Questions to those opposing free trade

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Re: Questions to those opposing free trade

#61  Postby Festeringbob » Sep 24, 2010 1:46 pm

Strontium Dog wrote:
Paul G wrote:No, I'll talk to myself then.


Are these the question you want answering?

Is free trade really achievable? If it is, what if the outcome is worse than if trade had taken a different form?


My answers would be "yes" and "it won't be".


you need a larger dose of cynicism, free trade will never happen, we will get a good way there but full blown free trade alienates voters
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Re: Questions to those opposing free trade

#62  Postby chairman bill » Sep 24, 2010 2:05 pm

Festeringbob wrote:... full blown free trade alienates voters


Absolute free trade is not in the interests of voters either (my bolding of text)

To widen the market and to narrow the competition, is always the interest of the dealers ... The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order, ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.
Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations
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Re: Questions to those opposing free trade

#63  Postby Paul G » Sep 24, 2010 2:07 pm

Suppose there was "free trade" within Europe. How does this work out for countries outside of the EU? Are they at a disadvantage because of a government agreement within the EU?
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Re: Questions to those opposing free trade

#64  Postby maik » Sep 24, 2010 2:24 pm

Hugin wrote:
1. What do you see as wrong in the economic theory about free trade?

There have been already other threads that regard the flaws of the system. Just naming them again will cause unbearable, at least for me, repetition. What i am more concerned of is the next question..

2. Why don't you think economists have discovered those errors that you have?


It is not even the job of the economist to discover the errors.
The economist is not obliged or motivated in any way to think "outside the box"..maybe a philosopher, maybe a political scientist, maybe an economist on a philosophical mood or a charismatic analyser would think like that.. The average economist though has the theory already fixed: Free Trade. His job, at least the way it is now, is not to question the theory but to analyse the circumstances and the alternatives within it. Have you ever heard of a "communist economist" existing? Someone that would point out the dead- ends of the system and actually propose that other systems would do better? There are many that question the system but i doubt that they belong to the community of the economists and, even if they define themselves as "economists" i also doubt that the community itself would accept them. Even if there is a "communist" or an "anarchist" economist, he is certanly not employed among us..
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Re: Questions to those opposing free trade

#65  Postby Globe » Sep 24, 2010 2:50 pm

Strontium Dog wrote:
Globe wrote:
Strontium Dog wrote:I think the error is in seeing "free trade" as some kind of binary thing. Okay, Denmark's subsidies might mean that trade isn't 100% free, but there is mostly free trade between Denmark and its EU colleagues.


Image
Right..... that's why we don't import the CHEAPER German milk and dairy products in Denmark.


Er, yes you do :scratch:

http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Proc ... lk-imports

Arla under pressure from cheap German milk imports
05-Jul-2004

From this month, German milk will be available at Danish retailer Dansk Supermarked's stores, a move that could affect milk prices and production across Europe.

According to Danish press reports, the two Danish multiples owned by the Dansk Supermarked Group, Føtex and Bilka, began to sell cheap German milk on Friday. Sold under Dansk Supermarked's own brand "Engholm", the milk will be clearly marked "Produced in Germany."


First..... Damned... I have to remember to click SUBMIT and not Preview, before I move on to something else. :lol:

Note the date.
It failed. Prices of Danish milk and dairy products suddenly fell through the floor, which is now the reason we pay £1 for 1 liter of milk, £2 for a quarter pound of butter and just under £3 for a liter of yogurt. :eh:
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Re: Questions to those opposing free trade

#66  Postby Strontium Dog » Sep 24, 2010 2:57 pm

chairman bill wrote:
Festeringbob wrote:... full blown free trade alienates voters


Absolute free trade is not in the interests of voters either (my bolding of text)

To widen the market and to narrow the competition, is always the interest of the dealers ... The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order, ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.
Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations


Goddamn, I hope this is a wind-up.

To narrow competition is NOT free trade. Free trade is NOT a total absence of regulation. Free trade is NOT laissez-faire.

This shit ain't hard.
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Re: Questions to those opposing free trade

#67  Postby chairman bill » Sep 24, 2010 3:27 pm

SD, you can have free trade, or you can have regulated trade, or controlled trade. They are not the same things. Free trade & laissez-faire though ...

But I'm no expert on economics, so let's ask one, eh?

