Growth Slows In Brazil as Protectionism Stirs
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  • Kris

    “If a flame among the Cedars fall, what avails the lichen on the wall?”

  • Luke Lea

    I agree with everything WRM says here except the implication that tariffs on imports from China are a bad idea for Brazilian working people. Why should Brazilians “compete” with Chinese factory workers making fifty cents an hour? The Brazilian elites would prefer it that way, of course, just like the elites here in the U.S. and for the very same reasons: lower wages spell higher incomes and standards of living for them.

    What do the social classes owe each other? Nothing if you are a free-trade globalist. A lot if you’re not. Does Prof. Mead have children and grandchildren? I sometimes wonder.

  • Toni

    The Resource Curse at work again. Oil prices are cyclical. If they fall, Brazil will have to try to drill even faster.

    Meanwhile, protectionism probably means drillers will have to buy Brazilian oil tools and services. This is a formula for expensive inefficiency.

  • Toni

    Luke, here’s how protectionism fails.

    In 1982, I had to pay thousands more for a Toyota Corolla than for a similar Big Three model because the US effectively barred Japanese makers from importing enough vehicles to meet demand. The idea was to give Detroit time to bring its products up to the same quality.

    Over time, Toyota, Honda, etc. built US plants and continued to turn out exceptional vehicles. They went upscale with Lexus, Acura, etc. Nearly three decades and three bankruptcies (Chrysler twice) later, Detroit still turns out mostly lower-quality autos that sell for thousands less.

    All the 1980s Japanese import quotas did was to allow UAW members to keep sucking premium wages and benefits from their employers, who had to pass the cost along to car buyers. Meanwhile, the UAW now has maybe 100,000 more members than in 1982.

    Protectionism means lower quality for a higher price.

  • Kris

    Luke: “What do the social classes owe each other?”

    Absolutely nothing. That’s why the rich factory owners should advocate tariffs on imports, protecting their profits at the expense of a higher cost of living for the lower classes.

    What’s that? The issue is much more complicated? You don’t say!

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