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View Diary: THE HILL: Dems Face Revolt Over Free Trade In Advance of Vote (266 comments)

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  •  Obama probably cares about the facts (0+ / 0-)

    All the rhetoric aside, free trade is good fro the United States in general.  I assume Obama supports it because he believes it is good for the country.

    Inhofe is a wacko with a 46% approval rating: He's vulnerable.

    by tmendoza on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 07:33:58 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Begone freeper troll (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlueGenes

      "It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said." "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

      by Quanta on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 07:58:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lots of Freepers hate free trade (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sherlyle

        I've never understood why so many Kossacks have the same attitude on trade as Pat Buchanan and Phyllis Schlafly.

        •  Corporations are for it! (0+ / 0-)

          So it must be bad!

          Inhofe is a wacko with a 46% approval rating: He's vulnerable.

          by tmendoza on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 08:26:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  They Should, Everyone Should (0+ / 0-)

          If this is something even ultra left-n-right wing activists can agree on, we should definately put the breaks on it. Then should build on that unity to re-instate the corporate death penalty, something freepers should also get behind (I hear they like anything with the words 'death penalty' in it, so this too should be a breeze).

          This ballot is loaded, and I'm not afraid to use it.

          by BlueGenes on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 11:04:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Begone Luddism (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, Utahrd

        Free trade is the topic of political discourse on the Left that frustrates me the most.  People don't seem to care about facts or the real effects (mostly positive, but some negative) of trade.  For the majority of people on this thread it seems that the answer is obvious:  Corporations are for it, so we should be against it.  No facts or thought or analysis needed.

        But of course free trade is not only inevitable, but its good for the majority of people on the Earth.  There is no rational reason why the world should be divided up into 194 national economies, especially given modern communications and transportation.

        But liberals should not forget the anger and fear among many works created by trade and the loss of jobs it causes in some sectors.  We need to support more free trade, but we also need to make sure there is a safety net for workers who are hurt by trade.  Above all, this means government must guarantee health care and a secure retirement for all workers.  We also need to increase funding for the job retraining programs that Clinton started.  Etc.

        Inhofe is a wacko with a 46% approval rating: He's vulnerable.

        by tmendoza on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 08:25:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Some jobs are more equal than others (0+ / 0-)

          It's OK if Democrats who work in international trade in Florida, Texas, California, New Jersey, etc lose their jobs once we pass Smoot Hawley II.

          But it's not OK for people who work in textile mills in Kentucky who weren't ever going to vote Democratic anyway because their preacher told them that Democrats will allow gays to marry.

          •  IF you have a point, (0+ / 0-)
            feel free to make it.  But your cloaked bullshit has no place in any discussion.

            -7.75 -4.67

            "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

            by Odysseus on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 11:15:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I guess we don't count (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              uscitizenvoter

              Free trade creates jobs.  Sometimes but not often enough, unionized railroad, Teamster & Longshore jobs.

              I still can't figure out why our jobs are less important than other people's jobs?

              •  How many jobs are created (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                uscitizenvoter

                Relative to the number of jobs that are lost?

                <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

                by superscalar on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 12:09:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Here's some statistics (0+ / 0-)

                  Plenty of jobs were created before the Supreme Court appointed an economic illiterate to the presidency.

                  Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, the unemployment rate for African Americans fell from 14.2 percent in 1992 to 7.3 percent today and the African-American poverty rate has dropped from 33.1 percent to 26.1 percent in 1998 — the lowest level recorded, and the largest five-year drop in African-American poverty since 1967-1972. At the same time, the typical African-American household’s income is up $3,317.
                  Unemployment for Hispanics fell from 11.8 percent in October of 1992 to 5.0 percent today. The Hispanic poverty rate has dropped from 29.6 percent to 25.6 percent — the lowest since 1979. And over the past three years, the income of the typical Hispanic household has risen $3,880 — or 15.9 percent — the largest three-year increase in Hispanic income on record.

                  Poverty rates are at record lows, with the African American poverty rate down to the lowest level on record, the Hispanic American poverty rate down to the lowest level since 1979, and the Asian American poverty rate as low as it’s ever been. Poverty among African American children has also dropped to the lowest level on record.

        •  Holy crap- I dont have time to respond- (7+ / 0-)

          But is it really good for us to purchase our food from other continents?  It's good to waste the energy to get it here?  It's good to have our products made in places with lax labor and envirnmental standards?  It's good to have our products made in places with no consumer protection services?  

          Bullshit.  

