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'[OT]: Free trade again (was [OT] Employment, resum'
2007\07\03@210948 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 7/3/07, Vitaliy <spam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTspammaksimov.org> wrote:
> As Cedric has pointed out, it's not the government's job to maintain and
> improve the economy. Not in a capitalist country, anyway. And when the
> government does make it its job, you get USSR and North Korea.

I think it is at least part of the job of the government. In fact I think all
capitalist countries are doing it.

> The reason this logic doesn't make sense to me, is because if you're good at
> what you do (make steel, write programs, et cetera) YOU DON'T NEED
> protection. If you need protection, YOU'RE NOT GOOD at what you do.

"You are not good at what you do" does not mean that "you do not need
to do it".  Actually what government does is not alway correct but sometimes
they just got to do it. I still believe certain protection is unavoidable. Even
though the policy may not seem to be right from

>
> The real solution to "soften the blow" and protect the workers, is to give
> them an education. In reality, it is many times cheaper to give every one of
> the steel workers free college education, than to keep them employed in the
> steel mill.
>

Is it possible? What if the steel worker has not finished his primary education?

>
> Trade is not a zero-sum game. Everybody who plays the game, wins.

I tend to agree with this. The problem is that there is no country which is
really practising "free trade".

> IMO, xenophobia is the reason why most people are opposed to free trade.

I do not think so.

Do not get me wrong, I am all for free trade. But I do think those who are
against it have their points as well. Free trade is really complicated for us
engineers. ;-)

2007\07\03@212602 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 7/3/07, Gerhard Fiedler <.....listsKILLspamspam@spam@connectionbrazil.com> wrote:
>
> Anyway, this wasn't the comparison I had in mind. What I had in mind is
> that the arguments for both tariffs and the war on drugs are mostly fueled
> by what I think of as FUD: the argument that when you loosen up control,
> all hell breaks lose and the world as we know it ends in mayhem.
>

Why is it a FUD?

If you do not have corporate governance, the management will sure
do something bad.

I do not think anarchy is a good idea at all.

2007\07\04@035939 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>> The reason this logic doesn't make sense to me, is because if
>> you're good at what you do (make steel, write programs, et cetera)
>> YOU DON'T NEED protection. If you need protection, YOU'RE NOT
>> GOOD at what you do.

Not so. having been a 'victim' of exactly this problem I definitely do not
agree with you.

>"You are not good at what you do" does not mean that
>"you do not need to do it".

That I do agree with. In my situation, I grew up in New Zealand with a
flourishing electronics industry, that operated economically, the company
had good export markets for a significant proportion of its export range -
and then the government removed import protection. The company I did my
apprenticeship with no longer does any product R&D, no longer has a factory
building any product at all, and the company is now a shadow of its former
size, being only a box shifter of stereos, car radios and other brown goods.

By the time the government removed import restrictions I was working for
another company, and when I looked at changing jobs there was minimal
electronics industry in NZ to speak of. There are a couple of companies
working in very small niche markets, but I ended up leaving the country, and
going somewhere else to work.

We were good at what we did, but we still needed protection. If you do not
have any protection, you will get under cut at every corner, and become a
service community. Once that happens you have no means of generating 'new
money' inside the country.

2007\07\04@061042 by wouter van ooijen

face picon face
> that operated economically,
> (snip)
> and then the government removed import protection. The
> company no longer does any product R&D, no longer
> has a factory building any product at all.

If that happened as a result of removing the import protection I would
say the company was not economically sound to begin with.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu



2007\07\04@064515 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>If that happened as a result of removing the import protection I
>would say the company was not economically sound to begin with.

It was economically sound within the labour market restrictions on how low a
wage you could pay, and the product was excellent. But once import
restrictions were removed it could not compete with the miniscule wages, and
hence relatively tiny production costs, that were available in Asia. It
wasn't just the company I worked for either, there are a diverse range of
industries in NZ that went through the same loop.

