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Free Trade: Fight It, or Embrace It

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Old 02-25-2008, 10:19 AM   #31
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Re: Free Trade: Fight It, or Embrace It

and in your comparison, sure country a will have more money in their pockets. but without jobs, they are holding on to it. thus, part of the economic mess we are into right now. people are very wary of losing their jobs. i know a ton of people that are really nervous about their financial future. in theory, more skilled people should make more money, and with better jobs. its that big transition to that period that scares the hell out of me
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:21 AM   #32
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Re: Free Trade: Fight It, or Embrace It

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Originally Posted by Schneed10 View Post
Actually, you wouldn't like what would happen if every country had to enact the same labor laws we have here. Prices for everything would be SO much higher. Your standard of living would take a direct hit because of it.
i dont disagree with this. but the american workers future would be much more secure because of it. ill take higher prices any day of the week, if it means 10 years from now i still have my job
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:24 AM   #33
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Re: Free Trade: Fight It, or Embrace It

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i dont disagree with this. but the american workers future would be much more secure because of it. ill take higher prices any day of the week, if it means 10 years from now i still have my job
Problem is that anybody outside of the manufacturing sector would disagree with you, from a purely financial standpoint. Aside from manufacturers, not too many people would willingly accept 8-10% inflation just so manufacturers could keep their jobs. Most in the country would ask that manufacturers simply find another line of work.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:28 AM   #34
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Re: Free Trade: Fight It, or Embrace It

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and in your comparison, sure country a will have more money in their pockets. but without jobs, they are holding on to it. thus, part of the economic mess we are into right now. people are very wary of losing their jobs. i know a ton of people that are really nervous about their financial future. in theory, more skilled people should make more money, and with better jobs. its that big transition to that period that scares the hell out of me
Saving money instead of spending it will temporarily hurt the economy, you're right, but the money still stays in our citizens' hands and will eventually be spent when the economy turns back around.

You'll note that even after the worst recession ever, the Great Depression, the economy still turned back around and bounced back. Same thing will happen here. Next year jobs will be back on the rise in the US, they just won't be manufacturing jobs. They'll be healthcare jobs more than anything (Uutrasound techs, MRI techs, radiology techs, nurses, pharmacists, etcetera).

But that's not what put us into a recession in the first place. We got here because too many people borrowed money when they couldn't afford to pay it back.
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:14 AM   #35
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Re: Free Trade: Fight It, or Embrace It

This is a sticky situation and it's such a delicate and intricate situation you really can't tell what would happen. Yes, China has made mistakes with the lead paint, etc. However, we are so far in debt to China they could call in their debt and wreck us. China has more or less paid for the war in Iraq, they've been buying up our debt by the shit ton. So taking our business away from China could yield terrible results too.

I definitely feel for the laborers. I've done manual labor for a while. From when I finished high school for a few years and now I work summers doing manual labor. I don't think the doom and gloom is quite there. While many of the large companies will pack up, there will be small businesses that it's not worth to leave the country due to initial costs, importing, shipping time, etc.

I really do hate the environmental standards in many of these foreign countries. Honestly, I'm not very happy with the united states precautions. I recently read an article about the Ganges river in India and the extent of it's pollution is disgusting. Some of it is from poor sanitation (dumping human waste from cities into a river is a bad idea), but a lot of it is from toxic chemicals.

For the sake of America's economy, it's necessary to outsource. As people have mentioned, the price of American labor would shoot the price of products up by a ton and I doubt wages would follow that. I feel like a lot of the manual labor that can leave, more or less has. Lots of manual labor will still be needed within the US. I see us going outside the country a lot more for software development and help desk (even more than now) as we go forward.
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:44 PM   #36
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Re: Free Trade: Fight It, or Embrace It

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Originally Posted by dmek25 View Post
i dont disagree with this. but the american workers future would be much more secure because of it. ill take higher prices any day of the week, if it means 10 years from now i still have my job
the problem with this is that having that job will mean so much less because prices are higher.

