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View Diary: Raising the minimum wage: The right thing to do, and a winning issue, too. (135 comments)

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  •  It's a Point (0+ / 0-)

    I agree, generally, with having strong unions (for economic reasons and for reasons of justice).

    However, we can enforce IMW even without cooperation from other governments. We just write into the legislation that the companies have to prove that every part of their product was made by someone being paid the IMW before they can sell it in the U.S.

    And, if you've followed my comments (for the last few years, anyway) you know that I also support a uniform tariff. This is another means of making sure that companies don't outsource jobs just to make a buck on cheaper labor.

    Right now, I'm just getting word out. We will need to build liberal muscle to get it through Congress. But people have to understand that our trade situation sits at the bottom of both our economic woes and the attack on our rights. It is responsible for the income disparity we see. Finding ways to manage our international trade is vital to righting all the wrongs people talk about.

    So, I lose no opportunity to talk about it. And I think all progressives need to do that, so that it becomes common wisdom that we are going to change this structure.

    •  alas, two problems arise (1+ / 0-)
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      Liberal Thinking

      You can write whatever legislation you want.  Unless a government can enforce it, it's worthless (and if it's a national legislation, the company can avoid the whole thing just by moving to another country.)  

      As for tariffs, they are already a dead issue.  Nations no longer set tariffs---WTO frowns on them, and WTO has veto power over anything any national government does.  That will also kill the whole "can't import into the US without this this or this". WTO will strike that down inside an hour.

      You could of course simply declare that we tell the WTO to go fuck itself.  Alas, that's been tried, several times, by several nations (including the US). Every one of them surrendered abjectly. No nation can stand against the global trade structure. None. Even its own corporations won't support it.

      When it comes to economics, national governments simply no longer matter. Not even the big mighty USA.

      •  Don't Start by Being Defeated (0+ / 0-)

        The U.S. can have tariffs. And we can tell the WTO to fuck off, because we own them. They are totally a creature of the U.S. All we have to do is give the President a couple years to renegotiate our trade relations, with the reserve that we will pull out if they don't agree.

        As for enforcing our policies, companies will fall in line. They can't sell in the U.S. without our permission, so moving to another country just cuts them off from our markets. Since we are about 40% of the world market, they will cave in.

        So, while I understand the difficulties, they are not insurmountable, and we have to defeat them in order to make this work.

        The alternative is that the U.S. will be a third-world country. I just don't see the American public accepting that without a fight.

        •  alas, you are quite wrong (0+ / 0-)

          The US has already demonstrated, repeatedly, that it doesn't have the ability to stand up to the entire international trade apparatus---particularly when the US's own corporations won't stand on the government's side in those disputes.

          As for cutting them off from our market, they're already writing us off.  As our wages keep falling, we become less of a market anyway.  That's why even the "American" companies like GM and Ford now have over half of their productive capacity located overseas and make over half of their profits outside the US.  If we cut them out of the US market, they'll shrug, say "Bye" and go sell cars to China and India instead.

          This isn't the 1950's anymore.  The US is no longer the undisputed economic master of the world.  Economically, we already ARE a third world country----to the point where Germany and Japan are now moving factories here to take advantage of our low-wage non-union unregulated economy. They are doing to us what we did to Mexico.

          And we accepted that without a fight. Indeed, our own corporations are helping the process along.

          •  Argue for Your Limitations (0+ / 0-)

            and they're yours.

            We use about 40% of everything. No corporation, no matter how mighty, can afford to abandon the U.S. market.

            But, of course, if we wait a bit longer (say, until after China overtakes our economy), we won't be able to make that change.

            I'm not prepared to give up on this until I actually have to move to a different country.

            Our opponents never give up because things look like they won't work out. After the War in Vietnam it looked like we'd never fight another little war like that. The Afghan war has dragged on longer. People like Dick Cheney simply didn't give up when told the military had to downsize. Now it consumes more than all other militaries in the world, combined, and soaks up over half of the real federal budget.

            After Roe v Wade it looked like abortion was going to be a legal right everyplace in the U.S. Earlier this week abortions after 20 weeks became "illegal" in one of the states. At the rate they're going motherhood will be mandatory for every woman over 12.

            You have to look at what's the right answer. Then you go after the right answer because all politics is moveable. You just need to have a great idea and very dedicated people. If you're 'Publican, you don't even need a great idea.

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