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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Horrifically Dogmatic?

Someone asked Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek if he would oppose any sort of free trade by giving the following example:

Don — I wonder about “unconditionally.” Would you make an exception for trade in goods produced by slavery? For example, would you object even to a law barring the import of products manufactured in Soviet- or Nazi-era slave labor camps? 
Best,Jeff

Don's response?
Jeff, 
I would not make that exception. [...] 
Don
Oh sure, I cut the explanation out of why Don wouldn't make an exception, but is there any explanation that could really justify that response?

Not for me (but perhaps I'm the one being dogmatic?).

Perhaps I should seek out some somewhat less dogmatic libertarians to read...

36 comments:

Clovis e Adri said...

I don't know about 'dogmatic', but 'historically ignorant' is deserved.

Both slavery as in 19th century, or its cousin Apartheid in our lifetimes, required significant action from governments to be curbed.

Of course, behind such actions there were citizens and personal initiatives. It was a process by which they formed a critical mass of people sharing the same opinion, and implemented it through the State.

Libertarians look to abhor that natural process of any democracy, for the fear of its possible traps. It is a lot like people who abhor guns, for the bad uses they may have - and equally misguided.

erp said...

Actual slave labor camps while intrinsically evil and to be abhorred, aren't places where enough goods could be made to affect the world economy in any significant way. If they are talking about paying very low, to us, "slave wages," that's a totally different story. $2.00/hr is a lot more than $0.00/hr and doing away with those jobs isn't helping anyone. In fact, if you guys pay attention to where the stuff in your closets and homes comes from, you will see that the "Made in Fill-in-the-Blank” label keeps changing. That's because those slave wage jobs have improved the economy and the workforce has become more experienced, etc., so they've moved on and so must the cheap labor seekers.

Wages are relative even in the US. For instance, the cost of our two and half year old's pre-school in San Francisco is a little less than half our total pre-taxes income and yet we live very comfortably in a nice house with a pool and all the other modern amenities, two cars, three laptops, an iPad, three printers and nine feral cats our little neighborhood lives to serve – all that and a short walk to the Atlantic ocean on what would considered slave wages elsewhere in the country.

Clovis e Adri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

Boudreaux has fallen for the same trap as you, which is to not answer the question asked.

His answer, if you click on Bret's link and read it, assumes just the world and things you do.

But Jeff's question is, quite clearly, not referring to sweatshops of third world countries, but to "Soviet- or Nazi-era slave labor camps".

He never actually answered that question.

erp said...

Clovis, Unless I missed the question completely, I did answer the question asked. If not, please restate it.

Actual slave labor camps while intrinsically evil and to be abhorred, aren't places where enough goods could be made to affect the world economy in any significant way.

Not to belabor that slave labor camps are bad, we are talking economics, not compassion or morality. The problems of trying to run a modern business with slave labor would be mind-boggingly staggering. Even simple farming of cotton in south was beset with problems of keeping people working under duress -- disease, hygiene, sickness, insurrections ... Even in POW camps with fit young men produced not much -- I remember reading about how even Japanese POW camps couldn't get much work out of the men no matter the cruelty of treatment. Not a good model for productivity.

Benign self-interest is what works, overseers with whips (Harry's favorites) not so much.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

The question was not about efficiency of slave camps. It was only if you would object to a law barring the import of products there made, or not.

You and Don run from the question by arguing they would never be sold at good prices, which is coward IMO, both because that may be truth in general but full of exceptions, and because does not answer what was actually asked.

erp said...

No, I would not favor legislation against importing products because they were made by slaves or for any reason other than the health and safety of us consumers.

I try to buy things made in the USA -- not with a union label, so it's unlikely I'd buy slave-made things unless, of course, they were really, really cute and really, really cheap. s/off

Bret said...

Not me. I would prohibit the import of such items without a second thought.

I guess I am the dogmatic one.

erp said...

That would open the door to making laws against importing all kinds of other objectionable things like Che Guevara t-shirts.

All kinds of benign places would be accused of being Slave-Labor Camps and real ones would change their names Blue Bird Resorts... it would be a real mess.

Just don't buy the stuff and the whole thing falls apart.

Clovis e Adri said...

At last you answered, Erp - thanks.

I suppose you were against the boycott to South Africa too?

erp said...

I support individuals boycotting whomever and whatever they like. I don't support the government deciding it for me.

I gather you did support the South African boycott. Did you support the boycott of Israel as well?

Clovis e Adri said...

I did not support the SA boycott, I was a bit too young to get it then. But I would easily support it nowadays.

I am not aware of any boycott to Israel done by countries outside the Arab sphere.

erp said...

Many elite politicians, companies and institutions of higher learning boycott(ed) Israel.

Clovis e Adri said...

Since you just told us you "support individuals boycotting whomever and whatever they like", I guess you are fine with BDS, right?

erp said...

Correct. I support their right to be wrong.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

And I suppose you disagree then with the sanctions imposed by the US on Russia over the Ukraine matter? Or the sanctions imposed against Iraq in past?

And answering your question, I do not support BDS. I would happily welcome Israeli researchers in my University, and would certainly enjoy visiting theirs. I also would object my country adopting BDS as a state policy.

erp said...

Now that Obama is out, I trust our military again, so the answer is I neither agree nor disagree with sanctions put in place re: Ukraine vs Russia.

Note, Ukraine no longer uses "the" as part of its name. From Wiki: The use of the article relates to the time before independence in 1991, when Ukraine was a republic of the Soviet Union known as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Since then, it should be merely Ukraine.

South African and Israeli sanctions, etc. are yet more lefty lies and having met and talked to South Africans, including recent and former emigres, I hardly buy the received wisdom of the propaganda machine's version of conditions there now and in the past, including virtual sainthood of both Mandela's.

Yes, I know it's a sacrilege to speak ill of the left's heroes, especially if they're commies and non-white.

As for Israel, the lies and distortions in the media would fill volumes and are too numerous to mention.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

Please notice that in my phrase, "the Ukraine matter", "the" is there due to "matter", not due to Ukraine.

If you had one tenth as much skepticism towards all the right wing bananas you ate all those years, as you have with lefty stuff, it would be a good improvement.

erp said...

Clovis, you are right about Ukraine. As you and others have pointed out, I need to read more carefully.

If your comment is a metaphor, the very few leaders I "ate" - to a larger or smaller extent on the national level, are Coolidge, Eisenhower, Goldwater (severely bashed and left for dead by the left), Reagan and BushII. I also admire and trust, Rudy Giuliani who practically single-handedly cleaned up my home town -- since dirtied up by his successors.

If your comment is about the yellow pulpy fruit that's grown down your way, please elaborate further because I don't know what mean.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

I meant the fabricated stories you fall to, like the birth hype over Obama, or that Watergate's invasors were there to take out a girl's number from the book, instead of tapping their wires (one wonders what the wiretaping equipment found with them were for), and so on and on...


erp said...

Clovis, What makes you think you know the truth and I fell for lies?

You forget, I was there during during the break-in of the Democratic headquarters. The first stories about it were about John Dean's girlfriend being available for dates. At that time no one ever thought it would unseat a president only that it would embarrass Dean. The wire taps which were primitive at the time, went to Dean who was the presidential counsel, not some low-level burglar.

The media hated Nixon and were relentless in pushing him -- you know, the same thing they're trying to do to Trump. Only difference is now, Trump can push back.

Obama's creation myth is made up out of whole cloth. Check back to my comments on the issue if you want to learn the truth. If not, don't worry, IMO he's radioactive now as are members of his ruling cabal and they'll all drop off the "who's trending lists" very soon.

I didn't fall for anything.

erp said...

Clovis, I got side-tracked writing the comment above and forgot that they only "discovered" wire trapping stuff as an afterthought. It wasn't part of the original stories.

erp said...

The lefty media was far worse before the internet Clovis and you have seen how the media distorts and lies and yet you believe those myths you learned as a child about the U.S. from the hostile media.

Harry Eagar said...

I have said before that erp is a racist. Her signing onto the racist version of apartheid demonstrates this again.

erp said...

Harry,

I signed on to nothing.

I correctly pointed out that the received wisdom version of South Africa is a myth in the same way as Franco, Watergate, global warming, the new ice age, acid rain, polar bears, Oklahoma City, Oswald and every other hysterical scenario coming from the one-worlders, progs, whatever you're calling yourselves these days.

Racist? You are so ridiculous.

Harry Eagar said...

Have any of you purchased chocolate lately? Sugar?

Both have a significant slave component.

Just because erp and Boudreax don't know it is 1) not surprising and 2) it is still true

erp said...

Cocoa:

Slave Free Chocolate Companies

FTA:
Cocoa from outside West Africa is almost always ethically grown.

Harry, why isn’t it racist to point out that black African countries are using black African slaves, mostly children, for, -- wait for it -- filthy lucre?

Sugar:

Sturm und Drang among sugar producers -- or not?

FTA:

In its high-profile ‘List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor’, the US Department of Labor (2016) cites forced labour in the sugar industries of Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Dominican Republic and Pakistan. Yet such designations are not clear cut. For instance, a 2012 study on the Dominican sugar industry by the non-profit organisation Verité was used as evidence by the US Department of Labor in its ‘blacklisting’ decision. However, this study was criticised by academics for twisting data about the experiences of workers to conform to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention criteria on forced labour and for giving a misleading picture of the industry as a whole (Martínez no date; Bednarzik and Kern 2013).

Oh Noooooooooooo / Say it isn’t Sooooooooo ... government agencies TWIST DATA!!!!!!!!!!!!! so badly even academics notice.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

The two cases I cited are examples of a few where I went to look into the details, and concluded you ate bananas.

You can keep eating them, I have nothing to do with your choice of mental food.

erp said...

Clovis, why are you so sure your sources are correct and my memory and sources are bananas?

Harry Eagar said...

erp, your sources that told you Obama would never leave office are a good example of the reliability of your informants

erp said...

That was my own evaluation – not from any source -- at a time when it wasn't a sure thing that Hillary would succeed him.

:-)

It's no end a source of amusement to me that Obama's outlandish, monomaniacal and arrogant behavior has made him practically radioactive now. Wouldn't it be a shame if he feels unloved and starts buying it with tidbits to the media about the his years in the Oval Office.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
Clovis, why are you so sure your sources are correct and my memory and sources are bananas?
---

Overal consistency between the various pieces of information that make up the larger story.

That's why I called it bananas. When you squeeze, it slips away.

erp said...

All the pieces are part of the monolith that is the media/academy/worldwide lefty movement. That is what you can't see.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

The reason I enjoy conspiracy theories is precisely because the good ones play with our ignorance on how to fit one piece with another, when multiple connections are possible.

So when I tell you are eating bananas, I am telling you there are too many connections that can't fit the way you put them together. I am not ignoring the possibility of it being true, I am honestly considering it and rejecting for its lack of consistency. You see, it is not faith in the 'media/academy/worldwide lefty movement' that is in play here.

Hey Skipper said...

[Bret:] Not me. I would prohibit the import of such items without a second thought.

I guess I am the dogmatic one.


Count me in.

erp said...

Clovis, please review Plato's allegory of the cave for more information.