Economics as a guide utilizes the macro view while what you are focusing on is the micro view. Schneed is simply saying that for our country as a whole it would be better to continue to foster free trade in much the same way that we have been. It may be at the expense of some people but not at the ultimate expense of ALL people. Theoretically though it is the best for EVRYONE in a pure competitive environment. The key term is competition. Competition defines free trade and in competition some lose. It is its nature. Is that a bad thing? I guess that is the ultimate question that we constantly face in this country.

I would say that as to manufacturing jobs leaving this country: I really don't care. It is easy for me to say because it does not affect me for sure but my thoughts go back to competition. If a factory goes out of work then jobs will ultimately be created somewhere. Maybe not in that community but somewhere. Those workers need to be able to find other work. They are probably mostly very dilligent, honest and loyal workers and people like that are in demand. If they can't find a job in their community then they need to be ready to pick up and move to where they can find a job. If an entire communtiy is ruined by a factory closing then shame on the community for laying all its eggs in one basket. Local communities all over the US pump billions of dollars a year into Economic development to avoid such situations.

Now that is an exteremly simplified view point and I don't really subscribe to that in the cold hearted way it comes accross. But I think we forget that competition means survival of the fittest which means everyone needs to be trying or they'll get left behind. I find it difficult to have much compassion for those who don't try.
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Old 02-25-2008, 01:32 PM   #37
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Re: Free Trade: Fight It, or Embrace It

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the problem with this is that having that job will mean so much less because prices are higher.

Economics as a guide utilizes the macro view while what you are focusing on is the micro view. Schneed is simply saying that for our country as a whole it would be better to continue to foster free trade in much the same way that we have been. It may be at the expense of some people but not at the ultimate expense of ALL people. Theoretically though it is the best for EVRYONE in a pure competitive environment. The key term is competition. Competition defines free trade and in competition some lose. It is its nature. Is that a bad thing? I guess that is the ultimate question that we constantly face in this country.

I would say that as to manufacturing jobs leaving this country: I really don't care. It is easy for me to say because it does not affect me for sure but my thoughts go back to competition. If a factory goes out of work then jobs will ultimately be created somewhere. Maybe not in that community but somewhere. Those workers need to be able to find other work. They are probably mostly very dilligent, honest and loyal workers and people like that are in demand. If they can't find a job in their community then they need to be ready to pick up and move to where they can find a job. If an entire communtiy is ruined by a factory closing then shame on the community for laying all its eggs in one basket. Local communities all over the US pump billions of dollars a year into Economic development to avoid such situations.

Now that is an exteremly simplified view point and I don't really subscribe to that in the cold hearted way it comes accross. But I think we forget that competition means survival of the fittest which means everyone needs to be trying or they'll get left behind. I find it difficult to have much compassion for those who don't try.
Excellent post. Goes right along with my way of thinking. If you lose your job you may have to face the fact that your next one may be in a different locale. Or you're going to have to find out what some of your community's "needs" are and fill that hole.
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Old 02-25-2008, 02:03 PM   #38
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Re: Free Trade: Fight It, or Embrace It

Quote:
Originally Posted by FRPLG View Post
the problem with this is that having that job will mean so much less because prices are higher.

Economics as a guide utilizes the macro view while what you are focusing on is the micro view. Schneed is simply saying that for our country as a whole it would be better to continue to foster free trade in much the same way that we have been. It may be at the expense of some people but not at the ultimate expense of ALL people. Theoretically though it is the best for EVRYONE in a pure competitive environment. The key term is competition. Competition defines free trade and in competition some lose. It is its nature. Is that a bad thing? I guess that is the ultimate question that we constantly face in this country.

I would say that as to manufacturing jobs leaving this country: I really don't care. It is easy for me to say because it does not affect me for sure but my thoughts go back to competition. If a factory goes out of work then jobs will ultimately be created somewhere. Maybe not in that community but somewhere. Those workers need to be able to find other work. They are probably mostly very dilligent, honest and loyal workers and people like that are in demand. If they can't find a job in their community then they need to be ready to pick up and move to where they can find a job. If an entire communtiy is ruined by a factory closing then shame on the community for laying all its eggs in one basket. Local communities all over the US pump billions of dollars a year into Economic development to avoid such situations.

