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  • FREE TRADE is better than FAIR TRADE.

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  • FAIR TRADE is better than FREE TRADE.

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Thread: Why is FAIR TRADE better than FREE TRADE?

  1. Top | #801
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post

    I'm not aware that you made one. An objection is not a point.
    I'm saying your argument is based on the assuming the unemployment rate really is that low. I don't believe it is.
    My argument is not based on low unemployment rate.

  2. Top | #802
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    Quote Originally Posted by laughing dog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Greed and self interest rules, the top end of town look after their own.

    Wages are being systemically suppressed;

    ''The economy is growing but our paychecks are not. That’s because employers have, over decades, built a political apparatus to hold down pay''

    ''When unemployment goes down, wages are supposed to go up. That’s just supply and demand. Quite puzzlingly, though, this mechanism seems not to be working today. Unemployment stands at a modest 4%, but paychecks aren’t growing. Although today’s is the best-educated workforce in history, employers just insist that workers need more training.

    In other words, they’re gaslighting us. Meanwhile, over decades, employers have built and maintained a massive collective political apparatus to hold down wages. To call it a conspiracy would be only slight embellishment.
    Disagree--I think the problem is with the yardstick. Which is the easier explanation--that somehow employers can circumvent the basic market forces, or that the unemployment measure is wrong? To me the latter seems much simpler. I think what's going on is the gig economy. People are not "unemployed" when they are managing to make a bit of money at various gig type jobs.
    Power is a basic market force. So employers using their market power are using basic market forces.
    And that rebuts my post how??

    Anyway, I'm not the only one that thinks the numbers are bogus: https://www.ft.com/content/10c3d7aa-...7-e2090561fc42

  3. Top | #803
    Loony Running The Asylum ZiprHead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by laughing dog View Post
    Power is a basic market force. So employers using their market power are using basic market forces.
    And that rebuts my post how??

    Anyway, I'm not the only one that thinks the numbers are bogus: https://www.ft.com/content/10c3d7aa-...7-e2090561fc42
    Paywalled. Unreadable without a subscription.
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  4. Top | #804
    Veteran Member Lumpenproletariat's Avatar
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    "FAIR trade" = Pay workers more, out of pity toward them, as a moral obligation.

    If we don't take care of the crybabies today, they'll go on a rampage tomorrow.



    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Greed and self interest rules, the top end of town look after their own.
    Everyone does that, top and middle and bottom.


    Wages are being systemically suppressed;

    ''The economy is growing but our paychecks are not. That’s because employers have, over decades, built a political apparatus to hold down pay''
    This makes no sense. The best example of any such thing, in the article, is the claim that there are plans to raise interest rates, which will then suppress wages:

    Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve just announced that it’s taking the next step in its plan to raise interest rates. This will suppress wages to prevent inflation, although inflation is minuscule and wages aren’t showing signs of life.
    But wait -- for decades now the government has been suppressing interest rates, which means wages must have been pushed up as a result (if higher rates suppress them). So what political apparatus has there been to suppress wages, when the Fed has been doing the opposite, and it's mainly the politicians pressuring it to do this? including President Trump who condemned the Fed for not forcing down interest rates?

    There can be only one other significant political pressure to suppress wages, according to some economic theory, and that is to allow more immigration, which might put downward pressure on some wages.

    So Sean Hannity and other right-wingers are agreeing that the government is suppressing wages by allowing too many immigrants in, even illegal ones, and thus depressing the wage level. So when you say "employers have, over decades, built a political apparatus to hold down pay" -- if you mean they're hiring too many damn immigrants, who are coming in and stealing our jobs and suppressing wages, you can at least cite the right-wing Trumpsters as your authority.


    ''When unemployment goes down, wages are supposed to go up.
    But there are other factors, and it's not a tight cause-and-effect pattern. The low unemployment has an effect of putting some upward pressure on wages, but other factors also drive them down. And the "unemployment" level is not so easy to measure that you can be sure it went up or down as the numbers indicate. And there's always lag between a push-factor at one point and the later impact. It is simplistic to whine that the higher wages are supposed to automatically kick in 6 weeks or 6 months or 2 years later after a short unemployment drop.


