Managed trade is not free trade

I don’t think I am reading this chart wrong. It’s from The Australian in its front page story today: Free-trade rollback to hit jobs, pay. And there are all the benefits, such as the rise in real wages, which was an aggregate rise of 7.4 percent over a period of 34 years, that is, from 1986 through to the projected level in 2020. That is, around 0.2% per annum, which is a rounding error.

Let me just contrast this with Donald Trump today in Tokyo: Trump Slams Unfair Trade With Japan, Defends TPP Pullout.

President Donald Trump told a gathering of business leaders in Tokyo that Japan has an unfair advantage on trade and that he intends to fix that imbalance by making it easier to do business in the U.S.

“For the last many decades, Japan has been winning. You do know that,” he said Monday. “Right now our trade with Japan is not fair and it isn’t open.”

Trump laid out his complaints about how Japan treats the U.S. unfairly in his eyes, noting that few American cars are sold in Japan and making a plea for Japanese automakers to build more in the U.S.

“Try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over. That’s not too much to ask,” Trump said. “Is that rude to ask?”

As for the TPP, PDT added this.

“TPP was not the right idea,” Trump said on Monday. “I’m sure some of you in this room disagree, but ultimately I’ll be proven right.”

Trump said he envisions easing trade restrictions in another way, outside the TPP framework, but offered few details beyond saying that he personally had the power to speed business deals that had been hung up in the past.

He cited the Keystone and Dakota pipelines that he been held up under the Obama administration. “In my first week, I approved both,” Trump said.

Trump also took credit for recent record stock market highs and an addition 2 million workers in the workforce, saying: “I’ve reduced regulations terrifically if I do say so myself.”

Free trade is easy if you really want it. Just cut all trade barriers in your own home market and watch the benefits roll in. What benefits are they? I will leave that to others.

This entry was posted in Australian Story, Economics and economy. Bookmark the permalink.

61 Responses to Managed trade is not free trade

  1. Ubique

    Free trade is a wonderful boon as long as its genuine and not just a recipe for the destruction of your balance of trade with the flood of imports paid for with an avalanche of borrowed money as per President Obama’s formulation for the impoverishment of America.

  2. Ubique

    Free trade is a wonderful boon as long as it’s genuine and not just a recipe for the destruction of your balance of trade with the flood of imports paid for with an avalanche of borrowed money as per President Obama’s formulation for the impoverishment of America.

  3. RobK

    How lucky the US is to have someone in there. batting for their interests.

  4. Pyrmonter

    The comments on this thread will be a good test of whether there is anyone left with a shred of an understanding of trade left commenting on the Cat. Dr Kates, I suggest you check in at, say, post 50 with a review of the comments, as trade brings out even more nonsense than macro.

  5. Sinclair Davidson

    Autarky is good because … Trump?

    Now I’m happy to believe that Trump is doing good work on the deregulation front but his anti-trade position is a problem. This whole argument at trade deals are bad because they don’t reflect actual free trade is one that I associate with the idiot left.

  6. Richard Bender

    Free trade is a wonderful boon as long as its genuine and not just a recipe for the destruction of your balance of trade with the flood of imports paid for with an avalanche of borrowed money as per President Obama’s formulation for the impoverishment of America.

    Yes, how dare those nasty American consumers choose to purchase the goods that meet their needs, even if they are manufactured overseas. Outrageous. Trump should put a stop to it and force them to buy inferior locally made goods to ensure that there is not trade ‘imbalance’.

  7. Nathan

    For those of you that are confused by the balance of trade, you need to read your Bastiat:

    https://mises.org/library/balance-trade

  8. Fisky

    Free trade is a good, but we don’t want cuck trade. That’s what we have now. We are getting raped by these dumb trade deals.

  9. Fisky

    Sometimes a temporary tariff is the only path to log term free trade which we all support and cherish. But it’s gotta be a big temporary tariff. 45% tariffs should get the Chinks talking sense about trade.

