Archive for October 17th, 2011
Dylan Ratigan talks to William K. Black*. This video is worth every second of your time to watch. Nothing more needs to really be said.
* William K. Black is an Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC). He was the Executive Director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention from 2005-2007. He has taught previously at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and at Santa Clara University, where he was also the distinguished scholar in residence for insurance law and a visiting scholar at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.
He was litigation director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, deputy director of the FSLIC, SVP and General Counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and Senior Deputy Chief Counsel, Office of Thrift Supervision. He was deputy director of the National Commission on Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement. His regulatory career is profiled in Chapter 2 of Professor Riccucci’s book Unsung Heroes (Georgetown U. Press: 1995), Chapter 4 (“The Consummate Professional: Creating Leadership”) of Professor Bowman, et al’s book The Professional Edge (M.E. Sharpe 2004), and Joseph M. Tonon’s article: “The Costs of Speaking Truth to Power: How Professionalism Facilitates Credible Communication” Journal of Public Administration Research
and Theory 2008 18(2):275-295.
I was surprised, amused and annoyed all at once when I found out yesterday that some moron-provocateur linked to notorious right-wing cybergoon Andrew Breitbart had infiltrated
a series of private e-mail lists – including one that I have been participating in – and was using them to run an exposé on the supposed behind-the-scenes marionetting of the OWS movement by the liberal media.
According to various web reports, what happened was that a private “cyber-security researcher” named Thomas Ryan somehow accessed a series of email threads between various individuals and dumped them all on BigGovernment.com, Breitbart’s site. Gawker is also reporting that Ryan forwarded some of these emails to the FBI and the NYPD.
I have no idea whether those email exchanges are the same as the ones I was involved with. But what is clear is that some private email exchanges between myself and a number of other people – mostly financial journalists and activists who know each other from having covered the crisis from the same angle in the last three years, people like Barry Ritholz, Dylan Ratigan, former regulator William Black, Glenn Greenwald and myself – ended up being made public.
There is nothing terribly interesting in any of these exchanges. Most all of the things written were things all of us ended up saying publicly in our various media forums. In my case, what I wrote was almost an exact copy of my Rolling Stone article last week, suggesting a list of demands for the movement. I said I thought having demands was a good idea and listed a few things I thought demonstrators could focus on. Others disagreed, and there was a friendly back-and-forth.
So I was amazed to wake up this morning and find that various right-wing sites had used these exchanges to build a story about a conspiracy of left-wing journalists. “Busted. Emails Show Liberal Media & Far Left Cranks Conspired With #OWS Protesters to Craft Message,” wrote one.
Breitbart’s site, BigGovernment.com, went further, saying that the Occupy Washington D.C. movement is “working with well-known media members to craft its demands and messaging while these media members report on the movement.”
The list, the site wrote, include:
…well known names such as MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan, Rolling Stone’s Matt Tiabbi [sic] who both are actively participating; involvement from other listers such as Bill Moyers and Glenn Greenwald plus well-known radicals like Noam Chomsky, remains unclear.
Aside from the appalling fact of these assholes stealing private emails and bragging about it in public, the whole story is completely absurd. None of the people on the list, as far as I know, are actually organizers of OWS — I know I’m not one, anyway.
In fact, I was surprised by the entire characterization of this list as being some kind of official wing of OWS. I thought it was just a bunch of emails from friends of mine, talking about what advice we would give protesters, if any of them asked, which in my case anyway they definitely did not.
This whole episode to me underscores an unpleasant development for OWS. There is going to be a fusillade of attempts from many different corners to force these demonstrations into the liberal-conservative blue-red narrative.
This will be an effort to transform OWS from a populist and wholly non-partisan protest against bailouts, theft, insider trading, self-dealing, regulatory capture and the market-perverting effect of the Too-Big-To-Fail banks into something a little more familiar and less threatening, i.e. a captive “liberal” uprising that the right will use to whip up support and the Democrats will try to turn into electoral energy for 2012.
Tactically, what we’ll see here will be a) people firmly on the traditional Democratic side claiming to speak for OWS, and b) people on the right-Republican side attempting to portray OWS as a puppet of well-known liberals and other Democratic interests.