Now that is an exteremly simplified view point and I don't really subscribe to that in the cold hearted way it comes accross. But I think we forget that competition means survival of the fittest which means everyone needs to be trying or they'll get left behind. I find it difficult to have much compassion for those who don't try.
Well-put. The micro vs macro view is definitely what separates the two viewpoints. If your job is the one at risk, naturally you're going to find it hard to focus on the greater good. But whoever is running the country, they need to.
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Old 02-25-2008, 02:16 PM   #39
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Re: Free Trade: Fight It, or Embrace It

As my previous posts indicate, I am pretty "pro-globalism." I don't think that there is much we can or should do to fight the effects of the global economy (e.g., manufacturing jobs leaving the U.S.). However, I do think the government ought to at the very least consider offering programs or incentives to encourage people in the manufacturing sector to seek and gain new skill sets.
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Old 02-25-2008, 02:53 PM   #40
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Re: Free Trade: Fight It, or Embrace It

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As my previous posts indicate, I am pretty "pro-globalism." I don't think that there is much we can or should do to fight the effects of the global economy (e.g., manufacturing jobs leaving the U.S.). However, I do think the government ought to at the very least consider offering programs or incentives to encourage people in the manufacturing sector to seek and gain new skill sets.
Perfect. To me this is a fantastic way of the government helping people. Instead of fixing the market they fix the workers. What's the saying?

"Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed for a lifetime."

This would such a better use of resources and time rather than artificially influencing a market in a way that long term won't work anyways.

I guess once again education is the magic bullet.
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Old 02-25-2008, 03:47 PM   #41
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Re: Free Trade: Fight It, or Embrace It

everyone has posted excellent replies. this will be my final. put your self in these peoples shoes. most are in the 40-50 age group. alot have 20 years experience at their jobs. most are gearing up towards retirement. now the place of work closes, and ships their jobs over seas. how do you think they feel? think they really want to pack up, and head towards a new job? i highly doubt it. as for frplg, would you be that easy to dismiss manufacturing jobs if it hit closer to home. lets say it was your dad, or brother? the idea behind free trade is a good one, the execution of it is horrible. the united states will lose a whole generation of workers, because of age, and skill level. the kids coming up should be OK, its the middle age sect that is really going to struggle. its great that most on this board have professional skills. this is a moot point to them.
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Old 02-25-2008, 04:10 PM   #42
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Re: Free Trade: Fight It, or Embrace It

I haven't commented on this thread yet b/c I feel somewhat conflicted. My job security is high and, through it, I have an economic freedom that is enviable to many. As long as do nothing illegal or unethical, I am pretty much unfireable. With that kind of security, commenting on "big picture" and macro-economics seems, to me, somewhat high-handed.

With that said, I add my voice to the SGG and Schneed - Globalism is good b/c, ultimately it is about competition. While short term set backs are unfortunate and there are ALWAYS some who simply cannot, b/c of age, kids, education, or other circumstances, adequately compete when the paradigm shifts. For those, IMO, the US owes some protection through reeducation where possible, reemployment in an Alphabet program (i.e. some government work programs much like those of the depression).

NAFTA was ground breaking legislation that will ultimately reward the US because, IMO, the American worker is one of the hardest workers of the industrialized world (in terms of hours per week worked and annual vacation time), the US will ultimately come out ahead in any true free trade system. Despite our relentless consumerism, we will win any competition based on work = reward, b/c that is our national heritage. For generations, people have flocked to the US b/c, with a few obvious inefficiencies, the harder you work, the more innovative you are, the more likely you are to "succeed". As long as this paradigm is maintained, we have nothing to fear from globalization.

In addition, b/c we have been (and continue to be) a melting pot, the variety of influences in our society have created an adaptive economy. The countries now "exporting" cheap labor simply do not have the infrastructure to compete with us in any way except by providing mass unskilled labor. Similarly, the asian economies run by government supervised capitalism (i.e. Japan and its MITI) or that have firmly entrenched and historical caste based societies simply do not have the long term flexibility that the US does in world market.

