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Forum Post: The Stupidity of "Buy American"

Posted 12 years ago on Nov. 29, 2011, 6:55 p.m. EST by ProAntiState (43)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

The Stupidity of "Buy American" By John Stossel

One sign of economic ignorance is the faith that "Buy American" is the path to prosperity. My former employer, ABC News, did a week's worth of stories claiming that "buying American" would put Americans back to work.

I'm glad I don't work there anymore.

"Buy American" is a dumb idea. It would not only not create prosperity, it would cost jobs and make us all poorer. David R. Henderson, an economist at the Hoover Institution, explained why.

"Almost all economists say it's nonsense," he said. "And the reason is: We should buy things where they're cheapest. That frees up more of our resources to buy other things, and other Americans get jobs producing those things."

This is what people always forget. Anytime we can use fewer resources and less labor to produce one thing, that leaves more for other things we can't afford. If we save money buying abroad, we can make and buy other products.

The nonsense of "Buy American" can be seen if you trace out the logic.




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[-] 12 points by anonwolf (279) from West Peoria, IL 12 years ago

What fucking utter garbage. And the logic. OMG.

"We should buy things where they're cheapest. That frees up more of our resources to buy other things, and other Americans get jobs producing those things."

That are also produced elsewhere. LOL.

[-] 2 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

I'd rather not buy anything at all.

Why? Because whether the goods are made in America, or China, or India, eventually the money winds-up in the same place (the top 0.1% wealthiest) (i.e. the corporations). I avoid buying the electronic/plastic crap as much as possible. No iPhone or iPod. No flat screen TV. And a computer that is nearly ten years old.

I'm anti-materialist. If we were smart, we would ALL be anti-materialism rather than hand our personal wealth to the rich fatcats. IMHO.

[-] 2 points by NintyNiner (93) 12 years ago

Thats what I tend to do at this stage of the game. (Buy nothin) I hate the idea that fossil fuels are not infinite on this planet and Corporations/Countries just want to burn it all up shipping crap all around the world and wasting it in other ways, when they should be conservative and produce most products close to the point of sale as possible and not wasting it like there is no tomorrow!
Sorry to say humans are self-destructing! I think we are now seeing the beginning of the end. 7 Billion people on this planet that only as room for 3 Billion, something going to give soon. Can't rule out the rich coming up with a plan to push 4 Billion people off a cliff!

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

Apple tried to build their Mac computers in the USA (i.e. close to market), but by 1996 they were a billion dollars in debt. They almost went bankrupt like the other computer companies Atari and Commodore.

Building stuff in the U.S. simply doesn't work because even though the shipping distances are lower/cheaper, the labor costs are much higher than the 1 dollar an hour charged in Foxconn China.

[-] 1 points by SGSling (104) 12 years ago

The wages are only one part of it though. On top of an American salary a company pays: Workplace insurance, Social Security, 401k, medicare and a lot of other "on top expenses". They also have to deal with PTO, fixed working hours, and lots of other regulations. Total cost of production is cheaper in Shenzen(Foxconn is not a city).

The one point missed by many people with the Foxconn example is that the comparison between US/Western Workers and Chinese labour does not exist. Those plants in Shenzen are there because at the moment it is cheaper to hire a Chinese labourer than invest in a fully automated factory. The rising wages in coastal china are prompting Foxconn to build factories in western china, if those get too expensive they have already broke ground on automated factories in Thailand. If the tarrifs get too high, they can just build those factories in a low tax state/EU member. Those jobs won't ever come back to the west.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 12 years ago

A general tariff solves that problem. Taxation is a red herring. EU states taxes are not enough lower to make that happen.

[-] 1 points by SGSling (104) 12 years ago

How does a general tariff solve the issue of robots being cheaper than human beings? An automated plant in a low tax state or EU member like Poland wouldn't bring the million jobs in China on-shores.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 12 years ago

The issue of automation is overstated. The principal of diminishing returns applies. The existence of robotics should make it more practical to hire US workers, since less human input is required. A general tariff would apply to Poland as well.

[-] 1 points by SGSling (104) 12 years ago

I don't know what you mean by "overstated". These companies already hire US, EU, and other workers. In Foxconn, the Chinese Factories are filled with the low skilled labour and the high skilled labour works in the home office in Taiwan or in the west.

If you replace the Chinese facility (1,000,000 workers) with a fully automated factory in Arizona, only a fraction of those jobs will still be required, and will likely be filled by high skilled workers already employed at Foxconn.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 12 years ago

What is the precise fraction. There are still many jobs that can be done more efficiently with the human hand. Humans are still much more versatile. I realize that may change, but I don't think we're there yet.

[-] 1 points by SGSling (104) 12 years ago

No I agree there. What I am telling you is first hand knowledge. I worked as an Engineer for a contractor of Foxconn when I was in Taiwan. I have seen their factories first hand and the type of labor that is outsourced to China. The reason I was there was to specifically discuss the possibility of fully automating the process. Most of the employees there are glorified machines.

As for a precise fraction? Well I cannot tell exactly but use BMW as an example. BMW worldwide employs around 90,000 people. This includes their engineers, sales staff, in addition to their manufacturing. I have been to the BMW plants in Munich and Spartanburg and I can tell you they are mostly automated, And Spartanburg employs 7000 people (including office support staff and engineers).

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 12 years ago

You bring up a good point though. The high tech and upper level jobs tend to follow the factory. Even if it is far fewer employees in the US, I think we need those jobs.

[-] 1 points by SGSling (104) 12 years ago

They are the most important jobs as they pay the most taxes and have the most disposable income. The problem is many of the jobs are already here (or elsewhere in the western world). Nobody puts their IP or sensitive technology in China.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 12 years ago

I'm concerned that that could change as well. I think China will catch up, technologically, sooner or later. Do you disagree?

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 12 years ago

reply to "Yes but China...I agree, if living standards were approximately equal, there would be no problem.

[-] 1 points by SGSling (104) 12 years ago

Yes but China is also catching up in standards of living. That is why wages increase. The China that competes with Americans for top engineering jobs globally is not the China of 2011.

As the developed world becomes the developed world, the US will face more and more competition for jobs and that is a good thing. It means that civilization is evolving and that everybody in the world is getting closer to feeding their families and leading healthy and productive lives. At that point, who cares about national borders?

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

Shenzen(Foxconn is not a city).

Didn't say it was. I was distinguishing Foxconn China from Foxconn Taiwan or Foxconn Czech republic.

OH and yes you're right that the U.S. and local governments make it more expensive to operate here. But even if they dropped the corporate taxrate to zero, I doubt those factories would move back here. Why should Apple pay $20 an hour to build iPods or iMacs when they can do it for $1 an hour in china?

What will eventually happen is that so many Americans/Europeans will be out of work, that wages will plummet to the lowest possible level (min. wage).

[-] 1 points by SGSling (104) 12 years ago

For unskilled labor yes. The gap in pay between skilled third world workers and skilled first world workers isn't nearly as large as the unskilled pay gap.

[-] 1 points by NintyNiner (93) 12 years ago

Exactly! Thats a good point, but why isn't our gov't urging minimum wage requirements overseas???

[-] 2 points by UncleKennyD (7) 12 years ago

We can't enforce anything like that unless we are willing to tariff foreign goods.

[-] 1 points by BTKcongress (149) 12 years ago

we do have tariffs here and there, but if we increase them, the consumer simply pays more.

[-] 2 points by anonwolf (279) from West Peoria, IL 12 years ago

It's not a matter of increasing them, it's a matter of applying trade barriers more intelligently, in ways that incentivize without kicking off trade wars, and, yes, expect consumers to pay a little more - but this has a multiplier effect in our economy. Every extra dollar spent on domestic goods stimulates our economy.

[-] 1 points by BTKcongress (149) 12 years ago

i can agree with that. the big push for globalization and free trade had the unintended (but very obvious) consequence that many jobs would move to countries with low cost structures... then add to that mechanization and technology and you wonder whether the 20% unemployed will ever be back at work.

[-] 1 points by SGSling (104) 12 years ago

Because the US has no control over other countries. Cost of living also varies depending on where goods are being produced. If housing and food are cheap, then why do wages need to be bigger?

