If Wall Street President Obama, and Wall Street Senators Ron Wyden and Mitch McConnell really wanted to protect US workers, and ensure that United States participation in international trade results in rising tides lifting everybody, how about including a minimum wage of say $7.50 an hour within the treaty. That sure beats Vietnam’s .28 cents per hour minimum wage. And it would do what international trade is supposed to do; create prosperity for most, if not all, members of the human race. Some of those Vietnamese workers might then be able to purchase products made in the United States, and some of them might be able to buy the Nike shoes and clothes they make, but are forced to export to the USA, because they currently can’t afford to buy that stuff, no matter what Nike executives, or US trade representatives, claim to the contrary.
As it stands now, however, the economics of most nations is dominated by publicly traded limited liability corporations. The purpose of management is to drive the share prices of their corporations higher, and they do this by driving their profits and dividends higher and higher, and labor rates lower and lower.
A relatively tiny group of well rewarded CEOs manage these companies; and these corporations spend tons of money every year in the political markets to ensure that political conditions are ripe for keeping the wages of the financially ordinary people down so that more and more earnings accrue to the 1 percent.
That’s precisely what the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been negotiated to do. This is an international income and political power redistribution scam falsely marketed as a trade agreement.
If passed by congress, the TPP will force US workers to compete with Vietnamese workers and their .28 cents per hour minimum wage. This will bring downward pressure on US federal and state minimum wage standards, as well as wages in general. US jobs will be shipped to Vietnam, creating an abundance of unemployed US labor, and pushing wages downward.
Hundreds of thousands of workers, perhaps millions, in the Latin American Maquiladora zones will also lose out to Vietnamese workers and their low pay via the TPP. That means those workers and their families, meaning millions of people, will be driven into the United States illegally, like Nafta drove millions into the USA. See (how-the-trans-pacific-partnership-will-destroy-american-jobs-by-destroying-us-exports–Johnhively.wordpress.com . This will bring additional downward pressure on wages in the United States, and this will occur when there is upward and constant pressure caused by corporations on prices, which is called inflation. The difference between the old higher wages and the new lower wages will go straight into the pockets of the wealthy via rising profits, surging dividends and soaring share prices.
In other words, the TPP means the rich will get wealthier by draining the rest of us financially dryer because the provisions of the TPP that we know about from leaked documents show this to be true.
If the TPP were simply about trade, rather than redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent, a simple remedy is at hand.
Negotiate a higher minimum wage in Vietnam, even to something as low as $3.50 an hour, and have enforceable rules placed into the TPP. That means the workers at the bottom will be brought up, and less pressure will be brought to bear on US and Latin American wages.
But that won’t happen because the TPP isn’t about using trade to improve the living standards of the 99 percent. It’s about redistributing income and political power from the 99 to the 1 percent. It’s about increasing income and wealth inequality. It’s about keeping corporate share prices rising in what can only be described as a financial market Ponzi scheme.
Otherwise, a minimum wage like that above would be negotiated into the treaty.
President Obama knows this. Senator Wyden knows this. Senator McConnell knows. Everybody in congress who supports the TPP in any way know this. Wall Street and the rich; that’s who they represent; not you and not me.
Now think about this; if the US federal minimum wage had kept up with productivity growth since 1969, it would be over $18 an hour nowadays. But so-called trade agreements have brought downward pressure on all wages since then. $18 minus $7.50 is $11.50 an hour the middle class isn’t getting. Instead, that money is going to the uber wealthy, and this is one of the ways the 1 percent has gone from stealing 8 percent of all income produced in the United States to 37 percent today. That means the rest of us have gone from earning 92 percent of all income to 63 percent today.
That’s why the US economy is undergoing its weakest economic expansion in history by all measurements. The demand for goods and services by the 99 percent isn’t there anymore because the rich have rigged the political and economic game and stolen too much money. And this is largely, though not completely, a function of fake trade agreements.