By Ben Tanosborn
It is not Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders who don't get it. It is our near-sighted Globalist-in-Chief who really doesn't get it, following in the footsteps of that other Republican-lite president, William Jefferson Clinton. But what can one expect, given the advice he's getting from a cadre of Wall-Streeters working with, or influencing, the White House? Or, from a president who has confessed to being a "great admirer" of celebrated JP Morgan Chase chief, Jamie Dimon?
A few days ago President Obama honored our Portland (Oregon) area with a visit to promote the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership (TPP) agreement; which for all intents and purposes is but another addition to the gallery of NAFTA, CAFTA, and PNTR ugly siblings. Perhaps an even uglier sibling in this period of expanding economic inequality!
It seems comical, yet ill-omened, how Barack Obama is herding the already decimated middle class along a path sure to reach economic oblivion, while maintaining support from much of the old guard of school-government-trade unionists which has kept the Democratic Party afloat during the last five decades in a conservative sea dominated by currents of old-time religion and misguided patriotism.
Common sense and humanity, and not just blind acceptance of global economics, tell us that eventually most barriers to competition should be coming down; and that there will be a significant trend towards greater homogenization in both productivity and personal income throughout much of world. But we might still be two or three generations away from such happening, assuming changes take place in an orderly and least painful fashion... without allowing our politicians, Democrats or Republicans alike, to follow the will of the elite that place them in power... and, correspondingly, expect a payback.
And that's where we are today in Congress, ominously on the eve of passing this terrible TPP legislation sure to reach a smiling Obama, pen in hand ready to sign, instead of rejecting it with a forceful and merited veto.Could it be that Obama is suffering from the same illusionary political disease as Bill Clinton, after the latter's receipt of unmerited kudos for all the low-paying jobs created during his two terms in office? Is it so difficult to understand that job numbers can have a profoundly different significance in economic, social and political terms than labor income?
Regardless of the POTUS' misleading sermonizing on "what's good for the United States," the reality is acrimoniously different. The anticipated net outsource of labor income sure to come from the TPP agreement is likely to be similar in results as past global renditions initiated with NAFTA. The economic capillary effect of this agreement (TPP) will affect labor significantly, not just in the manufacturing sector (possibly losing half as many jobs as the number lost to China and the American hemisphere in the past two decades), but also in the service sector - and here, we are not referring to jobs in low remuneration call centers, but jobs with high technical skills in both medicine and engineering, which could result in the loss of half of the now existing - and anticipated increases - programmer jobs; and a reduction in overall pay of the remaining half by a third or more.
Other areas in Americans' lives will also be affected or threatened, from food safety standards, to the environment, to increases in the already stratospheric cost of drugs, to the protection of rights and sovereignty that we've inherited from the sacrifice of past generations.
So who's to gain from this TPP agreement that Barack Obama is pushing with greater fervor than that exhibited in critical domestic issues such as immigration reform and the (dirty secret) racial divide? As it's always the case in our predatory society, Corporate America and its circle of influential friends are the culprit... and it's beginning to look as if the villains will get their way: Wall Street, Big Pharma, and a long list of multinationals displaying their corporate flags at the top of the pole, knowing that their safety is in the good hands of the Pentagon; all international policing costs defrayed by the American taxpayer... in its incredible masochistic docility.
ISIS' literal style of decapitation is repugnant and shocking. US' self-imposed economic decapitation may not appear at first as shocking, but the end result will be as gruesome to America's working class: not the proletariat of old, but most everyone holding both blue and white collar jobs.