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The self-published ramblings of Ian Fletcher don't belong in Wikipedia articles[edit]

So, having removed Ian Fletcher's[1] self-published works from 'Free trade debate'[2] and 'Comparative advantage' last year, we now have a new account (created today) that has added Fletcher's unscientific fringe ramblings self-published on a Huffington Post blog. Please remove this text[3]. The account that added the text falsely claimed that Fletcher is a PhD in econ (no evidence for that) and then claimed that Fletcher's lobbying work makes him an authority[4]. This guy is deeply ignorant about economics, has no credentials and has published no peer-reviewed publications. The guy is no authority on economics and should never be cited. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 16:12, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

I agree and have removed the new content added by new user Nebere (who has edited this page only), as S‎nooganssnoogans has Nebere, welcome to Wikipedia - when an editor objects to your content on policy-based grounds, and removes it, the usual custom around here is to go to the article talk page (this page) to discuss, and to re-insert the text if you get consensus (but not otherwise).
My objections to this material are pretty unsurprising:
  1. We have many good sources, like peer-reviewed economics journals and books published by academic presses or respected publishing houses. We have no need to rely on random HuffPo "contributor blog" posts.
  2. Such "contributor blog" posts are primary sources and should be used with caution. It should be noted that there's little indication that Huffington Post exercises much editorial control over what its opinion contributors blog about.
  3. There is no indication that Fletcher is a recognized authority on economics generally or trade in particular. He's not an academic economist. Nor is it clear whether he had a Ph.D.
  4. I have serious undue weight concerns in light of #1-#3.
  5. Even if this usable, it would have to be directly attributed to Fletcher in text. A vague attribution to "Advocates of protectionism" is, I believe, problematic here because Fletcher's views may be idiosyncratic even as to other protectionists.
So we should exclude this. --Neutralitytalk 22:50, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

Extremely iffy text keeps getting edit-warred into the article[edit]

I explain my reasons in the edit summaries in more depth but in short: (i) one direct quote fails verification, (ii) Chang and Reinert are cited as making a particular claim but this claim isn't supported by any sources - the editor cites an article in a rubbish journal which neither mentions Chang nor Reinert and the editor previously cited an article by Chang which didn't make the claim. The editor has so far made extremely dubious edits and I think we really need better verification of the accuracy of the content that he/she adds. This is literally one of the core topics in economics, so it shouldn't be hard to find multiple reliable sources. We shouldn't be satisfied with the recent edits. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 11:23, 2 June 2017 (UTC)

Misleading text on IGM survey[edit]

One user has repeatedly changed the text "there is a broad consensus among economists" into "There is a broad consensus among economists of IGM Forum, a research center at the University of Chicago". This misleads readers into thinking there is a consensus among economists of a particular think tank, which also sounds bizarre. The economists don't work at IGM Forum, they are surveyed by the IGM Forum. The IGM Forum surveys are commonly described as fair depictions of where economists stand on issues, see for instance this study in one of the top political science journals[5]. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 11:58, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

I agree and have changed it back. Rhizz9, please don't make the same edit again without consensus here. The sources clearly and directly indicate that this is a field-wide consensus; it's demonstrated by the IGM Forum results (which reflect consensus), but it's not limited to the IGM Forum. And as Snoog. writes, "economists of IGM Forum" doesn't make any sense. Neutralitytalk 13:58, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Adding on definition[edit]

I would like to add the following text in the definition

They (protectionists) argue that a country don't thrive through economic specialization and free importation of goods at low price, but rather through interventionist and protectionist economic policies aimed at the development, diversification and preservation of the industry.They support like Bairoch that "it 's economic growth that leads to the development of foreign trade and not the reverse" Phenomena affecting the domestic production as a trade deficit or the dutch disease are considered destructive for a country's development. So they don't consider that free-trade is mutually beneficial to partners, and implies enrichment for both but rather as a zero-sum game: countries with trade deficit (especially in industrial sector) lose in wealth, and those with surpluse are winners.

(Nebere (talk) 20:30, 23 June 2017 (UTC)Nebere)

A random mish-mash of politicians, primary sources and heterodox economists published in iffy outlets =/= lede-worthy[edit]

It's very simple: there is abundant coverage of trade and protectionism in economics. There's an abundance of RS that can be cited. There is zero reason why we should be content with citing a mish-mash of politicians in primary sources and the thoughts of fringe economists in crap journals and working papers in the lede. A second problem is that the bulk of the lede is now devoted to the fringe view that protectionism is good whereas there is a broad consensus in economics that it isn't. A third problem is that this borders on original research: there's extensive sourcing to primary sources, and not to lit reviews, textbooks or assessments by economists in high-quality publications. Again, this is not some obscure topic. It should not be difficult to demonstrate notability and find good sources. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 16:22, 24 June 2017 (UTC)

I support a removal of the poorly sourced heterodox material from the lead. LK (talk) 15:51, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

Adding on definition[edit]

"There's an abundance of RS that can be cited" /Very well, so don't hesitate to quote them.

