# Thread: Lou Dobbs, a voice against outsourcing jobs

1. Guru
Posts: 23,741
Blog Entries: 37
Originally Posted by DivineComedy
Sorry, I cannot find "imports/exports as % of GDP" in searching the World Bank site. So show me a web page of theirs that has "imports/exports" in the formula. Show me their math.
I would if I could be bothered. I'm not here as a librarian.

2. Analyst
Posts: 2,489
Originally Posted by Reiver
I would if I could be bothered. I'm not here as a librarian.
Well isn't that Special? {said in church lady tone}

Since you said, "I would if I could be bothered," therefore, now we have established you are not using "/" as a logical operator, but as a mathematical operation.

"Why do you think virtually every country with greater trade importance (i.e. imports/exports as % of GDP) has lower working poverty than the US?"

One could corelate usable data with "lower working poverty" but not unusable data. How one gets "greater trade importance" by dividing imports by exports, when increasing that ratio means less imports can be purchased.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terms_o...-country_model

The little "x's" representing exports are on top of the "/" and the little "m's" representing imports are below.

If you want to use "/" as a logical operator and go back to post #16 where I said:

"2009 'Imports of goods and services (% of GDP)' China '22' France '25' Germany '37' USA '14'";

Or, you could use 2009 "Exports of goods and services (% of GDP)"
China "27" France "23" Germany "42" USA "11" http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NE.EXP.GNFS.ZS

And then corelate those numbers with "lower working poverty"; feel free.

Since you have established that we are dealing with a ratio of imports / exports. Let's play with the above numbers as if they mean something.

China 22/27 France 25/23 Germs 37/42 USA 14/11

Percentages, thinking in terms of terms of trade, but with your funny math of dividing imports by exports, "Imports of goods and services (% of GDP)" / "Exports of goods and services (% of GDP)":

81 108 88 127

Makes us look good. Certainly if we divide imports by exports it "makes the 'trade is our doom' bobbins look particularly childish."

Percentages, as in like terms of trade, "Exports of goods and services (% of GDP)" / "Imports of goods and services (% of GDP)":

122 92 113 78

Makes us look bad.

"Greater trade importance," more exports than imports (as % of GDP), would be China and Germany, yet as stated Asia has a vast sea of working poor. And we know Germany inherited some from the commies. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...8170P120120208

3. Guru
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Originally Posted by DivineComedy
Well isn't that Special?
Again, lots of words and no content. You were asked a simple question: Why do you think virtually every country with greater trade importance (i.e. imports/exports as % of GDP) has lower working poverty than the US? Try to answer it without an essay of fluff

4. Originally Posted by Reiver
Again, lots of words and no content. You were asked a simple question: Why do you think virtually every country with greater trade importance has lower working poverty than the US?
Correlation does not imply causation. The two may be linked, but the question is: which one is the cause and which one the effect? I think it is higher levels of disposible income that lead to more consumption/imports, or certain industrial export driven economies. Same thing with education. I think wealthier countries provide more education because they are wealthy, not the other way around.

5. Guru
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Originally Posted by Anders Hoveland
Correlation does not imply causation.
The empirical analysis into gains from trade is substantial. You of course ignore it. The theoretical analysis into gains from trade is substantial. You of course ignore it. It stands to reason that you will also ignore that virtually every country with greater trade importance has lower working poverty than the US.

The conclusion is obvious: trade is used as a red herring, typically by people clueless about economics

6. Originally Posted by Reiver
The empirical analysis into gains from trade is substantial.
I do not believe it is, at least not for a large country. I believe the gains from international trade are very minimal, and actually even negetive in several ways.
Like I previously mentioned, trying to argue for the comparative advantage of outsourcing to a low wage country is completely ridiculous when wages (relative to the cost of living) are already low in ones own country, and unemployment is high. If there were plenty of good paying jobs available for all our citizens that would be one thing, but there is not.

In any case, much of the claimed economic "gains" are not really gains at all, just higher costs of housing, which does not really help people on the whole (but rather is harmful). So if you have an economic study that indicates gains, please exclude the increased cost of housing and see whether it still suggests gains after that.

7. Guru
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Originally Posted by Anders Hoveland
I do not believe it is, at least not for a large country.
Can you refer to one empirical paper that finds that trade gains are insignificant or negative? I look forward to your 'choice'!

8. Analyst
Posts: 1,753
Originally Posted by Anders Hoveland
I do not believe it is, at least not for a large country. I believe the gains from international trade are very minimal, and actually even negetive in several ways.
Look at what happened to the quality of US cars when Japan started importing. Despite the size of the US, the US car manufacturers were a defacto monopoly, with no incentive to build a car that would last for more than 50,000 miles without significant maintenance. How often do you see a car broken down on the road side today?

Minimal gains?

Originally Posted by Anders Hoveland
Like I previously mentioned, trying to argue for the comparative advantage of outsourcing to a low wage country is completely ridiculous when wages (relative to the cost of living) are already low in ones own country, and unemployment is high. If there were plenty of good paying jobs available for all our citizens that would be one thing, but there is not.
The US is the second largest manufacturer in the world, but most of that labor went to automation. It is cheaper, safer, and much higher quality than manual labor. If we closed our borders, almost ever job being outsourced would be automated. There would be little change in the rate employment in those that are unskilled.

Skill isn't that hard to acquire. Finish high school, 50% more likely to be employed, finish college, 300% more likely - with Junior Colleges and student loans, getting educated isn't that hard.

Unemployment based on education Level Achieved

Less than High School 12.6%
High School Grad 8.4%
Some College or Associate Degree 7.5%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher 4.1%

But, if you still want to eliminate trade, become an economic zone of one household. Being self sufficient, you will always be employed, and you will be incredibly poor.

Originally Posted by Anders Hoveland
In any case, much of the claimed economic "gains" are not really gains at all, just higher costs of housing, which does not really help people on the whole (but rather is harmful). So if you have an economic study that indicates gains, please exclude the increased cost of housing and see whether it still suggests gains after that.
"Burkhauser on the Middle Class"

http://www.econtalk.org/archives/201...user_on_t.html

You can read the inverview or listen to the podcast. The economic gains are better than the media would let you believe (for some odd reason, good news isn't "news").

9. Originally Posted by Not Amused
Look at what happened to the quality of US cars when Japan started importing.
That certainly is a good point. But why exactly was it that the USA could not make its own cars of good value and quality? "Specialisation" is not really a convincing argument because the USA was much bigger and had a population three times that of Japan.

Perhaps an argument for racial or cultural comparative advantage between different nations can be made. Some cultures might be better at doing certain things than other cultures. Hitler referred to the Japanese as the "Aryans of Asia". It would be interesting if you could point out any similar examples of such specialisation outside of the northeastern asian countries (Japan,Korea,China) and northern europe.

10. Guru
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Don't be shy now: Can you refer to one empirical paper that finds that trade gains are insignificant or negative?