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FSP -- General Discussion => Prospective Participants => Topic started by: Osborn F. Enready on January 22, 2004, 11:09:55 am

Title: Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: Osborn F. Enready on January 22, 2004, 11:09:55 am
     Since finding this cause, I have taken the time to read through this site and find its cause honorable and just.  I have read through several messages in the forum though and I have noticed a few things that lead me to ask more questions that I would appreciate input on, especially from people who believe in this cause and have been working to further its progress.
     
      I am distraught over the fact that the only canidates who make the major ballot in this country (Democrat/Republican) are globalists.  In my opinion globalism is a failed theory, and a pipe dream to those that cannot face the facts of redistribution of wealth as it is currently happening (by design).  I as many others have long believed in a national media conspiracy to keep certain topics off the airways, and out of sight.  I think now as some of the curtains are being lifted, people (though few) that pay attention are starting to see some of the more grand designs that both Republican and Democrat representatives have had in store for us all along.  To me it seems as though as long as you are a globalist you have the party vote and the issues can be dealt with after that to decide who can carry the parties banner.  The last time I checked, this government was supposed to represent the people, so where is my non-globalist canidate?  If globalism was such an important issue wouldn't that have been the center of debate for the last couple of elections?  I would think so.  So, one of my questions is what tactics or ideas do you have to combat the globalist regime on the political front?  Do you feel this is important(anti-globalism)??

     Another question I would like to hear the libertarian side address is the question of free trade.  This is rather simplified, but for this discussion will suit to make my point.  Free trade is an idea based on goods being more mobile than manufacturers.  In this day and age, as we all know, manufaturers travel to where their profits are largest, not where they are needed most.  This in itself is the flaw in the design of free trade, because as I said earlier, the redistribution of wealth is obvious now as we watch our jobs leave the country and our imports swell to record breaking proportion.  Because of a lack of protectionism we are being manhandled in the world market and will soon learn the cold hard lesson of globalism.  So, my question is:  How do you defend the Free Market idea that you promote, and how do you think this redistribution of wealth will be rectified?

     To me, these are THE most important issues in our country, mainly because I feel if these wrongs are not corrected soon we won't have a country any longer to protect.  My feelings are generally libertarian, though certain things really concern me about libertarians ideals.
I believe in this cause if for nothing else because these people are ACTIVISTS, and are WILLING TO FIGHT to bring this country back to the people.  Do you have any thoughts on a national news channel promoting the truth about globalism??  The cost would be outrageous, but the results could be some of the best we have ever witnessed in this nation with people seeing the need to vote and take seriously the DUTY they have to this country.  I am a veteran of the Gulf War, and the thing that sickens me the most in this country is our lack of intrest or belief in our system.  OUR system is the way it is because WE THE PEOPLE have let ourselves become placated with luxuries and the grand delusion they call the AMERICAN DREAM.  My AMERICAN DREAM is a place where people take their duty to their country seriously and pay attention to the issues and vote to make a difference.  

     If you have taken the time to read this, please respond as I respect all input and viewpoints.  Knowledge is the result of lessons learned, logic the key to understanding.  Help me understand this cause, and I will help you understand the opposition you face.

 

                                                          Osborn F. Enready
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: atr on January 22, 2004, 12:18:53 pm
   This in itself is the flaw in the design of free trade, because as I said earlier, the redistribution of wealth is obvious now as we watch our jobs leave the country and our imports swell to record breaking proportion.  Because of a lack of protectionism we are being manhandled in the world market and will soon learn the cold hard lesson of globalism.  So, my question is:  How do you defend the Free Market idea that you promote, and how do you think this redistribution of wealth will be rectified?

Protectionism imposes major costs on consumers, who subsidize the workers in the protected industry. See, e.g. http://www.mackinac.org/article.asp?ID=4107 or http://www.econ.iastate.edu/classes/econ355/choi/prot.htm

Here's a hypothetical:

An American company (ACC) makes big unreliable and inefficient cars that cost $20,000 on average.
A Japanese company (JCC) makes smaller cars that are twice as efficient and reliable, and cost $15,000.
If there are no tariffs, ACC will have to improve its product in order to compete. American consumers will benefit from the competition, and from the availability of this superior product.
But, suppose that the government imposes a 50% tariff on imported cars in order to protect jobs at ACC. Cars made by JCC now cost $22500 instead of $15000. ACC has less incentive to make a better product. American consumers have shelled out gobs of money for the tariffs. Many more Americans end up with the ACC car, which creates more pollution, inflates gasoline consumption and the price of gasoline, lost productivity from car malfunction, etc.

I for one am thankful for the freedom to purchase foreign goods.


Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: Karl on January 22, 2004, 01:33:41 pm
    Since finding this cause, I have taken the time to read through this site and find its cause honorable and just.  I have read through several messages in the forum though and I have noticed a few things that lead me to ask more questions that I would appreciate input on, especially from people who believe in this cause and have been working to further its progress.

Welcome, I hope that we can answer some of your questions. :)

Quote
   
      I am distraught over the fact that the only canidates who make the major ballot in this country (Democrat/Republican) are globalists.  In my opinion globalism is a failed theory, and a pipe dream to those that cannot face the facts of redistribution of wealth as it is currently happening (by design).

The term "globalism" usually describes several policies.  In general, libertarians advocate free and unrestricted global trade, but oppose policies of involving international aid, military adventurism, and "world government" bureaucracies like the UN, IMF and WTO.


Quote
Another question I would like to hear the libertarian side address is the question of free trade.  This is rather simplified, but for this discussion will suit to make my point.  Free trade is an idea based on goods being more mobile than manufacturers.  In this day and age, as we all know, manufaturers travel to where their profits are largest, not where they are needed most.  This in itself is the flaw in the design of free trade, because as I said earlier, the redistribution of wealth is obvious now as we watch our jobs leave the country and our imports swell to record breaking proportion.  Because of a lack of protectionism we are being manhandled in the world market and will soon learn the cold hard lesson of globalism.  So, my question is:  How do you defend the Free Market idea that you promote, and how do you think this redistribution of wealth will be rectified?

Actually, this is a myth; it is false.  It is true that traditional manufacturers and some other industries are moving overseas.  However, it is false that this is causing the movement of a finite amount of wealth overseas.  In fact, wealth has increased, not decreased in the United States, as products become more affordable and American's time is freed from doing more mundane tasks to starting new businesses and persuing new ideas.  Policies of protectionism would most certainly reverse that trend and make the US less prosperous.

Another illustration --

Imagine the customer in atr's example was the owner of a small carpet cleaning business.  He needs to buy 10 vans for his fleet.  With protectionism, he must buy 10 ACC-brand vans at $22,500 each, for a total of $225,000.  With free trade, he buys 10 JCC vans at $15,000, for a total of $150,000, a difference of $75,000, enough to provide good jobs for two employees.  Protectionism simply transfered the jobs from the carpet cleaning company to a manufacturing company.  Or perhaps that is the owner's profit without which he would have never bothered to start his business, leaving countless other businesses with dirty floors.

This is exactly what happened when Bush raised steel tarriffs last year.  American auto manutfacturers were hurt because higher costs for steel, as were dock workers and importers.

If you are concerned with the unjust redistribution of wealth, you should strongly oppose protectionist policies.
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: bryanweatherly on January 22, 2004, 05:17:12 pm
I think you are a little confused about the concepts of a free market and globalisation.  When you start takling about people's "needs"  and "fighting to give back to the people," you sound like a communist.  You said you have libertarian viewpoints, I didn't pick up on any in reading your post.
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: atr on January 22, 2004, 05:51:19 pm
I believe in this cause if for nothing else because these people are ACTIVISTS, and are WILLING TO FIGHT to bring this country back to the people.

I believe it would be more accurate to say that FSP members are willing to fight to bring liberty back to the people.

In a free society, we will not all have a lot of money, and we won't be guaranteed a job, home, or healthcare. But we will all be rich, in the sense that freedom is the greatest wealth someone can have.
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on January 22, 2004, 09:37:56 pm
>>wealth redistribution

FWIW, what you are calling "wealth redistribution" others would call "competition".  It takes a 3rd party to redistribute wealth, but buyers and sellers alone can (and should) constitute a market.

RS
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: Mike Lorrey on January 23, 2004, 07:42:48 am
Libertarians are pro-globalism with regards to free trade. We are not for one-world-government (unless all the other countries choose to accept the US Constitution). We are for free trade because it lets the market determine the best use of resources, not governments, not special interest groups.

People who are getting displaced by the loss of the industrial base need to get new high tech skills. Whining about it isn't going to get you anywhere.
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: LeRuineur6 on January 23, 2004, 08:06:40 am
Dear Osborn F. Enready,

I see you've already been called a communist.  Do not take it personally.  You sound almost entirely libertarian as it is and you're exactly what we need, as long as you're an activist too!

Regarding globalization, I oppose political globalization, even if all countries accept the US Constitution.  If more countries accepted the US Constitution and became a part of our country, they would highly dilute our local political power and that is not acceptable.

However, I strongly support economic globalization.  Our artificially higher prices in America are caused by the government.  With minimal federal, state, AND local government, we will be able to significantly lower our taxes, prices, provide cheaper labor, and businesses will move back in!

Also, a tariff on steel imports, for example, makes anything in our country derived from steel more expensive.  If we can import cheaper steel from another country, then we can create cheaper cars.  Also, if we had a minimal government, steel wouldn't BE cheaper in other countries!  :)

"No nation is ever ruined by free trade."
-Benjamin Franklin
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: Morpheus on January 23, 2004, 08:12:33 am
Quote
I think you are a little confused about the concepts of a free market and globalisation.  When you start takling about people's "needs"  and "fighting to give back to the people," you sound like a communist.

Interestingly enough, while this is what one would hear coming out of Nader's mouth.. it is also what one would hear coming out of *Buchanan's* mouth.
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: LeopardPM on January 23, 2004, 10:08:33 pm
Mr. Osborn,
Welcome, again!

You will find that a majority of libertarians subscribe to mostly Austrian Economics www.mises.org (http://www.mises.org) (there is a high degree of overlap).  Mainly, that it is NO BUSINESS of government to interceed in a voluntary transaction between ANY two people - it matters not if those two people live in the same country or are of a certain race, gender, or whatever.  This is the essence of Free Trade and it has already been proven, repeatedly, to be the most effective way to distribute goods and services.  fact is, protectionism hurts a country to a far greater degree than it supposedly helps (I am more than willing to discuss this issue with you under another thread in the General Libertarian Heading or through emails).  At its foundation, protectionism is purely forceful redistribution of wealth - from the entire country to the indistry being given 'protection' - since it is done with the awesome power of government, it is also coercive.  All things un-libertarian.

generally, those that subscribe to protectionist policy have been influenced by the likes of Pat Buchannan<sp> and such.  The problem is that economics is a two-sided coin, there is the immediate, visible 'effect - then the longer term, invisible effect.  Opportunity Cost is an example of an 'invisible' effect: The cost of an item is NOT the amount of money you paid for it, it is also what ELSE you could have done with the money instead.  It is very emotional for a media source to show a 1,000 workers being laid off because of Free Trade, it is simply impossible to show the 'other side of the coin': the fact that everyone (including the workers) now pay X% less for the particuliar product that said industry was unable to compete in.

There are some basic economic facts that no government can prevent from occuring:
(1) protectionism or not, as people have increased ease of communication and mobility, all local economies will begin to merge into one basic one, with labor and goods priced with respect to regional differences which create 'Comparative Advantages'.
(2) the more people active in an economy, the more benefit for each of them.  This means that as the world's economies merge, the entire world's standard of living will rise as a whole.
(3) labor rates in the US are over-priced - these will come down in the future, there is no alternative.  The only alternative is in the manner: the longer the government 'protects' its country's labor, the more 'violent' the adjustment period will be

said too much already,
michael
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: Tracy Saboe on January 23, 2004, 10:34:12 pm
>>wealth redistribution

FWIW, what you are calling "wealth redistribution" others would call "competition".  It takes a 3rd party to redistribute wealth, but buyers and sellers alone can (and should) constitute a market.

