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Four Graphs that Will Make You Boiling Mad About the Trans Pacific Partnership–Or Why President Obama, along with executives from Nike, Microsoft, Apple and other US corporations Steadfastly Support China’s Currency Manipulations

income inequality

Originally published May 19, 2015 by John Hively

When China manipulates its currency vis-a-vis the US dollar it increases the profits of US job exporters that produce stuff in China and exports that cheap stuff to the USA.

That’s most likely why President Obama said he will veto any congressional legislation that seeks to stop the Chinese government from manipulating its currency.

Why do President Obama and executives of US based multinational corporations, like Nike, want the Chinese government to manipulate its currency? And what does this have to do with the Trans Pacific Partnership and Fast Track Authority?

The answer to one of these questions is simple: the TPP will force China to manipulate its currency even more than is currently the case.

Take a look at the graph below. On the left side is the Yuan, which is the Chinese currency. On the bottom line is the dollar. Now look at the two intersecting lines, which is the supply and demand for dollars. In this example, 600 yuan can purchase $100 in the currency markets, which is roughly what the two currencies currently exchange for.

So when Nike, Microsoft or Apple Inc. manufacture a product in China that costs the consumers, say, 600 yuan in China, given the exchange rate, the same product will cost $100 in the United States, after, of course, it is exported from China to the USA. Assume these US corporations have a 25% profit margin. That means these companies get 150 Y profits in China per product, and $25 profit when they export their products to the United States.

The same is true for companies that manufacture products in the USA, and then export them to China. American manufacturing companies earn $25 per $100 of product sold in the USA, and 150 Y when their products are exported from the USA to China.

The government of China has been accused of manipulating the value of its currency. So what happens when it does this? It purchases dollars. This shifts the D1 line to the left, because there are less dollars on the market, which is shown in the graph below as line D2. This makes the Yuan less expensive in terms of dollars.

Why would President Obama encourage the Chinese government to manipulate its currency by threatening to veto US legislation aimed at stopping it? Why would Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden only pay lip service to the evil of Chinese currency manipulation, while apparently supporting it? Why are the higher up folks at Nike, Microsoft, Apple and every US corporation that is producing goods in China for export to the United States against any legislation that seeks to address Chinese currency manipulation? There is a very good reason they’re all for this.

Look at the example in the next graph below. When the Chinese government manipulates it’s currency by purchasing dollars, 800 Y will now purchase $75. Do the math; 600 Y will purchase now $56. What does that mean?

It means that when Nike manufactures a pair of shoes in China which costs 600 Y there, in the US it should cost $56 rather than $100, thanks to China’s currency manipulation, but that rarely happens. The US corporate propaganda machine will lie to you and tell you it makes Chinese imports less expensive. However, the truth is that China’s  manipulation increases the profits of Nike.

Nike still gets 25%, or 150 Y, in profits when its shoes are sold in China. When it exports the same shoes to the USA from China, Nike still gets 25% profit on $56, which is $14 dollars. However, Nike still sells it’s shoes for $100 in the United States, which means another $44 in earnings per pair, in addition to the $14.

That means Nike’s profit margin on a $100 pair of shoes goes from 25% at the old exchange rate to 58% at the new exchange rate. This sends its earnings and stock prices higher. The same thing occurs with Microsoft, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Apple, and every US corporation manufacturing in China, that are exporting their products to the United States.

So who pays the price for this?

You do; if you work for a living in the United States, or if you’re a  small or medium size business owner. Here’s how. Suppose you are a US manufacturer producing shoes in Oregon that sell in the USA for $100. You ship them to China at 600 Y for $100, and earn 150 Y, or $25, in profits. Now suppose the Chinese government, with the encouragement of your corrupt government and many US business leaders, manipulates its currency by purchasing tens of billions upon tens of billions of dollars. The supply of dollars on the international currency markets shrinks, making dollars more expensive, and as noted above, the D1 line shifts to D2, which represents the new supply of money. BTW, the space between D1 and D2 represents the amount of dollars the Chinese purchased.

