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Monday, June 20, 2016

Mailvox: debate responses

We had a nice turnout for the Day-Murphy debate on free trade last Friday, and most of the 250+ registrants showed up for it. It generated more than a few questions, and here are some that later showed up in my email. NC wonders about the role of the state:
I greatly enjoyed the debate. Thank you broadcasting the debate and the work you put into the arguments.  I found the debate valuable as I mull over my own thoughts.

I'm curious if you have thoughts on this:  I think that your arguments depend on the existence of the state.  I compare your arguments to a similar case of discriminately acting on relationship principles; that is, if one is interacting with a sociopath, one would not act on relationship principles of openness and honesty, for the sociopath would not conform to those principles, exploiting them for advantage.  I think Trump emphasizes "good deals" over free trade because of the realities of coercive government institutions--nation-states which would violate principles of free trade like a sociopath would violate principles in a relationship.

If, after a generation of peaceful parenting, the nation-state dissolves, would not a free trade environment be the principled and logical environment of such a society?
No, my arguments depend upon the existence of the nation, not the state. If there is no coherent group of self-identified people sharing traditions, characteristics, and values, then there is no need to concern ourselves with their collective fate, as we owe nothing to them, share nothing with them, and can abandon them and ignore their interests without a thought. This, of course, is one reason why the globalist elite wants to destroy cohesive, coherent nations, for much the same reason they want to destroy the family. The individual is easily corrupted or destroyed, the nation, not so readily.

The dissolution of the nation-state on the basis of peaceful parenting does not logically lead to a free trade environment, moreover, it is about as credible as a monetary system that relies upon leprechauns distributing gold harvested at the rainbow's end. That is pure libertarian fantasy babble, which is even less coherent than the Marxian withering away of the state leading to the worker's paradise.

GO also thought rather well of the debate, a transcript of which will be provided to Brainstorm members:
I thoroughly enjoyed the debate. I have enjoyed Mr. Murphy's writings over the years. I thought he mildly tried to take you on personally. You didn't do that and stuck to the debate issue making excellent points. I also like Tom Woods. I think they both learned a lot by getting involved with you. I have begin to wonder about the rigidness of some of the Austrians. I am happy to see a challenge to them from a non-communist or socialist perspective.
I was actually quite pleased that Bob was sufficiently concerned by the arguments I presented in the Miller debate to view me as a potential threat to the conceptual status quo. This is extremely unusual, as for the most part, free traders consider their position to be utterly unassailable. As for Tom, he was not only an excellent moderator - I was very impressed by him and think he would make a great talk radio guy - but he made a very interesting comment when we met the day before the debate to make sure everyone's system was working correctly.

He commented that the free traders had not helped strengthen their own position by failing to seriously consider the arguments on the other side. This is understandable, as for two centuries, their underlying assumptions more or less held. And it was easy to dismiss the impact of the Japanese mass-immigrating to Australia, as Mises did, so long as they weren't actually doing it.

So, I think that even if I'm not able to convince either Bob Murphy or Tom Woods of the inimical nature of free trade, I suspect this debate may mark a step towards stronger Austrian arguments in defense of free trade. Unless, of course, I am able to convince the entire Austrian School that a rethink of its core position on the subject is required.

JK saw the same flaw in one of Bob's arguments that I did:
Great brainstorm yet again! I was annoyed by Bob's use of a country giving a bunch of free SUVs to the US as a reductio ad absurdum, but a country might use that strategy to destroy another country's infrastructure, and that would definitely not enrich the country who receives the goods.

But  I would have loved to have asked him this, had I thought of it: if the receiving country is enriched by cheaper imports then surely if the other country produces all things and therefore the receiving country nothing, then that country should be infinitely enriched, no?

Well done Vox.
I wasn't annoyed by the argument, I was amused by it. There is a very good reason dumping, or selling goods below their cost, is legally prohibited by most countries, and that is because it is correctly seen as harmful to the recipient. As I mentioned in the debate, I don't think Bob quite grasped how damaging the welfare analogy is to his neo-Bastiat "free sunlight" argument. Free goods damage an economy in much the same way free welfare checks damage an individual; in neither case do they make the economy or the individual wealthier in the long term. Quite to the contrary, they make them dependent.

Are tropical countries where everything grows easily and the fruit just drops from the trees generally more wealthy than others? No, because the effect on the populace is not wealth-generating, but enervating.

Over the next week, I'll attempt to respond in detail to some of the questions that were addressed to me during the debate that Tom did not pass on to me because we did not have time to address them.

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74 Comments:

Blogger Nate June 20, 2016 7:49 AM  

in the 8th grade I was drafted to lead my schools team in a business simulation competition. In the simulation each school had a business that made do dads. We controlled capital investment... marketing... and price... and a few other things.

The contest was computer based and was set up in rounds... each team would set their parameters... then the sim would rank the sales and profit of the do dad companies.

