Going out in the noonday sun

Well, I’ve mentioned this before, but it is newly relevant for reasons that will become apparent. It’s about a curious realization I had one time in Africa.

In my thirties I worked as a consultant for the US Peace Corps. In passing let me say that the Peace Corps is one of the finest foreign aid programs the US has. I’d encourage anyone to become involved with it at any level.

Anyhow, my task on this trip back in the 1980s was to do a cost-benefit analysis of some projects done by Peace Corps Volunteers in various villages out in the outback. My workmate and I were in yet another small village somewhere in the Sahel. It was a hot afternoon, and for some reason I had to walk the length of the village. I was likely contemplating the hoary song about how only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun, and thinking that I wasn’t English … here are a couple of photos I took on that trip.african-huts

I’d walked about half-way through, assessing the village. I’ve walked through a lot of villages in the developing world. Like people, villages have distinct personalities. Some are full of life. Some are bitter and lonely. Looking back, I’d describe the personality of this one as “poor and friendly”. I’ve been in “poor and unfriendly” villages, no bueno, but this was the opposite. Nice folks.

There were a lot of people of all ages that didn’t seem to have much to do other than check me out. Streams and eddies of kids. Every door was open, everyone looking out as is the custom in poor villages everywhere. The clothing for the kids was various scraps of cloth whose indeterminate ancestry was vaguely traceable to what passed for clothing on the adults. Like most African villages the women were dressed clean, and proud … but cheap thin cloth of the poorest.

For footwear, there were three choices. The majority vote was “None”, it won in a landslide. The rest were divided between cheap imported plastic flip-flops, or local sandals. In very few cases did anyone have more than one pair. If someone had two pair, yeah, they might own two pair, but their cousin wore the second best pair every day of the year except when the owner wanted them.

I remember the dust. I remember the sun. I remember every footstep coming down in fine soft dust with that funny “poof” sound that thick dust makes. I remember the cloud of dust coming up from each step, and dust sticking to my sweaty skin. I remember the sun, always the sun, and people wisely sitting in the shade.

And I remember the eyes—eyes looking back at me, lovely white eyes in gentle black faces, young mothers’ eyes in short shy glances,  kids’ eyes sparkling with wonder, young men’s eyes taking my measure, old men watching under lowered lids, old women with soft sad eyes that had done far too much weeping, all the eyes …

africa-faces

And at some point I had a funny thought, a most curious thought, a thought I’d never had before.

I thought … I’ve won.

I looked around me. Here’s what I realized. Every person that I could see, every person looking at me and wondering about me, this is what I saw about them—every single thing that they wanted to have, every single thing that they wanted to be, the sum total of their craziest, wildest dreams … I had all of that, but not only that. What I had was way beyond that.

Here’s maybe the simplest example. I had my bush shoes on, the older comfortable ones that had lots of outback miles on them. They were far and away the nicest shoes in the whole village. No competition, nobody even close. My shoes alone made me rich in their eyes, they dreamed of having one glorious pair of shoes like mine in their short lives, just once to walk in them and see what it felt like …

But what they didn’t conceive of was that back at the hotel I also had my good working shoes and a pair of dress shoes for nice occasions. And back at my house in the US I had work boots, and rain boots, and sea boots, and my new bush shoes I was just breaking in, and snow boots, and sandals, and …

The same was true of every article of clothing I had on. I had shirts and shirts for all occasions and climates, t-shirts, dress shirts, wool shirts, warm shirts, work shirts, cool shirts … they had one tired shirt, bought from a 400-pound bale of used and reject shirts brought in by some trader from overseas, and maybe another shirt in reserve.

Same for everything I was wearing. Where they had one, I had twenty. And that was just what I was wearing.

I took stock. I had my youth and health. I had a college education. I had a good job, one of those things that are mythical in the world I was walking through. I was making in a day probably more cash than they saw in a year. I was being paid to get on a jet plane and go to strange countries and meet new people.

But wait, as they say, there’s more. Back home I had my gorgeous ex-fiancee. And I owned my own house. Not a big house, to be true … but then I built it myself with my own hands, and most importantly I owned it free and clear.

And I had a car, and an old pickup truck. I had a house full of furniture. I had a couple of nice guitars. I had boxes and boxes of tools of all kinds—carpentry, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, concrete, everything I’d used to build and plumb and wire my house. I was partners in a 27′ fishing boat. A somewhat old and tired boat, but the fish didn’t care. I had a hard-to-get commercial salmon fishing permit.

Then there were the things I had that they’d maybe heard of but nobody they knew owned. Like say a bank account. Odds were very great that not one person among the dozens looking back at me as I walked that hot street had a bank account. Or a safe deposit box. A passport. Or how about say … credit? I could tap much more money than I had on hand.

I assure you, it was a strange feeling to be there with the sun beating down and me sweating like crazy and looking around and thinking that about half the people in the world live like this or worse and I have everything they’ve ever dreamed of, everything they’ve wished for, and a whole lot more that their dreams don’t even have room for. I thought, I’ve done it! I’ve made it! I’ve won!

My life changed on that day. I was released from some kind of striving, some kind of grasping, some kind of push to be first. The most curious change for me was contemplating a new question I’d never had to face … what does a man do once he’s won?

Well … after some contemplation, my choice was to give it away. Not like “Give everything to the poor”, but to give away my assistance, and my joy, and my abilities, and my support, and my knowledge to anybody who was interested.

One of the changes was I took up a new slant on life. Here’s what I found out:

I can accomplish anything if I don’t care who gets the credit.

It’s why I don’t worry about copyright or primacy of publication or the like. If someone wants to take an idea of mine and say it’s theirs, or take it and use it to good effect, more power to them. I cast my ideas on the electronic winds, they are there for anyone to take as their own.

Now, I said at the start that I’d get around to explaining why I’m writing about how I realized that I’d won. Here’s why. The other day, a lovely long-time friend of mine who is a Hillary supporter asked me what I thought of Trump’s “management style”.

I replied that I couldn’t answer the question for a simple reason. I was inalterably prejudiced because as far as this election went, I’d already won.

See, the most important election issue for me was the end of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the stopping of the disastrous free trade madness that is costing us our manufacturing sector. That affects the very survival of the country, so it was far beyond petty personalities and politics for me. I didn’t want to hand my daughter a $20 trillion dollar debt with our manufacturing sector in ruins.

And since the day of the election, before he’s even been sworn in, Trump has already accomplished two immense things. First, the TPP is done. Finished. Obama pulled his team out of the negotiations after Election Day. Incredible win for me. That move alone will save thousands and thousands of job from going overseas in the future. It is a massive and key step to getting ourselves out of the $20 trillion hole we’ve dug.

The other thing he’s accomplished is that Trump is speaking out, loudly and forcefully, about the madness of free trade and overturning NAFTA. The only group it benefits are corporations. Opposition to the TPP and NAFTA and free trade was one of the few policy items that Trump and Bernie Sanders agreed on.

So Trump’s already ended the TPP and begun the end of free trade, and for me, those were two immense, potentially nation-saving wins. Literally. Nation-saving.

And as a result, when my friend asked me about my opinion of Trump’s management style, I was forced to reply something like I’ve already won big, not just big but stupendously big, and not just won stupendously big once but won stupendously big twice, and Trump’s not even President yet … what can I say about his management style?

It seems just fine to me …

Regards to all, me and the gorgeous ex-fiancee are off on a rainy night to listen to our friend play sax in a Tower of Power tribute band … like I said … all the things that half the world dreams of but never realistically hopes to have …

And for all of you, I can only wish that you notice your own position in the wide world of global winning-ness and that you adjust your gyroscopes accordingly …

w.

PS—My Usual Request: If you disagree with someone please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU OBJECT TO. Otherwise, there’s often no clue to exactly what is being discussed.

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28 thoughts on “Going out in the noonday sun

  1. Chiefio had a good post about 6 weeks (?) back on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). It has in it a backdoor to all the SJW wet dreams. You will have to search his site.

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  2. I had similar experiences in the Middle East, particularity in the Oman. Won’t forget the people in the villages.I happened to fix up a TV repeater station on a hill and enter a couple of villages to test field strength. Oh boy, party time. I donated two of our test TVs to the villages. One of the Omani ministers really thanked me for that…he was our best darts player in the Muscat league. Amazing contrasts!

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  3. We in the UK fought long and hard against TTIP ( Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) which was a proposed trade agreement between Europe and the US. Happily it has now little chance of being accepted in law. Our specific problem is that US companies would have freedom to compete with any public service in Europe. That meant they could enter the NHS as a provider with low prices, but not necessarily better service. If this had been opposed, theoretically the relevant company could have sued any country that blocked such a move.
    So like yourselves, we are now heaving a sigh of relief. The NHS is currently the most efficient health provider in the world, and we want to keep it way!
    Your description of walking through an African village was really lovely. I have great respect for the Peace Co, it is a great US achievement. I met some of the volunteers when I was a student in Africa in the 70s..
    I am also trustee of a charity called Tools for Self Reliance. We refurbish tools into specific kits and train African villagers to lift themselves out of poverty by using the tools we give them manufacture goods. It works really well. Our research shows it is remarkably effective.
    Large donations of money tend to go astray or be used in grandiose projects, but tools don’t. Our charity targets people at village level, very much like the peace co.
    http://www.tfsrcymru.org.uk

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    • Gareth, tools as an aid to development is indeed an excellent path. Tools in the developing world are always in short supply. And tools plus training is a great combination. You have indeed chosen a path which can provide for independence and self-sufficiency, well done.

      I dunno about stirring a bunch of Welsh people into the mix, though … once you let those jokers through the door anything is possible. In my experience, things will either get really positive or really perturbacious with Welsh folks involved … but almost never will things be anything resembling commonplace or mundane or everyday. Near as I can tell, Wales doesn’t do average. Go figure.

      My congratulations,

      w.

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  4. A couple of comments on free trade:

    1. I don’t think free trade treaties between socio-economic equals like the US and Canada or Germany and the Netherlands are objectionable. It’s treaties between countries with vastly different labor situations that are a problem.

    2. The problem with TPP isn’t so much the free trade aspect as the collection of weird legal special considerations for companies or lines of business. Things that no sane legislature would agree to. An affront to fairness and common sense. In a way, the exact opposite of free trade.

    And two somewhat darker thoughts.

    3. If you think Donald Trump is going to do much for the average American, you’re fantasizing. The guy looks to be an obnoxious 250 pound bag of BS. Basically you’ve bought yourself and out of control Hillary Clinton clone. Good going!!!

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  5. Oooops. Sorry. Didn’t mean to post that last part. And if you wish to delete it, feel free. But it is what I think. As I tried to tell GWB supporters in 2000. Al Gore was a lousy candidate but the damage from electing him would have been minimal compared to his opponent. I told them then that in a few years they would wish they had never heard of George W Bush. You my friend are probably going to end up wishing you had never heard of Donald J Trump.

    What I’d intended to remark was that.

    1. I’m skeptical that Trump (or Sanders for that matter) can/could save or restore many US jobs. If/when manufacturing returns to the US it’ll probably be competitive. But mostly it’ll probably also be highly automated — a few skilled jobs and some minimum wage jobs moving stuff around the plants. I fear the jobs that will be saved/restored are as imaginary as the millions of green jobs Obama et. al. babble about. (How many Americans do those folks think it takes to fix a windmill?)

    2. I also think few Americans understand the importance to America of helping China, India and the third world pull themselves out of poverty. It’d be nice if the pain on our part could be apportioned more equally instead of falling largely on American working class. I’m in favor of that even though it would surely cost me money. I think most Americans think that the 80% of humanity that doesn’t live in developed countries are content with their lot and will never get uppity. I think that’s very unlikely.

    Oh yeah, and I agree completely that many of us have everything we need and then some. There’s some level of money and material goods that is necessary for comfort. Beyond that pursuing wealth and stuff seems to me to be pretty silly. Personally I already spend entirely too much of my life keeping vehicles and household appliances working. I have little desire for yet more stuff.

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    • Don, of course you are entitled to your opinion, but it is arguably true that Al Gore, even though not elected, has done far more damage than GWB. Who knows what would have happened if he had been president? But then, I suppose you have bought into his global warming spiel.

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    • Don K December 17, 2016 at 6:04 am

      … I also think few Americans understand the importance to America of helping China, India and the third world pull themselves out of poverty. It’d be nice if the pain on our part could be apportioned more equally instead of falling largely on American working class. I’m in favor of that even though it would surely cost me money. I think most Americans think that the 80% of humanity that doesn’t live in developed countries are content with their lot and will never get uppity. I think that’s very unlikely.

      Dear heavens, we’ve done nothing the last quarter century but ship our jobs and our wealth to the third world and that’s not enough for you? What do you want, our blood as well? … I’m sorry, Don, but at this point they’ve gotten all the jobs and wealth I’d like to send them for a while. I’ll send all the Peace Corp Volunteers and technical advisors they want, but they have gotten enough of our national treasure and our manufacturing sector already.

      w.

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  6. Americans are 5% of the world’s population. 1 in 20. Same as the level of significance used in statistical tests. Being white, male, educated, employed, and debt-free — well, what are the odds? Anyone there who isn’t grateful and liberated from selfishness isn’t paying attention. Unto those who are given much, much is expected. We need reminders of that. Thanks for this post.

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    • Bloke down the pub December 17, 2016 at 7:18 am

      The problem with protectionist policies is that the country ends up producing crap products at inflated prices that no-one wants. Free trade may not be ideal, but it sure as hell beats all the alternatives.

      Bloke, that is totally contradicted by reality. The US didn’t have free trade until the 1980s, and up until that time, American made products were some of the best in the world. “Crap products”? Your claim is without foundation.

      w.

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      • Can’t totally agree about American products being the best in the world during that time period. For example, American automobile manufacturers were producing crap. Think of the Ford Pinto, Chevrolet Vega, Buick diesel, and later on Chevy Citation, Ford Tempo just for starters. American steel producers were using blast furnaces that were 100 years old while overseas they were building new highly efficient ones. Japan was eating our lunch partly because they had taken the ideas of people like Drucker, and Demming and applied them to their manufacturing. We created things like the video tape recorder and video camera and they turned them into elegant pieces of machinery.

        Why did this happen? My belief is that we were no longer a capitalist society. We had become a “corporatist” one where the bottom line was to squeeze as much profit out of the product by cheapening it. If you’ve read DeLoren’s “On a Clear Day You Can See GM” you can see how the “suits” from finance almost killed their brand. It just took a long time for GM to almost die and it wasn’t just because of the imports. They just gave us another choice and many of those imports are being built here. If you want to read a real horror story, read about the GM Freemont plant and what they were producing out there with dysfunctional management and out of control unions.

        Please don’t think I’m for these so called free trade deals. They’re anything but free and fair. They’re pushed by the corporatists because they only care about the bottom line and these deals have nothing to do with real free trade.

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        • You hit the nail on the head about coporatism. Huge corporations have used their financial muscle to cause governments in the U.S. at every level to pass regulations making it too expensive or too hard to work through bureaucracies to start up new businesses. In other words, the little guys, in too many cases, have been squeezed out of the marketplace.

          According to my early 1970s economics 101 course, the big three automobile corporations became an oligarchy. which means they did not compete with prices, but services. There was also little desire to come up with new innovations.

          In the summer of 1976, needing a second car, I took a brand new first year Honda Accord for a test drive. I took it three blocks before turning around and coming back to the dealership. The first words out of my mouth were, “I want one.” I also new in that moment that U.S. car manufacturers were in serious trouble. It was a first class ride, stick shift and all, and the front wheel drive had an amazing feel. All U.S. cars I could afford at the time were a distant second in economy and precision of build.

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      • The US has always been the world’s biggest and best example of a (now) 50 state free trade zone, that is one of its huge strengths. Try imposing your logic across state lines.

        In his essay here https://medium.com/@russroberts/the-human-side-of-trade-7b8e024e7536#.2cvggetqa
        “The human side of trade” Russ Roberts sets out very fairly IMO the real and hidden costs of protectionism. As with many such analyses it is what is not seen (the opportunity costs of protecting certain industries) that ultimately hurts the very people it is supposed to protect. The innovation that doesn’t happen, the new jobs that are not created.

        My last point is to ask by what right a sovereign state, any state, cleaves to itself the ability to prevent or impose costs on your trading with your friends in Fiji, Australia, or anywhere else? Ever since the days of Hesiod and probably earlier, traders have been sailing the seas, or riding the ships of the desert, to effect trade, thus bringing prosperity to both parties in voluntary transactions. Trading with whomever you choose is the ultimate freedom.

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        • Brian, free trade works well when both states are at about the same economic level. The problem arises when the guy next door will work for $3 per hour.

          As to your claimed costs in “the human side of trade”, the end of protectionism has led to the loss of 70,000 factories since NAFTA. In addition, “free trade” has destroyed the ability of the Solomon Islands to ever develop a manufacturing industry. The real human costs of those far outweigh the opportunity costs list in “The human side of trade”.

          Finally, you ask by what right a sovereign state can charge import duties … um, the Constitution? It says Congress has the power to “… lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.”

          Best regards,

          w.

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          • Not all of your many fans are US citizens Willis. Some of us live in countries without a written constitution.

            But you make my point well, countries simply assume the right (amongst many others of course) to impose costs on or prohibit trade between willing and voluntary participants, and not just internationally.

            I understand that the US has lost 5M jobs in manufacturing since 2000, and has added a net 12M jobs in the same period. US Manufacturing outputs have risen in the period. Manufacturing is thought to be under-going the same process (world-wide) as agriculture went through in the early 20’s. New methods, processes, automation, results in spitting out people, sad for them, but better for consumers. The purpose of all economic activity is consumption (trite but true).

            I noted recently you stated agriculture and manufacturing are the best ways to create wealth. Trade in services also creates wealth; say you teach a mate to play the guitar, in return for which he teaches you to speak a new language you’ve been eager to acquire…..this successful transaction make s you both better off, wealthier. Growth in specialised services is the direction the US is growing….and we are envious….do you really want the smokestack industries back? It’d be like bringing the textile industry back to Manchester.

            And manufacturing of the built environment and infrastructure isn’t going anywhere.

            But do please read Prof Roberts piece…..it at least points out the often overlooked elements of both the costs and the benefits of free trade, and identifies upon whom they fall. Schumpeterian innovation has exactly the same affect on those whose jobs disappear.

            Finally, if the US is getting cheaper stuff from elsewhere it must be better off one assumes, or if not then if Mexico shipped lots of free stuff they could kill you 🙂

            I’m afraid your victory may yet turn out to be Pyrrhic.

            Compliments of the season from the Antipodes

            B

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          • Brian Dingwall December 19, 2016 at 1:47 am

            Not all of your many fans are US citizens Willis. Some of us live in countries without a written constitution.

            My condolences.

            But you make my point well, countries simply assume the right (amongst many others of course) to impose costs on or prohibit trade between willing and voluntary participants, and not just internationally.

            Brian, thanks for your contribution, but I am not sure what the point is. Countries also set up borders, amass armies, regulate commerce, and provide for the general welfare … so what?

            Would you prefer that the Solomon Islands Government just let people screw them forever with free trade? Are you saying that countries do NOT have the right to have borders and regulate what goes across them?

            I don’t see what you’re getting at here.

            In mystery,

            w.

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          • Brian Dingwall December 19, 2016 at 1:47 am

            I noted recently you stated agriculture and manufacturing are the best ways to create wealth.

            This is exactly why I ask people to QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING. I have never said anything of the sort, or even close.

            Trade in services also creates wealth; say you teach a mate to play the guitar, in return for which he teaches you to speak a new language you’ve been eager to acquire…..this successful transaction make s you both better off, wealthier.

            No, it does not. If you two are living on a desert island, and one of you just teaches the other a new language and the other teaches the first to play a guitar, you will both starve to death. That’s the difference between wealth and services. You can live off of just wealth. You cannot live off of just services.

            Growth in specialised services is the direction the US is growing….and we are envious….do you really want the smokestack industries back? It’d be like bringing the textile industry back to Manchester.

            Damn right I want the manufacturing back. It is one of the three pillars of wealth, which are manufacturing, extraction, and agriculture. Of these, manufacturing is the only one with falling costs with increasing production. We were fools to give it away.

            And manufacturing of the built environment and infrastructure isn’t going anywhere.

            No clue what “manufacturing of the built environment” means.

            But do please read Prof Roberts piece…..it at least points out the often overlooked elements of both the costs and the benefits of free trade, and identifies upon whom they fall. Schumpeterian innovation has exactly the same affect on those whose jobs disappear.

            I read his piece and I wasn’t impressed. He, like you, seems convinced that services create wealth. He also says:

            That’s the problem with protectionism as a way of helping those out of work workers. It’s a form of charity. And it destroys the expansion of opportunities that trade and innovation create.

            Bull. Consider again the Honiara nail mill. Destroying that mill via free trade did not expand “opportunities that trade and innovation create”. Instead, it destroyed perhaps forever the chance of the Solos ever getting a manufacturing sector, and in that process it sentenced the Solomon Islanders to eternal poverty. Come back when Prof. Roberts has a solution for that …

            Finally, if the US is getting cheaper stuff from elsewhere it must be better off one assumes, or if not then if Mexico shipped lots of free stuff they could kill you🙂

            As I said above, you advocate trading “cheap stuff” for closing factories and shutting down towns … pass.

            I’m afraid your victory may yet turn out to be Pyrrhic.

            You don’t seem to get it. We’ve tried protectionism. It worked fine for years, people had jobs, factories were humming. We then tried free trade, and middle class workers wages stalled entirely as factories closed.Trump was elected in part because the middle class hasn’t had a pay rise since the passage of NAFTA.

            You might think that is a big coincidence.

            I say it is the result of a perennial oversupply of workers caused by us continually shipping their jobs overseas.

            Compliments of the season from the Antipodes

            B

            Gotta love the underside of the planet, thanks for continuing the discussion,

            w.

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  7. Here we sit on “lifeboat” earth
    and many overfed with too much time on their hands
    …want to share their perceived “fixed pie”
    ………with themselves “handing it out” (and snarfing their “fair share”).
    They are the great Oz
    => the deplorable rubes and proletariats in flyover country
    …should acknowledge how smart and great and wonderful they are
    …..after, their mommies told them that and they get a lot of $$$ bloviating!

    In my view, squabbling over the pie in a lifeboat is less than intelligent.
    ….It is an occupation by fat-dumb-happy-clueless-self important folk.
    We need to get our kids and grandkids to further shores,
    ….like Mars, Alpha Centauri, etc
    which, of course, is the goal of China and Russia.

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  8. “US Manufacturing” is a complex creature with many strengths and weaknesses. Diagnosing and curing the problem of shrinking employment in the sector starts with understanding the nature of the problem and the many contributing factors. Not doing so is like curing a stomach ache over the phone.

    This five part series from The Christian Science Monitor is worth reading.

    Part One: The harsh downside of free trade – and the glimmer of hope
    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2016/0628/The-harsh-downside-of-free-trade-and-the-glimmer-of-hope

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  9. Scratch below the surface and there never is anything like free trade. The only policy that comes close to making sense is bilateral reciprocity, and that still does not solve all the issues that comparative advantage creates for some economic sectors.
    That said, TPP was 5000 pages of free trade exceptions and SJW mechanisms. A truly horrendous deal. And what the US has allowed China to get away with is a scandal. Not just subsidized state owned enterprise, but dumping, intellectual property theft, restrictions on foreign competition/local ownership within China, and many other examples. Much of China’s rapid development has been at the direct expense of US and Europe. To a lesser extent, the same is true of South Korea.

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    • Thought the folks here deserved a peek at my scratch under the surface comment. Back in the 1970’s, the japanese motorcycle industrydecided to expand beyond asia and targeted all western manufacturers 1 by 1. They first put down British Triumph. Then they targeted Harley. (Fair notice: I still own and ride serial number 568 of the new 1978 MY CX500 that was designed by Honda to take down MotoGuzzi of Italy.) As a young highly book but not world educated hot shot consultant, I was one of 4 from BCG hired by Harley’s parent to administer the death sentance. So spent three months in Japan studying the competition and the territory. First, the competition had a 30% cost advantage. It wasn’t lanor, it was automation and quality. The Harley frame factory in Milwaukee was all manual jigs and hand welding from pre WW2; Honda was all robots. The Harley enfine factory in Pennsylvania had more rework inventory (faulty engines needing repairs) than all other inventory combined. Honda’s Kumamoto engine plant had zero rework. The floors were white to show the slightest oil/grease assemply problem. And the foundary was lights out full robotic. Now all that Harley manufacturing mess can be fixed withntime and will for ‘fair trade’.
      BUT, the Japanese made no bikes over 750 cc because their engines were all high rpm overbore designs. Harley made none under 800cc, because their signature rumble comes from an overstoke design (preWW2 durability; most WW2 aircraft engines were overstroked).
      So, here is the free trade gotcha. The Japanese decided at the start of the motorcycle wars to make a little change in motorcycle drivers licenses to prevent Harley from attacking them in their home market high end. Anyone riding >750cc machines had to prove they could lay the bike over on its side, then pick it up and ride it. Verry difficult for slight stature Japnese. But, you know, no tariffs or subsidies so free trade. NOT.

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  10. Pingback: 2016 v12.2whatiswealth | The Native Iowan

  11. Willis, thanks for this. I recall similar feelings in some tiny villages in central Sudan in 1984. The kids so bright eyed and smiling even though they had little but love. I wish I had been savvy enough then to complete the realization as you did.
    Clear skies to you.

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  12. Slightly off topic… but your comment about casting your ideas on electronic winds is not only liberating, but anyone thinking they can do different is fooling themselves. If you publish some works that someone can view on a monitor, or listen to on a speaker, then they can (and will) copy it, and reverse engineer it, and use it, and distribute it. There is nothing you can do to stop this once you have provided access. So yes, I think you have saved yourself a world of frustration with that rule of thumb. Peace brother.

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