View Full Version : Free Trade Strikes again
Free trade strikes again. More jobs lost, without lower prices but greater profit.
From here: http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/business/10395253.htm
Quotas on apparel, textiles dying
By KATHERINE YUNG and MARIA HALKIAS
The Dallas Morning News
DALLAS — On New Year’s Eve, U.S. consumers will have an extra reason to toast the arrival of 2005: better and less expensive clothes.
The World Trade Organization’s 148 member nations will lift all quotas on apparel and textiles Jan. 1.
Aren't consumers usually also workers?
The changes will bring their share of pain. Nearly 700,000 people work in the U.S. textile industry. Many could lose their jobs, including more in South Carolina.
Great news. More exporting of jobs. Another 700,000 jobs at risk.
Initially, consumers are not likely to see clothing prices tumble. Smith Barney estimates average unit retail prices will drop between 2 percent and 3 percent next year.
But prices could take a dive if retailing behemoth Wal-Mart Stores Inc. decides to pass the savings on directly to customers, sparking a price war.
Retailers’ earnings per share could decline about two to three times the deflation rate if competition forces them to pass the cost savings to consumers, said Josh Chernoff, a vice president at A.T. Kearney’s consumer industries and retail practice.
Other retailers, including J.C. Penney, are aiming to avoid price reductions by giving consumers more value.
Penney plans to improve the quality of its clothing — without raising prices.
The department store chain is starting to blend cashmere into its men’s wool suits and is launching a line of Stafford men’s antimicrobial underwear, which helps eliminate body odors.
“Most retailers recognize the better strategy is to improve the product rather than sell it cheaper,” McGrath said.
Looks like lower costs but same prices....unless forced by the market to reduce profits. International corporations will make a temporary killing in profits. Too bad they are killing the Golden Goose at the same time with short sighted profits. What happens when we export all America jobs? Who is going to have money to buy all these imported goods?
International corporations are doing great. The American people lose their jobs and living standards.
When will America wake up to the idiocy of Free Trade? Great for international corporations, deadly to American workers.
12-14-04, 05:17 PM
People with good paying jobs and graduate degrees will be the last to realize that much of what they have read in the Wall Street Journal for the last fourty years was economic religion rather than economic science. David Ricardo would climb out of his grave and slap Milton Freidman if he knew how "comparative advantage" would be mis-applied.
I am not saying that this is Freidman's fault but he is as much to blame as anybody for the rise of voodoo economics.
International trade is NOT free trade.
American manufacturers are not ALLOWED to compete with countries like China. They must pay overtime, benefits, yield to OSHA, EOE, and endless other government agencies and lawsuits. The obstacles our manufacturers have are both good and bad, perhaps depending on your ideology but it's definitely NOT free trade.
The globalists have fooled the right into thinking this is free trade, but have done nothing to bring about real domestic free trade.
International trade is NOT free trade. American manufacturers are not ALLOWED to compete with countries like China. Um, that's free trade. We want X amount of money and benefits. China wants X/100 for the same work.
Guess who gets the job....
but have done nothing to bring about real domestic free trade.Domestic free trade is a given unless you are selling firearms or drugs.
And you know what, I don't really care. Even the unemployeed people I know in this country live better than the employed in many other countries.... so stop your whining.
When will America wake up to the idiocy of Free Trade? Great for international corporations, deadly to American workers.If by deadly you mean that we lower our standards slightly while raising someone else's dramatically, go free trade.
Domestic free trade is a given unless you are selling firearms or drugs.
Actually, I would assert that the black market is closer to free trade than the open market in the U.S. For instance:
(1) U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. "Fact Sheet: Milk Price Support Program". August, 2004. See http://www.fsa.usda.gov/pas/publications/facts/html/MPSP04.htm
(2) Strom, Shelly. "Dairy farmers reap new rewards as milk prices rise". Portland Business Journal (Bizjournals.com), April 30, 2004. http://portland.bizjournals.com/portland/stories/2004/05/03/story6.html
(3) CNN.com. "Farmers approve new milk pricing system". August 31, 1999. See http://www.cnn.com/FOOD/news/9908/31/dairy.pricing.ap./
• Basic Legislative Authority: The basic provisions of the Agricultural Act of 1949, as amended, required that the price of milk to producers be supported at a level between 75 and 90 percent parity to assure an adequate supply of milk, reflect changes in the cost of production, and assure a level of farm income to maintain productive capacity sufficient to meet future needs. However, since October 21, 1981, the support price has been established by Congress either at specific price levels, or by formula related to expected surplus, rather than parity levels. (1)
• The Federal Milk Market Administration determines the price farmers receive for milk. Aiming to ensure farmers equal access to markets by controlling the price, the administration uses a formula that takes into account market prices for certain dairy products. (2)
• Even though it could cost them money, dairy farmers overwhelmingly approved an overhaul of the way milk is priced around the country rather than have the government end its regulation of their industry.
The new plan, developed by the Agriculture Department to smooth regional disparities in the prices farmers get for milk, is likely to be revised by Congress this fall before it takes effect. The current system expires October 1.
USDA's plan received near-unanimous approval in most regions of the country, according to results of the August 2-6 referendum released Tuesday ....
.... Economists say the USDA plan would hurt most producers outside the upper Midwest, but producers had no choice but to vote for it given that the current system is scheduled to end, said Chris Galen, a spokesman for the National Milk Producers Federation.