On the Democratic side, we’ve already seen a lot of this behavior, particularly in the last week or so. Glenn Greenwald wrote about this a lot last week, talking about how Obama has already made it clear that he is “on the same side as the Wall Street protesters” and that the Democratic Party, through the DCCC (its House fundraising arm), has jumped into the fray by circulating a petition seeking 100,000 party supporters to affirm that “I stand with the Occupy Wall Street protests.”(I wonder how firmly the DCCC was standing with OWS sentiment back when it was pushing for the bailouts and the repeal of Glass-Steagall Act).
We’ve similarly heard about MoveOn.org jumping into the demonstrations and attempting, seemingly, to assume leadership roles in the movement.
All of this is the flip side of the coin that has people like Breitbart trying to frame OWS as a socialist uprising and a liberal media conspiracy. The aim here is to redraw the protests along familiar battle lines.
The Rush Limbaughs of the world are very comfortable with a narrative that has Noam Chomsky, MoveOn and Barack Obama on one side, and the Tea Party and Republican leaders on the other. The rest of the traditional media won’t mind that narrative either, if it can get enough “facts” to back it up. They know how to do that story and most of our political media is based upon that Crossfire paradigm of left-vs-right commentary shows and NFL Today-style team-vs-team campaign reporting.
What nobody is comfortable with is a movement in which virtually the entire spectrum of middle class and poor Americans is on the same page, railing against incestuous political and financial corruption on Wall Street and in Washington. The reality is that Occupy Wall Street and the millions of middle Americans who make up the Tea Party are natural allies and should be on the same page about most of the key issues, and that’s a story our media won’t want to or know how to handle.
Take, for instance, the matter of the Too-Big-To-Fail banks, which people like me and Barry Ritholz have focused on as something that could be a key issue for OWS. These gigantic institutions have put millions of ordinary people out of their homes thanks to a massive fraud scheme for which they were not punished, owing to their enormous influence with government and their capture of the regulators.
This is an issue for the traditional “left” because it’s a classic instance of overweening corporate power — but it’s an issue for the traditional “right” because these same institutions are also the biggest welfare bums of all time, de facto wards of the state who sucked trillions of dollars of public treasure from the pockets of patriotic taxpayers from coast to coast.
Both traditional constituencies want these companies off the public teat and back swimming on their own in the cruel seas of the free market, where they will inevitably be drowned in their corruption and greed, if they don’t reform immediately. This is a major implicit complaint of the OWS protests and it should absolutely strike a nerve with Tea Partiers, many of whom were talking about some of the same things when they burst onto the scene a few years ago.
The banks know this. They know they have no “natural” constituency among voters, which is why they spend such fantastic amounts of energy courting the mainstream press and such huge sums lobbying politicians on both sides of the aisle.
The only way the Goldmans and Citis and Bank of Americas can survive is if they can suck up popular political support indirectly, either by latching onto such vague right-populist concepts as “limited government” and “free-market capitalism” (ironic, because none of them would survive ten minutes without the federal government’s bailouts and other protections) or, alternatively, by presenting themselves as society’s bulwark against communism, lefty extremism, Noam Chomsky, etc.
All of which is a roundabout way of saying one thing: beware of provocateurs on both sides of the aisle. This movement is going to attract many Breitbarts, of both the left and right variety. They’re going to try to identify fake leaders, draw phony battle lines, and then herd everybody back into the same left-right cage matches of old. Whenever that happens, we just have to remember not to fall for the trap. When someone says this or that person speaks for OWS, don’t believe it. This thing is bigger than one or two or a few people, and it isn’t part of the same old story.
Matt Taibbi – Taibblog
I keep getting sent pictures and keep looking for the Marxism…. and I just can’t find it.
I mean, c’mon – GADSEN is Marxist?
Not quite sure what he means with this one (other than the obvious “FML” reference), but it doesn’t look Marxist…
Oh look! A raised fist! Ok, that might be socialist (I don’t know what “RBE” is though) But there’s another one of those damned Gadsen flags…. (it might be the same one – not sure)
End the Fed? Marxist? And what’s that thing with stars and stripes on it?