Those $100 US made shoes now costs 1000 Y in China. Okay, my graph isn’t too high tech, but the actual figure is 1066 Y, if you do the math, but let’s stick with the 1000 Y, for simplicity sake. There’s still a 25% profit margin per pair of shoes, but at the 1000 Y price, there’s not a whole lot of buyers in China. The US manufacturer could lower the price of the shoes to 750 Y, but he or she isn’t making a penny at that price, and they’re still overpriced for the Chinese market. Say goodbye to the Chinese market for all US products at the new exchange rate.

US exports to China are going to shrink quite rapidly under this scenario. This means fewer American jobs, and less wages for everyone. It means less tax dollars going to schools and other government services, it means no retirement pay for a larger percentage of the 99 percent. Rich folks don’t need the money they’re going to steal from us, except to keep the latest stock market bubble surging, at least until it pops. However, greater profits mean the bubble can keep expanding for a while longer.

So how can US corporate leaders and their corrupt politicians encourage the Chinese government to manipulate its currency even more than it already has?

The scams that have been created to do this are called the Trans Pacific Partnership and Fast Track Authority. So what do these two things have to do with Chinese currency manipulation? More importantly, why would the Chinese

government want to engage in currency manipulation?

The answer in one word; Vietnam.

Vietnam is one of the nation’s involved in negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership. As you can see from the graph below, China’s annual minimum wage is nearly twice that of Vietnam. The wages in China at those Nike and Microsoft and Apple and Hewlett-Packard factories and their suppliers and contractors and subcontractors have been going up rapidly over the past fifteen years. Those labor costs have been able to go up because the Chinese government has increased the profit margins of its US manufacturers by manipulating its currency. But there’s another reason why China needs to manipulate its currency vis-a-vis the dollar.

As you can see from the map below, there are nearly 313,000 Nike workers toiling in Vietnam, and nearly 250,00 in China. Vietnam clearly has lower labor costs than those in China. The Chinese government, however, can offset its labor cost disadvantage by manipulating its currency. So it can keep those jobs in China, and still allow the wages of Chinese workers to expand. But that might not be the case should the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) become a reality.

Tariff is another word for tax. When a US company like Nike manufactures its products in Vietnam, and then exports them to the US, a tariff is charged against the products of between 10 and 15 percent. So another $10 to $15 dollars is added to the cost of a $100 pair of Nike’s Vietnamese made shoes exported to the USA. That means less profits, lower dividends, and lower share prices than would otherwise be the case without tariffs. The US tariffs on US corporate goods manufactured in Vietnamese factories helps to offset some of the Vietnamese labor cost advantages vis-a-vis the cost of Chinese labor.

Under the TPP, should it become law, those tariffs will likely be gone, giving Vietnam a much larger labor cost advantage over Chinese workers.

In which case, the Chinese government will have two options; let millions of Nike and Dell and Apple and Microsoft jobs head south to Vietnam, along with the jobs of contractors and subcontractors, or manipulate its currency even more, which means all of those US corporations manufacturing stuff in China for export to the US will see unprecedented and explosive growth of their profits; and all of this will occur at the expense of small and medium sized US companies that make stuff in the United States and export them to China.

That means several unpleasant things will occur to the US economy: US unemployment will grow with the TPP, as exports to China diminish, inequality in wealth and income will continue to increase during the reign of Obama and Wyden, the stock market bubble will continue to expand, the coming stock market crash will be even worse than imaginable, US businesses will need to export more US jobs to China, and all of these bad things will trickle down to more crowded classrooms, less government services, reduced wages, fewer jobs, more poverty, and much more negative stuff for the 99 percent. However, the super rich will become even more super rich. And Chinese currency manipulation will not be the only thing in the TPP contributing to all of these things. See https://johnhively.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/how-the-trans-pacific-partnership-will-destroy-american-jobs-by-destroying-us-exports/

The political game in the US over the TPP and Fast Track Authority currently being played out is a complete farce.