RS

I think she/he's referring to the UN, the WTO, NATO, Export-import bank, and other international and domestic agencies that use taxpayers money to redistribute wealth.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

TRacy
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: Tracy Saboe on January 23, 2004, 10:36:09 pm
I believe in this cause if for nothing else because these people are ACTIVISTS, and are WILLING TO FIGHT to bring this country back to the people.

I believe it would be more accurate to say that FSP members are willing to fight to bring liberty back to the people.

In a free society, we will not all have a lot of money, and we won't be guaranteed a job, home, or healthcare. But we will all be rich, in the sense that freedom is the greatest wealth someone can have.

We'll also all be wealthier in the sence that our money is worth more then it would be otherwise because the free market encourages competition, lower prices, and better quality of goods and services.

Tracy
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: Tracy Saboe on January 23, 2004, 10:38:29 pm
Hyper-regulation is actually the main reason most jobs are moving away.

They just can't afford the cost of compliance.

Tracy

(P.S. sorry for the multiple posts.)

Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on January 24, 2004, 02:04:41 pm
Hyper-regulation is actually the main reason most jobs are moving away.

They just can't afford the cost of compliance.

Tracy

(P.S. sorry for the multiple posts.)



There was a fellow, name Roger Simmermaker,  on CNN this morning who has a site on How To Buy American (http://www.howtobuyamerican.com/).  He made the point that for the government to be able to do what the electorate has in effect demanded that it do (everything from Defense and Education to Welfare), that the citizenry must buy the products that put the money into the hands of those US companies and individuals who pay the most taxes.   I had the thought in that moment that there was a certain irony in the consideration that the wealthy, who pay the most in taxes, are being inexorably squeezed for more taxes in the future, as the un-wealthy, who buy the most cheap, imported products, starve their own benefactors of revenue.

Perhaps the best thing is to own an export business in Hong Kong, Taiwan or Singapore, but to live on the open seas.  :)

RS
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: LeopardPM on January 24, 2004, 03:56:03 pm
I saw the tail end of that show too, Rhythm - very interesting how he avoided the question put forth to him re "Wouldn't that make our companies lazy and/or encourage inefficient production?"

michael
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on January 24, 2004, 05:43:37 pm
>>avoiding the question "would that make US companies inefficient and lazy"

It was, but I took it to be what the pols call staying "on message".

As for the question unanswered, I think not, so long as free market conditions exist.  What would make US companies fat, lazy and unresponsive to market demands and foreign competition would be tariffs that sought to force the issue. There just aren't enough economic patriots in the US to generate that strong a backlash.

FWIW, I buy American whenever I can.  As a result, even though I could have afforded Mercedes or BMW, I drive a Ford Escape.  Neat little car, the Escape -- most of the positives of an SUV, with better gas milage, an easier parking profile and far better handling.

RS

Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: LeopardPM on January 24, 2004, 06:48:58 pm
ok, Rhythm,
why do you buy american then if you do not think it makes a difference?  The fact is EVERY purchase makes an incremental difference - a tariff forces an across the board difference, but a tariff in an amount that increases domestic auto sales by 10% has essentially the same effect as 10% more people playing the 'buy american' game (don't mean to sound degrading, I applaud you using the free market to reflect your principles/values/beliefs it works!).  But, on a pure monetary/economic basis, it makes the american companies fatter/lazier/whatever because they didn't have to earn/work/put forth effort to garner the additional 10% increase in sales.....

its all a matter of degrees, the overall effect may to 'tend' manufacturers to be 'lazy and uncompetitive', but one instance isn't going to turn our economy south by any means... its when there is a steady accumulation of tariffs and 'buy american JUST to support american jobs' (to buy american because they do not employ slave labor is a different matter entirely, with different effects because the REASON of a purchase decision DOES influence production through polls/surveys to companies) - then there is a serious overall effect on our nation as a whole... we end up paying twice the amount to garner the same standard of living of competing nations...

michael
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: BillG on January 24, 2004, 08:25:42 pm
Osborn-

IMHO your gut instincts are correct. Wherever producers are farthest away from consumers - communities and cultures will not survive...

How do we conquer this negative force being unleashed on the world?

Build local economies of human scale today because in the not too distant future the price of oil is going to rise too quickly for us to easily recover without major economic and social disruptions...

The key is building economic decentralization & self-reliance via alternative currency...


Wendell Berry in Orion Magazine:
http://www.oriononline.org/pages/om/archive_om/Berry/Local_Economy.html (http://www.oriononline.org/pages/om/archive_om/Berry/Local_Economy.html)

excerpt:

"Albert Schweitzer, who knew well the economic situation in the colonies of Africa, wrote nearly sixty years ago: "Whenever the timber trade is good, permanent famine reigns in the Ogowe region because the villagers abandon their farms to fell as many trees as possible." We should notice especially that the goal of production was "as many...as possible." And Schweitzer makes my point exactly: "These people could achieve true wealth if they could develop their agriculture and trade to meet their own needs." Instead they produced timber for export to "the world economy," which made them dependent upon imported goods that they bought with money earned from their exports. They gave up their local means of subsistence, and imposed the false standard of a foreign demand ("as many trees as possible") upon their forests. They thus became helplessly dependent on an economy over which they had no control.


Such was the fate of the native people under the African colonialism of Schweitzer¹s time. Such is, and can only be, the fate of everybody under the global colonialism of our time. Schweitzer's description of the colonial economy of the Ogowe region is in principle not different from the rural economy now in Kentucky or Iowa or Wyoming. A total economy for all practical purposes is a total government. The "free trade" which from the standpoint of the corporate economy brings "unprecedented economic growth," from the standpoint of the land and its local populations, and ultimately from the standpoint of the cities, is destruction and slavery. Without prosperous local economies, the people have no power and the land no voice."

Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: LeopardPM on January 24, 2004, 09:30:30 pm
What?

never seen you launch into such prose, BillG!  How dramatic, 'conquer this negative force being unleashed on the world'!!!  You had to be smiling as you wrote that, I know I can't even read it without chuckling...

as for your situational example....
ok, first off, we are dealing wih a very small population so it is not reasonable to apply whatever results on a vastly wider scale.  BUT, even with that said...
So, the farming communities found it more advantageous to cut trees than to farm... this leads to the obvious question: What did they do with their profits?  They obviously knew that if they didn't grow stuff that they would need to purchase it from somewheres - I would assume one of two things:

(1) The farmers made a very poor choice - they either were not paid enough to sustain themselves until they could begin planting again or they were paid with items that held much less value than they thought they did (ie: cheap plastic beads or something that they, due to pure ignorance, thought was valuable but when they tried to convert those beads into foodstuffs, discovered otherwise)

(2) the farmers made a very poor choice - they reaped great profits from the timber harvesting but spent the money on other things instead of planning for the obvious coming self-induced famine...

my guess is that these poor folks were just plain taken advantage of and had no reference within their culture as to how to deal with the westerners.  My heart cries for them...

BillG,
if I grow a tomato in my hydroponic garden and sell it to my neighbor for an amount we both agree upon, is this 'trade' good for both parties?  Does it matter how far away my neighbor lives?  the next town, county, state, country?  Should the government or ANYONE, besides my neighbor and I, have any say in the trade if it does not involve force or fraud?  Where is this 'negative force' that arises from this trade?

You know i am with you when it comes to self-reliance and alternative currency et al - but negotiating trades freely IS one aspect that self-reliance and responsibility manifest themselves.  The larger the population of traders, the greater the overall prosperity, this is not some made up opinion... its substantive economics... (ell, in my opinion j/k LOL!!!)

michael

Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on January 24, 2004, 10:00:12 pm
ok, Rhythm,
why do you buy american then if you do not think it makes a difference?  

I did not say it doesn't make a difference.  Obviously, it does.  What I said is that there are not enough economic patriots nowadays to create "that strong a backlash", meaning an effect so ubiquitous and damaging as raising the price of imported cars via tariff so high that all the Camry and Civic drivers would be driving Fords or Chevies.

RS
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: LeopardPM on January 24, 2004, 10:05:29 pm
ok, i didn't catch the 'degree' to which you meant...

(ps: are you sore about my stupid 'humor' remark?)


michael
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on January 24, 2004, 10:11:32 pm
>>fatter, lazier, etc.

BTW, I have to object to this tripe.  What makes companies fat and lazy is ignorance, not customers willing to pay a price for qualities they value.  To me, the fact that a fellow American got to feed his family as a result of me buying a car is definitely worth something.  THAT, my friend, IS the free market at work, invisible hand and all!

Harrumph!!

RS


Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 24, 2004, 10:19:19 pm
BTW, I have to object to this tripe.  What makes companies fat and lazy is ignorance, not customers willing to pay a price for qualities they value.  To me, the fact that a fellow American got to feed his family as a result of me buying a car is definitely worth something.  THAT, my friend, IS the free market at work, invisible hand and all!


When it comes to my clothing, I always try to implement a Buy Bangladeshi policy.  It's much more important to feed Bangladeshi families than to feed American ones.
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: BillG on January 24, 2004, 10:39:20 pm
Quote
BillG,
if I grow a tomato in my hydroponic garden and sell it to my neighbor for an amount we both agree upon, is this 'trade' good for both parties?  Does it matter how far away my neighbor lives?  the next town, county, state, country?  Should the government or ANYONE, besides my neighbor and I, have any say in the trade if it does not involve force or fraud?  Where is this 'negative force' that arises from this trade?

You know i am with you when it comes to self-reliance and alternative currency et al - but negotiating trades freely IS one aspect that self-reliance and responsibility manifest themselves.  The larger the population of traders, the greater the overall prosperity, this is not some made up opinion... its substantive economics... (ell, in my opinion j/k LOL!!!)

michael

The point of the article (if you had read it) is that cheap oil becomes the basis for the idea that communities should give up self-relience in order to specialize in production for export of the single commodity that can be most cheaply produced resulting in destroyed local production capacities, local diversity, and local economic independence.

The negative force is that subsistence farmers are forced off their land as cheaper imports flood their market and they are forced into the cities to sell their labor as cheaply as possible...sound familiar? try the enclosure movement in England!

Where did I say anything about government or anybody else having any say in this?

My perscription is alternative local currencies that strengthen a local economy...completely voluntary!
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: BillG on January 24, 2004, 10:43:50 pm
BTW, I have to object to this tripe.  What makes companies fat and lazy is ignorance, not customers willing to pay a price for qualities they value.  To me, the fact that a fellow American got to feed his family as a result of me buying a car is definitely worth something.  THAT, my friend, IS the free market at work, invisible hand and all!


When it comes to my clothing, I always try to implement a Buy Bangladeshi policy.  It's much more important to feed Bangladeshi families than to feed American ones.

They wouldn't have to be fed if their subsistence culture wasn't been destroyed by globalization forces...
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 24, 2004, 10:50:28 pm
They wouldn't have to be fed if their subsistence culture wasn't been destroyed by globalization forces...

Isn't it interesting how it's only people in countries with an advanced division of labor who maunder on about the glories of "subsistence"... ::)
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: Mike Lorrey on January 24, 2004, 11:17:45 pm
BTW, I have to object to this tripe.  What makes companies fat and lazy is ignorance, not customers willing to pay a price for qualities they value.  To me, the fact that a fellow American got to feed his family as a result of me buying a car is definitely worth something.  THAT, my friend, IS the free market at work, invisible hand and all!


