Day By Day by The Great Chris Muir

Thursday, September 8, 2016

On Free Trade

See this Vox Day post:

The Libertarian Case for Free Trade

And please note that for the most of my short life I would have/did describe myself as a sort of Anarcho-Capitalist with Traditionalist leanings. (Warning: Language)

Fantasy and Reality, which will you choose? The life and preservation of the West and its cultures or universalism/internationism without self determination, which will you choose?

(warning: language)

This is all complete mental masturbation as there is no such thing as free trade except in the fantasy sense.

This simple truth kills the whole argument. Until there is a completely level playing field, there is no free trade.

As most countries view themselves as nation-states with national interests, it will ALWAYS be this way unless there is a One World Governmental body.

It seems that only the West is not allowed to seek its own best interests.

One side is playing the trade war and the West is lying down and spreading its collective legs.

When someone speaks the magic spell of free trade, they should be slapped accordingly. They are mentally masturbating to their own theoretical musings of a utopian/fantasy world and nothing more.

Free trade is internationalism/universalism. All cultures will have to be subsumed for it to exist (the benefit of the free movement of labour)

Free trade is utopian mind bullshit. Free trade is anti-West. As a former AnCap, I can't believe how long it took me to see what an autiste I was in this. Now I look at those who still believe this bullshit and wonder how can the intelligent be so damn stupid. They are either too involved with the theory and not the real world, or this is the other side of the communist/marxist coin as a Hegelian mambo death dance for the West.

Also from the comments:

1. James Dixon:
Seriously? Is this the best case they have to offer?

Just one example: However, when you look at our deficits, when you look at it from any standpoint, you begin with the fact that the trade deficit of the US in total is 3% of gross domestic product.

First, it's 3% every year. Year after year after year. The effect is cumulative. Secondly, once a factory moves, it doesn't come back. Those jobs are gone forever. The jobs that supposedly replace it won't be in the same area. But I guess everyone is just supposed to abandon their homes and families and move wherever the the jobs are, and move again five years later when things change again, right?

Second: ...and say that libertarian principles dictate that we should have the freedom to trade, whether it be with a foreigner or with somebody domestic. Nobody has a right to interfere in our right to trade with whomever we please when we perceive mutual benefit.

Tariffs don't stop trade. They merely make you pay more for foreign trade. Just as local and state taxes make things cost more in a given area. It's a matter of how we choose to fund government that works to our best advantage. If we choose to do so via tariffs rather than other taxes, well, that's our decision to make.

2. Tim:
To address only one statement. The problem with losing 3% of jobs to free trade is that represents ONE YEAR. Next year, we have another 3% trade deficit, and there go .03x.97 jobs, and pretty soon the labor participation rate is in the .50s. Hmm, where is labor participation in the US? Oh yeah. If it was really free trade, that 3% would be dropping, and would have reversed by now. But when Mexico and China for example keep their wages and currency artificially low and weak respectively, then the bleeding never stops. In Mexico, the rich get very rich indeed, and the Mexican worker gets marginally better off.....and the American worker is hosed. The same for China, where to you think all those Chinese oligarchs got all those billions? Free trade can work...but only if it is really free trade...and it is still just a leveling between the partners. The United States was so rich we should have pulled Mexico right up to where we were...but in Mexico, the rich saw the benefits, and kept the poor poor, and after 20 years there has been no change....except the working class in the US has suffered.

3. dc.sunsets:
Concentrated benefit, diffuse cost is a problem everywhere, but note how "free trade" embeds it down to the level of the individual choosing where to buy toilet paper.

For 50 years (35 years on overdrive) people in the USA have borrowed in order to enter the marketplace.

The result?
1. GDP ramped higher because borrowing isn't backed out of its bottom line. Discussions of GDP today are rendered worthless, like discussion of the plot of a fictional universe novel.
2. The relative utility of being productive fell, because Say's Law (in order to consume, you must first produce) was placed in stasis...or bludgeoned into a coma, thus instead of production, people increasingly engaged in parlor tricks (the FIRE economy) as a means to great wealth.
3. Monetary wealth (US$) in the form of owning bonds began to FLOOD into the world, seemingly from nowhere. Perception of riches (by sitting on piles of IOU's) skyrocketed, encouraging a spending spree in one market after another.
4. Trade deficits exploded as Americans traded IOU-dollars to export-mercantilist foreigners for inexpensive (price-suppressed) trinkets from clothing to iPhones.
5. A sense of unlimited resources pervaded the entire West. Congress had no limit on spending because every bond issued by the US Treasury was deemed WEALTH so every time Congress pissed away another dollar on some boondoggle, the "economy" was richer by #1 the amount spent and #2 the amount of the bond that was issued to spend it.

Yes, this hammer is my only tool so every problem in today's world looks to me like a nail...BUT...every problem in today's world arises, if you peel the onion enough, from this putrid swamp of monetary con-artistry.

Free trade? Where, when "money" is so detached from production? Consumer sovereignty, when the cumulative "concentrated benefits/diffuse costs" end up being a vast NET CATASTROPHE for people in the USA due to stupid political edicts driven by a complete and total misunderstanding of what is really happening?

For nearly my whole life we've lived under a system of monetary dishonesty so profound and pervasive that it has befuddled the minds of nearly everyone, high and low. Karl Denninger's metaphor of the pond where lily pads double in sq.ft. is quite apt; Now, after 20 years of wage and price stagnation despite a quadrillion dollars in "new wealth" "created" by borrowing, the cracks are appearing in the columns holding up this vast house of cards.

Trade policies of the last 50 years helped HIDE the dishonesty by keeping prices of goods artificially suppressed. Immigration policies of the last 50 years helped HIDE the dishonest by keeping wages artificially suppressed.

And the ASSholes who benefited from this system to the tune of million-dollar yachts and beachfront condo penthouses want to keep the game going.

No. Shit. 

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