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Monday, June 8, 2009

On Free Trade

I know nationalists are supposed to oppose free trade and the 'globalist corporate' agenda. But I don't agree. Free trade benefits everybody, unlike immigration, and doesn't pose any threat to our genes or way of life.

Free trade is this great system where countries agree to trade fairly with each other, without government interference. Due to this, people are allowed to shop for the highest quality at the lowest price in the world. All consumers benefit from the increased competition and avoidance of any national monopoly business that hides behind local subsidies and tariffs to push its worthless goods on the imprisoned consumer who has to buy it no matter how bad it is. There was a time when Americans had to buy from their own car companies, who made a bunch of crappy cars nobody wanted. Now we all buy hondas and toyotas, because they are better cars, and the American companies are going out of business. This means everyone employed making cars in America is out of a job -- or does it? In fact, Americans are employed making Toyotas right here in America. Besides, for every car Japan sells us, they must someday use those dollars to buy something back from America. If they decided to never buy from us and only 'sell' us their cars, we have essentially traded trillions of dollars of actual goods for paper -- certainly a good deal for our side. If, however, Japan wishes something in return, they will have to buy from one of our companies something or other -- and that will employ someone or other in America. The more free trade, the better and cheaper our goods, and the more people we have employed. Think about it, most of the world (and thus the marketplace) exists outside our borders. Therefore most demand for goods and services is overseas, thus, the largest source of employment is overseas for our own people. By engaging in free trade, we tap into the largest source of employment possible, the best way to keep our people employed is to have them working for the demand of outsiders, that's where the demand is.

Furthermore, American companies competing with each other have little competitive advantage. It doesn't make much of a difference whether we buy wheat from Kansas or Nebraska, both companies will produce the wheat at about the same price. However, we have an enormous advantage over farmers in Saudi Arabia. Therefore free trade offers us another boon -- allowing our companies access to markets where they have a competitive advantage, and thus can make enormous profits and serve a large demand, thus employing tons of people back home. Saudi Arabia can only produce wheat at insanely high prices, using what little freshwater they have in the middle of a desert that dries up the water the moment it reaches the surface. Meanwhile Kansas farmers can offer wheat at 1/10 the price. So instead of Kansans trying to dig up oil wells and Saudi Arabia trying to dig up water wells, we simply both specialize in what we have available, then trade between us. This way we have as much oil as Saudi Arabia, and they have as much water, and thus as much wheat, as Kansas. Everyone's better off. It's called comparative advantage and is the largest reason trade makes money, rather than being a zero-sum game. Barriers to free trade decrease trade, and thus decrease the profit-making potential of comparative advantage. Without free trade, what would become of desert countries? What would become of our energy grid? What of all the precious metals that lay outside our borders, necessary to our economy? In WWII Germany and Japan had a simple solution, conquer large empires so they could simply seize whatever natural resources they needed. That sort of thinking is insane and destructive, it didn't work then and it especially won't now that we all have nukes. The only remaining option is free trade, where everyone can make use of everyone's comparative advantages, as though we all belonged to the same country. A completely linked economy where the water in the US, the oil in Saudi Arabia, the phosphate in Morocco and the tin in Bolivia are just as available to each other as they are to themselves. Free trade is necessary for both peace and prosperity -- no one can do without these goods in a modern economy, and if we did not trade for them, the only other solution would be to war over them. Who does that help? Even if we did conquer the entire world so as to have access to all the natural resources on earth, what's the first thing we would do? Create a free trade zone just like the one we have within the boundaries of the USA and buy and sell those resources without tariffs or regulatory barriers impeding their worldwide flow. Ironic.

Free trade already has all these benefits: massive additional employment by tapping the 6.4 billion people's demand outside the borders of the USA, lower consumer prices on all our goods manufactured in poorer areas, the increase of the economy of scale and the ability to specialize in the manufacture of a few selected goods -- Let me explain this further. If every single county decided to set up a brewery, or a tobacco plant, or a gun manufactury, each a small business that supplied a few customers, the infrastructure costs would be enormous. Many buildings and machines would have to be replicated in each county in order to manufacture the good, creating needless waste and redundancy. Instead, it is better to build just one plant that can supply hundreds of counties with their beer, tobacco, and firearms. This way the specialists who are best qualified to make such goods, are the ones supplying everyone, instead of just one lucky county. Furthermore, the machinery only has to be built once instead of a hundred times, one in ever county, and so on and so forth. Now expand this worldwide. Is there really any reason for an office chair business to exist in every country? Wouldn't it be better for a few companies to be competing across the whole world, making all the office chairs the world needs? Remember shipping costs are lower than overland costs, so an office chair made anywhere on earth is basically as nearby as one made a few states away on dry land. With that in mind, it is better to only have to build the infrastructure and hire the specialists in office-chair-production only once and have them handle the entire business, than to endlessly replicate the process in various small and imperfect forms all around the world.

Anyway, as I was saying, free trade also creates world peace and a just solution to the uneven distribution of natural resources across the world. It also lets people specialize in a field that the weather, soil, and geographic area best supports. For instance Singapore is a port, because it borders the sea -- while it can't produce its own food, it lets other people do that for it, while it does port-business for them. This gives everyone the chance to specialize in what makes logical sense given their geography. Everyone is more productive when they can specialize in something the land supports instead of rejects.

The detractors to free trade will complain that it lowers wages or drives up unemployment for certain groups who would lose in a worldwide competition. To this I have a simple answer: a universal dividend paid out monthly to all citizens that can cover their basic needs. This way we do not interfere with free trade, while also providing a safety net for anyone it could adversely affect. I want to take care of everyone, but not at the price of reduced productivity or sabotaging our machines (after all, machinery reduces wages and destroys jobs far more than trade!). This is a compromise everyone should be happy with. We must take care of our own, but we must also move forward and act in an economically rational and productive manner. Another complaint is that free trade despoils the environment. I agree this has to stop. All free trade agreements should include with them strict rules for protecting the environment from negative impacts. The earth does not only belong to us, it is also the common inheritance of all of our children. Our descendants cannot be robbed blind for the sake of our present welfare, this is a losing strategy that can only end in extinction. In my next post, I'm going to talk about the dangers of environmental degradation going on all around us and it is an extremely worrying situation, in part driven by globalist slash-and-burn, strip-mine, mono-crop greed. Free trade can work hand-in-hand with bilateral agreements to protect the environment, I really see no conflict between them. Ultimately, we will need worldwide agreements to protect the environment, because our water and air know no boundaries. Pollution in one area will float halfway across the world to plague another, completely innocent area. The earth knows nothing about our political boundaries and therefore when it comes to protecting the earth, we cannot afford to worry about political boundaries either. If preserving our race is essential, so is preserving our planet, at least until we achieve space flight. I don't see how any nationalist cannot also be an environmentalist at heart. It's a shame the ultra-liberal, pro-immigrant Green party can't seem to get this through their head: we are a part of life's wonders, and deserve to survive just like the snowy owl or the two-toed frog! Sheesh. Save the whales? Sure. Just so long as you agree to save the whites!

There are also some arcane arguments for why we should avoid free trade when it comes to protecting infant industries or building up new technologies. These can be seen as the exceptions that prove the rule. I am willing to believe there are plenty of times an industry needs protection from outside competition until it's ready, but the idea that it deserve indefinite protection simply admits it will always be subpar and a white whale -- why should consumers have to put up with that? Any justification for abridging free trade must always be on a local and temporary basis -- free trade must be the norm and the default state one always returns to after the government goal is achieved.

Another argument against free trade is we need the ability to support our own military with our own productive capacity. I disagree. All we need these days militarily is nukes. They can protect our country just fine. Every other weapon is an offensive tool meant to bully others, and should be scrapped anyway. We can build plenty of nukes using the resources within our national borders, and thus the point is moot. In an age of nearly universal world peace, it's strange to be worrying about our domestic ability to produce tanks and planes anyway. In what scenario are we going to be attacked by the entire world and have no allies in the next few decades? What kind of foreign policy pursuit would make such a thing possible? No doubt if such an alliance did occur, it's because we deserved it! Therefore allowing others to be involved in the building of our tanks and planes does not undermine legitimate military needs -- only illegitimate ones.

Free trade and globalism is a great thing. In the last few decades trade has doubled and redoubled, meanwhile the living standards of the whole world have increased to unimagined new levels. Free trade, and global trade in general, has been a large part of this great economic success. We cannot afford to stop trading, and trading freely, with the world. We also can't afford to lose the white race for the sake of a cheap burger flipper or nurse down the road. For situations like this, common sense must prevail, not dogmatic libertarianism or dogmatic socialism. The third way is the reality-focused path.

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