When it comes to my clothing, I always try to implement a Buy Bangladeshi policy.  It's much more important to feed Bangladeshi families than to feed American ones.

They wouldn't have to be fed if their subsistence culture wasn't been destroyed by globalization forces...

I was under the impression that Bangladeshi subsistence culture regularly gets destroyed by monsoon forces.... you certainly can't slave away in a maquiladoro plant when your town is under 20 feet of Ganges floodwaters...
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: BillG on January 24, 2004, 11:31:05 pm
They wouldn't have to be fed if their subsistence culture wasn't been destroyed by globalization forces...

Isn't it interesting how it's only people in countries with an advanced division of labor who maunder on about the glories of "subsistence"... ::)

You mean vs. being forced off the land to sell you labor in the cities with a "built in" structural unemployment pool to insure wages don't get too high and no social services mandated by IMF asterity policies?

hmmm...tough choice but hey no guts no glory - right?
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: LeopardPM on January 24, 2004, 11:43:46 pm
>>fatter, lazier, etc.

BTW, I have to object to this tripe.  What makes companies fat and lazy is ignorance, not customers willing to pay a price for qualities they value.  To me, the fact that a fellow American got to feed his family as a result of me buying a car is definitely worth something.  THAT, my friend, IS the free market at work, invisible hand and all!

Harrumph!!

RS
I understand you.  And I would suppose that companies could easily enough determine how much of their market share is derived by 'local patriotism' and the like, in fact, they probably count on it in their market models - they would probably seek to enhance this patriotism through advertising since it is an aspect of their product which costs them nothing EXCEPT having to deal with whatever taxes/regulations/high wages they might encounter in order to conduct business domestically.  I kinda lost my train of thought here, so I am stopping, and restarting (sorry, its getting late...)

So, let me get this straight: you would rather purchase an inefficiently produced (either higher cost or less value) product if it was produced domestically then its better, foreign, competitor?

And the reason is... to help your neighbor keep his job?

Why not buy the foreign product and send the cost difference in the form of a check to your neighbor?

OR... apply the old 'teach a man to fish' idea and help the displaced workers re-educate and find work at which we have the comparitive advantage, or perhaps open up a new business to cater to other needs or desires of the market?

Buying American is just fine, but it does nothing to solve the 'problem'.  In my strange mind, I equate those extra dollars you spend like a form of welfare routed through a business instead of the government - a better solution, i agree, but still a bandaid which does not address the basic economic problem: the domestic producer is in the wrong business and through creative destruction needs to have that labor be put to other uses!  You, and other 'buy americans' cannot indefinitely support an inefficient company - you are just delaying the inevitable end is all.

well, I applaud your motives.  I know your heart is in the right place.  And, most importantly, you are not advocating some coercive scheme - so all I really can do is point out some alternatives, smile, and perhaps attempt to become employed in one of these businesses where I can work less to earn inflated wages just by there mere fact that i am american and I have the awesome charitability of other fellow americans like yourself supporting me no matter how inefficiently I produce my product or service...

...no, that wouldn't suit me at all - but I can dream can't I?

(btw: mostly is all tongue in cheek, but, I do think there s 'some' truth to me statements above)

you got me wondering,
michael

JASON! - didn't know you were following, care to lend more than a sound-bite to this discussion?  I would like to hear how you weigh in on this as I don't have the formal education (just some ol' country hick I am) that you do...
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on January 25, 2004, 04:18:07 am
>>fatter, lazier, etc.

BTW, I have to object to this tripe.  What makes companies fat and lazy is ignorance, not customers willing to pay a price for qualities they value.  To me, the fact that a fellow American got to feed his family as a result of me buying a car is definitely worth something.  THAT, my friend, IS the free market at work, invisible hand and all!

Harrumph!!

RS
I understand you.  And I would suppose that companies could easily enough determine how much of their market share is derived by 'local patriotism' and the like, in fact, they probably count on it in their market models - they would probably seek to enhance this patriotism through advertising since it is an aspect of their product which costs them nothing EXCEPT having to deal with whatever taxes/regulations/high wages they might encounter in order to conduct business domestically.  I kinda lost my train of thought here, so I am stopping, and restarting (sorry, its getting late...)

So, let me get this straight: you would rather purchase an inefficiently produced (either higher cost or less value) product if it was produced domestically then its better, foreign, competitor?

Who says it's "inefficiently" produced?  It gets from point A to point B.  It's fun to drive.  It looks cool -- girls always go "What a cute car!"   It is very fast for a street car -- without the governor on the electronic fuel injection system, it would probably do over 150MPH (it does 80 at about 2300RPM, and the engine revs to 5K without breaking a sweat).  It was NOT expensive.  It's a good value -- I coulda bought a car with better milage, but it woulda been like driving a tin can.  I could bought a bigger, more luxurious car, but that woulda been like driving a boat (or a tank).  All in all, I think the Ford Escape is a fine value for the bucks.

Now, there are some Korean cars that are pretty darned good values, but how you gonna get parts for the dang thing out in the boonies?  And what if there's a war over there, or political unrest?  Why risk it?

And, yes, buying Fords puts my money back into the US economy.  This is a GOOD THING, fella, and I could care less how many Austrians it harelips!

Quote
And the reason is... to help your neighbor keep his job?

I already gave you tons of non-patriotic reasons.  As for the patriotic one, putting money back into MY community (the US) doesn't just help my neighbor keep his job, it helps me keep MY JOB!  I live and work in the US economy.  When it is strong, I am fully employed and well paid.  When it is weak, I am in trouble.  

Quote
Why not buy the foreign product and send the cost difference in the form of a check to your neighbor?

Because that doesn't help the economy, that just helps one guy.  He'd probably just spend it on crack or Budweiser anyway.  :)

Quote
OR... apply the old 'teach a man to fish' idea and help the displaced workers re-educate and find work at which we have the comparitive advantage, or perhaps open up a new business to cater to other needs or desires of the market?

Why should I have to invent a new industry when the existing one serves my purpose just fine?  Screw 'em if they think I'm gonna stab my country in the back over a few lousy bucks!  Let 'em eat Ganges river mud.

OTOH, if Detroit didn't make a car I found good enough to suit me, then I'd buy foreign.  Before the crash, I was planning on buying a couple of Japanese electric hybrids, just to send them the message that they better get their butts in gear and start making non-gasoline powered cars, because they ARE the future.

Quote
Buying American is just fine, but it does nothing to solve the 'problem'.  In my strange mind, I equate those extra dollars you spend like a form of welfare routed through a business instead of the government - a better solution, i agree, but still a bandaid which does not address the basic economic problem: the domestic producer is in the wrong business and through creative destruction needs to have that labor be put to other uses!  You, and other 'buy americans' cannot indefinitely support an inefficient company - you are just delaying the inevitable end is all.

You just don't understand the nature of economics.  Too many Austrian pseudo-economic political tracts, I'd wager.  Just as all politics are local, so too is all economic prosperity local.   Buying foreign goods is like donating blood.  Giving a little blood now and then is a fine thing to do, but spill too much blood and you are in big trouble.

Quote
well, I applaud your motives.  I know your heart is in the right place.  And, most importantly, you are not advocating some coercive scheme - so all I really can do is point out some alternatives, smile, and perhaps attempt to become employed in one of these businesses where I can work less to earn inflated wages just by there mere fact that i am american and I have the awesome charitability of other fellow americans like yourself supporting me no matter how inefficiently I produce my product or service...

That's just not true.  Taking things to extremes is stupid, or at least ignorant.  I already said that ignorance, in this case ignoring my criteria for acceptable quality, will lose you my business.   HOWEVER, so long as the US producer can meet my quality standards at a price I can afford, then I will prefer them to the foreign product.   If you would actually go to the trouble to compare, rather than just accepting the "only foreign goods are cheap enough and high-quality enough to buy", you might find yourself buying some US-made goods as well.

Quote
...no, that wouldn't suit me at all - but I can dream can't I?

(btw: mostly is all tongue in cheek, but, I do think there s 'some' truth to me statements above)

you got me wondering,
michael

JASON! - didn't know you were following, care to lend more than a sound-bite to this discussion?  I would like to hear how you weigh in on this as I don't have the formal education (just some ol' country hick I am) that you do...


FWIW, the economic globalization movement is a WORLD GOVERNMENT MOVEMENT.  It will benefit no one in the end but multi-national corporations and Communist China.   Too many US libertarians have been hoodwinked into believing that it serves their interests.  It does not.

RS
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on January 25, 2004, 04:22:09 am
BTW, I have to object to this tripe.  What makes companies fat and lazy is ignorance, not customers willing to pay a price for qualities they value.  To me, the fact that a fellow American got to feed his family as a result of me buying a car is definitely worth something.  THAT, my friend, IS the free market at work, invisible hand and all!


When it comes to my clothing, I always try to implement a Buy Bangladeshi policy.  It's much more important to feed Bangladeshi families than to feed American ones.

Everyone has their own wallet and their own way of lightening it. (shrug)

When the US labor market is tight and my countrymen are well-paid and not out of work, then I also enjoy buying goods made by developing nations.  For me, charity begins at home.  It doesn't end there, but that's where it starts.

RS
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: lloydbob1 on January 25, 2004, 10:03:24 am
Everyone has their own wallet and their own way of lightening it. (shrug)

When the US labor market is tight and my countrymen are well-paid and not out of work, then I also enjoy buying goods made by developing nations.  For me, charity begins at home.  It doesn't end there, but that's where it starts.

RS


If you buy overpriced products from companies with bloated, overpaid, Union workers who negotiate their pay levels with violence  when more reasoably priced products are available, you are practicing charity.
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on January 25, 2004, 11:45:51 am
Everyone has their own wallet and their own way of lightening it. (shrug)

When the US labor market is tight and my countrymen are well-paid and not out of work, then I also enjoy buying goods made by developing nations.  For me, charity begins at home.  It doesn't end there, but that's where it starts.

RS


If you buy overpriced products from companies with bloated, overpaid, Union workers who negotiate their pay levels with violence  when more reasoably priced products are available, you are practicing charity.

If that is charity, even though I buy a product fairly priced and of good quality in the process, then what is it to buy a product created by slave labor in a Communist country, or those poor wretches in the merchantilist sweatshops south of the border?  Anti-charity?   Is there no such thing as a craftsperson fairly compensated and a customer pleased with his or her handiwork?

Are we becoming economic cannibals?

Ya know, pursuing happiness is not nearly as sweet as actually catching some from time to time.   I've lived off the land, I've done manual labor, I've been a professional musician, and I've been a high-flying corporate executive.  Wanna guess which lifestyle was happier?

RS
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: <Patrick> on January 25, 2004, 04:22:18 pm
BTW, I have to object to this tripe.  What makes companies fat and lazy is ignorance, not customers willing to pay a price for qualities they value.  To me, the fact that a fellow American got to feed his family as a result of me buying a car is definitely worth something.  THAT, my friend, IS the free market at work, invisible hand and all!


When it comes to my clothing, I always try to implement a Buy Bangladeshi policy.  It's much more important to feed Bangladeshi families than to feed American ones.

They wouldn't have to be fed if their subsistence culture wasn't been destroyed by globalization forces...

     BillG, why don't you just join the Progressive Party and move to Vermont? You would be much happier there. Perhaps the FSP is not for you...

 
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 25, 2004, 05:16:28 pm

FWIW, the economic globalization movement is a WORLD GOVERNMENT MOVEMENT.

Evidence?  And how would you propose to stop economic globalization?  Tariffs or other forms of violence?
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 25, 2004, 05:19:19 pm

When the US labor market is tight and my countrymen are well-paid and not out of work, then I also enjoy buying goods made by developing nations.  For me, charity begins at home.  It doesn't end there, but that's where it starts.