In the early rounds I told our team to dum p all almost all our money into capital investment. After a few rounds... we could make do dads for practically nothing. Far far less than anyone else could. so we turned around and dropped our price to pracitcally nothing with 3 rounds to go... and went from last to first... and by the last round... we were the only company still in business. The contest was over with a round left to go..so we jacked up our prices... because we could and raked in tons.

if 8th graders can do it... I can assure you.. OPEC can do it.

Blogger Cataline Sergius June 20, 2016 7:53 AM  

I wasn't annoyed by the argument, I was amused by it. There is a very good reason dumping, or selling goods below their cost, is legally prohibited by most countries, and that is because it is correctly seen as harmful to the recipient.

Fuck yes.

I remember all to well how much all that "free food," made a disastrous situation in Somalia into an outright catastrophe.

All because the native farmers couldn't compete with all the free food that was getting dumped by the SWPL We Are the Worlders on top of the country.

Not that most of that didn't rot on docks anyway. But what got out there wiped out those few native farmers who were still scratching out a living.

Caveat; a few farmers that could make the switch to growing Khat did all right but that didn't exactly improve the overall situation.

America's ultimate solution to Somalia. Transport the natives here because Magic Dirt can fix anything if you don't think about it.

Blogger VD June 20, 2016 7:53 AM  

Go away, Wheeler. You're not permitted to comment on economics posts.

Anonymous NorthernHamlet June 20, 2016 7:55 AM  

VD

No, because the effect on the populace is not wealth-generating, but enervating.

Yet, this contradicts your theory of race and time to civilization. I've wondered recently if you held exactly this position.

I'll ask this the best I can right now...

Why couldn't it be: cultures with access to difficult to attain but abundant resources (coke instead of fruit), don't enervate, but have a compounding effect for civilization that is long lasting with no actually causation of race, only a correlation with race due to historic geography?

On some level you seem to acknowledge Jared Diamonds work but then later insist that race is the more dominate factor in time to civilization.

Blogger Nate June 20, 2016 7:57 AM  

Free Trade is the philosophy of dependence. It is a slave philosophy.

Blogger VD June 20, 2016 8:02 AM  

Yet, this contradicts your theory of race and time to civilization.

No, it doesn't.

Why couldn't it be: cultures with access to difficult to attain but abundant resources (coke instead of fruit), don't enervate, but have a compounding effect for civilization that is long lasting with no actually causation of race, only a correlation with race due to historic geography?

Because we know race matters. We have considerable evidence that it is causally related to both intelligence and time-preferences. Also, those races don't do any better outside of the tropics, so your argument is an obvious non-starter.

Are you really so frightened of being accused of racism that you'd rather look like a complete idiot at best?

On some level you seem to acknowledge Jared Diamonds work but then later insist that race is the more dominate factor in time to civilization.

Diamond is prone to having a good, but minor idea and riding it considerably further than is justified by logic, history, or empirical facts. Like you, he is driven to seek alternatives to the totally freaking obvious.

Blogger Nate June 20, 2016 8:03 AM  

I mean we don't even have free trade state to state in the US. (can't buy insurance out of state for example).

and look at Russia. If they had fallen for Ricardo's BS they would still be an oil importer. Now seriously who here thinks that would be better for Russia?

Blogger Cataline Sergius June 20, 2016 8:14 AM  

@7 Nate.

I mean we don't even have free trade state to state in the US. (can't buy insurance out of state for example).

Or importing a 15 round magazine into California. Although (and this is the beautiful part), California businesses can effectively export them.

Blogger Shimshon June 20, 2016 8:15 AM  

"...think he would make a great talk radio guy."

That's a joke, right?

Do you know when Tom will be posting the debate?

Anonymous northernhamlet June 20, 2016 8:24 AM  

VD,

Also, those races don't do any better outside of the tropics

Having come in contact with the original geographically-based culture, I would expect so. If time to civilization is exponentially compounding, but culture is, like Facebook, very sticky, it would take more than some races "outside the tropics" to create the same effect as a successful civilization.

Are you really so frightened of being accused of racism that you'd rather look like a complete idiot at best?

We've gone over this before. I don't care about being accused of anything. This is simply a topic I'm interested in for other reasons, and you provide a good challenge to my own ideas. I was thinking about your positions on it this week actually.

Diamond is prone to having a good, but minor idea and riding it considerably further than is justified by logic, history, or empirical facts. Like you, he is driven to seek alternatives to the totally freaking obvious.

Obvious is not always correct, as you know. But Diamond does have that habit. I only reference him to better explain what I felt was a convoluted question on my part.

If this is derailing this thread and not an interesting track for you, we can always discuss it some other time when it's more relevant.

Blogger tz June 20, 2016 8:45 AM  

Where do the Japanese get "free SUVs"? If it is the government, it is theft. I suppose they can leave a tank full of Fukushima waste in each one.

