Connect with us

Business

Fair Trade (is there such a thing?)

Published

on

960x540AP_Helsinki2018

Trade...  it’s the whole reason we are here.  Were it not for powerful European nations seeking a shorter trade route to India, the Americas might not have ever been discovered and we’d all still be living in a “flat” world.  Trade began immediately, the net flow being more positive towards Europe than to the native peoples of the Americas.  Gold, beaver hides, tobacco, anything of value, could be gotten in trade for metal tools, tradecloth, mirrors and trinkets.  We knew a good deal when we saw one, but clearly this was the land of really great deals.  So it was that on May 24, 1626 Dutch colonists purchased the island of Manhattan from Native Americans, by all accounts Canarsee Indians, in exchange for beads worth sixty guilders or twenty four US dollars. So the plot of land on which Trump Tower now sits was acquired for mere pennies.  Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!  The real dealmakers may all be dead, but their philosophy lives on.  Value is subjective, but the willingness to take advantage of someone is universal and lives on in the dark side of the human spirit.  Are we being led astray by that spirit?

From an early age all cultures expose their children to trade. Whether it’s in the open air markets of underdeveloped nations or by way of sports-related, bubble-gum trading cards here in the US, children learn to practice trade.  I’ll give you a Ted Williams and a Stan Musial for that Mickey Mantle.  Eventually as teens we follow sports news, watching as real life sports figures are traded one team to another. It’s just business.  It’s all business, right?

So as we reach adulthood, we move on to more meaningful endeavors— futures, commodities, stocks and bonds, currencies, or on the national level, spies for prisoners, or arms for hostages.  It’s an acquired skill held in high regard.  It takes a special person to make that extraordinary deal.  If someone could sell us the Brooklyn Bridge, well that would be the ultimate dealmaker. But consider this. The very best dealmaker would sell us something that we would never own—something that we could just keep paying for, something such as a concept, something completely ephemeral. Ultimately that’s where it falls when you run out of things of real value to sell.  Sell an idea.  In and of itself an idea has no intrinsic value.  It’s value lies in the mind of the beholder and the ability of the dealmaker to assign a value by stimulating desire.  Well yes, that is what we bought into with Trump, a dream, an imagined alternate reality.


Be informed and inspired.  Sign up and become a collaborator in creation of sustainable systems of service.

 Sign up today!


But let’s get back to trade for a moment.  Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE, made some very enlightening remarks regarding trade in a recent interview.  He cautioned us to look at trade through the lens of globalization and not exclusively through import statistics, as the Walmart model provides.  As an example, GE exports 70% of its output while it imports only 30% from it’s factories on foreign soil.  The net effect of this current trade balance is to create more American manufacturing jobs to support the export needs of overseas orders.  Furthermore, GE has a policy of building plants close to and within the market they service.  As a result, economies are achieved regarding shipping and its environmental impact.  The simple broad stroke solution to the perceived trade imbalance is some form of tariff and that may well create a trade imbalance that would reduce our exports and eliminate jobs.  It’s a delicate chaotic system, where each input variable affects the other and resonates back and forth in unpredictable ways.  For more information on chaotic systems read James Gliecke’s book “Chaos.”  Its a fascinating read. The best kind of trading involves the best kind of dealmaking, “win/win.”  It would be wise to keep that in mind.

But in politics it’s just “WIN.”  And if Trump taught us anything in the last campaign it’s just that.  The problem with our current government is that it’s staffed with one great big pissing match of traders.  It begins with the campaign and corporate lobbyists, trading financial support for legislative action. Once in Office, it’s “ I’ll vote your way on this bill if you give me what I want on my pork barrel project.”  Or how about this one?  “I’ll remove hindering sanctions on your country in return for your initiating dirty tricks via cyber-hacking aimed at my election opponent.”  Pretty soon it’s “I’ll trade you a vote on healthcare reform for an ammendment defunding planned parenthood” and it just keeps rolling on. It’s all about the deal. Gim’me what I want and if I can shift the cost to someone else, well so much the better. So just who might that be?  The answer is really so simple and so obvious.  It’s not the fat cats.  They’re the beneficiaries.  It’s not the unemployed and working poor.  There’s just no money there. That only leaves the middle class.  Guess what, that means you.

The Daily Do It

 

 

The News without the Noise

The Great Transition4 days ago

Understanding the Great Transition

The Great Transition4 days ago

Information, Communications, Media

The Great Transition4 days ago

Consumption, Materials and Resources

The Great Transition4 days ago

Food and Agriculture

The Great Transition4 days ago

Transforming Health

The Great Transition4 days ago

Education for a New World

Featured4 days ago

The Transformation of Energy and Transportation Systems

The Great Transition2 weeks ago

Going forward: A realistic action plan

Rethink X4 weeks ago

Understanding where we’re at and how to get to where we are going

Video: Rethink4 weeks ago

0:00 / 20:59 Rethinking Energy 2020-2030: 100% Solar, Wind, and Batteries is Just the Beginning

Policy4 weeks ago

NO TO NUKES: Non-proliferation treaty conference ends in failure, ban treaty shows the way forward

Innovation without borders1 month ago

Innovation without Borders

Innovation without borders1 month ago

Information without Borders

Innovation without borders1 month ago

Affordable and Renewable Clean Energy

Innovation without borders1 month ago

Resources and Materials

Innovation without borders1 month ago

Improved Food Systems

Build for Change1 month ago

Why Endless Consumption of Our Finite Planet Will Take Us to Our Cliff of Doom and How We Can Prevent It

Featured1 month ago

Indigenous rice out-performs commercial varieties in nutrition value and tolerance to drought, flood, extreme weather

FOOD + AG.1 month ago

Reviving Jordan’s community, resilience and food sovereignty through urban wheat cultivation

FOOD + AG.1 month ago

An organic farming revolution in Thailand

Mobilized TV1 month ago

Heart Attacks Are Not Worth Dying For

Mobilized TV1 month ago

Rethink: Humanity’s Next Operating System

Mobilized TV1 month ago

Find out how your community could take on big business to serve the health of all.

Food and Land1 month ago

Understanding the Roots of the Food Crises and Preventing Future Crises: Resilience and a Deep Dive

Editorials2 months ago

Another Conference is not going to save us:

A web of Life for ALL Life2 months ago

Truths or Consequences

Build for Change2 months ago

The launch of “Rights of the Atlantic Ocean” campaign in Newfoundland

Build for Change2 months ago

What’s really going on in the Brazilian Rainforests?

Editorials2 months ago

To Save the Planet, Forget About the Globe (And Act Locally)

Weekly Exchanges2 months ago

A global information commons

Build for Change2 months ago

We are One

Build for Change2 months ago

The Power of us

Build for Change2 months ago

When Stars Collide

Build for Change2 months ago

Heal the World

People Planet Purpose2 months ago

A NEW STORY FOR A NEW WORLD

Rethink X4 weeks ago

Understanding where we’re at and how to get to where we are going

Video: Rethink4 weeks ago

0:00 / 20:59 Rethinking Energy 2020-2030: 100% Solar, Wind, and Batteries is Just the Beginning

Rethink X4 months ago

Out of Chaos Comes Creation: Understanding Transformation of Civilizations

Rethink X4 months ago

Understanding the Repeating Patterns of History: Growth / Collapse / Transformation

Mobilized News Network7 months ago

Clarity Above all Else

Paradigm Change7 months ago

Nuremberg Prosecutor at 102: Make Law, Not War.

INTERVIEWS8 months ago

GAIA TALKS: The Earth Speaks: Mohamed Ismail from Egyptians Abroad For Democracy Worldwide

Paradigm Change8 months ago

An Empowered World: People, we are Ready!

Paradigm Change8 months ago

Conscious capitalism and Raising the Bar of Human Possibility

Paradigm Change8 months ago

Open Collaboration on an Epic Scale: The Future is Cooperatively Decentralized

Paradigm Change8 months ago

Transforming Energy and Transportation

Paradigm Change8 months ago

Transforming agriculture and food systems for optimal planetary and personal health

Arts9 months ago

How The Pentagon and CIA Have Shaped Thousands of Hollywood Movies into Super Effective Propaganda

A web of Life for ALL Life10 months ago

We are One

Mobilized TV10 months ago

How we can eradicate heart Disease

Mobilized TV10 months ago

Howard Bloom: Imagination Takes You Everywhere

Featured10 months ago

From Punk to Planet: Slam Dunk the Junk with Dave Street

Mobilized TV11 months ago

A Moral Responsibility: Jean Su, Ctr. for Biological Diversity

Mobilized TV11 months ago

On Free Speech TV: Rethinking Humanity with James Arbib of RethinkX

Mobilized TV11 months ago

Sustainable Architecture, Design and Building for a Sustainable Planet

Mobilized TV11 months ago

A better understanding of lawn care for Climate Care featuring Dr. Rob Moir of the Ocean River Institute

Mobilized TV11 months ago

Stories from the Reservation: Davidica Little Spotted Horse

Translate »