Thursday, October 13, 2011

Trade Agreement Passes in Middle of Job Crisis

When the conservative U.S. Chamber of Commerce likes something, you know it's bad for working Americans, because they support "free" trade, not fair trade, when it comes to outsourcing American jobs.

Now, this minute as I write, President Obama is on TV praising a new trade agreement. Now we have another fair free trade agreement being passed in the middle of a job crisis! He just said on national TV, "The single most important thing we can do right now is put people back to work." WTF???

Just in from Reuters: "President Barack Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak hailed a long-sought trade deal as an engine for job creation in both countries." (Long-sought by who? The big corporations? The Chamber of Commerce? The Republicans?)

Everybody thought Obama's jobs bill was a big deal when the Republicans rejected it yesterday, when the bigger betrayal was quietly being accomplished this week when the trade bill was passed the very same day the jobs bill was killed. But so far, there's been little outrage in the news or blogs. Now more jobs will be going to Colombia, South Korea and Panama - - - sent their by corporations for cheap labor while 21 million Americans remain unemployed.

It's become blatantly obvious recently, that for decades our elected officials in Congress (and now our President) has NOT been doing the will of THE PEOPLE. They have turned their backs on us and have literally spit in the faces of the American people. I recommend that we do away with our whole system of government entirely, because evidently "democracy" no longer works in the United States of America.

I suggest that every 4 years we hold a general election (by popular vote, not by an electoral college) and vote for a dictator to run this country, and eliminate Congress and the Supreme Court entirely. For decades the other two branches of our government has been totally screwing over and ripping off the American people. (and NOT Obama, maybe Sen. Bernie Sanders)

How can our elected representatives in Congress pass on the responsibilities of our national budget to six members of Congress as a "commission"? Isn't that illegal? And isn't that already a mini-dictatorship?

And why would a Democratic President, who's been saying one thing (creating jobs) and then doing another (signing a bill like this?) The word "bullshit" comes to mind.

Trade Bill Passes - U.S. Chamber Of Commerce gets their way. More good paying American jobs will be going to Panama, Korea, and Columbia, where 50 labor leaders were murdered last year. Michael Moore once asked, "What if those had been 50 CEOs?"

More sweat shops paying slave wages will be opened overseas for corporate profits...nothing has changed. More jobs will continue to leave our shores, and out labor unions aren't happy; and they may hold back support for Obama next year. See this video America's Race to the Bottom.

Both chambers of Congress passed all three free trade agreements on Wednesday, along with the Trade Adjustment Assistance bill. (TAA) While the Colombia, South Korea and Panama trade agreements were fast-tracked through Congress in an apparent move to appease President Obama’s wishes for a photo-op with the South Korean President whom is visiting the White House today.

Most House Republicans supported the trade agreements while many House Democrats opposed them, while in the Senate several Democrats joined with Republicans to get the bills passed and sent to the President for signing into law. (Earlier from The Hill and here, and from the Department of Labor)

From Bob Hall - (2012 Campaign) - While we were distracted: Job-Killing Trade Deals Pass. Obama and Tea Party Flip-Flop.

"With nine percent unemployment and Americans desperate for job creation, it is unconscionable that President Obama and House Republicans would push through a trio of NAFTA-style job-killing trade agreements that even the government’s own studies show will increase the U.S. trade deficit.

This represents a complete flip-flop for President Obama, who won crucial swing states by pledging to overhaul our flawed trade policies. So it is no surprise that a sizable majority of Democrats in Congress voted against these agreements, against Obama and for American jobs.

Today a larger share of House Democrats voted against a Democratic president on trade than ever before. It took Bill Clinton nearly eight years of NAFTA job losses, sell outs and scandals to have nearly two-thirds of the House Democrats vote against him on trade.

