Is "free trade" a root cause of our economic woes, or a scapegoat for them?

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Offline Geolibertarian

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If anyone takes the time to read Henry George's Protection or Free Trade (arguably the best book on the subject ever written), he'll likely conclude as I and others have that our current trade policy isn't even close to being genuine free trade.

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http://www.commondreams.org/views/2006/12/09/about-corporate-managed-trade

'This Is about Corporate-Managed Trade'

by Ralph Nader
CommonDreams.org
December 9, 2006

After moving the formerly progressive state of Michigan along the road to corporate serfdom, former Governor John Engler moved seamlessly to the much higher paying position as President of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) in Washington, D.C.

The internal tensions of large trade associations are rarely the subject of reporters' attentions. For if they were, they would discover an ongoing conflict between Mr. Engler with his giant multinational corporate brethren and some mostly domestic manufacturers upset with his all out support of corporate globalization policies-NAFTA and WTO style.

Nowadays, Engler and his Big Boys are not happy with executives at Nucor corporation-one of the largest steel producers in the United States with facilities in 14 states. The feeling is mutual. Along with a growing number of stateside manufacturers, Nucor would like Mr. Engler to recognize some of the adverse realities which flow from the deindustrialization of American due to unfair global trade practices and models.

On a general plane, NAM keeps pushing the White House and Congress for trade agreements and policies that have taken the United States from its status as the world's leading creditor (they owed us) in 1980 to by far the world's leading debtor (we owe them trillions of dollars). For over 27 straight years, our country has chalked up rapidly rising trade deficits. This year the trade deficit alone will exceed $800 billion. This year, countries like China and Japan will loan us money (buying U.S. treasury bonds) to finance these deficits, thus postponing the day of reckoning.

Nucor's concerns were reflected recently by a remarkable new coalition of grassroots organizations representing farmers, workers and manufacturers which met the week of November 15, 2006 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Their statement of purpose declares: "Multinational corporate-controlled globalization is undermining the well being and prosperity of farmers and rural America, working families, domestic manufacturers, and the service industries depending upon them.

"Existing trade agreements have caused tremendous trade deficits, harmed future American innovation prospects, resulted in tens of thousands of manufacturing company closures, and eliminated millions of manufacturing jobs. They have also compromised national security and undermined national sovereignty.

"We are committed to developing a New Global Trade and Investment Agenda that serves the people who make and grow things in all countries. The agenda must include and improve labor and environmental standards, food security, and national security. It must realign corporate and trade objectives to serve the nation's public and private interests."

The declaration was signed by the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM), the National Farmers Union, the California Farmers Union, the National Catholic Rural Life Conference and the American Corn Growers Association, among others.

Fred Stokes, the executive director of OCM, army veteran and defender of family agriculture, was a sparkplug for this conference and is planning a much larger gathering in Washington, D.C. next March.

The Breakout sessions were framed by specific questions. Has the globalization model provided equal opportunity for all participants in the economic system? Has it increased or decreased risk in the food system? Has it increased or decreased national security risks? Has it weakened or enhanced national sovereignty and Democracy?

This focus should attract a substantial number of the American people and broaden the ways of evaluating these trade agreements, as if people matter first, not as if the NAM's dominant powers over government are to continue making the rules.

The use of the phrase "free trade" to describe NAFTA and WTO is ludicrous. For one thing, there can be no "free trade" with dictatorial nations like China because so many of the labor and other costs are dictated by the central government, not by markets or free collective bargaining. For another thing, these trade agreements are full of monopolies such as long western-type patent grants which are the antithesis of "free trade."

Lastly, as Public Citizen's director of Global Trade Watch, Lori Wallach, demonstrates, holding up a giant compendium of NAFTA and WTO rules: "If there was 'free trade,' a couple of pages would do. This is about who write the rules. This is about corporate-managed trade."

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"In establishing a free economic system for the United States, the Framers mandated free trade among all the states in the union. They spelled this out in Article I, Section 9, of the Constitution:

    'No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state. No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one State over those of another: nor shall vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties in another.'

"At 54 words, this was the original North American Free Trade Agreement....The 1994 agreement that goes by that name makes a travesty of free trade."



"Free trade cannot exist in the context of global oligopolies."

