Domestic Production vs International Wealth Creation

post by 100YearPants · 2024-02-08T04:25:03.334Z · LW · GW · 0 comments


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First post here but have been in and around the scene for some time. The first rationalist meetup I went to was in 2019 in SF. Glad to be here. I wanted to make my first post something short and sweet that I've been thinking about for some time and would love input from the group.


Consumer goods produced in Asia have endowed us with cheap and wide ranging products. This is good because there is more optionality for consumers and there's greater wealth creation via trade. The tradeoff though is that 1) the goods are of worse quality ie their lifetimes are shorter, 2) the wealth is captured by a foreign body instead of domestic workers, and 3) harder to measure facets such as cultural attributes baked into products are lost. 

The question I'd pose to everyone here: is it better to have cheap and varied goods with the aforementioned tradeoffs or is it better to have a more narrow range of goods that are domestically produced? 

Curious to hear any and all thoughts.


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