[-] -2 points by classicliberal (312) 12 years ago

Because those countries are smarter than to ruin their economies with a price floor on labor. Do you note how someone can live comfortably on $1/hour in China? Why is that? Because goods cost less. Why is that? Because there is no minimum wage. What is their unemployment rate? Why, I'm glad you asked. It's 4.2%, less than half of what our's is.

[-] 0 points by BTKcongress (149) 12 years ago

exactly, the US cost structure is so high that our workers need to be paid high wages in relation to China/India. Most of that distorted cost structure is due to high housing prices (workers' biggest purchase), and then there's unions, regulation, etc...

[-] 1 points by Perspective (-243) 12 years ago

The Bhuddist monks are looking for a few good men I hear.

[-] 1 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

Thanks. :-( When you grow you of your teenage immaturity, please let me know. Then we can talk to one another like adults w/o the insults.

I happen to think that bankrupting myself in order to buy the "toys" the megacorps sell is an unwise move. That doesn't make me a monk. It makes me rich (almost a million dollars saved). If you enjoy being like the other americans with ~$120,000 in credit and mortgage debt, go right ahead.

[-] 1 points by sinead (474) 12 years ago

Okay, so you have nearly a million dollars saved.... for what? You have heard the old saying "you can't take it with you", right? So you have a million dollars, what is that going to do for you? I assume you are a working person and that aside from your savings you have a retirement plan of some sort... as it sounds as if you have no debt, I think I am safe in saying you rent... and your disdain for fossil fuels I would guess you don't own a car.

Not that material things make ones life happy, (I certainly don't have a lot of material things and am quite happy) But with a million dollars you certainly could do a lot to enrich your life other ways..... A massing wealth just for the sake of saying I have a lot of money really seems a sad way to spend ones life.

[-] 1 points by offmybrain (23) 12 years ago

I hear you.I've never been in debt.I'm 35 bought my first house 19 months ago & paid cash.

[-] -1 points by julianzs (147) 12 years ago

Abstention is a good principal but not the solution to social inequality. We must find a way to ensure that every person is able to exercise the right to life, liberty, education, well-being, clean environment and be actively supported to achieve them. We may decide these objectives may or may not be dependent on flat-screen tv and iPad; made here or elsewhere.

[-] 2 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

I consider flat-screen TV and iPad to be "luxuries" not necessities. (My TV is still the old CRT model.) I did consider that new Amazon Pad/tablet but then decided "nah I don't need it".

Even my internet, which I genuinely do need (for my job), I only spend $15 a month not ~$100 like some persons I know. All that does is make Comcast and other corporations richer (and us poorer).

[-] -2 points by Perspective (-243) 12 years ago

Hey,you're the one who said you're anti-materialist,not me. I just pointed you in the right direction. You have a million dollars? One of those evil rich people I see. If you're so anti-materialist why don't you give it all to charity? Yeah,it's always easy to spend other peoples money isn't it?

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

Oh look.

More insults. Here's some logic that you might be able to understand once your teenage brain matures into its full adult state:

  • Just because I'm anti-materialist doesn't mean I believe in mystical buddhist junk. Or that I'm a monk.

  • I need my million dollars for my RETIREMENT. How do you expect me to live from age 70 to 100 if I have no money??? You're supposed to save your cash for the future when you're unable to work, not waste it until there's nothing left.

  • And where the hell did I say anything about wanting to spend other peoples' money? Please show me where I said that. (Hint: I never did say that.)

[+] -4 points by Perspective (-243) 12 years ago

Lol you're funny. Don't you want to save the world? What the hell does that fool Carter have to do with anything? You're the one getting all bent out of shape. I'm just laughing at you.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

Don't you want to save the world?

Another strawman argument. I never said anything of the kind.

[-] -1 points by Perspective (-243) 12 years ago

You support OWS right? Why don't you donate half of that million to "the cause".

[-] 0 points by Apercentage (81) 12 years ago

LOL, you're probably just anti-materialist because you're poor.

[-] 1 points by Frizzle (520) 12 years ago

Attacking him personally is not an argument. In fact, it just proves you don't have a counter argument. I guess that means he made a good point.

[-] 1 points by Apercentage (81) 12 years ago

I dont argue with poor people.

[-] 1 points by Jellow (5) 12 years ago

Stossel needs to knowledge-up. His logic is really slipping.

[-] -2 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

You don't have an economics degree, right?

i didn't think so.

[-] 3 points by anonwolf (279) from West Peoria, IL 12 years ago

Economic Nationalism: Fair or Foul?



It follows that if we are to embrace economic nationalism, we need to answer the question of what it must look like, in order to be ethically legitimate?

I would argue that the basic criteria for ethically legitimate economic nationalism are the following:

1) It must aim at the economic good of the nation as a whole, not just of special interests dressing themselves up as such. The latter is, of course, the classic danger of protectionism incompetently implemented, as when it protects industries based on who had the smarter lobbyist.

2) It must allow other nations the same right to fight for their own people's economic interests as we claim for ours. Fair is fair, and we're better off in a contented world anyway.

3) It must be based on sound economics and policies that actually work, not misguided nostrums and empty populist gestures. (I spent an entire chapter of my book debunking such ideas.)

4) It must be open to interpretation according to either partisan leaning, that is, it must not be of itself a left-wing or right-wing position. If economic nationalism makes sense, it deserves to be part of the broad national consensus.

I am sick to death of the phony humanism of economic globalists. They preen to no end about how globalism serves the interests of all humanity, but in reality, this is just a convenient excuse for repudiating obligations to their fellow Americans while assuming -- on paper -- moral obligations to foreigners who have no power to make them live up to those obligations. Embracing our economic obligations to our own countrymen would be a far more meaningful step for anyone who really cares about other people.


[-] 1 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

I have family in several countries around the world. I am not on this "American is the best county in the world" kick. The Internet enables humanity to be ONE, together, working together.

I feel I have economic obligations to the world, not just the USA.

And don't misunderstand, I am a sixth generation american, from Texas, and New York. I am American. But I am a "globalist" if there is such a term.

I read the article from your link - thanks - it was interesting. For me, I agree. I don't care more about strangers from detroit than strangers in another country. I like em all equally.

And this economic nationalism CAN ONLY BE deployed for special interests. It is not really feasible to do economic nationalism for everyone equally. Different industries will be affected different ways, and different industries need different actions.

[-] 2 points by looselyhuman (3117) 12 years ago

And this economic nationalism CAN ONLY BE deployed for special interests.

Wrong. First, educated consumers buying American benefits only the employees of companies that make an extra effort to source and label their products accordingly.

Second, w/regards tariffs, the past does not dictate the future. Intelligent tariffs that are based on per-partner analysis of differentials in environmental, labor, and other social protections, and that allow for case-by-case allowances for manufacturers in those trade partner-nations that demonstrate better standards than their national averages, would benefit people everywhere.

Let's race to the top, not the bottom.

[-] 1 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

i agree with the Tariff statement- very well said. Tariffs are ok on case by case basis. Understanding that having to do tariffs is always a less than optimum state of economics. By this I mean, anytime a tariff is used, it usually is in response to some "bad" or "unfair" economic situation. I don't ever see tariffs as a good method for all countries to use all the time.

It's like a clean up crew after an bad incident occurred. A tariff is like a clean up crew - a mess was made and it needs to cleaned up. The tariff may help clean up, but too many tariffs will hurt all involved.

[-] 2 points by alexrai (851) 12 years ago

I have a degree in Business Administration (Finance) and frankly I didn't believe that nonsense when i learned it my introductory economics classes over 10 years ago.

The theory works when you have two small economies on the page of a textbook which need each the other's products; and there is only 1 product, and no intervening variables.

Unfortunately, when the product one country wants more cheaply is "Labour" (the supply of which approaches infinity under the globalization model) then soon there are far fewer workers left to buy much of anything...

The lucky ones who have work are those workers whose jobs are tied to location (who incidentally face serious competition for their positions), and also Company owners who made a fortune off the declining cost of labour as consumers continued to spend off credit cards and refinanced mortgages.

[-] 0 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

Which part do you think is nonsense?

[-] 2 points by alexrai (851) 12 years ago

The thingy in the quotes, basically the idea that globalization leads to increased wealth.

Comparative advantage theory does not address the long term impact of the increased labour supply. Its less of a problem on paper, but in the real world economies are based on consumer spending so when efficiencies are gained solely by reducing labour costs (e.g. by outsourcing), the long term result is economic trouble.