You only have to look at the way the USA protects its own semiconductor
industries from Asian competition to see the problem. The result of going
totally free market means you have to look after a heap more people through
some form of social security system. It is all well and good to allow
uncompetitive industries to fall by the wayside, but when some of the
industries are producing world class product and you allow that to collapse,
then the highly trained staff go elsewhere.

2007\07\04@071810 by Peter Bindels

picon face
On 04/07/07, wouter van ooijen <wouterspamKILLspamvoti.nl> wrote:
> > that operated economically,
> > (snip)
> > and then the government removed import protection. The
> > company no longer does any product R&D, no longer
> > has a factory building any product at all.
>
> If that happened as a result of removing the import protection I would
> say the company was not economically sound to begin with.

Child labour and effectively enslaving people for 7 days a week, 14
hours a day is a lot more economically sound than paying proper health
care for a 48 (40, 36, 32)-hour work week and taking care of the
employees. That makes the company effectively uneconomical.

Why would we care about our employees then?

2007\07\04@072314 by Peter Bindels

picon face
On 04/07/07, Peter Bindels <.....dascandyKILLspamspam.....gmail.com> wrote:
> On 04/07/07, wouter van ooijen <EraseMEwouterspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTvoti.nl> wrote:
> > > that operated economically,
> > > (snip)
> > > and then the government removed import protection. The
> > > company no longer does any product R&D, no longer
> > > has a factory building any product at all.
> >
> > If that happened as a result of removing the import protection I would
> > say the company was not economically sound to begin with.
>
> Child labour and effectively enslaving people for 7 days a week, 14
> hours a day is a lot more economically sound than paying proper health
> care for a 48 (40, 36, 32)-hour work week and taking care of the
> employees. That makes the company effectively uneconomical.
>
> Why would we care about our employees then?
>

Not to mention the comparative wages; you can buy a mansion there for
the same amount of money as you can buy a minuscule apartment here.
Same goes for food, daily requirements, books and so on. I can't
compete with somebody earning $100 a month simply because my rent is
five times that and there's nothing here that I could rent for that
amount, including cardboard boxes.

2007\07\04@074302 by Richard Prosser

picon face
On 04/07/07, Alan B. Pearce <A.B.Pearcespamspam_OUTrl.ac.uk> wrote:
> >> The reason this logic doesn't make sense to me, is because if
> >> you're good at what you do (make steel, write programs, et cetera)
> >> YOU DON'T NEED protection. If you need protection, YOU'RE NOT
> >> GOOD at what you do.
>
> Not so. having been a 'victim' of exactly this problem I definitely do not
> agree with you.
>
> >"You are not good at what you do" does not mean that
> >"you do not need to do it".
>
> That I do agree with. In my situation, I grew up in New Zealand with a
> flourishing electronics industry, that operated economically, the company
> had good export markets for a significant proportion of its export range -
> and then the government removed import protection. The company I did my
> apprenticeship with no longer does any product R&D, no longer has a factory
> building any product at all, and the company is now a shadow of its former
> size, being only a box shifter of stereos, car radios and other brown goods.
> <snip........>

Hi Allan,

Just out of interest - what was the company? I used to work for Pye in
Auckland which seems to fit the description but there were several
others. (Allied Industries,
AWA)
Taits, here in Chch is still going strong & does not appear to have
plans to move manufacturing offshore, but Dynamic are moving, we've
moved (the manufacturing side anyway, of what used to be Swichtec) and
others have disappeared  altogether.  Hmm - I worked for EMI, AWA,
Pye, Austral Cables and Eltec/Swichtec - all names no longer in
current household usage. Better not tell the boss! (Also Motorola in
the UK but they seem to be surviving!)


Richard P

2007\07\04@081238 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Just out of interest - what was the company? I used to work for
>Pye in Auckland which seems to fit the description but there
>were several others. (Allied Industries, AWA)

I worked fro AWA from Jan 1969 until Dec 1977, at their production facility
in Wellington, initially at Adelaide Road, and then later at Porirua when
the factory moved there. Started with my apprenticeship in the factory, and
then worked in the development lab on land mobile R/T equipment.

