Apr. 20th, 2017

And now, the Q&A session of the discussion on "International Trade and the Georgist Movement." Nate Blair asked why the Left is aligned with special interests. Also, he's not always pro-free trade. What if the goods being traded were made with slave labor? There are other cases as well.

Dr. Foldvary said that Life Savers used to be made in the U.S., but are now made in Canada, as a result of U.S. sugar quotas.

Dan Sullivan said that free trade theory is good when trade is the exchange of goods for goods; there are problems when it isn't. After Proposition Thirteen (cutting property taxes in California), U.S. Steel complained of Japanese dumping. The Japanese were selling Toyotas, and buying California real estate.

Erich Jacoby-Hawkins asked about "free trade" rules against legitimate environmental or human rights laws. He gave examples, like the Chinese buying Canadian tar sands, or gasoline in Canada containing an additive that's banned in the U.S. (but if I understand correctly, the Canadians aren't allowed to ban it according to the NAFTA agreement).

Lindy Davies said that it's complicated.

Fred Foldvary agreed that pollution is an issue, and said that we should have a global treaty on the environment.

Erich Jacoby-Hawkins spoke again: Quebec banned fracking; American companies are able to sue, even though the law applies to all fracking, whether by U.S. or Québécois companies.

Lindy Davies replied that fracking is better than coal mining (probably). Eventually, we should stop using fossil fuels, but for now, let Quebec make its own decisions.

Ed Dodson said that the U.S. has more manufacturing than before, but with fewer workers. Multinational corporations have no government loyalties, and report revenue where it is taxed the least. Etc.

Fred Foldvary replied that he solution is to lower your tax rates, except for LVT.

David Wetzel recounted an economics lesson from hitchhiking: The man who picked him up in a Mercedes commuted a hundred miles each day. He lived in Switzerland, where there's a low personal tax, and owned a factory in Germany, where there's a low corporate tax.

There was more discussion of various points. Fred Foldvary is in favor of free banking, although Henry George himself was a Greenbacker. Lindy Davies said that George was not a full Greenbacker.

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