Friday, July 2, 2010

Never get involved in a trade war in Asia and never go in against a CEO when money is on the line

So this guy thinks that we should tax offshore labor.  Because "we" aren't getting the experience that we need to... build stuff or something.  Trade war brinkmanship?  No problem, "we" can "treat it like other wars - fight to win."

Let's just say this about that:
  • The wars on Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq, Afganistan, Drugs and Terror are more than sufficient evidence that "we" don't fight to win.  We start fights because we think we can do things that we can't.  Then we keep fighting because we're too wussy to admit that we were wrong.
  • War is zero sum.  Trade is not.  Trading trade for war, even for a "trade" war and not a "war" war,  is a bad trade. 
  • "We" is the United States, which means that the rest of the argument only makes sense if one buys in to the social fiction of the US actually being a thing.  If "we" were "mankind," the argument is silly, isn't it?  "We need to stop sending jobs to ourselves, because we're losing the experience that we'll need to compete with ourselves in order to avoid locking ourselves out of our future successes."  It's like isometric exercise or something.
  • You tax something because you want less of it.  How is it not incredibly immoral to want less offshore labor?  Does offshore-ness make someone undeserving of a job?  When there's a drought, "we" in the US don't go hungry much less starve.  Many in this world can't say that, and until they can, "they" deserve the labor before "we" do.  
"We" need to quit whining and start thinking about how cool it is that our economy is the greatest value creation engine ever to exist on the planet.  That's a pretty cool thing to have.  All we have to do is avoid fucking things up by wasting our engine's product on phony wars, paranoid taxes and other petty bullshit.  Then maybe we can use what we've made to make the world a better place for all its inhabitants.  Not just the ones lucky enough to have been born within some imaginary lines on a fucking map.

In other news, it's apparently 4th of July weekend.  I'm going to spend mine watching the Germans and the Argentinians play a game invented in England on a field in Africa.  I'll probably be watching on a device designed by Apple in Cupertino, with an Israeli CPU that was put into it by a worker in China.   If there's time, maybe I'll thank the French for helping us win that battle in Yorktown that one time and being right about that Iraq thing that other time.

Man, globalization has really made life terrible.


twifkak said...

What about human rights?

Me said...

What about them?

We trade with China and we don't trade with North Korea. Is the human experience better for the average North Korean or the average Chinese?