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Response to JHan (Reply #176)

Thu Jan 12, 2017, 04:26 PM

178. I have always advocated for protectionism that has a basis on proper living standards of the workers

 

in a nation. It would be unreasonable to demand that they pay in some places what we pay here, as cost of living is different, or at least I agree that that would not be a trade model that would help these nations to industrialize into the modern age. I don't necessarily agree that this is the only way we can lift up other nations, and we certainly shouldn't do it without clear standards, and I'm not interested in giveaways to our corporations for when they make a decision to go overseas, because the labor is cheaper, and we've removed tariffs. It is true that over time labor gets more expensive in these places...at which point the companies jump ship again.

As to trade deals being all bad, no. The question is are they more bad than good as written. As to being hand-outs for corporations, I get the feeling that that's kind of the point. A trade deal is bad if it is a transfer of wealth up to the top. I don't care if that looks in the short term, like gains for even some at the bottom, because it is a huge depletion of natural resources, which is exploited not foremost for public investment, but for lining the pockets of shareholders and CEOs. I welcome being corrected on this, but I have yet to see a compelling case to be made that the pie can grow. Wealth comes from somewhere. It has a direct corollary to real-world materials that it can buy, and those are finite. The Earth itself does not grow. We exploit more of it. We get more efficient with those resources, but its just the same resources.

What about the environment? We are trashing it and I'm just guessing here, but the Sierra Club had nothing good to say about this or other trade agreements, in their ability to tie the hands of governments when it comes to mitigating against the destruction of the Earth.

People being lifted out of poverty is good. Getting value out of educating them and propelling them into the technological age we live in is good. Reducing the populations is also good. But we have so much technology at our disposal and enough resources to do these things without using a consumption driven method that continues to do more harm, not less, to our future prospects on this planet. Unfortunately, everything we do has to be about the money.

I realize that this is just a lot of vague ranting. Because of this conversation, I'm just now starting to actually look into TPP, so the next time we have a conversation about it I'll be far more informed. I'm just pretty skeptical at the moment that it is actually good for us.

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