We also unnecessarily waste non-renewable resources like fossil fuel shipping raw materials around the globe in order to avoid the cost of a renewable resource like labour. Seems counter-productive.

[-] 1 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

America has been on the "globalization leads to wealth kick" for over a hundred years. Back when they forced Japan to become part of the world again, is an example.

Labor is a entirely different story. Eventually technology will reduce the need for labor where only 5% of us need to work. Welcome to "Age of Abundance". Advocates of "Buying American" suggest that labor will be helped. Actually buying american has no significant effect on labor at all. The prices of labor should be supported through unions and collective bargaining. This will have impact.

so do you agree or disagree that "buying american" is good for Americans?

[-] 2 points by alexrai (851) 12 years ago

I totally agree about labour unions, but unfortunately its difficult to compete with other businesses if you have one (especially ones operating overseas), and its so difficult to certify a new business in the US nowadays.

Buying American, it depends; I think the ideal situation would be one which balances global disparities in labour prices through taxation and import tariffs. If a company (foreign or domestic) can still compete by paying at least American wages in a foreign factory, either because the product is superior, or they have better technology, then I'm ok with that.

What I think is not helpful is when a company can reduce a primary input into the cost of their product 90% simply by setting up overseas. If the only real savings come from a reduction in the cost of labour, then I think the factory should be built in America (regardless of foreign or domestic ownership).

Its not even just a matter of low skill manufacturing jobs, but operating factories also pay staff, maintenance workers, order office supplies, hire accountants, etc. etc. Multinational corporations benefit from gross disparities in global wages, but the impact on the domestic economy in the long term is pretty ugly.

I hope your right about the age of abundance; and I also hope that it means all people will have more luxury time, rather than a few business owners raking in extra profits as displaced workers move into cardboard boxes.

[-] 1 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

Look up Age of Abundance on YouTube - there is this great 45 min lecture by some leading intellectuals.

And I agree - if America wants people buying from here instead of China, build manufacturing plants here.

And I don't think labor costs play that much of a role anymore in many manufacturing industries, but there are some where labor costs play a huge role, like in animation. Most animation is done overseas because of labor costs. I have NO IDEA how America can get animation to come back to the US. It's just too expensive. Surprisingly, animation studios often have a few hundred animators working on one project.

i am involved in a clothing business. We spoke to many Chinese manufacturers and in the US. The Chinese manufacturers give us what we want, everything, like a one stop shop, In the US it seems more difficult to get that service. In clothing there are tags, and packaging, and other things, besides just the manufacturing of the clothing.

We don't know yet, where will we manufacture.

[-] 1 points by alexrai (851) 12 years ago

Its diminishing somewhat for sure, but still its so much cheaper to have textiles made overseas, even management wages are lower. I know one fellow who designs clothing, but gets it made in Indonesia 'cause its cheapy cheap. I agree services like call centers and IT programming are a big problem too, its just so sad to see the economy rotting from the inside out... all of those functioning workplaces not only hurt the workers when they close, but have a very negative residual impact on other local industries who sell to them.

and thanks, sounds interesting, I'll check out the video. :)

[-] 1 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

First nice post I have today! Thanks!

Maybe cause of the weather or the position of the earth, I am not sure, but for some reason, it seems everyone is on the same biorhythms. And today most people seem "mean". A doorman said the same thing to me today - most people are mean today.

Glad it didn't get to you! or me! thanks..

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

Back in the 1960s they were predicting an Age of Abundance would happen by 2000..... I'm still waiting. There's theory and there's reality, and in reality we still need people in the factories working to build the plastic crap we buy.

(BTW radio/TV pundit Thom Hartmann blames the republicans..... of course! It couldn't possibly be that the predictions were as wrong as the predictions of flying cars and robot maids.)

[-] 1 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

I recommend you look up Age of Abundance on YouTube and elsewhere. most of the big intellectuals think we are in the Age of Abundance right now.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

So why has the typical workweek only dropped by 2 hours since that 1960 prediction?

[-] 1 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

Many of the jobs in this country are not even real jobs. I worked in information technology shops where there were 500 people. About 50 people DID ALL THE WORK. The rest of the office jobs aren't real jobs. The companies hire the people because they make so much money, they are forced to via politics - if the company creates jobs, it's good public relations - I spoke with lead intellectual involved high up in the govt, and admittedly they understand the lack of jobs.

You really think everyone is productive 40 hours a week?

The typical work week only dropped two hours because thats american mentality - it's not european mentality, but it is American mentality.

so the statistic to look at is the unemployed, and the lack of "good" jobs.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 12 years ago

That post from anonwolf was an example of truthiness. Anonwolf believes that buying American is better for the American worker, and that belief is more important (to him) than actual truth.

[-] 2 points by anonwolf (279) from West Peoria, IL 12 years ago

Just because it has become heterodox in the neoliberal free-trade-fundamentalism consensus does not mean it is incorrect.

From 1992, for example, when people were still rational:


We've been unilaterally disarming on trade for decades, and the destruction of the middle class has been the result. Most advanced market economies practice more economic nationalism than we do. We, on the other hand, have a 1.7T trade deficit.

[-] 1 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

ooohhh - heterodox - that's a new word for me! i looked it up - not with public opinion. cool word.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

It seems obvious to me that there will never be "fair trade" until the labor costs equalize around the world. As long as foreigners are willing to work for 1 dollar an hour (10 dollars for engineers/programmers), the overpriced Americans and Europeans will be shoved aside like an Apple Mac with a pricetag of $4000. Consumers always go for the lowest price (PC for 300) and businessmen are no different.

[-] 3 points by anonwolf (279) from West Peoria, IL 12 years ago

Sorry, but that is asinine.

Labor costs will never equalize. There will always be a more war-torn, more poverty-stricken labor market to exploit. In the end, that market will be us, and it will have come full circle - especially if thinking like this previals and we continue the race to the bottom. Nations like Germany however, will avoid the trap. Fair trade is quasi-protectionist, in that it protects the standards of living in the developed nation and also provides incentives for the developing nation to raise standards for its workers. Intelligent trade barriers are the key. Barriers that address specific differences in labor and environmental, health (etc) protection are the way go.

I'm not saying it's the right way to do it, but Germany makes protectionism work: http://seekingalpha.com/article/212461-what-the-u-s-can-learn-from-germany-about-managing-its-trade-deficit

So must we - hopefully in a way that encourages a race ot the top - but even better - in a more sustainable way. Bring up standards of living yet reduce unnecessary consumption. Encourage lower volume of high-value trade instead of high-volume low-value trade, etc... We first need the will, and to shut the door on this neoliberal claptrap.

[-] 0 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

here here.

[-] 0 points by anonwolf (279) from West Peoria, IL 12 years ago
[-] -1 points by puff6962 (4052) 12 years ago

I do, speak to me bitch.

[-] 5 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

I generally like John Stossel, but his logic is flawed in this case; he is buying into the economist/capitalist view, and that view only works in a fair and stable environment.

If you imagine a global end-state where all countries provide the same level of workplace protection, education, health care, environmental protections, open currency exchange, etc, then all nations will suffer approximately equal costs and the playing field will be level. In this end-state, the producer that creates the highest quality product for the lowest price wins, but all others have equal opportunity to complete.

As it stands, the emerging markets do not provide the same level of social protections as the mature nations such as the US and Europe nor do they operate with the same transparency regarding their currency. Under these conditions, the mature economies cannot compete, lose their tax base, and have to impose ever more restrictive austerity measures to remain out of debt. In essence, the economist/capitalist ideal drags us down to the level of the emerging markets.

The world will eventually attain socio-economic parity, and at that time, we can revert to the purist equations of the economists/capitalists. As it stands, China's wild-wild-west capitalism is injecting billions of workers into the world economy at a feverish rate, and the impact of all that labor needs to be mitigated.

We can mitigate the impact of Chinese expansion by slowing her rate of growth. That is pretty easily accomplished by simply reducing the number of goods we buy from her. Once China attains full capacity with comparable domestic demand, we can ease up. Until then, we need to consider the social cost of buying so many foreign made goods. Chinese goods are NOT cheaper when unemployment, social protections, etc are included.

P.S. I compiled some shopping guidelines we developed under a forum post here and hosted them at http://bit.ly/DoYourBit where they are widely accessible and can be shared via social networks. Please read the guidelines and, if you agree, spread the http://bit.ly/DoYourBit link as far and wide as possivle using e-mail, twitter, facebook, etc. We need a LOT of people on board if we are to have an impact.

[-] 4 points by Peretyatkov (241) from город Пенза, Пензенская область 12 years ago

There are so many companies where, in fact, it is better not to work. I worked as a programmer with an insurance company (of course, in Russia). One day, I found a bug in a program through which, head can steal a lot of money. I insisted on that, would it be corrected. Corrections, there was nothing. But, I got fired. That was two months ago. Really, I do not sleep until now.

Arkona - Faces of immortal Gods : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5kXZJOOhCM&feature (Russian pagan-black metal).

[-] 4 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

Hoover Institute?..........How am I supposed to not giggle?


[-] -2 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

Why is "hoover institute" laughable? I really don't get the joke.


[-] 2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

It would be better if it wasn't laughable.

[-] -1 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

Yeah but WHY is "hoover institute" laughable? Why do you find it so funny?

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago


My college economics professor. He really ripped-into Hoover and FDR.

[-] 1 points by frytoy (41) from Berkeley, CA 12 years ago

Sort by aggregate ranking:


Your college prof is an Austrian, apparently. They've been revising FDR for the past few years. Nobody takes them all that seriously except other Austrians.

[-] -1 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

Well of course not. Austrians don't believe in giving Banker Bailouts, so of course the bankers will do everything to silence them.

Bankers prefer the form of economics that allows them to steal money from taxpayers and give it to the banks. i.e. Keynesian bailouts and stimulus/corporate welfare spending.


[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 12 years ago

you really don't know?

[-] 4 points by demcapitalist (977) 12 years ago

Well Amerca's pathetic state can be summed up by guys like you.

[-] -3 points by buik2 (66) 12 years ago

america is bein pretty good to me so right on, guy!

[-] -1 points by demcapitalist (977) 12 years ago

Wow do people still say right on?

[-] 2 points by RockyJ (208) 12 years ago

I haven't heard that since the early 70's. He's probably a fat, bald, Baby Boomer with a very little (you know what) with a lot of time on his hands. I don 't know how growing up in that era one could miss what it was really about! Its like a whole lot of them that grew up in the 60's & 70's just got involved in the hippie movement for the free sex & drugs & then turned into greedy, ignorant sociopaths dip-wads in the 80's - present! The good news they all will be dieing off soon from eating all the fast food & being so hateful! BTW I'm a tail-end Baby Boomer & I actually learned something about human compassion, civil rights & freedom as a result!

[-] 1 points by demcapitalist (977) 12 years ago

I'm a late boomer as well, it really was amazing to watch that generation end up trashing the place (maybe their parents were right all along). Nice to see some kids out there trying to do something about it instead of glued to the couch playing video games.

[-] 0 points by buik2 (66) 12 years ago

definitely we still say right on, hoss :)

its a baltimore thing

too bad that guy ruined america for you, tho. i feel for you. you must be a very ineffectual dude.

[-] 0 points by demcapitalist (977) 12 years ago

lol pathetic troll talk I'm done with you

[-] 1 points by buik2 (66) 12 years ago

right on, guy

[-] 3 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 12 years ago

Who's the expert. John Stossel or John Maynard Keyenes? http://www.thenation.com/article/163673/what-would-keynes-do

[-] 3 points by looselyhuman (3117) 12 years ago

Great piece. Poor Keynes. Blamed for all the idiotic crap he didn't advise and ignored on all the common sense things he did.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 12 years ago

Yes, we can thank people like Gregory Mankiw, the Harvard economics professor, (and others) for perverting Keynesian economics to serve the neoliberal agenda. (Professor Mankiw is a fellow at The Heritage Foundation) http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x1169090

[-] 3 points by CrossingtheDivided (357) from Santa Ysabel, CA 12 years ago

John Stossel needs to work in a sweet shop for at least a week.

[-] 3 points by TLydon007 (1278) 12 years ago

I'm confused..

Are you quoting John Stossel as if we think he's anything but a paid Fox News crony??

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

Well he used to be a Paid ABC crony. (Do you really think there's any difference between ABC, CBS, NBC, or FOX? Of course not; they are all shoving their corporate cronyism and advertising their plastic chinese crap so you'll run-out and buy it.)

[-] 1 points by TLydon007 (1278) 12 years ago

If that's the case, I think NBC would have shut down CNBC a while ago for their documentaries.



Also, this right here is why I tend to trust NBC networks more.

http://videos.nymag.com/video/The-Daily-Show-NBC-News-Has-a-G#c=JFZDQN394VD6M22N&t=The Daily Show: NBC News Has a General Electric Problem

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago


Non-sequitor. 2 or 3 datapoints is not enough to make a pattern. HOWEVER numerous scientific studies (more than I have room to list here) have shown NBC News air 70% positive stories about Obama/democrats versus only 40% positive towards McCain/republicans from 2008 to 10. It's pretty clear that when it comes to "unfair and not balanced" reporting, NBC is no better than FOX.

Same with ABC. Same with CBS. Same with PBS. You shouldn't boycott just John Stossel and Faux News, but all these organizations.

[-] 1 points by TLydon007 (1278) 12 years ago

I addressed CNBC. I would think MSNBC would lift the average of positive stories about democrats. But that's not CNBC. Their documentaries address exactly the same thing you said.

"advertising their plastic chinese crap so you'll run-out and buy it."

While I doubt their discriminating about advertisers, that's just not on their agenda.

Also, I give MSNBC some credit for tearing apart their own parent company, GE.

[-] 3 points by betuadollar (-313) 12 years ago

Do you realize how foolish that statement is? Buying Chinese imports frees up my money to buy other cheap imports... where is the American job in this? It's a great theory if you derive all income from investment but if you need American employment to generate income, it's a really stupid, stupid, thing to say.

And then you wonder why we call the pseudo intellectuals, "pseudo intellectuals."

[-] -1 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

we've lost how many over the past 20 years? A million or more?

We've lost ~ 30,000 manufacturing facilities over the last 10 years. NOT a million.

[-] -1 points by betuadollar (-313) 12 years ago

The latest estimate I've heard was 47,000 but I would assume this translates to millions of jobs.

[-] 2 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

I suspect most of those are small factories of only 100-200 blue collar workers (like where I work). 47,000 times 150 == about 6 million.


[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 12 years ago

Oh yea? And we've lost how many over the past 20 years? A million or more? We've become a nation of retailers and outsourcing/ cheap imports/ is the cause.

[-] 2 points by debndan (1145) 12 years ago

john stossel may end up as a caricature in a trashy novel sometime : )

He's already a caricature on a trashy network.

[-] 2 points by ithink (761) from York, PA 12 years ago

"This is what people always forget".. apparently we also forget things like.. "what really matters" and "what is most important".

[-] 2 points by ronimacarroni (1089) 12 years ago

We're all fed up with what economists think.

Globalization has been a disaster, admit it.

[-] -1 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago


Look how the bankers destroyed the Euro, and now they are essentially taking-over the governments of Greece, Italy, and Spain. Pretty soon they'll have the entire E.U. at their feet.

[-] 2 points by Jellow (5) 12 years ago

This statement is stupid. "Almost all economists say it's nonsense," he said. "And the reason is: We should buy things where they're cheapest. That frees up more of our resources to buy other things, and other Americans get jobs producing those things."

What other things? Everything is cheaper from Asia, why buy American at all.

When will we wake up; Tariffs are the answer. Then we will buy American products.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

Driving up the costs for poor consumers is the answer? Really??? (As if the consumers are not already on the verge on bankruptcy.) You trying to send them there faster by doubling the cost of everything?

[-] 0 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 12 years ago

Offshoring is why the "poor consumer" is poor.http://economyincrisis.org/

[-] -1 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

False. I didn't mean "poor" as in lack of money. I meant "poor consumers" because I feel sorry for them, because they can barely survive (that includes the middle class consumers too).

