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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/i-think-modern-society-demands-our-present-system-27432084.aspx

Subject:  Re: OT: Man in the White Suit Date:  2/11/2009  4:26 PM
Author:  Lokicious Number:  25940 of 35253

I think modern society demands our present system over the old ideas. But competition is stiff. That does make it harder to maintain a high standard of living. Still, developing countries are major markets for future growth--if only we made something they wanted.

Go back to the arguments from the '90s about fair trade versus free trade, as well as the claims made that growth in the developed world that took American jobs would mean they would be buying all kinds of American stuff (new and better jobs, here).

The fair traders argued that fair trade means competition on a level playing field. We aren't talking about the French sheep farmers keeping out Welsh lamb, when both countries had similar health and safety regulations, etc. The Welsh farmers were simply more productive.

That's very different from asking American workers to compete with people who get paid pennies on the dollar and work with no safety or pollution rules. What the fair traders were demanding was higher standards in other countries. The free traders said all that would come in side agreements that never materialized. They also assured us with the usual "new and better jobs" stuff, which never happened.
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