Saturday, July 15, 2006

World Wide Free Trade Instead of War

World Wide Free Trade instead of War (This is my message # 18 on this blog site. Please also see my more than 20 messages on my second blog site:
July 15, 2006, by Michael Goodspaceguy Nelson

* Instead of putting so much money into the bureaucracies of the war machines, lets take some of that money and start putting it into promoting world-wide free trade and giving some of the money back to the workers so that they can increase their consumption of goods, service, and leisure. It would be so much better for the living standard on Spaceship Earth if we concentrated on buying and selling to each other instead of concentrating on how to defend against being killed by each other. Let's concentrate on getting employment for everyone on our Spaceship Earth.

* It is stupid to bomb customer and suppliers. It is stupid to make enemies. It is much better to make friends and build the purchasing power and production of the people of Spaceship Earth. Competitive, free world trade is one of the better paths to world peace.

* All humans are related, but many don't know this yet.

* As we decrease the amount of money going into the war machines, we can increase the money going to the police and the courts and the local democracies so that people all over Spaceship Earth can be safer in their lives and their possessions.

* We should promote local democracies instead of local war lords.

* If we promote world-wide free trade, then people all over our Spaceship Earth can concentrate on producing those things for the world market in which they have a comparative advantage. The world prices will come down, and the living standard of the workers will go up as less money is spent on destruction.

In general I agree with you. But I don't feel that your platform as stated is terribly solid (as I said in another post I suspect this is because you are addressing a lot of issues with a bulletpoint each: treating them in depth is tricky, so you have to just use platitudes.

You've restated your basic platform more than 20 times now. It would probably be better to now take each of your points and build on it, with specific examples, facts and figures to show how your solutions would help everyone involved.

Taking your points in turn:

1) Take money from warlords and give it to stable, trading economies.

Nice idea, but the reason that unstable economies are funded is in an effort to stabilise them, and make them into good trading partners.

How would you propose to stabilise a war-torn country, other than by ensuring that the side which you favour wins quickly as possible?

2) It's stupid to bomb customers.

Not if you're selling bombshelters, medical aid, etc.

3) It's stupid to bomb suppliers.

Not if you're buying... well, anything, really.

If bombing affects an economy, then you will either be able to buy from them for less or sell to them for more. Either way you win.

It's not an argument that works anyway: the military and decision makers are usually far removed from the economy. Even when they are connected, there is not necessarily any impetus to prevent war. As an example, a hypothetical US president with a lot of ties with the energy business might repeatedly attack the middle east in order to create large profits for his friends.

4) It's stupid to make enemies.

This is really an extension of 2 and 3, as well as being a truism. But people do it anyway. Why? Because the causes of war are more complex than mere stupidity.

So, we need specifics. How do you see free trade improving the lot of either side in any war listed on:
(pick a specific war, and describe how free trade would cause it to go away, or never have started).

5) All humans are related.

This is a central tenet of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. They continue to fight.

Most assault, abuse and homicide is performed by close relatives.

The only people who believe that humans evolved several times seem to be Nazi apologists, and they're not a big force for war in the world right now. So this argument seems a bit pointless and crystal-wavey.

6) Spend less on war, more on the good stuff.

The US went from a monetary surplus to a deficit to fund the recent wars. It's really easy to get money out of Congress for a war.

Getting money out of them to fund everyday stuff like police, schools, healthcare, etc is really damn hard, especially if you send it abroad as "foreign aid".

Realistically, it just ain't gonna happen: voting "yes" on that kind of budget would be political suicide.

However, in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the UK army made it a priority to restore infrastructure and provide health care to the population: sneaking "aid work" in, in the name of waging war. This wins hearts and minds in a way that all the pro-western propaganda in the world cannot.

So, "stealth aid" is possible.

7) Promote democracies, not warlords.

In Afghanstan, there are three basic parties: Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, Kurds. All have warriors, so an elected ruler from any of the three will be a "warlord".

Given a choice between one of three possible democratically-elected warlords, which would you choose?

8) Free trade will solve war.

This one I think I'll address under the post where you speak of your economic qualifications.
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