    That’s just supply and demand. Quite puzzlingly, though, this mechanism seems not to be working today.
    It is working in those jobs where there is a shortage of workers. E.g., it's working for plumbers and electricians whose incomes are increasing much faster than inflation. It's only the least competitive job-seekers who are experiencing the wage stagnation, not the more competitive.


    Unemployment stands at a modest 4%, but paychecks aren’t growing.
    For the more competitive they are growing. But for the less competitive they are not. You have to learn to recognize the difference between those who are more competitive and those less.


    Although today’s is the best-educated workforce in history, employers just insist that workers need more training.
    No, today's is not the best-educated workforce for doing the more specialized work that is needed. The need for more specialization has greatly out-paced any improvement in education for the vast majority of workers.


    In other words, they’re gaslighting us.
    No, it's the opposite. The employer is telling you the truth if he says your value is less than you're demanding. The lie is what the Left-wing ideologue tells you, that the value of your work is the number of hours, the quantity of labor or your effort that goes into it, rather than what it can sell for in the competitive marketplace.

    The false ideology is that your worth is what you need in order to raise your family. That's a lie. Your worth is whatever a buyer is willing to pay you for your work, or for the product you produced. Your value might really be only 5 cents per hour, because the market won't pay any more than that. Your need for the money, or your cost of maintaining your life and your family is not the measure of your value as a worker. Even the starvation wage you're paid might be more than your real value, because the work you do has so little value in the competitive marketplace driven by supply-and-demand.


    Meanwhile, over decades, employers have built and maintained a massive collective political apparatus to hold down wages. To call it a conspiracy would be only slight embellishment.
    Back to those damn immigrants, stealin' our jobs, etc. If that's what you mean, it may be true that employers have pressured politicians to allow some extra immigration, or to not always enforce the immigration laws. But society overall benefits from the lower-cost labor. It's only a few uncompetitive workers who might suffer a negative result because of the increased competition for jobs. There's no way to calculate if there's any negative impact on wages from increased immigration -- there's too many factors -- but even if there is, it's only a small minority (the least competitive workers) who lose, while the population as a whole is better off as a result of the increased competition and resulting lower prices.


    The symptoms of the problem are not hard to miss. In February, for example, the American economy posted its biggest one-month jobs gain in a couple years, but wage growth stayed stalled out.
    But it's simplistic to expect an instant automatic result based on only a one-month initial cause.

    Just as buyers don't see an instant price increase/decrease from a short-term change in supply-demand, so also the daily or monthly ups-and-downs in employment don't cause wages to suddenly rise or plunge. Long-term wage stagnation is due to the long-term continued lower value of labor, due to the more easy replacement of workers due to more automation and more cheap labor. This trend has been going on for years and decades and generations -- not due to a one-time rise or fall in this or that factor.


    For months, economists and financial journalists have been puzzling over the question, as Bloomberg put it, of “why the economy grows but your paycheck doesn’t”.
    The reason is that your value has not grown. Just because there is some "growth" out there does not mean that your individual value has increased any. If you did not cause that "growth" to happen, then your personal value has remained the same. And most workers individually have not caused the economic "growth" we've experienced. It's a small minority of the population who have caused it, such as scientists and engineers and other specialists.


    Economists will tell you that wages generally increase with productivity – that you’re paid in line with the value of what you do.
    Yes, and the value of most workers has NOT increased. The word "productivity" is misleading. It's not true that "worker productivity" is the same as "worker value" in the jargon of the economists. The worker's "productivity" increase is not due to any increase in worker value. That productivity increase is due to increased technology improvement, not to increased worker value. The individual worker operating the machine is just as replaceable as ever and is no more valuable than his/her predecessor operating the earlier machine 30 years ago. It's only the machine, or new technology, which has higher value, not the worker operating the machine.

