Can anyone explain (in layman's terms) why free trade is bad, and the differnece

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Offline superfender

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Can anyone explain (in layman's terms) why free trade is bad, and the difference between free trade and fair trade?

Offline James Redford

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Can anyone explain (in layman's terms) why free trade is bad, and the difference between free trade and fair trade?

Free trade is good. Genuine free trade doesn't require any so-called "free trade" treaties between governments: all it requires is a government getting rid of all of its restrictions inhibiting trade. If other governments maintain their restrictions then that will hurt their own subject populations. The so-called "free trade" treaties like NAFTA are multi-thousand-page laws which regulate trade at all levels.

"Fair trade" sounds like socialist terminology involving the government regulating the economy for its own benefit (e.g., with duties, tariffs, more control, etc.) and the benefit of its insider-connected interests (e.g., certain industries, etc.).

Below are some excellent articles concerning the nature of government, of liberty, and the free-market production of defense:

"The Anatomy of the State," Prof. Murray N. Rothbard, Rampart Journal of Individualist Thought, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Summer 1965), pp. 1-24. Reprinted in a collection of some of Rothbard's articles, Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays (Washington, D.C.: Libertarian Review Press, 1974) http://www.mises.org/easaran/chap3.asp
http://www.mises.org/books/egalitarianism.pdf

"Defense Services on the Free Market," Prof. Murray N. Rothbard, Chapter 1 from Power and Market: Government and the Economy (Kansas City: Sheed Andrews and McMeel, Inc., 1977; originally published 1970) http://www.geocities.com/vonchloride/marketdefense.html
http://web.archive.org/web/20040720094416/http://www.mises.org/rothbard/power&market.pdf

"The Private Production of Defense," Prof. Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Winter 1998-1999), pp. 27-52 http://www.mises.net/journals/jls/14_1/14_1_2.pdf
http://www.mises.org/journals/scholar/Hoppe.pdf

"Fallacies of the Public Goods Theory and the Production of Security," Prof. Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 9, No. 1 (Winter 1989), pp. 27-46 http://www.mises.net/journals/jls/9_1/9_1_2.pdf

"Police, Courts, and Laws--On the Market," Chapter 29 from The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism, Prof. David D. Friedman (La Salle, Illinois: Open Court Publishing Co., 1989; originally published 1971) http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Libertarian/Machinery_of_Freedom/MofF_Chapter_29.html

Concerning the ethics of human rights, the below book is the best book on the subject:

The Ethics of Liberty, Prof. Murray N. Rothbard (New York, New York: New York University Press, 1998; originally published 1982) http://www.mises.org/rothbard/ethics/ethics.asp

If one desires a solid grounding in economics then one can do no better than with the below texts:

Economic Science and the Austrian Method, Prof. Hans-Hermann Hoppe (Auburn, Alabama: The Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1995) http://www.mises.org/esandtam.asp

The small book Economic Science and the Austrian Method by Prof. Hans-Hermann Hoppe doesn't get into political theory, but only concerns the methodological basis of economics (i.e., the epistemology of economics). I would recommend that everyone read this short book *first* if they're at all interested in economics. There exists much confusion as to what economics is and what it is not. This book is truly great in elucidating the nature of what economics is and and isn't. If one were to read no other texts on economics, then this ought to be the one economic text that one reads. Plus it doesn't take all that long to read it.

"Toward a Reconstruction of Utility and Welfare Economics," Prof. Murray N. Rothbard, On Freedom and Free Enterprise: The Economics of Free Enterprise, Mary Sennholz, editor (Princeton, New Jersey: D. Van Nostrand, 1956), pp. 224-262. Reprinted in The Logic of Action One: Method, Money, and the Austrian School, Murray N. Rothbard (London, England: Edward Elgar, 1997), pp. 211-255 http://www.mises.org/rothbard/toward.pdf

Man, Economy, and State, Prof. Murray N. Rothbard (Auburn, Alabama: The Ludwig von Mises Institute, second edition, 2004; originally published 1962) http://www.mises.org/rothbard/mes.asp

Power and Market: Government and the Economy, Prof. Murray N. Rothbard (Kansas City: Sheed Andrews and McMeel, Inc., 1977; originally published 1970) http://web.archive.org/web/20040720094416/http://www.mises.org/rothbard/power&market.pdf

These texts ought to be read in the order listed above. I would also add to the above list the below book:

America's Great Depression, Prof. Murray N. Rothbard (Auburn, Alabama: The Ludwig von Mises Institute, fifth edition, 2000; originally published 1963) http://www.mises.org/rothbard/agd.pdf

The above book concerns how the governments create depressions (i.e., recessions) through credit expansion (i.e., fractional-reserve banking and/or fiat money).
Author of "Jesus Is an Anarchist", Social Science Research Network (SSRN), Dec. 4, 2011 (orig. pub. Dec. 19, 2001) http://ssrn.com/abstract=1337761

Theophysics (a website with information on Prof. Frank J. Tipler's Omega Point Theory) http://theophysics.host56.com http://theophysics.ifastnet.com

Offline jesqueal

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Surely though, a "free trade"ing state becomes so chaotic that a heirarchical monopoly is unavoidable given enough time, through sheer market factors alone

Offline James Redford

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Surely though, a "free trade"ing state becomes so chaotic that a heirarchical monopoly is unavoidable given enough time, through sheer market factors alone

You're thinking of a mixed economy. What you say above is somewhat true of the mixed economy, but not of a genuinely free economy.

Government is chaos. Liberty is peace and security. The more government one has, the more chaos, insecurity and death one has. It's no coincidence that those places where government is most in force are the very same places with the most violence, e.g., public schools, prisons, Communist countries, war zones.

