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Taleb, Rogers, Gross Interviews on QE2


Myth465
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Guest broxburnboy

What's interesting is the complete lack of knowledge/insight by the interviewers who represent mainstream views. To try to turn this into a Fed hater/ Fed lover debate is absurd, but seems to be the way to "dumb down" the debate for mass consumption. You either are a patriot or a traitor.

Gross talks about capitalism under seige, but it is monopoly capitalism and its currency that is failing, free enterprise and free markets go on.

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I think he was talking more about the lack of failure in the system. Free markets in my opinion pretty much only exist in the minds of Austrian economists. I cant name one nation that isnt intervening in the markets right now. What we have is far from a free market.

 

I agree on the framing of the debate.

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I think he was talking more about the lack of failure in the system. Free markets in my opinion pretty much only exist in the minds of Austrian economists. I cant name one nation that isnt intervening in the markets right now. What we have is far from a free market.

 

I agree on the framing of the debate.

 

Here's one: Bermuda.  Just got back from a week there.  Per capita income: $107,000.  Why?  No income tax.  Unemployment: no official stats, but apparently very low.  Why?  No dole is the explanation given to me by a working class Bermudan. No welfare moms either.  Moral, family oriented culture for the most part. Corporate business climate:  unencumbered.  Excellent, mostly self regulation.  High sense of ethics.

 

Ordinary people not uncommonly travel frequently to the states for shopping, advanced education, etc.  Cab driver showed me around his neighborhood.  Nice cul de sac, three bedroom homes, well kept lawns.  All the cab drivers own their own cabs, excellent, courteous drivers.  College graduates come back to Bermuda to work after graduation because the pay is better there than in the US.

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Here's one: Bermuda.  Just got back from a week there.  Per capita income: $107,000.  Why?  No income tax.  Unemployment: no official stats, but apparently very low.  Why?  No dole is the explanation given to me by a working class Bermudan.  Corporate business climate:  unencumbered.  Excellent, mostly self regulation.  High sense of ethics.

 

Ordinary people not uncommonly travel frequently to the states for shopping, advanced education, etc.  Cab driver showed me around his neighborhood.  Nice cul de sac, three bedroom homes, well kept lawns.  College graduates come back to Bermuda to work after graduation because the pay is better there than in the US.

 

Bermuda is a pretty tiny country population-wise, I feel like it's easier (and probably more feasible) to enact those sorts of polices in a country like that versus in the US.

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Bermuda is not exactly an economic or political power. What do they have - 67,000 people? One to five law changes by the US and Bermuda is screwed. Out of the 150 + countries in the world, is this the best you could come up with? Doesn't that tell you something? It tells me something.

 

Do they have child labor lays? Do they infringe on my right to have my kids earn their keep?

 

Honestly I am a lost cause. These are all on my reading list. One can cling to Ideology and be the slave of some Defunct Economist or can use reason, history, and thought to examine things....

 

Two countries, one booming, one struggling: which one followed the free-trade route?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2005/dec/12/5

 

So which of the two has the better recent economic record? The question should be a no-brainer if all the free-trade theories are right - Mexico should be streets ahead of Vietnam. In fact, the opposite is true. Since Mexico signed the Nafta (North American Free Trade Agreement) deal with the US and Canada in 1992, its annual per capita growth rate has barely been above 1%. Vietnam has grown by around 5% a year for the past two decades. Poverty in Vietnam has come down dramatically: real wages in Mexico

have fallen.

 

Im glad we listened to Hamilton.

 

Alexander Hamilton, the first US Treasury secretary, dissented from this view. In a package presented to Congress in 1791, he proposed measures to protect America's infant industries. America went with Hamilton rather than Smith. For the next century and a half, the US economy grew behind high tariff walls, with an industrial tariff that tended to be above 40% and rarely slipped below 25%. This level of support is far higher than the US is prepared to tolerate in the trade negotiations now under way.

 

----

 

Free Trade Doesn't Work: What Should Replace it and Why by Ian Fletcher (A Republican).

 

Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang

 

23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1596915986/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d0_i2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0K00ZC58VYGXZ300FC4A&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1608191664/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0K00ZC58VYGXZ300FC4A&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

 

http://www.amazon.com/Free-Trade-Doesnt-Work-Replace/dp/0578048205/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1289894138&sr=8-1

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As with children, infant industry protection can go wrong. But, says Chang, "just as failures in the world of parental protection are hardly an argument against parenting itself, so cases of failures of infant industry protection do not constitute an argument against infant industry protection per se - especially when history shows that with startlingly few exceptions, successful countries in the past and in the present have used infant industry protection".

Wow, what a shoddy logic. Absolutely astonished.

 

1. "Successful" is measured by what standards? By the standards of existing countries in the world, of which a great majority have used tariffs.

2. If everybody uses infant industry protection, of course there are going to be a distribution of outcomes, of which the best will be labeled "successful"

 

And the comparisons between Asian countries and Latinamerica without accounting for differences in corruption levels, black markets, how well private ownership actually is protected etc are just plain meaningless. Says absolutely nothing about free trade vs protectionism. Without at least trying to isolate cause and effect in an honest way this is just bullshit politics. His empirical argument is worth absolutely zero, zip and nada.

 

Why not compare with Chile instead of Mexico? Oh right...

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I think you missed his greater point. Regarding child labor, that was an example to show we dont have free markets. When child labor laws were introduced they were fought with market and freedom driven arguments.

 

Fletcher and Chang basically argue that the US and UK were built on protectionism and State Support. I think its hard to dispute that, but would love to here another perspective. Invert, Always invest.

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I think you missed his greater point. Regarding child labor, that was an example to show we dont have free markets. When child labor laws were introduced they were fought with market and freedom driven arguments.

 

Fletcher and Chang basically argue that the US and UK were built on protectionism and State Support. I think its hard to dispute that, but would love to here another perspective. Invert, Always invest.

 

The original tea party boys had their party because the Brits dumped so much tea on the market that, despite the British tarriff on tea, the glut destroyed the profit margin of the tea smugglers (oops, I mean patriots).  So, in a sense you could say that a tarriff was instrumental for the success of the USA.  :)

 

The North American British colonies owed their success largely to free trade and other aspects of freedom.  Like current day Bermuda, many energetic, productive people were attracted to a place where their gains would not be confiscated.  At the time of the American Revolution, the British Colonies had per capita income that was at least double that of even the most productive countries of Europe.  It's estimated that the colonies had only about two percent of the burden of direct taxation that residents of England endured.  Trifling efforts to tax the colonies to pay even a small part of their fair share were greeted with riots.  Customs duties gave rise to fleets of smugglers who were mostly unrestrained in free trade across the lengthy coastline of NA.

 

In the late 19th century, the rally cry of the Progressives and the Democrat Party was "Free Trade and Free Silver" (meaning more expansive monetary policy).

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