2007\07\04@091658 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Xiaofan Chen wrote:

> On 7/3/07, Gerhard Fiedler <@spam@listsKILLspamspamconnectionbrazil.com> wrote:
>>
>> Anyway, this wasn't the comparison I had in mind. What I had in mind is
>> that the arguments for both tariffs and the war on drugs are mostly fueled
>> by what I think of as FUD: the argument that when you loosen up control,
>> all hell breaks lose and the world as we know it ends in mayhem.
>>
>
> Why is it a FUD?

A common abbreviation for "fear, uncertainty and doubt", usually used in a
situation where at least one side of an argument uses arguments that have
less to do with plain facts and more with instilling FUD in people. (It's
not a four letter word, even though it's sometimes used as such :)

I think the arguments for import tariffs usually fall into this category.
My view of how they really get set is more cynical: I think it's usually
due to political lobbying, which I see as a very dirty business that has
almost nothing to do with facts and the good of the public and much to do
with personal gain of involved individuals. The tariffs thusly implemented
are then justified with FUD instilling, usually populist demagoguery.

Gerhard

2007\07\04@093323 by wouter van ooijen

face picon face
> You only have to look at the way the USA protects its own
> semiconductor industries from Asian competition to see the problem.

I do see a problem. I see western countries pushing 3 world countries to
open their markets for their western products that are produced in a
protected and/or subsidised way. I do agree with the anti-globalists
that the current world trade practice is unfair, but I think they argue
for the wrong solution. The 3 world has much to win by realy free trade!

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu



2007\07\04@143717 by Rich

picon face
What, according to your definition is economically sound? And how can you
defend your idea that tariffs or other forms of protection, i.e. treaty and
trade agreements are absolutely and completely unnecessary, if that is your
position?  My understanding of free trade is not the removal of all forms of
protection to the inclusion of those defined in treaty agreements.  I don't
believe the case has been sufficiently made to demonstrate that the current
trend toward globalism is synonymous with free trade.

{Original Message removed}

2007\07\04@145359 by Rich

picon face
Hear, Hear, Wouter.  I agree that the anti-globalists have merit, although
they are not all on the same page.  Free trade has yet to be defined to the
extent that the definition satisfies all curiosities.  Free trade of the
laizzes faire model is impracticable in the modern world.
   PR China, for instance, produces an overabundance of manufactured goods
for export according to the Most Favored Nation agreement between the USA
and the PRC.  Russia acquires billions from the MFN with China because China
has engaged Russia to develop high tech weapons.
   That, in my view, does not constitute free trade and unfairly
compromises other nations who could profit from expanded trade.  The purpose
for the huge advantage in trade and economic development afforded PR China
has little or nothing to do with free trade and more to do with
international politics.
   The government of Spain invested heavily in the Spanish wine industry in
order to produce wines for export that would ultimately contribute to the
Spanish GNP.  Other governments, such as India and PRC and others contribute
to industrialization and commerce that other nations do not enjoy.  Are
those nations forced to compete unfairly?
   I challenge anyone to provide an example of free trade inclusively and
without political bias among the nations of the world today.


{Original Message removed}

2007\07\04@155147 by Richard Prosser

picon face
On 05/07/07, Alan B. Pearce <KILLspamA.B.PearceKILLspamspamrl.ac.uk> wrote:
> >Just out of interest - what was the company? I used to work for
> >Pye in Auckland which seems to fit the description but there
> >were several others. (Allied Industries, AWA)
>
> I worked fro AWA from Jan 1969 until Dec 1977, at their production facility
> in Wellington, initially at Adelaide Road, and then later at Porirua when
> the factory moved there. Started with my apprenticeship in the factory, and
> then worked in the development lab on land mobile R/T equipment.
>

Wonderful,  Alan,
I worked at the Porirua factory over the Xmas holidays around 1971-72
building SSB marine radios (student holidays). You must have been
there at the same time. I probably even shared a beer & Xmas bar-b-que
with you!

I think their most successful product while  was there was the radar
reflector although I also remember some medical equipment and  TV
repeaters along with the HF & VHF radios.