Even when the U.S. manufactured all its own products (1910s/20s/30s), the consumers were still low on the income scale. Bringing all the factories back here won't magically change that fact.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 12 years ago

It may not "magically" change the situation, but it would provide a lot of jobs as well as increase the real wealth creation in this country. 5.5 million jobs lost between 2000 and 2010 would help a lot. http://economyincrisis.org/content/gerard-were-number-two


[-] 0 points by technoviking (484) 12 years ago

occupy was never about the poor, so it doesn't really matter if they starve to death or not.

occupy has always been the movement of the middle class. poor be damned

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 12 years ago

Yes indeed, buying products made in Chinese sweatshops by 9 year old children is the way to go. There's a maladjusted narcissist in all of us (you just have to connect with your dark side people) ... seriously, WTF?

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

Not stupid, but not exactly progressive either, much less radical.

[-] 1 points by Bellaciao29 (99) 12 years ago

Survival shopping and no more than a baby for every couple. These are the instruments to improve our situation. If we go on procreating kids and consuming the natural resources, the earth we'll be populated only by rabbits and dinosaurs.

[-] 1 points by AllianceForPeace (40) 12 years ago

Nothing is made in USA anymore, everything is produced and imported from China so how to buy a true American made product? All American cars now have partial Japanese or Korean parts mixed in. Television are made in Mexico and China and so on...... It is complete nonsense people. All of you must check what you buy and find out where it really comes from!

[-] 1 points by aahpat (1407) 12 years ago

Stossel is an America hating libertarian predator. A complete fuckin idiot!

[-] 1 points by simplesimon (121) 12 years ago

I want to follow the logic...I am going to try anyway.

There is a tree in the forest. My neighbor cut it down and sold it to a pencil company. Some people there turned the tree into pencils. I think those people live near me too. When the pencils were finished somebody drove the pencils to the store. The guy who drives the truck is my other neighbor. He has a nice house. When I need a pencil I go to the store, and Jenny sells it to me. She is nice but she won't go out with me, so I draw her picture on paper that I bought from her at the store. I think the same place that makes the pencils makes the paper too. I don't know. Jenny lives around here too. One time I bought some pencils that say they were made in China. None of my friends and neighbors got to make those pencils. I think that because they didn't make those pencils, they didn't make any money off the Chinese people unless maybe the Chinese guy with the tree sent his money to George who cuts down his trees next door. I don't think it works like that.

[-] 1 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 12 years ago

buy America will only work on a grass roots lever it can not be government policy. OWS can boycott something but it is much harder for the US gov to do the same thing. It is very good for the workers of the US to have money turn over hands many times before it leaves this land. When you have a trade deficit as large as we do, we can not risk a trade war. But if we the people stop buying products from one country or another our government is not involved and we can have a type of double speak going on. We will buy American but or government will keep markets open for us.

[-] 1 points by genickgenau (22) from New York City, NY 12 years ago

"Buy American" is indeed nonsense. But the WTO should also set minimum labour standards for imported goods.

[-] 3 points by NintyNiner (93) 12 years ago

I agree completely! There should be minimum wage and worldwide labor laws, especially since they want this to be a world economy!! Bravo my friend we think alike! If they don't meet the law then you don't sell in our country!!! It would screw things up for awhile but if they implemented it in reasonable way it could be done. Thats whats best for mankind, but don't forget greeds a bitch and the rich won't do it without a fight.

[-] 2 points by genickgenau (22) from New York City, NY 12 years ago

De facto the current trade regime exports slavery. We don't have domestic slavery anymore but you buy cheap slave labour goods. Sure, consumer orgs make a fuzz when its NIKE or APPLE, brand value.... An American worker competes with a slave worker and buys cheap slave worker products.

[-] 1 points by raychel (37) 12 years ago

This is the single most retarded thing I have read in years. Wow! I have one single thought. Do you own Walmart? You must own something huge that is ruining our economy. You could only be here to distract and recruit away from the movement. Not everyone in the movement is smart, but, we are not as dumb as you are hoping either.

[-] 1 points by pinker (586) 12 years ago

That's also assuming that everything made in America is more expensive. It's not. What it is is hard to find. There just are that many products made here.

[-] 1 points by ropeknot (359) 12 years ago

"and other Americans get jobs producing those things." You haven't seen who's making all those things , have you?

You don't know what you're talking about!

[-] 1 points by OneVoice (153) 12 years ago

In a consumer driven economy that we just saw collapse onto itself in the largest legalized ponzi scheme ever invented by corporate investment bankers buying products outside the United States would make sense. However, under a supply and demand economy that was taught a couple of decades ago in schools , as demand goes up so does the drive to supply this demand. That demand creates jobs. It also is one reason why jobs are not being created. Our thirst and dependency on inferior and cheap products doesn't create more manufacturing jobs in the United States.

[-] 1 points by robes (63) from Maplewood, NJ 12 years ago

this post is completely backwards...

"Almost all economists say it's nonsense," he said. "And the reason is: We should buy things where they're cheapest. That frees up more of our resources to buy other things, and other Americans get jobs producing those things."

what??? if we buy things cheap we will have more resources to buy other things and americans get jobs producing those things? again, what??? the problem is that americans wont get jobs producing those things... kids in china will... the more money we save the more we have to spend on more foreign made goods.

"Anytime we can use fewer resources and less labor to produce one thing, that leaves more for other things we can't afford. If we save money buying abroad, we can make and buy other products. "

if we save money buying things abroad we can buy other products abroad? thats basically what your saying... or are you saying if we save money buying abroad we can buy more stuff manufactured here... why not just buy american in the first place...

this post defies all logic.

[-] 1 points by MVSN (768) from Stockton, CA 12 years ago

Unadulterated bullshit.

[-] 1 points by powertoothepeople (280) 12 years ago

"Anytime we can use fewer resources"

Are we really using fewer resources when we ship things from China to the US when they could be made right here?

[-] 0 points by genanmer (822) 12 years ago

To take it a step further. Are we really conserving resources when competing businesses reproduce the same good/product?

The monetary-market system itself is wasteful

[-] 1 points by technoviking (484) 12 years ago

are you advocating monopolistic economies?

although i do agree with you somewhat.

walmart has one of the most efficient distribution channels in the world - imagine how much we can save if they transferred their know-how into other goods - petrol, automobiles, housing, industrials.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

I wouldn't worry. Once oil starts becoming scarce, and its cost skyrockets to $500 a barrel, it will no longer be cost effective to build goods in China or India, and then ship them 10,000 miles to the EU or U.S.

The factories will be forced to move back "home" to be close to the stores where this stuff is being sold, in order to minimize the amount of oil burned for transport

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 12 years ago

You have a good point about oil, but can we wait that long? The ships in the article below use 16 tons of bunker fuel ( a low grade tar like grade or diesel) per hour, at full speed. http://www.gizmag.com/shipping-pollution/11526/

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

I predict it will only be 10 years. Oil is already becoming scarce (the companies are burning the oil faster than they can find new wells to replace it). i.e. The oil inventory is shrinking.

[-] 2 points by technoviking (484) 12 years ago

over the past couple of years the big oils have been developing new tech to drill deeper and faster into sources of oil that we've never been able to reach before.

so global oil estimates keep getting revised, and can vary based on different opinions on how efficacious the new tech can be

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

If you say so. I don't buy it. Oil used to literally bubble out of the ground and anybody could just scoop it up and use it. Now we have to dig tens of miles to extract the old fossilized plants which died ~200,000,000 years ago.

The effort is becoming more and more difficult, and the cost will climb higher and higher. Also demand has dramatically increased. Instead of just ~700 million Americans and Europeans, now we have ~2000 million Chinese and Indians buying and driving cars too.

When I bought my hybrid car in 2001 and said we'll see 3 dollar gasoline by the end of the decade, people thought I was nuts (gas was only $1.20 back then). Likewise I won't be surprised to see $500 a barrel oil by the 2020s.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 12 years ago

I agree. In fact ten years may optimistic. Production has exceeded discovery since the 80s.

[-] -1 points by genanmer (822) 12 years ago

I'm advocating a collaborative economic system.

Competition is good for maintaining low prices but once productivity increases past a certain point industries are forced to artificially limit their production. Otherwise, they begin losing profits. A collaborative system like a library shares consumption and doesn't restrict productivity if a good is needed. e.g. producing an extreme surplus of crops is a good thing

Monopolies are detrimental to the public when an institution competes against the public. Government for example isn't normally referred to as a monopoly because they (are supposed to) exist to serve the people, even if they control large portions of certain industries.