The collapse of ONE nation-state from peaceful parenting will not collapse them all, and it will collapse the state, not the nation, something like Switzerland where individuals are armed. The unpeaceful won't be interested in trade, but rape and pillage, and you had better still have borders to keep them out.

Blogger Dave June 20, 2016 8:46 AM  

How free would those cars really be? Oprah's audience found out first hand that nothing is really free.

Is this an existing manufacturer with a network of dealers for parts and service? How do they decide who gets a free car? Will they lose business by upsetting potential customers that didn't get a free car? Will insurance companies charge more to insure those cars assuming they must be lemons and people don't care for things they didn't work hard for.

Will family members be off'd in free car ownership disputes? I can see it becoming very ugly.

Anonymous TS June 20, 2016 8:47 AM  

"This, of course, is one reason why the globalist elite wants to destroy cohesive, coherent nations, for much the same reason they want to destroy the family. The individual is easily corrupted or destroyed, the nation, not so readily."

Nailed it!

Anonymous Bowman June 20, 2016 8:50 AM  

@5 "Free Trade is the philosophy of dependence. It is a slave philosophy."

Funny because it is the exact opposite.

Free trade philosophy = No authority philosophy. Transactions happen without an authority fixing the rules.

Free trade is precisely avoiding authority, thus making actors responsible of everything, thus making actors independent.

The opposite of free trade is ruled trade, ruled trade imply a ruler, a ruler imply dependency on that ruler.

Anonymous TS June 20, 2016 8:52 AM  

"If there is no coherent group of self-identified people sharing traditions, characteristics, and values, then there is no need to concern ourselves with their collective fate, as we owe nothing to them, share nothing with them, and can abandon them and ignore their interests without a thought."

It's what Mooselimb leaders see when they look at USSA.

Anonymous Bowman June 20, 2016 9:09 AM  

The question is :
Do you want more free trade, ie voluntary / untaxed transactions, or do you want more authority to enforce whatever constraints you want on trade ?

Blogger Tom June 20, 2016 9:13 AM  

@4
@6
@10

Vox, do you believe that the environment that different groups of people have lived in for thousands of years have shaped the traits and attributes that those groups of people currently possess? That people are more adapted that adaptable?

NorthernHamlet, do you think that different groups of people are interchangeable geographically? That is, that people from one place can be moved to any other, and if given the proper knowledge or culture, will be just as successful as any other? That people are more adaptable than adapted?

Just want to understand your two positions.

These ideas have certainly been explored in science fiction stories often enough. The Poul Anderson story, "Among Thieves" in "There Will Be War, Vol. X" (available from Castalia House) does a very interesting job of looking at it actually. One of the reasons to fight for science fiction is that it is an intellectual area where ideas like this can be played with.

Anonymous SciVo June 20, 2016 9:26 AM  

NorthernHamlet wrote:Why couldn't it be: cultures with access to difficult to attain but abundant resources (coke instead of fruit), don't enervate, but have a compounding effect for civilization that is long lasting with no actually causation of race, only a correlation with race due to historic geography?

For one thing, that would affect the race, because the members with the temperament to exploit that valuable, civilization-building resource would out-compete (and presumably out-breed) the rest.

And if another race came from a place where they had to plan ahead, calculate, labor in excess and practice self-restraint to store up food and make it last over the inevitable lean times, they would have the inbred temperament to out-compete the natives in exploiting that resource, so they would either displace the natives or cart the resource away (or both).

Blogger VD June 20, 2016 9:29 AM  

Funny because it is the exact opposite.

No, it is not. You are looking only at the theory. We are looking at the obvious logical and empirical consequences of the theory.

Vox, do you believe that the environment that different groups of people have lived in for thousands of years have shaped the traits and attributes that those groups of people currently possess?

Yes.

Blogger VD June 20, 2016 9:31 AM  

Do you want more free trade, ie voluntary / untaxed transactions, or do you want more authority to enforce whatever constraints you want on trade ?

That is not the question at hand. That is a very stupid, very superficial, and very outdated attempt to shape the discussion through rhetoric.

Blogger VD June 20, 2016 9:36 AM  


We've gone over this before. I don't care about being accused of anything. This is simply a topic I'm interested in for other reasons, and you provide a good challenge to my own ideas. I was thinking about your positions on it this week actually.


All right. Keep in mind that I can't possibly keep track of which comments belong to whom, at least not for very long.

Anonymous BGKB June 20, 2016 9:41 AM  

if 8th graders can do it... I can assure you.. OPEC can do it.

Just like they have to hire foreign healthcare workers so their upper classes don't die, arab oil nations have to hire foreigners for every field that counting above 11 is required.