"the thoughts of fringe economists" /Hamilton, List, Paul Bairoch, Ha-Joon Chang, Erik Reinert, Reinhard Schumacher( an economist of Department of Economic and Social Sciences, Universität Potsdam, Germany) are not fringe economists.

"crap journals" /This is your personal opinion, those are journals dedicated to economic publications ,so totally legitimate

"A second problem is that the bulk of the lede is now devoted to the fringe view that protectionism is good whereas there is a broad consensus in economics that it isn't" /The aim is not to be for or against protectionism but just to present the arguments and point of view of the protectionists. This shows that you are clearly not objective. If you want to be partisan, create your own site.

Nebere (talk) 20:22, 24 June 2017 (UTC)nebere

(I) I'm doing my best adding actual reliable sources to this decrepit article. I advise you to the same, and stop what you're currently doing. (II) Friedrich List and Alexander Hamilton are figures from the 18th and 19th century, their dated and uninformed views on trade are not notable enough for the lede of this article. Ha-Joon Chang, Erik Reinert and Reinhard Schumacher are fringe economists, and the fact that none of the sources attributed to them are from reputable journals in economics substantiates that. (III) Please tell me what the impact factor of "World Economic Review" is, it's the only academic journal article that you added. The rest of the sources are the "FPIF Special Report", "Le Monde diplomatique" and a working paper. (IV) No, we don't just randomly present arguments and POVs in ledes. On Wikipedia, we determine what's notable for inclusion on the basis of coverage in reliable sources, and on academic topics, we typically look for publications in high-quality journals and academic presses. We look to [[WP:DUE] and beware of WP:FRINGE. It's unacceptable to devote three-quarters of the lede on one of the most covered topics in economics to (a) proponents of a fringe theory, and (b) supported by garbage sources. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 21:23, 24 June 2017 (UTC)

"In 2013 Prospect magazine ranked Ha-Joon Chang as one of the top 20 World Thinkers" "Gunnar Myrdal Prize 2003, Wassily Leontief Prize"

"In 2008, Reinert received the annual Gunnar Myrdal Prize "

These are reliable sources, academic presses, so totally legitimate

It is not a text devoted to the debate between free-trade or protectionism/ It is a text devoted to protectionism; The minimum is to explain what it is, what are the arguments and points of view. Otherwise, it is useless to present this topic and prohibit it.

Nebere (talk) 11:45, 25 June 2017 (UTC)nebere

(I) The Gunnar Myrdal Prize is given by an association of heterodox economists. Heterodox economists are fringe in economics - good job proving my point. (II) Working papers, magazine articles and articles in journals without impact factors are not "reliable sources, academic presses". (III) This article is about protectionism, yes. That doesn't mean that we throw out Wikipedia policy on WP:DUE and WP:FRINGE, and start to cite fringe figures in low-quality or non-academic outlets. If you can't reliably source content, it doesn't belong on Wikipedia. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 11:58, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

Adding on definition[edit]

Heterodox economists does not mean marginal but against the theory of general equilibrium, as the Keynesian economists. If you do not even know this, avoid imposing your point of view on others.

These are presses dedicated to economic publications so totally legitimate

It is not a text devoted to the debate between free-trade or protectionism. You are not objective, but clearly defend a political opinion.

Moreover, You do not have a consensus to delete this entire text without valid justification.

Nebere (talk) 12:30, 25 June 2017 (UTC)nebere

It's impossible to discuss this with you. (I) You have no idea what Wiki policy is, and seem unfamiliar with Wiki style in general (as shown by how poorly written your text is). (II) You don't know what heterodox economics is, or how it's fringe in the field of economics. (III) You seem unfamiliar with academic journals and presses, having multiple times now claimed that working papers, magazine articles and articles in journals without impact factors amount to being "reliable sources, academic presses". (IV) This article should not be devoted to a "debate between free-trade or protectionism", but to be about protectionism and supported by reliably sourced content. WP:FRINGE directs us specifically to "not make a fringe theory appear more notable or more widely accepted than it is. Statements about the truth of a theory must be based upon independent reliable sources. If discussed in an article about a mainstream idea, a theory that is not broadly supported by scholarship in its field must not be given undue weight, and reliable sources must be cited that affirm the relationship of the marginal idea to the mainstream idea in a serious and substantial manner." Note that I've never even challenged that the views of protectionists be mentioned in the article, all I'm saying is that the bulk of the lede should not be devoted to the thoughts of a random mish-mash of protectionists, supported only by iffy sources. (V) I don't need consensus to delete wholly inappropriate recently added text. If you want to add text that has been substantively challenged, you do need consensus or the support of other editors to reinsert it into the article. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 13:06, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

I don't "make a fringe theory appear more notable or more widely accepted than it is". I describe just the general philosophy of protectionism/ I don't say whether it is good or bad. Grammar mistakes don't justify deleting all the text. Nebere (talk) 14:39, 25 June 2017 (UTC)nebere
Three quarters of the lede (!) is devoted to the views of a random mish-mash of protectionist politicians and fringe economists. By every conceivable metric, you are making the fringe view that protectionism is good appear more notable or widely accepted than it is. I highly question that you're editing in good faith when you're playing this obtuse. As for your second claim, there's absolutely no way to determine if this is the "general philosophy of protectionism" because the sourcing is so abysmal. These are the poorly sourced and synthesized views of a random assortment of historical figures and fringe economists. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 14:54, 25 June 2017 (UTC)


I describe clearly that it is the point of view of protectionist economists. And Ha-Joon Chang and Reinert are references among protectionist economists, therefore their point of view is representative. I do not think you are legitimate to call them "marginal". Nebere (talk) 15:19, 25 June 2017 (UTC)nebere

Please provide reliable secondary sources that they are representative among economists who favor protectionism. The point is moot though, because it's already been established that there is a broad consensus against protectionism among economists, and thus we should not be devoting the bulk of the lede to proponents of the fringe view that protectionism is good. That the sourcing is abysmal is a secondary problem. There are so many problems with your edits that resolving one of them (something which you haven't even done), still leaves other problems that make the content unacceptable. Also, can you please stop creating new sections on the talk page, and instead continue to discuss this in the correct section. Wouldn't it be a smart idea if you'd stop editing Wikipedia momentarily if you don't understand how any of it works and editors are pointing out that you're violating numerous policies with your edits? Snooganssnoogans (talk) 15:32, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
The problem is not to say that protectionism is good but just to explain what it is. Nebere (talk) 15:49, 25 June 2017 (UTC)nebere
And your text in the lede does a horrible job of it: it's poorly written, uses abysmal sourcing, presents the views of random figures as authoritative, and misleads readers into thinking protectionism is not a fringe theory among economists. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 15:57, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

I describe clearly that it is the point of view of protectionist economists, not all economists. Moreover, you say that the protectionist point of view is marginal, so we must not talk about it and even censure it. You admit that your aim is to say that protectionism is bad and that free trade is good. This completely disqualifies you. Nebere (talk) 16:30, 25 June 2017 (UTC)nebere
Moreover, why create this theme on wikipedia if we can not talk about it and develop itNebere (talk) 16:34, 25 June 2017 (UTC)nebere
This is pointless. You have serious reading comprehension problems, and these discussions go nowhere. You jump from one point to another, and nothing seems to matter. "I describe clearly that it is the point of view of protectionist economists, not all economists" - You said that the people you were citing were authoritative for protectionists but you have provided no reliable sourcing for that. "you say that the protectionist point of view is marginal, so we must not talk about it and even censure it." - No, I didn't. I have repeatedly and as clearly as I can said that (i) all content must be reliably sourced, (ii) due weight, and (iii) not violate WP:FRINGE. If the views of protectionists can be briefly summarized, reliably sourced, and their fringe status noted, I would have no problem with it in the lede. What I do have a problem with is three quarters of the lede being devoted to a random mish-mash of fringe figures, synthesis, and abysmal sources. "your aim is to say that protectionism is bad and that free trade is good. This completely disqualifies you" - My aim here is to make sure that the content on Wikipedia reflects Wiki policy. That means that the content in this article should be reliably sourced, and of due weight. Some of my edits to this article has noted that protectionism can be valid in certain circumstances, and that free trade has downsides for some groups. Unlike you, I did substantiate my text with reliable sources. "why create this theme on wikipedia if we can not talk about it and develop it" - This article is not your sandbox. We don't leave rubbish text up just because someone wants to fix it later. We certainly don't do it to ledes. Your interactions on the talk page, your failure to cite Wiki policy and your constant reverts of material that has been challenged in some form or another by at least three editors suggests that you have zero interest in building this Wikipedia article with others. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 16:46, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
Nebere, I left a note on your user talk page about this. I agree with Snooganssnoogans here: the text that you put in the lead section doesn't summarize the article properly (a function of the lead section), and did not have great sources (this, for example, is a grad student's opinion column that mentions "trade protection" only once, in passing — not a great source when we have thousands of in-depth pieces out there). Neutralitytalk 03:53, 26 June 2017 (UTC)

The "Arguments for" and "Arguments against" sections should be replaced with one section: "Impact"[edit]

"Arguments for" and "Arguments against" sections are confusing, and I have found myself struggling to decide where to put research on the effects of protectionism. I don't have time to go through the article at the moment, but I think this is something we should do. We would then create subsections within "Impact", such as "Growth", "Living standards", "Industries", "Politics" etc. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 18:14, 28 June 2017 (UTC)