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Member since: Thu Feb 25, 2016, 10:12 AM
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The Great Divide: On the Wrong Side of Globalization By Joseph E. Stiglitz


Trade agreements are a subject that can cause the eyes to glaze over, but we should all be paying attention. Right now, there are trade proposals in the works that threaten to put most Americans on the wrong side of globalization.

The conflicting views about the agreements are actually tearing at the fabric of the Democratic Party, though you wouldn’t know it from President Obama’s rhetoric. In his State of the Union address, for example, he blandly referred to “new trade partnerships” that would “create more jobs.” Most immediately at issue is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, which would bring together 12 countries along the Pacific Rim in what would be the largest free trade area in the world.

Negotiations for the TPP began in 2010, for the purpose, according to the United States Trade Representative, of increasing trade and investment, through lowering tariffs and other trade barriers among participating countries. But the TPP negotiations have been taking place in secret, forcing us to rely on leaked drafts to guess at the proposed provisions. At the same time, Congress introduced a bill this year that would grant the White House filibuster-proof fast-track authority, under which Congress simply approves or rejects whatever trade agreement is put before it, without revisions or amendments.

Controversy has erupted, and justifiably so. Based on the leaks — and the history of arrangements in past trade pacts — it is easy to infer the shape of the whole TPP, and it doesn’t look good. There is a real risk that it will benefit the wealthiest sliver of the American and global elite at the expense of everyone else. The fact that such a plan is under consideration at all is testament to how deeply inequality reverberates through our economic policies.

Worse, agreements like the TPP are only one aspect of a larger problem: our gross mismanagement of globalization...

Trading Lives: Democracy, Health Care and Trade in Services (2007 - 59 pages)

Trading Lives: Democracy, Health Care and Trade in Services (2007 - 59 pages)

"A solid economic foundation is the right of every American.

The recommendations in this report feed into ADA’s 10 point plan for a fairer world:

1. Redesign the fast track mechanism to give Congress more scrutiny over trade deals.

2. Put labor standards (from the International Labor Organization) and environmental
standards (from Multilateral Environmental Agreements) at the core of trade
agreements, and also meet these standards in the US.

3. Fully fund the international agencies with the power to enforce these standards.

4. Promote aid, debt relief and access to generic medicines to allow developing
countries to meet these standards and build government capacity.

5. Raise the US minimum wage to its buying power in the 1970s, and then index it to
increases in average wages.

6. Decouple health care and pensions from employment and reroute employer
contributions through governments. When individuals lose their jobs, they should not
lose their benefits.

7. Reform Trade Adjustment Assistance and unemployment insurance to help more
people get back on their feet, and promote development at state and local levels to
reduce the impacts of trade on local communities.

8. Reduce subsidies for big agribusiness to give family farmers in the US and abroad a
fair playing field.

9. Provide access to decent education, training and retraining for all.

10. Horizontally carve out key public services from the General Agreement on Trade in

The Clinton Administration OPPOSED SCHIP. People here are trying to re-spin the history of SCHIP.

This was back in the 1990s. I remember their opposition because I grew up poor and health insurance for children is an issue I feel is extremely important, and I was writing letters to legislators supporting SCHIP. I may even have some of them somewhere, in any case they opposed it. Kennedy was advocating for it

The Clinton Administration was not vocal in opposing it but they were opposing it. And a decade later the reason why hey did so became clear to me.

If anybody wants to know that why, look at the signature file after my posts and read the paper that's linked to there.

That paper will show you why he Clinton Administration opposed it and show that how and why they were so inflexible. Why they would not have taken any other position. That reason still applies today and its why, for example, Clinton i adamant that - as she puts it, Medicare for All "will NEVER come to pass".

The same issue explains why Clinton is opposes free public higher education and why she is such an ardent advocate of ill-advised water privatization, etc.

Its very bad policy.

Donald Trump’s plan for the economy: Let’s copy Greece.

The GOP frontrunner actually thinks the U.S. could give creditors a ‘haircut’ on its debt!


64 Bernie Delegates VotesApparently Were Not Counted In Nevada (So Hillary Could Win?)

one [link:https://twitter.com/meganmesserly|recent reports seem to indicate that as it stands, those in charge have omitted 64 Bernie delegates and that many of those present are not satisfied that the proceedings are being conducted honestly.

In 2010=388 2011=177 2012=159 2013=92 2014=80 2015=62 people owned the same as half the people in th

as half the people in the world..

2010: 388

2011: 177

2012: 159

2013: 92

2014: 80

2015: 62

In other words, wealth is concentrating at an exponentially increasing rate.


Hannah Arendt: The Origins of Totalitarianism (1962) "one of the best political books of the century


Is it "their turn" on service jobs - too?

One of the other posts right now describes the outrageousness of the argument that Hillary Clinton needs to be given the nomination because "its her turn" - that is being made by some Beltway insiders. Well, we should also be looking at another example of that kind of thinking but we cant because the media isn't telling us about it. We should know more but we dont.

Is it "their turn" on service jobs - too?

We all know about the digital divide, and many people know about the global ecnomic divide between developed and developing nations. Well, in 1994, the WTO was formed and its stated goal was economic development of the Global South Nations. In exchange for promises of economic integration with the developed nations economies, especially the United tates, they have been kept in a state of heightened anticipation, forever waiting for other countries deeds to solve their own economic problems, instead of pushing harder for ends to corruption and slash and burn corporate tactics enabling resource extraction without accountability, extraction of minerals and other raw materials at bargain basement rates. In exchange they received promises of "economic integration" with developed countries service economies if they could only be the successful low bidders. These deals would benefit developed countries government entities and corporate interests by lowering their labor costs by privatization and then globalized competition.

So, basically, now a huge change is being readied, and its being "justified" by the same logic as being applied to the nomination, except here its being applied to high paid service job, medicine, nursing, teaching, IT.

The logic goes that the world would benefit greatly if wages in developed countries fell a lot and those in developing countries were increased a little by letting their companies broker the services of their skilled workers, (creating a huge brain drain) Their doctors, nurses, teachers, IT workers, etc, will then be used to staff jobs in developed countries at much lower wages than those they replaced, and send home remittances from their wages, instead of getting good jobs at home, perhaps this arrangement might raise wages a tiny bit at home but what it really does is create an artificial state of dependency on an artificial, predatory hyper-hierarchical working arrangements, and weaken the position of highly skilled workers in both places, creating a hollowed out economy where middle class jobs become low paying jobs despite their having high skill requirements. Meanwhile the companies and former public sector workplaces that employed them perhaps pay the same or a bit less but get out of both any pension and health care insurance obligations, also they get a captive workforce that has no say whatsoever in policy. .

What I am trying to explain is that a very long time ago, the US signed on to this - In a bill called the URAA it was passed in 1994. Bill Clinton and the URAA signed us on to such a scheme in 1994, and the negotiations to figure out the specifics have been going on- off and on for 20 years. They are almost finished.

Is it Their Turn?

Basically both they (the working people in the Global South) and us have been lied to by the neoliberal pushers of these deals. (both our leaders and their own)

They are not about trade so much as they are about creating a global "race to the bottom" on wages while preserving corrupt regimes and huge growing profits despite demographic changes relating to automation which should be making us rethink areas such as services - Since jobs are vanishing to rapidly improving productivity, certainly, many prices should be falling, but not wages without prices- Nations urgently need public health care, now more than ever, however the secret deals frame public services as "state owned monopolies" - even public education, etc,

We need public higher education- and health care - non profit- as a public good, but instead they incrementally, irreversibly make establishing that a prohibited activity, and create new corporate rights to free money, compensation to corporations if a government does it.

All this time the facts have been hidden from the American people. Those deals were initiated during the Clinton years and Hillary Clinton and Obama have hidden them assiduously from the public. Making up an entire body of phony reasons for things when the real reasons were these deals.

We need a national dialogue based in truth, but it will NEVER come from the mouth of Hillary Clinton. She is more honest and straightforward when she is in other countries than she is here. And since at least on paper the country is still "We the people" she's working against the country's people's interests.

She should not become president. Its not her turn and these liars do not have the right to sign away the future livelihoods of our country forever (in part in exchange to open branches and factories in other countries) which is what they have repeatedly attempted to do. And continue to try to do with three pending deals.

That said I feel very strongly that the working people here in the US have a great many shared interests with working people in the developing world and I feel as if we could accomplish a lot together helping one another - prosperity is not a zero sum game, we have all earned the benefits given us by technology and they should be shared, not hoarded by a very few, which is what the 3 secretive T deals try to lock in. Locking in bad policy.

Poll: If you had to, could you successfully re-rent or re-buy your current home at market rate?

Thank you, basically that is the question.

Some context- my theory is that Americans are actually much poorer than we think we are and that this poverty is concealed because many people are paying below market rate for their current housing, but if they had to move they could not afford to.

That is a time bomb waiting to happen, if for example, energy prices went up a lot due to natural gas export (projected as part of a pending trade deal) and cities lost their "rent stabilization" regulations. (It is hard to see how affordable housing could be preserved in cities if the cost of energy jumps up a lot, suddenly)

Housing is a scarce resource and many right wingers feel that the existing populations of cities are preventing their economic development and basically want them to move elsewhere so that new tenants can live there at market rate. For a ong time rent stabilization regulations have been a target of their anger, because they tie rent of a specific apartment to the CPI plus some small amount, for a specific tenant. However, that affordable apartment is limited to that specific apartment. This arrangement is a vastly inadequate substitute for public housing which was basically outlawed in 1994 in countries that signed on to GATS.

A series of bad Supreme Court decisions (for example, Kelo v. City of New London - 2006,) now allows condemnations under eminent domain to allow real estate development for profit. However, neighborhoods have to be designated as blighted first. A sudden spike in the cost of natural gas might be argued to cause older buildings (which one never sees in the rest of the world where energy prices are much higher) to be designated as blighted (and presumably replaced by market rate condo housing with some small portion set aside for 'low income' displaced property owners, (other provisions might be set up for property owners who are disabled).

The outcome of the election will probably decide if that is done.

The World's Top 1 Percent Controls Half of Household Wealth - Fortune

The World's Top 1 Percent Controls Half of Household Wealth - Fortune

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