"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

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Offline Letsbereal

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Re: Is "free trade" a root cause of our economic woes, or a scapegoat for them?
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2010, 12:01:05 PM »
->>>|:-) THE CITY INDIANS (-:|<<<-

Offline jofortruth

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Re: Is "free trade" a root cause of our economic woes, or a scapegoat for them?
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2010, 12:08:55 PM »
I think we need to start with a definition of FREE TRADE. The real meaning is very different from the NWO DECEPTIVE MEANING! These guys twist everything to mean what they want it to mean, while deceiving others with the use of words that sound good, but the policies behind them are something else.

They also do this when naming LEGISLATION. They always give it a fluffy good name, yet the policies in the legislation are a sham. EXAMPLE: The Patriot Act. There is nothing Patriotic about it. Oh, but the name sounds so good!
  ::)
Don't believe me. Look it up yourself!

Offline Dig

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Re: Is "free trade" a root cause of our economic woes, or a scapegoat for them?
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2010, 12:27:32 PM »
"Free Trade Treaties" restrict and control trade, manufacturing, agriculture, land use, and creativity.

"The Federal Reserve" is not federal and there is no reserve.

"The Patriot Act" is unpatriotic.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

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Re: Is "free trade" a root cause of our economic woes, or a scapegoat for them?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2010, 12:29:59 PM »
"Free Trade Treaties" restrict and control trade, manufacturing, agriculture, land use, and creativity.

"The Federal Reserve" is not federal and there is no reserve.

"The Patriot Act" is unpatriotic.

That is beautifully short and to the point.

Offline jofortruth

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Re: Is "free trade" a root cause of our economic woes, or a scapegoat for them?
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2010, 12:35:32 PM »
"Free Trade Treaties" restrict and control trade, manufacturing, agriculture, land use, and creativity.

"The Federal Reserve" is not federal and there is no reserve.

"The Patriot Act" is unpatriotic.

I agree! Very good!

I think someone needs to come up with a new dictionary to put all the sham and twisted words and their false meanings in, and identify them as so!

You could name it the TWISTED dictionary!  ::)
Don't believe me. Look it up yourself!

Offline freedom_commonsense

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Re: Is "free trade" a root cause of our economic woes, or a scapegoat for them?
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2010, 02:29:31 PM »
Trading with places like Germany tariff-free might be fine, but not China or Thailand. Places that have their own import tariffs and take part in wholesale slave-goods dumping are not worthy of "free trade" in the purest sense.

Offline Dig

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Re: Is "free trade" a root cause of our economic woes, or a scapegoat for them?
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2010, 03:21:34 PM »
Trading with places like Germany tariff-free might be fine, but not China or Thailand. Places that have their own import tariffs and take part in wholesale slave-goods dumping are not worthy of "free trade" in the purest sense.

From the original article:

The use of the phrase "free trade" to describe NAFTA and WTO is ludicrous. For one thing, there can be no "free trade" with dictatorial nations like China because so many of the labor and other costs are dictated by the central government, not by markets or free collective bargaining. For another thing, these trade agreements are full of monopolies such as long western-type patent grants which are the antithesis of "free trade."
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Rebelitarian

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Re: Is "free trade" a root cause of our economic woes, or a scapegoat for them?
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2010, 03:29:58 PM »
Look tariifs are used by every country to safeguard their industries from foreigners who would use cheap or slave labor in their manufacturing processes.

America has Globalist kakistocrats running the banks with a system in which more money is owed than is ever in cirrculation along with a trade policy that rewards outsoucing and offshoring.

It's just like being a British colony where we ship raw materials to them and then we have to pay to buy back the finished product.  In those days it was called the merchantile system today it is just called Globalism.  The object is the same to ruin the lives of the American worker.

Offline freedom_commonsense

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Re: Is "free trade" a root cause of our economic woes, or a scapegoat for them?
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2010, 05:21:52 PM »
From the original article:

The use of the phrase "free trade" to describe NAFTA and WTO is ludicrous. For one thing, there can be no "free trade" with dictatorial nations like China because so many of the labor and other costs are dictated by the central government, not by markets or free collective bargaining. For another thing, these trade agreements are full of monopolies such as long western-type patent grants which are the antithesis of "free trade."

I know, I was basically agreeing with the OP. No point just doing a +1 on the poll though, I may as well say something  :P

Offline Geolibertarian

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http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul254.html

CAFTA: More Bureaucracy, Less Free Trade

by Rep. Ron Paul, MD
LewRockwell.com
June 7, 2005

The Central America Free Trade Agreement, known as CAFTA, will be the source of intense political debate in Washington this summer. The House of Representatives will vote on CAFTA ratification in June, while the Senate likely will vote in July.