  10. Peter Gallagher

    1. This is not data: it’s an estimate based on a model (GTAP, owned by Purdue). So only someone who believes e.g. television news is a close representation of the world would accept it as anything but a guess.
    2. Even if the chart got some things right, it ignores one BIG thing consumers really care about: product variety. We’re a thousand times better off with markets that are more open than they were in the ‘80s because we no longer have to choose only between Holdens, Falcons and Magnas.
    3. EVERY economy that has done “well” since 1945 has done so by exploiting the opportunites available in world markets. And, there is a “dose effect”: those that were more dedicated to doing so did proportionately better than most on measures such as GDP/capita.
    4. [Further to #3] The “Lerner equivalence” (that a tax on imports is equivalent to a tax on exports) is one of those eye-opening experiences/demonstrations of Econ. 101 that every undergrad remembers for the rest of their career. Or should… because it’s confirmed over and over again by experience. Our prosperity depends MUCH more on we do to ourselves than on anything foreigners do.
    5. The only thing that matters about the “real wages” number is the sign. Consisent with standard theory, it’s positive given that AU production is unlikely to be labor intensive (so trade liberalization does not differentially reduce returns to labor). The magnitude is, as you say, unimportant.
    6. If you agree with R. Reagan (as I do) that government is never the solution but always the problem, you can be confident that “free trade” means fewer problems. Freer enterprise — the happy correlative of freer trade — will supply the solutions.

  11. Anto

    Free trade is easy if you really want it. Just cut all trade barriers in your own home market and watch the benefits roll in.

    Err, no. If you just cut trade barriers in your own country, but don’t insist that your trading partners do the same, you are crucifying your own workforce, to the benefit of your “partners”.

    It’s the equivalent of a fixed game of football, where the other team starts with 20% more players than your own.

    Free trade is fair trade. However, what has been put up to the populations of the West as “free”, is nothing of the sort. Instead, it is a form of international aid, whereby we allow them to have free(-ish) access to our markets, but they are allowed to retain all kinds of actual and effective tariffs/barriers to their own.

    How can a country with, say, a $15/hr minimum wage compete with a country which pays its workers $15 per week? We are slowly transferring all of our wealth to the rest of the world, because we are not prepared to negotiate “fair” (two-way) trade agreements with them. Quid pro quo is the sin qua non of all private and national agreements since time immemorial. If you don’t start your negotiations on this basis, and if the ultimate contract does not have these characteristics, one of the parties will end up extremely unhappy.

    The “just remove your own barriers” argument seems to be premised on the childish assumption that no-one will take advantage of you if you unilaterally throw yourself open to the third world, and its array of brutal, slave-like or feudal regimes. If we do that, then the lowest common denominator will eventually prevail.

    Libertarianism requires that everyone you deal with agrees to play by your rules. If they don’t, then you refuse to play until they agree, because they are not abiding by your rules. It doesn’t require you to say, “Here is my land, here is my job, here is my wealth – take it, if you will.”

    If you are so apathetic and weak that you surrender to the many tyrants and injustices in this world, then you cannot cry in your beer when they are taken from you.

  12. Tel

    Err, no. If you just cut trade barriers in your own country, but don’t insist that your trading partners do the same, you are crucifying your own workforce, to the benefit of your “partners”.

    Hopefully that will teach them what happens when you join a union.

    In all seriousness, Australia made itself uncompetitive by choice, and once that’s done then where to go after that? If you keep the borders closed, then essentially you hand over all capital to the union “hold up” problem because they can just shut down any industry at any time. If you open the border to goods (please note: goods are not equivalent to people, even though both have a monetary value) then you undermine most of the unions and force the survivors to work for a living (although the transport workers end up king of the heap) but as you say the overall workforce takes a beating.

    I’m in the software industry and we have the most open border in the world, which is the Internet. I can tell you that foreign competition most certainly keeps down wages, but on the other hand there’s no unions, low barriers to entry, and Australian software developers are good because they have to be. Then again, Australian garment workers have been totally obliterated (hard to compete with Mexico and Bangladesh) and Australian steel workers are looking in a precarious position (can’t produce the quality of German steel, nor compete with the bulk cheap crap which is Chinese steel).

  13. Tel

    This whole argument at trade deals are bad because they don’t reflect actual free trade is one that I associate with the idiot left.

    OK, so explain why the TPP needs to be more than 5000 pages long…

    Is that normal with actual free trade?

  14. Hugh

    “How can a country with, say, a $15/hr minimum wage compete with a country which pays its workers $15 per week?” … “Libertarianism requires that everyone you deal with agrees to play by your rules.”

    Anto: libertarianism/laissez-faire is pretty much antithetical to a “rule”/law of minimum wages.

