Automobiles

Made in South Korea

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The American textile industry may soon suffer from both too much and not enough when it comes to international trade regulations. The New York Times reports:

A proposed free trade agreement with South Korea, which the House and Senate are scheduled to consider this week, would open the American market to a manufacturing powerhouse that has its own high-technology textile industry.

This will open up American textile companies to further competition from South Korean imports, which will be able to undercut domestic prices by 25 to 30 percent. Is that a bad thing?

Made in South Korea

Economists generally argue that free trade agreements benefit all participating countries by creating a larger market for goods and services. But that benefit derives in part from the movement of some activities to the lower-cost countries….

The production of shirts and sheets has shifted steadily from the United States to countries with lower-cost labor. Economists argue that this process strengthens the economy as companies and workers shift to more productive and lucrative kinds of work.

Meaning a net gain for the American economy, while potentially sacrificing industries such as textiles to more cost-effective foreign outsourcing.

Still, the deal doesn't simply let the global market play its course unimpeded. The "free trade" agreement features regulations designed to manage international trade:

Textile industry executives are particularly incensed that for some products, like the roofing fabric produced by Highland, the deal requires the United States to reduce tariffs more quickly than South Korea.

And it's not like the administration hasn't built favors into the deal for other industries. The Detroit News reports:

The free trade deal won the backing of Detroit's Big Three automakers, the United Auto Workers and nearly all of Michigan's congressional delegation after the Obama administration won new protections for U.S. automakers that weren't included in the original treaty reached by the Bush administration.

For more on the politics of free trade, check out Reason's archives. For the Reason Foundation's take on the current trade agreement, click here.

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98 responses to “Made in South Korea

  1. “Meaning a net gain for the American economy, while potentially sacrificing industries such as textiles to more cost-effective foreign outsourcing.”

    What do you mean, “potentially”? It will happen. This will be a good thing, except for the people who lose their jobs.

    1. They’re not “their” jobs.
      The jobs belong to the employer.

      1. ^^ THIS ^^

        Stupid conservatives and clueless lefties do share one thing in common: The same tired, old, debunked (and left for dead) mercantilistic myths.

        THE JOBS BELONG TO WHOEVER PAYS THE MONEY.

        1. And the import policy “belongs” to the people with the right to vote in thsi country.

          You can take that “job” that “belongs” to you to South Korea, but this country has no obligation to accept your junta-based sweatshop imports as a matter of “free trade” or “freedom” simpliciter.

          The benefit of American markets should only come with the burden of American rules.

          1. Re: There is no “we”,

            And the import policy “belongs” to the people with the right to vote in [this] country.

            Are you so willing to leave that to mob rule, “not ‘we'”?

            “Mob rule” once determined that blacks were inferior to whites. Think about the nest time you want to trust “the voting people” [i.e. the mob] next time.

            You can take that “job” that “belongs” to you to South Korea, but this country has no obligation to accept your junta-based sweatshop imports as a matter of “free trade” or “freedom” simpliciter.

            “This country”? Countries do not buy things – PEOPLE DO. And People can perfectly not buy those items, but then saying that those persons that DO want to buy will not be allowed because “the mob” you’re so keen in truisting does not want to, is basically an advocacy for tyranny.

            The benefit of American markets should only come with the burden of American rules.

            Translation: I have a personal problem with money.

          2. South Korea? Junta? What is this 1962?

            1. I’d like to send this letter to the Prussian consulate in Siam by aeromail. Am I too late for the 4:30 autogyro?

            2. I’d like to send this letter to the Prussian consulate in Siam by aeromail. Am I too late for the 4:30 autogyro?

      2. Tough talk from somebody who doesn’t work in a textile mill.

        1. Nah. Casual observation from someone who buys textiles.

    2. Unless the foreign industries are not, for whatever reason, more cost effective.

    3. Big “except.”

  2. In other words, ‘free trade’ doesn’t really mean what it sounds like.

    I still maintain our trade policy should be really simple. We charge tariffs on your products based on the tariffs you give our products. Do a nice weighted average and done.

    1. “I still maintain our trade policy should be really simple. We charge tariffs on your products based on the tariffs you give our products. Do a nice weighted average and done.”

      Any reason we should shoot ourselves in the foot?
      “Except in all but the rarest of instances, tariffs hurt the country that imposes them, as their costs outweigh their benefits.”
      http://economics.about.com/cs/…..iffs_2.htm

      1. [FIX]
        Any reason we should let somebody shoot us in the foot without shooting back?