A collaborative system however would require a completely different social contract in order to work.

[-] -2 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

Some of the WORST monopolies are government monopolies. Like Amtrak. And the USPS. And Communist Europe's former Trabant car monopoly. I wouldn't want that.

As for libraries, I don't see them as an ideal. In fact I see them as obsolete (replaced with free (or cheap) access to books, songs, videos on the internet). No need to waste precious gasoline driving to the library - I can just stream the information directly to my recliner.

[-] -1 points by genanmer (822) 12 years ago

Free access is the point. (If abundance can be created)


[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

It would be possible to provide things for "free" but only if people were willing to work for free. Since people are not willing to work for free, every object must have at least some cost to cover the wages of those people.

That's why even though it costs next-to-nothing to sell an e-book or song, it still has a price. That price covers the cost of the Internet servers (electricity) and the author, editor, singer, engineer behind the item.

[-] 1 points by genanmer (822) 12 years ago

Working towards a point where we can provide things for free is not impossible.

The monetary system itself produces abundance but impedes its own progress every time it creates an artificial limit. In otherwords, every time a business holds back technology which can meet a need (like energy) abundantly, they do so in order to maintain profitability. Every time they choose to use cheaper quality materials or designs on products, they do so to ensure profitability. Every time they layoff employees and gouge prices, they do so to ensure profitability.

Free abundance can be created if current jobs focus on progressing technologies which are robust and as self-maintaining as possible. Some automated processes for example, are monitored by other automated processes. e.g. car production


And as for 'working' for free. Many volunteers offer their time to perform hobbies willfully as seen by many open source movements. And if all menial labor is eventually automated then that frees up more volunteers to perform creative tasks. The same can be said if there were no longer competing companies using their trained technical staff to reproduce the same products (with their own proprietary versions).

The goal is a post-scarcity society. But getting from here to there means specifically working to make money itself obsolete.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

Many volunteers offer their time to perform hobbies willfully as seen by many open source movements.

Yes I'm well aware. I'm also aware that those programmers have full-time paying jobs, because otherwise they could not pay the food bill at the store. (Unless you can think of some other way to get free food w/o stealing it.) There's no way that OSS could survive on unemployed people getting paid 0 dollars a month. Those people would eventually starve and die.

Even in China where people work for almost nothing, it's still not free. Therefore a price has to be charged for those Chinese iPods and iMacs to recoup that cost.

[-] 1 points by genanmer (822) 12 years ago

I don't think you understand what I mean about abundance.

By increasing the supply and not, I repeat Not artificially inflating the price or limiting the supply the price of products goes down. This should of occurred as our productivity increased but it hasn't because businesses and greed are defended at the expense of consumers/the people.

It's the same reason electronic devices designed with more computing capacity than some space satellites are now cheaper than a car. An abundant supply lowers the price. However, some electronic devices are practically worthless today because of this, in addition to innovations.


[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

The price goes down but it will never be $0.00 because that's impossible. A businessowner has to earn money to pay his electric bills and his workers.

goes down. This should of occurred as our productivity increased but it hasn't

Nonsense. Of course it has happened. My first computer was a Commodore 64 which cost 1300 in today's dollars, but a computer today only costs 300 (or less on sale). The price on cars have also dropped. My first car was $30,000 in today's dollars, but a similarly-equipped sedan today is only $15,000.

Even homes are cheaper. My parents spent $260,000 in today's dollars, but now that same house costs $180,000 to build and sell. The heat pump in the house originally cost $15,000 but the new model they just installed was a mere $3000.

As you said, increasing construction productivity/efficiency is driving down prices. To use a more extreme example: When my grandfather bought a wool suit in the 1920s, it was $1700 in today's money. Now you can buy a wool suit for around $300.

[-] 1 points by genanmer (822) 12 years ago

"The price goes down but it will never be $0.00"

This. The price of necessities such as food and energy have hovered around the same price or increased because access to an supply has been artificially restricted.

Sure, for things people want the price reduces to something affordable but it always levels off because the supply is restricted.

Homes are cheaper because of sprawling development and a tremendous number of foreclosures. The supply of residential housing is rising. I personally favor urbanization so I wouldn't necessarily say this is a good thing, as it requires the destruction of nature/ecosystems to develop all the housing, roadways, and other utilities people want on new land.

"A businessowner has to earn money to pay his electric bills and his workers."

True, but how many businesses sacrifice their employees wages and benefits without lowering the CEO's salary? How many outsource labor to save money? How many maintain profitability by sacrificing the quality of the product/service they deliver? How many large companies seek subsidies/bailouts and use lobby groups to regulate/deregulate the market? The business should exist to serve a need, and shouldn't be propped up at the expense of their employment nor the consumers/people. A business should increase the quality of life for both their customers/ employment. If a business fails to do this, it should fail.

Also by limiting access to an abundant supply (necessity) the business makes people dependent on money. Money and businesses should be regarded as tools to increase the quality of life for the people, not as sacred entities the public props up at all costs.


[-] 0 points by genanmer (822) 12 years ago

Money is not a natural resource.

Saving money doesn't prevent businesses/suppliers from strip mining the planet for rare metals, clear cutting forests for scarce timber, nor polluting the air/water. Such practices in fact give the companies an excuse to raise their prices as finite resources become scarce.

[+] -5 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

No but Labor IS a natural resource (comes from humans) and money is merely a representation of that labor. The less I have to spend buying necessities like shelter, food, and transportation, the less I need to labor.

Saving money doesn't prevent businesses/suppliers from strip mining the planet for rare metals,

Which is why we have an EPA to stop that nonsense. Just look how much cleaner cars are today. A SULEV-rated car emits about 1/10000th as much pollution as a 1970 car did. That's thanks to the EPA requiring cars have catalytic converters. Likewise the EPA can outlaw strip mining (and with only a few exceptions, they do).

I'm not going to sit here and try to claim the free market is perfect. Instead I will paraphrase Winston Churchill, "Democracy is a lousy form of government. But it just happens to be better than any other form." The free market has its flaws but it's still better than a Government-run economy (again: See the shitty govt-built Trabant car).

[-] 1 points by genanmer (822) 12 years ago

"No but Labor IS a natural resource (comes from humans) and money is merely a representation of that labor." This neglects automation and mechanization. Most of the labor performed for tasks truly necessary for society are mechanized, otherwise many more people would be needed out on the farms.

And it's true, what you imply in your previous post: innovation is important. More specifically the technologies gained from such innovations are important. Technology has been the driving force in increased productivity and a culture's quality of life (when access to technology is available).

However, technology in a market is purposely held back to maximize profitability.


We have technologies that can completely replace existing wasteful methods however, implementing such methods would make money obsolete (within that industry).



Apply it on a social level and the monetary-market system itself is made obsolete http://thevenusproject.com/

But only testing will prove/disprove it for sure.

[-] -2 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

Oh you're one of THOSE. People who think that just because some technologies exist (3D Printers and Tokamak fusion reactors) means they can automatically be used. It takes time for new technologies to reach a sufficient level of "maturity" to really change the world. Look at PCs as example.

Apples, Ataris, Commodore PCs have been around since 1977, and the internet since 1/1/1983, but they didn't really change people's lives until the 2005 or so. It took time for the technology to move from "Hmmm interesting" to "everyone needs a computer". The 3D printers are still in their infancy. They are not yet ready for mass production of cars and other gadgets. Maybe in 20 more years, but not yet.

As for your claim that most labor is mechanized? No. We still need engineers and programmers (concept/design) and technicians (lab testing) and mechanics (maintenance) and managers (to organize all these people and tasks). There's still a lot of labor needed, otherwise we'd all be sitting around collecting unemployment.

[-] 1 points by genanmer (822) 12 years ago

Since you bring up product development you should also understand that most products are only introduced into a market AFTER an a company creates an install base. That is marketing and surveys are performed verifying people will pay for the product before the product itself enters the market.

We have a tremendous number of technologies suppressed simply because they either eliminate an existing Profitable product line for a company, or because people don't have the money to purchase it.

