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Member since: Sat Dec 6, 2003, 04:15 AM
Number of posts: 57,936

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It's the job of the canddidates to run positive campaigns, to talk about their

ideals and ideas and what they will do or try to do if elected.

It is the job of the rest of us to observe the candidates, to compare what they say and who they are and decide who to vote for.

We can't pick which candidate to vote for without comparing the candidates. I feel rather sorry for the Hillary supporters. She does not fare well in the comparisons. It is easy to find problems with Hillary's candidacy, not so easy with Bernie's. Most Democrats agree with Bernie. Hillary presents some good proposals. But Hillary's campaign is dull. I for one have to conclude that that is because she is tired of it all down deep. Bernie on the other hand is truly excited by the challenge of working with Americans to solve the problems of our country. He proves that in every speech. It's that sincere enthusiasm that is carrying his momentum forward.

So the candidates are supposed to focus on the issues. We voters have to make the choice, and we can't make that unless we compare the candidates.

I have yet to hear from any Hillary supporter a convincing reason to support her rather than Bernie.

Here is the extent of the decline of our manufacturing sector:

For over a half century, American manufacturing has dominated the globe. It turned the tide in World War ii and hastened the defeat of Nazi Germany; it subsequently helped rebuild Europe and Japan; it enabled the United States to outlast the Soviet empire in the Cold War. At the same time, it met all the material needs of the American people.

. . . .

However, manufacturing as a share of the economy has been plummeting. In 1965, manufacturing accounted for 53 percent of the economy. By 1988 it only accounted for 39 percent, and in 2004, it accounted for just 9 percent.

. . . .

The loss of the manufacturing industry manifests itself most clearly in job losses. According to the Economist, “For the first time since the Industrial Revolution, fewer than 10 percent of American workers are now employed in manufacturing” (Oct. 1, 2005). But even this figure is probably double the actual percentage, because many workers in a typical manufacturing firm have service-type jobs. In comparison, during the 1970s, approximately 25 percent of American workers were employed in manufacturing. From 1990 to present, manufacturing jobs have decreased every single year; since 1996, they have plummeted by almost one fifth.

. . . .

With the birth of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994, Mexico became a major recipient of outsourced U.S. manufacturing jobs. Mexico is now a global leader in auto parts manufacturing and one of the world’s largest tv set producers. Now, with the startup of the Central American Free Trade Area (cafta) this January, analysts are anticipating another exodus of U.S. jobs to south of the border. U.S. household names such as Dell, ibm, Sara Lee/Hanes and Maytag have already been moving business into the Central American region.

. . . .


The Trumpet is this:

TheTrumpet.com is the official website of the Philadelphia Trumpet newsmagazine. Each weekday, theTrumpet.com features reporting and analysis of recent global geopolitical, economic, social and religious events and trends.

The Trumpet magazine, which began in February 1990, is published 10 times a year by the Philadelphia Church of God. It is available by subscription absolutely free.


The article is from the early 2000s. Things have undoubtedly gotten worse by nose. The statistics are reliably sourced although this is not a publication I would normally quote from.

Not many American economists would want to discuss this issue honestly I suspect.

Here we go. USA Today from 2002.

Fifty years ago, a third of U.S. employees worked in factories, making everything from clothing to lipstick to cars. Today, a little more than one-tenth of the nation's 131 million workers are employed by manufacturing firms. Four-fifths are in services.

The decline in manufacturing jobs has swiftly accelerated since the beginning of 2000. Since then, more than 1.9 million factory jobs have been cut — about 10% of the sector's workforce. During the same period, the number of jobs outside manufacturing has risen close to 2%.

Many of the factory jobs are being cut as companies respond to a sharp rise in global competition. Unable to raise prices — and often forced to cut them — companies must find any way they can to reduce costs and hang onto profits.