Given the strong Democratic opposition, ultimately it was the Tea Party GOP freshmen who passed these job-killing deals despite their campaign commitments at home to stand up for Main Street businesses, against more job offshoring and for Buy American requirements. The three pacts explicitly ban Buy America procurement policies. The Korea FTA is projected to increase the trade deficit, with seven U.S. industrial sectors hardest hit and job losses of 159,000 in its first seven years.

Members of Congress that voted for these job-killing agreements – backed by Wall Street and America’s most notorious job-offshoring corporations and harmful to American workers, small business and consumers – will face a reckoning as the damage of these pacts hits home. We promise to closely track and publicize every development.

Everyone is asking what the Obama administration could have been thinking to push the sorts of NAFTA-style trade deals that polls show majorities of Democrats, Independents and even GOP voters oppose as job killers, especially after the lesson of the 1993 NAFTA vote, when a Democratic president’s blurring of the distinctions between the parties on trade and jobs caused a disgruntled base to stay home.

Every election cycle, more Democrats and GOP are campaigning against these sorts of NAFTA-style trade pacts. Given this and the high unemployment rate, it will be very rough for those officials who then betrayed folks at home and voted for these deals loved only by Wall Street and job-offshoring corporations."

Job-Killing Trade Deals Pass Congress Amidst Record Democratic Opposition

Obama and Tea Party Flip Flop on Fair Trade Campaign Commitments

- - - Other ways the 1% has been screwing over the 99% - - -

(All links below are recent articles from the Washington Post)

Public companies shouldn’t have to compare CEO and worker pay - "Here’s one financial figure some big U.S. companies would rather keep secret: how much more their chief executive makes than the typical worker."

Cozy relationships and ‘peer benchmarking’ send CEOs’ pay soaring - "If every company tries to keep up with or exceed the median pay for executives, executive compensation will spiral upward, regardless of performance."

With executive pay, rich pull away from rest of America - "For years, statistics have depicted growing income disparity in the United States, and it has reached levels not seen since the Great Depression."

Capital gains tax rates benefiting wealthy feed growing gap between rich and poor - "For the very richest Americans, low tax rates on capital gains are better than any Christmas gift." (Herman Cain wants to lower them from 15% to 9% when it was 20% before Bush. Newt Gingrich want them at 0%)

Government contracts fuel wealth - "Millions of dollars worth of federal contracts transformed Anita Talwar from a government accounting clerk into a wealthy woman — one who can afford a $2.8 million home in the Washington suburbs with its own elevator, wine cellar and Swarovski crystal chandeliers."

Executive Compensation 2010

The income gap has grown with dramatic increases in CEO pay.

Forbes 20 Richest Americans

Thanks Obama! Now tell us again how outsourcing more jobs will put Americans back to work.


  1. New York Times - Whose Jobs Are at Risk in Free Trade

    With Congress expected on Wednesday to take up trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama as well as a benefits package for workers who lose their jobs to foreign competition, the Joint Economic Committee of Congress has released a report showing that the workers most likely to be hurt by free trade are the same groups that will have the most difficult time getting new jobs. The workers most likely to lose their jobs as a result of increased trade are older workers and those without a college education. The most obviously affected industry has traditionally been manufacturing, where workers tend not to have college degrees and an increasing number are 45 or older.

  2. Sen. Bernie Sanders - "Saying U.S. trade policy has been "a disaster" for American workers, Sen. Bernie Sanders will vote against proposed trade agreements. He spoke out during a debate about the trade deal with South Korea, Panama and Colombia. "In the last 10 years alone we have lost 50,000 factories and it is harder and harder to buy products manufactured in the United States. These new trade agreements are nothing more than a continuation of a failed trade policy."

  3. We need a tax law (made retro-actively going back 10 years) taxing corporations (every year) $49,909 (the median household income) for every job they outsource to a foreign country. Then for each job they ship overseas, we can hire one government worker here in the USA.

    If they won't invest in America, then we can invest in ourselves!

    We can call it the American Worker Tax Act of 2011. Will someone in Congress at least introduce this legislation and have each member of Congress take and up or down vote on it?