The other signs? Hmmm…. Democracy is the power of the majority not the wealthy? Marxist? Uh, no. “We the people”? I seem to think that’s not either. “Audit the fed?” “Taxation with misappropriation”? Hmmmm… Oh wait! I got it! REVOKE GRAMM-LEACH-BLILEY!
Very Marxist that American Flag. Right?
Yeah guys, pull the other one. These photos were sent to me from Denver; I note that Denver is a ridiculously Democratic city, with a virtual monopoly on city politics and has a Democrat representative in Congress. It was the home of the 2008 DNC convention as well.
So…… how come I can’t find the SEUI and “Marxist” banners in these photos?
And another one down, another one down; another one bites the dust….
PS: Thanks to Armin who took the photos in question – with what is claimed to be an iPhone (I thought my phone camera was bad? Wow!)
Obama is pretending that he supports the 99%.
Americans want our liberties restored, our troops brought home, and the Fed reined in. But Obama has implemented plans for war throughout the Middle East crafted by the Neoconservatives a decade (or more) ago, and gotten us into 7 (oops …8) wars, attacked our liberties even more than Bush and allowed the Fed to dramatically expand its powers.
Americans didn’t want bailouts, but Obama helped to facilitate trillions in direct and hidden bailouts.
Obama doesn’t support the 99%. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
As Yves Smith notes:
A saying I learned in Caracas: “A politician is someone who gets in front of a mob and tries to call it a parade.”
Note: Forget what you’ve been taught … the mainstream Democrats and mainstream Republicans are virtually identical on all core matters. Don’t fall for the old divide-and-conquer trick.
Like the Tea Party, OWS began as a loose collection of people who knew they were getting a raw economic deal — but were unsure as to precisely why. They both started with a surge of grassroots politics. Both tapped into the national zeitgeist, feeding on an unfocused economic angst. When the Tea Party first burst onto the national stage, I had high hopes they might address some of the persistent economic problems our two-party political system was ignoring. But the Tea Party tilted to the right, shifting from the economic to the partisan. Obamacare and taxes – neither of which were responsible for a laundry list of economic woes facing the nation – became their focus.
That move created a vacuum. Since then, we have been waiting for a group of angry Americans to fill the void. It did not look like OWS was going to be the ones to do so. Especially with the way the Media was either ignoring them, or portraying them as a group of slacker hippies, fringe dwellers and kooks.
Yep. Barry continues..
Credit the Daily Show with changing all that. Jon Stewart’s team surfaced a video of a senior NYPD officer pepper-spraying some young girls for no apparent reason. NYC may not be Libya, but that clip of abusive police behavior – and the young women collapsing in obvious agony – ramped up the mainstream coverage. What Rick Santelli’s infamous rant on CNBC did for the Tea Party, the NYPD pepper spray video did for the Wall Street protesters.
I don’t know if the Daily Show was the spark or not. Certainly this much is without dispute: The people have had it with the two-faced “standard” for law enforcement.
There’s nothing illegal about waving signs and protesting. Oh sure, this is one of the mantras about the protests: They’re “illegal”. Oh really? I seem to remember a thing called The First Amendment, which the Tea Partiers love to wave when it suits them.
But the test for belief in the First Amendment (or any other fundamental liberty interest for that matter) is not whether it operates to serve you. The fact of the matter is that nobody ever tries to censor unoffensive speech (to them) – it’s always the offensive speech that people try to silence!
As such the point is simple: To believe in the First Amendment you must support the right of people to speak who piss you off!
There are those who argue that the OWS people “took over” the park they base at. Wrong again. That park is privately owned but the owner got that park property by offering consideration of permitting 24×7 use by the public. This was imposed upon them so they could have the right to own and develop other property. So unlike a private residential or office building, there was a quid-pro-quo and they made their bargain at the time of acquisition. Further, the recent claims of “sanitation” problems were false and the company backed down when it was pointed out that legal process would be initiated if they tried to evict the protesters. That’s called the rule of law.
Likewise, the sidewalks are public property. You have a right to be there and to speak while standing upon them. Again, the rule of law.
But when you start macing people for speech while at the same time the banksters just a block over have been literally ripping people off for a decade or more, you’re going to piss off anyone who has an ounce of fairness in their body. It is not “riot control” when the people demonstrating are not rioting! It’s pure jackbooted thuggery and in a less-polite society would be met with immediate (and justified) retributive violence. Kudos to the protesters for withholding what that police officer deserved and by doing refusing to play their game of attempting to goad them into a violent confrontation so they could lie, point fingers and say “see, I told you they were dangerous!”
Barry goes on to recommend the following policy goals:
1. No more bailouts: Bring back real capitalism
2. End TBTF banks
3. Get Wall Street Money out of legislative process
I agree. But as I pointed out this morning in my piece on student loans and other forms of abuse, the ending of bailouts and real capitalism means that the strictures that allow “some animals” to declare bankruptcy but not the common animal known as “the people” must end right now.
No, there should NOT be “loan forgiveness.” But access to the bankruptcy process and enforcement of that same punishment on the lender for making stupid loans must be both available and enforced.
THAT is the key item. Enforcing that stricture above all others will immediately and automatically end TBTF. Getting money out of legislation is tougher to do without destroying the people’s ability to speak, and must be looked at carefully, not in a scattershot fashion. For example, you could end all lobbying money tomorrow with a law, but doing so is dangeorus.
Let’s say I run a business. Joe and Jane are running for the House. I believe Joe will cause me harm and Jane will help my company. I call an all-employee meeting and say the following:
I know that you have a choice to make at the polls tomorrow, and being that we have a secret ballot in this country I can neither control nor would I try to control your vote. But I will tell you what the consequences of you vote are likely to be.
If Joe is elected I expect the policies he promotes to cost this company $500,000 next year and every year beyond. That cost will have to come from employee wages. Since I cannot cut your wages by this amount, I will be forced to lay off 100 people should these legislative changes come to pass.
If Jane is elected, she has promised to do things that I believe will cause the company to earn an additional $500,000 every year. If this comes to pass I would of course need to hire more people, but in addition I would expect to be able to offer everyone here a 10% raise.
Have a good day tomorrow and please remember to vote.
How do you stop that from happening? You can’t!
But if you “get all money out of politics” you just gave the businessowner (who has a nice captive audience) the ability to do this without the right of the people to form into a group and buy advertising to counteract this inevitable and expected effect.
Be careful what you wish for, in short. I’m not saying that what we have now is good, but I am saying that many of the so-called “remedies” being bandied about will in fact do you more harm than they will help.
Free Trade Or Fair Trade? 20 Reasons Why All Americans Should Be Against The Insane Trade Policies Of The Globalists
It is absolutely amazing how many Americans are still convinced that more “free trade” is the answer to our economic problems. The truth is that there is a vast difference between “free trade” and “fair trade”, and in this article I will prove that all true conservatives and all true liberals should be completely against the insane trade policies of the federal government. Yes, we will always need to trade with other nations. Other nations make or have things that we need to trade for. Balanced trade relationships with other nations that have similar economies and that share similar values can be very beneficial. For example, our trading relationship with Canada, though not perfect, is generally beneficial to both sides. However, the United States also has dozens of trading relationships that are highly destructive to the U.S. economy. There are some predatory nations that are blatantly and openly cheating and everyone can see it. They are getting away with bloody murder and they are robbing us blind. The United States of America is being taken advantage of, and as a result thousands of good businesses are being destroyed and millions of good jobs are being lost. If you are an American and you are in favor of all of the unfair trade that is currently going on, then either you don’t know much about economics or you actually want to see the U.S. economy be destroyed.
Obama says that all of these new trade pacts will create more U.S. jobs.
Well, either Barack Obama is completely ignorant when it comes to economics or else he is lying.
When we merge our economy with the economies of nations where wages are much lower, it is inevitable that large numbers of jobs are going to leave the high wage areas (where we live) and go to areas where wages are much lower.
It also certainly does not help that we have the highest corporate tax rate in the world, that we burden our businesses with mountains of ridiculous regulations, and that we allow our “trade partners” to give their businesses a huge advantage by openly subsidizing them.
The way that the system is set up now, nearly all U.S. businesses are at a massive, massive disadvantage. In general, the only businesses that can compete effectively in this environment are the giant corporations that can offshore huge portions of their operations.