Why couldn't it be: cultures with access to difficult to attain but abundant resources (coke instead of fruit)

The locals never got smart enough to make cocaine out of fruit plants. You could almost say the same for malaria medication in Africa but chimpanzees are smart enough not to share such knowledge with blacks, keeping the black population in check until do gooder whitey showed up. Also note from the mirror self recognition test discussion before that chimps beat non Asian minorities.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/45484594/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/chimpanzees-self-medicate-food/#.V2fwrOT6uUk
" Based on the study, the chimpanzee medicine chest appears to include the following: Antiaris toxicaria leaves (anti-tumor), Cordia abyssinica pith (anti-malarial and anti-bacterial), Ficus capensis (anti-bacterial), Ficus natalensis bark (anti-diarrheal), Ficus urceolaris leaves (de-worming agent), and many more. "

Blogger allyn71 June 20, 2016 9:42 AM  

The solution to pollution is dillution.

To the globalist the homogeneous nations are pollution. Free trade and it's resultant free movement of capital and labor is the solvent used to dilute the nations. Once the nations are gone there will be nothing left to stop the implementation of world government.

One thing that I was hoping to see addressed during the debate and perhaps could be explored here is the role that central banking and fiat currency play in a free trade environment. If the medium of exchange is controlled by a central bank can you have still have "free trade"?

Anonymous northernhamlet June 20, 2016 9:43 AM  

Tom,

NorthernHamlet, do you think that different groups of people are interchangeable geographically?

Not necessarily. I'd venture to say that culture is more open-ended in the way language is. Will England always produce another Coleridge or America another Pollock? Would we still get Kubla Khan or Blue Poles? The debate is likely more complicated.

SciVo,

For one thing, that would affect the race, because the members with the temperament to exploit that valuable, civilization-building resource would out-compete (and presumably out-breed) the rest.

I don't deny this; however, I question the level and magnitude of the effect.

Blogger dienw June 20, 2016 9:44 AM  

1. Nate
You just described the Saudi/Obama war on American Fracking. And on Russian. I am just waiting for the Saudi/Obama Jacking.

Blogger John S June 20, 2016 9:45 AM  

The dissolution of the nation-state on the basis of peaceful parenting does not logically lead to a free trade environment, moreover, it is about as credible as a monetary system that relies upon leprechauns distributing gold harvested at the rainbow's end. That is pure libertarian fantasy babble, which is even less coherent than the Marxian withering away of the state leading to the worker's paradise.

Looks like the question came from a Stephan Molyneux listener.

"Peaceful parenting" as the road to a free society has been the primary angle that Molyneux has been advocating for as long as he's done a show. It always struck me as wishful thinking, but to give him credit; he's had lots of experts in the field (yeah, yeah, I know) on his show over the years, and always maintained that it would be a multigenerational process.

I don't imagine that it would hurt the kids to treat them nicely (a gross simplification of his views, but this is a blog comment, not an essay), but just doesn't seem to be in the cards for 90% of humanity. Even Molyneux has recently started say "there just isn't time to accomplish it", what with the tidal wave of halfwit immigrants washing over the West.

I would enjoy hearing you and he debate the issue.

Anonymous northernhamlet June 20, 2016 9:45 AM  

All right. Keep in mind that I can't possibly keep track of which comments belong to whom, at least not for very long.

You mean I'm not a unique snowflake after all? :(

Anonymous BGKB June 20, 2016 9:49 AM  

Sorry I should say the locals never got smart enough to discover how to make cocaine out of fruit plants, once it was discovered, & locals hired to go through the steps to do so, the knowledge was out. The ancient Greeks treated math as a state secrete, knowing how easily discoveries could be shared.

Blogger Derek Kite June 20, 2016 9:55 AM  

Bowman, that is the ideal, but never the actual result. Right now China is underpricing steel which is driving the capital intensive steel manufacturing in other countries out of business. What is the competitive advantage? The willingness and ability of the Chinese Communist Party to divert profits from the rest of the economy into the losing steel proposition?

That same thing works the other way, with import restrictions protecting an uncompetitive and moribund industry from competition.

A free trade agreement between essentially equivalent countries is arguably workable. Canada-US seemed to work ok; the social structures in both countries are similar, it allowed Canadians to import production technology that made us more competitive, it got rid of some of the silly artificial barriers that created sinecures for the politically connected. But when essentially undeveloped countries with none of the established social costs were introduced into the agreement the competitive advantage became the fact that workers could be paid less because they had no municipal taxes to pay for sewers and the like. That eventually doesn't work.

Blogger Sheila4g June 20, 2016 10:00 AM  

While not a Brainstorm member, and barely even mid-wit level re economics, I've learned a tremendous amount by reading the excerpts you've posted and all the comments thereon. I took no econ in college, and then the minimum required (basic macro and micro) for one of my unfinished graduate degrees. Even then, as a nascent conservative/nationalist, so much just didn't make sense to me - and these posts have helped tremendously.