That strikes me as a very jingoistic and immoral policy.  "Charity begins at home" makes sense when you're talking about people in your family or neighborhood, but when you're talking about people who happen to live under the same state, the underlying logic seems like something only a Fichte or a Mussolini could make sense of.
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on January 25, 2004, 05:26:54 pm

FWIW, the economic globalization movement is a WORLD GOVERNMENT MOVEMENT.

Evidence?  

WTO.  EU.  

Quote
And how would you propose to stop economic globalization?  Tariffs or other forms of violence?

By simply choosing to buy closer to home whenever the quality is there and the price is reasonable.   And when I buy from overseas, I prefer to deal with individual entrepreneurs, like my Vietnamese translators, as opposed to multinational corporations.  Smaller is better.  

RS
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: <Patrick> on January 25, 2004, 05:29:10 pm

When the US labor market is tight and my countrymen are well-paid and not out of work, then I also enjoy buying goods made by developing nations.  For me, charity begins at home.  It doesn't end there, but that's where it starts.


That strikes me as a very jingoistic and immoral policy.  "Charity begins at home" makes sense when you're talking about people in your family or neighborhood, but when you're talking about people who happen to live under the same state, the underlying logic seems like something only a Fichte or a Mussolini could make sense of.

     The whole idea of "Buy American" is very un-American. This country is supposed to be a bastion for individualism, not some kind of nationalist collectivism.

     "According to a recent poll, 80% of Americans think it their patriotic duty to give preference to American-made products. But 'Buy American' is wholly un-American in both its economics and its philosophy.

     America’s distinction among all the nations of the world is that it enshrined political and economic freedom. Although we have departed greatly from our original laissez-faire principles, to the whole world America still symbolizes capitalism. Americanism means understanding that a free market, domestically and internationally, is the only path to general prosperity.

     International trade is not mortal combat but a form of cooperation, a means of expanding worldwide production. The benefits of international trade flow to both trading partners, even when one of the countries is more efficient across the board. This is the 'Law of Comparative Advantage,' covered in every economics textbook. Free trade does not destroy but creates employment."

www.aynrand.org/objectivism/buy_american.html

Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: <Patrick> on January 25, 2004, 05:31:32 pm
Quote
By simply choosing to buy closer to home whenever the quality is there and the price is reasonable.

     Isn't this kind of a tribalistic attitude? Why does the fact that someone is "closer to home" make any difference?
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on January 25, 2004, 05:33:57 pm

When the US labor market is tight and my countrymen are well-paid and not out of work, then I also enjoy buying goods made by developing nations.  For me, charity begins at home.  It doesn't end there, but that's where it starts.


That strikes me as a very jingoistic and immoral policy.

No problemo.  You are wrong, but hey, no one is perfect.

Quote
"Charity begins at home" makes sense when you're talking about people in your family or neighborhood, but when you're talking about people who happen to live under the same state, the underlying logic seems like something only a Fichte or a Mussolini could make sense of.

When I help pay the bills (like it or not) and the overall health of the US economy and employment picture impacts me and my family, it seems pretty simple to me.   If it makes it any easier for you to grok, try thinking of it as "team spirit", or perhaps "esprit de corps".   I guess I'd just rather patronize US businesses (when the quality is there and the price is reasonable) than pay welfare, or watch the homeless people stack up like cordwood.

For such a smart guy, Jason, you have some interesting blind spots. I trust you'll grow out of them.  :)

RS
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: BillG on January 25, 2004, 05:36:55 pm
BTW, I have to object to this tripe.  What makes companies fat and lazy is ignorance, not customers willing to pay a price for qualities they value.  To me, the fact that a fellow American got to feed his family as a result of me buying a car is definitely worth something.  THAT, my friend, IS the free market at work, invisible hand and all!


When it comes to my clothing, I always try to implement a Buy Bangladeshi policy.  It's much more important to feed Bangladeshi families than to feed American ones.

They wouldn't have to be fed if their subsistence culture wasn't been destroyed by globalization forces...

     BillG, why don't you just join the Progressive Party and move to Vermont? You would be much happier there. Perhaps the FSP is not for you...

 

NI-

you don't realize it yet because you are not living here in NH, but I am the best friend the FSP will ever have because as a Geo-libertarian I am a bridge to some members of the so-called progressive community who we will need inorder to be successful in NH...
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 25, 2004, 05:37:33 pm

FWIW, the economic globalization movement is a WORLD GOVERNMENT MOVEMENT.

Evidence?  

WTO.  EU.  

Neither is even nascently political-globalist, although the EU does have a strong political-regionalist impulse that disturbs me.
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on January 25, 2004, 05:40:01 pm
Quote
By simply choosing to buy closer to home whenever the quality is there and the price is reasonable.

     Isn't this kind of a tribalistic attitude? Why does the fact that someone is "closer to home" make any difference?

Call it a sense of community.  Or, maybe it's my Indian genes... (shrug)

Say, do you guys actively HATE the US and everyone in it?   I thought you did not, but perhaps I was wrong.  If I can do something to help my country, I will.  It's not like I never help foreigners in need.  (http://www.iabolish.org (http://www.iabolish.org))

Someday, perhaps there will be no nation-states.  Today, nation-states compete for advantage.  Ignoring that is unrealistic.  And rooting for the home team is no crime -- after all, it's your home too.

RS
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 25, 2004, 05:41:14 pm
When I help pay the bills (like it or not) and the overall health of the US economy and employment picture impacts me and my family, it seems pretty simple to me.   If it makes it any easier for you to grok, try thinking of it as "team spirit", or perhaps "esprit de corps".   I guess I'd just rather patronize US businesses (when the quality is there and the price is reasonable) than pay welfare, or watch the homeless people stack up like cordwood.

For such a smart guy, Jason, you have some interesting blind spots. I trust you'll grow out of them.  :)


Buying American-made goods doesn't help the American economy or do anything positive for unemployment, though.  It merely redirects some resources away from more productive American industries to less productive American industries (assuming you're buying for the American label at some cost in quality or price, or both).  Put it this way: the supply of currency in a country isn't its wealth.  By circulating currency you're not putting people to work; you're merely choosing to put certain people to work instead of others.
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: <Patrick> on January 25, 2004, 05:55:11 pm
Quote
By simply choosing to buy closer to home whenever the quality is there and the price is reasonable.

     Isn't this kind of a tribalistic attitude? Why does the fact that someone is "closer to home" make any difference?

Call it a sense of community.  Or, maybe it's my Indian genes... (shrug)

Say, do you guys actively HATE the US and everyone in it?   I thought you did not, but perhaps I was wrong.  If I can do something to help my country, I will.  It's not like I never help foreigners in need.  (http://www.iabolish.org (http://www.iabolish.org))

Someday, perhaps there will be no nation-states.  Today, nation-states compete for advantage.  Ignoring that is unrealistic.  And rooting for the home team is no crime -- after all, it's your home too.

RS


     RS, nationalism is a nasty form of collectivism. Are people in the  United States somehow better than people in Japan? Germany? The Philippines? Aren't we all just individual human beings? What does the fact that you happened to be born in a certain geographic area have to do with your ecomonic decisions?

     This “Buy American” crap is pure collectivism. This is the type of thinking that can lead to xenophobia and bigotry. We are all individuals, who cares what country we happen to be born in?
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on January 25, 2004, 06:16:33 pm

FWIW, the economic globalization movement is a WORLD GOVERNMENT MOVEMENT.

Evidence?  

WTO.  EU.  

Neither is even nascently political-globalist, although the EU does have a strong political-regionalist impulse that disturbs me.


From the WTO's own website:

Quote
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations.

What are rules, if not government?  Can not a WTO ruling bind a nation to take a course of action its citizens do not agree with?  That may even be in something less than the best interests of at least some of them?  Perhaps this is the government's fault for being in the WTO to begin with.

Quote
Windows Media (http://www.tappedintowto.org/video/disputepart2.asx)
The case on environmental standards for gasoline, brought by Venezuela and Brazil against the US and the case on sound recordings brought by the US and EC against Japan are taken as examples to explain the WTO dispute settlement process.

Having some way for nations to adjudicate their disputes seems like a fine thing, but the WTO is like a world trade court -- it makes judgements, issues rulings and in effect does binding arbitration.  Normally, I am not that big a promoter of sovereignty issues, but a global trade court IS a sort of provisional, limited world government, at least in many people's eyes.  Another quote from the WTO site:

Quote
The preamble of the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization includes among its objectives, optimal use of the world’s resources, sustainable development and environmental protection.
This is backed up in concrete terms by a range of provisions in the WTO’s rules. Among the most important are umbrella clauses (such as Article 20 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) which allow countries to take actions to protect human, animal or plant life or health, and to conserve exhaustible natural resources.

Beyond the broad principles, specific agreements on specific subjects also take environmental concerns into account. Subsidies are permitted for environmental protection. Environmental objectives are recognized specifically in the WTO agreements dealing with product standards, food safety, intellectual property protection, etc.

In addition, the system and its rules can help countries allocate scarce resources more efficiently and less wastefully. For example, negotiations have led to reductions in industrial and agricultural subsidies, which in turn reduce wasteful over-production.

A WTO ruling on a dispute about shrimp imports and the protection of sea turtles has reinforced these principles. WTO members can, should and do take measures to protect endangered species and to protect the environment in other ways, the report says. Another ruling upheld a ban on asbestos products on the grounds that WTO agreements give priority to health and safety over trade.

So, the WTO rules on product bans and environmental limitations that most right-libs bristle at when undertaken by our own government.  

Seems to me that the natural evolution of the WTO and the UN and other supra-national organizations is to centralize the economic planning and decision-making processes world-wide.  Is this a process you favor explicitly?

:)

RS
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on January 25, 2004, 06:44:53 pm
When I help pay the bills (like it or not) and the overall health of the US economy and employment picture impacts me and my family, it seems pretty simple to me.   If it makes it any easier for you to grok, try thinking of it as "team spirit", or perhaps "esprit de corps".   I guess I'd just rather patronize US businesses (when the quality is there and the price is reasonable) than pay welfare, or watch the homeless people stack up like cordwood.

For such a smart guy, Jason, you have some interesting blind spots. I trust you'll grow out of them.  :)


Buying American-made goods doesn't help the American economy or do anything positive for unemployment, though.  

Last time I looked, companies that made sales were able to pay their employees.  Has that suddenly changed in the "new" global economy?

Quote
It merely redirects some resources away from more productive American industries to less productive American industries (assuming you're buying for the American label at some cost in quality or price, or both).

An assumption you make with no substantiation, other than your (apparent) belief that price alone is the only value that one may consider when spending their own money, or that American goods are somehow inferior.  

Quote
Put it this way: the supply of currency in a country isn't its wealth.  By circulating currency you're not putting people to work; you're merely choosing to put certain people to work instead of others.

Given the choice of reasonably equivalent products, one from New Hampshire and one from Malaysia, I will buy the New Hampshire product.  If the NH folks that end up with the revenue decide to buy stuff from China with it, that's their perogative, but I will have helped to keep those New Hampshire folks employed.  As a result, they will continue to have money so they won't end up on the streets, and they might even buy something from me -- I am far more likely to benefit economically from well-off New Hampshirites than I am from well-off Malaysians.  

RS
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: LeopardPM on January 25, 2004, 06:50:54 pm
re: the WTO and the UN
I am totally with you on this - I am against any 'world' organization which supposedly has powers which over-rule a nations soveriegnty.

I believe that libertarianism is a form of 'self-soveriegnty' and to simplify things I look at the World Organizations as some sort of government and each nation as an individual - let each nation be unless they violate the sovereignty of another nation....

michael
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: Tracy Saboe on January 25, 2004, 10:49:32 pm
BTW, I have to object to this tripe.  What makes companies fat and lazy is ignorance, not customers willing to pay a price for qualities they value.  To me, the fact that a fellow American got to feed his family as a result of me buying a car is definitely worth something.  THAT, my friend, IS the free market at work, invisible hand and all!


