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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #56)

Mon May 11, 2015, 04:31 AM

138. I actually think protectionism is a reasonable response

to countries who won't meet reasonable standards of environmental, regulatory, and labor concerns. This "treaty" is primarily written by corporate interests. I know they claim to have included environmental and labor concerns, but it's odd that environmental and labor groups are so united in their opposition.

Corporations should be required to pay wages that would provide at least a living wage in their own country if they are going to use labor in some other nation to produce goods to be sold in the country of the corporation's origin. And goods produced by foreign corporations should be subject to tariffs to offset the disparity in labor and regulatory standards. If we had polical representation for citizens rather than for the largest campaign donors, these issues would be getting a lot of consideration.

I know the left is supposed to be against protectionist policies, perhaps it's time to reevaluate that. Times and conditions have radically changed. The information revolution has made it possible for corporations to exploit the weakest labor and regulatory conditions anywhere, tracking projects with distributed workforces, and the massive infrastructure of modern ports and shipping enables goods produced offshore to be imported back and sold into price structures that reflect entirely different monetary and living conditions. The old free trade liberalism is no longer viable for anyone but the corporations. It's obvious, and would be obvious to many more people if it were explained to them, but the explainers are all on the corporate payroll.

Rather than regional agreements writtten by corporate interests and enforced by stateless courts whose members are appointed without public oversight, we should set the acceptable conditions for goods from other nations. If they won't meet those conditions, we can ban the imports or we can attempt to offset the unfair production environment with tariffs.

I'm sure not all of my ideas here are viable or are the proper response, but it's time for a rethink, and to think for ourselves, we're being sold a load of pain by bought and paid for politicians.

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