ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2017 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Mailvox: back for more

It never ceases to amaze me how these idiots read a single paragraph I have written on a subject and then assume that it comprises the totality of my thoughts on the matter. Yesterday's emailer, Donny, decides to come back for more
I see that you have published my email to you and John.  Well, that’s fine.  I wish I had clarified that my public service at a community college was in addition to my regular job (commodities trader) and those eleven years ended twenty years ago.  You and some of your commenters had fun with that.

To the matter at hand, John’s speech at Mencken asked:  “I’d like to see a good logical proof of the proposition that free trade requires free movement of peoples.”

Your November 9th post (which I discovered from a link in John’s December 1st posting) responded in two paragraphs.  In the first you write “free trade requires the free movement of peoples.”  No, it doesn’t, except in a pedantic “by definition” sense.  As commenter Austin Ballast said, “You still have blinders on VD. Free trade in goods does not require free trade in people, assuming people are not the goods.”

Without regard to minutia such as one commenter’s (SAK) concern for a foreign nation making the chips in our missiles, the big picture on trade is that it is beneficial to both parties trading.  That big picture remains even if we tighten against visa over-stayers, chain-migration and Rio Grande swimmers.

In your second paragraph you speak of “maximum efficiencies theoretically provided” and “maximum growth potential” but less than maximum is still mutually beneficial in the big picture sense.  I made these points in my email to John which I copied to you as a matter of courtesy, since the two of you are so deferential to each other.

In response to my email, you ask, “what two points is the clueless professor failing to take into account here?” as if simply asking makes your points.  Again, Austin Ballast, “VD, you treat this idea more as an axiom than something you have really proven. That is a basic flaw. It may seem obvious to you, but that does not make it true.”

Then you ask, “where is the evidence that free trade in goods without free trade in labor is even materially possible” which is facile.  I agree that visa over-stayers, chain-migration and Rio Grande swimmers are a challenge, but why does that prevent the trade of a container of computers for Africa in exchange for a sum of gold?

Your bullying manner may appeal to the members of your audience with a sadistic bent but I am not distracted from the fact that you have been twice unresponsive to the challenge John posed:  “I’d like to see a good logical proof of the proposition that free trade requires free movement of peoples.”
It's not so much that I am sadistic as these stubborn ignoramuses tend to be masochistic. Donny isn't distracted from the fact that I'm repeatedly unresponsive to demands to provide a good logical proof of the proposition that water is wet. Just as being wet is an attribute of water, the free movement of labor is an intrinsic attribute of free trade. What Donny complains is a "pedantic 'by definition' sense" is literally what free trade is. Every argument, every economic law, that supports the free trade in x also supports free trade in y. All of them. No exceptions.

Austin Ballast's comment is particularly stupid. He is projecting the blinders he mentions, because his statement is simply irrelevant. He might as well have said "free trade in cars does not require free trade in computers." But it does, for the obvious reason that if you are engaged in trading cars without restriction but restricting trade in computers, you are not engaged in free trade. You are simply doing what nearly all states have done for all of human history in restricting the trade in some goods while permitting it in others.

What Donny and some other advocates of "free trade in goods, but not capital, services, or labor" want is to be able to draw the line in a different place than other trade protectionists, but dishonestly avail themselves of the rhetoric of free trade and the ability to appeal emotionally to the language of freedom and liberty.

But as he has asked for an actual proof, I will provide him with a logically unassailable one, one with which he will quibble, but in vain. After all, what can be easier than to prove that water is wet?
  1. The sole justification for distinguishing in economic theory between domestic and foreign trade is to be found in the fact that in the case of the former there is free mobility of capital and labor, whereas this is not true with regards to the commerce between nations.
  2. The basis for restricting the free trade in goods between nations is an invisible judicial line that separates one nation from the other.
  3. The same logic and ethics apply to people who want to trade on both sides of the invisible judicial line known as a national border, which renders this basis for restricting the free trade in goods between nations both false and illegitimate.
  4. Because the basis for restricting the free trade in goods between nations is false and illegitimate, it cannot logically or ethically restrict that free trade in goods.
  5. This invisible judicial line that cannot logically or ethically restrict the free trade in goods between nations does not magically materialize when labor and capital cross it.
  6. Therefore, there is no legitimate justification for distinguishing between domestic and foreign trade in economic theory.
  7. Therefore, any logical, ethical, or theoretical argument for the free trade in goods encompasses the free trade in capital and labor as well.
Those who are sufficiently well-educated in economics will recognize the sources of at least three of those points as well as their impeccably free trade credentials. Unlike Donny and Austin, I do not attack strawmen of my own imagination, but rather, the actual arguments made by the strongest proponents.

What both of them failed to grasp is that simply mentioning the fact that there are beneficial aspects to free trade, limited or not, does not mean that free trade is net beneficial, even if it is limited only to goods or a given set of goods. I do not deny that free trade benefits certain parties, the point is that it also harms other parties whose costs are never factored into the equation. The point that I was making  when I referred to the maximum efficiencies provided is that the argument for economic efficiency to which free traders so often appeal - free trade is good for the economy - necessarily and intrinsically includes the free movement of labor and capital. If one is going to appeal to the good of the economy as a whole without considering the costs to various elements of the economy, then it is every bit as reasonable to argue for the free movement of labor combined with restricting the movement of goods as it is to argue the reverse.

Indeed, if we are to use GDP as our primary metric as so many free trade advocates do, one can make a considerably stronger case for free trade in labor combined with a restricted trade in goods than one can for the reverse.

Labels: , ,

109 Comments:

Blogger Eric Waite December 03, 2017 6:21 AM  

Even his theoretical example is poor.
Newsflash! A computers for gold deal w/Africa does not require a free trade policy. What does is a good or service THAT WE ARE CAPABLE OF MAKING AND/OR PROVIDING IN HOUSE AT A VIABLE COST.
Ex Free trade is when we eliminate tarriffs that discourage the import of African goodsthat will directly compete with American made goods (Cars, clothes, widgits, whatever), and will be enacted EVEN IF THERE IS NO EXPORT PROVIDING AN EQUAL TRADE COUNTERBALANCE.
Perhaps I am naive on economic theory, but the inverse of free trade theory seems more realistically doable in the real world: a rejection of free trade does not prohibit a tax free import if the demand for that good/service cannot be viably met from within.

Blogger Phillip George December 03, 2017 6:21 AM  

We need a double blind study on this. Just have two identical nations in the same geographical location and run each nation for ten years under either open or closed borders. Alternatively shriek and point.
Here Donald Sutherland expresses his understanding of open borders.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na2W38tLp_Q

Blogger Phillip George December 03, 2017 6:32 AM  

this entire debate has one metric. Do you lock your house?

Blogger Phillip George December 03, 2017 6:43 AM  

If your house does get broken into and your children stolen and sold into some slave market it really isn't a problem because open economics assumes that the empty rooms will be eventually filled with spare children who will want to utilize your utility as a parent thereby providing you with employment.
/On may way home from a Carols by Candlelight night. Milo's in Melbourne tomorrow night with the ex leader of Australia's Labor party acting as M.C./ two sell out performances./
You won it.

Anonymous Don Caddle December 03, 2017 6:52 AM  

Possible thing of interest:

https://www.facebook.com/Druckdiscount24/posts/1746999615345094

German printing company refuses an order of German AFD political party member.

Clear case of purest fascism!

Anonymous Rocklea December 03, 2017 6:52 AM  

Part 1
Is pizza Italian?

The best way relate these things, when people are getting bogged down in abstraction, is story. This one happens to be true. Only the names have been changed, to protect the guilty.

I call it, The Tale of The Five Dollar Pizza.