Start with Fast Track Authority, which President Obama, Nike, Microsoft, Ron Wyden, Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell and just about every major US corporate CEO and investor desperately want Obama to have. Fast track will limit congressional debate on trade deals, it will scuttle any possible congressional amendments, and eliminate the use of the filibuster in the senate to stop the TPP. Fast track needs to pass through both houses of congress.

As a condition for bringing Fast Track Authority to a debate on the floor of the US senate, on May 13, a number of Democrats who traditionally vote to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent (Ron Wyden, Harry Reid, Patty Murray, Heidi Heitkamp, Bill Nelson, Tim Kaine, Claire McCaskell, and Ben Cardin) agreed to first bring a vote for a bill by which the US will crackdown somehow on China for manipulating currency.

These folks know such a bill may not pass the senate, much less the house of representatives. If it did pass, then it will sit on Obama’s desk until Fast Track Authority passes both chambers of congress. Then he will veto the currency manipulation bill. There’s a ton of income to be redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent resting on his shoulders.

Then the above senators will pretend to the folks back home that they did all that they could, when in fact, they did nothing when they could have done something to protect the folks back home from the TPP.

Every US senator and every US house representative knows this is the game, and many are willing to play this deadly game so as to justify their support for giving President Obama Fast Track Authority, even though the TPP will likely rip out the guts of the middle class, as well as the US economy.

If the above named Democrats were at all serious about Chinese currency manipulation, then they would agree to wait until Wall Street President Barack Obama signed the bill into law before opening debate on fast track authority.  That won’t happen.

Fast Track Authority is the only way the president can ram the TPP through congress. It’s an income and political power redistribution agreement falsely marketed as a trade agreement. Most of those in the know say the TPP is dead if the president doesn’t receive fast track authority. So fast track is the key.

Save the United States. Fight against this madness called Fast Track Authority. The TPP will only create greater trade deficits in the future than is currently the case. As US Congressman Alan Grayson famously and recently said, “You will find that the largest fourteen trade deficits in the history of the world have been the US trade deficits in each of the last fourteen years….What sane person can look at these trade deficits and conclude we need more free trade?”

The political fight over the Trans Pacific Partnership, Fast Track Authority, and Chinese currency manipulation isn’t about sanity; it’s about greed and government corruption. It’s about raising the already soaring share prices, dividends and earnings of US corporations that have exported millions of US jobs to China and other third world nations, and doing so at the expense of everybody else. It’s about redistributing your standard of living to a small minority of overly rich people who have corrupted and rigged your government in favor of themselves. It’s about redistributing your income and wealth to the 1 percent so as to keep the current stock market bubble expanding. It’s about redistributing the American dream to the 1 percent. It’s about taking the opportunities that once existed for the majority of American citizens and wiping them out by giving 100 percent of all income growth to the 1 percent, and leaving more and more people in poverty.

Currently, the 1 percent steal 37 percent of all income produced in the United States compared to 8 percent in 1980, back when opportunities for financial advancement existed for most Americans. Now the big boys, and the politicians they’ve bought off in one way or the other, want to eliminate your opportunities, as well as those of your children.

Call your senators. Call your congressmen and congresswomen. Stop Fast Track in the senate. Stop the corruption. Stop the insanity.

Over the past fourteen years, since China was granted most favored nation trade status, Nike’s stock price has risen over a thousand percent, from $10 a share to over a $100. Chinese currency manipulation has helped fuel this bubble. So if you purchased a million shares of Nike in the year 2000, today the value of those shares would be over $10 million. With the TPP and Chinese currency manipulation, the value of Nike’s stock will continue to increase, but only at the expense of everybody else. Much of the US stock market bubble is fueled by the same force, and that goes for the stock prices of Apple, Microsoft, Dell, Adidas, Hewlett-Packard and more. And if the TPP goes through, more US manufacturers will need to shift production to China.