        1. By giving me the choice to buy goods at a lower price, I do not consider them to be shooting me in the foot.

          1. Ah, shooting somebody else in the foot is okay, so long as it isn’t you personally.

            Stay out of my foxhole, coward.

            1. “Ah, shooting somebody else in the foot is okay, so long as it isn’t you personally.”

              You sort of have a choice here:
              1) Continue to prove you’re an econ ignoramus.
              2) Read the link and STFU.

            2. I don’t consider purchasing goods and services the same as war. Not sure why you do.

        2. “Any reason we should let somebody shoot us in the foot without shooting back?”

          Yes. Read the link. I have no desire to lose money proving we are as stupid as they are.

        3. No, there isn’t. That’s why the rest of us are trying to stop you from shooting us in the foot, by opposing free trade.

          Being a “protectionist” means shooting your fellow citizens in the foot in order to benefit yourself.

        4. Your question, to reflect reality, should be phrased, “Any reason we should let somebody shoot themselves in the foot without us also shooting ourselves in the foot in retaliation?”

          Course, when you phrase it like that, it exposes the absurdity of your argument.

    2. We charge tariffs on punish American consumers by raising the price of your products based on the tariffs you give how much you punish your consumers by raising the price of our products.

      ftfy

      1. Reciprocity in game theory: how does that work?

        1. “Reciprocity in game theory: how does that work?”
          Not the way you think it does.

          1. Better idea: you read my link:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tit_for_tat

            1. You stupid shit! This *ain’t* checkers.

              1. Is that your way of saying you won’t read the link?

                1. “Is that your way of saying you won’t read the link?”

                  We have a new winner in “I’m a Stupid Shit”, 10/11/11!
                  No, stupid shit, I opened the link and saw it doesn’t apply.
                  This *ain’t* checkers.

                  1. checkers does not appear anywhere in the linked item. Prisoner’s Dilemma does. Not checkers.

        2. Game theory is not nearly as good at describing the human condition as you think it is.

    3. T, so in order to “get back” at the country that imposed tariffs on us, we should make ourselves poorer? Yeah, that’ll show em! Make goods more expensive for Americans so we have less and less wealth. We’ll show em we don’t need wealth to be happy!

  3. If it translates into cheaper South Korean kim chee, I’m all for it. That stuff kicks domestic kim chee’s ass.

  4. Is NAFTA full of these screwed up exceptions? What’s wrong with bidirectionally, no tariffs, no subsidies?

    1. What’s wrong with bidirectionally, no tariffs, no subsidies?

      Nothing, except that it’s the same protectionists who oppose the deal in the end who fight for and get the screwed up exceptions.

      The screwed up exceptions are there to placate the “moderates.”

      Even with the exceptions, it’s still a move in the direction of free trade from what we’ve had before. Almost all of the exceptions tend to be “we’ll take longer to remove this barrier we already have” or “we won’t remove this barrier we already have,” not new barriers at all.

      Claiming that only phasing out an existing barrier over 10 years instead of immediately is a reason to vote against because it’s not free trade enough is twisted logic. It’s one of the things I like least about Ron Paul, for his other virtues. (But I know it’s him being political and sucking up to protectionists.)

  5. How about the US ends its subsidy for South Korean defense at the same time it ends tariffs with South Korea. The money saved could be given back to American businesses and workers so they could compete against South Koreans.

    It makes no sense for the US to spend more then 4% GDP on defense while the South Koreans spends just over 2%.

    1. Yeah it does when you consider the US wants to meddle in every single theater of every single continent.

      SK has a massive fucking military (with more men in the military per capita than the US – by far), equiped with state of the art weaponry, and for less of a percentage of their economic output than the US. How? They only worry about one enemy, one which is actually relevant to them and has its forces massed less than 40 miles from their capital. Unlike all the “enemies” the US pretends its defending itself from, which are thousands and thousands of miles away, pose no credible threat, and have no projection capability.

      Why punish Korea for the dumbfuck decisions of the US?

      1. “”””Why punish Korea for the dumbfuck decisions of the US?””””

        Who is punishing Korea? All I want to do is to stop punishing the US taxpayer by not requiring them to subsidize South Korea’s defense. South Korea defends itself and the US defends itself.

        1. SK doesn’t need subsidization. You really think those 30k American troops really add that much to South Korea’s 700k-man military? The US is there because they love sticking their fat little fingers anywhere and everywhere so they can feel like they are soooo important to global stability. Also it helps justify the DOD’s $700B+ budget.