"Hold on, I'm just on the phone. Yes, but it says five dollars on the website. Oh, that's when you order online. So it's six dollars then? Plus ten percent loading on Sundays and public holidays. Right. I'll get two of each. Yes, twenty pizzas. No worries, I always choose Global Pizza Conglomerate Inc when I'm buying that many pizzas. One hour, thank you Ishmael.

Sorry about that, foods on the way. You were saying?"

"My brother, Fred, he works for them."

Anonymous Rocklea December 03, 2017 6:55 AM  

"Works for who?" The guy in front of me is average height, round, slightly reddish face, heavy set from hard work and rotund from too much grog. Sporting what we in Australia would call a beer gut. Bob is his name. Bob's wearing a red ALP (Australian Labor Party) shirt. Election night for Queensland. Bob runs a trade union. We'd struck up a conversation earlier. Bob was telling me of all the hard campaigning he'd been putting in after work.

"We had to basically campaign for free. We used to do it during work hours, but under the new regulations, that would have to be declared as a campaign donation. So everybody's been burning the candle at both ends"
"Do you think she'll win?" She, is Annastacia Palaszczuk, the incumbent Premier of Queensland.
"Oh yes. Guaranteed. Needs 47 seats, we should get 48."
"You're not worried about One Nation?"
"No. They will get some of our votes but more of the LNP's. Preferences will work in our favour." The Liberal National Party is considered our conservative party in Queensland. We have a preferential voting system where all candidates must be numbered in order of preference to cast a valid ballot.
"Will she form government if One Nation get the balance of power?" One Nation was founded by Pauline Hanson and is a prominent nationalist party, they got 20 % of the votes in the seats they ran in and are forcing policies to the right.
"No. Definitely not. She put it in writing. No deals."
"I would think a lot of Labor's base would have a lot in common with Hanson. After all, free trade doesn't work and jobs are being shipped overseas. Free trade is the free movement of goods, services, capital and most importantly, people. We've had 1.3, no, probably 1.5 million immigrants in the last six years. That's insane."
"You're right there. That's why I'm in the union, to get the best deal I can for the members. Wages and conditions. A lot of the immigrants coming in don't know what they're doing."
"It's not just that. For some reason, we've forgotten, that a nation, is not borders. A nation, is a people. Now while everyone has full bellies, things are ticking along just nicely. That can change on a dime. People are tribal. They bring their Identity and culture with them wherever they go. Look at the Lebanese."
"You're right about people being tribal. My parents came from Poland. Our friends are polish, our church is polish..."
"And you're helping reelect a Premier of Polish descent"
"I never really thought of it that way"

He was a smart guy, have to be to head up a union. We talked about the Pareto distribution and various bits and bobs. A good bloke actually, despite some political differences. Where were we? Ah yes. Pizza.

Anonymous Rocklea December 03, 2017 6:56 AM  

part 3
"Works for who?"
He points at my phone.
"Global Pizza Conglomerate Inc"
"What's he do for 'em?"
"He's the new CFO. Promotion. Has to move himself and the family to London head office."
"Wow. That's a big move from here."
"Oh no, not from here. He's been working for them in Germany for the past few years."

Ding Dong.
Ah, Pizza.
"There you go" I look at his name tag, "Rajeesh. Keep the change. 'Ave a good one."
"Thank you sir. You have a good one too mate." Ah well, his English was actually pretty good. In no time he'll be wrestling crocs and throwing shrimps on the barbie.

Fred is, judging by his brother and the attainment of his new post, intelligent and competent. I'm sure being the CFO of Global Pizza Conglomerate Inc. will be complex and demanding. But his remit is simple. Ensure that pizzas remain at $5 per unit, or its equivalent, in perpetuity across the world. Move any pieces on your game board that make this happen. Thou shalt make pizza $5 shall be the whole of the law.

Our systems are so powerful. These systems will either have to be re-tasked to serve nations, or the species changed in such a way that they wish to serve the system. Free trade requires the free movement of people. Anyone who does not understand this, after reading this blog, is retarded and should refrain from expressing opinions on this matter in public forums. It's embarrassing.

Blogger wreckage December 03, 2017 7:03 AM  

VD's argument that free trade must entail free movement of peoples also assumes free permanent resettlement of peoples and uniformity of jurisdiction or legilsature; both those assumptions assume there is no basic right of restrictive freedom of association, nor of group property rights.

My point being, the absolutism of the conclusion that VD assigns to free trade assumes that all freedoms are atomistic, non-exclusionary, and do not apply to groups. I would argue that this is the libertarian error.

In short, libertarian free marketers make that argument, and do so in error; rights cannot simply evaporate as soon as more than two people hold them in some form of body corporate.

the 16 points presuppose that families, tribes, nations and even cultures have rights, being as they are, comprised of individuals in alignment. This eliminates the "imaginary lines" argument, since by it, nations are not imaginary lines, but aligned people-groups.

In short, I believe that VD has identified a massive logical problem with libertarian free trade, and then neatly solved it by aligning political ideals with observed reality.

However VD does not see it that way.

Blogger VD December 03, 2017 7:29 AM  

However VD does not see it that way.

And here you were doing so well.... You don't seem to understand that you are stating the obvious. Do you not realize that I was literally quoting libertarian free trade advocates. That is because they make the strongest moral and ethical arguments for free trade, which have proved convincing to many superficial thinkers.

Anonymous 360 December 03, 2017 7:43 AM  

What both of them failed to grasp is that simply mentioning the fact that there are beneficial aspects to free trade, limited or not, does not mean that free trade is net beneficial, even if it is limited only to goods or a given set of goods.

Vox, is this am example of secundum quid that you mention in SJWADD?

Anonymous Looking Glass December 03, 2017 7:46 AM  

For all of the Economic Theory, isn't this pretty much just a version of "I want X, but I don't want any of Y because that'd be bad". It's pretty much the most common issue when dealing with Theology with other Christians. The "But I want..." problem. (I know there's an error name for it, but I'm coming up short on my search-fu.)


@9 wreckage

Thinking on it, part of the reason for the Globalism push via "Free Trade" is that the real players make their wealth via arbitrage. That's where the real wealth is manufactured. The churn of nations makes the big players even more wealthy.

Blogger VD December 03, 2017 7:53 AM  

Vox, is this am example of secundum quid that you mention in SJWADD?

If so, it's not a very clear example of it. I don't think they are committing a sophistic error here, I think it's simply a failure to think the matter through. They're seizing on the mention of the word "beneficial" and saying "aha, well, even if the scenario we envision is not maximally efficient, it's still a good thing."

But we weren't discussing the balance sheet. We were just discussing the revenue. The fact that you are bringing in less than maximum revenue says nothing about whether you will make a net profit.

Blogger James Dixon December 03, 2017 7:54 AM  

> Indeed, if we are to use GDP as our primary metric as so many free trade advocates do, one can make a considerably stronger case for free trade in labor combined with a restricted trade in goods than one can for the reverse.

Which is exactly the argument open borders folks make. The fact that they're lying about their real motives is beside the point.

Blogger JohnofAustria December 03, 2017 7:57 AM  

Why hasn't this professor or any of his water carriers here addressed the question of the MPL? I'm a complete fucking Tyro when it comes to economics and even I can see that if Capital can move completely freely then in order to obtain the suppose it benefits we need to have the free movement of workers as well.

The problem of course is that when Capital can move but the workers can't they Source the production to shithole countries and our people don't have jobs.

And when labor can move freelee then wages across all countries are brought into equilibrium which means that living standards in the west will move down towards the third world at the same time as the third world moderately moves up.

Blogger JohnofAustria December 03, 2017 7:57 AM  

Freely

Blogger JohnofAustria December 03, 2017 7:59 AM  

I would also add that he is being purposefully dishonest by reducing the points about OSHA or environmental regulation or even laws against human slavery to so-called "minutiae."

