Sunday, June 05, 2011

Americans Losing Jobs from FTAs Are Overpaid

Steven Landsburg does some fine editing of this NY Times article on the pending FTAs with Colombia, Panama and S. Korea:

"The Obama administration said that it would not seek Congressional approval of free trade agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, Panama and South Korea until Republicans agree to expand assistance for American workers who might lose jobs as a result extort additional money from American consumers and taxpayers who might stop being overcharged as a result." 

"Anybody who loses his job because of a free trade agreement was overpaid to begin with. The $20-an-hour American who loses his job to a $5-an-hour Colombian is an American who has spent the past few years charging his countrymen twenty dollars for something they ought to have been able to buy for five."


At 6/05/2011 11:16 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

The five dollar an hour Colombian bookkeeper, that loses their job to U.S. produced business software, has been overcharging. A question then arises: has that software been acquired or stolen?

U.S. trade agreements must have enforceable sanctions for theft of intellectual property. The biggest trading partner of the U.S. is a giant mill for theft of U.S. prooduced intellectual property.

U.S. Free agreements are including sanctions for IP theft. It is time to wind down trade with non Free Trade associates, because the costs are debilitating to the U.S. economy.

I don't think taxpayers should be paying for re-training workers, who lose their jobs through mutual Free Trade.

At 6/05/2011 1:31 PM, Blogger juandos said...

The problem with free trade agreements isn't the 'free trade' clauses, its all the other inane nonsense ladled in with it...

American companies had subsidiary divisions in foreign countries long before NAFTA for instance...

Monterey in Mexico for twenty plus years prior to NAFTA was doing bell housing and differnetial castings for Ford...

Delco during the Carter administration had opened up a plant in Nuevo Laredo to make the ceramic boards for solid state electronic ignitions...

In my examples there was a large disparity in the hourly wage between what an employee made in Mexico and what a Ford or Delco employee made in the US...

So what changed? What went wrong?

At 6/05/2011 1:45 PM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from Buddy R Pacifico: "U.S. trade agreements must have enforceable sanctions for theft of intellectual property."

Intellectual property is just another form of state enforced monopoly.

At 6/05/2011 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is intellectual property any different than other property that we think we own through contracts and deeds?

At 6/05/2011 2:11 PM, Blogger Rufus II said...


But, he also pays for the Stealth Aircraft, the Missile Defense, The Aircraft Carriers, The FDA, The Social Security Administration, The Levees, The Medicare, The State Police, The Local Police, The County Police, The Fire Dept, The Municipal Government, Garbage Pickup, Sewage and Water, Medicaid, Medicare, SCHIP, The Coast Guard, FEMA, EPA, USDA, DOE, Homeland Security, The FBI, The CIA . . . . . . .

I assume that Colombian worker is going to "pick up the slack," right? right?

At 6/05/2011 4:59 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"Intellectual property is just another form of state enforced monopoly."

i think that is the wrong interpretation.

if i write a novel and get a copyright, then only i can benefit from my creative work.

if you were allowed to appropriate it and sell copies of the book i wrote for your own profit, how is that not theft?

additionally, your being allowed to do so would completely destroy and incentive i had to write and publish in the first place.

such a situation completely destroys a whole industry/area of endeavor.

one need only look at the african music industry to see how this works.

(or the chinese software industry)

At 6/05/2011 9:34 PM, Blogger DL said...

I would expect nothing less from Obama than the excuse he has come up with.

Whatever the economic impact of his decision, it will not adversely affect his re-election prospects.

At 6/05/2011 11:09 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

Quote from Geoith:

"Intellectual property is just another form of state enforced monopoly."

No it is a property right(s). Millions of dollars and thousands of hours invested in an intellectual property project, is certainly just as much property as an heir to an Oklahoma Sooner sitting on millions of dollars of oil. The state protects both forms of property. The communal types want to steal it.

At 6/06/2011 10:39 AM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from Buddy R Pacifico: "No it is a property right(s)."

No it isn't. It is an arbitrary monopoly grated by pure fiat by the state. It has nothing to do with stealing and everything to do with privilege.

At 6/06/2011 11:22 AM, Blogger Mark Thoman said...

"Quote from Buddy R Pacifico: "No it is a property right(s)."

"Quote from Geoih: No it isn't. It is an arbitrary monopoly grated by pure fiat by the state. It has nothing to do with stealing and everything to do with privilege."

Wow. There's incentive to invent improve and invest!

At 6/07/2011 5:46 AM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from Mark Thoman: "Wow. There's incentive to invent improve and invest!"

So are you saying the only reason people invent, improve and invest is because of an arbitrary monopoly granted by the state? If you are, I'm afraid you'll have to come up with some evidence for this claim to counter the massive amount of evidence to the contrary. I will cite one easy example: fashion.

At 6/10/2011 11:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with geoih, though I would like to see contractual approaches that keep some aspects of copyright or patent. For those unaware of the excellent arguments against granting govt monopolies for copyright or patent, here's a good, free book that makes the case. You can also buy a printed copy on Amazon if you like or listen to his Econtalk podcast from a couple years ago

At 6/14/2011 10:56 AM, Blogger misterjosh said...

I think there are valid arguments to be made for the (limited) state enforcement of IP monopoly, but to answer Walt's question - as soon as I can copy your car in 5 seconds using a milliwatt of electricity, then there will be no difference between IP and real property.

If I take your car right now today and sell it to somebody else, I have most certainly harmed you. However, if I copy an article you wrote, I have inconvenienced you.

There is NO WAY for you to protect your IP once it has been publishd without assistance from the government. However, you could most certainly protect your real property using the second amendment and other means.

I don't think that all piracy is legitimate, but Intellectual property is absolutely a different kind of property.

Regarding motivation - the book that Sprewell mentions has some examples where the lack of IP actually motivated artists to be MORE prolific. I believe it was Germany 100-200 years ago.


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