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View Diary: The Great Exodus to China and Abroad (69 comments)

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  •  But (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, truong son traveler

    how is a tariff "a tool to prevent gaming the system", rather than just another game piece for gaming it?

    Aren't tariffs also "gaming the system"?

    Dummies like me need a little more explanation, or some links or something to help us make sense of your assertions.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 07:02:11 PM PDT

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    •  Tariffs allow nation states to.. (5+ / 0-)

      Exert control over trade in other sovereign states to even a playing field.

      One example would be for a state to exert a tariff to offset the exchange rate because the trading nations currency has a large disparity.

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 07:58:12 PM PDT

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      •  They can also be used to offset labor costs where (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        idbecrazyif, bluedust, dumpster

        the supplier nation has virtual slave-like conditions for their workers.

        Or to combat foreign subsidized industries. It used to be that every national government (except the US) owned an airline, and didn't care if it made a profit or not. Additional taxes on tickets on those airlines would make up the difference between the subsidy and domestic airlines' operating costs, thus keeping the playing field level.

        I've always believe Ronald Reagan's ideal of a economy that was totally service oriented was really hollow, because services are among the easiest things to copy.

        As for the free trade that nations can specialize in what they do most efficiently, that's really just ivory tower talk. What happens is that nations capture one market at a time. The Japanese first started making transistors cheaper, then the electronic toys and appliances, then steel, then autos, and so on.

        Now that competition is most fierce in high technology, the leadership is bleeding (quickly) to India. The development of H1B visas, pushed by corporations, merely hastens the knowledge, and therefore, industry transfer.

        Many, many American tech workers are finding themselves displaced by H1B workers, who then return to India with everything they've been taught here. We're literally training our competition in how to beat us at our own game, and all the while R&D spending is at its lowest ebb ever in the US, while other countries are throwing money at R&D.

        Even developing nations complain that under free trade they are more exploited than ever.

        Free Trade is no win, except for the global corporations.

    •  Tariffs (2+ / 0-)
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      ybruti, truong son traveler

      When other countries do it, it's gaming the system.  When we do it, it's "leveling the playing field".  Other countries don't quite see it that way, of course, and would counter our actions with other trade actions which we would then react to and whoooooops!  Just about started to slide down that slippery slope.

      Or we can have a multilateral trading system where we all agree on the rules of engagement and settle our disputes in negotiations like civilized countries.  It's not always so efficient, but it's much better than the alternatives.

      •  Not necessarily. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ScienceMom, bluedust, tacet

        I believe what he is proposing here is that all nations, both the ones who seem to be holding all the cards now like China, and the ones that used to, like the UK and the US, will have to decide everything from how much pollution a country should put up with while supplying others with raw materials, to how much low level and high level manufacturing is necessary to keep any specific economy healthy.
        Blair thought he could escape the problem sideways by encouraging education and development in the "creative industries" like film and animation. Aside from costume dramas like Downton Abbey and Aardman's films, it hasn't worked out that well in terms of import/export balances. The US has tried the same thing with "knowledge workers", a scheme that's doomed to failure considering the lack of funding for public education.
        As the diarist notes, the solutions will be complex and long-term, but not addressing them infers a mechanistic and deterministic system where capitalist economic vectors overwhelm the rights and wishes of individuals, or even nations. Addressing these complexities though, is a necessary first step.

        "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

        by northsylvania on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 03:19:57 AM PDT

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        •  This is exactly what I was driving at (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          northsylvania, tacet

          That ALL nations are going to have to recognize the necessity of tariffs to impose control over what have become global entities, that being the globalization of the corporation.

          Essentially instead of the tariff protecting a nation state from another nation state, we need to dust off this tariff playbook to protect nation states from corporate states.

          And yes, at times it will be painful, but the long term pay offs are important. Not just in economic terms but also in terms of socio-global impact and global environmental impact.

          --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

          by idbecrazyif on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 05:27:12 AM PDT

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    •  OK, let's say that's gaming the system too. (0+ / 0-)

      Why should we unilaterally disarm?  Why should we be the only ones to abstain from gaming the system?

      I'm sorry, but there will never be a clean simple theoretical approach that works great and makes everybody happy and prosperous.  The sooner we abandon that dangerous delusion, the sooner we can stem this massive bleeding.

      “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

      by jrooth on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 08:15:38 AM PDT

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