When it comes to my clothing, I always try to implement a Buy Bangladeshi policy.  It's much more important to feed Bangladeshi families than to feed American ones.

They wouldn't have to be fed if their subsistence culture wasn't been destroyed by globalization forces...

Destroyed by global politics not global economics.

Bill do you truly believe that people were better off in the subsistance culture of 100 years ago? With infant death around 50%, and starvation?

Tracy Saboe
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: Tracy Saboe on January 25, 2004, 11:02:19 pm

FWIW, the economic globalization movement is a WORLD GOVERNMENT MOVEMENT.

Evidence?  

WTO.  EU.  

WTO, EU, NAFTA, CAFTA, and all the other internation governing regulation agreements are NOT free trade. They are, governed trade.

You only need two sentences to have a free trade agreement.

1 Anybody can buy something from anybody who wants to sell that something to them.

2 Anybody can sell something to anybody who want to buy that something from them.

NAFTA, WTO, World Bank, and EU are Government REGULATED trade.

Not free trade.

Yes those agreements DO increase the size of government and push towards more world government. But you can call regulations economic globalization.

What EU is, is if The French tax bread more, and the Germans tax bear more. They want to make sure that each countries respective tarrifs are adjusted to make sure that the trade is FAIR. Meaning It's about making sure the government is just as statist in Germany as it is in France, so that EVERYBODY has to pay the same high taxes someway on any given product.

You are sorely misinformed if you think EU and WTO treaties represent economic globalization.

Tracy
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: Tracy Saboe on January 25, 2004, 11:07:59 pm
For the record.

I agree with RhythmStar about the UN, WTO, EU, NAFTA, CAFTA, and every other long complicated international trade treaty.

They are evil. They aren't about free trade, they are about "FAIR TRADE" (Whatever that means) They are about government regulated trade.

They need to be scrapped in favor of short two sentence agreement.

Tracy
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: BillG on January 25, 2004, 11:08:49 pm
BTW, I have to object to this tripe.  What makes companies fat and lazy is ignorance, not customers willing to pay a price for qualities they value.  To me, the fact that a fellow American got to feed his family as a result of me buying a car is definitely worth something.  THAT, my friend, IS the free market at work, invisible hand and all!


When it comes to my clothing, I always try to implement a Buy Bangladeshi policy.  It's much more important to feed Bangladeshi families than to feed American ones.

They wouldn't have to be fed if their subsistence culture wasn't been destroyed by globalization forces...

Destroyed by global politics not global economics.

Bill do you truly believe that people were better off in the subsistance culture of 100 years ago? With infant death around 50%, and starvation?

Tracy Saboe

as opposed to what...a coke and a smile?
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: LeopardPM on January 25, 2004, 11:44:16 pm
LOL BillG!
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: <Patrick> on January 26, 2004, 05:07:47 am
Quote
1 Anybody can buy something from anybody who wants to sell that something to them.

2 Anybody can sell something to anybody who want to buy that something from them.

Nice Tracy. That's my kind of trade agreement.
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: BillG on January 26, 2004, 06:00:46 am
Quote
1 Anybody can buy something from anybody who wants to sell that something to them.

2 Anybody can sell something to anybody who want to buy that something from them.

Nice Tracy. That's my kind of trade agreement.

Now can you send that to dubya...even he can understandd this language!
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on January 26, 2004, 09:51:59 am
BTW, I have to object to this tripe.  What makes companies fat and lazy is ignorance, not customers willing to pay a price for qualities they value.  To me, the fact that a fellow American got to feed his family as a result of me buying a car is definitely worth something.  THAT, my friend, IS the free market at work, invisible hand and all!


When it comes to my clothing, I always try to implement a Buy Bangladeshi policy.  It's much more important to feed Bangladeshi families than to feed American ones.

They wouldn't have to be fed if their subsistence culture wasn't been destroyed by globalization forces...

Destroyed by global politics not global economics.

Bill do you truly believe that people were better off in the subsistance culture of 100 years ago? With infant death around 50%, and starvation?

Tracy Saboe

In the West, people are generally better off.  In the 3rd World, where the process BillG is speaking of takes place, it is not so simple.  Part of the reason is that in this country, the slate was clean for the invaders and they were acquiring top real estate, loaded with resources and arable lands, while in the 3rd world, you are often dealing with less productive lands and subsistence cultures that have existed for thousands of years -- you can't just get them all to go cut the trees down and expect them to have built Utopia in their hut-villages on the minimum pay you gave them by the time the last tree is felled.  

Cultural modernization is a multi-generational process, while the low-hanging fruit of an area can be extraced in a single lifetime.   The point being that if modern technology were applied to enhancing the subsistence culture's ability to sustain itself, there would be a bigger net positive for the locals than if they are merely exploited and their pre-existing culture effectively destroyed.   You can see the same corrosive process pretty much everywhere an ancient culture meets the Borg.

RS
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 26, 2004, 09:59:16 am
From the WTO's own website:

Quote
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations.

What are rules, if not government?  Can not a WTO ruling bind a nation to take a course of action its citizens do not agree with?  That may even be in something less than the best interests of at least some of them?  Perhaps this is the government's fault for being in the WTO to begin with.

The only thing the WTO can do is to make a judgement on the "legality" of a trade barrier.  It can't enforce that ruling, but its member states can impose retaliatory trade barriers on the state that imposes its own trade barriers.  Thus, no state is "forced" to do anything - they simply pay the price in terms of international retaliation for their own barriers to trade.  The WTO is simply international cooperation for economic liberalization, which is a Very Good Thing.  It's even less coercive than the federal government's "forcing" states to stop discriminating against their own citizens on the basis of race through Jim Crow, which I think we both can agree was a good thing.

Quote
So, the WTO rules on product bans and environmental limitations that most right-libs bristle at when undertaken by our own government.  

When the WTO makes a ruling on these things, all that means is that it's not viewed as a fair retaliation to impose trade barriers on countries that have environmental regulations.  Making such a ruling in no way infringes on sovereignty; in fact, it's an explicit limitation on the WTO's remit.  Personally, I think it would be good for the WTO to sanction punishment of countries that have private-property-violating environmental regs, but the WTO expressly sets itself against this policy - which I think you would probably say is a good thing.
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 26, 2004, 10:06:48 am

Last time I looked, companies that made sales were able to pay their employees.  Has that suddenly changed in the "new" global economy?

You don't understand economics. :)  When you spend more of your money rather than saving it, you help the company you buy from, obviously, but you also hurt the companies out there that don't have access to loaned funds from your savings.  You're indulging in Keynesian/mercantilist fallacies that have been repeatedly disproven.  Pumping currency into the economy does nothing to help productivity, which is the basis of all wealth.

Quote
Quote
It merely redirects some resources away from more productive American industries to less productive American industries (assuming you're buying for the American label at some cost in quality or price, or both).

An assumption you make with no substantiation, other than your (apparent) belief that price alone is the only value that one may consider when spending their own money, or that American goods are somehow inferior.  

By definition, if you're purchasing partly on the basis of a made-in-America label rather than quality or price solely, then you're willing to make some sacrifice on quality and price purely to assist an American company.  (Not even an American company necessarily, as "made in America" stickers can be found on goods produced by multinational corporations headquartered outside the U.S., of course.  But that's a side issue.)  If you're purchasing completely on the basis of price and quality, then you don't need to look at the "made in" sticker.

Quote
I am far more likely to benefit economically from well-off New Hampshirites than I am from well-off Malaysians.  

Don't be so sure.  It's a law of economics that exports and imports tend toward equilibrium.  So if you reduce your consumption of imports, you're also reducing the resources that would flow into America's export industries from abroad.  I'm not sure exactly what New Hampshire's trade balance is, but I suspect that NH is much more dependent on exporting than most of the U.S. (especially interior states).
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on January 26, 2004, 10:11:06 am
For the record.

I agree with RhythmStar about the UN, WTO, EU, NAFTA, CAFTA, and every other long complicated international trade treaty.

They are evil. They aren't about free trade, they are about "FAIR TRADE" (Whatever that means) They are about government regulated trade.

They need to be scrapped in favor of short two sentence agreement.

Tracy

Fair Trade among buyers and sellers is NOT the same thing as Alphabet Soup Fair Trade, as determined by the ruling global powers.   When I contact individual entrepreneurs in Viet Nam to do work for me that I cannot get done economically here in SoCal, that's Fair Trade, because I pay them a fair price and I get a fair amount of work in return -- there is no coercion, no government in the way, no problemo.  

AND, I am not shifting money away from any local person who is standing there, needing the work (All the Vietnamese people around here are doctors, lawyers, store owners, etc. -- they charge more than I do for their time!)  To get authentic Vietnamese translations that Momma-San will enjoy, you have to go to the source.

THAT is international trade that I am not having a problem with.  I do it myself. IT is in accordance with Libertarian ideals.

RS
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 26, 2004, 10:11:40 am
For the record.

I agree with RhythmStar about the UN, WTO, EU, NAFTA, CAFTA, and every other long complicated international trade treaty.

They are evil. They aren't about free trade, they are about "FAIR TRADE" (Whatever that means) They are about government regulated trade.

They need to be scrapped in favor of short two sentence agreement.

Tracy

Nope, the Libertarian Party, Lew Rockwell, et al. are wrong about the WTO and NAFTA, and the Cato Institute is right.  These agreements are complex, and the two-sentence agreement would be ideal, but the problem is that the two-sentence agreement is not politically sustainable.  No government will ever adopt that kind of unilateral free trade because it reduces their political leverage.  The WTO and NAFTA simply provide a political framework for the reduction of trade barriers.  They improve overall freedom to trade by making freedom politically palatable to national governments.  Now, it's true that NAFTA has labor and environmental side agreements that could damage freedom, but fortunately they haven't been enforced. :)
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on January 26, 2004, 10:24:03 am

Last time I looked, companies that made sales were able to pay their employees.  Has that suddenly changed in the "new" global economy?

You don't understand economics. :)  When you spend more of your money rather than saving it, you help the company you buy from, obviously, but you also hurt the companies out there that don't have access to loaned funds from your savings.  You're indulging in Keynesian/mercantilist fallacies that have been repeatedly disproven.  Pumping currency into the economy does nothing to help productivity, which is the basis of all wealth.

Who's doing the pumping here, Jason?  When I need to buy something, I'm gonna buy it, one way or another.  I am not engaging in "Keynesian/mercantilist fallacies", I am putting my money where it will do ME the most good.   The help to the local company that you seem so willing to dismiss is something that I include in my value equation, that's all.  Or, is that too POLITICALLY INCORRECT?  Well, I've been an unconventionalist all my 49 years, no sense in stopping now. :)

A company that goes out of business IS a non-producing company.

Quote
Quote
It merely redirects some resources away from more productive American industries to less productive American industries (assuming you're buying for the American label at some cost in quality or price, or both).

Quote
An assumption you make with no substantiation, other than your (apparent) belief that price alone is the only value that one may consider when spending their own money, or that American goods are somehow inferior.  

By definition, if you're purchasing partly on the basis of a made-in-America label rather than quality or price solely, then you're willing to make some sacrifice on quality and price purely to assist an American company.  (Not even an American company necessarily, as "made in America" stickers can be found on goods produced by multinational corporations headquartered outside the U.S., of course.  But that's a side issue.)  If you're purchasing completely on the basis of price and quality, then you don't need to look at the "made in" sticker.