Another point - all these objections to your arguments, Vox, seem to me more versions of "NA "X" ALT." Am I out of bounds or dead wrong in seeing this? Just as recognizing this fallacy has helped me tremendously in both my dialectic and rhetoric, it has helped me see the flaws in reasoning used in challenges here. There's always someone so eager to put forward an exception or an outlier and claim "See? You didn't account for "X," and "X" disproves the entire generalization." Which, of course, merely proves they do not or chose not to understand the very nature of a generalization (which, to my mind, presumes outliers at either extreme but is a useful shorthand for discussing large trends or topics). I had some guy pitch a hissy fit over at Amren in response to my comment about the police not being on anyone's side but their own and/or the state that pays them (in general) - and because I didn't specify that there might be exceptions somewhere sometime, I was accused of faulty logic and arguing in bad faith. Fortunately, the mods at least knew enough logic to delete the guy's posts and leave my multi-upvoted one - but another learning experience for me. Whether other readers there saw the error in his reasoning before his posts were deleted is an open question.

Blogger crazyivan498 June 20, 2016 10:13 AM  

I am curious to hear more about what a trade policy should look like for a nation without state. I think that this what you're ultimately arguing for based on the debate/this post. I am not sure what that would look like? Any historical examples of this? Who manages the trade policy of the nation is the biggest weakness to be overcome.

Anonymous northernhamlet June 20, 2016 10:19 AM  

BGKB,

The locals never got smart enough to make cocaine out of fruit plants.

Whilst examples like these are helpful, I don't draw the same conclusions that you are from them. But I'm not familiar with this specific one, and I'll take a look at it. Thanks for providing it for me.

Blogger James Dixon June 20, 2016 10:23 AM  

> Free trade philosophy = No authority philosophy. Transactions happen without an authority fixing the rules.

We've always had that. It's called smuggling.

Anonymous Bp June 20, 2016 10:27 AM  

"They would have the inbred temperament to out-compete the natives in exploiting that resource, so they would either displace the natives or cart the resource away (or both)."

Until "they" embraced leftist ideology.

Blogger Positive Dennis June 20, 2016 10:27 AM  

I wonder the same as Ivan. Can there even be a stateless nation? If there can't be one, then Vox is making a distinction without a difference.

Blogger James Dixon June 20, 2016 10:33 AM  

> Can there even be a stateless nation?

What would you call the Tibetans? Or closer to home for our host, the American Indians?

Blogger VD June 20, 2016 10:33 AM  

I wonder the same as Ivan. Can there even be a stateless nation? If there can't be one, then Vox is making a distinction without a difference.

Considering that the "nation-state" is a relatively modern creation, I marvel at your attempt to claim I don't understand the significance of the distinction.

Blogger Shimshon June 20, 2016 10:41 AM  

"What would you call the Tibetans? Or closer to home for our host, the American Indians?"

And further, they may be stateless, but they (usually) are not landless.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 20, 2016 10:55 AM  

Nobody ships free SUVs anywhere, but we do ship free food everywhere that will take it. What is the net economic and political effect of food shipments to Africa for instance? African economists have begged us to stop.

Blogger John S June 20, 2016 11:07 AM  

Having come in contact with the original geographically-based culture, I would expect so. If time to civilization is exponentially compounding, but culture is, like Facebook, very sticky, it would take more than some races "outside the tropics" to create the same effect as a successful civilization.

I've heard that one of the ways western civilization got to where it's at was by hanging approximately 1% of the undesirable population every year, for a thousand years. If that's accurate, then civilization may be more about culling those who won't or can't get with the program, rather than taking them to the Opera and making sure that the gimmedats keep flowing their way...

Blogger al June 20, 2016 11:13 AM  

I didn't see your debate with Bob Murphy, but I did watch him debate Warren Mosler who represented Modern Monetary Theory. Mr Murphy was extremely rude in that debate and acted so disrespectfully that he made the rest of his argument look ridiculous. His "arguments" were little more than snark, leaving the impression that he couldn't criticize Mosler on anything of merit. He damaged my view of Austrians by quite a bit with that spectacle since I assumed he was one of their best. MMT seems dangerous to me since half our government would use it to excuse insane levels of debt spending, and Mosler seemed to think running large trade deficits and losing all our manufacturing was no big deal as long as we got goods in exchange for worthless paper.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 20, 2016 11:14 AM  

John S wrote:I don't imagine that it would hurt the kids to treat them nicely (a gross simplification of his views, but this is a blog comment, not an essay), but just doesn't seem to be in the cards for 90% of humanity.

Then your imagination is severly out of tune. Where the hell do you think SJWs and the current generation of fainting snowflakes and ladyboys come from?

"Peaceful Parenting(tm)" is one of those ideas that sounds nice, but is explicitly warned against in scripture, and we are seeing the fruits of it now.

Blogger PoseidonAwoke June 20, 2016 11:32 AM  

Will a recording of this debate be released?