I oppose CAFTA for a very simple reason: it is unconstitutional. The Constitution clearly grants Congress alone the authority to regulate international trade. The plain text of Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 is incontrovertible. Neither Congress nor the President can give this authority away by treaty, any more than they can repeal the First Amendment by treaty. This fundamental point, based on the plain meaning of the Constitution, cannot be overstated. Every member of Congress who votes for CAFTA is voting to abdicate power to an international body in direct violation of the Constitution.

We don’t need government agreements to have free trade. We merely need to lower or eliminate taxes on the American people, without regard to what other nations do. Remember, tariffs are simply taxes on consumers. Americans have always bought goods from abroad; the only question is how much our government taxes us for doing so. As economist Henry Hazlitt explained, tariffs simply protect politically-favored special interests at the expense of consumers, while lowering wages across the economy as a whole. Hazlitt, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Murray Rothbard, and countless other economists have demolished every fallacy concerning tariffs, proving conclusively that unilateral elimination of tariffs benefits the American people. We don’t need CAFTA or any other international agreement to reap the economic benefits promised by CAFTA supporters, we only need to change our own harmful economic and tax policies. Let the rest of the world hurt their citizens with tariffs; if we simply reduce tariffs and taxes at home, we will attract capital and see our economy flourish.

It is absurd to believe that CAFTA and other trade agreements do not diminish American sovereignty. When we grant quasi-governmental international bodies the power to make decisions about American trade rules, we lose sovereignty plain and simple. I can assure you firsthand that Congress has changed American tax laws for the sole reason that the World Trade Organization decided our rules unfairly impacted the European Union. Hundreds of tax bills languish in the House Ways and Means committee, while the one bill drafted strictly to satisfy the WTO was brought to the floor and passed with great urgency last year.

The tax bill in question is just the tip of the iceberg. The quasi-judicial regime created under CAFTA will have the same power to coerce our cowardly legislature into changing American laws in the future. Labor and environmental rules are inherently associated with trade laws, and we can be sure that CAFTA will provide yet another avenue for globalists to impose the Kyoto Accord and similar agreements on the American people. CAFTA also imposes the International Labor Organization’s manifesto, which could have been written by Karl Marx, on American business. I encourage every conservative and libertarian who supports CAFTA to read the ILO declaration and consider whether they still believe the treaty will make America more free.

CAFTA means more government! Like the UN, NAFTA, and the WTO, it represents another stone in the foundation of a global government system. Most Americans already understand they are governed by largely unaccountable forces in Washington, yet now they face having their domestic laws influenced by bureaucrats in Brussels, Zurich, or Mexico City.

CAFTA and other international trade agreements do not represent free trade. Free trade occurs in the absence of government interference in the flow of goods, while CAFTA represents more government in the form of an international body. It is incompatible with our Constitution and national sovereignty, and we don’t need it to benefit from international trade.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Conservatives continue to falsely equate corporate-managed trade with free trade
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2011, 03:20:54 PM »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/giant-sucking-sound-part-2-the-nafta-of-the-pacific-will-soon-allow-millions-more-american-jobs-to-be-shipped-overseas.html

The NAFTA Of The Pacific Will Soon Allow Millions More American Jobs To Be Shipped Overseas

Giant Sucking Sound Part 2?

The Economic Collapse
Sept 8, 2011

The United States is negotiating one of the biggest free trade agreements in history and there is barely a peep about it on the news.  Years ago, Ross Perot warned that if NAFTA was implemented there would be a “giant sucking sound” as millions of jobs left this country.  It turns out that he was right.  Starting on Tuesday, the next round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (also known as the “NAFTA of the Pacific”) will begin in Chicago.  We have already seen the Obama administration push hard for free trade agreements with Panama, South Korea and Colombia and the administration is making the Trans-Pacific Partnership a very high priority.  Membership in the “NAFTA of the Pacific” already includes Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore.  The United States, Australia, Peru, Malaysia and Vietnam are scheduled to join.  Canada, Japan and South Korea are also reportedly considering membership.  So once this “free trade” agreement is ratified, will we hear another “giant sucking sound” as millions more of our jobs are shipped overseas?

Look, it is not really that complicated.  If you are a giant U.S. corporation, you can either make stuff here, or you can make stuff overseas where it is far, far less expensive to do so.

To greedy corporate executives, there are a lot of advantages to moving operations out of the country….

*It is legal to pay slave labor wages in many of these other countries.  After all, why pay an American worker 10 or 20 times as much as a worker on the other side of the globe?

*In many of these other countries you do not have to provide any health care for workers.