          It's not good for america to force its workers to compete against slave labor and factories that ignore pollution standards.  It may bring us cheap goods, but as a result, that's all we can afford.  Switzerland and Germany still have manufacturing trade surpluses.  We don't have to send our manufacturing overseas.  We choose to.... because corporate America and our government worship short-term fiduciary duty.

          •  Thanks For The Holy Crap! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hens Teeth, uscitizenvoter

            "But is it really good for us to purchase our food from other continents?  It's good to waste the energy to get it here?  It's good to have our products made in places with lax labor and environmental standards?  It's good to have our products made in places with no consumer protection services?  

            Bullshit." - Hardleft  

            They're all looking for the next quarterly profits, while neglecting the disaster they're creating just a few years down the road.

            Of course, the tiny handful who champion these give-away agreements are never subjected to the fall-out.  It's truly criminal and probably treasonous in my opinion.

        •  A safety net isn't the same as working. (n/t) (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hens Teeth, uscitizenvoter
        •  I'm no Luddite, I'm a software engineer who (6+ / 0-)

          doesn't expect to remain employed until retirement age, especially since it keeps getting moved older.

          Retraining is the cruelest myth of all. I'm already well educated, capable, and constantly learning new skills. There are less and less jobs available. You can look at all the graphs you like, but if there were a demand for more engineers, our salaries wouldn't be stagnant to sinking. Are we going to "retrain" all the over 40 engineers to be doctors and lawyers? We have already lost most of our ability to make things. We are quickly losing our ablitily to design things.

          The word retraining always brings a picture to my mind. Imagine an office like the DMV. There are lots of people standing in line waiting to talk to clerks behind windows. The signs over the windows read, "Obsolete", "Outsourced", and "You want fries with that?"

          Impeach or be impeached.

          by Hens Teeth on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 09:42:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry (0+ / 0-)

            What is the alternative then?  Should we throw up trade barriers to prevent engineers from having to compete in the world?

            If you think retraining is a bad idea, fine.  We can discuss the merits of that.

            But a few things are obvious:  (1) Global trade has been increasing since the 1500s or earlier and will continue to increase (2)  While trade benefits the majority, some sectors and some individuals will be hurt by increased trade (3)  Progressives need to come up with an answer for the people who are hurt by trade.  I don't pretend to have all the answers; I'm happy to hear yours.

            Inhofe is a wacko with a 46% approval rating: He's vulnerable.

            by tmendoza on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 09:54:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  There's trade. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              brentmack, Hens Teeth, uscitizenvoter

              and there's trade.

              There's also offshoring.

              My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

              by Salo on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 10:04:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Neo Liberal Economic policies (4+ / 0-)

              have been in play in South America for years now. They are an unmitigated failure. These Milton Freidman economic policies have majorly disrupted otherwise relatively stabile agricultural economies, Chile, Argentina, etc. Also, they really arent free. Our farm subsidies keep our argricultural products artificially cheap so that farmers in other coutries can't earn a living because they're undercut by American corn, potatoes, you-name-it. In response, they flock into America looking for job that Americans "don't want."

              It's a race to the bottom. Wages will go down. Standards of living will go down. The people pushing these policies are the Rich-getting Richer.

              This ballot is loaded, and I'm not afraid to use it.

              by BlueGenes on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 10:50:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I agree with you about farm subsidies (0+ / 0-)

                Its a distortion of the free market to force a cotton farmer in Mali to have to compete with some fat cat American farmer.  But bringing up the point on subsidies isn't an argument against free trade (at least in my view) its an argument for eliminating our farm subsidies.

                Inhofe is a wacko with a 46% approval rating: He's vulnerable.

                by tmendoza on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 11:51:46 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yet you keep calling it 'free trade' (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hens Teeth, uscitizenvoter

                  But bringing up the point on subsidies isn't an argument against free trade

                  There is nothing 'free' about it, and when the dust settles, very little is actually 'traded'.

                  Current 'free trade' agreements actually say little about trade, but they say a great deal about the mitigation of risk to global capital.

                  <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

                  by superscalar on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 11:58:12 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Where is the competition (4+ / 0-)

              What is the alternative then?  Should we throw up trade barriers to prevent engineers from having to compete in the world?

              You make six dollars and hour, I make sixty, and you call this a 'competition'?

              Global trade has been increasing since the 1500s or earlier and will continue to increase

              If I am General Electric, and I offshore one of my business units to China, and then simply re-import the results of that business unit back to the US, please tell me what is being 'traded'?

              Progressives need to come up with an answer for the people who are hurt by trade.  I don't pretend to have all the answers; I'm happy to hear yours.