If you are a conservative, then there is no way that you should support our current trade policies. If you are a liberal, then there is no way that you should support our current trade policies.
However, if you are a “George W. Bush Republican” or a “Clinton/Obama Democrat” that believes in globalism and the establishment of a one world economy as part of a “New World Order”, then it would make sense why you would want to see America deindustrialized and brought down to the level of the rest of the world.
But if you are a true conservative or a true liberal, then the following are reasons why you should be horrified by our current trade policies….
#1 Other Nations Openly Manipulate Their Currencies In Order To Gain A Significant Competitive Advantage
For example, China keeps its currency set at a super low level relative to the U.S. dollar. By doing this, their products are far cheaper than U.S. products, and U.S. businesses cannot compete with them. This has resulted in the death of large numbers of U.S. businesses and the loss of millions of U.S. jobs.
So just how bad is this problem? Well, a recent CNN article stated the following….
Critics of China’s policy estimate that the yuan is still undervalued by 25% to 40%, even with the recent rises in value.
The other day the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would impose tariffs on currency manipulators, and China has already retaliated, even though the bill has not become law yet and even though it almost certainly won’t.
China plays hardball. They love the advantage that they are getting right now and they do not plan on losing it.
#2 Millions Of Good Paying Jobs Have Been Shipped Overseas And They Are Never Coming Back
Our politicians all try to tell us how good they are at creating jobs.
But what is the truth?
The truth is that a total of zero jobs were created last decade. The following is a quote from a recent article in Washington Monthly….
“If any single number captures the state of the American economy over the last decade, it is zero. That was the net gain in jobs between 1999 and 2009—nada, nil, zip. By painful contrast, from the 1940s through the 1990s, recessions came and went, but no decade ended without at least a 20 percent increase in the number of jobs.”
Last decade we opened up our trade with the rest of the world more than ever before. But instead of creating jobs it destroyed them. Our trade deficits exploded and unemployment skyrocketed.
The Economic Policy Institute says that since 2001 America has lost approximately 2.8 million jobs due to our trade deficit with China alone.
So if you are unemployed, that is probably what happened to the job you are supposed to have.
It went overseas and it is not coming back.
#3 America Is Being Deindustrialized At A Blistering Pace Thanks To Globalism
The advocates of “free trade” cannot dispute the cold, hard facts….
*The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
*The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.
*If you can believe it, more than 42,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been closed down since 2001.
*Between December 2000 and December 2010, 38 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Ohio were lost, 42 percent of the manufacturing jobs in North Carolina were lost and 48 percent of the manufacturing jobs in Michigan were lost.
*Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.
#4 (For Conservatives) True Conservatives Should Be Horrified That We Are Being Taken Advantage Of By A Hardcore Communist Nation That Hates Us
Ronald Reagan would have never engaged in “free trade” with the Soviet Union. The Communist Party is in complete control of China and while we may regard China as a “frenemy”, they really do believe that they will totally defeat us someday. If you doubt this, just read what the top generals and politicians in China are writing.
It is so incredibly stupid what we are doing. Our trade relationship with China has enabled the largest communist economy in the world to go from third world status to superpower status. China is now the second largest economy in the world, and that would have never happened without our help.
A lot of people like to talk about how “capitalist” China is becoming, but the truth is that they have never wavered from their pure belief in communism. 7 of the 10 largest corporations in China are owned by the government.
A host of other corporations in China are very deeply subsidized by the government.
U.S. businesses have a very hard time competing with foreign businesses that are deeply subsidized by their own national governments.
It is called cheating, and we let other countries get away with it.
So our businesses die and their products fill up our store shelves.
#5 We Are Endangering Our National Security By Greatly Enriching Our Biggest Potential Enemies
The biggest threats to the United States are not some goat herders hiding out in the caves of Afghanistan.
The biggest threats to the United States are actually China and Russia.
Conservatives are supposed to be the ones that are so concerned about national security. But instead of expressing concerns about China, they just keep pushing for more free trade.
As a result, China has been able to become a true global military superpower.
Someday we will deeply, deeply regret that.
#6 China Brazenly Steals Technology From Anyone And Everyone That They Can
China gets away with bloody murder when it comes to stealing technology. They will do it “legally” if they can, and they will do it in “other ways” if they have to.
At this point, China has invented a whole host of ways to extract technology from any firms that wants to do business in China.
The following is a short excerpt from a recent article on CNN….
Foreign companies are often required to set-up joint ventures with Chinese firms before the can start doing business there. And China is instituting new “indigenous innovation” rules that U.S. companies say force them to transfer their own technology to their Chinese partners.
#7 We Should Never Trade With Any Nation That Has A “One Child” Policy
China has a very strict “one child policy” which should be absolutely abhorrent to all Americans.
Most Americans have no idea what is really going on over in China. The following is from a recent article in the Epoch Times….
Pregnant women lacking birth permits are hunted down like criminals by population planning police in China and forcibly aborted.
All over China, mobile abortion vans are used to help enforce the one child policy. What women in China must endure is absolutely sickening, and this kind of behavior should never be accepted in the global community.
But instead of penalizing China, we reward them for this behavior. They even get awards at the United Nations for it.
Look, conservatives are supposed to be pro-life. If you are a social conservative, then it goes against everything that you believe to support trade with China.
You can support trade with China if you want, but then don’t even try to call yourself “pro-life” again.
We should never trade with any nation that has a “one child policy”. Such a policy is against everything that America is supposed to stand for.
#8 Our Horrendous Trade Imbalance Has Allowed Other Nations To Accumulate Gigantic Amounts Of Our Debt
Every month, we send much more money to the rest of the world than they send to us. One thing that those other nations are doing with all of that money is that they are buying up our debt.
Our trade deficit with China has enabled them to accumulate nearly a trillion dollars of our debt. This gives them tremendous leverage over us and is a very serious threat to our economy and to our national security.
So now China can threaten the stability of our financial system with just a phone call.
#9 Globalist Trade Institutions Are A Serious Threat To Our National Sovereignty
Today, the “global economy” is governed by globalist institutions such as the G20, the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank. The United States has given up huge amounts of national sovereignty to these organizations.
If you are a true conservative, this should greatly disturb you.
We don’t want faceless international bureaucrats telling us what our trade policies will be. But to a large degree that is the situation that we have gotten ourselves into.
#10 Liberals (And All Americans) Are Supposed To Care About What Is Best For American Workers
Millions of working class jobs have been shipped overseas, and yet Barack Obama just keeps pushing for more “free trade” agreements which will make the problem even worse.
But instead of screaming bloody murder, liberals keep on supporting Obama.
The truth is that the Obama administration actually says that there are certain kinds of jobs that we “don’t want” in the United States.
For example, the following is what U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk recently told Tim Robertson of the Huffington Post about the Obama administration’s attitude toward keeping manufacturing jobs in America….
Let’s increase our competitiveness… the reality is about half of our imports, our trade deficit is because of how much oil [we import], so you take that out of the equation, you look at what percentage of it are things that frankly, we don’t want to make in America, you know, cheaper products, low-skill jobs that frankly college kids that are graduating from, you know, UC Cal and Hastings [don't want], but what we do want is to capture those next generation jobs and build on our investments in our young people, our education infrastructure.
So where is the outrage?
Is anyone even awake out there?
Even the construction of many of our roads and bridges is being outsourced to China. Just check out the following quote from a recent ABC News article….
In New York there is a $400 million renovation project on the Alexander Hamilton Bridge.
In California, there is a $7.2 billion project to rebuild the Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco and Oakland.
In Alaska, there is a proposal for a $190 million bridge project.
These projects sound like steps in the right direction, but much of the work is going to Chinese government-owned firms.
“When we subsidize jobs in China, we’re not creating any wealth in the United States,” said Scott Paul, executive director for the Alliance for American Manufacturing.
Liberals are supposed to be working to defend the working class.
So why won’t they openly go after Obama on these issues?
Our unfair trade agreements have put American workers in direct competition for jobs with the cheapest labor on the globe.
Until this is fixed, you will continue to hear a “great sucking sound” as millions of jobs continue to leave the United States and go to places where labor is ten to twenty times cheaper.
It is insanity what we are doing. We allow big corporations to send their manufacturing offshore and also to ship their products back into the United States for free.
Where in that equation is good news for the American worker?
#11 Liberals (And All Americans) Should Be Horrified By The Exploitation Of Slave Labor Around The Globe
All over the globe, workers toil in nightmarish conditions for slave labor pay just so that Americans can feed their addiction for cheap foreign products.
Big corporations and collectivist governments such as China are getting unbelievably rich by exploiting this slave labor pool.
Get educated about this and find out the truth. It just might totally change the way that you view “free trade”.
#12 Liberals (And All Americans) Should Be Horrified By The Damage To The Environment Our Trade Relationships Cause
Liberals are supposed to deeply care about the environment. But our trade relationship with nations on the other side of the globe result in thousands of factories and businesses leaving our shores and ending up in countries where the environmental regulations are not nearly as strict. In fact, nations such as China are a complete and total environmental nightmare at this point. If liberals truly cared about the environment they would want to keep factories and businesses here.
#13 Very Dangerous Products Continue To Flood Into This Country From Overseas
Isn’t product safety supposed to be a big thing for liberals? Today, a huge percentage of the products we buy are made outside the United States far from the watchful eyes of our regulatory agencies. Over the past couple of years, there has been headline after headline about dangerous products made in China. The following is just one example of this: 10 Babies Die Mysteriously At Fort Bragg: Toxic Drywall From China Used In Base Homes The Culprit?
#14 The Globalization Of The Economy Causes Income Inequality To Grow
By paying slave labor wages to workers overseas, the big corporations are becoming very wealthy. At the same time, that means that there are much fewer jobs for average working class Americans, and wages for the jobs that remain are pushed down because of increased competition for jobs.
So the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
If you don’t believe that income inequality in the United States has become a huge problem, just check out this chart.
#15 Because Of All Of The Cheating And All Of The Predatory Behavior That Is Going On, Our Trade Relationships Have Become Incredibly Imbalanced
Today, the United States spends about 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.
So how is that even close to “fair”?
Our store shelves are absolutely packed with stuff from China.
In 2010, the number one U.S. export to China was “scrap and trash”.
Even in high technology products we are being destroyed. In 2002, the United States had a trade deficit in “advanced technology products” of $16 billion with the rest of the world. In 2010, that number skyrocketed to $82 billion.
#16 Our Gigantic Trade Deficit Is Destroying Our National Wealth
The United States has had a negative trade balance every single year since 1976, and since that time the United States has run a total trade deficit of more than 7.5 trillion dollars with the rest of the world.
Our gigantic trade deficits are making us poorer as a nation each and every month. Each year, somewhere around half a trillion dollars of our national wealth gets transferred out of the United States. That half a trillion dollars could be going to support U.S. businesses and U.S. jobs. Taxes could be paid on that half a trillion dollars. But instead it leaves the country and makes other nations wealthier.
#17 The Globalization Of The Economy Has Caused Unemployment In The United States To Explode
If you gathered together all of the workers that are “officially” unemployed in the United States today, they would constitute the 68th largest country in the world.
#18 As Our Cities Are Deindustrialized, Many Of Them Are Being Transformed Into Absolute Hellholes
The other day, I wrote the following about what is happening in cities and towns across the United States….
All across America there are cities and towns that were once prosperous and beautiful that are being transformed into absolute hellholes. The scars left by the long-term economic decline of the United States are getting deeper and more gruesome.
#19 Without Good Jobs, An Increasing Number Of Americans Are Having To Turn To Government Assistance
We are going to support U.S. workers one way or another. Either we are going to provide them with good jobs, or we are going to let their jobs be shipped out of the country and we are going to pay for the government to feed and house them.
Today, there are more than 45 million Americans on food stamps. That number has gone up by more than 70 percent since 2007. Almost every single month we set a new all-time record for the number of people being fed by the federal government.
#20 If Nothing Is Done, All Of This Is Going To Get A Lot Worse
According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades.
Can you imagine what America is going to look like if that happens?
Okay, so in light of all of that information, can anyone out there defend the current “free trade” policies of the federal government?