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China produces all but 3% of rare earths and recently decided to cut exports by 10%. What was the response of the West? I didn't see anything. The Chinese break all the rules, steal evertything, spend nothing on R&D if they can pinch it and keep their currency depressed. Add to that a few billion people just above the poverty line and you have the cheapest labour in the world. What's not to like if you are a pig in the globalisation trough?

you mean they do all the work for little money and you think the worlds problems are their fault? lol.

yeh, stop working so hard, under poor conditions, and earning low wages. you should work less hours, produce nothing and just borrow money to spend, like us.

then that would be a level playing field right?

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Its interesting that rare earth minerals are required for both of the major renewable energy power generation devices. When you think about it it is quite clever what the Chinese are doing. They are making solar panels at a small losses to ensure that manufacturers in the West cant survive. They are also keeping their resources and adding value to them in their own nation then selling them to the West.

Purely to satisfy my own curiosity, which rare earth materials required for PV cells are they in control of? I Think I've ruled out everything needed for CIGS based cells.. what am I missing?

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No problem if they intend to sell the products in China. But if they wish to sell the products in the US they are dipping into the well of local US demand without contributing to it, so should face import tariffs to level the field.

There is only so much demand to go around, based on wages paid out locally- so why should that company get a free ride in terms of tapping this demand if they pay no wages locally to sustain it?

But you could use the same argument for any two countries, not just US and China. What you are in effect advocating is for import tariffs across the world. And that's fine by me. But the US did kick up a massive fuss when the EU tried to slap tariffs on bananas produced by US corporations. So a big dose of American double standards if you ask me.

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this whole arguement for protectionism is the worst thing you can do.

firstly to say these countries dont have to pay for social costs, and have low currency that gives them an advantage, is nonsense.

we control our own social costs. if our social costs are high thats OUR problem. if it puts us at a disadvatage as people are making out - scrap it then...

we also control our own money supply. if our exchange rate keeps our currency strong, print lots of money, this will devalue our currency and we can work for lower wages if you want. simple.

the level playing field you are asking for is pointless because we create our own playing field. its not influenced by anyone else.

if you think tariffs will solve anything, all tariffs do is increase costs to the consumer.

if your arguement is that by raising foreign prices, people will buy UK made goods - the whole reason why we buy goods from abroad is because they are cheaper.

why not ban the sale of all items that can be found cheaper than UK goods?

you miss the point that every worker is also a consumer, we work and gain employment so that we can PAY FOR THINGS. whats the point having more jobs if the cost of all goods goes up by 50%, is this good for the country and the economy?

every action has a reaction.

Edited by mfp123

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Tellurium, China currently has the only tellurium mine in the world. Yes it is also a by product of copper refining and hence avilable outside of China. But demand is increasing and unless panel manufacturer can increase the supply of tellurum they will quite simply stop making them.

Thanks.. I learned something :)

I don't think it's of huge consequence yet as the CIGS / CdTe race seems quite closely run.. however if CdTe becomes a clear winner it could, as you say swing some advantage to anyone controlling the Tellurium supply. That said, CIGS could emerge champion anyway as there seems to be some debate about the future availability of Tellurium whether it is artificially controlled or not.

If you are interested there is an article here weighing up both technologies.

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this whole arguement for protectionism is the worst thing you can do.

firstly to say these countries dont have to pay for social costs, and have low currency that gives them an advantage, is nonsense.

we control our own social costs. if our social costs are high thats OUR problem. if it puts us at a disadvatage as people are making out - scrap it then...

we also control our own money supply. if our exchange rate keeps our currency strong, print lots of money, this will devalue our currency and we can work for lower wages if you want. simple.

the level playing field you are asking for is pointless because we create our own playing field. its not influenced by anyone else.

if you think tariffs will solve anything, all tariffs do is increase costs to the consumer.

if your arguement is that by raising foreign prices, people will buy UK made goods - the whole reason why we buy goods from abroad is because they are cheaper.

why not ban the sale of all items that can be found cheaper than UK goods?

you miss the point that every worker is also a consumer, we work and gain employment so that we can PAY FOR THINGS. whats the point having more jobs if the cost of all goods goes up by 50%, is this good for the country and the economy?

every action has a reaction

The average annual salary in China in 2010 was about 1500 pounds- how do you propose we in the UK 'pay for things' if we wish to work for this amount of money?

