Should Australia protect its industries?

I gave a talk today about manufacturing and protection. Paul Howes was on the panel with me – we spoke at each other for half an hour and then answered questions from the floor. For people interested in my slides they can be downloaded here. Based on some of Paul’s comments on dumping, it is clear that he (or his speech writer) had read the anti-dumping threads.

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62 Responses to Should Australia protect its industries?

  1. Infidel Tiger

    Based on some of Paul’s comments on dumping, it is clear that he (or his speech writer) had read the anti-dumping threads.

    Catallaxy influencing public policy yet again. It won’t be long until to Australia ceases.

  2. TN

    Reading an outline of Howe’s speech in today’s SMH, it is clear that he has very little idea of how economies work. Its all simplistic, partial equilibrium ‘being undercut by imports costs jobs” rhetoric, with plenty of concern about manufacturers but none evident for the consumers of manufactures.

  3. ar

    it is clear that he (or his speech writer) had read the anti-dumping threads.

    There’s hope for leftists yet…

  4. m0nty

    Someone… other than the posters… reads the Cat threads? That could be injurious to a person’s health. The poor speech writer.

  5. m0nty

    I can only assume Sinc spoke the first three words of his slides:

    Short answer: No.

    … and then sat down again to listen to Howe.

  6. Gabrielle

    Good on Paul. Now if only Abbott would read the Cat….

  7. Infidel Tiger

    Someone… other than the posters… reads the Cat threads?

    They have to sort through a lot of shit. But make no mistake adding pineapple to a burger and jam to a lamington will soon be banned.

  8. m0nty

    One question out of that slideshow:

    If mining is replacing manufacturing’s share of GDP yet not replacing manufacturing’s contribution to employment numbers, why haven’t we got high unemployment… i.e., where is the jobs growth coming from?

  9. m0nty

    Good on Paul. Now if only Abbott would read the Cat….

    If Abbott wants to hear the opinions of out-of-touch, abusive blowhards, he need only talk to his caucus.

  10. Sinclair Davidson

    Jobs growth in services

  11. Gabrielle

    If Abbott wants to hear the opinions of out-of-touch, abusive blowhards,

    You’re not really an abusive blowhard despite what everyone tells me. 🙂

  12. Infidel Tiger

    .e., where is the jobs growth coming from?

    People who used to build widgets now run web based fantasy football site.

  13. ar

    If Abbott wants to hear the opinions of out-of-touch, abusive blowhards, he need only talk to his caucus.

    All the more reason to read the Cat…

  14. If Abbott wants to hear the opinions of out-of-touch, abusive blowhards

    He should call the cfmeu

  15. Token

    Give M0nty a break today, he got all mushy between the ears when listening to Oblah-blah mouth sweet nothing’s and it is infecting his writing.

  16. Token

    It makes sense that if Howls was going to debate Sync he visit to do research to see if he could get some insights. Reading the document on SMH he really needs to drop by more often.

  17. ar

    Oblah-blah mouth sweet nothing’s and it is infecting his writing

    Fortunately Obama’s gone now so his writings can return to normal level crap.

    And poor Julia can go back to kissing Tim…

  18. entropy

    One question out of that slideshow:

    If mining is replacing manufacturing’s share of GDP yet not replacing manufacturing’s contribution to employment numbers, why haven’t we got high unemployment… i.e., where is the jobs growth coming from?

    visual evidence that a penny can drop.

  19. .

    If mining is replacing manufacturing’s share of GDP yet not replacing manufacturing’s contribution to employment numbers, why haven’t we got high unemployment… i.e., where is the jobs growth coming from?

    You are truly like an unruly yapping little terrier bastard biting the hand that feeds you.

    The answer is services to mining, construction and finance.

  20. .

    visual evidence that a penny can drop

    Yep – and that the “stimulus” set us on a low growth path and we haven’t recovered from the downturn because of it. Check the total labour force numbers monty, including the changes in discouraged workers, participation rates, hours worked, unit labour costs and total employment.

  21. “Now if only Abbott would read the Cat…”

    I thought JC is Abbott.

  22. Jim Rose

    who needs protection from lower prices?

  23. Gab

    I thought JC is Abbott.

    If only!

  24. Bartelby

    America decided to de-industrialise and created their greatest rival in the Asia-Pacific – China – and now they decide to weaponise the Asia-Pacific to protect themself from their decision to engage in labour arbitrage.

  25. .

    What a steaming load. US and China don’t want to go to war and China will not yield to pressure. China is already losing manufacturing jobs. US subsidies of manufacturing cost an average of around $200 000 per job per annum (this is about five years old).

  26. m0nty

    The answer is services to mining, construction and finance.

    But wouldn’t the drop-off in services to the manufacturing industry offset that?

    What I was after was hard figures, not ideology-based speculation. If the shortfall was made up by government jobs, then bully for your argument, entropy and Dot. Give me stats and I’ll shut up, as another famous moustachioed man said once.

