Skip to comments.Sheep's Clothing and Adam Smith
Posted on 03/14/2006 5:16:28 PM PST by antisocial
Sheep's clothing and Adam Smith
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Posted: March 13, 2006 1:00 a.m. Eastern
By Vox Day
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- © 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
How does one resolve the question of the presumably cataclysmic meeting between the hitherto immovable rock and the historically unstoppable force? Perhaps by reversing the logic of the famous question: "Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?" Is the rock truly immovable? Or, alternatively, is the force actually unstoppable?
I mention this because I have long been a vocal advocate of free trade. I was raised on Adam Smith, inoculated against the usual collegiate flirtation with Marxism by controlled doses of Schumpeter taken in combination with "Das Kapital" and "The Communist Manifesto," and eventually found in the Austrian School of von Hayek, von Mises and Rothbard an intellectual home.
My first serious questions about the free-trade doctrine arose during the NAFTA debates. The fact that Democrats and Republicans were coming together in bipartisan support made me suspicious, as bipartisanship is a reliable sign that the American people are about to get screwed over in a big way, and it seemed very strange that a genuine free-trade agreement would require documentation exceeding the size of the average encyclopedia.
Thirteen years later, the honest observer is forced to admit that it is the opponents of NAFTA whose predictions have been proven to be correct. Free trade has not improved the Mexican economy enough to dissuade millions of Mexicans from coming to America, it has not improved the American wage rate and it has significantly reduced American industrial capacity. The base concept behind Smith's doctrine of free trade is a nation that stops protecting its inefficient sectors will turn its resources toward those sectors in which it has a genuine competitive advantage apparently selling houses to each other is America's great strength.
Moreover, the recent history of the European Union demonstrates that free trade is the sheep's skin that clothes a very savage wolf indeed. The European Common Market was sold to the people of the formerly independent nations of Europe as a free-trade arrangement, and while it has not significantly benefited the economic welfare of those nations, it has managed to subjugate them to an unelected commission that rules over them, taxes them and from whose ever-more-invasive dictates they enjoy no appeal.
Can trade be free when the people aren't?
Now, it is certainly possible to argue that the free trade of the NAFTA variety is actually nothing of the sort and that the Third Way social engineering of the European Union is wholly distinct from the free-trade doctrine from which it was birthed. In fact, this is precisely how I have previously attempted to resolve the dilemma.
However, that reasoning is all-too similar to that of the public-school teachers who insist that merely spending more money on teachers will lead to better public schools, and socialists who argue that despite dozens of failed historical examples, the One True Method of communism has not yet been applied. At some point, even the most lovely theory has to pass the more prosaic test of practice or else be relegated to the children's nursery of daydreams and wishful thinking.
I am not arguing, yet, that it is time to do so with regard to free trade. However, for the first time in years, I find myself forced to re-examine the merits of this long-hallowed doctrine, and to do so with a jaundiced and critical eye. It is certain that there are false prophets of free trade that they exist neither confirms nor denies that the god itself is false.
The deeper question is this: In a globalist world that denies not only the sovereignty of the nation-state, but even its right to exist, is there any fundamental relevance to a doctrine that is defined by the asserted benefit to the nation-state and its citizens? If there is no nation-state and there is no freedom for the individual, then where is the free trade and to whom does it apply?
Vox Day is a novelist and Christian libertarian. He is a member of the SFWA, Mensa and the Southern Baptist church, and has been down with Madden since 1992. Visit his Web log, Vox Popoli, for daily commentary and responses to reader email.
Have you seen this? I searched for it and couldn't believe it hadn't been posted yet.
had to pong you
I was going to pong him also...:-)
if it was true in the past, it's all the more true now, thanks to the information age.
Like freedom itself, it cannot be controled for long.
Lol. Beat ya!
well none of that was very eloquent but hopefully you get my point...
Yep, but wouldn't it be nice if congress managed our trade agreements instead ot the unelected WTO and other international groups? Our sovereignty is too important to me to allow foreigners to set US policy, just so huge corporations can increase their profits.
If that is the crux of the matter (notice the big "if"), then I wholeheartedly agree.
I'm getting dyslexic.
At first glance I thought this was gonna be about Adam's clothing and Shep Smith.
No need to read any further than this statement to know that this article is a waste of time and is nothing more than the usual and unfortunate crap coming out of WND these days.
Real wages for all workers in this country have risen since NAFTA. They declined in the 10 year period prior to NAFTA. We have created more than 20 million jobs since NAFTA. Our household net worth has more than doubled since 1994 to a record $51.1 trillion. Exports to Mexico have increased from $50 billion in 1994 to $120 billion in 2005. Exports to Canada have increased from $43 trillion to $76 trillion during the same time. Our industry produces and exports more now than at any other time in our history.
Mexico didn't institute the necessary reforms to take advantage of this increased trade and wealth and remains mired in corruption and statism. That's unfortunate, but it certainly doesn't mean we haven't benefited from the agreement.
"If there's anything worse than Republicans and Democrats fighting, it's when THESE PR!CKS WORK TO-GETHER!"
That "giant sucking sound" sure moved all the jobs to Mexico. It's gotten so bad, Americans are sneaking across the border to get employed in Juarez.
< / Not>
"Mexico didn't institute the necessary reforms to take advantage of this increased trade and wealth and remains mired in corruption and statism. That's unfortunate, but it certainly doesn't mean we haven't benefited from the agreement."
I guess you consider 12 million illegal aliens that have invaded us to be one of the benefits?
Smith told the truth about one characteristic of graspers - even when they get together in social settings, they usually conspire against the public...
I know, it's horrible. Decent televisions for less than $200... More car for your money... At my last job, we bought three new forklifts from a Mexico company for less than half the price of American manufacturers.
Yup, NAFTA really screwed America!
I made it as far as, "The European Common Market was sold to the people of the formerly independent nations of Europe as a free-trade arrangement, and while it has not significantly benefited the economic welfare of those nations . . . ."
If Mr. Day doesn't know that the fastest-growing economies in Europe at the moment are the new EU members, then . . . forget it.
I missed illegal-immigration section in NAFTA.
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