Same goes for China's currency War

Anonymous Looking Glass December 03, 2017 8:00 AM  

I remember now why I "noped out" of Free Trade over a decade ago. It really doesn't stand up to any Game Theory analysis when you introduce the time-lag and geographic realities of the world. "Free Trade" also optimizes for the first party to be Machiavellian.

No wonder the stooges for the actually Machiavellian love their "Free Trade!". It makes them feel useful. Which they are. Useful Idiots. (Though, it was great rhetoric in the era of corrupt unionism.)

Blogger JohnofAustria December 03, 2017 8:01 AM  

As an example I live on a coast where there are still a decent amount of commercial fishermen. But our commercial fisherman actually have to abide by laws regarding overfishing of stocks and safety considerations. And because we allow the free exchange of goods with countries that have actual slaves on their fishing ships their wages are dropping Like a Stone.

That's not minutiae nor is it an isolated example

Blogger JohnofAustria December 03, 2017 8:08 AM  

@Looking Glass, China's currency manipulation is empirical proof that your analysis of the flaws of free trade is not just a potential problem but the guaranteed result

Anonymous Bohm December 03, 2017 8:09 AM  

VD’s defence of his position is pretty sound here, I think. Even his rather snide attitude is merited, given the attitude of his critic, whose ‘by definition’ remark gets deservedly slammed.

However, I would add one observation: These days, the term ‘free trade’ is used to describe a state of economic intercourse arrived at by formal agreement between states, which balance national interests with those of capital, forming blocs such as the EU, Nafta and Mercosur. The interests of capital inevitably supersede those of nation states in such unions. The free movement of peoples usually serves as a salve to sooth those states being exploited.

Free trade, as set out by Adam Smith, is the ability to buy abroad whenever goods are available there at lower prices than at home. Historically, the great champion of free trade was Great Britain in the 19th century. Adam Smith, if I recall, didn’t mention anything about the free movement of peoples. And why should he? Great Britain was at the time the most powerful empire on earth. It could dictate the terms of ‘free trade’ as it saw fit - unions be damned- and those terms definitely didm’t include free movement of peoples.

The definition of free trade is a function of power relations. Perhaps this is why the definition appears to be so slippery.

Blogger Stilicho December 03, 2017 8:13 AM  

Questions for the cc prof-cum-trader: what do you think is the difference between "trade" and "free trade"? Do you think movement of capital should be restricted and why/why not? How do you measure the benefits of free trade in the aggregate?

Anonymous TS December 03, 2017 8:17 AM  

Those guys sounds like libtards ie... Libertarians.

Anonymous Edjamacator December 03, 2017 8:18 AM  

Next reply: "Yeah, well....RACIST!!!"

Anonymous Jeff December 03, 2017 8:20 AM  

Hitler was against free trade.

Blogger Nate December 03, 2017 8:29 AM  

"That is because they make the strongest moral and ethical arguments for free trade, which have proved convincing to many superficial thinkers."

They proved convincing to many sound thinkers as well. For a very long time.

Blogger VD December 03, 2017 8:31 AM  

These days, the term ‘free trade’ is used to describe a state of economic intercourse arrived at by formal agreement between states, which balance national interests with those of capital, forming blocs such as the EU, Nafta and Mercosur. The interests of capital inevitably supersede those of nation states in such unions. The free movement of peoples usually serves as a salve to sooth those states being exploited.

That is absolutely true, but a sophistic resort to ambiguity on the part of the politicians and economists involved in setting trade policy is not relevant to the discussion of the actual economic theories or moral arguments.

Anonymous TS December 03, 2017 8:32 AM  

"I remember now why I "noped out" of Free Trade over a decade ago. It really doesn't stand up to any Game Theory analysis when you introduce the time-lag and geographic realities of the world. "Free Trade" also optimizes for the first party to be Machiavellian.

And that's just looking at it from an economic perspective, let alone the cultural one. "Free" trade also brings cultural erosion and balkanization something the "L"s hardly ever discuss. Mexico/US trade relations seem to be a good example of its failure, "free" trade is anything but and is just globalism repackaged.

Blogger VD December 03, 2017 8:32 AM  

They proved convincing to many sound thinkers as well. For a very long time.

True, albeit only because no one in the 18th century could imagine capital moving around the world so easily, much less labor. I think we can excuse their failure of foresight. I don't think there is any excuse for free trade advocates today.

Blogger tz December 03, 2017 8:41 AM  

The whole point of having things manufactured in China is because our factories can't import Chinese labor directly with their slave wages or "don't carebout maiming or killing employees or pollution" regulatory environment.

We send cotton across an ocean, they send clothes back. But there it costs $2/day in wages and they don't care about brown lung.

Blogger McChuck December 03, 2017 8:51 AM  

If free trade of goods is to be accomplished, then goods have to be able to be produced anywhere. If goods which are made in country A are then made in country B for a marginal advantage, then country A will stop producing those goods and country B will produce even more. Thus the capital investment in country A either goes to waste or is sold to country B (because capital investment cannot be converted - you can't make machine tools do different jobs by wishing for it), resulting in a movement of capital. The jobs in country A move to country B, resulting in a movement of labor. QED

In electronics, this is the theory that a lack of electrons produces a hole, and the holes can move around just like electrons.

Blogger Duke Norfolk December 03, 2017 8:52 AM  

JohnofAustria wrote:And when labor can move freelee then wages across all countries are brought into equilibrium which means that living standards in the west will move down towards the third world at the same time as the third world moderately moves up.

And nations are destroyed. Arguably the worse of the two.

Blogger Gapeseed December 03, 2017 8:53 AM  

The United States Constitution serves as the world’s largest and longest-running free trade agreement (between the states), so looking there is instructive in determining the effects of free trade. The effects bear out Vox’s contention that migration certainly accompanied the movement of goods. The internal migration also eroded (but did not eliminate) regional differences between the states, creating a collective national melting pot culture and unifying the weakened states under a federal government. Finally, the free trade certainly helped create a wealthy and powerful nation.

So as I see it, free trade increases wealth and migration and erodes local culture and politics while creating larger encompassing cultural and political structures between the free trading parties. As such, a prospective free trader ought to be careful with whom one free trades - in some ways it’s like bringing roommates together in an apartment. Would free trade between, say, the Anglosphere bring about the best of all worlds, or are the economic benefits never worth the mixing and dilution of local culture?

Anonymous TS December 03, 2017 9:03 AM  

It seems the bigger the trade deficit the more "free movement of that nations peoples" end up in the country with the deficit see China and Mexico for example. There might not be any correlation but there is alot of Chinese buying up RE in the US and then there is the immivasion from Mexico. China is playing the same game with Canada and Canada also has a trade deficit with them as well as lots of Chinese buying up Canadian RE.

The Chinese appeared to bait the hook by devaluing their currency yet the end result is they end up with a ton of US dollars.

Blogger VD December 03, 2017 9:05 AM  

Would free trade between, say, the Anglosphere bring about the best of all worlds, or are the economic benefits never worth the mixing and dilution of local culture?

Considering that the Founding Fathers were willing to give up their lives and treasure in order to establish the U.S. Constitution, the American answer can only be "no".

Blogger VD December 03, 2017 9:06 AM  

The Chinese appeared to bait the hook by devaluing their currency yet the end result is they end up with a ton of US dollars.

With which to buy US real estate. Leading to only one conclusion: FREE TRADE IS WAR!

Blogger James Dixon December 03, 2017 9:08 AM  

> And when labor can move freelee then wages across all countries are brought into equilibrium which means that living standards in the west will move down towards the third world at the same time as the third world moderately moves up.

Assuming an equalization of environmental and labor laws, yes. Now, how many third world workers are there versus how many western workers? Do the math. It's not a pretty picture.

Anonymous Avalanche December 03, 2017 9:13 AM  

@32 "that living standards in the west will move down towards the third world at the same time as the third world moderately moves up.

And nations are destroyed. Arguably the worse of the two."

