The original article is here, but behind a paywall. Instead I’m going from the Zero Hedge reproduction below.
The invasion of Ukraine, the spike in inflation, and the risks of supply shortages have made some politicians dust off some of the worst economic ideas in history: autarchy and protectionism.
Strap yourself in goyim, we’re about to hear the horrifying intersection of LOLbertarianism with Globo Homo. This is basically Peak Conservative pseudo-intellectualism here.
Some believe that if our nation produced everything we needed, we would all be better off because we wouldn’t depend on others. The idea comes from a deep lack of understanding of economics. There’s no such thing as autarchy. There’s no such thing as covering all the needs of a population based on the limit of a politically defined border. It makes no sense.
Bold statement Cotton, let’s see how it plays out for him.
If I told you that I wanted to make my city self-sufficient, you would laugh about it, understanding that it’s impossible and that the reason why my city thrives is because of the interaction and commerce with other cities.
This is so fucking dumb I almost can’t even begin to wrap my head around it. First of all, cities are not self-sufficient, because they do not produce the natural resources required to make them self-sufficient. It’s not economical to produce the power locally, nor is it economical to turn parts of Manhattan into farmland. The reason a city can exist is because of trade with rural areas. But this Daniel Lacalle retard thinks that cities trade exclusively with… other cities. His understanding of economics is so poor that he unironically believes this. These are the people lecturing you on economics.
However, when a group of politicians defines a nation’s border, we’re immediately led to believe that those limits contain every resource that citizens may need and that everything else is irrelevant.
I bolded that part, because it shows the weird intersection of LOLbertarianism and Globalism. The idea that countries are mere products of politicians is the Soros definition of a country. That it is nothing more than an economic zone that exists for an international clique of billionaires to exploit to the maximum extent. By that definition, protectionism and autarky are irrelevant and out of line.
Except that countries are not random lines on a map, but rather blood and soil. That our privileged class insists on a different definition, that of an economic zone, is sort of like, the entire issue. The United States is a place and a People, not random lines on a map, and not an economic zone for George Soros and Michael Bloomberg to exploit. Or rather it shouldn’t be. Daniel LaCalle simply starts from the premise that you exist to maximize value for international shareholders, and then uses the most hilariously stupid “reasoning,” to “prove,” this point.
The other fallacy about autarchy that anyone can understand is that limiting the economy to the confinement of a random area of land is a poor way to develop, grow, and prosper.
No, instead the way to prosper and grow and accomplish other buzzword terminology is to let billionaires ship your jobs overseas to make pennies on the dollar in extra profits. Nothing says “prospering and growing,” like our hollowed out heartland. And no, our country is not a “random piece of land.”
We also forget that our progress also comes from the development of the nations we trade with. Our security of supply and our improvement is only a function of everyone else’s growth.
I have no idea what that even means, and trust me, it’s not taken out of context. Our “progress,” comes from technology that we invent. Not from Third Worlders manufacturing cars for $1.70 per day. All of which shows the true “efficiency,” of “Free Trade.”
When economists tell you that it’s so much more “efficient,” to trade with other countries, they want you to think of natural resources. If country A has very little Titanium, and what little it has is expensive to mine and costly, and country B has copious Titanium, it makes sense for country A to trade something else, or many other things for that Titanium. It also makes sense for them to stockpile Titanium to protect themselves in case country B turns hostile, or for some other reason can’t sell them Titanium, but the economics makes sense.
But what exactly is the efficiency increase that leads to these multinationals shipping our jobs overseas? Do these Third World countries have excellent infrastructure that lets them manufacture more efficiently? Do they have excellent electricity production, road quality, shipping docks, bridges, an airport system, or even a population that can speak English properly? No, of course not. The only “efficiency,” that they have is that billionaires can pay them less for the same work, and thus pocket the extra profits.
These countries are less efficient at manufacturing things, but because billionaires can pay these people less money, a lot less money, this gets redefined as them being “more efficient.” That’s not the definition of efficiency that you or I would use, but it’s the arbitrary definition of efficiency that economists use. They do the same shit for immigration. They say that immigrants make labour markets “more efficient.” You know what that means? It means they drive down wages, but since they can get more labour for the same amount of money, it’s “more efficient,” now.