    The only ones with higher value are the engineers or scientists or other specialists who produced the new technology and keep it functioning, not the common workers or the operators of the machine. Only those who have become LESS REPLACEABLE have more value, not the easily replaceable operators, who are the much greater number of workers.


    This was credible from the end of the second world war to the 1970s, when productivity and hourly wages rose almost perfectly in sync. But according to research by the Economic Policy Institute, from the early 1970s to 2016 productivity went up 73.7%, and wages only 12.3%.
    And even that higher wage level was probably undeserved, due mostly to the workers (collectively) throwing a tantrum and demanding higher pay and pressuring politicians to pass stronger labor laws and higher minimum wage level. The higher productivity was due to valuable work by specialists producing better technology, while the wage increases were due to the workers making a fuss and threatening to shut down the operation if they didn't get their "cut" out of the increased profits from the better production, to which they're entitled because the employer is supposed to have pity for the downtrodden worker needing more money to raise his family (not the employer's increased need for the workers).

    The increased "value" of the workers (90% of them) is not their improved performance, but the increased pity they're able to extract from the employer who is made to feel guilty for not sharing more of the proceeds gained from the technology advances and improved production generated by the more valuable and less replaceable specialists.


    Similarly, there used to be a positive relationship between stock prices and wage increases. But some initial signs of wage growth in February sent the market spiraling over inflation fears – until it became clear that the reported wage gains were all concentrated among top earners. Then everyone calmed down and stopped selling.''
    This observation per se is silly and irrelevant to anything.

    However, as a form of preaching to callous stock buyers, and chastising them for their greed, it does indicate the general pattern of thought that wages ought to increase out of pity toward the workers, not because of any value they contribute to production, but because of their parasitic relation to the employer, so that when the company experiences any gain, there is a moral obligation to share some of it with the common workers, not from merit on their part but out of pity toward them, as being part of the "family," and it's callous to not give them a "piece" of the pie plus maintain favorable PR in the society which sees the company as babysitters providing job slots to potential troublemakers.

    It is a fact that most of the population sees common workers as potential criminals who would be out on the street wreaking havoc if they did not have their job slot which keeps them pacified and out of mischief.

  5. Top | #805
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    If we don't take care of the crybabies today, they'll go on a rampage tomorrow.





    Everyone does that, top and middle and bottom.




    This makes no sense. The best example of any such thing, in the article, is the claim that there are plans to raise interest rates, which will then suppress wages:

    Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve just announced that it’s taking the next step in its plan to raise interest rates. This will suppress wages to prevent inflation, although inflation is minuscule and wages aren’t showing signs of life.
    But wait -- for decades now the government has been suppressing interest rates, which means wages must have been pushed up as a result (if higher rates suppress them). So what political apparatus has there been to suppress wages, when the Fed has been doing the opposite, and it's mainly the politicians pressuring it to do this? including President Trump who condemned the Fed for not forcing down interest rates?

    There can be only one other significant political pressure to suppress wages, according to some economic theory, and that is to allow more immigration, which might put downward pressure on some wages.

    So Sean Hannity and other right-wingers are agreeing that the government is suppressing wages by allowing too many immigrants in, even illegal ones, and thus depressing the wage level. So when you say "employers have, over decades, built a political apparatus to hold down pay" -- if you mean they're hiring too many damn immigrants, who are coming in and stealing our jobs and suppressing wages, you can at least cite the right-wing Trumpsters as your authority.


    ''When unemployment goes down, wages are supposed to go up.
    But there are other factors, and it's not a tight cause-and-effect pattern. The low unemployment has an effect of putting some upward pressure on wages, but other factors also drive them down. And the "unemployment" level is not so easy to measure that you can be sure it went up or down as the numbers indicate. And there's always lag between a push-factor at one point and the later impact. It is simplistic to whine that the higher wages are supposed to automatically kick in 6 weeks or 6 months or 2 years later after a short unemployment drop.


