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wizamagog
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29 Jul 2013, 4:40 am

A good part of the country is neolibertarian. Not that I'm against it. If you can't beat em', join em'.



Tequila
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29 Jul 2013, 5:08 am

albedo wrote:
I don't think that is quite right, there is a history. It is just that Libertarian is a conflated word, because Liberal changed meaning.


There is also classical liberalism (this used to be huge in Europe in 19th century). I would consider that to be a mild form of libertarianism.



albedo
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29 Jul 2013, 1:34 pm

Greb wrote:
albedo wrote:
I also question how libertarian some of the libertarians really are, many of them would support trade protectionism, as long as it is not 'pinko' variety, so I think there is hypocrisy there.


Not necessarily. Be aware that western countries have harder taxes and regulations in general. Free market is about equality when it comes to economy. I think it's perfectly fair to penalize products that are facing lighter regulations. It increases equality and makes everybody compete in the same conditions.


This doesn't really make sense, if they are libertarian then they would be for deregulation, lower taxes, rather then trade protectionism.

That is precisely the point I'm trying to make, it is not a libertarian position to have. If you have the position fine but don't call it libertarian.

This is what I'm saying people are libertarian until it doesn't suit them, or it is something they don't like.



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29 Jul 2013, 1:41 pm

Tequila wrote:
albedo wrote:
I don't think that is quite right, there is a history. It is just that Libertarian is a conflated word, because Liberal changed meaning.


There is also classical liberalism (this used to be huge in Europe in 19th century). I would consider that to be a mild form of libertarianism.


Except they would be against the corn laws, yet many libertarians would support similar protectionism because they are only liberal so far as it suits them.

They were also more realistic about govermenance.

In other words, libertarians or this modern variety of it, are simply reactionaries rather than a considered political movement.



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29 Jul 2013, 1:56 pm

You're making generalizations and false assumptions. You're opinion on libertarianism is likely clouded by your own ideological beliefs.



albedo
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29 Jul 2013, 2:25 pm

Jacoby wrote:
You're making generalizations and false assumptions. You're opinion on libertarianism is likely clouded by your own ideological beliefs.


What beliefs are they?

I'm not very ideological, I'm especially against ideological thinking as it clouds decision making. There are few political movement that aren't ideological. One of the consequences of the cold war, is we started to believe we weren't idealistic because our adversaries were (a logical fallacy).

Libertarianism is idealism, no matter way you cut it. However, as a counterbalance, it plays are role so it is useful part of the political fabric.

Classical liberals were more balanced, overall. However this modern strain hasn't really been tested yet, it think it will change when when it is.



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29 Jul 2013, 3:24 pm

albedo wrote:
Jacoby wrote:
You're making generalizations and false assumptions. You're opinion on libertarianism is likely clouded by your own ideological beliefs.


What beliefs are they?

I'm not very ideological, I'm especially against ideological thinking as it clouds decision making. There are few political movement that aren't ideological. One of the consequences of the cold war, is we started to believe we weren't idealistic because our adversaries were (a logical fallacy).

Libertarianism is idealism, no matter way you cut it. However, as a counterbalance, it plays are role so it is useful part of the political fabric.

Classical liberals were more balanced, overall. However this modern strain hasn't really been tested yet, it think it will change when when it is.

Am I wrong for assuming that?

What does that even mean? Is it anymore idealistic than anything else? The issue I had with your post is the premise that a) a lot of libertarians believe in protectionism and b)that it would be . I'd like you to name names since I don't find this to be generally true and you're painting with a broad brush. There is a wide range of views and varying levels of pragmatism with people that identify themselves as libertarian just as there is with anything. Your attempt to discredit a whole movement exposes your agenda.



Tequila
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29 Jul 2013, 3:35 pm

albedo wrote:
Libertarianism is idealism, no matter way you cut it.


I believe we should have a general mixture of ideologies and outlooks for how we look at the world and pick the best out of all of them.

A mixture of classical liberalism, some elements of conservatism, some elements of nationalism, some elements of the welfare state, and so on.



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30 Jul 2013, 12:38 am

The point that protectionism is anti-libertarian is very much true though:
1) Protectionism stands directly AGAINST all libertarian economics. Considerations about inequality of regulation are actually IRRELEVANT to Ricardian comparative advantage, which is the centerpiece of a lot of economic thinking on trade, ESPECIALLY that done by libertarian economists. In fact, finding anti-free-trade economists in general is a hard feat.
2) Protectionism necessarily involves governmental intervention in the economy, particularly a delicate intervention if you expect the government to appropriately tax external products in accordance to the variance between regulations. Note: Because libertarians tend to be anti-regulation themselves anyway, a libertarian government is going to seek to drop all regulations instead of seeking a middle-ground on this.
3) Protectionism undermines the individual's right to choose whatever product serves them the best. It's a tax on certain choices.

I'm not saying that a person labeling themselves libertarian can't be protectionist. There are certain strains of American thought that seek to combine both positions partly based upon the US's history of small government and high tariffs. However, protectionism requires a governmental intervention in the economy, it undermines free choice, and it stands directly contrary to economists in general and especially to the free market economists generally adopted by libertarians. As such, it's not really libertarian. Hell, it's not even a good idea in the first place, so what libertarian would even WANT this to be an idea they accept/affirm?



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30 Jul 2013, 11:06 am

Prior to the 16th amendment, the federal government was funded mostly by tariffs and excise taxes. What we have now is not a free market and we certainly don't have 'free trade' despite the not-so-aptly named free trade agreements we have with other countries that we've heard so much about the last 20 years. NAFTA and WTO are thousands and thousands of pages of regulations, it is better described as managed trade.