Tariffs linked to local wages and conditions would render wage arbitrage pointless and encourage China to focus more on creating it's own internal market, rather than just feeding off the demand in the west, which is now unsustainable anyway since the credit fairy is no longer able to perform her magic.

And once that internal market was established we could then export into it, creating jobs here.

Your way everyone but the rich gets progressively poorer until lack of demand blows up the system.

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And once that internal market was established we could then export into it, creating jobs here.

Your way everyone but the rich gets progressively poorer until lack of demand blows up the system.

Except that China with its best intentions being its own (rich) people will slap up huge trade barriers that mean anything exported to China has to be made in China or put quotas up. Or they'll do what France does and offer full trade rights but limited port access. They'll let us export as much as we want, but through a tiny port like Chiwan in Hainan which only has a depth of 3.4 metres or Macau (the container port terminal is so tiny most people don't even realise Macau has a container port). Or they'll say Dailan port which is the furtherst port from Europe.

Exactly like the EU did on Chinese clothing and Japanese cars. Thailand for instance they make lots of motorbikes Parry complains about a 300% import tarrif if you bring anything not made in Thailand to thailand.

As said Chinese by and large have long memories and can be incredibly vengeful. Last week in Hong Kong there was a revenge gang attack. It was in revenge for something in 2002. Just so the revengee had more to lose when the attack came. You think the Chinese leader ship has forgotten the repeated humiliation of China of the unequal treaties the 7 nation task force etc etc? Not a chance.

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The average annual salary in China in 2010 was about 1500 pounds- how do you propose we in the UK 'pay for things' if we wish to work for this amount of money?

Tariffs linked to local wages and conditions would render wage arbitrage pointless and encourage China to focus more on creating it's own internal market, rather than just feeding off the demand in the west, which is now unsustainable anyway since the credit fairy is no longer able to perform her magic.

And once that internal market was established we could then export into it, creating jobs here.

Your way everyone but the rich gets progressively poorer until lack of demand blows up the system.

once china begins feeding its own market economy, they wont need to export cheap goods to us. be careful what you wish for because the cost of goods will go up, although thats essentially what you advocate anyway.

increased tariffs raises costs to you and me, this is the point youre missing.

you may save a few UK jobs, but if UK consumers are being forced to pay higher prices by buying UK made goods, youre telling everyone else in the UK to pay for it.

would you be happy to add 20% to your weekly shopping bill if it secures UK jobs? if so youre essentially paying to keep them in a job. how is that any different to taxing you and giving it to the unemployed?

to create new jobs you need to innovate. not look back to the past and keep old jobs.

also look at this way, if you ran a new business and employ uk based workers to make your goods, maybe your business could not survive. if you employed foregin workers to make them, you can make things cheap enough and thus your business makes profits and can grow, and that in turn creates jobs. theres more to a business than just assembling things.

thats just one part of a business chain, you also need sales, marketing, personnnel, distribution, operations, r&d, infrastructure, communications. the cost of producing something is one part of who gets employed in a business.

Edited by mfp123

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once china begins feeding its own market economy, they wont need to export cheap goods to us. be careful what you wish for because the cost of goods will go up, although thats essentially what you advocate anyway.

increased tariffs raises costs to you and me, this is the point youre missing.

you may save a few UK jobs, but if UK consumers are being forced to pay higher prices by buying UK made goods, youre telling everyone else in the UK to pay for it.

would you be happy to add 20% to your weekly shopping bill if it secures UK jobs? if so youre essentially paying to keep them in a job. how is that any different to taxing you and giving it to the unemployed?

to create new jobs you need to innovate. not look back to the past and keep old jobs.

also look at this way, if you ran a new business and employ uk based workers to make your goods, maybe your business could not survive. if you employed foregin workers to make them, you can make things cheap enough and thus your business makes profits and can grow, and that in turn creates jobs. theres more to a business than just assembling things.

thats just one part of a business chain, you also need sales, marketing, personnnel, distribution, operations, r&d, infrastructure, communications. the cost of producing something is one part of who gets employed in a business

So how does our economy survive on an average income of 1500 pounds a year? Where does the demand for goods and services come from?