That is not entirely true.  Many times, the US goods will be superior in many respects, such as service and warranty, but will be less effectively marketed, since they are produced by a family-owned business instead of a multi-national corporation.  I would rather pay the family for better service and equal goods, even if I have to look harder to seek them out, than to blithely buy off the global corporate rack with the rest of the herd folk.  Call me a loner... :)

Quote
Quote
I am far more likely to benefit economically from well-off New Hampshirites than I am from well-off Malaysians.  

Don't be so sure.  It's a law of economics that exports and imports tend toward equilibrium.  So if you reduce your consumption of imports, you're also reducing the resources that would flow into America's export industries from abroad.  I'm not sure exactly what New Hampshire's trade balance is, but I suspect that NH is much more dependent on exporting than most of the U.S. (especially interior states).

We have a GROWING multi-hundred billion dollar trade deficit in this country.  I think we can go back a pretty far bit in the other direction before even get close to any sort of equilibrium.   If equilibrium were what we were looking at, then we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

RS
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: JasonPSorens on January 26, 2004, 10:30:49 am
Who's doing the pumping here, Jason?  When I need to buy something, I'm gonna buy it, one way or another.  I am not engaging in "Keynesian/mercantilist fallacies", I am putting my money where it will do ME the most good.   The help to the local company that you seem so willing to dismiss is something that I include in my value equation, that's all.  Or, is that too POLITICALLY INCORRECT?  Well, I've been an unconventionalist all my 49 years, no sense in stopping now. :)

Well, if it does you good, that's your call, obviously.  I just wanted to examine the reasoning behind the "buy American" slogan.  If the goal is to promote the American economy, the best way to do that is to buy what serves your needs and wants best.  The country of origin, ipso facto, shouldn't matter.

Quote
That is not entirely true.  Many times, the US goods will be superior in many respects, such as service and warranty, but will be less effectively marketed, since they are produced by a family-owned business instead of a multi-national corporation.  I would rather pay the family for better service and equal goods, even if I have to look harder seek them out, than to blithely buy off the global corporate rack with the rest of the herd folk.  Call me a loner... :)

Again, that's another issue.  If the quality is different, there's room for judgement.  I like to eat at local New Haven restaurants rather than national chain restaurants - in general, the local restaurants have much more character and are higher quality.  (And sometimes cheaper too.)

Quote
We have a GROWING multi-hundred billion dollar trade deficit in this country.  I think we can go back a pretty far bit in the other direction before even get close to any sort of equilibrium.   If equilibrium were what we were looking at, then we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

Actually, the trade deficit is starting to shrink due to the dollar's weakness... But the main reason the trade deficit has persisted has been a long-term appreciating dollar.  If we could get developing countries to stabilize their monetary systems, the trade deficit would disappear...  Gotta use the IMF for that. ;)  (Only partially kidding.  I want to abolish the IMF, but use moral suasion to get China to remove exchange controls.)
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: Lex Concord on January 26, 2004, 10:41:32 am

Quote
Quote
It merely redirects some resources away from more productive American industries to less productive American industries (assuming you're buying for the American label at some cost in quality or price, or both).

An assumption you make with no substantiation, other than your (apparent) belief that price alone is the only value that one may consider when spending their own money, or that American goods are somehow inferior.  

By definition, if you're purchasing partly on the basis of a made-in-America label rather than quality or price solely, then you're willing to make some sacrifice on quality and price purely to assist an American company.

Jason makes some excellent points in here, and there's another one that could be made:

If you buy an American product at a higher price than an equal-quality foreign product, you lose some of your purchasing power, funds that could have been spent on other products from another American company that IS competitive, in a different industry.

In effect, you're rewarding an uncompetitive local company, and diminishing your capability to reward a competitive local company.  (Through your purchases, or through investment, as Jason suggested.)

Why would you do that?

(You're also diminishing your own quality of life, since you can't buy all the goods and services that you could if you purchased without regard to country of origin.  Again, why would you do that?  How would the local economy benefit if everyone voluntarily diminished their individual quality of life?)
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on January 26, 2004, 11:53:44 am
From the WTO's own website:

...

So, the WTO rules on product bans and environmental limitations that most right-libs bristle at when undertaken by our own government.  

When the WTO makes a ruling on these things, all that means is that it's not viewed as a fair retaliation to impose trade barriers on countries that have environmental regulations.  Making such a ruling in no way infringes on sovereignty; in fact, it's an explicit limitation on the WTO's remit.  Personally, I think it would be good for the WTO to sanction punishment of countries that have private-property-violating environmental regs, but the WTO expressly sets itself against this policy - which I think you would probably say is a good thing.

There are good ends and good means.  It is a good end to facilitate NOT destroying the biosphere in greed and ignorance, to the detriment of all living humans (who require a functioning biosphere Earthside to survive, at least for now).  However, the ends do not justify the means.   The best way to fight ignorance is to disseminate knowledge.  Coercion is generally bad.

OTOH, whale watching, for an example of a green activity on a biosphere resource,  is a bigger business worldwide than whale harvesting.  It seems that for many species, there is more money to be made in celebrating them than there is in wiping them out, since wiping them out removes the resource, but watching them can go on as long as there are whales and watchers.  

Ahhh, capitalism at work!  8)

RS
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on January 26, 2004, 12:09:18 pm

Quote
Quote
It merely redirects some resources away from more productive American industries to less productive American industries (assuming you're buying for the American label at some cost in quality or price, or both).

An assumption you make with no substantiation, other than your (apparent) belief that price alone is the only value that one may consider when spending their own money, or that American goods are somehow inferior.  

By definition, if you're purchasing partly on the basis of a made-in-America label rather than quality or price solely, then you're willing to make some sacrifice on quality and price purely to assist an American company.

Jason makes some excellent points in here, and there's another one that could be made:

If you buy an American product at a higher price than an equal-quality foreign product, you lose some of your purchasing power, funds that could have been spent on other products from another American company that IS competitive, in a different industry.

In effect, you're rewarding an uncompetitive local company, and diminishing your capability to reward a competitive local company.  (Through your purchases, or through investment, as Jason suggested.)

Why would you do that?

(You're also diminishing your own quality of life, since you can't buy all the goods and services that you could if you purchased without regard to country of origin.  Again, why would you do that?  How would the local economy benefit if everyone voluntarily diminished their individual quality of life?)

The problem with generalization is that it is so generalized.   You need to first define your basket of goods before you can make any coherent points that I can't just brush aside by saying I'm not looking for the product of that putative 'efficient' company.

Also, you need to define the elements of 'efficient'.  You seem to assume that somehow all local companies are saddled by a fat, overpaid workforce and a greedy, totalitarian government that bleeds them dry with taxes.   This is a hyperbolic perspective, for while local workers may indeed be paid more AND the local tax burden may be excessive and its delivery of value via the public sector inefficient in terms of waste, etc.,  that does not mean that I enjoy no 'network effect' benefits at all from that activity -- the local services are provided, such as they are, and the local employees and/or companies are my customers.  

Over a multi-year timeframe, perhaps there will be a statistical averaging of indicators that some economist may point to and say "See?  I toldya so!"   This in no way invalidates my assertion that by patronizing local businesses, we help ourselves (that is, individuals living in Real Time on the ground), or that you can extrapolate that out as far as you like in concentric rings of economic interdependence.

Anyone who is thinking of working with a local chamber of commerce may need to at least be a little strategic with the global vision economics rhapsodizing, if they want to get anywhere.  I'd sure hate to see pot kept illegal in New Hampshire just because the local NH folks decided we were all corporate shills working for the Chinese division of Wal-Mart!

RS
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: Mike Lorrey on January 26, 2004, 01:19:02 pm

The problem with generalization is that it is so generalized.   You need to first define your basket of goods before you can make any coherent points that I can't just brush aside by saying I'm not looking for the product of that putative 'efficient' company.

Also, you need to define the elements of 'efficient'.  You seem to assume that somehow all local companies are saddled by a fat, overpaid workforce and a greedy, totalitarian government that bleeds them dry with taxes.   This is a hyperbolic perspective, for while local workers may indeed be paid more AND the local tax burden may be excessive and its delivery of value via the public sector inefficient in terms of waste, etc.,  that does not mean that I enjoy no 'network effect' benefits at all from that activity -- the local services are provided, such as they are, and the local employees and/or companies are my customers.  

I'm sorry, RS, but BillG has sold you a bill of goods. Comparative advantage proves that what Jason says is right. The problem with the theory of comparative advantage is that it does not take into account such things as tyranny, political repression, etc. Recall that slavery was economical so long as the southern states prevented alternatives from being exploited and made institutional measures to protect their labor force (bans on education, Fugitive Slave Act, etc) and imposed national tariffs on foreign cotton, and so therefore each state, which preferably would have competed against each other to produce cheaper cotton, colluded in protecting their market together.

Today, you have over a billion Chinese people living virtually as slaves (and a large chunk actually are slaves in PLA factory prisons) producing product at a comparative advantage to the US. If they had a political system like ours, their comparative advantage would not be nearly as wide as it is, because their workers would organize, citizens would demand a cleaner environment, etc.

Similarly, in India, an English based educational system and a billion person population has produced a huge IT labor force that can telecommute far cheaper than you or I can to a US company. Exporting IT jobs is therefore far cheaper than exporting a factory. But those Indians do not live as freely, or at as high a standard of living.

Comparative advantage works, but HOW you want it to work is a matter for national policy. Exporting low pay jobs elsewhere is fine. Exporting high education jobs is not.

You can only play the comparative advantage game if there is something your own economy produces better for export than anybody else. Otherwise you wind up like France.
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: LeopardPM on January 26, 2004, 04:16:16 pm
Quote
Comparative advantage works, but HOW you want it to work is a matter for national policy. Exporting low pay jobs elsewhere is fine. Exporting high education jobs is not.

hmmm - having a problem with this, not sure how to put it into words yet...
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: Tracy Saboe on January 26, 2004, 06:11:37 pm
For the record.

I agree with RhythmStar about the UN, WTO, EU, NAFTA, CAFTA, and every other long complicated international trade treaty.

They are evil. They aren't about free trade, they are about "FAIR TRADE" (Whatever that means) They are about government regulated trade.

They need to be scrapped in favor of short two sentence agreement.

Tracy

Nope, the Libertarian Party, Lew Rockwell, et al. are wrong about the WTO and NAFTA, and the Cato Institute is right.  These agreements are complex, and the two-sentence agreement would be ideal, but the problem is that the two-sentence agreement is not politically sustainable.  No government will ever adopt that kind of unilateral free trade because it reduces their political leverage.  The WTO and NAFTA simply provide a political framework for the reduction of trade barriers.  They improve overall freedom to trade by making freedom politically palatable to national governments.  Now, it's true that NAFTA has labor and environmental side agreements that could damage freedom, but fortunately they haven't been enforced. :)

See, except that we WANT to reduce there political leverage. Reducing political leverage is a good thing. It reduces government for all parties concerned.

Tracy
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on January 26, 2004, 07:45:57 pm

The problem with generalization is that it is so generalized.   You need to first define your basket of goods before you can make any coherent points that I can't just brush aside by saying I'm not looking for the product of that putative 'efficient' company.

Also, you need to define the elements of 'efficient'.  You seem to assume that somehow all local companies are saddled by a fat, overpaid workforce and a greedy, totalitarian government that bleeds them dry with taxes.   This is a hyperbolic perspective, for while local workers may indeed be paid more AND the local tax burden may be excessive and its delivery of value via the public sector inefficient in terms of waste, etc.,  that does not mean that I enjoy no 'network effect' benefits at all from that activity -- the local services are provided, such as they are, and the local employees and/or companies are my customers.  