Understand that rhetorical sleight of hand, and you’ll understand how full of shit these people are. Actual efficiency improvements would mean building our dilapidated infrastructure. Economic “Efficiency,” means destroying our wages, so that billionaires can profit more.
It’s precisely through the development of other nations and making the best out of trade that we can grow faster and have access to more goods and services at better prices.
It is precisely because of technology that we invented, often at government funded universities, that we have access to more goods and services at better prices. The invention of the bobcat lets us dig faster. The invention of the CPU lets us do quite a number of different things. Third Worlders doing the exact same things that used to be done here in the First World, until our Parasite Class shipped those jobs away, doesn’t let us have “access,” to anything else, since the people have been made poorer.
Productivity, technology, trade, and cooperation are essential factors for prosperity. Autarchy and protectionism are essential drivers of stagnation and poverty.
A scientific field is the measurement of reality. Economics is, quite simply, not a science. It is obviously true that letting billionaires ship off our jobs to the Third World makes us poorer, so here’s some abstract theoretical bullshit to pretend otherwise. That he throws in “productivity and technology,” is even more ridiculous, since that has not the slightest relevance to the discussion.
It may be true that some nations have taken advantage of an open economic system in order to sell more while making it more difficult for others, but the solution isn’t protectionism but more open trade. If a nation decides to harm itself by being protectionist, we’re reaping the benefits, not them, because we benefit from trade growth and prosperity while they end in stagnation.
Above we see a common site in modern America, an abandoned industrial plant being reclaimed by nature. A testament to the incredible power of Free Trade to… allow billionaires to destroy your country. I mean look at all this “reaping of prosperity,” in the above image, and understand that this is coming to a place near you. Assuming it hasn’t been here for decades.
Even large economic giants such as the United States or China can’t survive with closed economies.
I said before and I’ll say it again. Imagine we colonized space, and had colonies on Mars, and other planets. If some politician said “we’re going with an autarky here on Earth,” these shills would be saying that is literally impossible. And yet, we know it’s possible, because we currently have that by virtue of the fact that we don’t have colonized planets to currently trade with.
The idea that countries as geographically large as the US or China can’t “survive,” without trading with other countries has absolutely no relationship to reality. It’s just not true. And to the extent that there are some rare minerals that these other countries produce, the government can stockpile them in peacetime.
Who are you going to sell your excess production to if you close your borders?
But then this bugcreature goes and starts bloviating about “excess production.” Once again, this only makes sense purely from the perspective of an International Parasite Class that feasts off the lifeblood of “muh economy.” Since “muh economy,” is currently set up to maximize the profits of International Finance Capital, instead of serving the people, the economy as currently configured would indeed have excess production of certain things in far greater numbers than we need. If borders were completely closed the economy would simply re-organize to serve our markets exclusively. He just pretends that wouldn’t happen and then does his “but why do we need 1,000,000 new cars per year, they wouldn’t sell domestically,” bad faith routine.
The current inflation and supply shortage problem hasn’t arrived because of the evils of globalization and the mistakes of free trade, but because of the trend toward interventionism and protectionist measures that has plagued the world for the past 20 years.
This guy spouts so much unquantified bullshit it becomes tedious to debunk. I mean there’s no real supporting evidence for his claims.
There’s only one way in which countries can overcome the impact of a war in a country that sells a lot of cereals, oil, and gas to the world: more trade and better diversification of sources of supply, not autarchy and protectionism.
This is starting to get so absurd that it’s funny. You’ll notice, if your eyes haven’t glazed over, that he’s contradicting himself here. His argument is that you shouldn’t be crippled by not being able to get Russian cereals, and oil, titanium, cobalt, etcetera, because you should just get those from other countries.