And as for labor, I'm speaking in terms of overall population employment. Many people are currently unemployed or underemployed. What percentage of the overall workforce is made up of those occupations you listed? And how many 'extra' jobs exist within these occupations simply because companies maintain non-standard protocols, proprietary methods and outdated equipment? (e.g. IPv4)

There's a lot of unnecessary duplication in the market which generates tons of waste and pollution. Unfortunately, this is necessary for a monetary-market system to maintain itself and for Greed to prosper over Humanity.

[-] -1 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

Actually competition drives-down prices (or encourages innovation). We have about 30 different car makers, and by competing with one another they are forced to undercut one another in price, or offer extra features (like self-parking cars) to win our loyalty.

If there was only 1 carmaker, he could just produce and charge us $40,000, and we'd be stuck with it. Obvious example: The only car available in Communist East Europe was the Trabant. It was a piece-of-junk with old technology (1950s) that cost a fortune and had 2 years wait time just to get one.

I'd rather have a competitive market that forces companies to either be "outstanding" in quality, or low in cost, or else die. (See Circuit Shitty and American Airlines.) I also like that the market gives power to the People to say "no I don't want your product". It's basically democracy in action.




[-] 0 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

I have a college degree in Economics, I am an Economist.

It's almost IMPOSSIBLE to get the laymen to understand MANY economic truths and economic science facts.

Virtually every economist understands that the "Buy American" thing makes no sense and in fact the "buy from my country" thing makes no sense for anyone.

But here in this forum, you get people saying this is "utter garbage", and they talk about tariffs, etc.

You can tell in a minute they have not studied economics, they don't understand the science of it, and its virtually impossible to stop their "America is the best country in the world" attitude.

Nationalism is outdated. Globalism is in.

But good post- i don't think we will be handing out any economics degrees to these uneducated people in this forum anytime soon, but at least some of the facts are out on the forum.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 12 years ago

Economics was invented to make astrology look scientific. (To paraphrase John Kenneth Galbraith) .Who wrote your textbook? Gregory Mankiw? The very fact that you say globalism is "in", is revealing. Sounds like you deal more in fashion than fact. Trade deficits create what Keyenes described as "leakage". http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-43556445/keyness-nightmare-how-the-huge-us-trade-deficit-stifles-the-recovery/

[-] 1 points by HeavySigh (227) 12 years ago

"Economic truths and economic facts" Are you really an Economist? I'm not going to lie and say I'm one, I'm in Software Engineering. I have however taken some econ classes and I have yet to hear from any professor, or econ major for that matter, about any of these. If anything there is a lot of differing opinions about everything.

What exactly are you views on Globalism, nationalism, tariffs, and the like. I've read quite a few different opinions on each of those. I'm excited to hear about these new "facts" and "truths" that everyone has finally agreed upon.

[-] 0 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

yes, I am an economist, and not some idiot economist who "writes" about economics. I make economic paradigms that actually work, and millions of people use the systems. In economics there is theory and then there is the performance in the real world. Hence, it seems you are questioning our "truths" and "facts". I also have a degree in Math Computer science - Hence my book is called Way 7 Intonomics - I was trying to make a new word - you can download it here.


The way something is a fact or truth, is if the paradigm or theory is put into actual practice in the economy. Most economists are BS artists, and just talk a lot. But a few of, like me, actually do something and actually create new paradigms.

So the facts are not facts because "everyone agreed upon" them. The facts are the results of putting economic paradigms in practice and watching what happens.

As far as protectionism goes, from tariffs or other things, it creates inefficiencies. Also - I am not one to advocate do whatever is the least expensive. I saw a lot of that in this forum.

One of my theories is that monopolies are not inherently bad, and that a marketplace can change states, it can start as a competitive free market environment, and then it can become monopolistic /oligopolistic. Self-industry regulations is better than govt regulation. But, as a marketplace becomes a monopoly, which may be great for everyone, the monopoly needs a bit of regulation to avoid ripping off the public.

Generally tariffs only help individual businesses, and not the individual consumer. Tariffs are often very political and not based on economics. Govt try to protect their own country's businesses. This doesn't help the economy nor the individual consumer, but it happens. And I am not saying there should never be tariffs. Some companies and govts use dumping for an extended period of time to try and control a marketplace, which kinda sucks. So maybe tariffs can be ok for political reasons.

Read the book - I have another 150 pages I am trying to edit that is more uptodate to include in a later edition.

[-] 1 points by HeavySigh (227) 12 years ago

I don't have time to read the book, I'll be honest. I might respond to this later. Tis the season for finals. lol

[-] -1 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

No instead you gave the guy a Minus 1 hit.

I consider that rude.

[-] 1 points by HeavySigh (227) 12 years ago

I didn't do anything. He makes some good points that I can agree with. He's one of the few intelligent people I've met on here and he actually knows what he's talking about.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 12 years ago

You're mine little Piggy.

[-] 0 points by anonwolf (279) from West Peoria, IL 12 years ago

Krugman: Slap a 25% tariff on China: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/opinion/13krugman.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

Chicago or Austrian?

[-] 0 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

Like I said in another post, tariffs may play a logical and beneficial role because of politics. It's better if China doesn't do what its doing, and then the US and others don't have to respond. When countries start doing weird things, yes, its ok to respond. But in general, every time a qualified and experienced and educated economist sees the "buy american" message, they just roll their eyes and realize these people don't understand the issues and the science.

The China things was an interesting read - thanks.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 12 years ago

In your earlier post,you said, "Nationalism is outdated". How about worker standards and livable wages? Outdated too? If you blend the labor market of China, a rather totalitarian, slave labor nation with the US labor market, what is (has been) the result? A lot of intelligent people roll their eyes when they start hearing the "wisdom" of economists. Policy makers were following the advice of economists of some stripe, as we descended into the "Great Recession".

[-] 1 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

Best way to keep labor prices is up is through unions. Just because nationalism is outdated, does not mean worker standards and livable wages is outdated. Nationalism won't help keep labor prices up significantly. There are GREAT economists, and there are IDIOT economists.

Most economists are very average and don't contribute much.

Others actually create new labor paradigms that work, and then millions of people find work through those paradigms - that's what me team did.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 12 years ago

You do realize of course, that if labor unions attempt to negotiate a higher wage,and the employer has the option to simply sidestep the issue by moving to an environment that oppresses labor, their efforts are completely undermined.

[-] 0 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

To say unions never work, which is what you are saying, isn't true. Some unions work. The employer does not always have such option to sidestep, sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't. Take attorneys. That is a union. It's illegal for anyone else to practice law. And they have the police behind them. I don't agree with the law, because I know plenty of people who have specialized knowledge in certain legal areas that make them every bit as qualified in that area as any attorney. But that person can't practice law. This is the ONLY reason attorneys charge ridiculous rates, like $500/hr to $750/hr. I had a bill for $750/hr once. Attorneys have NO special ability or knowledge. Any reasonably intelligent person can study a certain area and be competent in law in an area. And no attorney is competent in all areas of law. This union works REAL well.

Doormen in NYC are part of unions - they get paid well. Hotels and buildings can't sidestep. I think there is a strong trucking union, but I am not sure.

So nonchalantly saying that all unions can be sidestepped isn't true.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 12 years ago

No, I did not mean to imply "unions never work". Perhaps I should be specific. It is the manufacturing sector I'm most concerned with. It is that sector that has experienced the massive job loss.

[-] 1 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

Most manufacturing costs are so low due to technology first. Where factories in the past had 100 people, today have 10 people with hi tech machines. People think the chinese are cheap because of labor only - not true - they have amazing technology and hi tech manufacturing. But yes, that's part of life. Manufacturing labor in the US is too high to compete with the rest of the world. If America wants to win back part of the manufacturing sector they need to build a lot of hight tech plants. And the average American citizen is much more advanced than the average Chinese. The Chinese have been so poor, a simple manufacturing job at what we see as a low wage, is great to them. They are not all "slave" labor". Some, yes, but not all. The average American doesn't want the lowly manufacturing job.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 12 years ago

http://occupywallst.org/article/solidarity-striking-chinese-workers/ Another example of how "great" Chinese workers think those jobs are.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 12 years ago

China has no technology that isn't available to the US. In fact, much, if not nearly all, of it was invented here. Your assertion that it is not labor cost, but superior technology that sends factories to China is just plain ridiculous. Average manufacturing wage in China;.68 cents an hour. Chinese farmers were and are being forced off their land, leaving little choice but to work in factories. (see the first link below) As far as how happy the Chinese worker is, see the 2nd link. American factories can compete, just not with 68 cents an hour. http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=1109&catid=9&subcatid=63 http://www.chinaworker.info/en/content/news/1665/

[-] 1 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

No, no, no... that's not what I meant. What I meant was that China has been busy building manufacturing plants, and I agree with you, with our technology, but those plants, I think, are very advanced and that's the big reason they do well. I am getting my facts from a clothing business I have involved with, and I spoke with about 50 chinese manufacturers and reviewed many pictures of their manufacturing plants - not many people running them, but lots of machinery - that's all I meant....