Anonymous VFM #6306 June 20, 2016 11:34 AM  

The difference between a nation and a state is to be found in an esoteric little backwater known as a dictionary. I'm certain you may be forgiven ignorance of such a rare and specific device.

Come on, people.

Blogger Alexander June 20, 2016 11:34 AM  

Europe is chock full of stateless nations.

Catalan, Basque, Galician in just Spain alone. Corsican and Breton in France. Lapps in Scandinavia. Venice. Cornwall. Bavaria. Silesia. The entire country of Belgium is made of people who want their own state, not one they have to share with the other guys.

Anonymous Jack Amok June 20, 2016 11:35 AM  

I happen to be a fan of the nation-state, as it is the thing that deposed feudalism in Europe. Prior to the nation-state (and after it too, if the globalists get their way) you had a trans-national elite who showed more allegiance to their fellow elites than to the serfs they lorded it over.

The rise of nationalism, of nations forming themselves into states, ended feudalism as the means of political organization. That's why the current crop of neo-feudalist lords hate nationalism and the nation-state so. Free trade is (unfortunately, as it would be a lovely theory if it was true) one of the tools they use to destroy nation-states and re-establish a global elite.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents June 20, 2016 11:58 AM  

"What would you call the Tibetans?

Slowly vanishing.

Or closer to home for our host, the American Indians?”

The Indian nations in the US exist at the sufferance of the US government.

What’s your point?

Blogger James June 20, 2016 12:00 PM  

It is annoyingly ironic to me, as a for the most part doctrinaire Austrian my self, to see Austrians fall for the free trade baloney. To me, being Austrian means never having to say I'm sorry for assuming that economic reality trumps theory. Somehow Austrianism was turned into a tool for serving the Globalist criminals, instead of being a tool for enlightening the understanding of the world regarding how economics really works. A clever trick of the Globalists has been to confuse people about how people can be made to serve economics when it is our understanding of economics that should be used to serve people and to protect their, in the case of "free" trade, NATIONAL interests.

Anonymous Spartacus xxxxx June 20, 2016 12:25 PM  

James wrote:It is annoyingly ironic to me, as a for the most part doctrinaire Austrian my self, to see Austrians fall for the free trade baloney... is our understanding of economics that should be used to serve people and to protect their, in the case of "free" trade, NATIONAL interests.

Ex-doctrinaire Austrian here as well. It was disappointing to see Bob trot out the '10,000 free SUV' argument as his centerpiece. Is this the best they have?

The term Vox used, "Post-Austrian School", might catch on.

I suspect this debate may mark a step towards stronger Austrian arguments in defense of free trade. Unless, of course, I am able to convince the entire Austrian School that a rethink of its core position on the subject is required.

It is required and you're not alone. Very cool that you attracted the attention of no less than Tom Woods.

Blogger Dave June 20, 2016 12:35 PM  

Agreed; Tom was superb as moderator.

What struck me about both Miller and Murphy was they kept repeating different versions of: "Duh, free trade because cheaper appliances."

Have any studies been done to put a dollar value to the savings a typical family of four might see annually from cheaper goods? People don't constantly buy new appliances. And these goods are cheaper but of much inferior quality. Does anyone expect an appliance to last longer than 5-10 years? Clothing is also much more cheaply made.

Blogger 罗臻 June 20, 2016 12:44 PM  

A parable from a Chinese financial writer, criticizing China (Qi is the USA).

The small seaside nation of Qi was self-sufficient, with fertile land for crops. The minister Guan Zi tells the King to wear silk clothing and to order his ministers to do the same. Qi started importing a lot of silk, while simultaneously luring the silk trade into Qi, banning domestic production of silk and ordering food production to rise, causing the price of silk to soar. The silk exporting kingdoms cut back on food production and planted mulberry trees to grow more silk. Eventually, Guan Zi tells the King to change the fashion and ban the wearing of silk. Qi stopped importing, causing the silk price to plummet and also stopped exporting food, causing the silk exporting nations to face starvation. The county producing food was able to conquer these countries without firing a shot.

Blogger VD June 20, 2016 12:48 PM  

What’s your point?

They exist.

Next time, try paying attention to the actual discussion rather than trying to leap in and demonstrate how smart you aren't.

Blogger Were-Puppy June 20, 2016 12:55 PM  

@36 James Dixon
What would you call the Tibetans? Or closer to home for our host, the American Indians?
---

They have tribal governments. For a real doozy of a situation look into Wounded Knee during the 1970s.

Blogger Dave June 20, 2016 12:58 PM  

Vox, you mentioned in the latest debate a figure for US job losses from Chinese competition. It sounded low, 185? Can you provide the actual number and background information?

I'd like to explore if there is a way to compare the savings from cheaper goods to the cost of displaced workers and factories leaving the country.

Blogger Were-Puppy June 20, 2016 1:03 PM  

After these debates, it seems to me that the Free Trade is actually a big benefit for globalists. Are there people who support it that are not globalists?

