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Author Topic:   Austerity measures have they ever saved an economy?
Jon
Member
Posts: 3928
From: Minnesota, U.S.A.
Joined: 12-29-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 112 of 168 (649276)
01-22-2012 1:44 AM
Reply to: Message 111 by NoNukes
01-22-2012 1:26 AM


Re: US vs. China
It is entirely possible and in fact likely that without efforts to counter the effect, Coca Cola would lose market share to other cola manufacturers.

The goal of advertising is to increase profits, with increasing consumption of cola being one way to do that. Another way to increasoe profits is to increase the price while convincing people that they still must drink Coca Cola despite the increased price.

There demand for Coca Cola is not a fixed number. The demand for coke is variable with price, marketplace substitutes, etc. One object of advertising for Coke is to convince people that there is no acceptable substitute thus increasing the demand.

Yes, the purpose of the advertising is to artificially increase demand for a product independent of the dictates of the free market.

Isn't that what I said?

Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 111 by NoNukes, posted 01-22-2012 1:26 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 113 by NoNukes, posted 01-22-2012 1:51 AM Jon has responded

  
Jon
Member
Posts: 3928
From: Minnesota, U.S.A.
Joined: 12-29-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 115 of 168 (649279)
01-22-2012 2:31 AM
Reply to: Message 113 by NoNukes
01-22-2012 1:51 AM


Re: US vs. China
Telling people about your product does not constitute an artificial means independent of the dictates of a free market.

But, of course, that's not at all what we have. The marketing strategies of large corporations like Coca Cola aren't simply 'telling people about your product', it is full-out in-your-face constant harassment.

I am shocked that an intelligent person would deny that large corporations employ predatory advertising techniques above and beyond the normals of human interactions.

It's pretty clear that corporate marketing reeks of greedfilth.

Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by NoNukes, posted 01-22-2012 1:51 AM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

  
Jon
Member
Posts: 3928
From: Minnesota, U.S.A.
Joined: 12-29-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 121 of 168 (649320)
01-22-2012 1:10 PM


Service Jobs
The definition of 'service jobs' seems to be quite a tricky thing to nail down.

But I don't think we need to agree on exactly what constitutes a 'service job' in order to agree on what kinds of jobs are liable to being offshored and which ones aren't.

Now, obviously, there are some pretty serious and lasting impacts on an economy and its people when the primary form of employment shifts to service jobs and away from manufacturing and agricultural/extraction jobs. For one, as convenient as it is that many service jobs cannot be offshored, it is also inconvenient that service jobs cannot be exported.

An economy saturated with service jobs will very likely run a trade deficit. Is this good? Is this bad? Those are questions that we in the first world, as a set of nations moving toward being more and more reliant on service jobs, really need to be asking.

And we need to be coming up with some pretty solid answers too.

Jon


Love your enemies!

Replies to this message:
 Message 131 by NoNukes, posted 01-23-2012 6:19 AM Jon has responded

  
Jon
Member
Posts: 3928
From: Minnesota, U.S.A.
Joined: 12-29-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 133 of 168 (649390)
01-23-2012 8:36 AM
Reply to: Message 131 by NoNukes
01-23-2012 6:19 AM


Re: Service Jobs
You didn't actually say how exportable service jobs would be beneficial.

Because I don't think most service jobs are exportable. As for the ones that are, those are of further concern because exportable = outsourcable. If we can export it, so can they.

The real issue with this, of course, is that building an economy on top of a very large service sector, relying on jobs that are mostly not exportable (at least not reasonably with available technologies) runs the risk of a trade deficit, one; and, two, the large numbers of closed factories and the high dependence on foreign goods is a serious threat to national security not just because it leaves us open to the whims of others but because, once their resources are no longer so affordable, we are left with nothing but rundown factories, mines, etc. into which we must invest greatly before being able to continue producing the necessary goods ourselves.

But there is a way out.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 131 by NoNukes, posted 01-23-2012 6:19 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 135 by NoNukes, posted 01-23-2012 9:03 AM Jon has responded

  
Jon
Member
Posts: 3928
From: Minnesota, U.S.A.
Joined: 12-29-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 137 of 168 (649437)
01-23-2012 10:35 AM
Reply to: Message 135 by NoNukes
01-23-2012 9:03 AM


Re: Service Jobs
You said that non-exportable service jobs were a problem because their non-exportable nature creates a trade imbalance.

I never said there was a problem with service jobs. What I said was "building an economy on top of a very large service sector, relying on jobs that are mostly not exportable (at least not reasonably with available technologies) runs the risk of a trade deficit" (Message 133) and that "there are some pretty serious and lasting impacts on an economy and its people when the primary form of employment shifts to service jobs and away from manufacturing and agricultural/extraction jobs" (Message 121).

The trade imbalance was created by the jobs, service or otherwise, that were exported, and not by the jobs that remain here.

Which is what I've said.

I'm asking that you explain how the non-exportability of service jobs creates a trade imbalance.

Their non-exportability doesn't cause the imbalance, it just makes it worse, because so long as we are primarily engaged in the production of non-exportable services, we can never hope to regain the balance and settle the trade deficit.

The problem is that our economy has been moving away from the production of exportable goods in favor of the production of non-exportable services; and this, obviously, runs the risk of creating a trade deficit.

Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 135 by NoNukes, posted 01-23-2012 9:03 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 138 by NoNukes, posted 01-23-2012 10:43 AM Jon has responded

  
Jon
Member
Posts: 3928
From: Minnesota, U.S.A.
Joined: 12-29-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 139 of 168 (649442)
01-23-2012 11:26 AM
Reply to: Message 138 by NoNukes
01-23-2012 10:43 AM


Re: Service Jobs
I'm asking you to describe how it would be more convenient if service jobs could be exported.

I thought that was pretty obvious in what I said, but I'll repeat myself and then explain myself:

quote:
Jon in Message 137:

Their non-exportability doesn't cause the imbalance, it just makes it worse, because so long as we are primarily engaged in the production of non-exportable services, we can never hope to regain the balance and settle the trade deficit.


The products of non-exportable service jobs (services) cannot be exported to offset a trade imbalance. So as nice as it is that we don't soon have to worry about retail clerk positions being outsourced, it is also a bummer that we cannot export their product to settle the deficit.

On a further note, I'd argue that running a trade deficit is more detrimental than the comfort of knowing certain jobs cannot be outsourced, since goods are at the heart of meaningful economic transactions, not services.

Man cannot live on legal advice alone!

Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 138 by NoNukes, posted 01-23-2012 10:43 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 142 by NoNukes, posted 01-23-2012 4:38 PM Jon has responded

  
Jon
Member
Posts: 3928
From: Minnesota, U.S.A.
Joined: 12-29-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 144 of 168 (649508)
01-23-2012 8:16 PM
Reply to: Message 142 by NoNukes
01-23-2012 4:38 PM


Re: Service Jobs
Even if it were possible to export bagging to other countries, who outside of this country would want to pay a US bagger $7.25 or more an hour?

That's an additional point beyond the one I am making, which is that the very nature of many services makes them difficult to export.

But apparently I haven't been articulating it very well, so hopefully Perdition's explanation will be of some help.

Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 142 by NoNukes, posted 01-23-2012 4:38 PM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

  
Jon
Member
Posts: 3928
From: Minnesota, U.S.A.
Joined: 12-29-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 145 of 168 (649510)
01-23-2012 8:31 PM
Reply to: Message 143 by Perdition
01-23-2012 4:47 PM


Re: Service Jobs
The point that Jon seems to be overlooking is that much of the jobs being sent over seas are still owned by American companies, so they don't technically contribute to a trade deficit.

What the hell is this, then?

Or this (blue = service)?


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 143 by Perdition, posted 01-23-2012 4:47 PM Perdition has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 148 by NoNukes, posted 01-24-2012 7:41 AM Jon has responded
 Message 149 by NoNukes, posted 01-24-2012 7:42 AM Jon has acknowledged this reply
 Message 151 by Perdition, posted 01-24-2012 10:15 AM Jon has responded

  
Jon
Member
Posts: 3928
From: Minnesota, U.S.A.
Joined: 12-29-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 152 of 168 (649556)
01-24-2012 10:15 AM
Reply to: Message 148 by NoNukes
01-24-2012 7:41 AM


Re: Service Jobs
What I am questioning is your analysis of the cause, and your nice maps and graphs don't shed any light on that.

They specifically show that the United States is suffering from a trade deficit, that the U.S.'s primary output (the thing that contributes most to its GDP) is 'services', and that the production of services is also what the majority of labor in the U.S. is used for.

I don't think it makes sense to blame jobs that inherently cannot produce anything exportable, yet must be done. The blame lies elsewhere.

I am not sure where you got this notion that I am 'blaming' some set of jobs or downplaying their significance in an economy.

Yes, we have to clean our own streets, but isn't a bit silly to say that the fact that U.S. street cleaners' efforts cannot clean the streets in China is adding to the trade imbalance.

Actually, necessary service jobs contribute nothing to the problem. What is problematic is that we have decided to divert a large number of labor resources away from the production of tangible, tradable goods and into the production of unnecessary, leach services, such as business 'services', financial 'services', and, yes, legal 'services'.

Go Figure!


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 148 by NoNukes, posted 01-24-2012 7:41 AM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

  
Jon
Member
Posts: 3928
From: Minnesota, U.S.A.
Joined: 12-29-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 153 of 168 (649558)
01-24-2012 10:24 AM
Reply to: Message 151 by Perdition
01-24-2012 10:15 AM


Re: Service Jobs
Even when produced overseas by an American company, it still affects the trade deficit.

Part of the money you spend on a pair of fluffy handcuffs goes to Sam Billionaire, the all-American jerkoff who fired 100 hard-working Americans just to save five cents a day making sex toys in India instead of Oregon. But plenty of it goes to the workers in India who assembled the stuff, and the workers in India who mined the metal, and the workers in India who cleared the forest where the metal was to be mined... and so on.

As is the case with imports, when you buy the product, no matter who owns the company.

I never said we didn't have a trade imbalance. I was merely pointing out that the global economy is a bit more complicated than that. For example, I drive a Honda Accord and my wife drives a Chevy Malibu. One of those is considered a domestic car, the other an import. One was built in Maryland, the other in Mexico. The strange thing is, the "domestic" car was the one built in Mexico, the "import" was created in Maryland.

And that's something worth looking into. But I don't think we'll find that our trade deficit is just a matter of funny definitions that disappears once we go the way of Webster. There really is a deficit because we really are importing more than we're exporting.

Jon

Edited by Jon, : , → .


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 151 by Perdition, posted 01-24-2012 10:15 AM Perdition has responded

Replies to this message:
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Jon
Member
Posts: 3928
From: Minnesota, U.S.A.
Joined: 12-29-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 158 of 168 (649587)
01-24-2012 1:49 PM
Reply to: Message 155 by crashfrog
01-24-2012 12:26 PM


Re: Yglesias on China
To get to Jon's point, why do we think that Americans deserve not to have a trade deficit? Isn't that just a natural consequence of being a rich country of only 375 million people in a world of 7 billion?

We should be able to manufacture everything we need right here, with some exceptions. For those things that we simply have to import, it is not unreasonable to come up with some things that we can also export.

I don't see why we, as a people, need to just bend over and take it in the ass just because it's cheaper for some companies to manufacture things in another country.

Do we really want Sam Billionaire deciding our fate?

Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 155 by crashfrog, posted 01-24-2012 12:26 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 159 by Phat, posted 01-24-2012 2:04 PM Jon has responded
 Message 161 by crashfrog, posted 01-24-2012 2:27 PM Jon has responded

  
Jon
Member
Posts: 3928
From: Minnesota, U.S.A.
Joined: 12-29-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 160 of 168 (649594)
01-24-2012 2:09 PM
Reply to: Message 159 by Phat
01-24-2012 2:04 PM


Re: Yglesias on China
Thing is, our workers command higher wages. Would you be ok with that? The products would cost more, after all.

What does it matter?


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 159 by Phat, posted 01-24-2012 2:04 PM Phat has not yet responded

  
Jon
Member
Posts: 3928
From: Minnesota, U.S.A.
Joined: 12-29-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 163 of 168 (649616)
01-24-2012 3:46 PM
Reply to: Message 161 by crashfrog
01-24-2012 2:27 PM


Re: Yglesias on China
The vast majority of human beings live outside the borders of the United States, so just as a matter of statistics and all other things being equal, most things that Americans are going to want to buy are going to be located in the hands of people who don't live here.

I'm not sure why that's a problem. Certainly you aren't suggesting that Americans are incapable of building their own factories, right?

Just as a matter of statistics, it means that if you hire something that has to be produced by labor the odds are that a Chinese person will have done most of it even if the Chinese didn't work for so much less.

Sure, if you just blindly buy stuff. But that doesn't have to be the case. Consumers can be more conscious of where the stuff they buy gets made and by whom.

The problem is a society where our very survival is contingent on getting a job. That's the problem.

That's certainly a big problem, yes. But I don't see that changing anytime soon. We need to find ways to make the best with what we've got.

Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 161 by crashfrog, posted 01-24-2012 2:27 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 165 by NoNukes, posted 01-24-2012 11:20 PM Jon has responded

  
Jon
Member
Posts: 3928
From: Minnesota, U.S.A.
Joined: 12-29-2005
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 166 of 168 (649674)
01-25-2012 12:27 AM
Reply to: Message 165 by NoNukes
01-24-2012 11:20 PM


Re: Yglesias on China
Not building products here means not participating in the innovation and process improvements that come with managing the day to day operations of a factory.
...
Essentially nobody outside of Korea and Japan is capable of making an LCD or Plasma screen TV that works as well as those on the market without infringing US patents.

Wait a sec... hold up...

Are you saying... ? Could it be... ?

I'll be damned! Patents actually do stifle innovation!

I knew you'd come around. It took a completely unrelated thread to make it happen; but I knew you'd come around.

Jon


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 165 by NoNukes, posted 01-24-2012 11:20 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 167 by NoNukes, posted 01-25-2012 1:22 AM Jon has acknowledged this reply

  
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