*In many of these other countries there are virtually no environmental controls to worry about.

*In many of these other countries there are virtually no labor standards to worry about.

*In many of these other countries you only have to deal with a fraction of the “red tape” that you have to deal with in the United States.

By merging our economies with the economies of societies that are far different from our own, we have created a “race to the bottom” that is incredibly destructive to the U.S. economy.

In Vietnam, one dollar an hour is considered to be a very good wage.

So how do you plan to compete against that?

These “free trade agreements” are direct assaults on the big, juicy paychecks of American workers.

If you do not know about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, you need to get educated.

The following is a basic introduction to the TPP from Wikipedia….

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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http://www.prisonplanet.com/free-trade-or-fair-trade-20-reasons-why-all-americans-should-be-against-the-insane-trade-policies-of-the-globalists.html

Free Trade Or Fair Trade? 20 Reasons Why All Americans Should Be Against The Insane Trade Policies Of The Globalists

The Economic Collapse
October 15, 2011

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.

Congress has just passed new free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.  The Obama administration has also made “the NAFTA of the Pacific” a very high priority.

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.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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It is absolutely amazing how many Americans are still convinced that more “free trade” is the answer to our economic problems.

No, what's truly amazing is that so many Americans (such as the author of the above article) are still convinced that a corporate-authored trade agreement constitutes "free trade" merely if the official title of that agreement has the word "free" in it.

Does that mean the "Patriot" Act actually has something to do with true "patriotism"?

Those who keep falling for these ridiculous word games desperately need to read what George Carlin had to say about "euphemisms":

       http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=223151.0

Quote
The truth is that there is a vast difference between “free trade” and “fair trade”

Yes, but what you fail or refuse to see is that there's ALSO a vast difference between genuine free trade and corporate-managed trade posing as "free trade."
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-us-eu-transatlantic-free-trade-agreement-tafta-big-business-corporate-power-grab/5352885

The US-EU Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA): Big Business Corporate Power Grab

By Colin Todhunter
Global Research
October 04, 2013



The Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) between the US and EU intends to create the world’s largest free trade area, ‘protect’ investment and remove ‘unnecessary regulatory barriers’. Corporate interests are driving the agenda, with the public having been sidelined. Unaccountable, pro-free-trade bureaucrats from both sides of the Atlantic are facilitating the strategy (1)

In addition to the biotech sector and Big Pharma, groups lobbying for the deal have included Toyota, General Motors, IBM and the powerful lobby group the Chamber of Commerce of the US. Business Europe, the main organisation representing employers in Europe, launched its own strategy on an EU-US economic and trade partnership in early 2012. Its suggestions were widely included in the draft EU mandate.



An increasing number of politicians and citizens groups have criticised the secretive negotiations and are demanding that they be conducted in an open way. This is growing concern that the negotiations could result in the opening of the floodgates for GMOs and shale gas (fracking) in Europe, the threatening of digital and labour rights or the empowering of corporations to legally challenge a wide range of regulations which they dislike.

One of the key aspects of the negotiations is that both the EU and US should recognise their respective rules and regulations, which in practice could reduce regulation to the lowest common denominator. The official language talks of ‘mutual recognition’ of standards or so-called reduction of non-tariff barriers. For the EU, that could mean accepting US standards in many areas, including food and agriculture, which are lower than the EU’s.

The US wants all so-called barriers to trade, including controversial regulations such as those protecting agriculture, food or data privacy, to be removed. Even the leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, made it clear that any agreement must reduce EU restrictions on genetically modified crops, chlorinated chickens and hormone-treated beef.

The public in Europe does not want such things. People want powerful corporations to be held to account and their practices regulated by elected representatives who they trust to protect their interests, the public good. However, the TAFTA seems an ideal opportunity for corporations to force wholly unpopular and dangerous policies through via secretive, undemocratic means. They have been unable to do this in a democratic and transparent manner, so secret back room deals represent a different option.

Corporate demands include an “ambitious liberalisation of agricultural trade barriers with as few exceptions as possible.” Food lobby group Food and Drink Europe, representing the largest food companies (Unilever, Kraft, Nestlé, etc.), has welcomed the negotiations, with one of their key demands being the facilitation of the low level presence of unapproved genetically modified crops. This is a long-standing industry agenda also supported by feed and grain trading giants, including Cargill, Bunge, ADM and the big farmers’ lobby COPA-COGECA. Meanwhile, the biotech industry on both sides of the Atlantic is offering its “support and assistance as the EU and the US government look to enhance their trade relationship.”