Deepak Lal, James S. Coleman Professor of International Development Studies, Department of Economics, University of California, Los Angeles http://www.econ.ucla.edu/workingpapers/wp823.pdf
... the logical conclusion for the modem theory of trade and welfare, once political economy costs are taken into account is that, as the classical liberals maintained, the case for free trade and laissez-faire hang together.


He quotes Corden (1997)
the case for free trade was developed simultaneously with the case for laissez-faire. Indeed, the case for free trade was really a special case of the argument for laissez-faire (Corden, 1997)


Which suggests to this layman that the two are not seperate entities. If a professor of economics would care to pop in & correct me, that would be great. In the meantime, I'll argue for regulated fair trade, which is a sub-set of regulated trade, and helps remove the market distortions that so mitigate against Smith's conceptualisation of Free Trade. Note that current bastardisations of Free Trade allow large corporations to exploit smaller producers, and even undercut & drive smaller competitors from the market in order to better exploit small producers. That isn't free trade, but is passed off as such. Fair Trade seeks to equalise relationships, giving a fair price, a fair exchange of property rights, free of coercion.

Frankly, that a liberal should oppose such a thing would once have been surprising, but now, well, anything is possible.
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Re: Questions to those opposing free trade

#68  Postby mrjonno » Sep 24, 2010 3:39 pm

You cannot have free trade without a libertarian hell regulation free world.

In the EU to sell a TV it must mean regulations x,y,z and if produced in the EU the workers who make it must have a minimum level of working conditions (the actual level varies throughout the union). If China wants to sell a TV to the EU it must still follow the product regulations but can ignore the worker ones.

Bare in mind the difference between the US and UK working conditions are as great as the difference between the UK and China, ie the US has something approaching 3rd world working condtions so any trade with the US is hardly 'free'
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Re: Questions to those opposing free trade

#69  Postby Paul G » Sep 24, 2010 3:43 pm

Paul G wrote:
Suppose there was "free trade" within Europe. How does this work out for countries outside of the EU? Are they at a disadvantage because of a government agreement within the EU?


FFS.
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Re: Questions to those opposing free trade

#70  Postby chairman bill » Sep 24, 2010 3:47 pm

I think the key issue is, what is the purpose of trade? What does society want from it, where this might differ from what certain individuals want, how does society approach the issue of trade & regulate it, if necessary?
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Re: Questions to those opposing free trade

#71  Postby Hugin » Sep 24, 2010 3:48 pm

Globe wrote:
Hugin wrote:
Globe wrote:
Taxed. Both within each country's borders, by exporting, by importing. No two companies are taxed the same within a country, no two items of import are taxed the same, imports from outside those areas are either taxed higher on import, or the countries of origin are subject to trade agreements. Subsidies to banks, struggling industries, subsidies from EU......

Oh look..... Free Trade just flew out the window.


As I said, you don't know what free trade is. Stop acting as if you do.

Free trade is when goods can flow freely across borders without the government discriminating against them. Like they can within the EU.

But they can't. :doh:

The Danish government subsidizes several industries in Denmark. Free Trade out the window, as they create discrimination against non-Danish companies in that industry.
Sweden does the same. As does Germany and every other country within the EU. And even EU create unfair competition within the EU area by subsidizing some companies in one part of the EU, while not subsidizing companies within the same kind of industry in another part of EU.

YOU are the one not knowing what you are talking about.
Simply because a term has been coined, doesn't mean it's practised.


Nonsense. If a product from Sweden can be sold in Denmark without the Danish government putting an extra tax on it because it's non-Danish (that's what we call tariffs), and if the Danish government puts no limit on the amount of Swedish products allowed to be sold in Denmark (that's what we call quotas), there's free trade.

Per EU rules, governments aren't allowed to limit the amount of imports from other countries, or to put extra taxes on them.
"If there were an Economist's Creed, it would surely contain the affirmations 'I understand the Principle of Comparative Advantage' and 'I advocate Free Trade'." - Paul Krugman
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Re: Questions to those opposing free trade

#72  Postby chairman bill » Sep 24, 2010 3:53 pm

Hugin wrote:... Nonsense. If a product from Sweden can be sold in Denmark without the Danish government putting an extra tax on it because it's non-Danish (that's what we call tariffs), and if the Danish government puts no limit on the amount of Swedish products allowed to be sold in Denmark (that's what we call quotas), there's free trade ...