  15. RobK

    “OK, so explain why the TPP needs to be more than 5000 pages long…
    This is my query too. The impression I get is it is Trumps also. As I understand it there are few, if any, bona fide free traders.

  16. Malcolm

    Trump has done nothing on deregulation. He just talks and tweets. Kates is now a protectionist. If Trump brought communism to the US Kates would be celebrating. In Kates’ eyes Trump can do no wrong. Ergo Kates is senile.

  17. Defender of the faith

    Let’s see. Is Kates anti free trade? Or not? He loves Trump, who is a total throwback on trade but here he equivocates? Or not?
    Come out Steve. Are you in the closet on this??

  18. Snoopy

    Trump has done nothing on deregulation.

    Bullshit.

  19. Paul Farmer

    For mine the figure that doesn’t look correct is real consumption. Free trade allows you to pay less for traded merchandise raising your real standard of living , yet this says 2 % only. I think the real number is much higher particularly with the rise of China in recent decades wholesale reducing the price of so many goods.

    The products we consume changes over time and our ability to change preferences is impeded without free trade. To go off on a tangent , this is why the soviet bloc countries got let behind post world war 2. Free trade is worth it just for technology transfer reasons , productivity reasons and competition reasons before you even count the wealth effects from cheaper goods. We also consume way more technology products today then we did in 1986 and the price of this stuff is far cheaper now for far better technology then 31 years ago, so I am going to call bullshit on the 2 % figure.

    Also from a technical point of view, if imports are cheaper and costing us less , that adds up to less GDP , so again the old chestnut of GDP accounting is not an ideal way to measure the gains from free trade as you’re not measuring how much income you have freed up to spend on other stuff.

    A few are making comments you just export away jobs with free trade. That’s true but it depends on what timescale due you wanted receive your enema that is coming whether you want it or not ? If we are losing jobs, then the global market place is sending you a signal that it’s no longer sensible to produce those goods here. You skill up and you remain globally competitive , but the world doesn’t owe you a free lunch. You ignore market prices, tax your competitive advantages such as cheap energy , have an inefficient govt sector , over regulate and maintain tariffs , you will end up with a far worse problem in the long run than let market forces run their course in the short term. Yes people get hurt but that’s why we have a political process and a welfare state , but you don’t ignore the underlying economics otherwise we all end up far poorer and then the welfare state itself becomes unsustainable.

  20. OneWorldGovernment

    Meh!

    Don’t you scum understand that the Obami and Bushes made the modern world?

    Just ask the American state that should be bombed back to the stone age because they keep electing McCain.

  21. OneWorldGovernment

    If you want managed trade then check out the Trans Pacific Partnership.

    No wonder the ACCC is all for it.

  22. W Hogg

    Here’s how to maximise wealth:

    1). Create a plan for free trade
    2) Don’t fell your trading partners that you are planning it
    3) Instead, threaten the opposite so that they fear that you’re crazy and will start a Depression with a trade war
    4) When your trading partners concede and drop tariffs and reduce IP theft, then see 1) and implement it.

    The Autistic-Libertarians don’t realise that if you do the free trade stuff but ALSO get other countries to drop THEIR trade barriers, that’s by definition better than just doing the free trade stuff. To argue otherwise is to believe that China makes the US BETTTER off by stealing their IP and blocking their exports.

  23. struth

    Free trade is a two way street.
    Government restrictions tariffs etc either end equals no free trade.
    There is no actual free trade unless government is completely out of the picture in my view.
    It distorts a situation.
    Ir you are advocating for no restriction on imports you have got the right idea.
    If you are advocating for no restrictions on imports from a country that restricts your exports to them, you are technically known as a moron.

  24. Fisky

    Pyrmonter is a Merkelian libertarian who believes importing 2 million Muslim males is a very good free market policy.

  25. If you are advocating for no restrictions on imports from a country that restricts your exports to them, you are technically known as a moron.

    So… your own consumers enjoy cheap goods at the expense of Chinese workers and… that’s a bad thing?
    If it’s so cheap to buy from China, why don’t we do that and instead invest our capital in other things?

    To argue otherwise is to believe that China makes the US BETTTER off by stealing their IP and blocking their exports.

    What if I told you that the concept of intellectual property is a creation of the government and an artificial monopoly?

