Debate and Discussion

Restablishing Protectionist Trade Policies.
reconjsh at 10:38AM, March 13, 2007
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On one side, we're doomed as an economy and a society if we don't do something about this… other countries do it on their imports… seems like a good idea. It just seems hypocritical for someone to demand that Americans are entitled to a minimum wage and also support a free market where things are made for fractions of what it is in the US. It seems like they're saying “I'm worth at least 7 bones an hour to make shoes but other countries' citizens are only worth 20 cents an hour”.

On the other side… I think Walmart is the bomb. Movies, ground beef, shoes, electronics, furniture all at ridiculously lower prices than the competition. And their stuff isn't always “crap” like people sometimes suggest.


Would I be willing to pay more? Yes I would. But darn… 2 DVDs for $10… and leather sandals for $7… WOOT! I guess I'm a hypocrit. :(
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:02PM
ozoneocean at 10:43AM, March 13, 2007
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That's one of the biggest problems with all this crap about free trade; it's not a nice equitable system… It is fundamentally asynchronous: Labour is cheaper in various countries because their living standards are so much lower; by farming out your labour to these countries and buying their ultra cheap products you're saving money in the short term, and in the long term you lower the standard of living in your own country and raise it in theirs, marginally. -i.e. the labour of your working and middle classes becomes devalued.

Mainly it's a case of the rich getting richer. Whoever is on the top level of this trade equation is in a win-win situation.

But your protectionist idea is quite unfair too. It ensures that the labour in those countries is always extremely cheap. You limit their way out of poverty through international trade, but you also have this low cost labour pool just waiting for exploitation by someone else who might use it to get a march on you. And if it's still out there then it's always waiting for when things change and your country drops its protectionist ways again.

I don't know if there are any easy and simple answers, but a series of complicated regulations is probably best. That's what's always worked before, I can still see it working. And if you can try and improve labour conditions in those countries and make sure fair prices are paid for people's labour, then you're working to eliminate some of the imbalances that are ripe for this cheap and easy free trade exploitation.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:26PM
ozoneocean at 11:48AM, March 13, 2007
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Heh, my only answer to that is in my final paragraph there. I'm no economist or specialist on international trade, I can't be much more detailed than that… :(
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:26PM
reconjsh at 12:15PM, March 13, 2007
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That's pretty much my feelings too… I've been reading about this since you posted this thread and I'm still pretty clueless. But I do see the shrinking middle class… and it seems as though something needs to get done.

I'd like to continue talking about this… but I really have nothing to contribute in a “debate”. Mostly, I'd like to hear someone explain it all to me, lol.

Go go gadget google.

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:02PM
ccs1989 at 2:57PM, March 13, 2007
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Well tariffs are kind of considering outdated and antiquated, and then there's the whole problem with reactionary tariffs and so on. I don't think that would solve it.

Only thing would be if the government gave benefits to companies that didn't ship jobs overseas, like Kerry wanted to do. But that ain't gonna happen, because business' will still save more money from going to other countries.

I suppose the American consumers could become informed and start protesting this and pressuring politicians…

http://ccs1989.deviantart.com

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:38AM

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