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View Diary: Why free trade results in less freedom. (14 comments)

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  •  There's a lot of confusion on this (3+ / 0-)
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    dennisl, Cassandra Waites, Shaviv

    Free labor can compete with "slave" labor under certain conditions:

    1. When the labor cannot be easily out-sourced. I can't use a Burmese guy to fix my car.
    1. When the cost of goods plus shipping the goods exceeds the local cost of production. We came close to that when oil reached $140.
    1. When the educational factors are so important that they overwhelm the abilities of the cheap labor source. We still make money exporting movies. We make money with high-end innovation (e.g iPod).

    I say this merely to illustrate that the key to free trade is not found in the vast excess of incredibly cheap labor elsewhere in the world. The key is to have an industrial and educational policy at home that keeps us where we want to be: making the next generation of stuff rather than having our workers sew sneakers.

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