  26. BorisG

    Just ask the American state that should be bombed back to the stone age because they keep electing McCain.

    Poor voters forgot to ask for advice from morons like you.

  27. OneWorldGovernment

    The TPP is one of the greatest rip off boondoggles in the history of the world.

    It will justify a bureaucracy that exceeds ALL our government departments.

    Agenda 21 is nothing in comparison.

    The TPP will control everything including if you try to grow some food in your back yard.

  28. Fisky

    Banning immigration while slapping 45% tariffs on China would lead to an unprecedented explosion in wealth and prosperity in this country. It would change the whole game forever!

  29. OneWorldGovernment

    BorisG
    #2545304, posted on November 7, 2017 at 3:02 am

    Just ask the American state that should be bombed back to the stone age because they keep electing McCain.

    Poor voters forgot to ask for advice from morons like you.

    G’day Boris.

    How’s the gulag?

  30. struth

    You’ve got to make money before you can buy from the Chinese , rich.

    Are you saying we should not be able to export to them freely as well, to earn the money to pay for their goods?
    What absolutely stupidity.
    Unless of course you are Chinese.

    Consuming cannot occur without the means to pay for it.

    Any poor person will tell you this.

  31. OneWorldGovernment

    Fisky
    #2545309, posted on November 7, 2017 at 3:06 am

    Banning immigration while slapping 45% tariffs on China would lead to an unprecedented explosion in wealth and prosperity in this country. It would change the whole game forever!

    Haven’t we done that already.

    Health and Education are the only growth ‘industries’ in Australia.

  32. struth

    To me, the answer is no tariff protection on both sides.
    If you are dealing with a country that restricts your ability to export to them while giving them free access to export to you, you are a complete tool.
    What I see Trump doing is to try to get countries blocking American imports to open up.
    If they don’t, then reciprocal restrictions are being threatened.
    A perfectly acceptable action.
    Trump does this because he explicitly understands the power he yeilds in the bargaining because he actually believes in the power of western capitalism and trade.

  33. You’ve got to make money before you can buy from the Chinese , rich.

    Yes you do have to make money. But if the Chinese are selling products cheaper than you can make it yourself?? Shouldn’t you make something else then?

    Are you saying we should not be able to export to them freely as well, to earn the money to pay for their goods?

    If the Chinese and Japanese want to cut off their own noses to spite their faces, what are we to stop them? Anyway they will buy what they want, when they want. Tariffs aren’t stopping the Chinese from emptying Woolworth’s shelves of milk powder.

    That being said, gunboat diplomacy is one of the good uses of a government’s military.

    What absolutely stupidity.Unless of course you are Chinese.

    Not an argument. By the way, I do happen to be Chinese.

    Consuming cannot occur without the means to pay for it.

    That’s like saying the farmer down the road must be stripped of his farm because you cannot afford to buy from him. There are unlimited jobs if you so want one; you just have to have the willingness to work. No amount of automation will ever change that.

    To me, the answer is no tariff protection on both sides.

    Tariffs are self-inflicted economic injuries, because the people who pay tariffs are citizens in the host country. If that’s the case, isn’t the problem self-correcting, and you are making a meal of a non-problem?

  34. struth

    Yes you do have to make money. But if the Chinese are selling products cheaper than you can make it yourself?? Shouldn’t you make something else then?

    Yes you should.
    But there should be no barrier to selling that to the Chinese, imposed by the Chinese.
    Simples.

    If the Chinese and Japanese want to cut off their own noses to spite their faces, what are we to stop them?

    It does cut off their noses, agreed.
    But it also cuts off ours, by restricting our ability to sell to them.

    Consuming cannot occur without the means to pay for it.

    That’s like saying the farmer down the road must be stripped of his farm because you cannot afford to buy from him. There are unlimited jobs if you so want one; you just have to have the willingness to work. No amount of automation will ever change that.

    What rubbish.

    Your assumptions are made taking for granted we are already and will always be wealthy.

    Access to markets.
    You are advocating they get free access to ours while we are denied theirs, in this hypothetical situation, who wins?
    You certainly are Chinese!

  35. But it also cuts off ours

    No it doesn’t. It’s just signalling the market to spend capital in other ways, or find ways of circumventing the boycott and tariff wall because high prices will be the reward.

    by restricting our their citizens ability to buy from us.

