In Defence of Globalisation: Free Trade or Neo-liberalism?

boldfenianman

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
1,534
Conservative politics represents the most extreme face of Neoliberal ideology. Don't be fooled by the term 'liberal' in 'Neoliberalism'. It essentially means freedom from all forms of regulation. A form of Laissez-faire capitalism in which externalities are ignored.
As Brexit is about to illustrate to the Brits.
 


owedtojoy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
48,047
Indeed, but still a better option for working people than that which Neoliberalism (Clintons)/EU/FF/FG/LB/SF/SP/PAP etc have to offer.

Ye can negotiate with Trump, hard but doable.
Trump is a Neo-Liberal, when did he ever disavow it?

If anything, he is more extreme neo-liberal, using military and economic bullying to impose commercial dominance, like the European Empires did in the 18th and 19th centuries.

For example, his major objection to Bush's war in Iraq is that the USA failed to extract enough oil to make the venture financially worthwhile.
 

owedtojoy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
48,047
Adam Smith believed that America should have, along with Poland, kept to agriculture and not tried to industrialize. I think they made the right decision having state capitalism. Also, Smith wasn't a true free trader.

The IMF and WB and western 'capitalists' wouldn't give money to Korea to build their country up from within by kicking out foreigners, starting industries and protecting 'industries in their infancy', interfering with private companies and forcing them into certain fields. They went from exporting fish and wigs to what they are now against all of the so-called 'free trade' 'economists'. I think they made the right deal.

Good aul Britain, promoting free trade, by stating things such as not even America should be able to produce a nail:



List, The National System of Political Economy, Book I, Chapter 9 | Library of Economics and Liberty
Adam Smith, from Wealth of Nations ...
Chapter II: On Restraints upon the Importation from Foreign Countries of such Goods as can be produced at Home
"...
When our neighbours prohibit some manufacture of ours, we generally prohibit, not only the same, for that alone would seldom affect them considerably, but some other manufacture of theirs.

This may no doubt give encouragement to some particular class of workmen among ourselves, and by excluding some of their rivals, may enable them to raise their price in the home market. Those workmen, however, who suffered by our neighbours' prohibition will not be benefited by ours.

On the contrary, they and almost all the other classes of our citizens will thereby be obliged to pay dearer than before for certain goods.

Every such law, therefore, imposes a real tax upon the whole country, not in favour of that particular class of workmen who were injured by our neighbours' prohibition, but of some other class. ..."


Protection is robbing Peter to pay Paul, but Paul is being robbed too, in order to pay Patrick ... and so on ...

Yes, the US was protectionist in the 19th century ... but it was a very contested protectionism. Democrats who wanted to export cotton and food resented paying tariffs on manufactured goods from the UK. The victory for the North in the Civil War was a victory for the Party of Business, the Republicans, and the end of the 19th and the start of the 20th century saw tariffs diminish, not only between the US and the US but between all the major industrial and exporting powers. This drove manufacturing industry, and also Imperialism to conquer raw materials.

The 1920s was a Free Trade high point, but that came to a shuddering halt with the Wall Street Crash. In 1930, the US Congress passed the Smoot-Hawley tariff which cut off outside exporters from a lot of US markets, thereby exacerbating the Great Depression, because other countries could not afford American goods either. The Smoot-Hawley was a facilitator of Fascism and World War II.

And this is the world you want to return to.
 

owedtojoy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
48,047
Martin Wolf: The Case for Sane Globalism Remains Strong:

"We are now close to eliminating extreme human destitution.... The decline in the proportion of humanity living in absolute poverty, to less than 10 per cent, is a huge achievement. I make no excuses for continuing to support policies and programmes, including trade-oriented development, that helped accomplish this.

The notion that it may be necessary to thwart the economic rise of non-western countries, in order to cement western domination, is, in my view, an abomination....

The range of public goods we now need has vastly increased, with the complexity of our economies and societies. For the same reason, ever more of those public goods are global....

That is why the victors of the second world war decided to create effective international institutions. They had experienced unbridled national sovereignty. The outcome had been catastrophic. Nothing since then has rendered global co-operation less essential....

[On] the interface between the global and the national... we have gone too far in some areas and done too little in others.... The globalisation of finance has arguably gone too far.... [But] liberal trade has not been a dominant source of rising inequality within countries.

Meanwhile, areas where global co-operation has not gone far enough include business taxation and the environment. The final and perhaps most important of all challenges is containing the natural human tendency to scapegoat foreigners for failures of domestic policy and cleavages among domestic interests....

Blaming ills on foreigners may be a successful diversionary tactic. It is also highly destructive. We must think and act globally. We have no alternative... "
 

Dame_Enda

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2011
Messages
54,042
Adam Smith, from Wealth of Nations ...
Chapter II: On Restraints upon the Importation from Foreign Countries of such Goods as can be produced at Home
"...
When our neighbours prohibit some manufacture of ours, we generally prohibit, not only the same, for that alone would seldom affect them considerably, but some other manufacture of theirs.

