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  • FREE TRADE is better than FAIR TRADE.

    3 15.79%
  • FAIR TRADE is better than FREE TRADE.

    16 84.21%
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Thread: Why is FAIR TRADE better than FREE TRADE?

  1. Top | #291
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post

    No, you're the only one that wants to include irrelevant money into the discussion. The discussion is ceo/worker pay ratios and nothing more.
    No, I'm pointing out what's wrong with the data.

    1) "Worker" pay is being consistently understated by only counting hourly workers.
    Assuming your unsubstantiated claim is true, hourly workers are people too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    2) The CEO pay ratio is mostly a function of company size, it's not been going crazy like you claim.
    Please provide independent evidence to support your claim about the CEO pay ratio.

  2. Top | #292
    Veteran Member Lumpenproletariat's Avatar
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    "fair trade" bottom line: employer-bashing, because employers are an easy target, easy to scapegoat

    Why isn't it OK for employers to shop for a better deal, just as consumers do?


    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    It's not artificial if it's set by supply-and-demand in the competitive market.
    That's where you basically go wrong, including what follows from these flawed premises. Wages are not set by a competitive market. Employers set the minimum they can get away with.
    How is that not "competitive"? How is that not what EVERY buyer does? Supply-and-demand competition means every buyer (or seller) sets the price at the minimum (or maximum), or fixes the terms according to whatever is the best deal "they can get away with." How are employers any different than all the other buyers? Don't shoppers look for the best deal? lowest price for the same item? the "minimum they can get away with"?

    Of course there's no perfect deal, because you can't keep searching forever for that absolutely lowest price (or highest price if you're selling). But the more time you have to shop, or search for a better deal, the better is your chance of getting the best deal possible.


    Why? Because they are in a position to do so; they can.
    Same as any other buyers. If some employers are in a better position it's only because they're more competitive. Maybe they're lucky because the workers they need don't cost so much (being in large supply), or they don't need very many in order to get their production done. Maybe there's an easy crop of workers available to them, or the job is easy so anyone can do it -- no extra skill required = less expensive. Or the employer is more skilled at finding the right people, knowing better how to use them efficiently, knowing how to pick out the right ones, has better instincts or talent to communicate and organize the workers, or has a better plan.

    So, like other buyers, those employers who "are in a position" to get better terms from the workers (sellers) are in that position because they're more competitive.


    Without a strong union, employees have little say in the matter.
    The more competitive ones have plenty of "say" -- they can get better terms, because the employer needs them more and has to pay more or outbid some other employer who also wants the more competitive workers. But the less competitive job-seeker has less "say" and has to settle for less. It's all about competition. If someone has "little say" in the matter, it's only because they're less competitive. How much "say" is everyone supposed to have? You're demanding a perfect world where everyone has the maximum "say" in everything that can happen? That's not "competition" but UTOPIA, where everyone has 100% "say" in everything. Of course "competition" doesn't offer such false promises. But it makes the real-world economy work better to improve the net results for everyone.


    There is no competition.
    Not the kind crybabies demand -- i.e., the kind which guarantees that everyone is equal and is in a good "position" to get what they want and has as much "say" as anyone else. There's nothing about competition, ideally, which requires everyone to have equal "say" or be in an equally good "position" to everyone else. No, competition is practical precisely because it recognizes that people are not equal, not in an equally good position, do not have the same "say" as all others. Rather, competition + free trade enables everyone to deal with everyone else, despite the inequalities which are there whether you like it or not, and lets everyone have free choice rather than being threatened and forced by another into anything against their interest.

    So there is the practical kind of competition -- for those ready to improve themselves to earn their benefits, rather than whining and demanding entitlements regardless of their performance. It's only the Utopian kind of "competition" which does not exist, where everyone is equal and has equal "say" in everything and no one is in any better "position" than anyone else.


    Without a basic minimum set in law, it would likely be a race to the bottom.
    Whatever "race" there is benefits all consumers, as producers race against each other to win customers. The only losers are the least competitive, and even they benefit as consumers, from the competition.

    And we are at the "bottom" price for labor, with volunteer work -- ZERO wage. How is that not the "bottom"? How can the wage be any lower than ZERO? which we already have. Should that be illegal? Why not, if $1/hour (or $1/day) is illegal? If you make it illegal for anyone to have a job at $1/day, shouldn't it also be illegal to work for LESS than that, i.e., for ZERO (volunteer work)?

    How do you logically permit volunteer work, if you demand a minimum wage level below which employers cannot go?