The current globalisation racket is based on an unsustainable model wherein more and more of the fruits of increased productivity are distributed upwards- with the result being a tidal wave of capital roaming the world looking for yield that introduces yet more distortion and malinvestment

As to innovation- yes this can create jobs, but once again these jobs will be located where labour cost is cheapest- this thread is about exactly that- a hi tech US company relocating to China.

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we also control our own money supply. if our exchange rate keeps our currency strong, print lots of money, this will devalue our currency and we can work for lower wages if you want. simple.

the level playing field you are asking for is pointless because we create our own playing field. its not influenced by anyone else.

You devalue your currency by buying foreign currency with new money. Not much use if the currency in question is capital controlled or they too are busy hoovering up your currency.

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this whole arguement for protectionism is the worst thing you can do.

firstly to say these countries dont have to pay for social costs, and have low currency that gives them an advantage, is nonsense.

we control our own social costs. if our social costs are high thats OUR problem. if it puts us at a disadvatage as people are making out - scrap it then...

we also control our own money supply. if our exchange rate keeps our currency strong, print lots of money, this will devalue our currency and we can work for lower wages if you want. simple.

the level playing field you are asking for is pointless because we create our own playing field. its not influenced by anyone else.

if you think tariffs will solve anything, all tariffs do is increase costs to the consumer.

if your arguement is that by raising foreign prices, people will buy UK made goods - the whole reason why we buy goods from abroad is because they are cheaper.

why not ban the sale of all items that can be found cheaper than UK goods?

you miss the point that every worker is also a consumer, we work and gain employment so that we can PAY FOR THINGS. whats the point having more jobs if the cost of all goods goes up by 50%, is this good for the country and the economy?

every action has a reaction.

+1`

The protectionist argument should have been finished 150 years ago with the repeal of the corn laws. But it keeps getting dragged up again and again despite the unequivocal advantages of a free market system.

Using geography as a basis for restricting trade makes no sense at all, what difference does it make if the producer lives in Beijing or Basinstoke? Perhaps even Basinstoke is too far for some pro-protectionists as it destroys jobs in my local area of Kent. Where's the cut off point?

The bottom line: nobody deserves or has a right to a job, it's a privilege that can be taken away if you no longer provide a competitive service. Tariff seekers are just subsidy junkies that want to restrict consumer choice for their own ends.

Edited by Chef

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this whole arguement for protectionism is the worst thing you can do.

firstly to say these countries dont have to pay for social costs, and have low currency that gives them an advantage, is nonsense.

we control our own social costs. if our social costs are high thats OUR problem. if it puts us at a disadvatage as people are making out - scrap it then...

we also control our own money supply. if our exchange rate keeps our currency strong, print lots of money, this will devalue our currency and we can work for lower wages if you want. simple.

the level playing field you are asking for is pointless because we create our own playing field. its not influenced by anyone else.

if you think tariffs will solve anything, all tariffs do is increase costs to the consumer.

if your arguement is that by raising foreign prices, people will buy UK made goods - the whole reason why we buy goods from abroad is because they are cheaper.

why not ban the sale of all items that can be found cheaper than UK goods?

you miss the point that every worker is also a consumer, we work and gain employment so that we can PAY FOR THINGS. whats the point having more jobs if the cost of all goods goes up by 50%, is this good for the country and the economy?

every action has a reaction.

I am not sure that you will get much support here for you point of view. That said, you are 100% correct.

The imposition of high ancilliary costs onto the manufacturing process in the UK means that tarrifs etc will not result in import substitution. All that will happen is that the already beleagured British consumer will be pushed further into poverty.