This may no doubt give encouragement to some particular class of workmen among ourselves, and by excluding some of their rivals, may enable them to raise their price in the home market. Those workmen, however, who suffered by our neighbours' prohibition will not be benefited by ours.

On the contrary, they and almost all the other classes of our citizens will thereby be obliged to pay dearer than before for certain goods.

Every such law, therefore, imposes a real tax upon the whole country, not in favour of that particular class of workmen who were injured by our neighbours' prohibition, but of some other class. ..."


Protection is robbing Peter to pay Paul, but Paul is being robbed too, in order to pay Patrick ... and so on ...

Yes, the US was protectionist in the 19th century ... but it was a very contested protectionism. Democrats who wanted to export cotton and food resented paying tariffs on manufactured goods from the UK. The victory for the North in the Civil War was a victory for the Party of Business, the Republicans, and the end of the 19th and the start of the 20th century saw tariffs diminish, not only between the US and the US but between all the major industrial and exporting powers. This drove manufacturing industry, and also Imperialism to conquer raw materials.

The 1920s was a Free Trade high point, but that came to a shuddering halt with the Wall Street Crash. In 1930, the US Congress passed the Smoot-Hawley tariff which cut off outside exporters from a lot of US markets, thereby exacerbating the Great Depression, because other countries could not afford American goods either. The Smoot-Hawley was a facilitator of Fascism and World War II.

And this is the world you want to return to.
I'm not sure I agree with the first bit. The Democrats did support free trade (though nowadays they are divided on it because of the impact on manual labour, which however has largely deserted the party in the White demographic already). The Republicans were a protectionist party until maybe the 1950s when their big business supporters pushed them to support free trade. If you listen to (where recordings exist) or read speeches by pre-Great Depression Republican presidents like Coolidge you will see they tended to support protectionism. Abraham Lincoln was a protectionist. One of the lesser factors in the Civil War was the North supporting tariffs to protect industries in New England, while the slave owning planter class opposed them as they wanted to continue exporting cotton to Europe. The 1920s in the US were known as the "Roaring Twenties" until the Wall Street Crash. The Depression started because of a burst credit bubble in the agricultural sector, which led to banks calling in loans from across the world, especially Germany, which contributed to the rise of the Nazis.
 

Ardillaun

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
11,922
The benefits of free trade are widely distributed and hard to see but the costs are often concentrated in a few sectors and communities. Where reasonable, governments should do more to compensate and retrain those who suffer most from this policy.
 

owedtojoy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
48,047
I'm not sure I agree with the first bit. The Democrats did support free trade (though nowadays they are divided on it because of the impact on manual labour, which however has largely deserted the party in the White demographic already). The Republicans were a protectionist party until maybe the 1950s when their big business supporters pushed them to support free trade. If you listen to (where recordings exist) or read speeches by pre-Great Depression Republican presidents like Coolidge you will see they tended to support protectionism. Abraham Lincoln was a protectionist. One of the lesser factors in the Civil War was the North supporting tariffs to protect industries in New England, while the slave owning planter class opposed them as they wanted to continue exporting cotton to Europe. The 1920s in the US were known as the "Roaring Twenties" until the Wall Street Crash. The Depression started because of a burst credit bubble in the agricultural sector, which led to banks calling in loans from across the world, especially Germany, which contributed to the rise of the Nazis.
Can't see where you disagree in any way. Certainly, the Smoot-Hawley Protection Act, did not cause the Depression. It just changed the Depression into the Great Depression since the US "locomotive" and the rest of the world economic train remained uncoupled until the late 1930s and US re-armament.
 

owedtojoy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
48,047
The benefits of free trade are widely distributed and hard to see but the costs are often concentrated in a few sectors and communities. Where reasonable, governments should do more to compensate and retrain those who suffer most from this policy.
Absolutely. But the solution is not to selectively protect certain communities, but (1) to penalise the companies planning to move to a cheaper labour location so they fact that into their costs e.g. larger redundancy bonuses (2) special investment, re-training, re-skilling, task forces and subsidies to create replacement industries.

Because neo-liberalism, aka Reagan-Thatcherism set up "shareholder value" as its idol, neither of these were favoured by the business or political elites.
 

owedtojoy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
48,047

... Americans now say they approve of free trade by 64%-27%, a margin of better than two to one. That’s up from 57%-37% early in Trump’s presidency, and 51%-41% near the end of President Obama’s tenure.
Despite all the gaseous blather about "globalisation", globalisation is not equivalent to free trade. Globalisation can be ameliorated - yes, there have been injustices and failures but "You do not abandon a leaky ship. You fix the leak". (Samuel Johnson).
 


New Threads

Popular Threads

Most Replies

Top