              You don't have any of the answers, yet you want to continue the course we're on.

              Does not spell 'FOOL' in big capital letters to you?

              If you are driving down the road, and you are lost, do you simply keep muttering 'we really need to find out where we are' to both yourself and everybody else in the car?

              <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

              by superscalar on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 11:32:07 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  The alternative is sensible and fair trade (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              phonegery, uscitizenvoter

              policiies. Our current policies are for the benefit of multi-national corporations. They give small and mid-sized businesses a disadvantage. Through our tax policy, we are paying corporations to give away our nation's industry and knowlege base.

              Trade is I buy your oranges, and you buy my apples. Global trade is moving papers around so that no taxes are paid to any country, while getting as much benefit as possible from each country.

              Where do you get the idea that our current system of trade is helping the majority? The middle class is shrinking, poverty is up, and the uber rich get richer. It's not some sectors, it's all sectors, except for CEOs. We now outsource engineering, accounting, medicine, teaching, and reporting.

              Impeach or be impeached.

              by Hens Teeth on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 12:05:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Oh and on Luddism (0+ / 0-)

            Sorry, I didn't mean that opposition to free trade was the same as being against technology.   I do think its similar to Luddism in that they are both ideologies that are doomed by the advances in the means of production.  Manufacturing by artisans was doomed in the face of machines and the assembly line, etc.   Similarly, organizing an economy around the nation state is doomed in the face of advances in transportation, information and communication.

            Inhofe is a wacko with a 46% approval rating: He's vulnerable.

            by tmendoza on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 10:06:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wait a damn minute (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              brentmack, Hens Teeth, uscitizenvoter

              organizing an economy around the nation state is doomed in the face of advances in transportation, information and communication.

              I'm not entirely disagreeing with you. The advantages, though, or using nation-states as intermediary vehicles for negotiating trade is that there are representatives calling the shots who are responsive to the needs of people. You have different regional interests which should be protected. I like to protect my local wildlife more than some guy in Peru wants to protect my wildlife, and vice versa. You can insert 'labor protections' for 'wildlife' or 'consumer safety' or whatever. The fact is... people don't give a flying fuck about people they can't see. That's the upside to regionalism. Protectionism isn't a terrible thing in and of itself.

              This ballot is loaded, and I'm not afraid to use it.

              by BlueGenes on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 10:56:13 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'll grant you that concern (0+ / 0-)

                Its certainly a lot easier for me to care about pollution in a river in my town than pollution in a river in China.  This is true and I'll grant you that this is a drawback of trade, but I think you are missing what I'm saying.  I'm not saying that everything about trade is good.  I'm just saying that overall it increased economic growth, and more to the point, increased trade is inevitable.

                So we need to think of ways to deal with the problems associated with increased trade (including the one you hightlighted), but we railing agrainst free trade is beside the point.  Its here to stay.

                Inhofe is a wacko with a 46% approval rating: He's vulnerable.

                by tmendoza on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 11:42:48 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  How big do you want to grow? (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hens Teeth, uscitizenvoter, BlueGenes

                  I'm just saying that overall it increased economic growth

                  What is enough?

                  When the last icecap has melted, when the last drop of oil is gone, when the last glass of potable water is gone, will you then concede that 'growth' should not be the holy grail of all human endeavor?

                  <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

                  by superscalar on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 12:01:15 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Oh - And On That Nation-State Thing (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              uscitizenvoter, BlueGenes

              If you're really not hip on the idea of the nation-state, I don't know why you'd be wasting your time here - because I'll fight you to the death on that one.  I believe in the concept of being an American citizen, not whatever weak scheme you're peddling.

              And if you think China's going to "fall in line" with that load of crap anytime soon, I've got a couple of bridges that I'd like to sell you.

              Wake up and toughen up - your country's being fleeced!

              •  Ok (0+ / 0-)

                I wouldn't argue that we should get rid of the nation-state.  Far from it.  I would point out that economies are moving away from being organized around nation-states.  This isn't an argument, this is a fact of historical development (you can lament this, but you won't be able to do anything about it), and its essentially driven by technological change.

                Inhofe is a wacko with a 46% approval rating: He's vulnerable.

                by tmendoza on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 11:45:24 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Youre 'Inevitability' Meme is self refencial (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  uscitizenvoter

                  and without a more substantial argument to back it up, is without merit. You have been touting this inevitablity without providing any data to back it up. No wonder you're on the Hillhill bandwagon.