[-] -3 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

Nobody will listen to you. (Or else they will call you names like right-winger or "greedy bastard", as they did with Peter Schiff when he visited Wall Street.)

[-] 1 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

I am getting lots of nice comments - you are mistaken. lots of people are listening to me. Does this frustrate you?

[-] -1 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

I see you ignored my reply, because you don't want to admit it's true. A lot of your posts have been modded negative*, and many persons have called your insults like "little piggy" or "idiot".

* I modded you up to try to help, but many of your posts are still scored low.

[-] 1 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

So what should I do? What's your recommend? Stop with the truth? A lot of people don't understand the truth, and "can't handle the truth".

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

I have no idea.

They don't want to hear ideas contrary to what they've been taught, so instead they will use name-calling and subtract points from your posts (and my posts). Even if you provide data they will ignore the data and label it "right wing propaganda". They will do anything they can to silence you, rather than listen.

[-] -1 points by theaveng (602) 12 years ago

Frustrated? Not at all. I agree with you. - When I posted this a day ago, your post had zero replies, so it appeared you were being ignored by the other liberal posters.

BTW I gave you a + 1 yesterday, but it appears everyone else gave you a -2. You consider that "nice"? Another guy called you "little piggy". You call that polite?

[-] 0 points by JProffitt71 (222) from Burlington, VT 12 years ago

If I may think aloud, I believe the problem is our entire attitudes towards products. We run on a system that obviously relies on consumption and consequentially mechanisms by which to make people replace their items uneccessarily; for instance you buy and keep replacing cell phones, mp3 players, computers, cars, etc., because they break or become "obsolete." The issue with this is that it swiftly wastes resources and encourages pushing shoddy crap or the bare minimum on customers. It isn't green or efficient, and it doesn't promote innovation/quality so much as business management/marketing.

We should change our model, and I have a (seemingly) simple proposal to ponder: instead of paying to constantly replace cheap products as they deteriorate, why don't we pay periodically for the service of having a high quality product, that is produced here, maintained and improved over time? This would save massively on raw resources (but the trade off would be less manufacturing demand, which is already being automated), and promote practices like recycling and efficient design, all while improving the quality of end-products. It can't work for everything, like food and toys, obviously, but I feel like it would work best where it's needed most: electronics and machines.

It's an idea I just don't ever hear thrown around, and have been curious about for a long time. Thoughts..?

Edit: I see, just vote it down, okay. Perhaps I should make my own thread on this.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 12 years ago

That is a separate issue.

[-] 1 points by JProffitt71 (222) from Burlington, VT 12 years ago


[-] 0 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 12 years ago

The nonsense can be seen if you trace out the logic. What utter bullshit. But what do you expect? Stossel works for Fox and is a frequent guest on The O'Reilly Factor. 'Nuff said.

[-] 0 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 12 years ago

I think that the point is, you can find any expert to give any opinion on any subject. And we should not worry about ANY universal statements especially dramatic ones.

[-] 0 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

There is usually only ONE TRUTH about most things. There can be lost of opinions, but in the end, ONE TRUTH prevails. Hence, most of these "experts" and not experts. They are pretenders. Maybe they have some education, but they don't really "get it". It's hard to tell the difference between the pretenders and the real experts who understand what's going on.

[-] 1 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

Wow. - I have not spent much time working on how currencies should be backed and how they should work. This doesn't mean that I can't find a good solution in a week or so. Most of my comments seem to have insight, because I have already written and worked on many of these issues.

It's obvious that it seems the US has plans to drop the dollar completely, and create a new currency, maybe with the UK and Canada - who knows what they are thinking.

But you have given me a challenge - I will try to work on this a bit this week, and get back to you.

I can tell you this - currencies need to be tied to something that is no EVER MOVING. A dollar should be a dollar today and tomorrow. I am not saying we can avoid inflation, but having a currency where the supply of currency can be easily manipulated does not work.

At first impression, tying the currency to GDP doesn't feel right at all. But certainly, our US currency has lots of problems, and will probably be replaced with something different.

Thanks for the challenge Jesse. I like it. I will work on it.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 12 years ago

Where are you little man economist?

[-] 1 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

I am little! HAHAHA But I am in NYC and FL. Born in NYC. I am also half French. So I know French economics and healthcare a bit.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 12 years ago

So, what fiscal and monetary policies would you advocate? I would like to hear the perspective of an economist.

[-] 1 points by joe100 (306) 12 years ago

i need more to go on. Fiscal and monetary policies? for the entire US? for all industries? for labor and manufacturing? how to get the US currency on track? That's many many pages. Give me more of a concrete situation with more details, and I will do my best to come up with what solutions might be best.

And, by the way, I specialize in labor, and Internet Economics. those are my best areas. I can report as good or better solutions in those areas as anyone on our planet.


The book is a little dated, but was "new" several years ago i have added about 150 more pages, but still editing it all ...

[-] -1 points by robes (63) from Maplewood, NJ 12 years ago

i just read the whole article... what a bunch of garbage...

i cant believe john stossel wrote that. its like reading some crappy conservative blog. it makes no sense.

[-] -1 points by superman22x (188) 12 years ago

As far as American cars go, there is some truth in buying American. Foreign car companies building on our soil are tax free. Also, American car companies use mostly American 1st, 2nd, and 3rd tier suppliers. While Foreign car companies use mostly foreign suppliers.
But, buying a Subaru built in Indiana is good, maybe better than buying a Fiesta built in Mexico. The car with the most American made components is the Toyota Camry, followed by the Honda Civic, followed by some GM car.

[-] -1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 12 years ago

I don't have an economics degree either. But it stands to reason - when you put Americans out of work, they aren't gonna be very happy.

Then they complain.

What's the response?

get a job, hippie!

well guess what - they can't cuz they all went where the labor was cheapest!

And not only was the cost of labor cheaper - they didn't have any environmental regs they had to follow - and probably no building codes either which means hey. If the factory burns down, and we lose all of our skilled labor - we'll just go somewhere else!

I don't like economists. I can see why Pol Pot purged the universities. Not that I agree with what that regime did - it was an awful thing. I'm just sayin'

I understand.

Economists are stupid. Stupid people.


WTF kind of word is that?

I'll tell you what kind of word that is . . .

it is a word with which to lie. . .

I hate liars.

and I hate lies.

[-] -1 points by PublicCurrency (1387) 12 years ago

Total garbage

[-] -1 points by Idaltu (662) 12 years ago

that does not make sense..."and other Americans get jobs producing those things."...because if you continue to buy cheap over seas then the extra resource never gets spent here to "and other Americans get jobs producing those things.">

[-] -2 points by Barkode (105) 12 years ago

years ago when I was looking for a job, GM, Ford and Chrysler didn't hire me cuz (while over-educated/qualified) I didn't have any inside connections and/or I wasn't LaToya's cousin. (LaToya, of course, was working for GM because she wasn't guilty of being white with a Master Degree). So, since the 3 big-wigs from Detroit discriminated against me I decided to never buy an American car, so I'm stuck with my Bentley and my BMW SUV ..

[-] -2 points by karenpoore (902) 12 years ago

Why does there have to be SO MUCH prosperity?

[-] -2 points by toonces (-117) 12 years ago

I try to make sure that what I buy is not union made. I think unions will be the death of America. Union people are convinced by their union that they are not good enough to stand on their own and compete one on one against other workers. This convinces the workers to pay their hard earned money to an organization that controls how much they will make. I feel so sorry for the workers who are so disheartened and incapable of standing on their own two feet that there is no way I can support the subjugation of those people hopelessly bound by union constraints.