In case you don’t understand why this is so absurd, he isn’t even playing by the rules of “muh Free Trade,” anymore. First of all, these natural resources are not abstract concepts. They exist in material reality. Even crops have certain areas where they grow far more plentiful in, and oil and minerals are obviously location-specific. The reason that the world trades with Russia for x good, is because it is financially feasible to trade with them for x good, you idiot. Apparently this retard thinks that we should just… magic into existence these natural resources elsewhere, and start buying these goods at noncompetitive prices.
This is so fucking dumb that it almost hurts my brain to type out. Let’s pretend that all the world has titanium, but Russia’s titanium is really cheap to mine. Supposedly the entire point of “muh free trade,” is that you’re exploiting the decreased cost of certain materials produced by other countries. So if you’re now buying the inefficiently produced, and therefore really expensive titanium, from a “diversity of sources,” then what was the point? Oh right, there wasn’t one. And all of that assumes that natural resources are just perfectly distributed throughout the world.
Like, even in the theoretical non-reality that this guy operates in, what he’s saying still makes no sense at all.
The challenges presented by China or Russia aren’t solved by closing our economies and thinking everything will be good for us while the rest of the world collapses. Our nation would fall with the rest. The solution to the challenge presented by the polarization of the world is to develop even more trade and cooperation agreements with the world. Thankfully, technology and human action are dissolving what once seemed like impenetrable borders.
I can’t get over how this faggot keeps pretending that his “true by definition,” arguments for free trade are actually entirely empirically testable. Let me give you an example to explain. Imagine there was a single country on the earth, which we’ll call Country A. Could that country be an autarky? Obviously yes.
But imagine we still have that country, except there’s this other country that controls a 1 km^2 area in the middle of nowhere, called Country B. It’s just swamp, with no minerals, oil, you name it. Would Country A need to trade with Country B?
Like, obviously not, right? The mere existence of other countries does not mean you must trade with those countries or your entire nation will explode. If we increased the size of Country B to 100x larger, Country A would still not need to trade one single cent worth of goods to them. If we increased it another 100x, to 10,000 km^2, the same thing would be true. The idea that countries cannot be self-sufficient is a statement that has no relationship to reality.
It’s even dumber than that, because Russia and China are two enormous producers of raw materials. It actually does make economic sense to trade with them, so of course these bloviating dipshits talk about how we can sanction them, and just make up not having the specific resources that they produce by trade with Botswana.
The world’s supply problems can’t be solved by adding massive overcapacity in every country.
Just so you know, he literally demanded “massive overcapacity in every country,” when bloviating about “diversifying trade partners.” It’s possible he’s too stupid to understand what he said, but the only way you can “diversify trade partners,” is if you have a bunch of other countries all over-producing oil, titanium, cobalt, nickel, etcetera, so they can step in for Russia when our Parasite Class feels like sanctioning them on a whim.
That leads to a collapse in productivity and, much worse, real wages. There are plenty of great nations that can cooperate with us to deliver prosperity to everyone. Trade is the blood of the economy. Autarchy only leads to zombification and, ultimately, decay.
I’ll leave you with this one last point. If you have to dig a ditch with your bare hands, you’re not going to be very productive. If someone gives you a shovel, maybe you can be 10x more productive, even ignoring the positive health aspects. Let’s say you have an hourly wage of $20. But then let’s say that some capitalist imports some third worlders into your neighbourhood, and makes them dig ditches with their bare hands. That’s not going to be very efficient, right?
According to the real definition of efficiency, yes. But according to Economist Efficiency, we need to know how much the Third Worlders are getting paid.
You see, if those Third Worlders, who are 1/10th as productive, having to dig with their bare hands, get paid 1/10th as much, it’s exactly as productive and they’re just as efficient. And if they get paid 1/20th as much, they’re twice as efficient.
You don’t understand because you aren’t full of shit. Immigrants destroy wages, and increase housing prices. Economists exist so they reframe this as “increasing labour market efficiency,” and “adding value to the housing market.” Ironically, we can understand economists perfectly well by understanding incentives. You don’t hire these people, the government/multinational conglomerates do, and they exist to trick you on their behalf.