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'[OT]:Xenophobia: Free trade again (was [OT] Employ'
2007\07\03@214430 by Cedric Chang

flavicon
face
I believe the number one issue reducing
the quality of life around the globe is Xenophobia.
Xenophobia can be writ small or large.  It is just
plainly antiquated in the year 2007.
I think the whole issue is addressed very well in
Bryan Caplan's book " The Myth of the Rational Voter:
Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies"  I have mentioned it
before.  I admire Xiaofan's questioning.  I am sure more
investigation will show how correct I am. heh heh
Cedric

On Jul 3, 2007, at 7:09 PM, Xiaofan Chen wrote:

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\04@054927 by Rich

picon face
It is always tempting to simplify complex international problems, especially
political-economy problems, by reducing them to a single issue like
xenophobia.  It is not possible.  It is reductio ad absurdum; reducing to
the absurd. Furthermore, no country practices "capitalism" and free trade
does not exist.  The USA economy is a mixed economy, meaning that it is a
market economy with certain regulatory controls.  Laizzes faire capitalism
is not practicable in reality nor is free trade.  Capitalism, socialism,
free trade and laizzes faire are models that describe theoretical economics
which various political interests exploit in order to promote a generalized
political agenda.  To speak of a global quality of life requires substantial
qualification but to speak of it in terms of xenophobia is illogical. What
is being driven in the present world is globalization, which is the
concerted effort by some governments to equilibrate world economies by
transferring the wealth and productive resources from the more affluent
nations to the so-called underdeveloped nations.  The result of which is to
compromise the prosperity and quality of life related thereto of the
productive nations and enhance the prosperity and quality of life of the
underdeveloped nations.  The architects of globalization consider socialism
to be the most appropriate economic model to achieve global equilibration
because it allows rapid intervention into such things as price controls,
resource allocation, distribution of wealth and more.  My own view is that
it requires a substantial restructuring of participating governments in
order to continue implementing globalization, which will compromise
collective social freedoms as well as individual freedom for centuries to
come.  As presently implemented, globalization is illogical and economically
unsound.

{Original Message removed}

2007\07\04@090521 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Rich wrote first:

> It is always tempting to simplify complex international problems,
> especially political-economy problems, by reducing them to a single
> issue like xenophobia.  It is not possible.  It is reductio ad absurdum;
> reducing to the absurd.

And then:

{Quote hidden}

Which seems to be not much different from what's described above :)

Brazil is not a rich country, IMO mainly because the rich Brazilians didn't
realize for centuries (and I'm not sure many of them do realize this now)
that being a bit less rich in a rich country provides for a much richer
life than being a bit richer in a poor country. That's not socialism,
that's realism.

> My own view is that it requires a substantial restructuring of
> participating governments in order to continue implementing
> globalization, which will compromise collective social freedoms as well
> as individual freedom for centuries to come.  As presently implemented,
> globalization is illogical and economically unsound.

Maybe, but to prevent it requires substantial government intervention in
the form of tariffs and other "socialist" measures -- so you seem to be
caught (in your view) in a catch-22 :)

Gerhard

2007\07\04@091402 by Dario Greggio

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> Brazil is not a rich country, IMO mainly because the rich Brazilians didn't
> realize for centuries (and I'm not sure many of them do realize this now)
> that being a bit less rich in a rich country provides for a much richer
> life than being a bit richer in a poor country. That's not socialism,
> that's realism.

Wonderful Gerhard!
This is I completely agree and most people, especially the "potents"
fail to realize.
An example of the latter are Talibans, and USSR communists.
While a (sad) example of the first are, IMO, the Italian Socialist Party
in the 1990...

--
Ciao, Dario
--
ADPM Synthesis sas - Torino
--
http://www.adpm.tk

2007\07\04@091405 by Peter P.

picon face
Rich <rgrazia1 <at> rochester.rr.com> writes:
> market economy with certain regulatory controls.  Laizzes faire capitalism
> is not practicable in reality nor is free trade.  Capitalism, socialism,

Actually free markets and laissez-faire capitalism can exist, but one has to
define them very carefully. For example, one of the meanings of freedom is the
freedom to choose, in business, price policy etc. Yet, in a functional
democracy this would mean that the government would be influenced by electors
to continuously quench the growth of companies to maintain this freedom to
choose, since their growth, if it exceeds the growth of the economy over-all,
implicitly means the shrinkage of other companies, with monopolies and cartels
representing this scheme driven to extremes. If freedom means that the playing
field is to be level by the democratic standards of the electorate and that the
government's role is to make sure that it stays so, then freedom does not exist
anywhere today, and that is so by the will of the people. More cynically, if
the state is an entity that defines its own growth as the growth of its tax
base, then monopolies and transnationals, which invariably enjoy larger tax
breaks than smaller companies, should be less desirable economic factors than
smaller companies in any country. And yet ... look at the world today, and how
local governments court transnationals to set up premises on their territories
(and how they get s****d by them with clockwork regularity, when they pick up
and leave as soon as someone else offers better tax breaks).

