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American farmers have become the new welfare queens

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Marcus1124 View Post

    No, my views are grounded in looking at the reality of the entire world around me.

    The proof of your complete failure to understand reality is encapsulated in this statement: "England had never wanted their American colony to manufacture"

    First of all, manufacturing as we think of it today DID NOT EXIST when we were a colony of England. EVERY good and service was the product of manual labor, PERIOD. The most revolutionary (and still in my view) "technologies" of the time were threefold (and two of which were related to transportation) - the Wheel, the Sail, and the Printing Press (which still required what today we would think of as a tremendous amount of manual labor).

    And at the time, as I have pointed out repeatedly, there was no substantial cost differential of labor in the context of "international trade". The single biggest cost factor in international trade was transportation cost. That is why international trade consisted overwhelmingly of what we would refer to today as commodities, not manufactured goods. To the extend what we think of as durable goods were part of international trade, it was largely products of a more luxury nature that simply were not available otherwise in different locations. There was not, for example, any meaningful international trade, or competition for furnishings, the cost to ship "manufactured" furniture (save for those of incredibly expensive artisans whose work could not be easily matched or replicated locally) was completely prohibitive.

    No, in terms of basic commodities, competition from trade certainly could have an impact due to substitution effect, but again, the primary factor was in the shipping costs, not actual competition for less expensively produced items that were essentially the same. Tobacco, for example, was a huge "cash crop" and a major export not only during the colonial period, for for a long time thereafter.

    And again, we have NOT reduced our industrial base, we basically produce as much if not more than EVER before. That is a FACT, to deny it or draw conclusions that are contrary to the fundamental reality is just stupid. What you myopically look at to erroneously draw that conclusion is (as you have admitted in the past) is what you see around you (clearly living in an area where aggregate manufacturing has decline and manufacturing EMPLOYMENT has gone down even more), and simply attributing this to off-shoring. The overwhelming majority of the reduction in manufacturing EMPLOYMENT has been due to productivity gains (automation and business process reenginering) that has enabled us to produce the same or more with less labor inputs. In many areas (where you live for example) this has been further exacerbated by shifts of manufacturing production WITHIN the US (much of the formerly industrial mid-west has lost production to the South).

    And your focus on income (which again, even the oft mentioned stat that the "middle class" has had stagnate wages for xx years is demonstrably false and stupid) ignores the reality that by every objective measure the average person in this country has a higher material level of well being, access to goods and services, that are vastly greater than 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago. By the most meaningful measure of "income" (the average number of labor hours required for people to work in order to be able to afford a particular good or service) we can afford FAR more today than ever before in human (let alone U.S.) history. Things that people (from poor to rich) take absolutely for granted today were largely items of luxury or simple not available at all 30-50 years ago. How many households 30 years ago had 40+ inch televisions? When I bought my first house 20 years ago (next month). My mother insisted on getting me a really nice housewarming gift and asked me what I wanted (she told me up to $1,000). She was a bit disappointed when I asked for a 36" television, which back then was about as big as it got unless you got one of those horrible picture quality projection TVs, she had thought I would want some nice furniture that would become a life-long heirloom for me. Anyway, it cost about $1,000 (Cathode Ray Tube) taxes, and delivery. That TV (which had been in my bedroom for the last 10 years) was recently replaced with the 50" Plasma screen I had bought ten years ago to replace it in the family room (which cost me less 10 years ago than the 36" had cost 10 years before that) and the 50" that went to my bedroom was replaced with a 70" HDTV that cost less not only less than the 50" did 10 years ago, but far less than the 36" had 20 years ago. THAT is a perfect example of why it is just flat out STUPID (and yes, I could say ignorant, or oblivious...but seriously, to be aware of this reality and simply deny and dismiss the implications for our material well being as a society is just STUPID) to believe that from poor to rich, we are far better off materially than ever before. Yes, SOME people's incomes may have gone down. But MOST people's incomes (as measured by the totally of goods and services we can afford) have risen DRAMATICALLY in real terms. I remember when a PAGER was a luxury item (maybe 5 percent of the kids in my highschool had pagers). Today, I would hazard a guess that 60-80 percent of teenagers today have cell phones (which were considered a luxury item 30-40 years ago). Hell, 40 years ago the majority of ADULTS didn't have cell phones, and today the majority of TEENS do. Stagnant incomes my ass.

    To the extent prosperity is not EVEN greater (to argue that there are policies that might have resulted in us being even better off than we are is not the same as making the patently stupid argument that we are NOT better off now than in the past).

    You simply take as a given that if we didn't import various goods, we would produce the same amount here, and all the jobs would exist here. But trade does not work that way at all, anymore than we would be better off as a nation if no state traded goods with any other state. Trade, economies of scale, specialization, comparative advantage are simply basic economic realities that no know border. Could you average lawyer or surgeon mow their own lawns, grow their own food. Sure they could, and in your way of thinking, they would be SO MUCH better off if they got to keep all that money they spend on those things for themselves. A relatively small (and thankfully ever smaller) portion of not just the U.S. population, but over time the WORLD population is involved in manufacturing of durable goods. Leaving aside a certain amount of growth we should forgo in the interest of national security (and our existing industrial base is FAR beyond what is required to ensure our military might, particularly as military infrastructure becomes for more technology-based), trade is always a win-win for the nations involved.

    Unions have been decimated by the reality that industries that are heavily unionized tend not the be efficient and adaptable (another reason the auto industry was so vulnerable to the resurgent post-WWII competition from Germany and then Japan was that union rules and contracts had made our auto industry bloated with large structural costs and inability to adapt quickly). As a result of that competition, cars are better, cheaper (in real terms), and consumers have far greater options to choose from. That we spend less of our finite time working to afford cars means we can afford other things. You have this false nation that if we blocked importation of cars, we would buy just as many, but all that money and jobs would stay here, and that is simply wrong. More people own cars, and families own more cars. Unlike your area, I live in a fairly typical middle-class area. One of our biggest issues compared to when I was a kid is driving around town. Many streets are much slower going because the typical household (with fewer people) actually have fewer cars. When I was 16 we had two cars. My father's car, and one that was primarily my mother's that I had access to when she didn't need it. Almost nobody I grew up with had their own dedicated vehicle in the family in their teens, they, like me, could use one of the families two cars when it was not otherwise in use. Now, just the ten houses in my area have on average 3.5 cars per household (my next door neighbor has 4, for a family of 4, two of whom are 16 and 18 respectively.

    Saying we produce as much now as before or more is deceptive . For what would we produce if 60,000 of our factories were still here making small consumer goodd for domestic consumption?

    Using our own people to make what we consume worked fine for most of our history and was a factor in creating history's largest middle class. How is a service sector economy fairing in middle class creation? This is relevant even if you have to dismiss it.

    Unions do not always end up bafly. Using those that were greedily stupid and corrupted is like picking the worst corporation and saying corporations should not exist.

    Given capitalism has never been immune to the base side of human nature ad evidenced by its history is why unions arose. As a reaction to such abuses.

    I wish I could live to see what happens to neoliberal capitalism once AI and robotics displaces over half of existing workers. The owner class will finally see absolute minimum in human labor costs. Profits will soar! But in the process they lost much of the consumer market. Minimal human labor equals minimum consumption .

    But looking short term to the next Pand L quarter and not llonger term is deadly.

    In the end the Luddites were a hhundred years early. For in principle what they believed was accurate when AI and robotics became realty.

    I firmly believe that the pre globalism and offshoring our middle .class. jobs served this nation and her people ooptimally as it provided the industrial base needed to win ww2. I think it also provided very important engineers and engineering that is essential if a nation is to remain strong at itd core.

    Being as independent as possible was a good idea seen by our founders. and that kind of wisdom is perennial.[ zIn other words there is more iinvolved than the maximization of profits at any cost. And what drove and drives globalism is maxing out profits. By exploiting poor communists for their labor. We helped communists pull their starvation poor up to non starvation working poor. The cost was AAmericans losing millions of middle class jobs and those replaced by low wage service. sector work. It made Walmart the largest employer in America. This has tremendous relevance if our people are important.

    Offshoring globalism was not some kind natural law. It was a choice . It does not create large middle classes in the nation that did the offshoring. In fact it cteates greater disparity . It serves the top, the big banks, big corporations and wall street. As it weakens America. It has also enriched and empowered communists who are at economic war with us. Our only ddangerous rival. And this was the choice made by people who think as you do.

    So what am I to think of your arguments? Well, not much, and I dont see hoe any rational and reasonable American can justify having such beliefs given what they have yielded. Unless of course you are at the top. Only then would it make good sense.
    Last edited by Blue Doggy; 08-26-2019, 11:30 AM.