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Thread: Tariffs

  1. #51
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    Edgar,

    Yes, "tend to" is the key phrase, because protectionism tends to reduce the costs of aggression between nations.

    Whether importing steel reduces national security depends on many things: where it is being imported from, how much is being imported, what kind of governments do these nations have, and what are the political relations among them? but whatever the answers to these questions, the relevent issue is the resulting trade off. On the one hand, national security may be endangered by importing all steel, but on the other hand, national security has been improved by strengthening trade relations. The question should not start "if there is an outbreak of hostilities ...," but should be "is the reduced chance of hostility worth the extra cost associated with defense in the unlikely case of hostility?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Edgar,

    Yes, "tend to" is the key phrase, because protectionism tends to reduce the costs of aggression between nations.

    Whether importing steel reduces national security depends on many things: where it is being imported from, how much is being imported, what kind of governments do these nations have, and what are the political relations among them? but whatever the answers to these questions, the relevent issue is the resulting trade off. On the one hand, national security may be endangered by importing all steel, but on the other hand, national security has been improved by strengthening trade relations. The question should not start "if there is an outbreak of hostilities ...," but should be "is the reduced chance of hostility worth the extra cost associated with defense in the unlikely case of hostility?"
    Don't forget there also tends to be more than just two parties involved.

    You are trading your steel with A who is fairly friendly, but then get blindsided by B, who isn't very friendly, etc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Don't forget there also tends to be more than just two parties involved.

    You are trading your steel with A who is fairly friendly, but then get blindsided by B, who isn't very friendly, etc
    And I didn't forget that, but actually wrote "what are the political relations among [a nation's trade partners]" when listing important issues to consider. But even then, the principle that trade reduces the incentive for international aggression still holds in all but the most far-fetched and strained examples. Moreover, it's self-reinforcing, i.e. trade begets more trade, further increasing the incentive to avoid violence.

    The problem, in my opinion, is that in areas of free trade, political power tends to centralise (as in the U.S. and E.U.). If we could somehow crack the nut of political decentralisation and competition, while maintaining free trade and migration, we'd be onto a winner.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    And what would happen without trade? Even when one trade partner is significantly more powerful than another, there is a greater incentive to avoid violence. It doesn't mean that conflict and aggression will not occur, but it raises the costs and reduces the benefits for all involved.
    There would still be trade - it would just be of a generally one-sided nature. That's what we call "colonization".

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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Yes it was. Read up on your history.

    "I guess we never should have had railroads in this country, then."

    Nice reading comprehension. We should never have had the government paying for the railroads in this country. God, you are dense sometimes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    There would still be trade - it would just be of a generally one-sided nature. That's what we call "colonization".
    Of course, because the word "trade" also describes the transfer of booty from conquered neighbours. Do muggers also trade with their victims? Whatever idiosyncratic meaning you associate with "trade" (and especially "free trade"), it was obviously not the same thing that I was talking about.

    Sometimes I think you are willing to sacrifice the appearence of being smart just to be argumentative.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    "I guess we never should have had railroads in this country, then."

    Nice reading comprehension. We should never have had the government paying for the railroads in this country. God, you are dense sometimes.
    If being dense toward normative but infeasible statements is wrong, then I don't wanna be right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    Of course, because the word "trade" also describes the transfer of booty from conquered neighbours. Do muggers also trade with their victims? Whatever idiosyncratic meaning you associate with "trade" (and especially "free trade"), it was obviously not the same thing that I was talking about.

    Sometimes I think you are willing to sacrifice the appearence of being smart just to be argumentative.
    Think laterally for once, will ya? Just because some situation doesn't mesh with whatever definition you've carved out for yourself, it doesn't mean that it isn't how it works in the real world.

    Rome burned Carthage to the ground and salted its earth when Rome decided they'd rather not be trade partners anymore, and would prefer to have direct access to the other's resources. Same with Britain and India. Same with France and West Africa. Same with any colonizer and its conquests.

    "Free" trade only happens when the two sides have enough guns (metaphorically speaking) pointed at each other to preclude any shenanigans by the other.

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    onemoretime,

    I should never have taken the bait. If you are not doing it on purpose to be annoying, then I am sorry.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    onemoretime,

    I should never have taken the bait. If you are not doing it on purpose to be annoying, then I am sorry.
    Be happy in what you are, I always say.

    Look, I am not combative with libertarians and neoliberals because I particularly like it, I am that way because 1) I'm very familiar with these philosophies, having once thought that way myself, and 2) these ways of thinking are incredibly harmful.

    It's "free" trade that gutted our industrial middle class and wiped out what was once the production powerhouse of the world - the one engine that created a true middle class which could live comfortably without debt. In the name of increased profits (for very little work), these jobs were slashed and shoved overseas where they would be done for a pittance, not by volition but by desperation. Meanwhile, the ones over here who fought the damn wars to secure this brave new world get left up shit's creek by corporate conglomerates who no longer give a damn about them, and a government who does nothing to protect them from the former.

    No longer having the same sort of wage increases consistent since World War II, these people sink themselves into debt to stave off the worst effects of inflation, exacerbating the effect as the money supply balloons due to all this false credit money. This continued until most of that money concentrated into an American's generally largest purchase: a house. Once this housing bubble collapsed, that money is gone, evaporated as people default, because it was never really there in the first place. This is why we're in a deflationary situation.

    So then, in the name of "free" trade, instead of keeping our bounty of resources (the source of all wealth) within the country to ease the pain of millions, people applaud and encourage the outsourcing of labor. What's funny is that the colonizer generally extracts the raw materials from a colony and sends them home to the colonizer's benefit. Now, we send raw materials from the "wealthy" nations to the poorer ones, but neither country benefits in proportion- it's the supranational corporation that does.

    The above ways of thinking espouse this arrangement of society with no consideration of who gets caught beneath its treads. This is a problem. Poverty is depressing. Some people respond to depression with melancholy. Others respond with extreme anger. It is the latter group that led to the uprising of totalitarian groups in the last century, as the laissez-faire government was proven ineffectual.

    I must do whatever I can from preventing that from happening here. So I apologize if I seem rude. However, the stakes are just too high for politeness.

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