Disagree; the worse of the two may move from foreign shithole level 5 all the way up to foreign shithole level 4. The better, the advanced, technological, higher nation will drop from advanced level 5 down to -- if we're LUCKY -- advanced level 1 or 2; if not to shithole 1! (And, if you look at huge swathes of California and Texas and Florida and Minnesota and and and.... you'll see they are an uneasy and violent MIX of the remnants of advanced level 1 -- and metastasizing shithole levels 1, 2, and probably 3!

Anonymous TS December 03, 2017 9:15 AM  

Being a big exporter seems to provide a hedge of protection against immivasion at least that's what the big exporting Asian nations are doing. Russia should consider it. In simple terms, if you don't have anything to sell you'll end up working for those that do.

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/231736-us-japan-trade-deficit-signal-of-need-for-currency-provisions-in-tpp

Blogger Dave December 03, 2017 9:18 AM  

Is hard to deny the labor mobility component of free trade after seeing this post from earlier in the year:
http://voxday.blogspot.com/2017/02/labor-mobility-destroying-nations.html

As stated in the post, some of the Balkan states have already seen more than one-third of their populations abandon the country, to be replaced by who?

Anonymous Avalanche December 03, 2017 9:19 AM  

@33 "So as I see it, free trade increases wealth and migration"

Increases WHOSE wealth? And forces whom to migrate?

Everyone discusses "wealth" as if it were shared around amongst the members of the nation (as, generally it once was: the deserving poor got a handout/hand up; the UN-deserving poor got ignored or punished. And NON-members of the nation sank or swam on their own!)

Nowadays? The "increased wealth" of "free" trade only goes to the very few, who don't give a damn about the nation (no doubt because (((many))) are not part of it)! The (destruction of) and forced migration (when possible) only applies to the bottom layers of the nation.

Blogger James Dixon December 03, 2017 9:24 AM  

> Adam Smith, if I recall, didn’t mention anything about the free movement of peoples.

Think about how difficult travel was in Adam Smith's day and you'll begin to understand why.

> Do you think movement of capital should be restricted and why/why not?

I think a more useful question is "Can the movement of capital be restricted, and if so what are the best ways of doing so?" The answer the first part is obviously a qualified yes, but what are the costs?

Always remember that free traders should have no problem with smuggling.

Blogger hideous December 03, 2017 9:31 AM  

I think I'm missing something here, because this issue has always seemed blindingly obvious, making me not understand why it is even a point of contention.

Let's say there is a cake factory in the US and an identical cake factory in Mexico. The recipe, process, standards, quality are identical, the ingredients come from the same sources, everything is identical. The only thing that is different is factory worker wages.

Due to a "free trade" agreement, each factory can sell cakes across the border.

What else is being traded freely here but labor?
It is literally baked into the cake.

OF course the US factory is unable to sell its cakes in the US, much less Mexico, and so goes out of business.

Free-traders cheer because apparently their (leftist) goal is that Mexico's wealth be raised at the expense of the US' until we finally meet somewhere in the middle. I guess free traders **necessarily** are globalists also?

Of course the reality is that the US will be brought down to the level of third-world while Mexico's improvement is imperceptible, except for certain oligarchs. But that seems to be desirable to many leftists/globalists/free-traders also, I suspect several would admit it readily.

Blogger wreckage December 03, 2017 9:37 AM  

@10; Possibly a redundancy, this is just me working through the idea. Chronology is important. That's what I'm mapping; in this case the development of your ideas on trade, over time. Yes, I am aware that you are restating libertarian trade ethics.
However, you've already observed the fundamental illogic of libertarianism, which is to imagine fundamental human rights, and then imagine they vanish in a puff of pink smoke and glitter as soon as those same humans form any kind of organization.

Human beings are social; a bedrock fact underpinning much of what the alt-right stands for. To exclude humans working in concert from human rights is to exclude almost all human activity from the protection of rights, hence, that formulation of libertarianism can only undermine its own goals, and end with the naked individual versus the State (not nation, a banned entity under strict atomism). It's incoherent and self defeating at the most basic level, and the results are predictable from that viewpoint.

The end result is that you're deconstructing a philosophy that fails for itself, which may be your point, but I feel like you're not done developing the idea yet. Which may again, be your point.

I'm eagerly awaiting further incisiveness from you, Vox, and to see if there's something other than an imaginary line where localization ceases to be of benefit. My intuition is that it has to do with the limits of coherent group action, but I want to see where *you* come to rest, since you'll process it much faster and more thoroughly than I.

Blogger wreckage December 03, 2017 9:46 AM  

@43, I think the simplest way to put it is that if trade is driven by production, then a lot of problems vanish. But if it is driven by consumption, or if policy is driven by consumption - as it is right now - then you have serious problems.

Consider a free trade policy setting that imagines production creates wealth. GDP gets thrown out because it measures spending, ie., consumption, ironically enough given its Orwellian name. Importing labour doesn't increase factor productivity of labour, in fact it arguably reduces it, so that gets ditched. Exports are emphasized over imports. Building is emphasized over spending.

This was the majority view until fairly recently.

The new model believes consumption drives all. By that model if you import a labour unit and it goes on the dole and has a billion kids and they all get the dole, as long as the dole is more than their presumed income back home, wealth has been created, consumption has gone up, and everyone's richer, FOR FREE. No need to build, produce, learn, just sit back and let the dividends roll in.

The latter is very, very attractive for the political, entertainment, and investment classes since it puts them at the apex of society. And who champions it? Why... it's the political, investment and entertainment classes.

Blogger wreckage December 03, 2017 9:48 AM  

In other words, you can have Steve Kates, Trumpian, contrarian, production-side economist and "free trader", and on the other hand a soft-left "free trade" global-governance socialist; and they agree on literally no aspect of economics or its imperatives, but they both nominally support "free trade", despite it meaning totally different things to each.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine December 03, 2017 10:04 AM  

Another way of looking at the thing:

#1: A person with slaves, who abuses them, can get more work for less compensation.
#2: Competing against someone who does not employ abused laborers, he will inevitably win.
#3: His victory causes his abuse in many ways against his "employees" to spill over in less obvious ways to all other legal systems that have not excluded trade with him.

And:

#4: Free trade -- even of products only -- across borders necessitates that a small number of monstrous abusers, operating on the side of the border with lesser restrictions against abuses, wins.

Result: You've just given the most monstrous, despotic, vicious, and immoral people from the most lawless nations control over the most lawful and moral nations.

Result 2: Empowered evil, war, and chaos.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine December 03, 2017 10:08 AM  

And then you ask yourself, "what magnitude of oppression defines slavery as per #1?"

A: Any magnitude whatsoever. It's relative, any relatively greater oppression in any aspect permitted within any system -- all other things being assumed equal -- will necessarily grow to encompass all systems that do not absolutely reject it.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine December 03, 2017 10:12 AM  

And finally:

- All persons advocating free trade between systems are actually advocating for the most evil entities to have free access to all system markets.

Anonymous Eduardo the Magnificent December 03, 2017 10:17 AM  

I think the error being made here by Donny, et. al. is that they don't think of labor and capital as being intertwined. They see a good being shipped overseas but the labor that made it staying put, or people moving to where the jobs are. They don't see that labor requires capital to make use of it and vice versa. In their mind, they're separate things, so yes, of course you can have one but not the other. These are the kinds of people that point all day at GDP but never look at debt.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine December 03, 2017 10:18 AM  

@45. wreckage, you could easily re-dub your "political, investment and entertainment classes" as "tyrannical, usurer, and deception-production classes".

Blogger James Dixon December 03, 2017 11:00 AM  

> Free-traders cheer because apparently their (leftist) goal is that Mexico's wealth be raised at the expense of the US' until we finally meet somewhere in the middle. I guess free traders **necessarily** are globalists also?

Bingo. Though not all of them realize it.

