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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 | #381
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Cost of production is just a part of doing business. The aim in most cases being to maximise profits by reducing costs, which often comes at the expense of workers. Workers do better under collective bargaining and wealth is still created.
    Which doesn't mean you can just handwave it away.

    The capital costs of business have been going up, it's inherent from our increasing standard of living.
    Everything has been going up except wages for the average worker. Which does not apply to the big end of town, where wealth has no apparent limits.
    And I suppose you measure the height of the average human by attending a dwarf convention.

  2. Top | #382
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    What's that got to do with my point?
    The point is that exports were flat until the late seventies. Yet you want to give all the credit for the massive GDP numbers to exports.
    You can't tell if they were flat or not, there simply isn't enough detail in that part of the graph. Exponential curves start out looking flat.

  3. Top | #383
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    It has to be a competitive free market, not just any free market.
    Note that fair trade is about applying capitalism to markets that are not competitive.

  4. Top | #384
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post

    The point is that exports were flat until the late seventies. Yet you want to give all the credit for the massive GDP numbers to exports.
    You can't tell if they were flat or not, there simply isn't enough detail in that part of the graph. Exponential curves start out looking flat.
    For twenty five years???
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  5. Top | #385
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post

    Everything has been going up except wages for the average worker. Which does not apply to the big end of town, where wealth has no apparent limits.
    And I suppose you measure the height of the average human by attending a dwarf convention.
    The widening gap between income at the top end and that of the average worker is quite clear.

  6. Top | #386
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post

    It's not extortion. It's a balance of power.
    It's a use of cartel power. The union is a cartel which gains some advantage not by competing but by anticompetitive behavior, uniting with their competitors to fix their price = wage-fixing.

    You could also say that price-fixing by companies is not "extortion." It is just an anticompetitive act which makes everyone worse off except those players who gain by joining together to agree on terms rather than competing with each other.


    As it stands, it is the employer who has the power to set wages and the employee who has no choice but to either accept or have no income. That is extortion.
    No, there's no "extortion" until threats of force are used against the victim. The employer is not threatening you to offer you $1 and say you don't get the $1 unless you do that work. A "threat" to not pay you $1 is not really a "threat" because if such a "threat" is carried out, it leaves you no worse off. A real "threat" has to be something which if done would make you worse off than you already were.

    Definition of "extortion" -- "the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats." https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=...4dUDCAc&uact=5
    Nothing to do with extortion.... collective bargaining simply provides a more balanced relationship between workers and employers. Without collective bargaining (or government regulation), it is the employer who has free reign. Look at the history of the Labour movement.

  7. Top | #387
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by laughing dog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    As for #2--where's the amount going to capital in your data?
    Capital is owned by owners. It is an asset of theirs. Your objection is economically ignorant.
    No, you're the one being ignorant. It doesn't matter that it's owned by owners, it's not available to spend.
    I realize this is difficult for you. Owners choose to buy capital equipment - it was available to spend at one time. Furthermore, capital equipment is a physical asset - it is part of the owners' wealth.

  8. Top | #388
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post

    It's a use of cartel power. The union is a cartel which gains some advantage not by competing but by anticompetitive behavior, uniting with their competitors to fix their price = wage-fixing.

    You could also say that price-fixing by companies is not "extortion." It is just an anticompetitive act which makes everyone worse off except those players who gain by joining together to agree on terms rather than competing with each other.




    No, there's no "extortion" until threats of force are used against the victim. The employer is not threatening you to offer you $1 and say you don't get the $1 unless you do that work. A "threat" to not pay you $1 is not really a "threat" because if such a "threat" is carried out, it leaves you no worse off. A real "threat" has to be something which if done would make you worse off than you already were.

    Definition of "extortion" -- "the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats." https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=...4dUDCAc&uact=5
    Nothing to do with extortion.... collective bargaining simply provides a more balanced relationship between workers and employers. Without collective bargaining (or government regulation), it is the employer who has free reign. Look at the history of the Labour movement.
    "Collective bargaining is extortion" is another idiotic libertarian meme that indicates rational discussion is not possible.

  9. Top | #389
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    Quote Originally Posted by laughing dog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post

    It's a use of cartel power. The union is a cartel which gains some advantage not by competing but by anticompetitive behavior, uniting with their competitors to fix their price = wage-fixing.

    You could also say that price-fixing by companies is not "extortion." It is just an anticompetitive act which makes everyone worse off except those players who gain by joining together to agree on terms rather than competing with each other.




    No, there's no "extortion" until threats of force are used against the victim. The employer is not threatening you to offer you $1 and say you don't get the $1 unless you do that work. A "threat" to not pay you $1 is not really a "threat" because if such a "threat" is carried out, it leaves you no worse off. A real "threat" has to be something which if done would make you worse off than you already were.

    Definition of "extortion" -- "the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats." https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=...4dUDCAc&uact=5
    Nothing to do with extortion.... collective bargaining simply provides a more balanced relationship between workers and employers. Without collective bargaining (or government regulation), it is the employer who has free reign. Look at the history of the Labour movement.
    "Collective bargaining is extortion" is another idiotic libertarian meme that indicates rational discussion is not possible.
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  10. Top | #390
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    But unions are essentially cartels, and this has turned them rotten.
    The power differential is the key. Unless workers gang together and defend their interests as a group they will be taken advantage of. At some point their will be an equilibrium of acceptable exploitation. The capitalist needs to make a profit. But it has to be reasonable. What is reasonable is set by the market.