Jobs are increasingly being moved abroad as companies take advantage of lower labor costs and position themselves to sell products to a growing — and promising — market abroad. Economy.com, an economic consulting firm in West Chester, Pa., estimates 1.3 million manufacturing jobs have been moved abroad since the beginning of 1992 — the bulk coming in the last three years. Most of those jobs have gone to Mexico and East Asia.


This is a topic that the corporate-owned American media shies away from.

But those of us who remember 1955, 1965, etc., the silence covers the terrible fact that we once had a robust manufacturing sector, and that it is now gone.

As the Trumpet points out, our manufacturing sector is what won WWII. If we had to fight a war today for our national survival, we would have to import the socks for our army. You can't fight a war if you have to import the socks for your soldiers. Unfortunately, most American women wouldn't know how to knit a pair of socks if their lives depended on it. (I do know how and can do it but I am the exception.)

The International Criminal Court considers violations of international criminal law, laws to which

we have agreed.

The trade courts are very different because they theoretically and we will see increasingly in practice allow corporations to challenge NATIONAL, not international laws passed by countries that are members of the trade groups established by the agreements.

We have already seen that an international court determined that our laws that labelled meat according to the country of origin violate the WTO agreement.

That is a terrible attack on a US law that was established by our democratically elected legislature.

It's wrong.

And damages awards are coming.

The trade courts do not deal with human rights issues. They deal with questions of invvestment and the marketplace.

I support international courts that attempt to enforce human rights and make peace.
I do not support international trade courts that allow corporations to petition them as plaintiffs.

Corporations, if they want to sue a country, should sue in the country they wish to sue. I know that is limiting on the corporations, but so be it.

A corporation is the creation of civil (not criminal) law and not a human being. A corporation is created only by law and should answer to the law, not circumvent it through a system of supranational international courts.

Taxation without representation. That's what these trade courts will impose on us. It's just a matter of time. Think it through. Eventually, you will figure it out.

I agree that the reason we, the US do not compete well or work together well with the international

trade community, is that we do not have the social infrastructure and safety net to respond and retool to the lost jobs and the changes that globalization requires.

But I have a more serious objection to global trade.

The corporate form of business organization is useful. It encourages efficient investment, allowing capital to flow into useful purposes and be used well to develop new products and services for the benefit of our society.

But corporations are not organized democratically. Corporations are autocratic, dictatorial institutions by nature. They are specifically and clearly organized in order to limit the social responsibility, even the potential indebtedness in case of failure of the corporation to its creditors. They can be useful means of development for democratic societies as long as the corporations are regulated by and answer to the democratic will as expressed in government. But corporations are by definition, by organization, by law, structures that avoid or limit responsibility.

In addition, human beings are limited by nationality (dual nationality, maybe even triple nationality is possible but people are still limited by national affiliation and their geographical location) while corporations today are often multinational.

Thus individual human beings who are limited and defined by geographical and national limits and who form governments, hopefully in a democratic fashion are now living in a world in which corporations, irresponsible (by design), undemocratic (by definition) and in need of regulation are organized as multinationals, huge multinationals with large amounts of capital and an irresistible drive to dominate, to compete, to govern selfishly and recklessly, irresponsibly and to get what the corporation wants in spite of the needs of people and nations.

And these corporations, which could and do serve an essential role in our society, are because of and via our trade agreements overwhelming our democratic institutions and replacing them with the autocratic, dictatorial institutions of corporations.

And that i view as an insurmountable drawback to the trade agreements and the ISDS courts.

Corporations are not perhaps intentionally conspiring to take over the world via these trade agreements. But that will be the result of the trade agreements.

I do not think that it is possible to have international regulation of these huge corporations that is compatible with democracy and the local law-making, local rule, local government that is necessary if democratic institutions are to thrive.

China, a Communist dictatorship, has found a way to deal compatibly with the corporate investment model. But it is still not a democracy. It is a nation ruled by one party, the Communist Party. interestingly although not surprisingly because of its huge population, it is the biggest exporting nation in the world.

It is proof that international trade is no impediment to dictatorship.

The US, a democracy for well over 200 years, on the other hand has a large trade deficit, has seen its steel sector, and other industrial sectors such as furniture production, etc. nearly shut down. We are unable to compete.

The corporate model is a dictatorship. If we value democracy, we need to protect it at all costs, even by entering into one-on-one trade agreements with other countries rather than these multi-national trade agreements through which the corporations, which are not limited by geographical location or national affiliation, outmaneuver us and destroy us and our democratic ways of life.

I note that even Germany which, with its amazingly effective training and retraining system (I've lived there and know it well) which its wonderfully efficient and skilled labor force, with its long tradition of labor guilds and now unions and good relationships between employers and employees, is under pressure from corporations that want to force it to accept nuclear power that it does not want.

So, I oppose these corporate-dominated, sociopath, supernationa, undemocratic trade deals including but not limited to the TPP.

We should go back to unilateral trade agreements until we get our balance of payments system

under control and until there is some way to appoint judges that gives ordinary people some input, even if remote.

The trade courts are not a democratic institution. Neither is the WTO.

And they are bound to fail America.

Those arbitration courts are inconsistent with American values. I understand the idealism of the Rockefellers and the Roosevelts and Wilsons who wanted world government. I know the history. But the fact is that the trade courts are incompatible with our representative democracy. What is more important? World trade? Or our democratic institutions?

Let's just write the experiment with the international trade courts including the WTO off as a learning experience.

Fact is, that in recent years, corporations have discovered the means to circumvent local, democratically passed laws through the trade courts. They are doing tthis not just in the US and Canada but in countries like El Salvador where a gold-mining company sued to be able to ruin the water the Salvadorians drink.

If we don't end the trade court or limit the trade court authority, we will end up with a world dominated by corporations, rogue corporations who control governments such as our own and bypass democratic institutions.

I realize that is not precisely the case now, tut that is where we are headed.
. . . .
Nearly thirty years ago, the Wisconsin-based Commerce Group Corp. purchased a gold mine near the San Sebastian River in El Salvador and contaminated the water. Now, according to Lita Trejo, a native Salvadoran and school worker in Washington, DC, the once clear river is orange. The people who drink from the arsenic-polluted river, she says, are suffering from kidney failure and other diseases.

. . . .

An Australian-Canadian mining company, OceanaGold, is suing the Salvadoran government for refusing to grant it a gold-mining permit to its subsidiary, Pacific Rim. Manuel Pérez-Rocha, a researcher at the Institute for Policy Studies, explained the situation: “OceanaGold is demanding more than $300 million from El Salvador. They are saying, ‘If you do not let us operate in your country the way we want, you must pay us for the profits that you prevented us from making.’”

That sounds absurd, but it’s true: The company is claiming that under the Central American Free Trade Agreement, it has the right to sue the Salvadoran government for passing a law that threatens its bottom line.

El Salvador is now defending its decision to prevent OceanaGold/Pacific Rim from operating the El Dorado mine near the Lempa River before the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, a little-known World Bank–based tribunal.


It's a real problem. These courts are now disenfranchising, depriving of local rule, only people in a few countries. But the potential that these courts and that system of resolving disputes between corporations and countries is menacing. We do not need those courts.

The gold mining company in El Salvador, for example, should accept the decision of the Salvadorian people to reject their gold mine endeavor.

The international trade courts have the potential and it is a very real potential to deprive people all over the world of human rights. The trade courts are designed at this time to placer CORPORATE RIGHTS above HUMAN RIGHTS.

And that is why I object to the trade courts.

Corporations should only be able to sue a country when that country allows it. I could understand trade courts in which a country sues a country. But the ability of corporations to bring claims in the trade courts is anti-democratic. That procedural possibility needs to be ended. Corporations are merely legal constructs. They should not be participating, much less, interfering or threatening, democratic institutions and values.

So you agree with Paul Ryan on the TPP?

“Completing these trade deals is my No. 1 priority,” Ryan said Thursday at a Washington International Trade Association event in Washington.


My views.

1. Will refocus some Eastern hemisphere trade away from China and toward SE Asia.

And what does that do for out-of-work or underemployed Americans? What in the world does that have to do with the US? China is huge. Our trade with China is what has enabled it to build its military strength. While we are rejecting TPP, why don't we reject trade or control or limit trade with China. Why don't we tie the amount of trade we have with China and other countries to the size of our trade deficit? If our trade deficit grows, we trade less. CORRUPTION

The problem is not whether China will trade more with other countries. The question is whether our practice of importing so much more from China and other countries than we export is weakening our economy and therefore our ability in years to come to defend ourselves? CORRUPTION.

While under some circumstances increasing trade can make for a more peaceful world, it is quite likely to lead to war if we find ourselves to be an angry debtor nation forced increasingly into austerity at home because we are buying necessities like socks and shoes and pillowcases and even food on the international markets on borrowed money that we cannot repay because we no longer have the factories to produce goods that other countries want to buy. CORRUPTION. Heat up a cold war with China. More money for "defense industries." When we started to trade with China, it was to make friends and not have a war with China. That appears to have been a stupid plan. So now we want to make more friends (translate buy more friends with money we don't have) and that is supposed to prevent war with China. That's like the drunk getting up in the morning and taking another drink so he won't have such a headache. We are simply drunk on free trade. And our CORRUPT politicians and cynical corporations are plying us with the drink that made us sick in the first place.

Your first question assumes a lot of things about how the world works that are simply false. There is no reason to think that China will fail to trade a great deal with other third world countries simply because we sign the TPP which on paper sets rules (unenforceable as to labor and environment no matter what Obama says) that are likely to lead to a greater trade deficit for us. The first item is based on so much empty speculation about what might happen if that it is just silly. Sorry to be insulting, but the first point is so much hot air and speculation. Frightening speculation. But speculation nonetheless.

2. Why would a poor, developing country sign an agreement with us if it protected our jobs at their expense?

Good question. Why should a country such as ours with a huge and growing trade deficit sign such an agreement. I can think of no reason other than corruption among those negotiating and pushing for the signing of the agreement. No possible explanation other than corruption. Big corporations corrupting just about everyone and everything they come near much less touch. CORRUPTION.

3. Why would a poor, developing country sign an agreement with us if it protected our jobs at their expense?

Good question. Why would we sign an agreement with a poor country if it transferred our jobs to that country at the expense of American working people and our society and national sovereignty? CORRUPTION. That's why. Pay-offs to top level politicians. Politicians who represent, work for, are paid by and advocate for the interests of multinational corporations and not for the people of the developing country/US. CORRUPTION

4. In a financially multipolar world, TPP would not fall as heavily on the shoulders of the US as China trade did - China would also pay, whether it wants to or not.

Only because we have already lost so many jobs. Let's focus on reviving our industrial base and using alternative fuels to do it. Let's set the example for the world before we so impoverish ourselves that we ourselves are ranked among the "developing" nations of the world. CORRUPTION. And again, this point is completely speculative. We heard all the speculative reassurances that NAFTA would be so good for our economy. It and the other trade agreements we already have entered into have nearly destroyed our economy and our industrial base. Why in the world would we want to get tangled up in yet another trade agreement when we haven't yet managed to sustain our industrial development with the agreements we have? And we should exit our agreement with China and reconsider our agreement with NAFTA. The world is taking advantage of us and our leaders are either too stupid or too CORRUPT to work for our benefit.

5. Negotiations involve bargaining positions one doesn't necessarily intend to see in the actual deal, so don't get hysterical over every leaked proposal.

If the agreement has not been completely negotiated or at least not negotiated to the point that a draft of the entire agreement can be published for all of us to read, then drop the pressure about fast-trac. It looks very much as though Obama is pressing for fast-trac to please his corporate masters. It looks very much like CORRUPTION. And the pressure being placed on members of Congress to vote for this hideous agreement and for more trade when we have a huge balance of trade deficit can be nothing but CORRUPTION. Let's rebuild American infrastructure and the American industrial base with alternative energy and then maybe we can trade with other countries and set an example of a good economy and a good, strong, democratic society that other countries will want to emulate. Trade is not the way. We have had NAFTA and GATT and other trade agreements in place for over 20 years now and our economy is worse off than it was when we entered into those agreements. Let's lay off the trade agreements until our economy is stronger and until we no longer have such a huge trade deficit.

6. If we aren't willing to make such deals, China is.

So, let China run up a big trade deficit. We don't need to. CORRUPTION.

AND I SAY IT ONE MORE TIME: CORRUPTION. Let's find out who is paying whom to get these trade agreements that have harmed America and Americans.

But, McCamy, watch this speech:


Sorry, but Bernie doesn't have to apologize. Why support a candidate who has to apologize, whether Byrd or Hillary when you have a candidate that is smart, most often right in his judgment even on complex foreign policy issues and can speak with moral authority, authenticity, a candidate we can trust through and through.

Again. Watch this.


It's Bernie and he is the best qualified to be president in 2016. Authentic, honest and very, very wise. No need to apologize. And if he does need to apologize about something, he will be ready to do it.

Bernie is our candidate for 2016. I'm just amazed at this speech.


As I usually do in preparing for an election, I am gathering articles, books and information

on the candidates that I may refer to when preparing to stand on a street corner or somewhere and talk to voters.

Here is the first document that I have printed out and will file in a notebook in order to refresh my memory from time to time (with acknowledgement to Loonix who posted it first):

f You’re Wondering If Hillary Is Turning Populist, Just Ask Her Banker Friends

Hillary Clinton is trying to recast herself as the future president of the people—but she’ll need more than a PR campaign to erase her longstanding ties to Wall Street.

<snip>To grasp the dangers that the Big Six banks (JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley) presently pose to the financial stability of our nation and the world, you need to understand their history in Washington, starting with the Clinton years of the 1990s. Alliances established then (not exclusively with Democrats, since bankers are bipartisan by nature) enabled these firms to become as politically powerful as they are today and to exert that power over an unprecedented amount of capital. Rest assured of one thing: their past and present CEOs will prove as critical in backing a Hillary Clinton presidency as they were in enabling her husband’s years in office.


Do you know of an alternative?

I don't think there is one.

The icebergs that are melting are adding fresh or unsalty water to the ocean.

Icebergs that break off into the ocean from glaciers do not contain salt, as they are formed by freshwater on land (snow, ice).

Icebergs that form in the ocean mostly do not contain salt either. This is because as the seawater freezes, it forms a crystal structure (ice) that prevents salt ions from being included.


I suppose the salt we would put in would not change the proportion of the salt in the ocean all that much. A lot of the water we use goes right back into the ocean. We are on the coast.

What is storm water pollution?

Storm water pollution is when water from rainstorms, garden hoses and sprinklers causes runoff that collects harmful debris and flows through local creeks, rivers and lakes - eventually draining, untreated, into the ocean.
. . . .
Los Angeles is located in four watersheds - Los Angeles River, Ballona Creek, Dominguez Channel and Santa Monica Bay. The water from these four watersheds flows into San Pedro and Santa Monica Bays and ultimately into the Pacific Ocean.
. . . .
Storm water flows do not receive any treatment because of the sheer volume of runoff – tens of millions of gallons on even the driest day – from an area encompassing more than 1,000 square miles.
. . . .

The sanitary sewer system takes waste water from toilets, showers and sinks and routes it to one of several waste water treatment plants here in Los Angeles. Once there, it receives multiple levels of treatment before being discharged into the ocean.



We put a lot of water that is salty in the ocean, so if we put salt in it too, I suppose it won't be such a problem.
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