Blogger SciVo December 03, 2017 11:21 AM  

Looking Glass wrote:@9 wreckage

Thinking on it, part of the reason for the Globalism push via "Free Trade" is that the real players make their wealth via arbitrage. That's where the real wealth is manufactured. The churn of nations makes the big players even more wealthy.


Indeed. They have no fellow-feeling; they are citizens of the world, and effectively high-functioning sociopaths that literally don't care if your babies go hungry, since it's all the same to them, there are always other hungry babies. They don't care if your nation survives, they have other mansions and can make money on its decline.

The single most important thing we need to do is impair globalist influence in our politics, right down to and including their funding of "antifa" commie street thugs.

Anonymous Odd Wobble December 03, 2017 11:49 AM  

The internal migration also eroded (but did not eliminate) regional differences between the states, creating a collective national melting pot culture and unifying the weakened states under a federal government. Finally, the free trade certainly helped create a wealthy and powerful nation.

The U.S. example shows a government with real power over all the states making it work. It requires a Supreme Court over all the states to decide a Gibbons v. Ogden style case and a strong executive branch to enforce the decision.

Global free trade will require the same; not just trade agreements between governments but a true and strong government over all the nations of the world.

Anonymous tublecane December 03, 2017 11:58 AM  

@33-"The internal migration also eroded (but did not eliminate) regional differences between states, creating a collective national melting pot culture and unifying the weakened states under a federal government"

Not historically accurate. The states were unified by force of arms. The number of Yankees killed testifies to the level of unification previously achieved under the federal government.

We didn't get a melting pot culture until after the Civil War, when mass media and second industrial revolution made that easier. Which was also after massive migration from outside the U.S.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents December 03, 2017 12:07 PM  

Maybe it is just me but sure looks like Prof Donny slipped his goalposts. What happened to "muh free trade brings peace"? Did it get left out of his latest email?

Whatever.

China warehouses a lot of factory workers in dormitories right next to their factories. Free trade is all about maximal economic efficiency. Ok, for maximum economic efficiency Tim Cook could build dorms in the hills over Silicon Valley and fill them with Chinese assembly workers. Build a new factory next door. Then he could brag "We've brought the iPhone assembly back to Murica! Yeah! Free trade works! Woohoo!".

How would any of that benefit actual Americans?

Blogger Lance E December 03, 2017 12:13 PM  

I'd add one thing, not that your already ironclad argument needs it, but just a slightly different angle for those who still refuse to get it:

"Capital" in the context of free trade is the same concept as "means of production" in Marxian economics, and therefore free trade has the same ontology problem as Marxian economics. The exact same object, such as a computer or mobile phone, can be a "good" for one actor and "capital" or "means of production" for another actor. Even the most basic "good" like food - say, corn - can become capital on the smallest farm or in the largest biofuel plant.

The line between goods and capital is imaginary and arbitrary, and the line between capital and labor is also imaginary and arbitrary. Slaves were (are) traded as capital, not paid as labor. Our entire debt mechanic is based on future production, i.e. labor. Most business technologies are some form of "labor-saving" device, which means you trade capital for labor. Many corporations already conceive of their employees as capital, hence the demeaning phrase "human resources".

Free-trade rules and ethics can't exempt capital and labor because the distinction between goods, capital and labor depends entirely upon context and use, and not the actual thing being traded.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents December 03, 2017 12:34 PM  

Free-trade rules and ethics can't exempt capital and labor because the distinction between goods, capital and labor depends entirely upon context and use, and not the actual thing being traded.

The Wall Street myth of "sideline cash" easily extends to "sideline labor". There's too much labor on the sidelines! It must be put to work somewhere! Move to where the jobs are!

Those labor battalions Marx wrote about were supposed to be mobile, moving from place to place wherever their labor was needed. Moving Chinese iPhone assemblers to California would be so efficient, as long as the move was exempt from wage / hour / safety / environmental regulations. Plus it would probably knock 10 bucks off of the price! Win!

Anonymous Cyclone Bob December 03, 2017 12:37 PM  

Donny1: I'll have you know that I have taught econ for eleven years - at no less than a community college.

[Points and ROFLs]

Donny2: I'll have you know that all that community college bullshit was over 20 years ago, and I'm now a commodities trader - which is thoroughly unregulated and qualifies me as an expert in Free Trade in ways you cant even imagine.

[Points and LOLs]

Donny3: ...

Anonymous Cyclone Bob December 03, 2017 12:53 PM  

The Chinese ... devaluing their currency ... end up with a ton of US dollars.

With which to buy US real estate. Leading to only one conclusion: FREE TRADE IS WAR!



Which was obviously the End Game desired by the elites who gave, and continually renewed -- during the Cold War -- MFN status to a Godless Communist dictatorship with a genocide already under its belt, and continued human rights violations.

Blogger Dave December 03, 2017 12:56 PM  

@59 Cyclone Bob...also

Donny1: (community college, adjunct faculty – more public service than income source)

Donny2: my public service at a community college

[Somebody get him a medal or plaque or something]

Blogger Cloom Glue December 03, 2017 1:11 PM  

Dave wrote:Is hard to deny the labor mobility component of free trade ...
As stated in the post, some of the Balkan states have already seen more than one-third of their populations abandon the country, to be replaced by who?


Anecdote time: I have a Balkan State neighbour in Canada. Several years ago I said their joining the EU was a bad idea because the currency inflexibility will damage his old country. He disagreed. I was right, but now I see it was the migration exit of people that damaged them, not just the new Euro common currency.

He says all his remaining (in Croatia) family connections were learning German to move out to Germany and now lately they are all learning English to move to Ireland, I think he said.

I asked why are they so useless in their own country and useful in another country (to see if he had an understanding). He did not have a cogent answer. He just thinks "go with the flow of things" is best for all of us. He might be of the globalist mind, judging by his wife's anti-Trump comments. He came to Candida in the 1970s when Pierre Trudeau started the rush to get people in from communist countries and in from the third world old commonwealth colonies, to vote leftist.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash December 03, 2017 1:34 PM  

Lance E wrote:Free-trade rules and ethics can't exempt capital and labor because the distinction between goods, capital and labor depends entirely upon context and use, and not the actual thing being traded.

This. So much this. This is the point that the "Free Trade Except Labor" clowns simply refuse to see.

Blogger Nate December 03, 2017 2:31 PM  

" I don't think there is any excuse for free trade advocates today."

Free Trade has been a tautology for so long... think how long it took you to come around... not because the case was convincing... but because you hadn't actually examined it really closely.

Economists learning that free trade is detrimental is like a nutritionist that has been preaching a low fat diet for decades admitting that he's been harming people.

its not easy.

Blogger Shawn Hetherington December 03, 2017 2:35 PM  

VD, from the OP,

"Therefore, any logical, ethical, or theoretical argument for the free trade in goods encompasses the free trade in capital and labor as well."

I don't have a problem wit 1-6 but your item 7 is phrased a bit oddly IMO. Your argument is couched in terms of economic theory but 7 seems to be extending to other domains as well.

Pretty clearly, IMO, economic theory doesn't cover the entirety of human existence. For instance, there is not, by any stretch, a free market in labor(there are massive, long-term and recurring subsidies for labor pretty much everywhere). The same doesn't seem true IMO in goods or capital. That seems like a pretty fair place to make the distinction your argument above is trying to avoid.

Cheers. :)

Blogger Dire Badger December 03, 2017 3:04 PM  

Azure Amaranthine wrote:@45. wreckage, you could easily re-dub your "political, investment and entertainment classes" as "tyrannical, usurer, and deception-production classes".

Friggin 'a'.

Anonymous FP December 03, 2017 3:05 PM  

I know what I'm grateful for this holiday season, the global free trade that brought me chocolate covered mangos at Costco. The bag guarantees that it is made with conflict free chocolate from Africa.