New Report

If the pro-free-market bureaucrats and corporations get their way and successfully bar the public from any kind of meaningful information input into the world’s biggest trade deal ever to be negotiated, Europeans could end up becoming the victims of one of the biggest corporate stitch ups ever. Left unchallenged, it will allow huge private interests to dig their profiteering snouts into the trough of corporate greed at the expense of ordinary people.

And that’s not hyperbole. Such a view is confirmed by the release of a new report on the eve of the second round of negotiations that are due to begin in Brussels next week.

The report, published by the Seattle to Brussels Network (S2B) (2), reveals the true human and environmental costs of the proposed TAFTA. ‘A Brave New Transatlantic Partnership’ highlights how the European Commission’s promises of up to 1% GDP growth and massive job creation through the EU-US trade deal are not supported even by its own studies, which predict a growth rate of just 0.01% GDP over the next ten years and the potential loss of jobs in several economic sectors, including agriculture.

The report also explains how corporations are lobbying EU-US trade negotiators to use the deal to weaken food safety, labour, health and environmental standards as well as undermine digital rights. Attempts to strengthen banking regulation in the face of the financial crisis could also be jeopardised as the financial lobby uses the secretive trade negotiations to undo financial reforms, such as restrictions on the total value of financial transactions or the legal form of its operations.

Kim Bizzarri, the author of the report:

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Is "free trade" a root cause of our economic woes, or a scapegoat for them?
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2015, 03:21:25 PM »
http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/item/19439-rand-paul-to-obama-prioritize-passage-of-trans-pacific-partnership

Rand Paul to Obama: "Prioritize" Passage of Trans-Pacific Partnership

by Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
The New American
03 November 2014

Politics, the saying goes, makes strange bedfellows. In presidential politics, the cozy compromises with the unconstitutional seem even more unsettling.

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a man whose personal popularity and political fortunes have increased in direct proportion to his spreading of his libertarian-leaning ideals, has now publicly embraced the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an unprecedented sovereignty surrender masquerading as a multi-national trade pact.

Paul’s speech coincided with the TPP ministerial meeting conducted October 19-24 in Sydney, Australia.

Speaking at the Center for the National Interest dinner in New York City on October 23, Senator Paul said:
    Our national power is a function of the national economy. During the Reagan renaissance, our strength in the world reflected our successful economy.

    Low growth, high unemployment, and big deficits have undercut our influence in the world. Americans have suffered real consequences from a weak economy.

    President George W. Bush understood that part of the projection of American power is the exporting of American goods and culture. His administration successfully brokered fourteen new free trade agreements and negotiated three others that are the only new free trade agreements approved since President Obama took office. Instead of just talking about a so-called “pivot to Asia,” the Obama administration should prioritize negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership by year’s end.
Why would Rand Paul, a man who has in the past demonstrated a remarkable adherence to the principles of the Constitution, make his own “pivot” away from those doctrines and toward a pact as pernicious as the TPP? Perhaps the answer is found in this paragraph from a story on Paul’s speech printed in The Diplomat: "As a Republican presidential hopeful, Paul likely recognizes that his and the party’s interests are best served by trying to find some issues on which Republicans can cooperate with the administration. This would give the American electorate confidence that the Republican Party is interested in governing, and would make it harder for Democrats to use disgust with the Republican Party to mobilize the Democratic base in the 2016 election."

With the exception of Paul’s father, former congressman Ron Paul, it seems that when constitutionalists begin to crave the chair in the Oval Office, their fidelity to the principles of republicanism is swapped in exchange for approval by the principals of the Republicans.

If Senator Paul’s purpose in pushing for the quick passage of the TPP is to draw so close to the Democrats that they can’t stab him, then he’s probably picked the wrong issue.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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How Trade Deals Boost the Top 1% and Bust the Rest
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2015, 03:26:18 PM »
http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/02/17/how-trade-deals-boost-top-1-and-bust-rest

How Trade Deals Boost the Top 1% and Bust the Rest

'The fact is, trade agreements are no longer really about trade.'

by Robert Reich
Common Dreams
February 17, 2015

Suppose that by enacting a particular law we’d increase the U.S.Gross Domestic Product. But almost all that growth would go to the richest 1 percent. 


The rest of us could buy some products cheaper than before. But those gains would be offset by losses of jobs and wages.

This is pretty much what “free trade” has brought us over the last two decades.

I used to believe in trade agreements. That was before the wages of most Americans stagnated and a relative few at the top captured just about all the economic gains.