But would it be free trade is Sweden offered subsidies to its producers, whilst Denmark didn't?
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Re: Questions to those opposing free trade

#73  Postby Hugin » Sep 24, 2010 3:55 pm

maik wrote:It is not even the job of the economist to discover the errors.
The economist is not obliged or motivated in any way to think "outside the box"..maybe a philosopher, maybe a political scientist, maybe an economist on a philosophical mood or a charismatic analyser would think like that.. The average economist though has the theory already fixed: Free Trade. His job, at least the way it is now, is not to question the theory but to analyse the circumstances and the alternatives within it. Have you ever heard of a "communist economist" existing? Someone that would point out the dead- ends of the system and actually propose that other systems would do better? There are many that question the system but i doubt that they belong to the community of the economists and, even if they define themselves as "economists" i also doubt that the community itself would accept them. Even if there is a "communist" or an "anarchist" economist, he is certanly not employed among us..


Translation: My views on economics are correct because, uh, they are! And I don't need to care about what economists say, because they're duped and myopic anyways.

There are controversies within economics, but the merit of free trade is not among them. An economist devising a new international trade theory on solid evidence could result in a very interesting development of the field.

As for why communist economists are virtually non-existent, could possibly be for the same reason that creationist biologists are virtually non-existent? You know, some views have more merit than others. Some views contradict facts.
"If there were an Economist's Creed, it would surely contain the affirmations 'I understand the Principle of Comparative Advantage' and 'I advocate Free Trade'." - Paul Krugman
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Re: Questions to those opposing free trade

#74  Postby Hugin » Sep 24, 2010 4:06 pm

Paul G wrote:
Paul G wrote:
Suppose there was "free trade" within Europe. How does this work out for countries outside of the EU? Are they at a disadvantage because of a government agreement within the EU?


FFS.


You act as if I'm on a fucking payroll to answer your questions.

Yes, if we have an area of three countries trading with each other, and two of them start a free trade agreement, trade between the two will increase, at the expense of the third country, with which trade will decrease.
"If there were an Economist's Creed, it would surely contain the affirmations 'I understand the Principle of Comparative Advantage' and 'I advocate Free Trade'." - Paul Krugman
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Re: Questions to those opposing free trade

#75  Postby Hugin » Sep 24, 2010 4:08 pm

chairman bill wrote:I think the key issue is, what is the purpose of trade? What does society want from it, where this might differ from what certain individuals want, how does society approach the issue of trade & regulate it, if necessary?


Economics in general is broadly speaking often about maximizing utility.
"If there were an Economist's Creed, it would surely contain the affirmations 'I understand the Principle of Comparative Advantage' and 'I advocate Free Trade'." - Paul Krugman
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Re: Questions to those opposing free trade

#76  Postby Hugin » Sep 24, 2010 4:11 pm

mrjonno wrote:Bare in mind the difference between the US and UK working conditions are as great as the difference between the UK and China, ie the US has something approaching 3rd world working condtions so any trade with the US is hardly 'free'


:lol:

The rest of your post doesn't merit a response.
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Re: Questions to those opposing free trade

#77  Postby mrjonno » Sep 24, 2010 4:17 pm

US has something approaching 3rd world working condtions


No paid holidays, no maternity pay, no sick pay, no health care if you get ill even China and India have some of those
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Re: Questions to those opposing free trade

#78  Postby Hugin » Sep 24, 2010 4:34 pm

chairman bill wrote:
Hugin wrote:... Nonsense. If a product from Sweden can be sold in Denmark without the Danish government putting an extra tax on it because it's non-Danish (that's what we call tariffs), and if the Danish government puts no limit on the amount of Swedish products allowed to be sold in Denmark (that's what we call quotas), there's free trade ...


But would it be free trade is Sweden offered subsidies to its producers, whilst Denmark didn't?


It would undoubtly give the Swedish producers some advantage. It would affect trade, but then again, so do many things (like natural resources, natural disasters, levels of corruption, etc).

In the vast majority of cases, it would not be in Sweden's interest to do so, and sounds like a typical example of lobbyists making politics.
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Re: Questions to those opposing free trade

#79  Postby chairman bill » Sep 24, 2010 4:35 pm

But fundamentally, it would interfere with free trade.
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Re: Questions to those opposing free trade

#80  Postby Hugin » Sep 24, 2010 4:36 pm

Strontium Dog wrote:Goddamn, I hope this is a wind-up.

To narrow competition is NOT free trade. Free trade is NOT a total absence of regulation. Free trade is NOT laissez-faire.

This shit ain't hard.


The grotesque amount of economic woo believers in here astonishes me!

:fly:
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