Intel also said that the new laptop processor is made with conflict free materials. Suck it Democratic Republic of Congo!

Blogger Dire Badger December 03, 2017 3:08 PM  

Azure Amaranthine wrote:Another way of looking at the thing:

#1: A person with slaves, who abuses them, can get more work for less compensation.

#2: Competing against someone who does not employ abused laborers, he will inevitably win.

#3: His victory causes his abuse in many ways against his "employees" to spill over in less obvious ways to all other legal systems that have not excluded trade with him.

And:

#4: Free trade -- even of products only -- across borders necessitates that a small number of monstrous abusers, operating on the side of the border with lesser restrictions against abuses, wins.

Result: You've just given the most monstrous, despotic, vicious, and immoral people from the most lawless nations control over the most lawful and moral nations.

Result 2: Empowered evil, war, and chaos.


Most people don't understand that nobody 'ended' slavery. The ending of slavery became inevitable when their work could be done better, cheaper, by automation. Ending slavery was simply an inevitable side effect of their obsolescence, and 'freeing them' publicly was nothing more than an advanced form of virtue-signalling.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash December 03, 2017 3:24 PM  

FP wrote:I know what I'm grateful for this holiday season, the global free trade that brought me chocolate covered mangos at Costco. The bag guarantees that it is made with conflict free chocolate from Africa.
You know what I'd love this holiday season? For my sons to be able to get non-minimum-wage work.
You can take your chocolate-covered mangoes and shove them up you asset-class, sport.

Blogger hideous December 03, 2017 5:22 PM  

#65 Shawn Hetherington
Your objection is that labor is critically different from capital & goods because labor "has massive, long-term and recurring subsidies" and the others do not?
That doesn't make any sense at all to me. Capital investment often has massive, long-term and recurring special tax breaks. Goods also, at least via "special" pricing. Military hardware is sold for political arrangements instead of some free market pricing. But more prevalently, as I've seen in my field, certain commodity electronic components were dumped on US markets below cost (with the foreign government directly subsidizing their companies to compensate), until most of the domestic manufacturers were driven out of business. Exactly as intended. And why wouldn't they?

Anything financial that **can** be gamed, **is** gamed.

An iron law of human interaction. Anything else is a sweet dream. If you don't understand that, then you can't possibly understand much else about economics.

Blogger wreckage December 03, 2017 5:42 PM  

@51, yes, yes you could.

Blogger James Dixon December 03, 2017 6:32 PM  

> Ending slavery was simply an inevitable side effect of their obsolescence, and 'freeing them' publicly was nothing more than an advanced form of virtue-signalling.

Virtue signalling that killed over 600,000 people. Thanks, Lincoln.

Of course, it didn't even end slavery. It still exists to this day.

Blogger VD December 03, 2017 7:10 PM  

Free Trade has been a tautology for so long... think how long it took you to come around... not because the case was convincing... but because you hadn't actually examined it really closely.<

That's true. But there is no excuse for those who are now confronted with the facts, and instead of considering them and their consequences, start pointing, shrieking MERCANTILIST and waving the Ricardo flag.

Anonymous FP December 03, 2017 7:18 PM  

@69

Stop being jealous Snidely. Without free trade we'd not have this wonderful conflict free chocolate. Its worth it.

Blogger Austin Ballast December 03, 2017 7:38 PM  

VD,

You accuse me of dishonesty and worse because I don't accept your axioms? Right.

You clearly don't see the need to prove the equivalence of free trade in goods and free movement of people, but that is far from a statement like "water is wet" contrary to your claim.

I am nowhere near the supporter of free trade I once was, yet I still disagree with your assumption that these two items are the same. You are unlikely to prove the equivalence however, since you view it as a baseline fact rather than as something to prove, but it remains an assertion, not something proven.

Consider me whatever you wish. I do suspect I would be far different than the one who used my posts in his email, for whatever that is worth.

I do wish you would support the assertion better, but that is not likely to happen. At least this discussion has let me see why. Though it seems no different than those who see changes in moths and therefore assert that particles can turn into people by the same mechanisms.

Blogger Shawn Hetherington December 03, 2017 7:39 PM  

@70, hideous,

As I understand tHe argument, Vox is saying that you can't argue against the free movement of labor *on the basis of free market economic theory*. That's fine so far as it goes except the fact that there is no free market in labor is certainly relevant.

It is true that there is not a perfect free market in either capital or goods, I am sure, it is pretty much undeniable that both those are much, much closer to perfect markets than labor is. Probably around 30% of all workers or potential workers in modern industrial countries get significant government support. The proportion of goods that are dumped or capital assets that are somehow supported by the government is an order of magnitude or two lower.

That's the diference - the labor market is very,very far from a free market but the markets for goods and capital are much closer.

Cheers.:)

Blogger Austin Ballast December 03, 2017 7:39 PM  

You also have never addressed the issue of "who decides the limits." That is a very important issue as well, but will likely also not get addressed, for similar reasons.

Blogger Austin Ballast December 03, 2017 7:41 PM  

But there is no excuse for those who are now confronted with the facts, and instead of considering them and their consequences, start pointing, shrieking MERCANTILIST and waving the Ricardo flag.

I never did that for the record. Did you think I had?

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents December 03, 2017 7:45 PM  

You also have never addressed the issue of "who decides the limits."

Nationalism is not difficult to understand.

Blogger Austin Ballast December 03, 2017 7:53 PM  

Nationalism doesn't say who is in charge and makes the decisions on what to keep out or heavily tax as it comes in. People can be nationalistic and quite foolish, even if nationalism is good.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents December 03, 2017 7:57 PM  

Nationalism doesn't say who is in charge and makes the decisions on what to keep out or heavily tax as it comes in.

Did the US have free trade in the 19th century? Yes or no?

Anonymous Rocklea December 03, 2017 8:12 PM  

The movement of people, to the west, is being acted out in real life. The ideal of free trade is that which makes this possible. Does free trade exist? No more than numbers do, yet look at the power of that particular abstraction. Western governments have various bars and limits set on trade and people, but the prevailing ethos is one of openness. It is that openness, embodied in the free trade ethos, that must be attacked in the interests of our posterity. Cross border meritocracy must die. The rot starts at the head.

Perhaps, people should not be allowed freedom of movement outside their nation. This prohibition, is what the retards are feebly arguing against.

Blogger VD December 03, 2017 9:03 PM  

You accuse me of dishonesty and worse because I don't accept your axioms? Right.

No. They are not MY axioms.

You clearly don't see the need to prove the equivalence of free trade in goods and free movement of people, but that is far from a statement like "water is wet" contrary to your claim.

You are wrong. Still. Again. And you have clearly not read very deeply in the economic literature.

Blogger VD December 03, 2017 9:04 PM  

You also have never addressed the issue of "who decides the limits."

That is totally irrelevant to the topic at hand. It is a practical tangent and has no place in the theoretical discussion.

Blogger VD December 03, 2017 9:05 PM  

Though it seems no different than those who see changes in moths and therefore assert that particles can turn into people by the same mechanisms.

Then you're an idiot. Spare us the foolish rhetoric.

Blogger Noah B The Savage Gardener December 03, 2017 9:44 PM  

To accept the need to limit free movement of people while advocating for the free movement of goods is literally to take a position that some forms of trade should be allowed while others are restricted. How is this somehow unclear or confusing?

Anonymous Rocklea December 03, 2017 9:49 PM  

"To accept the need to limit free movement of people while advocating for the free movement of goods is literally to take a position that some forms of trade should be allowed while others are restricted. How is this somehow unclear or confusing?"

Wait... Are you saying that's not free trade? Well that just sounds like crazy talk!

