Archive for April, 2014

An Alert From Oregon Fair Trade

“This Thursday, Senator Ron Wyden will hold his first trade hearing as the new Senate Finance Chair. His witness is none other than U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman — the cabinet-level official who refuses to tell the American public what his office has been proposing for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in our names.

Please urge Senator Wyden to use Thursday’s hearing to demand that Ambassador Froman release the TPP texts for public scrutiny.

The TPP has been under negotiation for over four years now. It is said to include some 29-separate chapters, covering everything from labor standards, to food safety, to financial regulations, to medicine patents and more. The pact would cover approximately 40 percent of the global economy, and has built-in mechanisms to expand even further. There’s no doubt that, if passed, the TPP would have profound effects on our economy, jobs, environment and public health for decades to come. (The TPP has been designed to redistribute massive amounts of income from the 99 to the 1 percent)

A pact this large and far-reaching should be developed in the light of day. Instead, Ambassador Froman has decided to negotiate it behind-closed doors. He’s allowed some 600 corporate advisors and a small handful of others access to the texts, but has barred the vast majority of people who will be affected by his proposals from seeing them. He’s made it clear he has no intention of publishing any TPP texts until after the negotiations are completed, the pact is signed and (if Fast Track is approved as he’s requested) even Congress’ ability to amend the text is prohibited.

As recently as this month, Senator Wyden has told constituents he believes they deserve the right to review TPP proposals “in real time.” Please urge Senator Wyden to use his new power as Senate Finance Chair to press Ambassador Froman on this issue.”

Give him a call, and let him know he should stand with the 99 percent, and not his Wall Street buddies. Tell him to oppose the TPP.

Senator Ron Wyden Office
Phone:(202) 224-5244
Fax:(202) 228-2717

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According to the New York Times, “The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction.” The Times goes on to make valid comparisons between the declining US middle class and the rising European middle class. However, the authors of this story fail to report why the US middle class is declining via-a-vis its European counterparts. The Times reporters note that the fastest growing super rich class is in the USA, but they don’t tell us why.

Wall Street Senator Ron “Fast Track” Wyden is one of the main culprits behind the decline of the American middle class. He has a 100 percent voting record for redistributing income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent. Because of legislation championed by Wyden, 95 percent of all income growth is being channeled directly into their pockets, while the 99 percent get that tiny little 5 percent, allowing us to fall further and further behind. In other words, Wyden’s policies have the middle class falling into a financial black hole, and most likely, into extinction, and he doesn’t give a rat’s ass because he continues to champion the same policies in his war against the middle class.

Remarkably, the Times reporters couldn’t figure out that income in the USA is being redistributed legislatively from the from the 99 to the 1 percent via free trade treaties and privatization scams. That’s what the corporate media doesn’t want you to know, so naturally, the Times reporters weren’t going to report it.

They certainly weren’t going to report that Wyden and President Obama are championing the Trans Pacific Partnership, the largest free income redistribution treaty in world history. The treaty will jack up pharmaceutical drug prices, crush the remnants of the US textile industry, redistribute more political power to the 1 from the 99 percent, and so much more. And that’s the problem of the last thirty years. Wyden and Obama, just like the others mentioned below, support doing all of this stuff. They aren’t stupid little boys, they know exactly what they’re doing.

So what we can we say about the American Dream?

The first thing one can say is that the dream is dead for most of the 99 percent. Thank you Senator Wyden. Thank you George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Mitch McConnell, Hilliary Clinton, Orrin Hatch, Paul Ryan, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, the Koch brothers, and so many more who supported the US government redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent over the last thirty years.

the-american-middle-class-is-no-longer-the-worlds-richest–The New York Times

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Happening Yesterday and NOW: 30,000 Chinese workers strike at the world’s largest producer of athletic shoes such as Nike and Adidas over pay, benefits, and the right to choose a union. The strike, China’s largest in decades, has shutdown production for two weeks and caused the company’s stock price to plummet.

Shut down the system, JUST DO IT!

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The problem with the US educational system is as Mr. Tyson suggests, but that only hits the surface of the problem. Here’s the real problem; the US public educational system is not for profit, and despite that, the US public educational systems produce hundreds of millions, perhaps billions of dollars, of profits every year, but only for the CEO’s and shareholders of publishers McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and other producers of educational materials and educational reform. In other words, what is best for their profits determines what educational reform is and will become, and what is good for children is the last thing on the minds of these corporate CEOs.

That’s right. That’s why the educational reform that school districts are forced to accept are all about students taking tests and nothing more. Guess who produces the tests for profits, and who fight in the halls of the US congress, the white house, state legislatures, and school districts for more testing and educational programs that are often ineffective, and simply place more pressure on teachers and administrators.

These publishers are also aligned with conservative politicians who demand teacher accountability based on the success or failures students have on these tests. This public relations campaign is one way to put pressure on teachers, but it also takes the attention of most citizens off of why these tests are so important; these tests produce very important profits by redistributing tax dollars to the corporations mentioned above.

McGraw-Hill and Pearson are publicly traded limited liability corporations whose shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is also a publicly, traded limited liability corporation whose stock is traded on NASDAQ.

The direction of profits and share prices are the only way for a board of directors of any major corporation to know how well the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) are doing their jobs. When profits are going up, especially at a steady, well regulated, rate, dividends rise, and investors are enticed to purchase shares. This pushes share prices up, and makes CEOs look like they’re doing a swell job. However, if profits are declining, typically share prices follow, and CEOs in these situations are at risk of losing their jobs.

That’s why the CEO’s of the above mentioned corporations push for more and more student testing.

In reality, these tests have nothing to do with measuring student achievement or improving public education. They’re all about improving corporate profits and share prices. Otherwise, educational reform would be something more than students taking test after test.

Finland has the highest rated public educational system in the world. They also have the least tested students in the world, while the US has the most tested students. That’s because Wall Street and the testing corporations run the show in the US and they don’t in Finland.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is correct that adults write the legislation impacting education in the USA, but I don’t think he understands why they do what they do in the halls of power. Educational reform in the USA is all about money and redistributing it from the taxpayers footing the bill for public education (mostly the 99 percent), to the 1 percent who are the CEOs and shareholders (mostly the 1 percent) of the publishing corporations.

Educational reform is simply a big con job perpetrated by the 1 percent on the 99 percent. That’s one of the ways the political and economic games in the US are rigged against the 99 percent.

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