Blogger allyn71 June 20, 2016 1:08 PM  

Thinking on this more could it be that individual "Free Trade" could be viewed as an economic externality to the national economy?

Anonymous BigGayKoranBurner June 20, 2016 1:25 PM  

western civilization got to where it's at was by hanging approximately 1% of the undesirable population every year, for a thousand years...may be more about culling those who won't or can't get with the program, rather than taking them to the Opera

If I could get away with killing one of the non Asian minority homeless men that use ambulances as taxis and who spend the night in ER waiting rooms because homeless shelters wont take people who behaved badly in the past, it would save taxpayers millions every few years, and possibly save lives by having ambulances be more available for medical reasons. There was one that EMTs told me spent all winter & the bad weather days in the summer rotating through different ERs in the city for each night of the week.

How many people like that can a city afford? How many people earn more than $800 a day after taxes, which is what each ambulance taxi ride costs before insurance? How many patients discomforted so he could get a lukewarm hospital meal tray each visit by making a scene, before sleeping in the ER waiting room? Every big city has at least one of them. Zika anchor babies look cheap by comparison.

Blogger John S June 20, 2016 1:29 PM  

Then your imagination is severly out of tune. Where the hell do you think SJWs and the current generation of fainting snowflakes and ladyboys come from?

I'd guess a lot of it comes from being raised by single mothers...

Also, a multitude of other character-influencing environmental social toxins: 12+ years of leftist dominated mandatory indoctrination, being marinated from birth in media seemingly designed to make them hate their ancestors and the society that they built. Much more as well, but "sparing the rod" certainly doesn't go far enough in explaining their pitiful condition.

Also, you're making my point for me: as in, what % of the world population do you imagine are the materially coddled, but emotionally fragile offspring of upper middle class single white (and (((white)))...) women? I'd guess 10% is a wildly generous estimate.

"Peaceful Parenting(tm)" is one of those ideas that sounds nice, but is explicitly warned against in scripture, and we are seeing the fruits of it now.

Yeah, now if you go back and read for comprehension, you may notice that, minus the "spare the rod" part, that's what I said: sounds nice, probably not gonna work. Also, since we'll all be long dead before the results are in, its also nonfalsifiable...



Blogger James Dixon June 20, 2016 1:30 PM  

> The Indian nations in the US exist at the sufferance of the US government. ... What’s your point?

That is the point. They're a nation without a corresponding state.

Blogger 罗臻 June 20, 2016 1:36 PM  

Cheap Imports and the Loss of U.S. Manufacturing Jobs
China Trade, Outsourcing and Jobs

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 20, 2016 2:01 PM  

Were-Puppy wrote:They have tribal governments.


Government =/= state. A debating society has a government too.

Blogger James Dixon June 20, 2016 2:17 PM  

> They have tribal governments.

Local governments do not a nation make. A small town of 100 people can have a town council. That doesn't make them a nation or that government a state representing the entirety of their people.

Anonymous Spartacus xxxxx June 20, 2016 2:53 PM  

罗臻 wrote:A parable from a Chinese financial writer, criticizing China (Qi is the USA).

The small seaside nation of Qi was self-sufficient, with fertile land for crops. The minister Guan Zi tells the King to wear silk clothing and to order his ministers to do the same. Qi started importing a lot of silk, while simultaneously luring the silk trade into Qi, banning domestic production of silk and ordering food production to rise, causing the price of silk to soar. The silk exporting kingdoms cut back on food production and planted mulberry trees to grow more silk. Eventually, Guan Zi tells the King to change the fashion and ban the wearing of silk. Qi stopped importing, causing the silk price to plummet and also stopped exporting food, causing the silk exporting nations to face starvation. The county producing food was able to conquer these countries without firing a shot.


The silk exporters had developed a weapons industry based on silk, which we note is far stronger than steel. All the computer chips, ships, and machine tools were made of silk, which the food producers could not produce anymore. So the silk nations, being hungry and having the military silk advantage, invaded Qi and took all the food.

Blogger Dave June 20, 2016 3:10 PM  


罗臻June 20, 2016 1:36 PM
Cheap Imports and the Loss of U.S. Manufacturing Jobs
China Trade, Outsourcing and Jobs


Excellent, thank you.

Anonymous Daniel H June 20, 2016 3:14 PM  

>>Are tropical countries where everything grows easily and the fruit just drops from the trees generally more wealthy than others? No, because the effect on the populace is not wealth-generating, but enervating.

Case in point: Venezuela. Their travails are not necessarily due to free trade, but it is a perfect example of how an entire society became dependent upon "free" goods, in this case oil. Venezuelans can't produce anything - and that is not overstating the case - not even the oil that is in the ground, they need outside help for that. They will be in hock to their creditors for generations. 100% autarky is not the way to go either, like all good things in life, moderation is the key.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents June 20, 2016 4:18 PM  

The Indian nations in the US exist at the sufferance of the US government. ... What’s your point?