Blogger Snidely Whiplash December 03, 2017 9:56 PM  

Austin Ballast wrote:You also have never addressed the issue of "who decides the limits." That is a very important issue as well, but will likely also not get addressed, for similar reasons.
You still want limits. The only difference is where you would set the limits vs where others would. It would probably be the same people who would set the limits under your regimen.

Austin Ballast wrote:I am nowhere near the supporter of free trade I once was, yet I still disagree with your assumption that these two items are the same.
Please explain the difference. In economic terms, keeping in mind that from an economic perspective, labor is merely a production resource.

Blogger wreckage December 03, 2017 10:11 PM  

Okay, let me see if I've got this right. VD distinguishes between free trade and property rights, (unless he advocates against the traditional freedoms of Englishmen, which I assume he doesn't).
This would entail that voluntary trade between those sharing these same rights, within the boundaries of the polity that guarantees those rights, is the exercise of rights and nothing more, whereas trade across borders is not the same thing, those rights being distinctive by nation, and ending at the border by administration.

Thus, even completely unlimited trade within the polity (assuming the rights above) is not the same animal by definition, as trade across AT LEAST "national" (in the admin sense) and possibly even state or canton lines.

Therefore the argument that free trade within the polity is the exercise of natural rights and clearly beneficial, cannot be applied to "free trade" across borders; eliminating the majority of pre-C20th trade as a case study for "free trade"; eliminating the argument that "free trade" is the exercise of property rights.

Does this approximate?

Anonymous Rocklea December 03, 2017 10:31 PM  

"Therefore the argument that free trade within the polity is the exercise of natural rights and clearly beneficial, cannot be applied to "free trade" across borders; eliminating the majority of pre-C20th trade as a case study for "free trade"; eliminating the argument that "free trade" is the exercise of property rights.

Does this approximate?"

I'd say it's the boundary between _mine_ and _ours_ versus _them_ and _theirs_. For example, I'll buy _his_ product, because he's one of _ours_. Whereas I won't buy from _them_, needs to be the mindset, as _they_ have different interests to me and mine.

Blogger Austin Ballast December 03, 2017 11:33 PM  

No. They are not MY axioms.

Then whose axioms are they? Who has given strong enough evidence that requires free movement of people? I do not even recall seeing you note someone who said that other than asserting it yourself. Though please point me to exactly what to read to make the case for that as an underlying precept rather than something that needs to be proven?

Snidely,

My point on "who decides" is that anything that says "free trade is bad" must compare it to the alternatives, not just say it is bad. It is a principle of risk management - you consider the entire picture, not just one side.

I personally think it has been shown that any practical implementation doesn't have the value many advocates claim, but that doesn't negate the value of valuing the alternatives as well.

Anonymous Rocklea December 03, 2017 11:56 PM  

"My point on "who decides" is that anything that says "free trade is bad" must compare it to the alternatives, not just say it is bad. It is a principle of risk management - you consider the entire picture, not just one side."

Lest take it to the extreme and compare it to the DPRK. They are under continual trade embargo and have no, I repeat, no, immigration or emigration. They have the industrial base to build ICBM's and nuclear weapons. Why aren't people flocking to the DPRK? Where are the Indian-North Koreans? Where are the African-North Koreans? What about the Pakistani-North Koreans?

I don't understand it. I mean I know the free movement of people has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with free trade because Austin Ballast says so because reasons. So why, why, WHY, is the DPRK not diverse? I'm so ronery, so very very ronery.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents December 04, 2017 1:03 AM  

@91 Austin Ballast
My point on "who decides" is that anything that says "free trade is bad" must compare it to the alternatives, not just say it is bad.

Dude, that's dormroom level dumb.

"It's not just enough to say being hit on the head with a stick is bad, you have to provide an alternative!"

"Who decides?" Gee, who decided NAFTA? Who was behind TPP? Dude. Stop digging that hole.

One more time: did the USA have free trade in the 19th century? Yes or no?

Blogger Azure Amaranthine December 04, 2017 1:18 AM  

"Most people don't understand that nobody 'ended' slavery."

Including you?

"Ending slavery was simply an inevitable side effect of their obsolescence, and 'freeing them' publicly was nothing more than an advanced form of virtue-signalling."

They weren't freed ultimately. Their reins were just adjusted, and their healthcare, housing, and food costs were partly shifted to the public at large.

Virtue signaling at the end of the war? Definitely, but they didn't even really do what they signaled about. They just adjusted the slavery mode so they could still make a profit by offloading the costs even further onto other peoples' shoulders.

Even beyond that, as I said in my next post, how do you define slavery? Any form of abuse of people for profit is on the slavery spectrum. This goes all the way from taking advantage of someone who doesn't know quite how to bargain and barter for their wages (happens all the time), to actually physically enslaving someone (generally sex slavery in current year).

Abused people may not be full slaves per common understanding, but they are slaves in an aspect, and if it can be converted into finance, that aspect is all that is required to have the malicious mechanism of slavery as a rose by any other name.

@Austin Ballast, here's the thing Austin. Labor(workers) are economically indistinguishable from other resources and commodities. A laborer is a supply of work over given periods and sets of time, for which one must trade capital in correlated periods and sets.

Because of this, "Free Trade" (in the absolute sense of libertarians... the most coherent one, even as bereft of sanity as it is) necessarily also includes free trade in persons, who are naturally relocated to sources of capital to supply them with. Obviously for the best economic engines you require the most efficient capital-to-work transformers, as close to the the supply of capital as possible.

This means that you import low-skilled, effectively uncivilized labor from other, less restricted (and thus lower quality) countries. You do this because the labor is cheap and the consumers will not quickly wise to the slowly diminishing quality, and by the time they do they generally won't be able to afford better.

So, yes. Free movement of persons to align with capital and/or resources is part and parcel of Free Trade, by definition. This is also why free trade destroys nations, it requires that all countries' standards eventually be lowered to par with the lowest common denominators. This eventually inevitably results in a uniform regulatory/legal/social state between all participating parties.

Neo-Babylon here we come.

Blogger wreckage December 04, 2017 3:29 AM  

@90. By conventional definition, that is free trade. But I think it can be decoupled at the intellectual pretty simply by saying that it's you exercising your property rights.

However, that's just an intellectualization unless it changes the shape of the system in some way. I'm reasonably confident Vox isn't advocating peasant subsistence as the only pure and genuine culture, nor as the apogee of wealth and prosperity; Pol Pot, among others, gave that a red-hot go, and the results are history.

So I'm interested in the boundaries in play, within his theoretical construct.

Anonymous Rocklea December 04, 2017 6:31 AM  

Wreckage wrote:
"By conventional definition, that is free trade. But I think it can be decoupled at the intellectual pretty simply by saying that it's you exercising your property rights.

However, that's just an intellectualization unless it changes the shape of the system in some way. I'm reasonably confident Vox isn't advocating peasant subsistence as the only pure and genuine culture, nor as the apogee of wealth and prosperity; Pol Pot, among others, gave that a red-hot go, and the results are history.

So I'm interested in the boundaries in play, within his theoretical construct."

I see it as an open question. Have our systems outstripped our ability to adapt to them?

Every purchasing decision we explicitly make, is an implicit acceptance of the sellers values. This has been true throughout time and is the reason that the free movement of people is axiomatic within the trading zone. From your fresh produce to your dinosaur juice. How many mosques have we funded in the west? Baked into the cake on a global scale, our leaders are simply feeding the system what it wants. The relationships are now also defined as product and system, where previously they were product and person. Under product and person, the relationships were local and familiar. Under product and system, the relationship is global and alien. The absence of local and familiar creates a void, that void is then filled with global and alien. Like Netflix.

We are an overall K species. Our population grows to the maximum limit of resources. Our systems have enabled us to extend our population to 7+Billion. Is that stable over time? Weather may well be a deciding factor. Not warming but cooling. Social mood drives the economy, but what drives social mood?

Many people think the Internet is the only reason we have a chance of fighting globalism, but what if that is exactly wrong?