"The referendum was a choice between the lesser of two evils. The most egregious evil is having no federal order program.... It's no surprise that dairy producers very grudgingly and with a great deal of reservation did vote in the USDA proposal," Galen said. (3)
Um, that's free trade. We want X amount of money and benefits. China wants X/100 for the same work. You said yourself "We want X". This is NOT free trade because this demand is ARTIFICIALLY CREATED BY FORCE. We want their products because they are cheaper, and they are cheaper because they are not saddled with lawsuits, EOE, OSHA etc. etc. which serve as domestic tarriffs.
Domestic free trade is a given .Wrong. If you are forced to hire someone you don't think is the best for the job because of EOE affirmative action laws for example, you are not "free" to trade, but rather trading based on force.
Free trade is where there is no government involvement.
Truly FREE trade cannot exist in our modern world. To remove all laws and regulations concerning economic trade we would have to go back to a system of barter or something close. With a barter system we could never have anywhere near the level of technological advancement we enjoy now. Everything is a trade off. That is a simple fact and we must trade some economic freedoms for stability and technological advancement that enhance our lives. The term "free trade" then is nothing more than a term to describe acceptable limits on the trade of goods and services. I am more than willing to give up some economic freedoms in order to enjoy a good lifestyle.
02-08-05, 12:04 AM
It's been awhile since I majored in economics but in a perfect world, FREE TRADE, is the best option for everyone but in the world we currently live in, TRADE IS AS FREE AS POSSIBLE and WORKING SLOWLY TOWARDS becoming FREE. That has been the game plan for some time now. The economies of the world are in constant economic motion toward EQUILIBRIUM. As with most things driven by money, there are going to be winner and losers. Try as they might, governments can SLOW down the process using trade barriers of one sort or another but they CANNOT stop it! If you happen to hold a job that can be done cheaper and/or more efficiently by someone else either inside or outside the country in which you live, you are vulnerable to the “outsourcing” phenomenon. In the past, it was the faceless poorly educated factory workers that lost their jobs to mechanization and innovation or cheaper laborers in other countries, but with the advent of the digital age, ALMOST anyone can NOW be replaced with cheaper expertise elsewhere in the world. The digital age has brought about “the great equalizer” for all countries of the world. And the countries that held the power and the lead in days past will be experiencing great pressure and pain of lost jobs as poorer countries begin to catch up. The wealth America built and accumulated is now traveling in the other direction. In the long term, it’s not a bad thing but if you are one of those affected by it, you won’t be too happy about it. You may even be hostile about it. You can try to fight it but it is in your best interest to learn about it, get an understanding of it, and make changes to your life to take advantage of it because a changing world waits for no-one.
02-08-05, 12:37 AM
And you know what, I don't really care. Even the unemployeed people I know in this country live better than the employed in many other countries....
So fucking what! If you looked hard enough you could probably find people living in the US in worse conditions than some 3rd world peasants, a point just as redundant as yours.
As for "Free Trade" read the following and weep, once these agreements are fully ratified everyone can kiss any semblance of freedom they thought they had goodbye. These documents are quite large and I don't actually expect anyone to read them, no-one ever does :rolleyes:
General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) (http://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/26-gats.pdf)
Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) (http://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/27-trips.pdf)
Multilateral Agreements on Trade in Goods (GATT 1994) (http://www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/05-anx1a.pdf)
Australia has signed a "Free Trade Agreement" with the US, some US laws now apply here, utterly ridiculous.
02-08-05, 12:44 AM
The US is going to keep sheding these jobs... I don't know why you think we can keep them... The factories would sooner automate this labor entirely then pay what you would consider decent wages... this is just the nature of the modern economy. Textile labor is simple and cheap. The US has been losing those jobs for a long long time and we're going to keep losing them. We're nearly at 80 percent into the "services" industry... which just means not farm or factory.
02-08-05, 01:00 AM
I would be more than happy to have the US just sit here and leach wealth off everybody else. I just wish we could do so more efficiently.
02-08-05, 01:14 AM
we can't do that.
The manufacturing sector is going to keep shrinking, get over it. Trying to save it, is like trying to save farming. Just let the weak bits die... I'm glad they're finally going to kill off most of the farm subsidies in the next ten years... that's well overdue.
02-08-05, 02:11 AM
Jagger excellent post and right on the money! Persol: Free trade does nothing to raise the standard of living for others, it only serves to lower the standard here in America. If there were some protections included which put inplace that would require that foreign laborers were brought up to a standard even close to ours that would be one thing. There are no requirements like that so no one wins in the long run. Except the super wealthy who grab huge profits and gut the world economy.
02-08-05, 02:25 AM
... free trade generally enriches poorer countries while killing the lower wage labor in richer countries... just to be noted.
02-08-05, 04:00 AM
Those, such as Pat Buchanan, who want protection for textile mill workers never seen to want to work in those mills themselves.
02-08-05, 05:30 AM
well... that's not entirely fair... we need lower level work if for nothing other than younger workers... I mean... Mexicans do all the stuff that my parents used to do as children... stuff like mowing the lawn or washing cars... Those are good jobs for kids and if they're all taken by Mexicans then kids start to regard themselves as above those jobs... this is bad... cus’ they obviously are not above them. But I see that in my culture and it worries me. The agriculture and textile is fine for migrant labor... but the domestic and service jobs should be protected if for nothing other then cultural reasons.
I have nothing against their labor and the other costs they put on our infrastructure is another issue... but this issue bothers me... I don't want our people to start thinking themselves above some jobs.