          Anybody who has experience government will tell you that every division of every agency will rather pick up some new “responsibility” to increase and sustain funding rather than simply saying “naw, we have plenty, you can reduce our budget”.

          And you want to punish them by subsidizing inefficient outdated fat American oafs who supply inferior textiles at higher prices. Based on this ridiculous idea that Korea fiddles all day while the poor US is forced to defend them since they can’t/won’t do it themselves. You couldn’t be more wrong.

          1. Where have I said anything about “subsidizing inefficient outdated fat American oafs” All I have called for is getting rid of the US subsidizing South Korean defense. Why are you so opposed to ending the US/South Korean mutual defense treaty?

            The US/South Korea mutual defense treaty can be ended by either side after giving 1 year notice. So we give notice today and the US taxpayer is free from the cost of defending South Korea and no longer has to worry about spending blood and money in the future to defend South Korea

            http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/kor001.asp

            1. I absolutely WANT every last American military appartchik out of Korea. But you are acting like the reason that the Americans are there is that they need to be since Korea isn’t willing to pay for the defense of itself. My point is that it can and is. The contingent of American pukes that are there are wholly unnecessary. In fact the Koreans have regular mass protests about sending their Americans home. But like I said, the US “assistance” in Korea is highly popular with the DOD and with the majority of Americans who fancy themselves as belonging to the one country in the history of the world capable of providing stability.

              All I’ve been saying is don’t punish the KOreans through tariffs or subsidy of inferior American products because the American government INSISTS on flushing money down the toilet in Korea (and then blaming the Koreans for somehow making it necessary to do so??)

              1. Finally, you agree to get rid of the US subsidizing South Korea’s defense. I guess you had to throw in those insults to protect your weak ego but I understand.

                Since you say that South Koreans don’t want the US there, when can I expect the South Koreans to provide notice of ending the US/South Korean mutual defense treaty and ordering US troops out?

                1. Not any time soon, unfortunately. The US is more to blame than is Korea, however. But I assure you, Korea would eject the US presence sooner than the US would withdraw on its own.

                  South Korea doesn’t need the US. US insists on sending 10s of thousands of pukes to “defend” Korea from a communist shithole with 1/2 the population of SK. Said communist shithole has 1950s technology, at best. SK’s is cutting edge. Korea doesn’t need these wastrels. But because the US INSISTS on sending them, the government isn’t going to risk an incident/scene/trade dispute by telling them to get the fuck out.

                  SK just can’t win with you and your ilk, can they.

                  1. “””‘Not any time soon, unfortunately. The US is more to blame than is Korea, however.””

                    How is the US more to blame, the treaty specifically says that either party can end the mutual defense treaty and its obvious that the South Koreans can order US troops out of South Korea at any point, they are only 30,000. I would think that the 700K South Korean military would have no problem kicking out 30,000 American “pukes”.

                    Come on South Koreans, don’t let 30,000 “puke” Americans dominate you. I know that the US had to remove the Japanese and keep out the North Koreans since the South Koreans could not do it but grow a backbone and stand up to the US

                    1. The Korean leftists don’t really like the American troops there, but the older Koreans and the politicians who are more educated understand the gift that they are getting. When push comes to shove, the Korean leftists in government would never kick the American troops out either. Would you turn away a free appy at a restaurant? Is the restaurant “dominating” you for giving you something free?

                      Also, having US aircraft carrier presence in the area is a godsend. Troop numbers don’t really matter, technology matters. The US could wipe North Korea off the planet without putting a single troop on the ground.

                    2. Zuo: As one of those folks who’ve spent time there since our civilian leaders aren’t spineful enough to pull us out, WHO THE FUCK are you to be calling us “Pukes”? Was your mom a juicy girl or something?
                      I’m all for getting off that peninsula, show a little respect for those of us who had to spend a year away from friends/family in what it technically still a war zone.

            2. I am now understanding why reasonable considers Zuo a troll.

              1. Lols, didn’t know that it did… Because I don’t “respect” our shitheads in uniform?

                Hey asshole steve I call anybody who is a government parasite a puke. Especially ones who think they are “heroes” for being so. Like the military. Suck it, bitch. Nobody forced you to be there, so quit crying about how you had to go to lovely Korea in order to get your taxpayer monies and “free” food and “free housing” (also provided by the taxpayer sans their consent). A-hole.