Blogger Desillusionerad December 04, 2017 6:33 AM  

Cloom Glue - Slight problem, Croatia doesn't have the EURO, so it will have damaged Croatia in exactly zero ways, because again they are not in the EURO.

Blogger VD December 04, 2017 7:23 AM  

Then whose axioms are they? Who has given strong enough evidence that requires free movement of people? I do not even recall seeing you note someone who said that other than asserting it yourself. Though please point me to exactly what to read to make the case for that as an underlying precept rather than something that needs to be proven?

Just go away, you moron. I am not going to get you caught up on 35 years of reading in economics in the blog comments, and especially not for free. The information is out there. I have referred to it and written copiously on it for 16 years.

You know nothing. So shut up and stop opining in utter ignorance. If those were "my axioms" I'd already have multiple Nobel prizes in economics.

Blogger Cloom Glue December 04, 2017 9:25 AM  

Desillusionerad wrote:Cloom Glue - Slight problem, Croatia doesn't have the EURO, so it will have damaged Croatia in exactly zero ways, because again they are not in the EURO.
---
The Croatia central bank has soft-pegged their currency to the Euro and is actively adjusting their fiscal debt policy to fit the Maastricht criteria. Those actions are the same as using the Euro. Eventually they will formally use the Euro, probably by 2020. Croatia joined the EU several years ago.

Blogger B.J. December 04, 2017 10:12 AM  

I'd never once thought that free trade requires free movement of labor but it made sense immediately once you explained it. It shouldn't be this hard.

Blogger Danby December 04, 2017 11:28 AM  

Austin Ballast wrote:My point on "who decides" is that anything that says "free trade is bad" must compare it to the alternatives, not just say it is bad. It is a principle of risk management - you consider the entire picture, not just one side.


The key here is that you don't believe in Free Trade either. You merely want to move the line from certain classes of goods to a smaller set of goods.
So if you get to decide for your restriction of trade, I get to decide for mine. Fair?
Or we could let the political apparatus make what is in essence a political decision, as they always have, but without your corrupt religious heresy as the defining measure of morality, substituting "the good of the American people" for "a bizarre Libertarian idea of fairness."
In more explicit words, your "who decides" objection is the sort of argument a moron who thought he was exceptionally clever would make. It is intentionally dishonest and so far beside the point as to almost be in a different county. It is intended to shut down argument by implicitly accusing any who object to your particular flavor of restricted trade of being wanna-be dictators.

Anonymous Tyler December 04, 2017 11:44 AM  

The only problem with this is missing a component of labor that is key: familiarity with the local environment is not to be disregarded, and in that way even if they spoke the same language, an immigrant from South America, Asia, or any other part of the world, not even Canada likely, will fit as best for a given job in the United States. Hell, different parts of the country even.

Then again, this is simply going to be a thing I suspect no one is ever going to effectively argue about be cause it's pointless. VD is absolutely right, and those who support free trade should just admit it and own it. I do. But I'm also an anarcho-capitalist, and so my ideal society would have its own restrictions based upon supreme property rights that don't exist now.

In a pragmatic sense, though, as much as I dislike it and I find myself scowling at the route many libertarians, case in point Stefan Molyneux whom I respect and listen to frequently, and for that matter Vox himself, you simply can't argue with, at least, short term nature of nationalism as necessary in a long term hope for decentralization. After all, if the goal is complete decentralization, than the nation is smaller than the globalist power, and can be worked down after that is ensured.

Anonymous tublecane December 04, 2017 12:27 PM  

@91-"that doesn't negate the value of valuing the alternatives as well"

What?

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents December 04, 2017 12:49 PM  

@103 Tyler

Libertarianism is a product of the high-trust peoples inside the Hajnal line. Nobody else buys it; not the East Asians, not the South Asians, not the Africans or South Americans. Only a subgroup of whites.

The best examples anyone can find of libertopia are all-white, religious monocultures in rural or frontier places. Libertoonianism is not universal. Tribalism is.

Blogger Desillusionerad December 04, 2017 12:57 PM  

@Cloom Glue
The policy of maintaining the rough parity of the Kuna to the EURO predates the EURO.
indeed for it's entire existence it's been kept in parity to either the EURO or the Deutschmark -
So again, the EURO has not damaged Croatia in anyway, they were perfectly free not to peg to the Deutschmark, and the EURO, and is still perfectly free not to peg it, as the requirement to join the EURO doesn't have an enforcement mechanism.
Feel free to say that the Croatian national bank has hurt Croatia, i don't give a fuck, But don't blame the EURO or the EU for shit not under it's control.

Blogger wreckage December 04, 2017 10:47 PM  

@102 free trade has economic benefits, sure. But the logic that economic benefits are a moral justification is, I think, fundamentally broken.

I've already said elsewhere and at other times that ultimately I care only about the protection of the right to property and its disposal, not about the GDP numbers, which as Vox points out, and again this isn't his idea, it's pretty well known, are close to meaningless.

I think trade without government mandate is supported by the conception of rights, and inter "national" trade on a case by case basis.

But I'd also argue that the Voxian omni-nationalist ideal may actually demand a trade layer with opt-in, opt-out freedom for group negotiation, since it seems to tend towards micro-states which will, in turn, not necessarily be capable of surviving without EITHER streamlined trade with neighbours OR eventual amalgamation with those neighbours.

Again, trade based on property rights supports free exchange of goods and capital, but not people, because people are not goods and besides the trade is not sanctioned via economic imperative, and therefore doesn't care if they are goods within mathematical models.

This permits a moral framework for trade that does not appeal to maximized returns, but structurally, permits the individual (or other basic element; family, tribe or paterfamilias for example) to pursue maximized returns in the purchase and disposal of his property, if he chooses.

Since rights are thereby derived from culture, should a paterfamilias or slave taker choose to trade humans across a border, the trade disintegrates at the legislative border, with no account of property loss needed, since the person ceases to be property as soon as they enter the next culture (should the next culture so decree).

Blogger wreckage December 04, 2017 11:03 PM  

My apologies, Vox, for the blogposting, but I have further evidence of "free trade" Libertarian Conception, being bunk.

It assumes the biggest benefits of trade come from efficiencies.
For a criticism of efficiencies, See Taleb, "Antifragile".

It assumes production is not a viable alternative means of achieving prosperity, for critique of which see Steve Kates "Free Market Economics".

Finally, it places massive stock in innovation and other magic, whereas economies are actually physical systems, and run on energy; see the following article on how a 10X undervaluing of energy has ruined economic modeling: https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2014/12/correctly-factoring-in-more-important.html

Anonymous Tyler December 05, 2017 7:11 AM  

@104 No one else 'buying it' doesn't make it wrong. There are many ideas that are rare, and the western tradition is full of them.

@106 Fair all around, and broadly I agree, though I disagree with the conception that rights are based on culture, rather than objective facts. A right either is objective, and universal, or it isn't a right, merely a privilege or cultural norm. Broadly, though, the only one that really matters or exists IS property rights, from which all other rights flow. Largely, though, like I said before, the big issue is most of it is something libertarians need to realize: no incomplete measures. Free trade isn't free, borders will always exist (and should be supported, even multiplied, that's the basis of stronger recognition of property rights, after all,) and you can't simply try to fix one thing that scores points with leftists (IE: open borders, missing the point entirely as they do,) and not the ones that are actually more pressing but are disdained by people (IE: reforming and then abolishing the welfare state and the state in general.)

GDP is, of course, largely meaningless, no doubt about that. You'll get no disagreement from me there.

Blogger licky December 06, 2017 8:32 PM  

thank for information.

หวยออนไลน์
ทางเข้า sbobet
ทางเข้า m8bet

Post a Comment

Rules of the blog
Please do not comment as "Anonymous". Comments by "Anonymous" will be spammed.

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts