2017/01/28 Because the theme of this thread is the topic of economics, based upon the work of Adam Smith, it is appropriate to cite more current thinking.
The Columbus Dispatch published an editorial on the subject of free trade:http://www.dispatch.com/opinion/2017012 ... ter-cheese
The editorial lays out the principles and benefits of free trade, and as I read the article I could associate many of the ideas with Smith's work.
The topic was presented for the Ohio audience served by the Dispatch.
However, just as in Smith's time, the editorial concedes the downside of unbridled capitalism and its associated free trade.
Begin Quotation from editorial:
At worst, it could put Ohio cheese makers out of business, depriving dairy workers of their jobs, harming their families and local economies.
Here, in a nutshell, is a statement of the deficiency that has existed throughout human history, certainly in Smith's time, and most assuredly in ours.
The capitalist system, in its brutal competition, certainly has many benefits for the global population in which it operates. However, the losers in the competition have traditionally left to fend for themselves, as companies disintegrate. Over the years, some minor attempts have been made to sustain the losers until they can find work or some legal means of providing for their families, but I do not consider the remedies I know about in the United States (in particular) to be optimum for significant populations.
A model of economic activity that exists in the United States in 2017 that might be worth study is the system of farm teams developed by major league baseball.
Major league baseball is a competitive activity on every level, and thus seems to me to be a decent example of the capitalist system at work. Employees compete within each team for the positions that are available. Meanwhile, many major league teams have formed associations with smaller regional teams where employees can develop their skills under less pressure than exists at the major league level.
I am trying to imagine how the United States might organize "farm teams" of displaced workers to perform tasks for which they are qualified, while simultaneously attempting to improve their skills to better compete for new work opportunities that are evolving along with advancing technology and changing tastes and preferences of consumers.
The present system that I am seeing consists of displaced workers going into a temporary out-of-work support system, and eventually timing out of that, so that they are unemployed or have positions that barely sustain life, and which have very little of the features that create a productive and rewarding life.
The challenge facing anyone who would like to hire poorly qualified workers is how to create products and services in competition with major league competitors on the world stage.
Farm teams work in the baseball field of activity because there are local audiences who are willing to pay lesser amounts to attend games, and employees are willing to accept correspondingly lower remuneration. However, from my observation, the quality of play is quite high, and again from observation, it seems to me that both employees and customers find the time they spend together satisfying.
May every member of The Knowledge forum grow financially, intellectually, socially and beyond.