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Free Trade or Not?

Should free trade with countries with lower standards of living be abandonned?

  • Yes

    Votes: 1 25.0%
  • No

    Votes: 2 50.0%
  • Some should, some shouldn't

    Votes: 1 25.0%
  • Other (Please Explain)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    4

JustMyPOV

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Free trade opened the door for companies to move their operations to other nations where people make only pennies per hour and there are almost no ecological standards. This isn't limited to manufacturing, either. Many IT jobs, programming jobs and telemarketing/customer service jobs are also flying out of this country in staggering numbers.

How can somebody who needs to make a bare minimum of $7-8/hour just to get by (And God bless anyone who can somehow manage to survive on so little in the US), compete with someone who will bust their hump and kiss your feet if you pay them a SINGLE DOLLAR PER HOUR or EVEN LESS!?

I feel very strongly that tarriffs should be raised to encourage companies to bring operations back to this country. I also believe strongly in buying AMERICAN made products whenever possible. Unfortunately, it's becoming less possible by the month as more and more jobs are outsourced to cheap, low-quality foreign markets.
 

Deathhound

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I haven't decided either way on my views on economics. I have a lot of reading to do before I can pretend to know anything in this area.

The idea that a fully-free market system leads to a healthly economy seems reasonable to me, but I think the distribution of wealth would almost exclusively be in the hands of a few, unltra-wealthy indiiduals, while the rest are oppressed by low wages and longer hours of work. I would like to favor a system that gives men more freedom, but I think it would come at the cost of having a small minority of super-rich corporate giants controlling everything there is to control.

Thats mostly just based off of what I learned about the industrial revolution in highschool.

In any case, I think something should be done, even if it is strict goverment intervention, to bring manufactoring jobs back here.
 
H

hipsterdufus

Free trade has been much better for high wage, American professionals than for American blue-collar workers. Their jobs are vanishing and their wages are becoming less stable. Remember Ross Perot? He was right on the money when he talked about the "Giant Sucking Sound" sending American jobs out of the country. Even though the unemployment numbers aren't too bad - it's the lack of good wages and benefits from new jobs created here that is the real problem.

I don't think that American manufacturing is ever going to be able to compete with countries that pay their workers 1$ a day or less. In the short turn, it helps consumers to buy cheap goods, but we're also workers too.

Clinton really dropped the ball on this one - opening up unrestricted free trade with China. CAFTA and NAFTA have both helped to send American jobs out of the country.

I hear the argument on the right that American workers are greedy - that they should accept lower wages and less benefits in order to compete globally. I don't accept that argument - part of the American dream is to have each generation better off than the previous one.
 

UtahBill

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On the other hand, the good old USA could stop unfairly competing with small countries. There are some crops that we could stop or limit growing here, and allow other countries to have a chance at a cash crop. Cotton is grown in Arizona with subsidized water, Pistachios now grown in California by Iranian immigrants displaced the pistachio imports from Iran (partly their own fault, they took our embassy staff hostage so we stopped importing from them), for a couple of examples.
Certainly we come off in appearance as a bunch of greedy Americans while some small countries are suffering.
link to the cotton issue....billions of taxpayer dollars subsidizing a few cotton farmers, plus more for foreign aid to the African countries affected.

http://www.law.stanford.edu/programs/academic/enrlp/workshop/MoralFiber.pdf
 

Kandahar

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You frame the argument to sound like we need to stop oppressing these poor, underprivileged, third-world workers. In reality, free trade is a nation's quickest way out of poverty. The nations that do the most trade with wealthy countries develop the fastest (think about the growth of Taiwan/SKorea/Japan over the last 50 years, or the growth of China/India today), and those that do the least trade with wealthy countries don't develop at all (think Africa/NKorea).

Some people are more willing or able to provide a good/service for a cheaper price than others. That's just a fact of economics and a fact of life. If you don't want them to do the same job you do for $1 per hour, the fastest way to solve that problem (and by fast, I mean several decades) is to do as much trade with their countries as possible.
 
H

hipsterdufus

Kandahar said:
You frame the argument to sound like we need to stop oppressing these poor, underprivileged, third-world workers. In reality, free trade is a nation's quickest way out of poverty. The nations that do the most trade with wealthy countries develop the fastest (think about the growth of Taiwan/SKorea/Japan over the last 50 years, or the growth of China/India today), and those that do the least trade with wealthy countries don't develop at all (think Africa/NKorea).

Some people are more willing or able to provide a good/service for a cheaper price than others. That's just a fact of economics and a fact of life. If you don't want them to do the same job you do for $1 per hour, the fastest way to solve that problem (and by fast, I mean several decades) is to do as much trade with their countries as possible.
I don't disagree with that line of thinking, but there has to be a win/win solution for the US manufacturing workforce or we face the extinction of the middle class America.
 

Kelzie

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Kandahar said:
You frame the argument to sound like we need to stop oppressing these poor, underprivileged, third-world workers. In reality, free trade is a nation's quickest way out of poverty. The nations that do the most trade with wealthy countries develop the fastest (think about the growth of Taiwan/SKorea/Japan over the last 50 years, or the growth of China/India today), and those that do the least trade with wealthy countries don't develop at all (think Africa/NKorea).

Some people are more willing or able to provide a good/service for a cheaper price than others. That's just a fact of economics and a fact of life. If you don't want them to do the same job you do for $1 per hour, the fastest way to solve that problem (and by fast, I mean several decades) is to do as much trade with their countries as possible.
Actually, all the Asian Tigers had mad protectionist laws before they opened up to free trade. Especially Japan. I think it is necessary for a country to protect their growing industries until they can compete on the global market. But, if they continue protecting their industries after that point, they risk them festering (inefficiency for example) and bringing their whole economy down. Like Brazil.
 

UtahBill

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hipsterdufus said:
I don't disagree with that line of thinking, but there has to be a win/win solution for the US manufacturing workforce or we face the extinction of the middle class America.
I have been concerned about that ever since I got into the middle class, and started noticing what business/industry is doing to it. It could be that my generation of retirees, or the early baby boomers, will be the last to be able to enjoy retirement. I may be paranoid, but I am encouraging my kids and grandkids to keep the possibility of at least a partial collapse of the middle class in their minds as they plan on their future.
On the other hand, what right do we have to hang onto a life of leisure while the rest of the world suffers?
 
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