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Hometown: Xenia, OH
Member since: Tue Sep 19, 2006, 04:46 PM
Number of posts: 20,284
Hometown: Xenia, OH
Member since: Tue Sep 19, 2006, 04:46 PM
Number of posts: 20,284
- 2015 (66)
- 2014 (110)
- 2013 (109)
- 2012 (74)
- 2011 (3)
- December (3)
I loved Woodrow Wilson's #1 point in his 14 points.
Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.
However, the UK and France would not even follow this principle during the WWI peace negotiations and I have not seen any evidence that the world as a whole has proven willing to live by this. In the real world you can't go around releasing everything that everyone is saying in the negotiations unless you want international negotiations to grind to a halt everywhere. I suppose the US or some other important countries could refuse to conduct any more negotiations until Wilson's point was followed. But I'm not sure that Democrats want a world without international negotiations in which disputes are handled by other, less diplomatic, means.
The republicans called for release of information on the Iranian negotiations because they did not trust Obama and they wanted to blow the negotiations up. I am glad that did not happen but they were right (in a warped sort of way) to try that tactic. It would have wrecked the agreement if they could have gotten one side or the other to release the text of the negotiations while they were still ongoing.
Republicans complained about FDR's 'secret tariff agreements' in the campaigns against him in 1936 and 1940. "Secret" trade negotiations are nothing new.
Posted by pampango | Fri Apr 24, 2015, 03:33 PM (1 replies)
Reciprocal Tariff Act of 1934
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act (RTAA) into law in 1934. RTAA gave the president power to negotiate bilateral, reciprocal trade agreements with other countries. This law enabled Roosevelt to liberalize American trade policy around the globe. It is widely credited with ushering in the era of liberal trade policy that persists to this day.
After the Civil War, Democrats were generally the party of trade liberalization, while Republicans were generally for higher tariffs. The RTAA marked a sharp departure from the era of protectionism in the United States. American duties on foreign products declined from an average of 46% in 1934 to 12% by 1962.
The administration decided to take advantage of having a Democratic-controlled Congress and Presidency to push through the RTAA. ... In 1936 and 1940, the Republican Party ran on a platform of repealing the tariff reductions secured under the RTAA.
How RTAA changed the world
As American duties dropped off dramatically, global markets also increasingly liberalized. World trade expanded at a rapid pace. The RTAA, though a law of the United States, provided the first widespread system of guidelines for bilateral trade agreements. The United States and the European nations began avoiding beggar thy neighbour policies (which pursued national trade objectives at the expense of other nations). Instead, countries started to realize the gains from trade cooperation.
FDR inherited high tariffs and little trade from the republican trio of Harding, Coolidge and Hoover. If he had left things alone, we would probably not have the 'free trade' we have today. Perhaps we are lucky that republican won back control of congress before US participation in FDR's International Trade Organization came up for approval. republicans, of course, refused to even bring it up for a vote.
Posted by pampango | Thu Apr 23, 2015, 01:23 PM (2 replies)
the population ..."
That is certainly one real possibility. And one the majority of the republican base, which opposes the TPP and does not trust Obama, endorses. Closely tied to that theory would be the belief that his goal as president is to enrich himself and his family which is his motivation to be a 'bad guy', 'actor', 'salesperson', 'trickster', etc.
Up to now I had viewed Obama as sometimes wrong (IMHO), but not as inherently evil and corrupt. But I don't know him personally. He could be all those things.
Other than the 'bad guy' theory, the only other reasonable explanation is that he really believes that the 'free trade agreements' with Canada, Mexico, Australia, Chile, Singapore and Peru needed to be 'renegotiated' and the WTO rules applied to the other countries improved upon.
Posted by pampango | Wed Apr 22, 2015, 06:34 AM (1 replies)
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 | Mon Apr 20, 2015, 09:12 PM (0 replies)
about the consequences of conflict, about a globalised economy, about our interconnected world, a world that we cannot simply step off, or stop."
... all the problems we face around education, housing, employment and health on to one group of people. The fact that it’s not true, that immigrants are not the source of our problems, no longer matters. The “tell it as it is” crowd don’t tell it as it is at all. They are cowards. As we have veered rightwards, pulled there often by out-and-out racists, the only stance seen as vote-winning is to be ever more “tough” on immigrants.
This is an excellent opinion piece not only in its indictment of the far-right and its anti-immigrants sentiments (rooted in racism), but its condemnation of mainstream parties that have been pulled to the right by the constant, simplistic drumbeat of anti-immigrants pressure from the far-right.
The far-right does love to avoid 'complicated truths', preferring to dumb things down to a populist "US vs THEM" message that seems to work well for them at election time. The 'complications' of an interconnected world - immigration, climate change, trade, communications, etc. - can all be solved, in their minds, by 'building a higher wall to keep the world out.
I would disagree however that for "Tory and Labour you could substitute Republican and Democrat, and for Mediterranean migrants, substitute Latin American migrants". There is certainly a tremendous amount of anti-immigrant sentiment in the republican party but I don't think the Democratic Party has been dragged as far to the right on immigration policy as Labour may have been. Polls in the US show that a more pro-immigrant policy is actually quite popular with American voters but the republican party - particularly its tea party wing - is able to block any legislation on immigration reform.
Thanks for finding and posting this excellent article, Surya Gaytri.
Posted by pampango | Mon Apr 20, 2015, 09:23 AM (1 replies)
with other party. Independents largely agree with Democrats on this, but republicans prefer a candidate who will not compromise.
Democratic voters, in particular, place value on candidates who will make compromises: 63% say this, compared with 31% who prioritize sticking to core values. Republican voters, by contrast, are more likely to value candidates who stick to their core values (57% vs. 35%).
GOP Voters Prefer a Candidate With 'Proven Record' to One With 'New Ideas'Within the party coalitions there are differences on these measures among each candidate’s supporters, particularly within the GOP. Among Republican voters, those who say there is a good chance they would vote for Bush are more supportive of a candidate who would compromise with the other party than are supporters of Cruz, Carson, Walker, or Paul.
This stark partisan difference could be a sign that Democrats know that compromise is an essential part of governing in a democracy, while republicans are the party of "NO" and "my way or the highway.
Or this partisan difference in attitudes towards the idea of compromise could be a perceived as a sign of weakness among Democrats and strength of conviction (though not based on logic, evidence or history) among republicans.
Posted by pampango | Thu Apr 16, 2015, 08:23 AM (18 replies)
... each party is quite unified on major policy issues — and these unified positions are very far from each other. The huge, substantive gulf between the parties will be reflected in the policy positions of whomever they nominate, and will almost surely be reflected in the actual policies adopted by whoever wins.
How did the parties get this far apart? Political scientists suggest that it has a lot to do with income inequality. As the wealthy grow richer compared with everyone else, their policy preferences have moved to the right — and they have pulled the Republican Party ever further in their direction. Meanwhile, the influence of big money on Democrats has at least eroded a bit, now that Wall Street, furious over regulations and modest tax hikes, has deserted the party en masse. The result is a level of political polarization not seen since the Civil War.
On one side, suppose that Ms. Clinton is indeed the Democratic nominee. If so, you can be sure that she’ll be accused, early and often, of insincerity, of not being the populist progressive she claims to be.
On the other side, suppose that the Republican nominee is a supposed moderate like Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. In either case we’d be sure to hear many assertions from political pundits that the candidate doesn’t believe a lot of what he says. But in their cases this alleged insincerity would be presented as a virtue, not a vice — sure, Mr. Bush is saying crazy things about health care and climate change, but he doesn’t really mean it, and he’d be reasonable once in office. Just like his brother.
Of course, Krugman largely discussed the difference in the parties on economic issues.
We all know how different the parties are on social issues.
Posted by pampango | Tue Apr 14, 2015, 09:40 AM (0 replies)
Russian tanks and soldiers have been “decisive” in winning key battles against government troops in eastern Ukraine, the commander of a separatist “special forces” detachment has admitted. The Kremlin denies sending men and military vehicles to fight in Ukraine, but Dmitry Sapozhnikov told the BBC that regular army units sent from Russia and commanded by Russian officers were key in seizing the strategic town of Debaltseve in February.
Nemtsov Allies Plan to Publish Report on Russian Soldiers in Ukraine
A report being prepared by supporters of slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov claims that Moscow has started discharging its soldiers from the army before sending them to Ukraine and then denying compensation to the families of men who were killed in order to cover up Russia's involvement in the conflict.
The report, which Nemtsov was working on before he was shot and killed in Moscow on Feb. 27, will be completed and published next month by his allies, the politician's friend and associate Ilya Yashin wrote on his Facebook page Monday.
"We have managed to communicate with people who were Nemtsov's sources," Yashin said. "They were very much afraid to speak while he was alive. The murder of Boris, as you understand, did not give them new courage, so they were reluctant to get in contact."
According to these sources, Russia's involvement in Ukraine was marked by two "waves" of increased military casualties, Yashin said. The first surge in casualties came last summer, when scores of Russian troops moved across the border and helped secure an advance by separatist forces. The second wave came in January and February of this year, during the large-scale fighting that preceded the signing of the so-called Minsk II agreement on Feb. 11.
Posted by pampango | Wed Apr 1, 2015, 07:12 AM (3 replies)
Following a meeting of Liberal international in Oxford, Catherine Bearder, Hans van Baalen, Graham Watson and Cecilia Wikström write that liberals must stand together against the rise of the far-right and the 'politics of fear'.
The rise of the 'politics of fear', of branding immigrants as 'others' who should be feared, of xenophobia, racism and separatism (teapublican divisive tactics that we have all experienced) are all things that American liberals have in common with those in Europeans. I am not so sure that we share the European commitment to internationalism, at least not to the same degree, which probably results for decades of experience as the "world's policeman" with its negative consequences. European liberals may see internationalism more as FDR saw it - as a way to tie the world together and promote shared peace and prosperity.
Europe and America seem to also share a decline of a belief that 'friendly cooperation with our neighbors' (down the street or across the border), rather than every man - or country - for itself with its reliance on the mythical 'invisible hand to produce the greatest good, will lead to shared, sustainable prosperity. The more conservative "my country first" (a variant of "me first") seems to be increasingly replacing the "we are all in this together" mentality that was dominant during more liberal eras in both places. There is no evidence that an 'invisible hand' will actually produce the greatest good when many 'me first' actors (individuals or countries) compete, rather than cooperate, with each other.
Posted by pampango | Thu Mar 26, 2015, 06:04 AM (29 replies)
(per capita - 1/4 of US' population, 1/2 of our auto production). In 2014 US vehicle production was 11.6 million, while Germany's was 5.9 million. Paying workers less, which our employers always want to do, is not the answer. German automakers could show GM and Ford why that is true.
Oddly, the US is one of the few countries that manufactures more commercial vehicles (7,407,601 in 2014) than passenger cars (4,253,098). Canada is another (1.5 million vs 900,000).
Another fact, there is a strong positive correlation between the degree of unionization in a country and having a positive balance of trade (more exports than imports).
Posted by pampango | Tue Mar 24, 2015, 05:38 AM (0 replies)