    Fixed

    taking for granted we are already and will always be wealthy.

    What if I told you that wealth isn’t actually a state, it’s a mindset? In the top 10% of income earners, there is 50% turnover every year.
    There was a documentary where a man sought to demonstrate this point. Wealthy, he parachuted into a town as an experiment with nothing but the clothes on his back. He could offer them none of his wealth or money.
    By a month, he had a downpayment on 3 houses. How? He brokered his way into being wealthier than all of the other townspeople. The two lessons were: 1) you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate and 2) JS Mill’s fourth law: demand for goods is not demand for labour.

    advocating they get free access to ours while we are denied theirs, in this hypothetical situation, who wins?

    We win, because we get cheap goods and can specialise in other things?

    You certainly are Chinese!

    Our legacy, as the j3ws of the east, is to be willing to work harder than everyone else. If you fear that, you join the MPs on Hansard who feared them in 1901, enacting the White Australia Policy. Such work ethic is completely alien, and fear is well founded, yes?

  36. EvilElvis

    I’d only take Trumps first statement as a nudge, nudge, wink, wink, bring the car manufacturing back to the US. He doesn’t care for stretch Navigators bog lapping in Tokyo, he just wants jobs for the flyover folk. Free trade will never essentially happen as no two places are equally poised regarding labour, currency differences, access to cheap power, the list goes on. We’ve regulated ourselves out of any area of advantage and haven’t realised that there’s only 25 million of us, small scale compared to the big population centres.

  37. Malcolm Thomas

    More evidence that Trump is a whack job.
    What is embarrassing for Cats is that his simplistic, mercantalist mindset seems to be shared by others here (eg Anto).

  38. Cynic of Ayr

    OK, my thinking, for what it’s worth.
    IF Australia has a Trade Agreement with anyone, and the nett trade is in the other’s favour, (which seems to be the case almost everywhere) how can that possibly be good for Australia? How? You tell me how a trade imbalance generates wealth?
    IF Australia runs down it’s own abilities, because it’s “cheaper” to source from overseas, than (as often predicted) the crap hits the fan, and we then have no choice but to source overseas.
    IF Australia runs down an Industry, the mantra is, “Those people will get other jobs.” This mantra exclusively comes from those who will not be affected by any change, or if they are, it merely means shifting their lazy arse from the office they are in now, to one down the street. They haven’t lost their house, or their living.
    ALL workers can be retrained! Bullshit! The jackasses just mentioned, have one trade. Shift this piece of paper from this side of the desk to the other side.
    Here’s a fifty odd year old, with a fully paid for house, working as a skilled steel worker (‘frinstance.) We’ll turn him into an office worker! Or a Taxi Driver. Or a Barista. Or, he can wait on tables. After all, he’s only a bloody worker.
    You so-called intellectuals, and theorists, don’t give a shit about anyone but yourselves, and the last piece of bloody paper you initialed and filed.

  39. struth

    What if I told you that wealth isn’t actually a state, it’s a mindset? In the top 10% of income earners, there is 50% turnover every year.

    There was a documentary where a ma

    n sought to demonstrate this point. Wealthy, he parachuted into a town as an experiment with nothing but the clothes on his back. He could offer them none of his wealth or money.
    By a month, he had a downpayment on 3 houses. How? He brokered his way into being wealthier than all of the other townspeople. The two lessons were: 1) you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate and 2) JS Mill’s fourth law: demand for goods is not demand for labour.

    What if I told you that wealth isn’t actually a state, it’s a mindset? In the top 10% of income earners, there is 50% turnover every year.

    I’m sorry I took you on.
    You’re deluded.

    The example given tells me that knowledge is power and wealth.
    Now if that one rich guy was parachuted into an area with just the clothes on his back and uneducated in wealth creation, markets and shares etc, it would still have bugger all to do with what we are talking about.

    Being Chinese I don’t expect you to get wealth creation and the fact that there is not a finite limit .

    You all are fairly new to capitalism.
    We are just not allowed to practice it here.

    You believe giving free access to our Market to your countrymen, while denying our access to yours, is beneficial to us!
    We’ve got to look somewhere else, just leave China to do what it likes while denying us what we give you.
    According to you, we should just go trade with everyone else.
    Yes we should.
    Trade should be a level playing field with the middle men (the governments) not interfering at all.
    If one does, then it can’t be detrimental to one side.
    This only occurs due to socialist domestic policies of those governments in the first place.
    And no amount of side tracking gobbled-gook will pull you out of this.

