. As far as I can discover, she was the first to liken trade to an energy circuit. Her proposition was that, the more nodes encompassed in the circuit, the more energy it carries, the more people enriched by its existence.

This is similar to, but not equal to, Mr Miller's formulation that "trade benefits everyone".

This also relates to Vox's point regarding Switzerland, one of the wealthiest of nations.

My understanding of these points is that, by borrowing Isabel Paterson's metaphor, we could say that enlarging the compass of the circuit is not the sole consideration. That enlargement has to offer some improvement to the output of the circuit, in order to benefit all prior components of it. It has to increase, not decrease, the carrying capacity. That being the case, what we are saying is that fundamentally the enlargement to include (for example) a new nation in a trade agreement, has to pay for itself. If the trade is not profitable due to some "trade barrier" imposed by a member government this does not axiomatically prove that trade barriers should never exist.

Ostensibly, the state exists to serve the interests of the nation. To police the laws that defend us from predation, one on another. There is a cost to doing this and history (or as Vox called it, experience) shows that paying that price is a profitable investment.

Sure, there are times when our government's become so corrupt that this is no longer true. There are times when trade restrictions become tyrannical rather than defensive. But it's a stunning logical leap from "there are some bad laws" to "all laws are bad".

And I see a great parallel also between the SJWs insistence that matters of personal taste (who I associate with, what I wear, what I think & believe about certain topics) ought to be harshly policed as thought-crimes, and the insistence of the globalist free traders that all imposed costs to trade ought to be punished, forcibly removed, and forever verboten.

There's a totalitarian quality to the argument that I find viscerally abhorrent.

Blogger Rantor April 14, 2016 6:59 AM  

What a real free trade agreement would look like:

As of 1 July 2016 there shall be no tariffs on goods and services traded between the USA and South Korea. Followed by signatures. could fit on one page...

3000 page documents are not free trade deals. They are the government doing what the Dr said he does not want. Managing trade to our detriment.

Blogger Ahazuerus April 14, 2016 7:00 AM  

@140 John S

I'm a skeptic on AI predictions for the same reason I'm a skeptic about doomsday predictions: I've been hearing them my whole life and none of them have ever panned out.

My whole life either AI nirvana and/or climate armageddon have been looming on the horizon, due "any day now".

Both are, as best I can determine, still science fiction. The science may be variable, harder or softer as the case may be, but the fiction element remains constant.

Of course, many profitable careers have been made investigating and discussing these and other notions, in the interim.

C'est la vie.

Blogger John S April 14, 2016 7:12 AM  

My TL;DR summation of the debate:

Dr Miller: Getting fisted by the invisible hand is good for everyone (especially those doing the fisting). Sure, it smarts a bit, but you'll adapt.

Why, from my high barrier to entry ivory tower I have a great view of the situation. Trust me.

VD: We're going to go with our lying eyes, thanks anyway.

Blogger Blume April 14, 2016 7:40 AM  

As a GM I reserve the right to play god.

Anonymous recording April 14, 2016 10:41 AM  

Do you have a recording/video of the debate? Would be interesting to view!

Blogger BrianE April 14, 2016 2:47 PM  

China got richer by reverse engineering products, ignoring patent rights and general stealing/espionage.

Anonymous Mature-Craig April 14, 2016 3:51 PM  

What VOx says, the results of the debate and the discussion on the blog and my own 20 minutes of looking up definitions plus my 39 years of life wisdom leads me to the conclusion that free trade is 3 monkey / cuckservative bs and it is not in the best interest of anyone, may those proponents of it change their tune quickly

Anonymous Mature-Craig April 14, 2016 3:54 PM  

GWB was wrong about that, he would often say "I am a free trade" there has to be some level of domestic protection tinkering with tariffs, you cant just give everything away

Blogger Joshua Sinistar April 14, 2016 8:57 PM  

Oh all of you are missing the benefits of Free Trade. Certainly it kills industry towns and lowers the quality of life for Americans and the quality of goods by letting inferior people attempt to catch up from Centuries of backwards living, but imagine how accessible the New Ford Garbagemobile from Mexico will be. No more struggling with working electronics and power assisted rack and pinion steering, you can really feel the road through back shocks and poorly aligned framed and get the exercise of trying to steer with good old muscle power.
Just think at the possibilities. Angry Americans. Unemployed Angry White men available to join Mobile Infantry Units. And the virulent hatred for a useless government of paid off Whores incapable of perceiving domestic threats like popular uprisings. I'm feeling better already.

Anonymous Mature-Craig April 14, 2016 11:03 PM  

and as I heard a bit of the democrats talk I cant help but feel partially responsible for the potential future destruction of many people bc I am not going over there and putting muzzles on them and putting into a prison. The illogic the stupidity the dishonesty the ignorance, the shameless-ness, I am mad at myself that I just sit there and I allow them to do that and do nothing about it

Post a Comment

Rules of the blog
Please do not comment as "Anonymous". Comments by "Anonymous" will be spammed.

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts