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Hometown: Xenia, OH
Member since: Tue Sep 19, 2006, 04:46 PM
Number of posts: 18,740
Hometown: Xenia, OH
Member since: Tue Sep 19, 2006, 04:46 PM
Number of posts: 18,740
- 2015 (9)
- January (9)
- 2014 (111)
- 2013 (109)
- 2012 (74)
- 2011 (3)
- December (3)
with the US. Trade with China is a bigger part of Germany's economy than it is of the US economy. Germany's unions and middle class are doing just fine. Our problems are internal not the fault of poor people in other countries. We can't blame our regressive taxes, little support for unions and an ineffective safety net on the Chinese or the Mexicans or the Kenyans or the Peruvians. The problem is much closer to home.
Obama promised to work to revise NAFTA to protect Worker's Rights and he hasn't ...
Assuming Obama really means to 'protect worker rights' covering them in TPP which includes Canada and Mexico would be one way to do it.
NAFTA to protect Worker's Rights and he hasn't because the cow was out of the barn and had run over the cliff since that opened the door to shipping our manufacturing overseas to China ...
NAFTA had nothing to do with China. Do you really think that China's growth would have been limited if the US and Canada had avoided a trade agreement with Mexico?
... and anywhere else where workers could be abused with substandard working conditions and wages that kept them in poverty.
"Trade agreements can be written and negotiated to raise living standards for workers and to enforce environmental protections vital to survival of the planet ..."
... the rest we won't know about because it is secret and Fast Track means none of us will know until it's signed.
No. 'Fast track' affects the ratification/rejection process, not the negotiating process.
"Fast Track means none of us will know until it's signed." Do you believe that denying 'fast track' means that we WILL know what's in it before it is signed? The negotiations have been going on in secret for years without 'fast track'. Why would the continuing lack of 'fast track' suddenly open up the negotiating process?
With 'fast track' the negotiations can be secret or they can be public. In the absence of 'fast track' the negotiations can be secret or they can be public.
IF we ever get a trade agreement that would "raise living standards for workers and to enforce environmental protections vital to survival of the planet ...", do you think it is likely that republican majorities in the House and Senate will not cut out precisely those provisions that "raise living standards for workers and to enforce environmental protections vital to survival of the planet ..." and leave in the stuff that corporations and the 1% like, if they are allowed to do so?
Posted by pampango | Thu Jan 22, 2015, 11:56 AM (0 replies)
"Trade agreements can be written and negotiated to raise living standards for workers and to enforce
environmental protections vital to survival of the planet."
I agree with that assessment. Indeed that is the only argument that the TPP is at all defensible. None of us has seen the chapters on labor rights and environmental protection because they have not been leaked. If those chapters are nonexistent, weak or unenforceable then TPP deserves to go down in flames.
I have often read that Obama believes that a trade policy that respects enforceable labor rights and environmental protections not only is a good thing on its merits but gives the US a competitive advantage with low-wage, environmentally lax countries that we do not have today. The low-wage countries now have that advantage.
Obama has these rights and protections included in his TPP objectives. Obviously, none of us know to what extent they will be reflected in the final agreement - assuming there ever is one. Those who don't trust him - be they tea partiers or some DUers - will of course 'know' that he will sell us out in the end. Indeed he might. But who will we ever trust to negotiate a trade agreement to be "written and negotiated to raise living standards for workers and to enforce environmental protections vital to survival of the planet"? If the answer is, "No one." then we really don't believe that government has a role to play in this.
BTW, the excerpt you posted did not allege that 'fast track' means that the "Senate does the vote without even seeing what's in the Trade Agreement and they have no ability to discuss or revise the agreement because it gives the President total authority."
Posted by pampango | Wed Jan 21, 2015, 05:21 PM (1 replies)
Rated 100% by NARAL, indicating a pro-choice voting record. (Dec 2003)
Posted by pampango | Fri Jan 16, 2015, 01:14 PM (1 replies)
source - the US International Trade Commission. But the numbers they used at the link you provided to reach their conclusions were not the numbers actually from the USITC.
They cite the US International Trade Commission as the source for their statistics but a cursory glance at that site shows shows that, at the very least, the figures for our 2013 trade deficit with Canada and Mexico are not accurately represented on the citizen.org table in the article. Here is the link to the ITC and the actual trade deficit figures for 2013: http://dataweb.usitc.gov/scripts/cy_m3_run.asp Here is the link to the Census showing trade with Mexico: https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c2010.html And here is the Census date for trade with Canada: https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c1220.html
... this is a strange conversation to have with a fellow Democrat.
Seeking to base a discussion of trade policy on facts is "unDemocratic"? Quite the contrary, I think that discussing issues without facts is republicans are quite good at.
You're talking in circles, and it seems like you're just making up figures.
If you check the US International Trade Commission and the Census Department, you will see that I am not the one "making up figures".
You have a good one, too.
Posted by pampango | Fri Jan 16, 2015, 10:59 AM (0 replies)
For the first time in five years, as many Americans cite defending the U.S. against terrorism (76%) as a top policy priority as say that about strengthening the nation’s economy (75%). Since Barack Obama began his second term in January 2013, the economy has declined 11 points as a top priority, and improving the job situation has fallen 12 points (from 79% to 67%).
The survey finds little change over time in many of the public’s other priorities: 67% rate improving education as a top priority, 66% cite securing Social Security, 64% reducing health care costs and 61% securing Medicare.
However, the budget deficit – which surged in importance between 2009 and 2013 – has lost ground since then. Currently, 64% say reducing the budget deficit is a top priority; that is little changed from last year (63%), but down eight points since 2013.
At the same time, other priorities are now viewed as more important. Increasing percentages say improving the nation’s infrastructure (up 12 points since 2013), dealing with global warming (up 10 points) and dealing with the nation’s moral breakdown (eight points) should be top priorities. Immigration, for which there is no 2013 trend point, has grown as a priority since last year; 52% view it as a top priority, compared with 40% last January.
The top Democratic concerns: global warming, the environment, the problems of the poor and needy, education, science, lobbyists and infrastructure. The top republican concerns: strengthening the military, the budget deficit, moral breakdown, immigration, terrorism and the tax system.
The biggest increases in importance were: infrastructure, immigration, stronger military and global warming. The biggest declines in importance: jobs, the economy and the budget deficit.
Posted by pampango | Fri Jan 16, 2015, 07:24 AM (5 replies)
their middle class.
Trying to Solve the Great Wage Slowdown
While wages and incomes have stagnated in the United States (as well as in Japan and large parts of Europe), they have not done so everywhere. In Canada, a broad measure of incomes has risen about 10 percent since 2000, even as it’s fallen here. In Australia, it’s up 30 percent. ... Though Australia and Canada obviously are not identical to the United States, it certainly seems worth asking what they’re doing differently.
For starters, they are doing a better job with mass education. They have near-universal preschool, and they both do more to get low-income students through college. In Australia, college is free. “Increasingly,” the report says, “a college education is similar to the high school education of the past — necessary for a prosperous life.” The efforts to create a more skilled work force in Canada and Australia (as well as Sweden and some other countries) have led to better jobs – and stronger pretax income growth.
Beyond education, these other countries do more to intervene in the free market on behalf of the middle class and the poor. Other countries, for instance, have more generous child care and family leave – and their share of women with jobs has surpassed the share in this country. Their tax policies demand relatively more of the affluent. Canada, in particular, appears to have stronger financial regulation.
One theme is that the countries where the middle class has fared better are countries where workers have more power. The share in labor unions is higher, much as unionized workers in this country make more than otherwise similar workers.
The report itself is at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/report/2015/01/12/104266
Posted by pampango | Thu Jan 15, 2015, 10:56 AM (4 replies)
Q&A: Marine Le Pen on France and Islam
French President Francois Hollande has held a national security meeting in Paris after the deaths of 17 people in the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
Al Jazeera spoke to Marine Le Pen, the far-right French politician and president of the National Front, about how her party views the issue of security in France.
Al Jazeera: There was a security meeting here in Paris. In your opinion what should the French government be doing now to ensure French people they are safe.
Le Pen: The first priority is the immediate removal of Schengen , because you can't have security and control in a country without having any powers over our borders. It's impossible to stop illegal arms trade.
The Schengen Agreement is the 30 year old agreement which enshrined freedom of movement throughout Europe. Conservatives here complain about 'open-borders liberals' though there is not much actual evidence of such creatures. This lament from Le Pen shows that the far-right in Europe has the same complaint about liberals.
Schengen is now a core part of EU law and all EU member states who have not already joined the Schengen Area are legally obliged to do so when technical requirements have been met. Several non-EU countries are also included in the area.
Posted by pampango | Tue Jan 13, 2015, 10:22 AM (4 replies)
Each year the sharp minds at the foggy bottom think tank known as the Center for Global Development release a very cool and easy-to-use metric for evaluating to what extent wealthy countries are truly committed to fighting poverty and inequity in poor countries.
It’s dubbed the Commitment to Development Index and, despite its somewhat boring name, is quite fascinating and enlightening. This year’s authors, Owen Barder and Petra Krylová (both work in CGD’s European office), note that they measure countries not only by how much they spend per capita on foreign aid but also by poverty mitigation efforts within the context of trade, investment, migration, environment, security and technology.
Overall, the United States doesn’t measure up so well even though our leaders like to repeat that we spend more (in total) on foreign aid than any other country. True enough, but as this index shows that’s a bit of a red herring. As the report notes:
Go to their site and explore their interactive graphic and data. The accompanying graphic above is just a screen grab of the tool from CGD’s website. Below is another way to show the rankings:
4 of the top 5 countries are Scandinavian countries. Not exactly a surprise but they do set a high standard for the rest of us. Of course, they also set a high standard for domestic income equality and standard of living.
Posted by pampango | Sat Jan 10, 2015, 07:29 AM (4 replies)
too hyped by all sides.
If the TPP has enforceable labor and environmental standards, as outlined in Obama's negotiating guidelines, it could be a big deal. The only way to get those critical issues included in trade rules is international negotiation and agreement.
If it does not have these standards or if they can be stripped out by republican majorities in congress, Obama would do well not to submit a final agreement (assuming one is ever reached) to congress.
Polls show that the Democratic base supports 'fast track' for Obama while the republican base hugely opposes it.
Democratic support for both treaties is stronger than that of Republicans: 60% of Democrats see TTIP as a good thing compared with 44% of Republicans, while 59% of Democrats look favorably on TPP compared with 49% of Republicans.
Poll: conservative and moderate republicans oppose fast track (for the TPP) by a ratio of 85 percent or higher.
Posted by pampango | Fri Jan 2, 2015, 07:27 AM (3 replies)
Yanukovych had campaigned for president in 2010 on a platform of integration with Europe. Throughout 2013 his government steps to achieve that goal by November 29 when the Association Agreement with the EU was to be signed at a conference in Lithuania. As the date approached Yanukovych started to back pedal (although he also issued statements of a continued commitment to integration with Europe) under pressure from Russia.
To coordinate preparation of Ukraine for European integration, the Government of Ukraine adopted a Plan on Priority Measures for European Integration of Ukraine for 2013. Successful implementation of the plan was assumed to be one of the conditions necessary for signing of the Association Agreement, planned for 29 November 2013 during the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius.
People caring about a reversal of a major policy the government itself had spend months and years pursuing, is not evidence that the resulting protests must be the work of "outside agitators". (That's the term used against civil rights protesters in the US back in the day.)
Posted by pampango | Wed Dec 31, 2014, 08:12 AM (1 replies)