Social and housing/premises costs are killing our ability to compete globally in the goods that we produce. We need to either reduce social and housing/ premises costs or massively improve the desirability of the goods that we produce.

The former might be possible in the short run. The latter is possible in the long run but we do not have a history of a healthy, long term industial policy. Time is not on our side.

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Brilliant capitalists like James Goldsmith understood the enormity of 2bn Asian workers becoming available to western employers utilising global wage arbitrage. He foresaw the immense social turmoil this would cause. Here is a part of an interview from 1994. The rest should be on youtube:

China, Japan and Germany do not practise free trade. They gain trade advantages against the US by being protectionist. How many US auto manufacturers were subsidised by the Japanese taxpayer?? The US tolerates this to pursue its mad imperial ambitions (with military bases in Japan and Germany and dozens of other countries who pursue similar mercantile policies). The US elites love this arrangement because it turns the US into a chronic debtor, creating ever increasing debts from which they profit through their connections to the banking industry. US presidents and trade negotiators have been paid off with bribes speech fees they collected once out of office on the lecture circuit.

5 million US manufacturing jobs got lost in the last decade. The service jobs are in FIRE or burger flipping, the former a Ponzi scheme that is collapsing while the latter is low skill. In a generation or so, the Asians will eat us for breakfast

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The bottom line: nobody deserves or has a right to a job, it's a privilege that can be taken away if you no longer provide a competitive service. Tariff seekers are just subsidy junkies that want to restrict consumer choice for their own ends.

'Consumers' without discretionary income have no choice at all.

The idea of a 'competitive' service implies a competition, which in turn implies a formalised structure in which this takes place. Now suppose this structure is poorly designed and weighted so that none of the participants can in the end succeed, since the inherent imbalances in the system lead to mutual destruction in the long run-

Thus, cheap Chinese labour destroys jobs, reduces wages and kills competing companies in the west, which in turn destroys the market for the cheap Chinese goods, because their customers no longer have the ability to buy them. Until recently this problem was solved by vendor financing, but that games over now as the limits of debt have been reached.

The problem is that we are so absorbed by the foreground tussle between capital and labour we overlook the background interdependence that is also required. The more success capital has in reducing the share of profits going to labour, the more it destroys the markets for its output.

Jobs are not a 'privilege', they are a component of the system- the wages they provide are required to allow that system to operate.

So the constant drive to automate or outsource to reduce wage costs is a poor long term strategy if you want economic growth.

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Multinational corporations have shot themselves in the foot big time in the name of maximising profits by systematically freezing out the pool of paying consumers that have made them wealthy in the first place, and by trying to shrink government services is just contracting the American, British Commonwealth, EU economies even more and formenting potentially tens of millions of enemies that will seek to violently topple the whole rotten edifice in the coming years/decades. Neo-Liberalism has arguably made Washington DC, London, and Brussels as politically stagnant as the more blatantly thuggish, equally complacent kleptocracy that got overthrown in Tunisia through the brute strength of hundreds of thousands of alienated, under employed young males that swarmed the regime in one go.

Edited by Big Orange

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Thus, cheap Chinese labour destroys jobs, reduces wages and kills competing companies in the west, which in turn destroys the market for the cheap Chinese goods, because their customers no longer have the ability to buy them. Until recently this problem was solved by vendor financing, but that games over now as the limits of debt have been reached.

At what point do we become satisfied that the competition has played by the rules though?

Take Tescos for example, they're effectively putting me out of job by providing my groceries at below cost price (from my perspective), would you conclude therefore that Tesco's should be forced to raise their prices to a level that allows me to compete?

Who would benefit from that? It would end in economic annihilation.

Jobs aren't ends in themselves remember, they're a means to an end. If we can achieve those ends more efficiently then given a free choice humans will naturally gravitate towards the less costly solution. This isn't bad for the macro -economy, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Edited by Chef

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Multinational corporations have shot themselves in the foot big time in the name of maximising profits by systematically freezing out the pool of paying consumers that have made them wealthy in the first place.

Yup, they've forgotten Henry Ford's lesson about paying people enough so they are able to afford to buy their products.

