Author Topic: America, and everyone else, first.  (Read 85 times)

Dave

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America, and everyone else, first.
« on: November 10, 2017, 12:02:54 PM »
Unlike some other presidents of America Trump does not publish considered articles on his thinking, nor does he seem to give other than rhetorical speeches. "I will abbreviate "America first" to AF here.

Most large companies are now global, without any real national identity or policy - going where the largest profit is available. So, Trump (being the badly briefed and disciplined person he is) both says Japan should make more of their cars for the American market in America and, in Vietnam, that each country should look after its own. That latter is an attempt at justification of his AF policy, in the same way an old, alcoholic, friend used to try to get me to go to the pub with him so he could say that he was only having a "social drink". An excuse.

But, er, do not those two things conflict? It is in Japan's interest to maximise their market (profit) in America. There has to be a balance between between lower profits - due to highish wages in America compared with other locations, or lower profits because Americans prefer to buy "Made by American Labour" products. Or do they in the 21st century?

I would love to buy more "Made in Britain" products but when I can buy small, ready made electronics sold direct from China for less than the components (probably also made in China) in those units would cost me in this country? How many cellphones, tabkets, laptops, trainers and other avidly desired things are made in the West these days? Are those who desperately want such going to grieve over where they are made? Are they going to pay a lot more so that, say, Apple can make them in America and still make grosely inflated profits (on which the pay less tax than they should if they were truly patriotic.)

Globallism not patriotism is the policy for commerce. Does Trump have foreign interests and does he pay full tax, in Ameruca, on any profits from those? Or is he just another hypocrite? Well, I venture thst we are agreed on that last question. Trump's isolatory pationism, except where it favours his ideas, is the stuff of the warring city states of old. He is already deepening the inherent cracks between the states and cities in America, weakening its federal structure, much to Putin's delight no doubt. Remain sceptical about what a person says, rely only on what they do.
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: America, and everyone else, first.
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2017, 11:18:13 PM »
Protectionism may favour local economies by forcing, in a way, potential buyers to buy from local producers but I don't see how that's good for the consumers. Didn't Adam Smith have something to say about government's "hand" interfering with a country's economy? 
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Dave

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Re: America, and everyone else, first.
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2017, 03:15:00 AM »
Protectionism may favour local economies by forcing, in a way, potential buyers to buy from local producers but I don't see how that's good for the consumers.

So long as the "potential buyers" can afford the locally produced items or the manufacturers can accept lower profits because they are paying higher wages. I mean to say, you might have to change your iPhone every two years instead of one because it costs so much, or the makers are cutting back on development costs! We furst worlders have got so used to relatively cheap goods made in low wage economies.

Tsk, we might dven have to go back to only eating certain fruits and vegetables when they are in season in our own country!


Quote
Didn't Adam Smith have something to say about government's "hand" interfering with a country's economy?

I belive he did.
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: America, and everyone else, first.
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2017, 12:12:58 PM »
Protectionism may favour local economies by forcing, in a way, potential buyers to buy from local producers but I don't see how that's good for the consumers.

So long as the "potential buyers" can afford the locally produced items or the manufacturers can accept lower profits because they are paying higher wages. I mean to say, you might have to change your iPhone every two years instead of one because it costs so much, or the makers are cutting back on development costs! We furst worlders have got so used to relatively cheap goods made in low wage economies.

Tsk, we might dven have to go back to only eating certain fruits and vegetables when they are in season in our own country!


Quote
Didn't Adam Smith have something to say about government's "hand" interfering with a country's economy?

I belive he did.

Yes, there's just no way anyone can compete with the Chinese and their slavish labour, not even the rest of the Third World. 
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Icarus

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Re: America, and everyone else, first.
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2017, 04:50:02 AM »
^ Not the whole truth Silver. The Chinese are not the nation with the lowest labor cost rate.  Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Haiti come to mind.  The difference is that the Chinese labor force is far larger than that of the smaller countries.  They simply produce more of whatever product is saleable.  That is not all. The Chinese have the will and the ability to produce goods in the most modern of ways.....as in  robotics and automation. They are   technologically advanced, well ahead of many other nations.

The Chinese make some miserable pieces of crap consumer items.  We must not be beguiled by that reality.  They also build some high quality items that can rival the best in the world.  We must be vigilant. They could well be "sandbagging" us.

Dave

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Re: America, and everyone else, first.
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2017, 08:26:20 AM »
^ Not the whole truth Silver. The Chinese are not the nation with the lowest labor cost rate.  Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Haiti come to mind.  The difference is that the Chinese labor force is far larger than that of the smaller countries.  They simply produce more of whatever product is saleable.  That is not all. The Chinese have the will and the ability to produce goods in the most modern of ways.....as in  robotics and automation. They are   technologically advanced, well ahead of many other nations.

The Chinese make some miserable pieces of crap consumer items.  We must not be beguiled by that reality.  They also build some high quality items that can rival the best in the world.  We must be vigilant. They could well be "sandbagging" us.

This is indeed the situation! I was foolish enough to make an enqiry of a Chinese company about the availability of a small electronic item that I had seen but vould not now find. I was sent a quotation for bulk orders: 500 immediate dispatch, 1000 delivered next week, 5 000 in two weeks, negotiations required for 10 000+. Individual item was £60, at 1000 £20 each and at 5 000 £15 each. Accompanying pictures showed assembly areas the size of small hangars with smartly uniformed staff and loads of technology.

They really do have it together!
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jumbojak

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Re: America, and everyone else, first.
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2017, 02:45:31 AM »
Labor costs, and quality, are steadily increasing in China. There are an enormous number of strikes each year in China and the workers there are beginning to recognize just how valuable they really are. Without Chinese factories running the global economy would find itself in a real bind. The quality is good enough to do the job and the output is great enough to lower costs below what many other countries are capable of producing at.

Yes, you can find cheaper labor rates but not with the same breadth and depth across multiple industries. In Africa or Haiti you can have a shirt made very cheaply but a shirt is a relatively simple thing. In China you can have a shirt fitted with heating elements and a microcontroller made in one facility. The batteries are made across the street and right down the road you can find power equipment that uses the same batteries.

It's an integrated system that combines the capacity to make just about anything you can dream up at a price that nearly everyone can afford. Much like Britain in the 19th century or the USA during the 20th China is filling the world's needs.
 

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