RP

2007\07\05@151343 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
Alan B. Pearce wrote:
>>> The reason this logic doesn't make sense to me, is because if
>>> you're good at what you do (make steel, write programs, et cetera)
>>> YOU DON'T NEED protection. If you need protection, YOU'RE NOT
>>> GOOD at what you do.

[snip]
> We were good at what we did, but we still needed protection. If you do not
> have any protection, you will get under cut at every corner, and become a
> service community. Once that happens you have no means of generating 'new
> money' inside the country.

Perhaps I should have defined what I mean better. Obviously, whether or not
you were "good" at what you did, depends on the definition of "good".

What I meant is, somebody else was better at doing what your company did --  
faster, cheaper, better (as in workmanship), whatever. If this wasn't true,
the company would still be in business.

I was surprised when I found recently that New Zealand has one of the freest
economies in the world. Good for them!

Vitaliy

2007\07\05@152047 by Vitaliy

flavicon
face
Russell McMahon wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Russell, while I have great respect for your intellect and your opinions,
lately I have no idea what the heck you are talking about.


> One could rail on by the hour about what makes the playing field
> non-level in all sorts of cases. But, if you don't already know it's
> true then in most cases no amount of railing will convince you. And if
> you do know it's true but you have an eye for the main chance and
> think the ski slope before you looks highly attractive, then you'll be
> convinced all the way to the bank.


And yet IMO it's wrong to assume this a priori -- what then is the point of
any discussion? It's always easier to say "I know I'm right, and I won't
waste my time explaining why you're wrong because you won't see it my way
anyway", than to try to articulate what you believe in a way the other
person can understand.

Vitaliy

2007\07\05@200345 by peter green

flavicon
face
wouter van ooijen wrote:
>> You only have to look at the way the USA protects its own
>> semiconductor industries from Asian competition to see the problem.
>>    
>
> I do see a problem. I see western countries pushing 3 world countries to
> open their markets for their western products that are produced in a
> protected and/or subsidised way. I do agree with the anti-globalists
> that the current world trade practice is unfair, but I think they argue
> for the wrong solution. The 3 world has much to win by realy free trade!
>  
And we have much to lose. The blunt fact is the worlds rescources cannot
support the third world being brought up to our standards of living so
to a certain extent what they win we lose.

2007\07\05@203143 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 7/5/07, Vitaliy <RemoveMEspamTakeThisOuTspammaksimov.org> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I tried hard to understand what Russel is trying to say but I failed as well.

> > One could rail on by the hour about what makes the playing field
> > non-level in all sorts of cases. But, if you don't already know it's
> > true then in most cases no amount of railing will convince you. And if
> > you do know it's true but you have an eye for the main chance and
> > think the ski slope before you looks highly attractive, then you'll be
> > convinced all the way to the bank.

Somewhat true in the realm of religion. One has to believe that there
is a god in order to believe the religion.

>
> And yet IMO it's wrong to assume this a priori -- what then is the point of
> any discussion? It's always easier to say "I know I'm right, and I won't
> waste my time explaining why you're wrong because you won't see it my way
> anyway", than to try to articulate what you believe in a way the other
> person can understand.
>

2007\07\05@204039 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 7/5/07, peter green <spamBeGoneplugwashspamBeGonespamp10link.net> wrote:
> wouter van ooijen wrote:
> > I do see a problem. I see western countries pushing 3 world countries to
> > open their markets for their western products that are produced in a
> > protected and/or subsidised way. I do agree with the anti-globalists
> > that the current world trade practice is unfair, but I think they argue
> > for the wrong solution. The 3 world has much to win by realy free trade!
> >
> And we have much to lose. The blunt fact is the worlds rescources cannot
> support the third world being brought up to our standards of living so
> to a certain extent what they win we lose.

An interesting point of view, albeit a pessimistic one.

However, do not underestimate the power the human beings. I think it will
not be that bad. It will be a long time before the main third world countries
like Indian and China to reach the living standards of the developed world
if it is possible at all with this century. By then the technology advance will
solve the resource problems.

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