So it's more about compromises. But I feel (and many feel) that the current
situation which has achieved a disparity in buying power in excess of 10:1
between developed and manufacturing countries, while growth has become limited
by the scarcity of natural resources, cannot go on like this. And I think that
asking the citizens in developed countries to 'reduce their carbon footprint'
and otherwise rationalize resources while a manufacturing country guzzles oil
and steel and pushes out the largest amount of pollution on this planet is a
mockery of democracy, and that free trade with dumped goods manufactured by
people who get slave labor wages while not being able to stand up and improve
their standards of living is a mockery on free trade.

Peter P.


2007\07\04@095903 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 7/4/07, Gerhard Fiedler <.....listsKILLspamspam@spam@connectionbrazil.com> wrote:
> Rich wrote first:
>
> > It is always tempting to simplify complex international problems,
> > especially political-economy problems, by reducing them to a single
> > issue like xenophobia.  It is not possible.  It is reductio ad absurdum;
> > reducing to the absurd.

I agree with Rich here.

> And then:
>
> > What is being driven in the present world is globalization, which is the
> > concerted effort by some governments to equilibrate world economies by
> > transferring the wealth and productive resources from the more affluent
> > nations to the so-called underdeveloped nations.  The result of which is
> > to compromise the prosperity and quality of life related thereto of the
> > productive nations and enhance the prosperity and quality of life of the
> > underdeveloped nations.

I do not quite agree with this.

> > The architects of globalization consider
> > socialism to be the most appropriate economic model to achieve global
> > equilibration because it allows rapid intervention into such things as
> > price controls, resource allocation, distribution of wealth and more.

This seems very strange conclusion for me.

> Which seems to be not much different from what's described above :)

I agree with Gerhard here.

> Brazil is not a rich country, IMO mainly because the rich Brazilians didn't
> realize for centuries (and I'm not sure many of them do realize this now)
> that being a bit less rich in a rich country provides for a much richer
> life than being a bit richer in a poor country. That's not socialism,
> that's realism.
>

I do not quite agree with this. I agree with what Vitality said before.
>>> Trade is not a zero-sum game. Everybody who plays the game, wins.

I tend to agree with this and I am for globalization and free trade. I do
not think that the people in rich country need to be a bit less rich in order
that the poor country can be a bit richer. However I do know that
the implication of globalization/free trade can be very complicated and
it can be painful for certain people. So I sympathize with those negatively
affected. Still I think the trend is unavoidable due to many factors, one of
which is the technology advancement like Internet/mobile communication.