    That’s just supply and demand. Quite puzzlingly, though, this mechanism seems not to be working today.
    It is working in those jobs where there is a shortage of workers. E.g., it's working for plumbers and electricians whose incomes are increasing much faster than inflation. It's only the least competitive job-seekers who are experiencing the wage stagnation, not the more competitive.


    Unemployment stands at a modest 4%, but paychecks aren’t growing.
    For the more competitive they are growing. But for the less competitive they are not. You have to learn to recognize the difference between those who are more competitive and those less.


    Although today’s is the best-educated workforce in history, employers just insist that workers need more training.
    No, today's is not the best-educated workforce for doing the more specialized work that is needed. The need for more specialization has greatly out-paced any improvement in education for the vast majority of workers.


    In other words, they’re gaslighting us.
    No, it's the opposite. The employer is telling you the truth if he says your value is less than you're demanding. The lie is what the Left-wing ideologue tells you, that the value of your work is the number of hours, the quantity of labor or your effort that goes into it, rather than what it can sell for in the competitive marketplace.

    The false ideology is that your worth is what you need in order to raise your family. That's a lie. Your worth is whatever a buyer is willing to pay you for your work, or for the product you produced. Your value might really be only 5 cents per hour, because the market won't pay any more than that. Your need for the money, or your cost of maintaining your life and your family is not the measure of your value as a worker. Even the starvation wage you're paid might be more than your real value, because the work you do has so little value in the competitive marketplace driven by supply-and-demand.


    Meanwhile, over decades, employers have built and maintained a massive collective political apparatus to hold down wages. To call it a conspiracy would be only slight embellishment.
    Back to those damn immigrants, stealin' our jobs, etc. If that's what you mean, it may be true that employers have pressured politicians to allow some extra immigration, or to not always enforce the immigration laws. But society overall benefits from the lower-cost labor. It's only a few uncompetitive workers who might suffer a negative result because of the increased competition for jobs. There's no way to calculate if there's any negative impact on wages from increased immigration -- there's too many factors -- but even if there is, it's only a small minority (the least competitive workers) who lose, while the population as a whole is better off as a result of the increased competition and resulting lower prices.


    The symptoms of the problem are not hard to miss. In February, for example, the American economy posted its biggest one-month jobs gain in a couple years, but wage growth stayed stalled out.
    But it's simplistic to expect an instant automatic result based on only a one-month initial cause.

    Just as buyers don't see an instant price increase/decrease from a short-term change in supply-demand, so also the daily or monthly ups-and-downs in employment don't cause wages to suddenly rise or plunge. Long-term wage stagnation is due to the long-term continued lower value of labor, due to the more easy replacement of workers due to more automation and more cheap labor. This trend has been going on for years and decades and generations -- not due to a one-time rise or fall in this or that factor.


    For months, economists and financial journalists have been puzzling over the question, as Bloomberg put it, of “why the economy grows but your paycheck doesn’t”.
    The reason is that your value has not grown. Just because there is some "growth" out there does not mean that your individual value has increased any. If you did not cause that "growth" to happen, then your personal value has remained the same. And most workers individually have not caused the economic "growth" we've experienced. It's a small minority of the population who have caused it, such as scientists and engineers and other specialists.


    Economists will tell you that wages generally increase with productivity – that you’re paid in line with the value of what you do.
    Yes, and the value of most workers has NOT increased. The word "productivity" is misleading. It's not true that "worker productivity" is the same as "worker value" in the jargon of the economists. The worker's "productivity" increase is not due to any increase in worker value. That productivity increase is due to increased technology improvement, not to increased worker value. The individual worker operating the machine is just as replaceable as ever and is no more valuable than his/her predecessor operating the earlier machine 30 years ago. It's only the machine, or new technology, which has higher value, not the worker operating the machine.

    The only ones with higher value are the engineers or scientists or other specialists who produced the new technology and keep it functioning, not the common workers or the operators of the machine. Only those who have become LESS REPLACEABLE have more value, not the easily replaceable operators, who are the much greater number of workers.