                  This ballot is loaded, and I'm not afraid to use it.

                  by BlueGenes on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 01:58:34 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Read Ricardo's Theory Of Comparative Advantage (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              uscitizenvoter, BlueGenes

              I do think its similar to Luddism in that they are both ideologies that are doomed by the advances in the means of production.

              Especially the part where Ricardo contends that for the theory to hold, capital and the factors of production are immobile between countries.

              <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

              by superscalar on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 11:34:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  So true (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hens Teeth, uscitizenvoter, BlueGenes

            I am so sick of hearing the "just upgrade your skills" platitude that free trade supporting sheep, er I mean people, recite when faced with the spectre of outsourcing.  We all realize now that the jobs that are most in danger are high skill, high paying jobs.  Are they serious that a 45 year old with 10 years of software architecture experience should be expected to go back and get a PhD in Materials Engineering or something??  That is totally ridiculous.

            It turns out that Bush IS a uniter... he united the intelligent half of the country virulently against him.

            by fizziks on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 11:01:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  What the fuck does free trade (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hens Teeth, uscitizenvoter

          Have to do with Luddism?

          This is not the case of the horse and buggy going by the wayside because of the automobile. The jobs still exist, they are simply moved to a place where the labor is cheaper. Luddism is the opposition to technology, not the opposition to cheap offshored labor.

          Your comparison of those opposing unrestricted 'free trade' to Luddites is ridiculous.

          We also need to increase funding for the job retraining programs that Clinton started

          Please -- If you're going to suggest that 'education is the answer' -- please also suggest what it is that everyone is going to retrain for which does not involve a hamburger patty, and can not be offshored.

          Above all, this means government must guarantee health care and a secure retirement for all workers.

          Where are you going to get the money to pay for all of this? You seem to be saying that you can ship high-wage jobs out of the country to low-wage countries, and replace those jobs with low-wage jobs in this country, and you are going to have a lot of money left in the tax base to pay for everybody to just 'retire with their guaranteed health care.

          Once again, you make no sense.

          People don't seem to care about facts

          Obviously you don't either, because all you have brought with you are platitudes.

          This is the NAFTA defcit. We also have more than 7 million illegal immigrants in the US, many of whom are here specifically because of NAFTA.

          Here are what DOL says are the jobs of the future

          Now possibly you can break free from the platitudes for just a moment and tell us all what high-wage high-skilled jobs Americans can train for which the other countries of the world cannot also train their own citizens to do at one sixth the wages?

          <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

          by superscalar on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 11:24:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I didn't make myself clear (0+ / 0-)

            I wouldn't argue that opposition to free trade is the same as Luddism.  I think the are similar in that they are both doomed ideologies, swimming against advances in the means of production.

            Inhofe is a wacko with a 46% approval rating: He's vulnerable.

            by tmendoza on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 11:36:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You keep using this term (3+ / 0-)

              swimming against advances in the means of production

              'Advances in the means of production'.

              Call it what it is, third world slave labor.

              <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

              by superscalar on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 11:43:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Call it what you want (0+ / 0-)

                But I dont' think Chinese factory workers consider themselves slaves.

                In any case, what I mean by advances in the means of production is ever-increasing advances in communication and transport.

                Inhofe is a wacko with a 46% approval rating: He's vulnerable.

                by tmendoza on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 11:49:12 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yet I suspect that (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  uscitizenvoter

                  But I dont' think Chinese factory workers consider themselves slaves

                  You have never actually ask any Chinese factory workers what they think.

                  When do you predict that sixty-five cents and hour will pay for that GAP sweater that Chinese worker is making?

                  When do you predict the price of that GAP sweater will be four dollars and fifty cents, a much better approximation of what it cost to make it and ship it back to the US for sale?

                  <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

                  by superscalar on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 11:55:20 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  It isn't really "free trade" (0+ / 0-)

          The problem with what you spout is the system of "free trade" in the United States isn't actually "free."  If it were free, it wouldn't require 1400 pages to determine what can and can't be traded without tariffs.  It also wouldn't set what governments can and can't do within their country.  Free trade has severely tied the hands of the Mexican governments (local and national) and the people and kept them from having any legal recourse when a corporation does something that would be illegal in the United States.  

          I guess I could use this analogy as well...the people who pay for "free trade" are the ones who lose their jobs, and that is both the US and the country "free trade" is imposed on.  Our jobs are sent to another country (that is our payment) small farmers and businesses in the other country lose out because they can't compete with the lower costs that large businesses are capable of charging (their costs).  The we get more xenophobia because it forces people to migrate to find more work, some coming to the United States...everyone who doesn't matter loses in "free trade."

           

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