Automation is going to be the other killer of jobs though (except of course some jobs can't be).

Andy

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I agree, we should be doing this NOW. And we did it until fairly recently. I can remember the EEC imposing tariffs in the 80's to the stop the dumping of Japanese marine engines in Europe which were destroying the indigenous industries.

Toyota and Nissan had to set up here, in order to access the European market, as did a number of Jap TV makers.

Now politicians don't seem to care

Politicians are in bed with big business. They no longer count for anything of note concerning global trade and economics. Until we have a new class of politician who has "grown a pair" and stands up for the little guy again, then this will continue.

Can't say I'm optimistic that this will happen anytime soon.......

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So nothing manufactured outside Europe then?

Japan/Korea/China/Taiwan/India/Africa manufacture stuff with barely any social costs.

When you think their lives are bad remember this, your typical migrant worker in China only puts 2-5 years working in these factories. In 5 years they usually have enough saved to build their own homes AND open businesses of their own. Compare our own wage slaves on NMW what have they got after 5 years?

Interesting. I had no idea.

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Politicians are in bed with big business. They no longer count for anything of note concerning global trade and economics. Until we have a new class of politician who has "grown a pair" and stands up for the little guy again, then this will continue.

Can't say I'm optimistic that this will happen anytime soon.......

Didn't the EU impose tarriffs on imported Chinese shoes not long ago? Within the past 5 years or so.

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Do you think that the UK consumer could stand the immediate inflation that this would cause? Our cost base is so out of line (primarily because of shelter and business premises costs) that import tarrifs are not going to be enough to encourage import substitution unless they are massive (a multiple rather than a fraction of 100%).

Globalisation only works because consumers in previously wealthy nations are extremely price sensitive and couldn't care less about the standard of living or quality of life enjoyed by those who make the things that they consume.

This is not a policy problem. It is a human nature / greed problem.

I don't minimise the consequences. Stuff would be a lot more expensive, but at least a few more would have the employment and possibility of buying it.

Fair enough, I've bought from Primark. It's not really that I don't care, it's more that everyone's at it and what difference can I make.

I would rather get a good deal than pay a fortune elsewhere for some USA badged hot product that was also stitched together by near slaves.

Edited by Laughing Gnome

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this whole arguement for protectionism is the worst thing you can do.

firstly to say these countries dont have to pay for social costs, and have low currency that gives them an advantage, is nonsense.

we control our own social costs. if our social costs are high thats OUR problem. if it puts us at a disadvatage as people are making out - scrap it then...

we also control our own money supply. if our exchange rate keeps our currency strong, print lots of money, this will devalue our currency and we can work for lower wages if you want. simple.

the level playing field you are asking for is pointless because we create our own playing field. its not influenced by anyone else.

if you think tariffs will solve anything, all tariffs do is increase costs to the consumer.

if your arguement is that by raising foreign prices, people will buy UK made goods - the whole reason why we buy goods from abroad is because they are cheaper.

why not ban the sale of all items that can be found cheaper than UK goods?

you miss the point that every worker is also a consumer, we work and gain employment so that we can PAY FOR THINGS. whats the point having more jobs if the cost of all goods goes up by 50%, is this good for the country and the economy?

every action has a reaction.

Good boy, a pat on the head, go to the top of the class. We'll make you a Prefect, or a journalist or a professor of economics.

But seriously. The work will go to the cheapest labour. You know that. Every consumer MUST be a wage earner, if not actually a producer.

The point of work is not to pay for stuff as such, but to provide for our needs. The few productive workers are providing the needs of

the many unproductive employees.

With technological progress we can provide for our needs with a minimal effort. A whole population doing PRODUCTIVE work for three days a week could grow plenty of food and stack lots of bricks on top of one another. Essentials could be cheap, non-essentials would probably be more expensive.

The only other logical conclusion is that we all eat less to compete with the lowest waged workers of the day, to be finaly beaten by robots that will produce incredibly cheap stuf that almost no-one will be able to buy.

Edited by Laughing Gnome

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  • 293 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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