In general I support free trade but other countries don't open their trade markets to the US, China and Japan do not buy American products while they have complete access to ours. Not to mention the fact the China uses slave labor that we cannot compete with. What is the difference between the burden put on American businesses by taxes and regulations here at home and tariffs? It would seem that we're subsidizing foreign trade at the expense of domestic. I'd much prefer a low and flat across the board revenue tariff on all imports as opposed to the income tax and that is not an uncommon belief. What would life look like in the US and how would perceptions of our economy over the last 40 years be different without cheaper goods from countries that utilize slave labor?



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30 Jul 2013, 11:18 am

Jacoby wrote:
Prior to the 16th amendment, the federal government was funded mostly by tariffs and excise taxes. What we have now is not a free market and we certainly don't have 'free trade' despite the not-so-aptly named free trade agreements we have with other countries that we've heard so much about the last 20 years. NAFTA and WTO are thousands and thousands of pages of regulations, it is better described as managed trade.

In general I support free trade but other countries don't open their trade markets to the US, China and Japan do not buy American products while they have complete access to ours. Not to mention the fact the China uses slave labor that we cannot compete with. What is the difference between the burden put on American businesses by taxes and regulations here at home and tariffs? It would seem that we're subsidizing foreign trade at the expense of domestic. I'd much prefer a low and flat across the board revenue tariff on all imports as opposed to the income tax and that is not an uncommon belief. What would life look like in the US and how would perceptions of our economy over the last 40 years be different without cheaper goods from countries that utilize slave labor?


Indeed, western world have been protectionist during last decades... protecting foreign products made in countries with slave labour. And this happened because it was profitable for big companies that could externalize to those countries, so this was the way their lobbies pressed the government. So this way they could get rid of the competence of small and middle companies in the western world, reaching almost a monopolistic state.

This is in fact putting a size limit to enter a market (if you're not big enough to externalize to one of those countries, you're done) that goes against one of the main principles of a free market.


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30 Jul 2013, 5:01 pm

Jacoby wrote:
Prior to the 16th amendment, the federal government was funded mostly by tariffs and excise taxes. What we have now is not a free market and we certainly don't have 'free trade' despite the not-so-aptly named free trade agreements we have with other countries that we've heard so much about the last 20 years. NAFTA and WTO are thousands and thousands of pages of regulations, it is better described as managed trade.

Your entire point rests on comparing the real world to an ideal and saying that the two aren't the same. It's also pretty irrelevant given that all of us who want to have a real conversation, are going to have to talk about the real world, and about what system has more liberties in practice.

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In general I support free trade but other countries don't open their trade markets to the US, China and Japan do not buy American products while they have complete access to ours.

I don't understand the relevance. If they do not buy our products, but we buy theirs, then they're actually just giving us free goods. The real world situation is that we buy their products and they buy US government debt, which is what you'd expect if the US government uses debt financing on the international financial market. In the real world, these people are either going to buy US investments or US goods, meaning that the money stays in the US economy.

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Not to mention the fact the China uses slave labor that we cannot compete with.

I actually doubt that's the general case. China has cheap labor, but they do have labor laws, even if those are poorly enforced, even if Chinese workers tend to be very desperate.

That being said, the rationale for trade is for consumers to be the best deal. So, if China has cheap labor, that's not different than Saudi Arabia having oil, it's a resource they have in greater abundance than the US, so a rational market is going to have them use their abundant resource to trade to us for resources they have in relatively less abundances.

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What is the difference between the burden put on American businesses by taxes and regulations here at home and tariffs?

Not much, really.

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It would seem that we're subsidizing foreign trade at the expense of domestic.

Not really. Foreign trade also is taxed by their local governing agencies.

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I'd much prefer a low and flat across the board revenue tariff on all imports as opposed to the income tax and that is not an uncommon belief.

Ok, I don't really give a damn. About half of what you wrote sounds like it's simply piss-poor economics anyway.

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What would life look like in the US and how would perceptions of our economy over the last 40 years be different without cheaper goods from countries that utilize slave labor?

Well, we'd have less cheap goods, but our low-skill labor market would probably also still be stagnant as most of the changes internationally in labor markets appear like they're really due to technological improvement, not cheap labor in other countries.

I mean, what? Are you going to argue that trade somehow makes the parties engaged in that trade worse? I know there's some oversimplification going on in my previous statement, but if you think that free trade is evil, then as far as I can tell, you're no different than a Luddite.



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30 Jul 2013, 5:05 pm

Greb wrote:
So this way they could get rid of the competence of small and middle companies in the western world, reaching almost a monopolistic state.

Increased market-size may benefit from some economies of scale that may even make certain companies larger. This doesn't mean that the economies of scale utterly obliterate the value of small companies. And the idea that somehow this foreign trade is destroying the free market is somewhat insane.

I mean, for all of the talk about how the economy works, do either of you people actually understand economic theory at all? Even just enough of the Austrian school to bluster around? Even smatterings of Milton Friedman? Anything?



Jacoby
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30 Jul 2013, 5:49 pm

Where did I say free trade is evil or that I'm against foreign trade?



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03 Aug 2013, 10:11 pm

Jacoby wrote:
Awesomelyglorious wrote:
I mean, for all of the talk about how the economy works, do either of you people actually understand economic theory at all? Even just enough of the Austrian school to bluster around? Even smatterings of Milton Friedman? Anything?
Where did I say free trade is evil or that I'm against foreign trade?


Sounds like the answer is "No."