Xiaofan

2007\07\04@142806 by Rich

picon face
I see your point of view, Xiao Fan.  However, I may have assumed a bit much
in the way I presented socialism.  Whereas strictly speaking socialism is an
economic model in which the resources of production are owned and controlled
by the government (some call it the public, though I disagree),  and
capitalism which by definition is organized so that the resources of
production are held privately (privately: my definition of public), these
are the more classical definitions but they have evolved since the 19th
century.  Today, although, there are evermore encroachments on the resources
of production through taxation and regulatory laws, the idea of government
ownership is atavistic in most nations.  Socialism is now considered to be
that economic system which includes production and commerce and is regulated
by the political establishment according to laws that address social as well
as political and economic circumstances.
   Free trade, while touted as "free" cannot possibly be implemented
without regulation.  The fact that the more affluent nations are being
compromised in order to distribute the wealth in less developed nations has
nothing to do with Brazil or any other poor nation.
   Why is it necessary to redistribute the wealth?  No reason other than it
is a 19th century Marxist notion that has political power in its sentimental
appeal.  A person, with whom I was recently speaking, returned from Peru and
told me "America has too much."  I asked him why he did not say "Peru has
too little" and he was lost for words.  The key to successful globalization
is to create wealth and not distribute it.  This can proceed at a more
accelerated pace than the redistribution model.
   There are many significant impediments to the redistribution model that
I will only address if anyone is interested.  I don't want to ramble on and
bore people to sleep.
_______________________________
As an aside note:  China (PRC not ROC) is an example of the evolution of
socialism.  The Chinese government refers to their system as socialism and
not communism, for the reasons expressed above.  Deng Xiao Ping was, in my
opinion, wise to create the market overlays on the command economy structure
without totally and immediately eliminating the command economy base.  If I
am not mistaken, Deng Xiao Ping did study economics at the University of
Paris. But someone will correct me if I am wrong.
   The resulting challenge of multiple prices for a single resource could
be handled by regulation and was. The market economy in China began to "take
off."  Chinese quality of life began to improve by what some call by the
derogative term "trickle down." Communism is disappearing although Marxism,
in many ways, is advancing in the world.
   I would like to suggest that macro economics is a more challenging
discipline than we were exposed to in our undergraduate years.  But to be
sure, it is as exciting journey into the arguments for nationalism and
globalism.   It is my contention that free trade and globalism are two
different things and not two sides of the same coin.






{Original Message removed}

2007\07\04@182236 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Xiaofan Chen wrote:

>> Brazil is not a rich country, IMO mainly because the rich Brazilians didn't
>> realize for centuries (and I'm not sure many of them do realize this now)
>> that being a bit less rich in a rich country provides for a much richer
>> life than being a bit richer in a poor country. That's not socialism,
>> that's realism.
>>
>
> I do not quite agree with this. I agree with what Vitality said before.
>>>> Trade is not a zero-sum game. Everybody who plays the game, wins.
>
> I tend to agree with this and I am for globalization and free trade. I
> do not think that the people in rich country need to be a bit less rich
> in order that the poor country can be a bit richer.

What I said about Brazil has nothing (or little) to do with free trade, or
with anything international. It was not about a comparison between
countries. Read it again -- I think I wrote it as I meant it :)

It is about the fact that the rich Brazilians failed to spend even a little
of their wealth to develop the country, and rather wanted to keep the poor
as poor (and powerless) as possible, in an attempt to have as many first
real slaves and later de-facto slaves as possible. This behavior fails to
realize that living in a rich country with even a bit less wealth (which
has been spent developing the country as a whole) provides for a better
life than living in a poor country even when filthy rich.

I've never seen as many rich people in Germany as I've seen in Brazil.

This is of course a very short version, and is of course only my opinion.

Gerhard

2007\07\04@194120 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Rich wrote:

> Whereas strictly speaking socialism is an economic model in which the
> resources of production are owned and controlled by the government (some
> call it the public, though I disagree),  and capitalism which by
> definition is organized so that the resources of production are held
> privately (privately: my definition of public),

Maybe "collectively" and "individually" instead?

> The fact that the more affluent nations are being compromised in order to
> distribute the wealth in less developed nations has nothing to do with
> Brazil or any other poor nation.

I did not mean to say that it has been free trade that made Brazil poor.
See my response to Xiaofan for an explanation. (I think, and hope, that if
you re-read what I wrote you may agree with me. If not, I'd like to
understand where I failed to express myself.)

With respect to Brazil and free trade, Brazil is one of the best examples
to show how extreme trade barriers don't help the economy and rather
strangle it. Up into the early 90ies Brazil had not only tariffs but
outright import restrictions. Electronic and computer technology was at an
abysmal state here at that time. The country hasn't yet fully caught up, in
part because that was too much to catch up easily and in part because it's
still difficult to work with electronics here, mainly because of import
restrictions.

> It is my contention that free trade and globalism are two different
> things and not two sides of the same coin.

I tend to agree with this, even though I'm not quite sure what you mean
with globalism. Globalization (as I see it) would be necessary for free
trade, but it's not something that can easily be controlled (differently
from free trade). Globalization means that I can easily fly home to see my
parents; when they themselves thought about emigrating to South America 50
years ago, this was more like you're never ever seen again back home. It
also means that we here chat rather easily between Singapore, NZ, UK, USA,
even Brazil :) -- and other such things. It's happening, and nobody can
easily turn it back without destroying a lot of things.

Gerhard

2007\07\05@031141 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face
{Quote hidden}

Why?  I am really curious about that statement ..... Cedric
{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

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