Let's face it folks, begging for a job isn't and shouldn't be part of the collective psyche of American workers! Sadly, that's what proponents of the TPP would effectively have our workers do. Nothing illustrates this more than President Obama's visit to the corporate headquarters of Nike Shoes, a business that has according some reports, a million or so contract workers overseas manufacturing its products compared to 26,000 U.S. workers in supporting roles. They made an offer to add a whopping 10,000 U.S. workers over the next 10 Yrs. if the TPP is signed. With their corporate HQ as a backdrop, Obama exhorted Democrats is Congress and the Senate to give him fast track authority to proceed with forcing yet another “free” trade agreement on American workers.
Obama keeps citing the exporting opportunities that the TPP could help bring about. He keeps misleading us into thinking that exporting is the only path to future prosperity. If the truth be known, the real export that “free” trade agreements enable is our jobs! The TPP adds a new dimension to the exporting concept by also exporting our right to self govern by setting up an international corporate kangaroo court to second guess any U.S. regulation that interferes with a foreign corp. doing business here.
Our nation has had the formula for middle class prosperity for years and that is to build it here and buy it here. You make that happen by instituting and or increasing trade tariffs back up to pre-Reagan era levels (gasp from conservatives) and tearing up many existing “free” trade agreements. Corporate owned propagandists call trade tariffs “protectionist” and in one sense, they are right, trade tariffs protect our jobs, our manufacturing infrastructure and our standard of living.
The free traitors who stand to profit from the job offshoring that the TPP would inevitably bring want you to think that exporting is the only path to jobs and prosperity. The truth is that if protected, we have more than enough self-generated supply and demand economic activity to insure a prosperous nation for many years to come without begging third world nations to buy small quantities of our products. It worked for our parents and grandparents, it can and will work for us. Remember, our jobs are ours to keep if we just hold onto them, without begging any foreign nation to buy our stuff.
Yesterday, much to my disgust, I read a couple of news stories about Barack Obama (a.k.a. President Hope And Change) using a visit to the corporate headquarters of Nike Shoes as a photo opportunity/press conference to hawk the Trans Pacific Partnership and slam Elizabeth Warren (an elected who truly represents “hope and change”) for opposing fast tracking the TPP. During the speech, Obama used Nike's advertising slogan in reference to the TPP to tell Democratic electeds who oppose TPP fast track to “just do (approve) it.” Nike promised Obama that it would add 10,000 new jobs in the USA over the next ten years if the TPP was approved. Hmm, 10,000 U.S. jobs added to an existing 26,000 U.S. jobs seems paltry when compared to the one million contract workers overseas that the article stated Nike uses to make its products. Some quid pro quo huh?
In my humble opinion, the bottom line is that Nike wants a reduction in import tariffs on its shoes via the TPP. You see, like I've said all along, the TPP is a grab bag of goodies for lots of corporations, in exchange for a can of worms for our nation and we, the people. Call your electeds and tell them to oppose the TPP!
When Jimmy McMillan, New York's perennial candidate ran for office on “The Cost Of Rent Is Too Damn High” platform and party, he had valid point. The cost of rent is “too damn high.” As a matter of fact, the cost of virtually all of life's necessities are “too damn high.” I say almost everything because I can just about guarantee that if you are middle-class or poor, there is one thing that isn't “too damn high” and that would be your paycheck!
Due to the corporate job offshoring free for all of high paying manufacturing jobs depressing the U.S. job market, turning it into a corporate buyer's market and turning American workers into virtual serfs, most workers haven't seen a pay increase in years! Paying low wages to their employees hasn't stopped the very same corporations from constantly raising the prices of their products at the drop of a hat and it hasn't stopped greedy commodities gamblers...er, I mean speculators from driving up the price of everything from gasoline to coffee to milk. All of that is happening right before our eyes, for all to see. That's why I was a little taken aback when I read a tweet from President Obama's Twitter account that endorsed raising the minimum wage (a great idea that is long overdue).
