Follow by Email

Monday, June 8, 2015

Trade and Worker Freedom

I have been a supporter and donor for Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and I take their warning about the free trade pact (TPP) currently being negotiated by Obama. But I think Condi Rice has a convincing argument in yesterday's Washington Post.

If I were a Democrat or Republic in Congress wavering because I truly cared to protect opportunities for and to expand the working middle class after four decades of decline, I would give my fast-track vote for TPP on condition that Congress agree to support a massive public works/infrastructure bill that would include renewal energy, public transportation, and science research and require living wages and organized worker participation in all companies that contract for these projects.

I would also require massive support for education for all including early childhood, community college, and university as well as workforce development and retraining for the jobs lost or changed in the global economy now and in the future as a result of this free trade.

Instead of protecting companies, let's protect the working middle class.

1 comment:

Carl Proper said...

"Trade" agreements are much more about shifting power away from citizens, workers and governments, and toward global corporations, than they are about trade. (I believe most global "trade" is actually sales between different unions of the same corporation.) These corporations want to be in a position where every country needs the jobs they control, but where they do not need to operate in any particular country. That is power.

President Bill Clinton was more adept at dealing with opposition from below than Pres. Obama. When "Teamsters" (actually, all of labor) and "Turtles" (environmentalists took to the streets together in 2000, Clinton worked out a temporary deal giving them some voice in negotiations -- which, unfortunately, proved short-live. Obama seems unable to pull off the same trick; so this deal may fail, and the ordinary people will win a round.