quote:Originally posted by toussaint:
If free trade is so horrible, then why has Hong Kong, which has the most open economy in the world become richer than the nation that had colonized it(UK)? Maybe Noah should go tell them how they're being exploited.
Why have tens of millions been lifted out of poverty in China since they opened up their economy and practice free trade in their special economic zones? Maybe Nmag should hurry up and tell them how free trade is just for white people.
Why has the same happened for India?
It is not a coincidence, folks. If the Chinese former communists can realize the benefits in wealth and poverty reduction brought on by allowing their economy to operate freely, why can't people on this forum realize it?
This isn't theory right here. Everything I mentioned above is fact.
Nothing Noah said about "the pie growing because of population increasing" has any basis in fact. The pie grows whenever we go to work (provided the transaction is voluntary, which eliminates government jobs from this example), whenever we go buy something we want or need, or whenever someone buys something from us. This has nothing to do with population growth. Trade and wealth has to do with subjective value, which is turned as objective as possible through money.
I know I won't get answers for the questions I posed above, because everyone here is entrenched in their beliefs despite the facts.
But you can keep on believing that free trade hurts the poor etc. etc. when in reality, it is their only proven way out of poverty. There is no government program shortcut - there are numerous examples of failures of such policies. Stifling international trade across the board makes everyone worse off. That has also been proven throughout history.
Go ahead and ignore the facts again.
Then, there's Noah's example. Both parties are trading away something they have for something they want/need more. They are both better off in the end. One guy gets a real bargain, having his life saved for $100, and the other guy is $99 richer. Both are better off than they were before the transaction. Both have profited. Of course, geniouses like Noah will only look at the money transfer, convert it to "energy" and be done with it, discounting the fact that the thirsty guy values his life far more than the $100 or $1000 that he had to trade.
Like I said before, value is subjective. That's the real world whether you like it or not. All this energy talk is nonsense. When you trade, all that matters is what the object you're trading is worth to the other person. It's not hard to understand. We deal with this concept every day of our lives.
Toussaint, you seem to be a less intellectually worthy opponent than in the past, unless I am confusing you with someone else.
First, do not put words in my mouth. I never made a pro or con argument in regards to free trade, my argument was against your denial of zero sums. The first thing that you need to note about Hong Kong is that it was a City-state, like Singapore. These small populations are easily turned around by direct foreign investment from large wealthy nations, pumping in billions of dollars annually. The jobs created from the investment of western capital provided increase income for natives who, which created new business opportunities.
Second, the growth in China comes at the expense of growth the in USA, as much of their growth is tied to the USA. This comes back to the zero sum theory in that every action produces and equal and opposite reaction. If the USA produced all the goods and services that it consumes, inflation would skyrocket due to the high labor cost component of goods and services, which creates our high standard of living. You cannot have a high standard of living without the consequences of high prices paid for goods and services, because of the labor component of commodity price.
In light of this, what the rise of China is that it has fooled American into believing that it can have high wages and cheap prices at the same time, which is a fallacy. Thus, Americans are buying more and more products made abroad, for the short term gain of cheaper cost, which created employment opportunities in China and subtracts employment away from the USA in the long term. The only way American employment levels can be maintained is if people are buying the goods and services that we produce more than we buy the goods and services that others produce. All one has to do is check the nations balance of accounts ledger to notice that we as a nation buy much more from others than they buy from us, with the biggest gap being with CHINA.
The USA became the largest consumer market in the world by virtue of being the highest paid workforce in the world. Such a well paid workforce is why so many nations want to sell their goods here. However, the equal and opposite consequence of choosing less expensive goods is that it gives a competitive advantage to companies with cheap labor and hence becomes a corporate migration to low wage workers. Low wage workers do not have the purchasing power of high wage workers and the standard of living of Americans decrease as people lose good paying jobs that are replaced with low paying jobs as companies can migrate production to lo wage nations, who experience an increase in standard of living as a direct result of our decrease in our standard of living. Zero sum in a nutshell.