    Special rules for the Chinese.

    Trump will sort you out.

  40. EvilElvis

    More evidence that Trump is a whack job.
    What is embarrassing for Cats is that his simplistic, mercantalist mindset seems to be shared by others here (eg Anto).

    Simplicity is what is required. There’s plenty of smart, educated people spruiking complexities, complexities which are always a get out of jail card to do nothing.

    Cynic of Ayr
    #2545773, posted on November 7, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Hear, hear!

  41. James In Footscray

    I have a trade deficit with my local Coles – I buy more from them than they do from me. It’s really unfair.

  42. James In Footscray

    I think it was Grant King from the BCA on 774 yesterday, saying how the TPP’s a good thing since free trade brings prosperity – and that business should have a central voice in the TPP negotiations.

    Hang on …

    They’ve made the economic argument. Why do they need to be there? What more do they need to say?

    It couldn’t be that business wants to make special deals, the very opposite of free trade? Could it?

  43. max

    free trade means the absence of government interference with trade: no tariffs, quotas, subsidies, or other interventions, explicit or implicit.

    Free trade requires no treaties. All that is needed is to remove (unilaterally or multilaterally) artificial barriers to trade: England did this in the mid-nineteenth century, Hong Kong in the mid-twentieth century. In 1789, the Constitution of the United States need just fifty-four words to establish free trade among the states. NAFTA, the “free” trade agreement between Canada, Mexico, and the United States has two thousand pages, nine hundred of which are tariff rates.

    https://mises.org/blog/free-trade-versus-free-trade-agreements

    free person should have right to buy car ( or anything else ) form any one and from anywhere he/she likes.
    as a buyer I am interested in quality and price nothing else.

  44. James In Footscray

    @max I agree, of course, Max, but do you see agreements as a step in the right direction? One that’s politically palatable?

  45. max

    “but do you see agreements as a step in the right direction? One that’s politically palatable?”

    no.

  46. Rev. Archibald

    Shouldn’t you make something else then?

    ..
    What if you can’t make anything cheaper than them?
    What makes you think the things that make you uncompetitive don’t effect every sector, against a billion people prepared to do fucking anything to win?
    Maybe you’re just fucked whatever.
    What do we do then? Just die?
    Name one area where we produce cheaper than China.
    Can we manufacture cheaper than China?
    Make energy cheaper? Farm cheaper? Mine cheaper?
    What. Fucking what?
    The only thing that is cheaper here is the price of out whorish politicians and media sluts.

  47. Rev. Archibald

    Think I can answer my own question.
    I know what you do when you can’t compete in anything.
    Put more money into fucking real estate and have the highest house prices in the world.
    You fuckwits.

  48. Rev. Archibald

    Australia is the spastic retard you pat on the head and bullshit that eventually they will find sonething they’re good at.

  49. Rev. Archibald

    At least retards have an excuse for being completely less than useless. What is ours?

    There is something about this continent.
    Something in the air and soil.
    An essense of complacent stupidity.
    The indigenes were here for forty thousand years and left behind nothing but a small variety of bent sticks.
    What the fucking fuck were they doing all that time you could ask.
    Probably the same as we are.
    Crapping on with a bunch of self congratulatory bullshit complacent fairy shit

  50. Rev. Archibald

    It’s OK.
    We’re the clever country.
    So clever.
    Such a bright future making cups of green tea and giving blowjobs to our new Chinese billionaire overlords while their well paid traitor lickspittle minion stooges lecture us about OH&S, equality and greenhouse gas.

  51. Snoopy

    Hi ya, Rev. I bought a new pair of thongs today. $1.50 at KMart. Not on sale, that’s the regular price. Made in China. You would think the supply chain alone would cost more than $1.50. Not to mention the instore costs.

  52. Rev. Archibald

    You would have to assume most of your $1.50 goes to various Australian parts of the operation you mentioned, and winds up paying for fat lazy middle aged slags to loaf about in office space and gossip.

  53. John Constantine

    Australia can produce quality food that probably won’t kill you, the proof of this is the eagerness with which our best produce is exported to foreign elites.

    Australia’s proles are then fed the imported sludge the supermarkets bring in to cap prices.