I'm sorry, RS, but BillG has sold you a bill of goods. Comparative advantage proves that what Jason says is right. The problem with the theory of comparative advantage is that it does not take into account such things as tyranny, political repression, etc. Recall that slavery was economical so long as the southern states prevented alternatives from being exploited and made institutional measures to protect their labor force (bans on education, Fugitive Slave Act, etc) and imposed national tariffs on foreign cotton, and so therefore each state, which preferably would have competed against each other to produce cheaper cotton, colluded in protecting their market together.

Today, you have over a billion Chinese people living virtually as slaves (and a large chunk actually are slaves in PLA factory prisons) producing product at a comparative advantage to the US. If they had a political system like ours, their comparative advantage would not be nearly as wide as it is, because their workers would organize, citizens would demand a cleaner environment, etc.

Are you saying I should buy the cheap goods and enjoy the benefits of slave labor, or not?  

Quote
Similarly, in India, an English based educational system and a billion person population has produced a huge IT labor force that can telecommute far cheaper than you or I can to a US company. Exporting IT jobs is therefore far cheaper than exporting a factory. But those Indians do not live as freely, or at as high a standard of living.

I actually have a cure for Bangaloridosis, although it is only a transient one.  Still, change in the appdev field is so fast, it might continue to keep ahead.  Time will tell. :)

Quote
Comparative advantage works, but HOW you want it to work is a matter for national policy. Exporting low pay jobs elsewhere is fine. Exporting high education jobs is not.

I like to do my economic policy implementation on a personal level, and in businesses where I have influence.  Expecting the "national policy" wonks to do it for me seems like a bad bet... they are too macro, and I like things to be particular and directly related to individuals and individual companies, so I know what actually happens.  Doing everything on the other end of a stack of stats apps has its place, but it is no substitute for real time, 3D info.

Quote
You can only play the comparative advantage game if there is something your own economy produces better for export than anybody else. Otherwise you wind up like France.

Certainly, the Chinese have the slave labor comparitive advantage game sussed!

:)

RS
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: Osborn F. Enready on January 26, 2004, 08:42:54 pm
     I appreciate all the input to my original post question. I also appreciate the info from everyone including the "discussion" that seems to have spawned from this thread.  Still trying to absorb some more information on Libertarian trade theories.  In one thread someone referred to trading produce with someone in another country.  In your ideal minimal government how would something like this be handled as far as inspection for bugs/germs before leaving or entering the country?  Would this be handled by the government?  How big of a hand would government have in the "ideal" Libertarian Government?  I like to think that as much as I am for minimalist government there also has to be certain areas of government in place to inspect and monitor trade goods for quality and germ/pest protection.

     Mike Lorrey seems to like wearing the nametag of informed Libertarian spokesperson, so I will address this question to him:  Mike, if I wanted to know more about Libertarians ideal government, where could I find this info?  Do you know of any good sources that deal with my question of ideal government size and scope specificly?

    Once again, Leopard, Bill G, Tracy, Mike, michael, all the info and debate greatly appreciated.


                                                          Osborn F. Enready
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: <Patrick> on January 27, 2004, 01:45:14 am


     Osborn, if you're interested, here is the objectivist view of government from the Objectivist Center website:

"The Objectivist political theory has three main elements, all of which draw upon the classical liberal political tradition. First, the foundation of the political system should be the fundamental right to live free from physical force. Second, government has the strictly limited function of protecting rights. Third, government power should be exercised in accordance with objective laws. Capitalism is the politico-economic system implied by these principles."

www.objectivistcenter.org/objectivism/faqs/wthomas_faq-politics.asp

Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: <Patrick> on January 27, 2004, 01:46:17 am
Individual Rights:

"The Objectivist ethics holds that each person can live and flourish through the independent exercise of his rational mind. Economically, humans flourish through production and trade, as is evident from the fact that the freest countries are either the richest countries or are getting rich most quickly. Socially, trade is the model for how people can best deal with one another.

Trade is voluntary exchange to mutual benefit. We trade money for the goods we need. But we form friendships and join clubs and associations as a kind of trade, too, investing our time, money, and energy in a relationship, for mutual enjoyment or the advancement of a shared cause. Independent people are traders because they give value for the values they receive from others. They do not mooch off of their friends and relatives, and they do not loot the resources of strangers.

It is possible to live independently only if one is allowed to do so. One's choices must be voluntary if they are to be freely made. Fundamentally, only the threat of deadly force can undermine one's ability to reason and choose. Assault, murder, theft, fraud: all these are examples of the use of force to deprive someone of freedom, of goods, or even of life. Normally, one employs one's mind to support one's well being. The threat of force makes one accept someone else's dictates, rather than one's own judgment. This was the way the totalitarian systems such as Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, or Maoist China treated their citizens, and that is why the effect of those systems was a gray, uniform style of life, faltering production, and periodic bouts of mass imprisonment and slaughter. Because force is a fundamental threat to the independent life of production and trade, there is one fundamental principle of social organization that a just society must secure: the principle that no one may initiate the use of physical force against any other.

The principle of non-initiation of force does not prohibit its use in self-defense. Objectivism is not a pacifist philosophy. A trader does not seek to profit from the use of force, but he is able and willing to defend himself, his friends, and his goods if they are threatened or attacked. The pacifist is right to recognize that violence is not the best way for rational beings to deal with one another. But when the rational and good fail to defend themselves from those who attempt to live irrationally, through force, they are surrendering all that is decent to all that is not. Those who choose the life of the animal, the life of tooth and claw, deserve a response in kind, if that is what will eliminate the threat.

The individual rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness—mentioned in many American political documents—identify different dimensions of freedom and prohibit the corresponding types of force. "A 'right' is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man's freedom of action in a social context," wrote Ayn Rand. "There is only one fundamental right (all others are its consequences or corollaries): a man's right to his own life." To live, one must be able to take action, by one's own choice, in support of one's life; that is the right to liberty. We are material beings, and so we need the freedom to keep the fruits of our labors and use or dispose of them as we see fit: that is the right to property. And we live as ourselves, for ourselves, so we have a right to pursue our own happiness."

www.objectivistcenter.org/objectivism/faqs/wthomas_faq-politics.asp
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: <Patrick> on January 27, 2004, 01:47:14 am
Limited Government

"The power of government is the power of the gun. It has the power to enforce a set of rules in the territory it controls, a power that is often turned against freedom. Objectivism therefore advocates a strictly limited form of government: a republican system that has only those powers and takes only those actions required to secure our rights to freedom from force. There must be a military force for defense against external enemies. There must be a system of legislation and law courts to establish the law and to adjudicate disputes in which force might be used. And there must be a system of enforcement of the law such as the police, to make sure the law is a social rule, not empty words.

No country today scrupulously respects our rights, and indeed many people do not understand what rights really are. A limited, rights-respecting government would have no welfare system and no forced pension-paying system like Social Security in the U.S. It would not have agencies with open-ended and vaguely defined regulatory powers. There would be no anti-trust law, nor zoning laws, nor anti-drug laws. This does not mean that a free society would not have unemployment insurance or pensions, or that it would not have distinctive neighborhoods or public campaigns to reduce the use of dangerous narcotics. But if people wanted any of these things, they would have to organize and undertake them voluntarily, through individual contracts and free associations. And no one would have the right to enforce his preferences on someone else through violence. Free debate and rational persuasion would have to be the means a social organizer would use, and the result would be a system of freedom, in which each person would choose for himself the best course in life and would suffer or enjoy the consequences of his choices."

www.objectivistcenter.org/objectivism/faqs/wthomas_faq-politics.asp
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: <Patrick> on January 27, 2004, 01:47:58 am
Objective Law

"Civil law (primarily contracts, property, and torts) is government's main positive service. Civil law provides objective, just, and peaceful means of resolving disputes among producers and traders. In so doing, it provides the context needed for reliable long-term planning and contracting, which in turn are necessary conditions for the prodigies of global capitalist production and the wonders and conveniences of modern life. Police and the armed services, by contrast, serve in a negative role: they protect citizens from threats by criminals and foreign aggressors. In both civil and criminal realms, law functions by providing clear standards for determining which actions and interactions among people are consistent with individual rights. Without these legal institutions, society collapses into warring camps; each interaction invites violent dispute; and life becomes more inconvenient, less productive, and more brutal—at best.

Objectivity in the law is crucial to its function. The laws must be clearly expressed in terms of essential principles. The highly detailed, programmatic laws so common today violate this principle, as do the vague standards under which many regulations are issued. The law must be intelligible to the people on whom it is enforced. The law courts must be structured so that objectivity and impartiality are the hallmarks of any legal decision. And the law must always be grounded in principles of rights."

www.objectivistcenter.org/objectivism/faqs/wthomas_faq-politics.asp
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: <Patrick> on January 27, 2004, 01:48:37 am
Capitalism

"Thus capitalism is not merely a system of economic freedom, much less an economic system favoring big businesses. In its pure form, capitalism is a social system characterized by individual freedom, diversity, and dynamism. It is a system that treats people as individuals, with no ethnic, religious, or other collective principle enshrined in the law. It is the system under which each of us makes his own choices and must take responsibility for his own life and happiness. It is the system in which long-term peace and unbounded prosperity are possible, if people will work for them. As Ayn Rand said, it is the system of separation of economy and state, just as there is separation of church and state, and for the same essential reason: because each person has a right to think and to live as his own conscience dictates, and because we all benefit from everyone having that freedom."

www.objectivistcenter.org/objectivism/faqs/wthomas_faq-politics.asp
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on January 27, 2004, 07:52:13 am
Who's doing the pumping here, Jason?  When I need to buy something, I'm gonna buy it, one way or another.  I am not engaging in "Keynesian/mercantilist fallacies", I am putting my money where it will do ME the most good.   The help to the local company that you seem so willing to dismiss is something that I include in my value equation, that's all.  Or, is that too POLITICALLY INCORRECT?  Well, I've been an unconventionalist all my 49 years, no sense in stopping now. :)

Well, if it does you good, that's your call, obviously.  I just wanted to examine the reasoning behind the "buy American" slogan.  

To tell you the truth, I really hadn't thought much about it until challenged here.  Like any good musician, I was just following my own 'feel good' flow.  :)

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If the goal is to promote the American economy, the best way to do that is to buy what serves your needs and wants best.  The country of origin, ipso facto, shouldn't matter.

I think I may not be a good idealogue, since I can't ever seem to believe anything more than 80% of the time (if that much).  We humans are smart, but not that smart.   Economics is on the same footing as stock market prediction, as far as I can see, and shiftier sands are hard to find.  Wait long enough, and almost any set of seemingly-relevant equations you care to devise will appear to predict the future, or at least the past.

So, what do I do without the crystal-clear light of mathematical certainty to guide me?  I do what seems like it makes the most sense to do at the time, and I don't spend all day trying to figure it out, either.  My bet is that 99% of other folks spend less time at it than I do, particularly when it comes to purchases -- they buy what they're used to buying, or they buy what is on sale, but in all cases they buy off the shelf from the most convenient location (location, location, location).   With the continued penetration of the Internet into the mainstream, this is changing, but still, most retail sales are in-person.  Comparison shopping in-person is practical in Manhattan, but a fool's errand just about anywhere else in the US -- the fuel to get to the next mall makes up the difference, assuming there is one.

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That is not entirely true.  Many times, the US goods will be superior in many respects, such as service and warranty, but will be less effectively marketed, since they are produced by a family-owned business instead of a multi-national corporation.  I would rather pay the family for better service and equal goods, even if I have to look harder seek them out, than to blithely buy off the global corporate rack with the rest of the herd folk.  Call me a loner... :)

Again, that's another issue.  If the quality is different, there's room for judgement.  I like to eat at local New Haven restaurants rather than national chain restaurants - in general, the local restaurants have much more character and are higher quality.  (And sometimes cheaper too.)