James DIxon
That is the point. They're a nation without a corresponding state.

The Navaho nation has a government and geographical boundaries. The same is true of the Sioux nation. They have a government, they have a small police force and they have a bureaucracy that is entangled with the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs very deeply. They are genetically distinct.

They also exist as a cultural and geographic entity at the suffrance of the US government. Some Indian nations ceased to exist in the 19th century, remember.

Some of the newer “Indian” nations are legal fictions that provide a casino or a resort or even just a cigarette store with special tax status. Change the law, and those newer “Indian nations” would revert to “available real estate” in a matter of weeks.

A “nation” that exists only because someone else allows it to is poor example of a “nation”. By this standard Andorra is a “nation”, Monaco is a “nation”, any random tax haven in the world is a “nation”.

Poor dialectic.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents June 20, 2016 5:08 PM  

Tibet is a poor example of a stateless nation. It is being slowly and steadily erased by a deliberate PRC policy that includes encouraging Chinese to move there and have children. In a couple of generations I expect “Tibet” to be majority Han Chinese, although with some quaint local customs and ceremonies that draw tourists.

The nation of “Tibet” exists for now. But it likely won’t by the end of the century.

Blogger Were-Puppy June 20, 2016 6:02 PM  

Maybe the situation in Tibet was a test bed for what they are attempting to do to Europe and the US

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 20, 2016 6:14 PM  

Nations naturally seek to form their own states. Some are too small, some are too unfortunate, some are too dysfunctional. Other nations naturally seek to prevent them from forming state, so that their property can expropriated, their labor harnessed, their women used.

That some nations are powerless and defeated does not mean that they are not nations. It means they are losing at Civilization v0.0

There are 4 types of states; nation-states, confederations, empires and artificial states.

Nation States are formed of a particular nation, speaking the same language and perpetuating their own culture. Greece, Finland, Japan.

Confederations are groups of nations, of like mind and similar culture, who band together for common defence, etc. The defining character of confederations is that your can leave.
examples Switzerland, US (from time to time), Mexico.

Artificial nations are those accidents of history and intentional creations of maneuverers that somehow attain statehood. They exist mostly because they are useful to other people than their citizens.
Examples, Macao, Hong Kong, Singapore, Monaco, Andorra, Belgium, Moldova, Angola, and on and on and on.

Empires we all know, a single nations subjugating other nations in pursuit of dominance.
examples, US, China, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Yugoslavia,.
States and nations move freely between and through these categories, sometimes including more than one.For instance, Spain is at once a nation state, and an empire. 200 years ago, Italy was a collection of independent nation-states, became an empire and now works as a confederacy. Great Britain was a nation-state, became an empire, and is not a confederation.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 20, 2016 6:17 PM  

A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents wrote:Tibet is a poor example of a stateless nation. It is being slowly and steadily erased by a deliberate PRC policy that includes encouraging Chinese to move there and have children. In a couple of generations I expect “Tibet” to be majority Han Chinese, although with some quaint local customs and ceremonies that draw tourists.

No, that makes them a perfect example of a stateless nation. That's exactly what happens.

Blogger Aeoli Pera June 20, 2016 7:00 PM  

Are tropical countries where everything grows easily and the fruit just drops from the trees generally more wealthy than others? No, because the effect on the populace is not wealth-generating, but enervating.

TANSTAAFL.

Blogger John S June 20, 2016 7:42 PM  

Tom Woods has uploaded the debate to his podcast rss feed:

Vox vs Bob Murphy

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents June 20, 2016 8:26 PM  

@Snidely - interesting categorization. Requires some thought.

[Tibet]
No, that makes them a perfect example of a stateless nation.

Perhaps the post-Westphalian nation-state is still powerful enough as a social organization to be the best option. Certainly all the non-state nations, such as the Holy Roman Empire, the Knights Templar (don’t start, Wheeler), the East India companies, etc. haven’t been able to compete with the nation-state. Even the Mafia has been less powerful than the nation-state.

The globalists use the power of the nation-state to destroy the nation within the nation-state in pursuit of their stateless Babel. 4th GW might offer some way to counteract that.

Blogger James Dixon June 21, 2016 11:59 AM  

> The Navaho nation has a government and geographical boundaries. The same is true of the Sioux nation.

Agreed.

> They have a government, they have a small police force and they have a bureaucracy that is entangled with the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs very deeply. They are genetically distinct.

A government that exists only at the whim of a larger and more powerful government. Thus not a true state.

> A “nation” that exists only because someone else allows it to is poor example of a “nation”.

Unless there are plans to genocide the remaining Indian populations, it's an excellent example of a nation.

What they don't have is a corresponding state. Their "state" is the US government, which doesn't represent them in the slightest.

> Poor dialectic.

You're the one who has the definitions backwards, not us. Though I admit my one comment above could have been state better.

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