Free trade/currency devaluation [merged Le Jacquelope threads]

You don’t see China, South Korea, Mexico or Brazil enacting any kind of program to retrain people whose jobs were lost to free trade. Perhaps because they aren’t losing any, but rather, gaining?

If free trade is creating so many jobs in America we wouldn’t need to retrain people. There’d be so much replacement demand for labor that companies would offer to retrain. Hell I worked in the tech industry; this was happening all the time right up until 2001. Come right off the street and get a customer service job for fifteen an hour, will train.

So… why do we need the TAA, if free trade is bringing lots of better paying jobs to America? Perhaps the truth is that free trade is doing nothing of the sort?

For those who may be interested, TAA is Trade Adjustment Assistance.

From here.

Presumably because policy makers in the US took proper economists advice that while trade is a global positive, specific groups may need help and support as they will be negatively impacted in the short term.

In fact, that’s exactly what it says: "“When considerations of national policy make it desirable to avoid higher tariffs, those injured by that competition should not be required to bear the full brunt of the impact. Rather, the burden of economic adjustment should be borne in part by the Federal Government.”

Not hard to understand, despite your raging and comical strawman.

This is just silly. Just because something is good for the US economy, doesn’t mean it is good for every single person in the United States. Reducing dependence on fossil fuels means that some Americans will lose jobs. Tightening standards for pollution from coal-fired electrical plants will result in some Americans losing jobs. Making cigarettes more expensive and harder for youths to buy will probably mean some tobacco farmers will go out of business. Just because some Americans are affected by a new economic policy, does not mean that the policy fails to be an overall benefit to the country.

Massive logic fail by the OP. As usual.

I will have to agree with the point that this is silly, however after several of this discussions I concluded that it has been folly to keep things like health care to be dependent on employment. When one considers that, then free trade is unfair for the worker that has his job shipped overseas.

The overall point here is that while the TAA is there, it is clear that it is not enough. Free trade (that I agree on the whole is beneficial) has to include in the deal a more substantial safety net for the American worker.

I’m totally with you – especially on the absurdity of the employer-based health care system.

Ah, another thread on Economic Creationism. If evolution is correct, why are there still monkeys?

That was the sound of my head asploding.

I started an ATMB thread asking for an omnibus Le Jac thread. So far, no takers.

The Devil created them to fool us into thinking that evolution wasn’t true!


None of you have explained why America seems to need this, but certain other nations like China, India, Brazil and S. Korea, do not.

Why are our workers the ones that get displaced, but not theirs?

Chinese workers are getting displaced.

Care to respond to that article?

Why do you think they don’t need such programs? Perhaps they do.

Because someone figured out that paying $30k a year to do a job anyone off the street can do doesn’t really make economic sense?

You mean like programming computers? Really? Anyone off the street can do that?

I’ll actually put money on that. How much do you want to bet that you could hire someone right off the street to, say, write a web page in straight HTML code? I’ll give you half the bet back if you can find someone off the street who can use Dreamweaver to make a workable page inside of a week.

Really, the fact that silly comments like that don’t get questioned around here damages the credibility of the forum.

HA, he said HTML!

The poor guy doesn’t ever realize Word will convert it with the click of the button. Not to mention the hundreds of pages like that uses drag and drop to build pages.

Anyone want to bet how long until that’s the title of his next thread?

For those interested in actual data, there was a study published in the European Economic Review, titled “Trade and unemployment: What do the data say?”, which shows that increased trade openness, i.e., increase free trade, decreases long tem unemployment in developed nations. The [abstract](Trade and unemployment: What do the data say?)

I found a full copy of the pdf here.

The OP does raise an interesting question: to what extent is the existence of a law evidence of a need for that law? ISTM that it provides very little evidence. Many examples abound: why does the US need to restrict gay marraige? Why does Saudi Arabia need to prohibit women from driving?

Free trade is not a zero sum game, but that doesn’t mean its necessarily pareto optimal. There can be losers in the free trade game if the winners win by enough.

LJ, do you have any other interests in your life? Maybe a hobby or a favorite movie?

How do you expect them to drive with those veils over their faces?!?!?!?