  27. m0nty

    I thought JC is Abbott.

    JC is the picture of Dorian Gray that Abbott has stored in his attic.

  28. JC

    Bart
    You have to stop spamming the site with deranged turgid crap, you lunatic. Seriously, if stupid stuff posted on the web was a crime, you would be sitting on death row without any possibility of parole and next up to receive a lethal injection.

    America and China do not want to go to war, you granite head. It’s in the US interest to see an economically vibrant peaceful China buying its goods and services.

    Similarly China does not want to go to war with the US and wants to see America dealing with its cancerous debt position.

    You really ought to be on death row.

  29. Bartelby

    The US is buying Chinese goods, not the other way around.

    The Chinese want to destroy America economically and politically, but this does not necessarily mean war.

    America would prefer to remain the only global hegemon, but again war is never inevitable.

  30. JC

    The US is buying Chinese goods, not the other way around.

    http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html

    As I said, death row.

    The Chinese want to destroy America economically and politically, but this does not necessarily mean war.

    As I said, death row.

    America would prefer to remain the only global hegemon, but again war is never inevitable.

    Please leave the site.

  31. You really ought to be on death row.

    JC, I agreee with your POV that Bartleby is a fucking moron who we all wish would leave us alone and find something more meaningful to do with his time, but that really is going too far.

  32. JC

    Pert

    What I said on another thread was that if stupidity was a crime he would be on death row. My comment was reminder of that comment.

    I don’t wish death on the moron of course. But I certainly wish he’d take his rank stupidity to LP.

  33. JC

    Pert:

    Look at the swill the fucking moron comes up with. He thinks the US doesn’t export anything to China. He deserves a head lock for an hour. That’s about the stupidest leftie comment I’ve seen in a while from any lefttarded loon.

  34. JC

    Bart, you are a first rate moron. Your comments are contemptuous.

  35. Boris

    Sync, how can a developed country without resources (say Japan or Israel) pay for Chinese large imports?

    Aren’t these countries going to experience decline of their living standards and their (partial and gradual) equlibration with that in China?

  36. Bartelby

    Perturbed and JC – You are Hayekian halfwits on steroids!

  37. Bartelby

    The trade balance favours China, not the US, not matter what a Hayekian Hack may say.

  38. .

    The trade balance favours China, not the US, not matter what a Hayekian Hack may say.

    I’m gonna be nice.

    Trade balances are meaningless.

    If a dude in Sydney buys some furniture from a guy in Newcastle, does Sydney owe Newcastle anything?

    No.

    Trade balances were once important but only to clerks who had to keep track of gold backing the currencies paid offshore to buy the goods or services.

    Since trade has to be mutually advantageous – the trade balance favours the Chinese selling and favours Americans buying. Everyone needs consumer goods and some inputs are better off being imported, due to specialisation. An economy of 1.3 billion has got more potential specialisation than one of 320 million.

    The Chinese want to destroy America economically and politically, but this does not necessarily mean war.

    Funny way of doing that, becoming a supplier of least cost and buying their debt which they can devalue any time without contractual repercussions…

  39. .

    What I was after was hard figures, not ideology-based speculation. If the shortfall was made up by government jobs, then bully for your argument, entropy and Dot.

    You little cock faced turd. I told you to go and look up the ABS data.

  40. Bartelby

    The only reason the Chinese are selling anything to the Americans is because the US decided to deindustrialise and created a Chinese industrial revolution in the process at the expense of Americans.

  41. JamesK

    The clown speaketh:

    The only reason the Chinese are selling anything to the Americans is because the US decided to deindustrialise and created a Chinese industrial revolution in the process at the expense of Americans.

    Who in the US decided and when, clown?

    And what is the clown’s preferred conspiracy putative motivation?

  42. Bartelby

    American political and economic elites from the Carter administration onwards decided on this policy. Look at the think tanks that emerged at the time and since then for all the evidence of the inchoate way that elite opinion moves from theory to decisions.

  43. daddy dave

    http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html

    JC, those figures support Bartleby’s claim that the US is buying Chinese goods, but far less the other way around.

    China is benefiting because the US is strangling itself with debt and excessive spending and regulation. Therefore, a lot of manufacturing that would once have been established in the US is now established and run on Chinese soil.

  44. daddy dave

    JC your link seems to prove Bartleby right. ie the US buys a lot more Chinese stuff than the Chinese buy US stuff.

  45. Christoff-Marie

    Obviously Bartleby is pointing to something very real here, and its moronic to be in denial about it.

    Whereas the theory of comparative advantage proves that all countries can expand and enhance their manufacturing power at the same time, and trade together………

    ….. while this is INDEED THE CASE …. Nevertheless …..

    if we have a currency/banking/money system so unsound, that it persistently leaves us with financial imbalance and an over-valued currency…… then we will be undermined, and eventually destroyed.