    There is no basic difference between "charity" businesses using volunteers and for-profit businesses. Many people get rich in the "charity" and "volunteer" businesses/corporations, while in profit businesses there is some volunteer work which goes on, where a worker is not paid for a contribution. It happens in many ways. And it would make the economy worse to try to change that.


    Employers act in their own interest.
    There you go again -- EMPLOYER-BASHING, scapegoating employers. EVERYONE acts in their own interest!, not just employers. Why do you want to make it a crime only for employers to act in their own interest? When will you stop the crybaby employer-bashing and grow up?


    They hold the cards, they offer a pay rate. The applicant can either take it or decline.
    Same for ALL buyers. The buyers hold the cards -- the money, which they offer at whatever rate they choose, and the seller can either take it or decline. If the price at the store (seller) is too high, the buyer says no and takes his business elsewhere. Same thing for employers -- they offer a price, wage, and the seller (job applicant) can take or decline. Why is it wrong when the buyer is an employer but it's just fine when all other buyers do this? Why the employer-bashing? Why is scapegoating employers always your bottom line?

    This seems to verify that "fair trade" basically means scapegoating employers. We keep seeing it over and over.


    If they are in need of a job, they have very little option but to take what they can.
    Same for ALL sellers. If you can't find a higher price for your wares, then you have little option but to take what you can. All businesses are constantly faced with this dilemma, having to limit their prices. And many fail because they cannot get a high-enough price to be able to survive.

    And yet, when it's wage-earners, somehow they're entitled to a "minimum" which no other sellers are entitled to? Why? It is just raw bias in favor of wage-earners and scapegoating of employers, who are a minority and thus an easy target. This one group of buyers, employers, are singled out for special hate, while the wage-earner sellers are singled out for special pity. And those wage-earners who don't demand this pity, but are willing to work for less because they're desperate, are crushed and stomped on as subhuman and not deserving to have a free choice.


    The issue here is not free trade or fair competition, it is a power imbalance between employers and employees.
    Again, you just constantly whine about the "imbalance" without saying why there's anything wrong with it. There is no equality between all the buyers and sellers, and yet they are all made better by trading, freely on whatever terms they choose, regardless of the "imbalance" between the rich and the poor. The poor are vastly better off as a result of trading with the rich, taking that low-wage job, or whatever it may be, rather than being denied free choice to do business with the much more powerful rich. They are made better off by having NO outside interference in setting the terms.

    It's true you can make one buyer or seller better off by interfering for them and stomping down on someone else who would compete with them. Yes, there are some crybabies who benefit from this stomping down on other poor people struggling to survive and shutting them out. But the society overall is made worse off when you stifle the competition, granting special privilege to one faction by stomping down on the others. You cannot benefit any perceived victim group with this interference, crushing those who are more competitive, without doing overall net harm to the whole population, making most poor people worse off. At most you can only benefit a small minority of the poor by suppressing competition, while you make most of the poor worse off and thus cause a net total increase of suffering in the world.


    A balance that can tip in favour of a worker who has highly desirable skills, but that's not the case with many, if not most workers.
    But it will become the case, after first they receive lessons from you on improving their whining and employer-bashing skills. And also after Trump and Biden and Bernie Sanders bring back all those "jobs! jobs! jobs! jobs! jobs! jobs! jobs! jobs!" from China, so we'll have more babysitting slots in which to put them.

  3. Top | #293
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post

    No, you're the only one that wants to include irrelevant money into the discussion. The discussion is ceo/worker pay ratios and nothing more.
    No, I'm pointing out what's wrong with the data.

    1) "Worker" pay is being consistently understated by only counting hourly workers.

    2) The CEO pay ratio is mostly a function of company size, it's not been going crazy like you claim.
    You either ignore or brush aside stats and information that has been provided, only to repeat claims that you, despite several requests, have not substantiated.
    Neither of my points has been addressed.

  4. Top | #294
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    Quote Originally Posted by laughing dog View Post
    Assuming your unsubstantiated claim is true, hourly workers are people too.
    So? The point is they are not a representative sample of all workers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    2) The CEO pay ratio is mostly a function of company size, it's not been going crazy like you claim.
    Please provide independent evidence to support your claim about the CEO pay ratio.
    I do not recall the original source, but a couple of points:

    https://chiefexecutive.net/wp-conten...mmary_2014.pdf

    Note how it's only the CEOs of the biggest companies that make that kind of money.

    https://fee.org/articles/no-ceos-don...eir-employees/

    And it's dirty statistics besides.