    I disagree that it's a rule that unions always turn dysfunctional and into cartells. In USA some of them were infiltrated by the maffia who used them as a weapon. In Great Britain the extremely strong coal miners union were bringing the country to its knees economically. But these are exceptions. Usually unions have purely been benefical. In Central and Northern Europe unions have purely been positive to the economy as a whole. The unions and the capitalists are a team working together for greater profits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    The legitimate positive function of unions can be compatible with the principle of competition. It must be recognized that competition is a necessary component of the market, and yet unions mostly disregard this, demanding protectionist measures and other policies which reduce competition, and demonizing foreign production as detrimental to the domestic economy, which it is not. Healthy unionism would be a kind which welcomes all competition, no matter where it comes from, and would make its gains by causing workers to perform their work better and compete better and beat the foreigners by outperforming them rather than by getting the demagogue President to crack down on the "unfair" imports.
    I don't think unions disregard this. I think you are just flat out wrong. Yes, I agree on your definition of healthy unionism and I do think that is the norm for how unions function.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    Even slavery was a part of the "market" 300 years ago. Not everything going on in the economy, or in the society, is a legitimate part of the system. Some elements within the society go contrary to a legitimate competitive free market system. Including some capitalists. How about a murder-for-hire business. That too is a "part of the market."
    Ehe... what? That's completely counter to what any economic theorist has ever said about market economics. Any part of the market, no matter how immoral or dysfunctional, is a part of the market. Whether we like it or not. The acceptance of this is why conservatives often are called calous by bleeding heart liberals. But it's non the less true.

    The whole point of conservatism and libertarianism is that the market is smarter than any human. Gaming the market is hard. Yes, murder-for-hire is a legitimate part of the market. Why? Because people are being hired to murder others. It's litterally a fact. So it has to be taken into account as a factor in the free market. No matter if we agree on the practice or not. Our opinions on its morality is irrelevant.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    A free market isn't everybody lying down flat and letting the capitalists walk all over them.
    No, it's everybody improving their performance so they can compete better. But it's not demanding laws which stomp down on a competitor who sells something at a lower price, like unions demanding anti-dumping laws against foreigners beating them on price, or imposing crybaby "local content" rules requiring products to be 35% or 50% domestic-made. These are crybabies not "lying down flat and letting the capitalists walk all over them," but rising up to crush the competition and make the economy worse and drive up the cost of living for the whole nation, in order to increase the benefit to a small special interest group.

    So in a true free market some of the players must yield to the benefits of competition rather than rise up and go to war against their hated competitors and against all the consumers, waving their xenophobic pseudo-patriotic banners and screaming "jobs! jobs! jobs! jobs! jobs!" etc. They'd do the economy better by continuing to "lie flat" and let the country benefit from the free market competition.
    Aha... the "true free market". Perhaps found under the No True Scotsman's kilt?

    The market is the market. Whether you like it or not. The unions are a part of it. If employers would consistently be nice to their employees unions wouldn't exist.

    I work in IT. It's a very human capital centred type of job. Employers have to be nice to their employees. Since it's their brains they are paying for. The physical labour part of the job doesn't exist. So unions in that field barely exists. I'm still for unions. But their necessity depends upon what type of job it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    A free market is everybody hustling to get a piece, even workers.
    Only if they get their "piece" by competing and performing better, not if they get it by running to the government to pass laws to excuse them from competing. Not ALL "hustling to get a piece" is the "free market."
    Getting special legislation on your behalf is something we primarily associate with industry lobby groups. Not trade unions. While they do it. It's nowhere near the shenanigens the companies are doing. The problem is the structure of the democratic system works. It's not unions.

    BTW, this doesn't happen in Europe (except France). Trade unions have traditionally (except in France) stayed away from this type of lobbyism. Which I think is good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumpenproletariat View Post
    And "free" has its limit, because it has to be a COMPETITIVE free market, not just a free market where every player is "free" to choose anything no matter what. There can be legitimate interference in the market to force the players to be competitive rather than engage in anticompetitive behavior, e.g., price-fixing. Enforcing competition is a messy part of the free market, but it can be necessary, because serving consumers has to be the ultimate goal -- higher overall living standard -- not simply freedom of producers to do anything they choose. In cases where they choose anticompetitive acts, this is the one instance of "free" choice going against the good of the whole society. So cartels and monopolies and oligopolies have to be deterred somehow, even though this means "free" is curtailed.

    This is the main point where Ayn Rand and most Libertarians went wrong.
    I agree completely. I also think that Thatchers breaking of the British coal miners union in the 80's was necessary. Any player on the market regardless of if it's on the employer or employee side that is so effecitive in it's hustle that it disrupts the market should be broken. I just don't agree that unions are primarily evil. As a general rule, they spring up whereever they are necessary and disappear when they aren't. Just like how any healthy free market should work.

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