    This was credible from the end of the second world war to the 1970s, when productivity and hourly wages rose almost perfectly in sync. But according to research by the Economic Policy Institute, from the early 1970s to 2016 productivity went up 73.7%, and wages only 12.3%.
    And even that higher wage level was probably undeserved, due mostly to the workers (collectively) throwing a tantrum and demanding higher pay and pressuring politicians to pass stronger labor laws and higher minimum wage level. The higher productivity was due to valuable work by specialists producing better technology, while the wage increases were due to the workers making a fuss and threatening to shut down the operation if they didn't get their "cut" out of the increased profits from the better production, to which they're entitled because the employer is supposed to have pity for the downtrodden worker needing more money to raise his family (not the employer's increased need for the workers).

    The increased "value" of the workers (90% of them) is not their improved performance, but the increased pity they're able to extract from the employer who is made to feel guilty for not sharing more of the proceeds gained from the technology advances and improved production generated by the more valuable and less replaceable specialists.


    Similarly, there used to be a positive relationship between stock prices and wage increases. But some initial signs of wage growth in February sent the market spiraling over inflation fears – until it became clear that the reported wage gains were all concentrated among top earners. Then everyone calmed down and stopped selling.''
    This observation per se is silly and irrelevant to anything.

    However, as a form of preaching to callous stock buyers, and chastising them for their greed, it does indicate the general pattern of thought that wages ought to increase out of pity toward the workers, not because of any value they contribute to production, but because of their parasitic relation to the employer, so that when the company experiences any gain, there is a moral obligation to share some of it with the common workers, not from merit on their part but out of pity toward them, as being part of the "family," and it's callous to not give them a "piece" of the pie plus maintain favorable PR in the society which sees the company as babysitters providing job slots to potential troublemakers.

    It is a fact that most of the population sees common workers as potential criminals who would be out on the street wreaking havoc if they did not have their job slot which keeps them pacified and out of mischief.
    Two possibilities.

    1 - You really don't understand the issue or what was said.

    2 - You don't want to understand the issue or anything that is said because your ideology prevents you from seeing or understanding the problems with excessive wealth accumulation into the hands of a small percentage of the population. This despite what numerous examples in history tell us.

    I'd say the latter. That ideology is the filter preventing you from seeing the issue clearly and in its entirety.

  6. Top | #806
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by laughing dog View Post
    Power is a basic market force. So employers using their market power are using basic market forces.
    And that rebuts my post how??

    Anyway, I'm not the only one that thinks the numbers are bogus: https://www.ft.com/content/10c3d7aa-...7-e2090561fc42
    Paywalled. Unreadable without a subscription.
    Strange--I do not have a subscription, I have no problem reading it. Could it perhaps be a meterwall?

  7. Top | #807
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post

    Paywalled. Unreadable without a subscription.
    Strange--I do not have a subscription, I have no problem reading it. Could it perhaps be a meterwall?
    I can't read it on my phone or computer. Just the paywall.

  8. Top | #808
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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

    Paywalled. Unreadable without a subscription.
    Strange--I do not have a subscription, I have no problem reading it. Could it perhaps be a meterwall?
    I can't read it on my phone or computer. Just the paywall.
    Strange.

  9. Top | #809
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post

    I can't read it on my phone or computer. Just the paywall.
    Strange.
    I just tried it, and I got the same result: paywalled.

  10. Top | #810
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angra Mainyu View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post

    I can't read it on my phone or computer. Just the paywall.
    Strange.
    I just tried it, and I got the same result: paywalled.
    I don't understand, but here's part of what I'm talking about:

    Quote Originally Posted by article
    Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found at https://www.ft.com/tour.
    https://www.ft.com/content/10c3d7aa-...7-e2090561fc42

    “Published unemployment rates during Covid have dramatically understated the deterioration in the labour market,” Jay Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, said during a speech last month, noting that a more realistic unemployment rate was closer to 10 per cent.

    The drop in the unemployment rate has been partly driven by misclassification errors because of inaccurate survey responses during the pandemic. But, most importantly, it has been distorted by the plummeting number of Americans participating in the labour force.

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