    Producing anything in Australia with ruinables electricity, crushing compliance burdens, insane State taxes, charges and larcenies is hardly free trade.

    Then the supermarkets bring in foreign pork drowned in marinade that has been stored and unsaleable for years, simply to drive down Australian prices.

    Hey, colesworths, the 1990’s called, they want their porkbellies back.

  54. What if you can’t make anything cheaper than them?
    What makes you think the things that make you uncompetitive don’t effect every sector, against a billion people prepared to do fucking anything to win?

    You step up or you lose. The same thing that makes the Chinese industrious prevents them from inventing meaningful things. They work hard instead of working smart… they believe they can invent things by having hordes of drones in a lab en masse. Let them make the stuff, while we invent it.

    There is also a reason why there are hordes of 代购 (dai gou) exporting milk powder back to China.

  55. Malcolm Thomas

    Struth you are such a mercantalist dill. Your simplistic reciprocity argument has been debunked several times in the literature. As a first step in trying to understand the issues you have written at such length about, you need to Google floating exchange rate.

  56. Rev. Archibald

    You step up or you lose. The same thing that makes the Chinese industrious prevents them from inventing meaningful things. They work hard instead of working smart…

    ..
    Utter horseshit.
    Their average IQ is higher.
    So your theory of out competing with them on working smart is going nowhere.
    I guess that leaves lying down and dying,
    Now I know why all the smart carnts are traitors.
    Nice going, dickwad.

  57. struth

    Struth you are such a mercantalist dill. Your simplistic reciprocity argument has been debunked several times in the literature. As a first step in trying to understand the issues you have written at such length about, you need to Google floating exchange rate.

    So must be Trump.
    I don’t need to google floating exchange rate.

    I am very much aware of the tendency for aloof wankers to over complicate a simple issue.

    We are better farmers in practice than most of the world.
    We can compete with anyone.
    The Chinese are still bagging grain and loading it into carts in some areas.
    Their use of human shit as fertilizer, that sees the seeds of tomatoes etc growing in the corn is legendary.

    (although there are areas of Australia that use human shit)

    We have the resources to be a super power.
    We have a very cheap power supply, if used.
    Etc Etc.

    I am not in Rev Archibald’s camp.
    High IQ under a communist government is irrelevant.

    I am up for the competition and not scared of it at all, if we got our own house in order.

    Population is bullshit.
    If that was the case, the USA would never have been a super power and China would easily have been for many years.
    It’s about freedom, and freedom to trade, and freedom to produce, and competition.

    However, you are a complete nutter if you think we should give China unlimited access to our market while they close theirs to us.
    As Trump says, and quite rightly, fair trade.
    Complete free trade is the goal.
    When government either side, steps in and restricts it, then it isn’t free trade anymore.

    If you listen to this Chinese dill, he’d have China bombing the market with substandard shit from slave labour, and us unable to sell into theirs.
    “just go sell somewhere else”

    Good way to keep communism alive in China, with it’s slave labour population, besides all the other points mentioned.

  58. tgs

    TIL that the concept of competitive advantage has been debunked and the cat is now mercantilist.

    Jesus.

  59. Their average IQ is higher.

    Just as well inventiveness isn’t a function of just IQ. It’s a function of freedom and the entrepreneurial spirit as well. There is a reason that the highest GDP places in Asia are Singapore and Hong Kong- they combine Asian industriousness with the Western view of law and freedom. Yet Silicone Valley has not sprung up in either of those countries because the Chinese do not value individualism or freedom, but collectivism and duty.

    And also note how many “smart” professors are instead advocating a rule by philosopher kings, rather than inventing new things in their spare time. Tenure rots the brain in that way.

  60. Rev. Archibald

    I am not in Rev Archibald’s camp.

    ..
    Yes you are.
    You just havent read me right.
    These free trade at any cost pricks come in two camps.
    Those who genuinely thought it would transform our enemies into democratic, freedom loving friends and so enmesh our economies as to make war a thing of the past.
    These people are idealists and in the face of the reality that we are geting our arses kicked they refuse to let go of the dream.
    The other camp were just paid for by foriegn powers.
    We had plenty of good trading partners.
    We did not need to use trade as a tool to transform the entire globe.
    We dont need to continue to play that game when it is obviously a losing one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *