Jump to content

Free Trade


turetzsr
 Share

Recommended Posts

<snip>Illustration - once people actually trusted banks, .... But then 'we' signed off on some 'free trade' agreements (singularly ironic/oxymoronic term) and deregulated.

<snip>

...In what way is 'free trade' oxymoronic or ironic? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_trade. And what does free trade and deregulation have to do with trusting banks (or not)? Or is there some difference between the way free trade was done in Australia and how it's been done in the Americas?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

...In what way is 'free trade' oxymoronic or ironic? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_trade. And what does free trade and deregulation have to do with trusting banks (or not)? Or is there some difference between the way free trade was done in Australia and how it's been done in the Americas?
Free trade between Australia and the Americas (specifically the US) is a good example. Free trade agreements come with a heap of requirements and regulatory changes to put the respective partners on a 'level playing field'. By the nature of things it is not all 1-for-1 equivalence, there may be imbalances between - say - farm, fuel and transpost subsidies with the net package supposedly 'equivalent'. But these subtleties, even if correctly adjusted between the partners, can take on a whole new complexion when they compete for markets in a third country. And when one partner is the USA and the other has an economy about the same size as that of Rhode Island the 'equality' turns out to be pretty much illusory. The bigger seems to win out, most times, and why not?

In the case of banks, a much different model applied in Australia pre-deregulation and it was the requirement for foreign bank access to the Australian market that drove deregulation and that requirement came, in part, from free trade provisions. The banking sector went from the small town 'customer' focus to a 'service' focus and those services were a bewildering array of products no-one had actually asked for (but sure looked attractive) and which essentially increased bank risk and were served by increased bank charges to cover such risks. And the greatly increased complexity inflated/exploded bank executive compensation/benefit packages (particularly bonuses) and thus increased the potential gains of and temptation to commit performance fraud - boards of management hired people who were smarter, more knowledgeable and more subtle than they and, unfortunately, in some instances less principled. And the hitherto leading nation of the 'developed' economies in terms of personal savings ended up about as overcommitted in personal debt as their more 'sophisticated' cousins elsewhere.

Apart from that, I've had a (24 year-old) bank officer ask me whether I had a finance degree or an accountancy qualification, if not "you couldn't possibly calculate the closing payment on a mortgage, now could you." Oh for Pete's sake! And my so-called 'cash management' account which paid interest on all savings, currently pays 0% on amounts < $250,000 through progressive unilateral variation (needless to say, I wasn't the party making those changes).

Not that I'm against progress - quite in favor of this 'painless dentistry' notion, just to start :D . But there you have it, an idiosycratic view of the what and the why of banking changes in these parts and how they're not to be trusted the way they once were, there never being the 'banking tycoon' figure in our mythos (Scrooge McDuck being a comic-book figure, not a role model). And that sort of loosely linked to the idea of 'lost vision' within organizations, as expressed in the 'parent' topic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Free trade" in recent years has become something much more evil and destructive to people in both the developing world and to workers in major developed countries alike. It has become a way in which corporations can increase their profits by finding and taking advantage of slave labor, and then wasting untold amounts of fuel by shipping the products that otherwise could and should be made and sold locally all over the world. Reasonable "trade barriers" (such as tariffs) are needed to balance the world economy so that steelworkers in the United States still have jobs....so that clothing can still be manufactured and sold locally at a profit, and so that people in developing countries don't STARVE due to the out-of-whack commodity prices caused by unwise, greedy globalization.

A few links:

Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism

World Trade, World Bank, Privatization

Exposing the Conservative Straw Man - "Productivity"

When Americans No Longer Own America

Audio excerpt from the Thom Hartmann Radio Show

(skip the first 3 minutes...the info on free trade start at about 3'30", where Hartmann describes how the United States has gone from the biggest exporter of manufactured goods to the biggest importer of manufactured goods, much to the detriment of American workers)

There's much more out there about the evils of the WTO, GATT, the horribly bad results of the economic philosophies of Milton Friedman and his disciples, but I have no more time to pull all of that together (especially considering how far off topic it is here). I just can't let "free trade" be mentioned without exposing what a horrible thing it has become, not only for the USA but for the world.

DT

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Free trade between Australia and the Americas (specifically the US) is a good example. Free trade agreements come with a heap of requirements and regulatory changes to put the respective partners on a 'level playing field'.

<snip>

...That sounds like fair trade (which is a misnomer, IMHO), not free trade.
And when one partner is the USA and the other has an economy about the same size as that of Rhode Island the 'equality' turns out to be pretty much illusory. The bigger seems to win out, most times, and why not?
...Only if the Rhode Island-sized partner is a willing participant in the transaction with "illusory equality" or if the USA-sized partner is somehow able to compel a transaction not to the benefit of the Rhode Island-sized partner which, again, is not free trade. In fact, strike the notion of equality -- that's totally irrelevant, all that matters is that each party in the free trade arrangement is able to engage in trade it views as compatible with its interests.
In the case of banks, a much different model applied in Australia pre-deregulation and it was the requirement for foreign bank access to the Australian market that drove deregulation and that requirement came, in part, from free trade provisions.

<snip>

...Again, we have compulsion which, if against the wishes of Australians, is not the result of free trade but, rather, the result of some political consideration(s).

"Free trade" in recent years has become something much more evil and destructive

<snip>

A few links:

<snip>

...Very well put but wrong in all respects, IMHO. I could come up with equally lengthy and equally biased arguments and references but I'll spare others and resist the temptation. :) <g>
Link to comment
Share on other sites

......That sounds like fair trade (which is a misnomer, IMHO), not free trade.... etc.
Beautiful 'logic chopping' there :D (meant as a compliment) but they're commonly referred to as "Free Trade Agreements" and, of course, you're right - they're not. Yes, it's all about politics. And profit.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

<snip>

Yes, it's all about politics.

...Politics = compulsion = bad.
And profit.
...Profit = maximize product value (price --> revenue) while consuming resources with relatively little value (cost) = good, if not corrupted by politics.

...Needless to say, a gross oversimplification, but a useful one (and one with which DT will disagree, with passion, thoughtfulness and cogent reasons).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...Profit = maximize product value (price --> revenue) while consuming resources with relatively little value (cost) = good, if not corrupted by politics.

...Needless to say, an gross oversimplification,...

Profit is affected by 'economics' and accounting standards - foreign goods cheaper/returning a better profit than local for all sorts of reasons, few of them having much to do with pure efficiency + the notion of 'profit' (operating profit) being mostly based on the current year's balance sheet with little to do with 'value' or actual worth in its pure sense. 'Primary industry' (farm sector) being a traditional example (mostly direct and indirect subsidies at the base of it all), retail another (mostly on national-local scales - growth masking accumulating debts), the financial sector being the elephant (more like T.Rex) in the room that we've recently noticed <_< .

DT a dissenter with your views? Think yourself fortunate Rooster no longer monitors these pages :D. A mischievous soul would probably PM him about now :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Profit is affected by 'economics' and accounting standards

<snip>

...And what are accounting standards? Here in the US, they are essentially politics, either national government (Securities and Exchange Commission and Internal Revenue Service [tax] rules) or professional (various accounting associations, such as the National Accounting Standards Board). Your snipped examples being illustrations of this.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...