Recent trade agreements have been wins for big corporations and Wall Street, along with their executives and major shareholders. They get better access to foreign markets and billions of consumers.

They also get better protection for their intellectual property – patents, trademarks, and copyrights. And for their overseas factories, equipment, and financial assets.

But those deals haven’t been wins for most Americans.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Bumped in view of what Alex and Bruce Fein are discussing as I type this.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline EvadingGrid

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Poll Question

My reply is : Other (please explain).


We need :

Currency Monetary Reform - before we discuss what we do with the money, we should discuss what it is, and who gets to create it, and who should be allowed to create it.

Taxation Reform - we need a simpler taxation system, which is forced to shrink to pamphlet size.

 8) 8)
“Hey, I’m a nationalist and a globalist”
-- Donald Trump

Article : "A Limited Hangout Operation ?"

Offline Geolibertarian

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Trump Is Trying to Make NAFTA Even Worse
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2017, 08:44:31 PM »
http://www.globalresearch.ca/trump-is-trying-to-make-nafta-even-worse/5598018

Trump Is Trying to Make NAFTA Even Worse

By Ethan Earle
Global Research
July 07, 2017

Many on the Left have been deeply critical of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) since before it was fast-tracked into law by former President Bill Clinton in 1994. Now, President Donald Trump’s current plan to renegotiate NAFTA is poised to make the massive trade deal even worse.

In late May, a loose coalition of civil society groups gathered in Mexico City to discuss this upcoming renegotiation. Participants included the AFL-CIO, Canadian Labour Congress and over one hundred other labour, environmental, and immigrant rights organizations from across Mexico, the United States and Canada. The meeting produced a joint declaration opposing a Trump-led NAFTA renegotiation and marked the kickoff of the latest international campaign against free-trade deals that benefit corporations and political elites at the expense of workers, communities and our shared environment.

NAFTA’s legacy is marred by lost jobs, lower wages, increased inequality and a litany of environmentally destructive practices. While the people who gathered in Mexico City have long opposed NAFTA for its pro-corporate bent, a consensus emerged that President Trump and his team are cooking up something even worse.

Two questions follow from this judgment: What can we do to stop Trump, and how can we use the moment to challenge the powerful interests that he represents?

The Dangers of a Trump-led Renegotiation

Trump campaigned and won the U.S. presidential election in no small part due to his anti-free-trade positions. He galvanized millions of voters for whom the considerable promises of globalization have long since given way to the stark realities of rising inequality and declining living standards.

After assuming the presidency, Trump decided it was politically necessary to kill off the wildly neoliberal Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to appease his popular base. This decision was met with dismay by nearly all big corporations and elites from both political parties.

But now, in an act of political judo, Trump is trying to use the same anti-establishment, pro-American rhetoric from his campaign to craft a neoliberal NAFTA renegotiation that will include everything demanded in the recently scuttled TPP – and more. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, as well as others in Trump’s administration, have been surprisingly straightforward about these intentions.

Formal notice of the intent to renegotiate was submitted to Congress on May 18. Following an obligatory 90-day “consultation period,” negotiations are expected to commence in the second half of August. A draft list of the Trump administration’s priorities, submitted to Congress in late March, gives us a window into what we should expect.

A Trump-led renegotiation will mean a strengthening of heinous Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanisms, which allow corporations to sue governments that “infringe” on profit-making opportunities, for example, by daring to introduce anti-tobacco legislation. It will mean stronger copyright and intellectual property laws, in case you’re not already spending enough on your medications. It will also mean further privatization of the internet, greater corporate control of e-commerce, and most likely a new broadside against net neutrality.

Meanwhile, “investor incentives” will increase the liberalization of capital flows and lead to the offshoring of many thousands of jobs, in the ongoing global race to find the most exploitative labour conditions possible. And, of course, this ceremony will be sealed with the ritual sacrifice of labour, human rights and environmental regulations in each of the three signatory countries.

And let us not forget that, while the TPP accounted for 40 per cent of the world’s GDP, NAFTA still represents approximately 25 per cent. In 1994, NAFTA set the standard for two decades of terrible international trade agreements, and power brokers across the world hope this renegotiation will restore business as usual and set a new standard for decades to come.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline fred.greek

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Opinion.  Free trade.  Stuff made in nations with not labor laws, pollution laws, etc., is made at a cost MUCH less than in nations with such laws.  If you want to have protective laws in your nation, you need to have import restrictions such that the price of what is sold in your nation is raised by tax to equal the cost to produce in your nation.
Retired but still working in the garden...