    Its almost the exact same effect as if we had persistently over-valued our currency, by way of continually borrowing foreign reserves, and used them to buyback AUD, under the prior Bretton-Woods system.

    It wouldn’t matter if we were a nation of supermen who never slept. It wouldn’t matter how strong our position started out as. It wouldn’t matter if we were a collection of racial groups gathered from all parts of the globe on the basis of their entrepreneurial ability. It would not matter what we put in the water.

    No matter how good we had things, the combination of persistent financial imbalance, and over-valued currency would do us in and destroy us in the long run.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    “Protection” is way too broad a term. Economic science would seem to rule out tariffs and subsidies, pretty much across the board. But economic science does not preclude us from correcting the current untenable situation by other measures.

    And another thing that Bartleby has a good chance of being right about:

    “The only reason the Chinese are selling anything to the Americans is because the US decided to deindustrialise and created a Chinese industrial revolution in the process at the expense of Americans”

    It has been the stated aim of more than one elite globalist group to deindustrialise the US as a major operational goal. We cannot really talk about “The US” as deciding to do this or that. But certain malign forces and organisations of a globalist orientation have made it the goal to wipe out our industrial capacity, but particularly the industrial capacity of the US.

    All they had to do to achieve this is gently push free trade believers just 5 degrees off course. That is our Sun Tzu world for us. Greens have legitimate concerns, and yet by pushing them a little out of whack all we get from them is lunacy. And now we see the same sort of skewing can happen to classical liberals, and with powerful effect.

  46. JamesK

    So Bartleby’s response to the simple who, when, why questions of his space-cadet assertions is – surprise, surprise – crappola:

    American political and economic elites from the Carter administration onwards decided on this policy. Look at the think tanks that emerged at the time and since then for all the evidence of the inchoate way that elite opinion moves from theory to decisions

  47. JC

    Dad

    JC your link seems to prove Bartleby right. ie the US buys a lot more Chinese stuff than the Chinese buy US stuff.

    This is what the economically ignorant dickhead said Dad.

    The US is buying Chinese goods, not the other way around.

    In other words China is not buying US goods. This is patently untrue.

    What is of course true is that Bart is a fucking moron.

  48. Christoff-Marie

    Obviously Bartelby’s statement was shorthand JC. Pull yourself together.

  49. Christoff-Marie

    No no its not crapola James K. You are crapola. Its a true statement:

    “American political and economic elites from the Carter administration onwards decided on this policy. Look at the think tanks that emerged at the time and since then for all the evidence of the inchoate way that elite opinion moves from theory to decisions”

    Quite accurate. Don’t be a moron about it.

  50. daddy dave

    In other words China is not buying US goods. This is patently untrue.

    It’s an exaggeration to say they’re buying no US goods, but they’re not buying much, compared to what they’re selling.

  51. JC

    They are buy 25% of what the US does. First off , so what, as nation to nation comparisons are pretty meaningless and secondly his statement is wrong.

    In fact the entire trade balance stuff is pretty meaningless anyway and serves as little more than an accounting entry and perhaps at times as a marker for immediate economic health. But that is about it.

  52. JC

    Obviously Bartelby’s statement was shorthand JC. Pull yourself together.

    Bird, fuck off. Go whine about Goldman Sachs.

  53. JC

    How meaningless are these comparisons?

    China is beginning to run a trade deficit. So how meaningful is the US/China trade position?

  54. daddy dave

    Fair enough. It was hyperbole and you called him on it. He was wrong and now it’s up to him to modify his position (or not).

    Only when people start with the agreed facts can we have a discussion about what those facts mean.

  55. daddy dave

    Obviously Bartelby’s statement was shorthand JC

    Yes but it was an exaggeration, and the intent was to produce an emotive response. A trade imbalance doesn’t set the sirens off nearly as much as one-way trade.

  56. Boris

    A previous thread shows that manufacturing in the US is not declining, but increasing. And in fact is not far behind that of China. But it is growing with a slower pace than in China.

    So what? No one explained here why the US needs manufacturing.

  57. Christoff-Marie

    “So what? No one explained here why the US needs manufacturing.”

    I’ll explain it to you Boris. Supposing the US doesn’t want to be dirt poor. They’ll need imports. Therefore they’ll need exports. Pretty simple when you think about it.

  58. .

    I’ll explain it to you Boris. Supposing the US doesn’t want to be dirt poor. They’ll need imports. Therefore they’ll need exports. Pretty simple when you think about it.

    Wrong.

  59. Christoff-Marie

    NO NO. Suppose the Americans don’t want to be dirt poor. They are going to need imports. Therefore they are going to need exports. Therefore they want powerful manufacturing.

    The list of other sustainable strategies for being able to increase your imports all the time, is short.

    Its only economics Mark. But I think its important.

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