The rule of law and a commitment to competition as the paradigm allow the US to maintain a competitive advantage over the semi-socialist economies of western europe, the labor intensive third world economies, and the autocratic caste based economies of east asia.
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Old 02-25-2008, 04:23 PM   #43
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Re: Free Trade: Fight It, or Embrace It

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everyone has posted excellent replies. this will be my final. put your self in these peoples shoes. most are in the 40-50 age group. alot have 20 years experience at their jobs. most are gearing up towards retirement. now the place of work closes, and ships their jobs over seas. how do you think they feel? think they really want to pack up, and head towards a new job? i highly doubt it. as for frplg, would you be that easy to dismiss manufacturing jobs if it hit closer to home. lets say it was your dad, or brother? the idea behind free trade is a good one, the execution of it is horrible. the united states will lose a whole generation of workers, because of age, and skill level. the kids coming up should be OK, its the middle age sect that is really going to struggle. its great that most on this board have professional skills. this is a moot point to them.
I consider these individuals the casualties of the "US's adaptive economy" and the global free market competition. While I oppose creating incentives for non-work or rewarding the failure to adapt, I also believe that a significant percent of unemployed or working poor are in situtations that resulted from economic changes beyond their control. As a result, individuals and families with limited means attempting to operate within the system suddenly have the rug pulled out from under them. Yes, of course, we can all say "they should have prepared for change" with a sort of self satisfaction. In reality, however, humans are creatures of habit and few people can really spend their lives "ready to adapt".

As with any casualty of war (and the global economy is a war of sorts), the society must protect those who were injured while fighting the good fight. These same people helped create national wealth by providing a stable work force for a significant period of time. If we cannot find a way to maintain competition and our innovative economy while protecting those who accepted the precept that hard work = success, then all to soon the US workforce will feel betrayed and we will lose our competive advantage.
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Old 02-25-2008, 04:31 PM   #44
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Re: Free Trade: Fight It, or Embrace It

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Originally Posted by JoeRedskin View Post
I haven't commented on this thread yet b/c I feel somewhat conflicted. My job security is high and, through it, I have an economic freedom that is enviable to many. As long as do nothing illegal or unethical, I am pretty much unfireable. With that kind of security, commenting on "big picture" and macro-economics seems, to me, somewhat high-handed.

With that said, I add my voice to the SGG and Schneed - Globalism is good b/c, ultimately it is about competition. While short term set backs are unfortunate and there are ALWAYS some who simply cannot, b/c of age, kids, education, or other circumstances, adequately compete when the paradigm shifts. For those, IMO, the US owes some protection through reeducation where possible, reemployment in an Alphabet program (i.e. some government work programs much like those of the depression).

NAFTA was ground breaking legislation that will ultimately reward the US. IMO, because the American worker is one of the hardest workers of the industrialized world (in terms of hours per week worked and annual vacation time), the US will ultimately come out ahead in any true free trade system. Despite our relentless consumerism, we will win any competition based on work = reward, b/c that is our national heritage. For generations, people have flocked to the US b/c, with a few obvious inefficiencies, the harder you work, the more innovative you are, the more likely you are to "succeed". As long as this paradigm is maintained, we have nothing to fear from globalization.

In addition, b/c we have been (and continue to be) a melting pot, the variety of influences in our society have created an adaptive economy. The countries now "exporting" cheap labor simply do not have either the infrastructure to compete with us in any way except by providing mass unskilled labor. Similarly, the asian economies run by government supervised capitalism (i.e. Japan and its MITI) or that have firmly entrenched and historical caste based societies simply do not have the long term flexibility that the US does in world market.

The rule of law and a commitment to competition as the paradigm allow the US to maintain a competitive advantage over the semi-socialist economies of western europe, the labor intensive third world economies, and the autocratic caste based economies of east asia.
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Old 02-25-2008, 04:33 PM   #45
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Re: Free Trade: Fight It, or Embrace It

Excellent post JoeRedskin. This is certainly a tough issue and there are no fully-satisfactory answers IMO.
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