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   I get why people are angry. Not the anger espoused by the racists, birthers and anti-government people. Across the political spectrum, wherever people place themselves, there is a unifying point that keeps coming up: we've been robbed by corporate powers. And the foolish, failed so-called "free trade" policies--pursued by Republicans and Democrats alike--is a place to find a unifying WINNING ELECTORAL theme in November. Maybe.

  A few days ago, Stan Greenberg and James Carville sent around a memo, which has been discussed here and there. Much of the memo focused on, in my opinion, happy talk about new polling showing Democrats recouping lost ground. Buried lower in the memo, as pointed out by our friends at the Citizens Trade Campaign, was this:

There is a second message that centers on made in America, creating American jobs and opposing the Republicans who supports trade agreements and tax breaks for companies that ex-port American jobs. The message is strongest with older women and seniors and with inde-pendents. These can be used in a targeted way, while working in our next poll and focus groups to bring these two messages together.

My passion is "made in America," working to support small businesses, American companies and new American industries. (REPUBLICAN HOUSE CANDI-DATE) has pledged to support the free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea and protect the loophole for companies outsourcing American jobs. I have a different approach to give tax breaks for small businesses that hire workers and give tax subsidies for companies that create jobs right here in America.

This message framework for the election is helped by an attack on the Republican candidate for supporting trade agreements and tax breaks that lead to lost American jobs. Those at-tacks are very strong with white older women and seniors.

 
  Let me be clear about my own position. I am not for a message that opposes trade by targeting workers abroad i.e., "[Fill in the blank] is taking our jobs and we have to build everything here because we're better" or words to that effect. In my humble opinion, that leads us down the same track that fosters anti-immigrant feelings and a moral superiority that does not do our country well.

  I am for--and I believe many Americans will respond to--a message that says, "No more greed in American--whether it's on Wall Street or in corporate trade. Vote against any candidate who will vote to let corporations attack our wages and pensions and the American Dream by forcing workers everywhere to work for slave wages." Ok, so let the slogan meisters do a better job to shorten it--but you get the picture.

  Of course, there is a weakness in this approach: our party has been long associated with promoting the foolish, failed so-called "free trade" policies. True, the number of Democrats who vote for these failed deals has decreased over time. But, our president, as a way of building bridges to the business community (read: campaign contributors) has recently voiced support for reviving Bush-era trade deals with South Korea and Colombia.

  Which leads me to this point: now that corporate America is pouring tens of millions of dollars in the post-Citizens United environment into defeating the Democratic party, what exactly does the president, and other Democrats who run around pimping for so-called "free trade", think they are gaining by continuing to carry the water for these failed policies?

   And they don't even work. Public Citizen recently release a very detailed study that shows obliterates the bogus claimthat so-called "free trade" deals are a better bargain:

Yet, analysis of the actual outcomes of past U.S. FTAs show that the growth of U.S. exports to countries that are not FTA partners is as much as double the growth of exports to U.S. FTA partners. Moreover, with respect to Obama’s job creation goal, the United States has suffered trade deficits with most of its major FTA partners and with the group of FTA nations as a
whole. Even as trade flows declined because of the economic crisis, as of 2009, the United States had a $54 billion trade deficit in goods with its 17 FTA partners, even when oil is excluded. And, contrary to the frequent claims made by proponents of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that U.S. farmers have benefitted from this model, the United States’ agricultural trade deficit with the bloc of 17 FTA partners increased...
Between 1998 and 2008, U.S. goods exports to FTA partner countries grew by an annual average rate of only 3.0 percent. Goods exports to non-FTA partner countries, by contrast, grew by 4.2 percent per year on average.

  So, both as a matter of FACTS and raw politics, it makes no sense for our party to put its prestige behind an entirely failed policy--and a policy that voters across the political spectrum do not support (albeit, again, sometimes for the wrong reasons).

  I say, "maybe" in the introduction because it may be too late. But, it's worth a try.

Originally posted to Tasini on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 06:07 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Why are you scared of this message (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade

    Let me be clear about my own position. I am not for a message that opposes trade by targeting workers abroad i.e., "[Fill in the blank] is taking our jobs and we have to build everything here because we're better" or words to that effect. In my humble opinion, that leads us down the same track that fosters anti-immigrant feelings and a moral superiority that does not do our country well.

    Bullshit.  Try telling that to a worker who just had his job outsourced.  Sorry - I can't do anything to proect your job because I am afraid that is racist.

    It is pathetic. It is worse than pathetic.

    There is no other word for it if you have seen first hand jobs being offshored.

    "fair trade" is a copout.  Either you think it is ok for US workers to compete with people making 10 cents an hour or you do not.  That is the reality of globalization.

    The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

    by fladem on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 06:15:55 AM PDT

  •  Outsourcing and immigration (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade

    are two entirely different issues and I think you don't do anyone any good by conflating the two.

    There's nothing wrong with being angry that multinational corporations and American companies move their factories, their R & D, their call centers, their IT projects over seas or to Mexico and Canada. These companies enjoy the fruit of our taxpayers work, the legal infrastructure, our universities, the safety and relative stability of being based in the United States and they give little back in return.  They take advantage of the American consumer market too, and then send the jobs somewhere else, wherever the labor is the cheapest.

    This is not about immigration.  It's about keeping more of our jobs here.

    The idea that a healthy amount of protectionism is wrong is an attitude that leads to self-destruction.

    Disclosure: I'm working as an unpaid citizen journalist covering the Sestak campaign/ PA Sen. race for Huffington Post's "Eyes and Ears 2010" project

    by joanneleon on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 06:41:45 AM PDT

  •  I agree that it makes (0+ / 0-)

    no sense for Democrat's to support and implement both free trade policies and free market policies but the fact is they do. So to run on  unpopular outsourcing and corporate regulation while they in reality govern and refuse to regulate or reign the corporatist's won't work, it just makes them look like liars. In this economy people are being directly affected by the consequences of policy that's main concern is 'wealth creating'.

    It only reinforces the belief that Democrat's are corrupt and slimy. Too late is right what would help is if they really did implement regulation or at least fight for the economy that we all globally must live in. Instead they cut deals with the for profits and too big's, call lobbyist written legislation landmark and blather on about the deficit and eyeball our 'entitlements'. 'We don't disparage wealth creation' says Obama as we continue down the inevitable third way while the boats all sink for working people globally.      

           

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