The Road To SAFTE

The Chinese Silk Road Initiative is an idea almost literally as old as civilization itself. There has always been a desire, nay, a need to transport goods and services safely and efficiently between two points of interest. And although I observe the pluck and tenacity of the Chinese, the oblique argument which keeps coming to my mind is “this is a communist system”. I’ve observed the communist throughout there nascent history, albeit almost as nascent as capitalism, and I’ve always had a very Mengerian view of the whole application of labor as a determinant of value, that is to say, it’s the maximum utility and not the amount of labor placed into a good which ultimately determines its value. Which is why I take heart that the Chinese are thinking on such large proportions, however I question the capacity of their system to deliver on the stated objective. With that said the idea of a silk road for the 21st century did get my mind thinking that perhaps the United States could do it better. It is with this in mind that I propose the following. Since we are living in the 21st century, as well as the digital age I conclude that the most cost-effective way to go about creating such a network of exchange of ideas, goods, and services is through the internet, another product of American ingenuity. The system I propose would be called the Standard American Free Trade Exchange, or SAFTE (pronounced SAFETY). SAFTE would be an all digital marketplace that would be government regulated where you can trade stocks, goods, or services. It would be done on a digital platform and a physical trading post which would be stationed on the East Coast of the United States. The platform would work by allowing merchants, consumers, and investors to quickly and cost effectively trade goods and services amongst countries, at the national, or merchant level. The platform would also provide a platform for investors to invest in blocks or stocks of goods, or services, as well as small to medium sized companies such as a vineyard in California, or a cheese maker in France. By streamlining the ability for countries which already have free trade associations with the United States to quickly and cost effectively trade goods between one another, the ability to break down trade barriers and actualize the sort of world that was envisioned when the ideas of free-trade and fair-trade came to the fore in our modern world. The cost of trading goods and services would be a fixed price and the goods and services would have to be inspected at the border for consistency and quality as they already are by most industrialized nations which have a free-trade association with the United States. The added cost of inspecting these goods and services would be deducted from the already set cost of trading on the platform via taxes. The additional tax revenues generated from the increase in trade between the two countries would more than make up for the cost of providing goods and services. I envision a trade between two entities on the platform costing $10.00 per trade or some other agreeable amount so as not to unnecessarily impede commerce. This I believe is the best way to proceed with any future plans for free-trade in a way that encourages the proliferation of free-trade ideas so that they may benefit the future and welfare of everybody living on Earth.


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