So why am I shocked by President Obama tweeting out his support for raising the minimum wage? Here is the tweet, you decide “A lot has changed in five years—but the minimum wage has stayed the same. #TBT #LiveTheWage.” It included a graphic from an organization that I fully agree with called Live The Wage that is as follows “From 2009 To 2014, The Price Of A Dozen Eggs Increased 23% But the minimum wage hasn't changed.” Can you see the inconsistencies in what the President is saying? The true cost of living, as opposed to some cooked statistics, have gone up drastically on his watch!
Over the past few years, the Federal Reserve has kept the interest rates that it charges banks at near zero percent. Much of that money has found its way into speculative investments a.k.a. gambling (we so need Glass-Steagall.) Part of that near zero percent gift to banksters and Wall St. is gambled on everything from gasoline to butter, turning the very food that we put on the table into betting opportunities for the greedy! Translation, government's bailout policy has helped the rich and destroyed the middle-class and the poor by causing the price of life's essentials to go through the roof.
While raising the minimum wage in an important temporary band-aid to slightly reduce the suffering endured by the working poor, it doesn't fix the underlying causes of income inequality and it doesn't help those on a fixed income. Those were created by the electeds of both parties when they vigorously supported and still support job killing, wage lowering, “free” trade agreements and when they support bailout policies that line the pockets of the wealthy and rob us. If the President calls for an increase in the minimum wage without also addressing the underlying issues that to some extent, he helped cause, he is being disingenuous. Can you say Trans-Pacific Partnership?
If you're a Democrat, you've heard a constant stream of speeches from Democratic electeds decrying income inequality. Since most Democratic electeds supported and signed and still support and sign "free" trade agreements that help corporations offshore high paying manufacturing jobs, we must assume that all of their income inequality clap trap is just empty rhetoric. I must also assume that you are not serious about fixing income inequality because you are tickled, gratified and fulfilled by merely getting Democrats in name only reelected! The reason for my assumption is that way back in 2012, I circulated a petition demanding that our electeds stop signing job killing "free" trade agreements and rescind the existing ones that people like Bill Clinton foisted on us. Your response was so poor (62 people who cared) that I closed the petition out in disgust!
Today, a gentleman decided to tweet out my closed petition which gave me hope that at least one person cared enough about his country to bring it to everyone's attention. All it takes is one person of courage to get things started so I have decided to re-open the petition. If you don't sign my petition this time around, a petition that will help fix many of America's problems, I don't want to hear any whining about income inequality!
Sign My Petition!
After watching the President's state of the union address, two things immediately came to mind:
1- If he is going to use executive orders to circumvent GOP electeds in Congress and the Senate who are trying to sabotage his initiatives, why didn't he do it sooner? If his Presidency were a football game, we would say that it is now well past halftime. The President's attempts at trying to take a “bipartisan” approach with the Republicans have diluted most of his initiatives, helped their obstructionist tactics succeed and allowed their lies to become the ongoing dialog among many low information voters.
2- The theme that pervaded his state of the union was that of fixing income inequality. The cold hard truth is that the main driving force behind income inequality has been high paying manufacturing jobs that “patriotic”, “job creating” U.S. corporations have shipped overseas to places like China. The loss of those jobs created a buyer's market for employers by generating desperate workers willing to work for lower wages and less benefits. From actual experience, we know that “free” trade agreements have been the driving force behind job offshoring, less jobs in the U.S.A. And by extension, income inequality. President Obama has expressed strong support for fast-tracking the mother of all “free” trade agreements, the Trans-Pacific Partnership commonly known as TPP. He was strangely silent about it during his state of the union.
The interesting thing about fast-tracking the TPP is that it would make an end run around public congressional debate. That's sort of combines the worst aspects of item one and item two above. He's making an end run around Congress but doing so to foist a “free” trade agreement us that will cause more income inequality.
Experience has proven that in the case of President Obama's State Of The Union addresses, what he doesn't say is far more significant than what he does say. Judge his latest speech accordingly!
Gee, I'm overjoyed that the stock market has shot back up to the 15,000s. We wouldn't want the 1% to miss one cent of profit, now would we? The powers that be want us to believe that rigging the system to make Wall Street gamblers more prosperous will somehow make the average Jane and Joe financially secure. That's like saying that a bunch of rich people in evening gowns and tuxedos gluttonously gorging on caviar and foie gras in front of poor, starving folks will somehow, by osmosis feed them.
The many perversities that drive stock market prices up or down usually have no bearing or have a negative bearing on things that affect our everyday life. Translation, what's good for Wall Street usually isn't good for the average person. In their constant quest to improve the quarterly bottom line to please Wall Street, corporate CEOs have become merciless cost cutters who have resorted to shipping American jobs to places like China and India. The workers who are displaced by job offshoring create a huge pool of desperate people that other greedy CEOs, who have to answer to Wall Street, not to us, can exploit to keep the wages that they pay their employees low.
The most insidious aspect of the above is that job cuts and stagnant wages cost our country tax revenues which then cause our corporate owned electeds to try to balance the budget on the backs of those who can least afford it by cutting so called entitlements like Social Security and Medicare. That would give many Americans less money to spend, costing more jobs. Did I hear you say vicious circle? If you thought that all of that was the entire mess,you would be wrong so read on and you will be outraged.
Let's suppose that, by some miracle, you had a few bucks to spare and wanted to start a small nest egg for either retirement or a rainy day. You open a savings account at your local multinational bank because you are only able to put away a small amount of money at a time. You are shocked to find out that your “friendly” local bank is not only paying you close to or zero percent interest, but has the nerve to charge you all sorts of fees. Yes, you are paying them to keep and use your money. That's because our “friends” at the Federal Reserve Bank are giving banks money for nothing at around zero percent interest. Guess who wins when they compete with you, the small saver?
I have just scratched the surface in this article. I didn't talk about our rigged healthcare system that denies care to many people and bankrupts others with huge bills. I didn't talk about the endless, gratuitous wars for fun and profit that sap our country of its youth and tax revenue that could be put to better use saving lives. They will be addressed in future articles and have been addressed in previous articles. At this point, you might want to know what you can do about the situation? The answers are in the articles on this website. Read, read!
Most of our electeds, including the President are climbing onto the exporting = jobs bandwagon. The main reason being that they need a few convenient token gestures such as exporting and “green” jobs to show that they are actually doing something about the unemployment problem that they caused years ago by setting up a favorable climate for job offshoring. The President is currently pushing three NAFTA style job killing “free” trade agreements, ostensibly to create exporting jobs. Though these agreements couldn't get passed under the Bush administration, in the current, “let's give away the store” atmosphere of the current administration, they become “job creators.” While exports may create a few jobs for American workers, they will not offset the vast job loss caused by the above and earlier “free” trade agreements.
The insidious thing about making exporting the almighty cure for unemployment is that it does the opposite, in the long run, it creates unemployment. When a corporation gets into the habit of finding its customers overseas, instead of here, it no longer has ANY use for Americans. The corporations will eventually succumb to the urge to move those “exporting” jobs overseas to save foreign customers any product shipping costs and to take advantage of lower local labor prices. At that point, the few American workers who got those exporting jobs will join their fellow workers who are already unemployed due to the job loss caused by those “free” trade agreements on the unemployment line.
Once a corporation realizes that virtually ALL of its income comes from exporting, it has no further use for Americans. That corporation isn't going to worry about upsetting people who are now unemployed and are no longer potential customers. Translation we won't be their customers, nor employees, we'll just live here. The only thing that we will be exporting under those circumstances will be our jobs.
This is a lose/lose proposition, American workers lose jobs and America loses precious tax revenue. Hey, you can't tax people who aren't drawing a paycheck. The only winners are the unpatriotic corporations that only care about their bottom lines, no matter who it hurts and the corrupt politicians who are owned by said corporations. The only way we can restore prosperity to America and Americans is to contact our electeds and insist that they pass legislation that restores each and every one of the pre Reagan tariffs on imports!
Let's bring back the American dream by Building It Here and Buying It Here!
Many of our electeds love to preach "austerity" and "shared" sacrifice. They infer that we, the people did something wrong that caused the deficit. That's like saying that a rape victim caused her rape because she wore "suggestive" clothes. Make no mistake about it, as members of the bottom 98%, we were the victims of a mass economic rape. As a matter of fact, we were gang banged by our electeds and the upper 2% who own them.
I'm going to use the family budget analogy to explain how our electeds destroyed our economy and how there is only one way to fix it. When you sit down at the kitchen table to hash out the family budget, you take out your paycheck, and divvy it up to cover your bills and expenses. If you lose that paycheck or have a reduction in income, you have to get it back or practice fiscal triage and sacrifice some expense items. Maintaining your income will allow you to keep some of life's luxury items like food and shelter.
Now that we're clear that increasing income or revenue is always preferable to making draconian cuts in expenses or in the case of government, infrastructure and safety net spending. Let's see how that applies to and what is the real cause of the deficit. Our troubles started when Ronald Reagan decided that it was more important for America's corporations to have a source of cheap labor than for America to have a manufacturing infrastructure and for American workers to have the kind of manufacturing jobs that made the American dream possible. He did that by lowering many trade tariffs on imports which started corporate America's outsourcing frenzy. Ever since then, globalization and job outsourcing continued as a given through every administration and was escalated by Bill Clinton's “free” trade policies that featured job killing NAFTA.
We are now at the point where America has become a country without a product. Our corporatons have become order takers that have their products manufactured overseas in contracted factories, under questionable working conditions for low wages then have their trademark slapped on the product. This process has not only caused unemployment in many industries, but has destroyed America's manufacturing infrastructure. The U.S. corporations that comprise the high tech sector, who pride themselves on their design capabilities and, in some cases boast that their products are designed in the U.S.A. are actually giving American technology to China when they have their products made there. That American technology wouldn't have been possible without all the taxpayer financed research that took place under NASA's space program.
With diminished employment possibilities and stagnant salaries, the Bush administration had a novel approach to the problem of a middle class that was rapidly becoming impoverished, he gave them the illusion of prosperity by encouraging them to borrow. Heck, they were still part of the middle class as long as they could tap their credit cards and take out secondary mortgages on their homes to make up for wages that didn't cover their expenses. The next paragraph ties it all together.
By encouraging "free" trade, our government has allowed Americas corporations to use the third world as it's hiring hall. As our citizens lose their jobs, or take low paying jobs, our government loses tax revenue. Instead of doing the right and patriotic thing for America and the American people by passing legislation that discourages imports and encourages manufacturing here, our electeds from BOTH parties have let America run up a negative balance of trade tab with China. That's why China has invested so heavily in U.S. Treasury notes, to protect THEIR interests. Translation, the American government is borrowing due to a diminishing income, just like the middle class did under Bush.
So now we have the spectre of President Obama endorsing three NAFTA like "free" trade agreements as job creators instead of the job killers they are when the real, honest solution to unemployment, the deficit and most of our economic problems is exactly the opposite. To balance America's budget, our electeds must not hack away at America's safety net and infrastructure, they must increase America's tax revenue by passing legislation that undoes the damage that they did to our country over the past thirty years. Legislation that discourages U.S. corporate offshore manufacturing in the strongest possible way, by reversing every bit of pro "free" trade legislation that was passed since the Reagan regime and by re-instituting each and every tariff on imports.
Let's bring back the American dream and restore America's economy by bringing every bit of manufacturing back to the U.S.A. That can't be done when the President endorses "free" trade agreements and cuts to Social Security as the solution. If it takes a third party, a Labor Party to fix America's problems than so be it.
Have you noticed that there's no one on Talk Radio who speaks for John and Jane Q. Public? I want to change that situation. When I go into the studio and get on the air, I say the things that you've always wanted to say. The big corporate interests have their lobbyists, I want to be your voice. Just think of me as your guy fighting for your interests.
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Headlines for 2/10/16