With a mixed economy, the incentive-structure is such that the strong tendency is to produce more statism, due to the internal contradictions of said system.

The fatal (literally!) flaw with all schemata of government is the unavoidable perverse incentives that result from their having a coercive regional monopoly over ultimate control of the law (i.e., on the courts and police, etc.), of which coercive legal monopoly is a feature of all governments.

It is here that we find why government's incentive structure (i.e., the internal logic of the system) is such that government will strongly tend to maximize its revenue and growth to the detriment of the liberty, safety and prosperity of the mass of the populace. This is due to everyone's inherent disutility of labor combined with government's coercive legal monopoly which is not connected to services rendered. To assign government the task of protecting people's just property is to assume a job for government which it is wholly unfit to do and which it was never intended for in the first place (being that the ancient origin of government is one tribe conquering another and then enslaving its people). A trespassing property-protector is a contradiction in terms. And having as it does a coercive monopoly on ultimate judicial decision, it will naturally tend to favor its own interests. If protection services were supplied on the free market then a business that is failing to provide said services to a customer's satisfaction would lose that customer to another alternative. But since government enforces a monopoly on control of the law, there exists no alternative that people can easily resort to without bloodshed. Moveover, since people are mistaught by the government from birth that it exist to protect them they will naturally tend to look towards government for protection when danger to their person and property is viewed to increase--hence providing a strong incentive to government to actually increase the crime (including terrorism and war).

As well, a truly Utopian notion is the idea of a "limited" government. No government that is successful in maintaining its existence remains limited for long. The minarchists desire a "limited government," but they cannot do away with the unavoidable incentive structure for it to become unlimited--constitutions after all are interpreted by the very government which they presume to limit.

For more on the inherent incentive structure (i.e., the internal logic of the system) of government which makes it wholly unfit for protection of just property and insures that it will tend toward ever greater levels of usurpation and rapine, see my below article:

"Government Causes the Crime," James Redford, first published at Anti-State.com circa October 2001 http://www.geocities.com/vonchloride/govcause.html

Regarding political systems, if one gets the incentive structure wrong then no amount of good intentions can prevent perverse outcomes, since the incentives of the system are such as to reward actors who bring about those perverse outcomes. All the good intentions in the world are no match against perverse incentives.

Whereas if one gets the incentives right, then the incentives of the system are such as to reward actors who bring about good outcomes.

We often hear that "the price of liberty is eternal vigilance," but this is a canard and a perverse result of the inherent incentive structure of government. So long as a coercive legal monopoly exists, then the unavoidable incentives for ever-greater levels of tyranny will exist, and no amount of tinkering with such a system can change that.

As Morris and Linda Tannehill put the matter in their excellent book, The Market for Liberty ([Lansing, Michigan: self-published, 1970] http://www.mises.org/books/marketforliberty.pdf , http://www.mises.org/story/2220 ), pg. 37:

""
It has been said that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. But such vigilance is a constant non-productive expenditure of energy, and it is grossly unreasonable to expect men to keep expending their energy non-productively out of "unselfish idealism." There is no area of the free market which requires the constant vigilance of the entire population to keep it from going awry. We would all be shocked and indignant if we were admonished to give such attentions to, say, the dairy industry in order to have our milk delivered unsour.
""

The point is, that with services provided on the free market, the incentives are such as to reward actors who provide us with desired goods. We don't even have to devote any thought to, e.g., the dairy industry in order to have our milk.

For much more on this matter, see the resources I linked to in my above post concerning the nature of government, of liberty, and the free-market production of defense.
Author of "Jesus Is an Anarchist", Social Science Research Network (SSRN), Dec. 4, 2011 (orig. pub. Dec. 19, 2001) http://ssrn.com/abstract=1337761

Theophysics (a website with information on Prof. Frank J. Tipler's Omega Point Theory) http://theophysics.host56.com http://theophysics.ifastnet.com

Offline baldguy

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James Redford you seem very knowledgeable on free and fair trade. Have you ever found anything in the agreement between Mexico and United States concerning labor. It seems that Mexico's main exports is its citizens. I have often wondered but never looked into the issue.

Offline Freebird100

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Can anyone explain (in layman's terms) why free trade is bad, and the difference between free trade and fair trade?
Ross Perot and Al Gore debate NAFTA in 1993.

There are 8 parts to this.Well worth watching Ross Perot kick Al Gore`s butt.
http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=perot%20gore%20debates&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7HPIC&um=1&sa=N&tab=wv#

This so called free trade is another part of the NWO`s plans.It has driven out millions of good paying manufacturing jobs and drove down wages.In the end the middle class disappears.
"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first."

Thomas Jefferson

Offline Pressed_Rat

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Free trade as we know it isn't free trade at all.  It's a way of setting up legal structures that override national sovereignty and set up a standardized system over many countries.  John Dee was the first person to coin the term "New World Order" back in the 1500's, and he said it was to be based on "free trade."

Offline Dig

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Free trade as we know it isn't free trade at all.  It's a way of setting up legal structures that override national sovereignty and set up a standardized system over many countries.  John Dee was the first person to coin the term "New World Order" back in the 1500's, and he said it was to be based on "free trade."


Free Trade...good   /   Bills/agreements claiming free trade...bad

Patriot...good   /   Patriot Act...bad

Net Equality...good   /  Net Equality claiming bills in congress...bad


Basically, Free Trade, being patriotic, and net equality are pretty much guaranteed in the constitution and by our creator (i may be stretching on the net thing, but equality is equality).  Legislatures claiming that they need to create new agreements to ensure these items are snake oil salesmen wishing to turn all Americans into harder working slaves.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately