3/01/2008

Should We Trade?

This article mentions the polls that show how the majority of Americans feel that free trade helps other countries more than it helps them. While I agree that it helps other countries more, it is still helping us more than if we had not traded at all. A little improvement is better than no improvement, even if other countries improve more. It is interesting how sometimes we don't want any success if it means others are more successful than us. When the division of surplus is uneven, it seems “unfair,” and many times we would rather have nothing than feel that we are treated unfairly. Americans say that they are willing to pay more for products to keep them produced in America, but Wal-Mart and other similar companies are still doing pretty well. I feel that if we impose barriers to imports, those countries will just go elsewhere and it will hurt businesses in America who need those imports to make their products.

6 comments:

Trinity said...

Although I agree with the points made. I think it is important to consider the cases of industries the government protects for security reasons. Many argue some industries should be protected (oil, grain, electricity, steel, etc) in the event of global war or unrest. These key industries remain subsidized, at times, to assure our ability to continue our way of life incase we lose friendly relations with countries with which we normally trade.

Gavin said...

A more level playing field of competition would be desirable. I agree with Trinity that subsidizing key industries is vital to security.
Free trade can tie economies together which promotes world stability and positive foreign relations.

binoculars said...

And with that, between those two countries, there would be less war and more peace, not to mention improve standard of living

Bitsy said...

I agree with gavin and binoculars that there are advantages to the United States that come with free trade that are more than financial prosperity here at home. When poorer countries proper from free trade and capitalism, they are more likely to share our philosophy and understand our actions. Free and fair trade does lead to openess and equality between countries, which leads to a more peaceful world. I think that NAFTA has increased prosperity in Mexico, and made them friendlier towards the United States.

Aidan said...

I disagree that free trade between countries will create a peaceful environment. Many years ago there existed a friendly trade between Cuba and the United States. All it takes is one bad apple to spoil the whole bunch. However, economically I do feel that free trade between countries can create a win-win situation.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Binoculars for poor punctuation.

The comments have gotten away from the subject of the post - which is OK, but I'd like to direct it back.

One of the biggest weaknesses in economics is our lack of understanding of why the unfair division of gains upsets people. It shouldn't but it does.