  6. The net gain or loss in the long term is irrelevant to our lives. All that really matters is the short-term effect on individuals.

    From this deal, I might see a few pennies shaved off of my T-Shirt purchase. Meanwhile, a textile worker in the US gets sh!tcanned at age fifty with no retraining and no prospects.

    By the way – it ain’t “free trade” unless labor can move as freely as capital. Letting capital move around freely while workers are forced to stay wherever they happened to have been born isn’t free trade. It isn’t free anything. It might be “pro-capital” trade. It might be “pro-corporate” trade.

    But it ain’t…
    Free..
    Trade.

    1. Re: There is no “we”,

      From this deal, I might see a few pennies shaved off of my T-Shirt purchase. Meanwhile, a textile worker in the US gets sh!tcanned at age fifty with no retraining and no prospects.

      Would you prefer to be poorer just so you know you’re subsidizing some American’s job in a textile factory?

      I am not willing. That guy can go fuck himself.

      1. I don’t care about you at all, either. I’d rather screw you than screw him, just on principle. And politics gives me that choice.

        1. Re: There is no “we”,

          I don’t care about you at all, either. I’d rather screw you than screw him, just on principle.

          “On principle” I would not screw anybody, not even you. But not buying someone’s wares is construed as “screwing” that someone only by the economics-unsophisticated. Don’t be so keen in showcasing your ignorance, “not ‘we'”

          1. You set up a matrix of rules that puts politically-repressive juntas and autocrats at a trading advantage over politically-free democracies, and then you pose like your are championing something “free” — viz. free trade.

            I don’t claim to be smart. I only claim to be smart enough not to buy your pile of hot, steaming bullsh!t.

            1. Re: There is no “we”,

              You set up a matrix of rules that puts politically-repressive juntas and autocrats at a trading advantage over politically-free democracies, and then you pose like your are championing something “free” — viz. free trade.

              I don’t set up anything. Whatever political systems exist beyond the borders is jsut incidental, “no ‘we'”. You can’t violate or bypass the laws of economics, especially the Law Of Comparative Advantage.

              Even if a country decides to impose trade barriers against another, the country that allows free imports will always benefit from the trade as the local labor is freed to do more productive things. Think: Hong Kong.

              I only claim to be smart enough not to buy your pile of hot, steaming bullsh!t.

              You’re not being smart at all. You’re simply focusing on an irrelevant thing from the standpoint of economics – some other country’s political system – to the argue in economics. That’s not being smart, “no ‘we'”.

              I don’t claim to be smart. I only claim to be smart enough not to buy your pile of hot, steaming bullsh!t.

              1. Earlier you invoked historical racism against my championing of democracy. (Which is ridiculous, because one of the major evils of historical racism was that it prevented racial minorities from participating in the political process.)

                But now, you say the political systems in other parts of the world are “irrelevant” to our trade policy.

                So, if black slaves were still being used in Haiti to grow sugar, we ought to have a free trade agreement to import slave-grown sugar? That’s the implication of what you’re saying now.

                Before you debate others, maybe you need to finish the debate with yourself inside your own fragmented brain.

                1. Re: There is no “we”,

                  Earlier you invoked historical racism against my championing of democracy. (Which is ridiculous, because one of the major evils of historical racism was that it prevented racial minorities from participating in the political process.)

                  You don’t seem to fully grasp the concept of “democracy”, “no ‘we'”, if you commit such a fallacy. Democracy is by concept and definition the rule of the majority, so whatever participation a minority would have would be a moot point. This is why I mentioned the fact that a majority of whites can perfectly agree and vote on considering blacks inferior.

                  But now, you say the political systems in other parts of the world are “irrelevant” to our trade policy.

                  They SHOULD be irrelevant.

                  So, if black slaves were still being used in Haiti to grow sugar, we ought to have a free trade agreement to import slave-grown sugar?

                  Totally. With full agreement from me. If you decide not to buy their sugar because of slavery, by all means. But If you start applying by force YOUR definition of morality on the decisions of others, then where would you stop?

                  That’s the implication of what you’re saying now.

                  I am totally aware of the implication of what *I* say – are YOU about what YOU say?

                  Before you debate others, maybe you need to finish the debate with yourself inside your own fragmented brain.

                  You want me to finish this debate by insulting you as well, “no ‘we'”?

                  1. Those are your rules? Okay, here’s my rules:

                    I catch you paying even one red cent to slave-owners for ANYTHING ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, even in exchange for sugar, and you are a mortal and public enemy in my book, and I have no duty to respect your life or your liberty any longer, and the sovereign of my allegience shall have the prerogative of dropping you like a bag of dirt anywhere you can be found on the face of the earth.

                    Don’t like it? Go take sides with your slave-owning buddies. I’d relish a rematch. This time we won’t make the same mistake as 1865.

                    1. Oooh, you’re such a tuff gai! What other reasons would you use to justify murdering someone?

                    2. How much time ya’ got, null set?

                    3. Enough. Let’s hear them.

                    4. Let’s start with people who mispell “tough guy” …

                    5. Wow, brilliant and witty. I’m so glad someone like you is willing to use a gun to tell everyone else how to live their lives. It would be horrible if the person doing so were an economically-illiterate asshole.

                    6. Yeah, I actually believe in a global policy of using government force against slavery. I’m just that evil. I’m just that cruel. And I wear your fear and hatred as badges of honor.

                    7. So, you don’t buy anything made in China since there’s a non-negligible chance it’s produced by prisoners in Red Army owned factories?

                    8. “T” is for “touche” I presume…?

                  2. (So, if black slaves were still being used in Haiti to grow sugar, we ought to have a free trade agreement to import slave-grown sugar?)

                    “”””Totally. With full agreement from me. If you decide not to buy their sugar because of slavery, by all means. But If you start applying by force YOUR definition of morality on the decisions of others, then where would you stop?””‘

                    Since slavery is a form of theft, the theft of freedom and the theft of labor and goods then you also have no problem with people dealing in stolen goods. So if someone was to steal your car and I bought it for $100 then you would have no problem with it. I made a free trade deal and the car is now mine.

                    1. This guy is a good troll, I hope he sticks around.

                    2. Do you have a nice car? I am in the market for a car and need to find someone with a nice car that a free market car thief is willing to supply. After all, how the car was acquired is unimportant as long as I can get a good free market deal on it.

                    3. I was responding to “There is no “we””

        2. The net gain or loss in the long term is irrelevant to our lives. All that really matters is the short-term effect on individuals.

          Subsidize teh Amurrikan workerz!!1 Noob troll.

          1. Noob?

            What, you got booted out of the last “Call of Duty” lobby?

    2. Re: There is no “we”,

      By the way – it ain’t “free trade” unless labor can move as freely as capital.

      Totally, absolutely correct.

      A “Free Trade Agreement” is a redundancy – the only thing required to have free trade is to simply let people trade. You don’t need a treaty 1,400 pages long for that.

      But, again: The purpose of economic activity is not only to “create jobs” – that’s incidental. The purpose is to produce goods and services that you or someone else can consume.

      1. Gee, and here I was thinking there was more to life than that.

        Libertarians are the only people in the world who are actually more reductionist, materialist and soulless than the old Marxist-Leninists.

        1. Re: There’s no “we”,

          Gee, and here I was thinking there was more to life than that.

          Who is arguing otherwise? You’re the one who wants to apply a moral judgment on what is entirely an economic matter.

          Libertarians are the only people in the world who are actually more reductionist, materialist and soulless than the old Marxist-Leninists.

          I guess you’re trying to be insulting, but I as a libertarian will not bite.

          1. “I guess you’re trying to be insulting, but I as a libertarian will not bite.”

            *****************

            And yet, you spit and swallow.

      2. i’m a stupid fuckface collectivist, who think that being american means we should all stick together! all 4 one and 1 for all! now everybody join my circle jerk or else i’ll cut myself about what big mean poppyheads you all are! u have no soulz!

        1. Ah, the handle-jack … I’m home at last!

          1. FOOD FIGHT!!!

          2. Now I know why you’re familiar. You went by mobiustrip a few months back. You sure did shit all over that thread. Bitching about ‘handle-jacking’ to spoofers in insane subthreads that look like you’re arguing with yourself like a 7 year old.

    3. If this was real free trade and didn’t include some protections for automobile manufacturers, you would probably get thousands of dollars off on a Hyundai car and hundreds on a new Samsung or LG flatscreen or smart phone.

      Korea is not a shirt manufacturing country. I should know, I live there, and ride a bullet train to work. 10 million people in Korea already have a more powerful phone than the new iPhone 4S that hasn’t been released yet. Koreans have a much higher university education rate than Americans. It’s not a sweatshop country. In fact, I’m there because there’s no economic future in America for young people.

  7. The trolls are fighting with each other now.

    1. I’m waiting to see which one offers to pay more than the bill at Safeway to ‘save Murkin jobs!’

  8. Oh, from near the top:

    There is no “we”|10.11.11 @ 3:51PM|#
    “Tough talk from somebody who doesn’t work in a textile mill.”

    Sniff, sniff! Hm, the putrid odor of ‘poor me’ victimhood.

    1. The reply button. How does that work?

      1. The whine button. How does that work.
        Get a job, dipshit.

        1. Judging from your output, I’m guessing that you actually are dumb enough to think that you are talking to an out-of-work textile employee. Yes, you really do seem that stupid.

          1. No, I’m guessing I’m conversing with an ignoramus who should stick with checkers.

            1. Checkers does not appear anywhere in the linked item that you are refusing to read.

              1. Maybe the problem here is that tariffs are not well-represented by the prisoner’s dilemma class of games. The ‘tariff game’ would have payoffs (C=cooperate, D=defect) that look something like: CC = (20,20); CD = (10,10); DC = (10,10); DD = (0,0). This game has a dominant strategy of (CC). This would also imply, of course, that the DD is not a Nash Equilibrium.
                The only possible explanations for not arriving at CC, is that:
                1) We are wrong to categorize DC as more valuable to both players than DD (standard economic theory indicates that DC is better than DD, though)
                2) One of the two players is mistaken about the payoffs.

              2. “Checkers does not appear anywhere in the linked item that you are refusing to read.”

                Irrelevant.
                From your link:
                “Tit for tat is an English saying meaning “equivalent retaliation”.”
                If you had read the link I posted, you would see that there is NO “retaliation”. There is simply harming yourself in the mistaken belief that you are harming others. Your ignorance is obviously of sufficient depth that you’re more than willing to shoot yourself in the foot and claim the ‘other guy’ is hurt.
                Or, as Redland Jack posts, “2) One of the two players is mistaken about the payoffs.”. That would be you.
                Go back to your checkers game; you’re disturbing adults, internet tuff gai.

              3. Why can’t you shut up about checkers already?

                1. “Why can’t you shut up about checkers already?”

                  Testy about you fave pass-time?

  9. Americans don’t have to worry about the Korean textile industry. The three biggest companies in Korea are Hyundai, Samsung, and LG. They manufacture high tech equipment such as flat screen tvs, smart phones, electric appliances, and automobiles.

    1. Just because the 3 biggest COMPANIES are not textile, doesn’t say anything about where textiles rank as an INDUSTRY in Korea, or in comparison w/ us.

  10. In what world can millions of individuals engaging in win-win trades, both exchanging goods for their benefit on a micro level, result in an overall macro negative?

    Only in a deluded, Keynesian world.

    In what world do you have a “right” to force a man to trade with an American, when he would sooner buy from a Korean who provides a better or cheaper product? That supposed “right” is a right to use force against men to do your bidding and coerce them into buying the products *you* want them to buy. Well guess what, that money is not *your* money! It is their own money, and they have a right to spend it as they see fit, with anyone.

    In what brand of nonsense logic can a trade with a man in Detroit be good but a trade with a man in Windsor be bad? The fact that you traded with a man 10 miles farther away does not make the trade bad or economically destructive.

    I’m surprised to see anti-free trade comments on a place called “Reason”.com. You know that even the liberal spokesman Paul Krugman is an advocate of free trade? He famously said, “If there were an Economist’s Creed, it would surely contain the affirmations ‘I understand the Principle of Comparative Advantage’ and ‘I advocate Free Trade’.” It is nearly unanimously agreed in the economics profession that extending the division of labour throughout the whole world and restricting barriers for trade increases the productive capacity of all individuals involved. That’s what the division of labour consists of–individuals working at what they are best at–specialization.

    If you don’t understand the benefits of the division of labour and the law of comparative advantage, read your Ricardo. Or produce everything you own on a self-sufficient farm and sew your own sweaters if you hate the division of labour. But don’t force others by the point of a gun to not benefit from it. The rest of us want to trade with each other peacefully.

    1. “I’m surprised to see anti-free trade comments on a place called “Reason”.com.”

      Uh, I think you’ll find those comments are rapidly debunked.
      Anyone can post here, and the statists get new assholes ripped on a regular basis, the poster with the handle “There is no “we”” being an obvious example.

      1. Ah, yes. sevo’s repeated incoherent and inapposite references to “checkers” were devastating, just devastating.

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