    I'm not finding the data on the consolidation that's driven up company sizes but you're old enough, you've seen it happening.

  5. Top | #295
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    The OP makes two assertions without supporting them with evidence or even any reference to theory. The first is that "free trade" or "fair trade" with low wage countries benefits the US's overall economy from the lower prices for some consumer goods. This could be easily proven by pointing out when the lower prices occurred and reduced the overall inflation rate for the US. When I look at the data I don't see when this miracle from trade with low-wage countries happened.

    The second assertion that the OP leaves up to faith for support is that the miracle of the lower prices for consumers outweighs the damage done to the US economy from the lower wages paid to the people who lost their high paying manufacturing jobs and from the increase in the national debt required to service the higher trade deficit.

    I can't even begin to explain how a benefit that apparently doesn't exist can compensate for the very real damage done to people who lose their jobs. The increase in the national debt is only mentioned because there are people here who put a great deal of stock in the national debt, but it is a placeholder that a high trade deficit does cost our economy. It is money that leaves our economy and causes increases in private debt or an increase in the federal government budget deficit to replace the money that goes overseas as well as the increase in the national debt.

    The failure to support these assertions dooms the OP before it even starts. It reduces it to the level of a childlike argument like "free trade has to be good because free is good, right?"

    The vast majority of the people here who have posted on this thread seem to have accepted these assertions. Can anyone tell me why?

    -------

    (Btw, I have seen Ricardo's argument that comparative advantage supports "free trade" but that argument specifically rejects free trade when one partner in the trade has an absolute advantage over the other partner. And lower wages is an absolute advantage. Besides Lumpenproletariat, the author of the OP, rejects the idea of the existence of comparative advantage, as do I, from previous discussions.)

  6. Top | #296
    Loony Running The Asylum ZiprHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post

    You either ignore or brush aside stats and information that has been provided, only to repeat claims that you, despite several requests, have not substantiated.
    Neither of my points has been addressed.
    Neither of your points has been established as fact even though you've been asked to do so many times.
    When conservatives realize they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will abandon democracy.

  7. Top | #297
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post

    You either ignore or brush aside stats and information that has been provided, only to repeat claims that you, despite several requests, have not substantiated.
    Neither of my points has been addressed.
    Neither of them are actually points.

    The issue is inequility, double standards.

    Practically unlimited wealth for the top end of town while workers have been stagnating for decades.

    That is the actual situation.

    That smaller companies do not pay their Managers as high as large companies is hardly relevant to the overall situation of practically unlimited wealth and power in the hands of the few.

  8. Top | #298
    Loony Running The Asylum ZiprHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post

    So? The point is they are not a representative sample of all workers.

    Please provide independent evidence to support your claim about the CEO pay ratio.
    I do not recall the original source, but a couple of points:

    https://chiefexecutive.net/wp-conten...mmary_2014.pdf

    Note how it's only the CEOs of the biggest companies that make that kind of money.

    https://fee.org/articles/no-ceos-don...eir-employees/

    And it's dirty statistics besides.

    I'm not finding the data on the consolidation that's driven up company sizes but you're old enough, you've seen it happening.
    Neither of those sources debunks the fact the the compensation for the CEO class has grown wildly in comparison to the working class over the years.
    When conservatives realize they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will abandon democracy.

  9. Top | #299
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    [SIZE=3]

    But it will become the case, after first they receive lessons from you on improving their whining and employer-bashing skills. And also after Trump and Biden and Bernie Sanders bring back all those "jobs! jobs! jobs! jobs! jobs! jobs! jobs! jobs!" from China, so we'll have more babysitting slots in which to put them.
    Your response is based on emotion and denial.

    Nobody is bashing employers. You are bashing workers by calling them 'crybabies' and 'whiners.'

    Employers need employees to run their business. Workers are needed. Workers do productive work. Workers need jobs in order to earn a living.

    Running a business is essentially a partnership between the business owners/managers and their employees.

    As it stands, it is a partnership with a power imbalance tipped heavily in favour of the employer.....which for all the given reasons, individual contracts, poor leverage for applicants, etc, results in stagnating incomes for workers while those at the top enjoy practically limitless wealth.

    You can complain all you like, but that is the undeniable and indefensible situation the world is in.

  10. Top | #300
    Loony Running The Asylum ZiprHead's Avatar
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    I still really want to know what Lumpen does for a living.

    Care to spill, Lumpen?
    When conservatives realize they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will abandon democracy.

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