There you go again, buying from less efficient producers. ;)

Don't worry, I patronize my over-priced Newport Beach restauranteurs as well.  Then again, so do the free-spending Japanese tourists who pay $1500 a week for a summer rental in a neighborhood where I pay $1250 a month year round.  LOL

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We have a GROWING multi-hundred billion dollar trade deficit in this country.  I think we can go back a pretty far bit in the other direction before even get close to any sort of equilibrium.   If equilibrium were what we were looking at, then we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

Actually, the trade deficit is starting to shrink due to the dollar's weakness... But the main reason the trade deficit has persisted has been a long-term appreciating dollar.  If we could get developing countries to stabilize their monetary systems, the trade deficit would disappear...  Gotta use the IMF for that. ;)  (Only partially kidding.  I want to abolish the IMF, but use moral suasion to get China to remove exchange controls.)

Well, I always believe in conceeding points when they are taken.  Here, the latest figures (which I had not read) support your statement:

http://www.census.gov/indicator/www/ustrade.html (http://www.census.gov/indicator/www/ustrade.html)

I am not convinced that monetary policy alone can cause the trade deficit to disappear, but any reduction has got to be a good thing.  

RS
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: Mike Lorrey on January 27, 2004, 09:22:45 am
    I appreciate all the input to my original post question. I also appreciate the info from everyone including the "discussion" that seems to have spawned from this thread.  Still trying to absorb some more information on Libertarian trade theories.  In one thread someone referred to trading produce with someone in another country.  In your ideal minimal government how would something like this be handled as far as inspection for bugs/germs before leaving or entering the country?  Would this be handled by the government?  How big of a hand would government have in the "ideal" Libertarian Government?  I like to think that as much as I am for minimalist government there also has to be certain areas of government in place to inspect and monitor trade goods for quality and germ/pest protection.

In a more libertarian world, corporations would not be so easily protected against the negligence of their officers and employees, and environmentalists would be much more free to launch individual and class action lawsuits for environmental damage. You don't need an EPA to keep an eye out for non-native bugs, weeds, pollution, or any of that stuff when individuals are held responsible in a libertarian system for their own actions.

Government more often protects people from being self responsible.

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     Mike Lorrey seems to like wearing the nametag of informed Libertarian spokesperson, so I will address this question to him:  Mike, if I wanted to know more about Libertarians ideal government, where could I find this info?  Do you know of any good sources that deal with my question of ideal government size and scope specificly?


Truly ideal? Read David Friedman's book "The Machinery of Freedom"
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: Tracy Saboe on January 29, 2004, 04:03:58 pm
    I appreciate all the input to my original post question. I also appreciate the info from everyone including the "discussion" that seems to have spawned from this thread.  Still trying to absorb some more information on Libertarian trade theories.  In one thread someone referred to trading produce with someone in another country.  In your ideal minimal government how would something like this be handled as far as inspection for bugs/germs before leaving or entering the country?  Would this be handled by the government?  How big of a hand would government have in the "ideal" Libertarian Government?  I like to think that as much as I am for minimalist government there also has to be certain areas of government in place to inspect and monitor trade goods for quality and germ/pest protection.

     Mike Lorrey seems to like wearing the nametag of informed Libertarian spokesperson, so I will address this question to him:  Mike, if I wanted to know more about Libertarians ideal government, where could I find this info?  Do you know of any good sources that deal with my question of ideal government size and scope specificly?

    Once again, Leopard, Bill G, Tracy, Mike, michael, all the info and debate greatly appreciated.


                                                          Osborn F. Enready


The "ideal" libertarian government would be a non-existant government.

Tracy
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on January 29, 2004, 04:25:28 pm
    I appreciate all the input to my original post question. I also appreciate the info from everyone including the "discussion" that seems to have spawned from this thread.  Still trying to absorb some more information on Libertarian trade theories.  In one thread someone referred to trading produce with someone in another country.  In your ideal minimal government how would something like this be handled as far as inspection for bugs/germs before leaving or entering the country?  Would this be handled by the government?  How big of a hand would government have in the "ideal" Libertarian Government?  I like to think that as much as I am for minimalist government there also has to be certain areas of government in place to inspect and monitor trade goods for quality and germ/pest protection.

     Mike Lorrey seems to like wearing the nametag of informed Libertarian spokesperson, so I will address this question to him:  Mike, if I wanted to know more about Libertarians ideal government, where could I find this info?  Do you know of any good sources that deal with my question of ideal government size and scope specificly?

    Once again, Leopard, Bill G, Tracy, Mike, michael, all the info and debate greatly appreciated.


                                                          Osborn F. Enready


The "ideal" libertarian government would be a non-existant government.

Tracy

A government may only be as ideal as the individuals it governs.  It rarely gets that good, but it could never get any better. :)

RS
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: SteveA on February 15, 2004, 07:58:54 pm
Regarding "globalism":

Though I love America and want to see the best for all of us, there are legitimate arguements to the assertion that from space there are no national boundaries and as others have stated, arbitrarily restricting free trade doesn't have much of any positive benfits for anyone.

There is a legitimate danger to allowing too few people control over the lives of too many.  We should strive toward empowering individuals with control over their own life, not enforcing "global" (as stated by a few individuals) wishes upon them.  The danger lies in lack of choices for alternate forms of government and restricting the natural evolution of societies that currently takes place in independent communities all over the world.  Imagine the entire world ruled by a single leader - who would that leader be and what decisions would he/she make?  From history, the benevolence of rulers seems to be about a 50/50 shot in the dark.  I would hate to see the fate of all humanity lie at the whim of a single individual, or even a "semi-democratic" group of them.  Our lives are too valuable to be blindly placed at the mercy of anyone.  We need options and alternative methods of government to assure that the downfall of one doesn't doom everyone to the same fate.  "Don't put all your eggs in one basket" seems an appropriate expression.

The primary problem we have now in America is the involuntary drain of resources to areas outside the U.S. as well as many internal issues of efficiency.  Allowing free trade actually provides us with more of an incentive to improve our own economy and personally I feel that we can more than lead the way into the future once we regain the motivation and ideals needed to stop relying on others to lead the way.  The government will not be our savior in the world economy, nor in freedom.  If you want to be able to compete in a world marketplace, improve your productivity.  Trying to stop the future, leads to stagnation (though for some this might not be an undesirable life).  As an example, protectionist "saving a job" by declaring automation by a machine illegal or discouraging it by placing financial burdens on its use will only lead to automation in the rest of the world and lack of the ability for us to compete in outside our own borders.  If our economy is in the slumps and two parents must work to support a family of 4, don't point fingers outside the nation, but inside to where the problem lies - lack of incentives to improve our own lifestyles.  Being a victim and blaming others is easy, being a leader and showing what the future holds is a challenge that not everyone is able to bear.  Lightening the load on those who are trying to improve our future is IMO the first step needed in recovering a the prospects of a better tomorrow for everyone.

If those leaders come from outside the nation, so be it.  It might hurt the ego a bit, but if we aren't willing to lead the way, denying someone else the opportunity is purely spiteful and destructive to everyone.

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A government may only be as ideal as the individuals it governs.  It rarely gets that good, but it could never get any better.

RS

Now that's the honest truth.  This sentiment was expressed by the Founding Fathers as well.  You can't have good and fair government without good and fair people.

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The "ideal" libertarian government would be a non-existant government.

Tracy

I agree with this, though it's more of a matter of changing the view of government from the current third person perspective of a ruling elite, into a first person perspective of having control over our own lives.  There will always be forms of social contracts and sacrifices people make for the sake of society but recognizing these actions are made by people voluntarily for their own interests, instead of forcefully imposed with threats is the preferred form to provide equality and fairness for everyone.  We made a step toward abolishing involuntary slavery in the 1800s, but we shouldn't stop there.
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: Osborn F. Enready on February 19, 2004, 01:32:52 am
     I want to thank everyone for their input in this post.  Since I have learned about this movement, it has interested me, and now that I have taken the time to research it enough to fulfill my ideas of what it is and its potential could be, I have joined up, and look forward to furthering our goals as soon as I can move.  I appreciate the honest heart felt debate, and I applaud your initiative and desire to make a change in the way our government functions.  Good luck Porcs, and Im proud to now be in the ranks.  Thanks again..

                                                     Osborn F. Enready
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: LeopardPM on February 19, 2004, 01:45:11 am
Yeah Osborn! and Welcome!

now we only need 14,853 to go...

one step at a time, i guess...

michael
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: SteveA on February 19, 2004, 02:48:28 am
Welcome aboard Mr. Enready :)

I'm happy to see another reinforcement.  We've got a lot of good people here, IMO.  Yes, we come in a lot of shades and colors of opinions on things though I'm surprised at times how closely in agreement many of the people here are on so many issues ... I think that says something about the validity of the thoughts behind the text.

Having another porcupine spreading the word brings us a bit closer to seeing what the FSP can do.  Have fun!
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: LeopardPM on February 19, 2004, 03:29:37 am
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Again, that's another issue.  If the quality is different, there's room for judgement.  I like to eat at local New Haven restaurants rather than national chain restaurants - in general, the local restaurants have much more character and are higher quality.  (And sometimes cheaper too.)

There you go again, buying from less efficient producers. ;)

Don't worry, I patronize my over-priced Newport Beach restauranteurs as well.  Then again, so do the free-spending Japanese tourists who pay $1500 a week for a summer rental in a neighborhood where I pay $1250 a month year round.  LOL
.....
I am not convinced that monetary policy alone can cause the trade deficit to disappear, but any reduction has got to be a good thing.  

RS

Rhythm,
You misunderstand how the term 'efficient' is used in matters economic:  efficiency is not just 'most goods at smallest resource cost, but, rather, 'most DESIRED goods at smallest DESIRED resource cost' -
therefore, both Jason AND you are correct - Jason for buying from his desired restaurant for whatever reasons, and you for buying products made in the USA...

our problem is that, for MY own desires, you purchasing products based soley on being made here, is a cross-purpose... so my 'side' has been arguing from a biased point - our own desires!

I conceed the debate to you - buy all the american you want, it does not further my own goals and is actually of detrement to them, BUT, I will freely lay my soul at the markets mercy (even with you in it!)

michael
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: RhythmStar on February 19, 2004, 11:51:56 am
Quote
Again, that's another issue.  If the quality is different, there's room for judgement.  I like to eat at local New Haven restaurants rather than national chain restaurants - in general, the local restaurants have much more character and are higher quality.  (And sometimes cheaper too.)

There you go again, buying from less efficient producers. ;)

Don't worry, I patronize my over-priced Newport Beach restauranteurs as well.  Then again, so do the free-spending Japanese tourists who pay $1500 a week for a summer rental in a neighborhood where I pay $1250 a month year round.  LOL
.....
I am not convinced that monetary policy alone can cause the trade deficit to disappear, but any reduction has got to be a good thing.  

RS

Rhythm,
You misunderstand how the term 'efficient' is used in matters economic:  efficiency is not just 'most goods at smallest resource cost, but, rather, 'most DESIRED goods at smallest DESIRED resource cost' -
therefore, both Jason AND you are correct - Jason for buying from his desired restaurant for whatever reasons, and you for buying products made in the USA...

our problem is that, for MY own desires, you purchasing products based soley on being made here, is a cross-purpose... so my 'side' has been arguing from a biased point - our own desires!

I conceed the debate to you - buy all the american you want, it does not further my own goals and is actually of detrement to them, BUT, I will freely lay my soul at the markets mercy (even with you in it!)

michael

Michael,

If most economists were as smart as you are, I'd have no one to argue with.  So, SHHHHHHHHH.....!!!   :D

RS
Title: Re:Asking for libertarian input..
Post by: LeopardPM on February 19, 2004, 06:13:19 pm
Rhythm,
any smarts I have are directly related to the discussions I have with you and in following your logic in debates with others...

...in other words, I have a good teacher, my friend!

michael