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After the Republicans shellacked the Democratic Party candidates in the November elections, the Corporate Democratic Establishment appears to have coordinated a series of attacks against the Republican Party, which it should have done a long time ago. So why is the Democratic Establishment doing this now?

The purpose for these attacks may not be to smear Republicans with their gruesome corruption; one can rightly suspect that it is to entice the growing number of grassroots Democrats who have abandoned the party into returning to the polls and voting for candidates of the Wall Street Democratic Party.

One can rightly suspect that the November elections showed the Democratic Establishment that its base was drifting away, and so the establishment is attempting to reestablish its credibility as a party of the people. These are a series of slick public relations stunts to fool its own base into returning to the polls and voting Democratic next time. Since the elections:

1. The Senate Intelligence Committee released its report on the Bush torture system, excoriating the ex-president and his white house advisers as the war criminals thugs they are. Most of us knew this more than ten years ago.

2. The New York Times followed that up with an editorial demanding these people be brought to justice.

The establishment is trying to show its liberal base that there exists a difference between the completely bankrupt Republican Party and itself. In the matter of war crimes, however, there is virtually no difference between the two parties. During the first year of his presidency, President Obama squashed an attempt by a Spanish judge to prosecute war crimes against members of the Bush administration. In addition, if the Democratic Establishment and the Obama administration really wanted to prosecute members of the Bush administration for war crimes, which would include such top dogs as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, the White House could order its justice department to prepare extradition hearings for those accused. Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that the head of the United Nations demanded the USA do precisely this. The Obama administration refuses to follow through despite the fact that the US is a signatory to international law governing war crimes and is required to do this.

3. President Obama signed a so-called executive order granting amnesty to an estimated 5 million undocumented immigrants. The big question here, if the president can constitutionally do this, which is debatable, why then does he not issue an executive order granting amnesty to the other 6 million undocumented immigrants in the USA, or those that cross the border illegally tomorrow or next year? This action, of course, will appeal to Hispanic voters, so the establishment hopes.

4. The president negotiated a treaty with the Chinese curbing CO2 emissions. The Establishment hopes this will appeal to its waning environmental base.

5. The president opened the door to normalize relations with Cuba. The establishment hopes those of the far left, which isn’t very far left of center during this contemporary period, will return to the party.

6. MSNB created a documentary broadcast via Rachel Maddox showing that oil and not weapons of mass destruction was the reason the President George W. Bush pursued war in Iraq. Most knowledgeable people knew this more than ten years ago. This should appeal to the disillusioned anti-war faction that has seen the Obama administration continue to wage war for profits throughout the world.

Here’s what the Establishment doesn’t want the grassroots to see. The problem is that more and more of the grassroots know what’s going on.

1. The Democratic Establishment is trying to pass the greatest income redistribution treaty of all time: the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). If the treaty passes through congress President Obama has promised to sign it. Trillions of dollars of income will be redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent via this treaty.

The secretive TPP will grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent; which will effectively eliminate your votes on local and state levels for and against such things (which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination), outsource millions of jobs, offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices they charge you (which redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent), limit food safety standards (which redistributes and transforms your health into the profits of the 1 percent), and block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis (which will make it easier for Wall Street to redistribute your income and wealth to the 1 percent). It will also kill the remainder of the US textile industry, destroy millions of jobs in Latin America, drive millions of undocumented immigrants into the United States, and depress wages in both North and South America, all to the benefit of the 1 percent, and all at the expense of the 99 percent. And we can’t forget that it will increase the already massive US trade deficit with other nations, which is supposed to be a bad thing. In other words, this scam is the largest income redistribution treaty of all time from the 99 to the 1 percent. It’s an attack on the middle class.

2. President Obama and the Establishment have worked overtime to see that 95 percent of all income growth since 2009 has gone to the 1 percent.

3. The battle over the omnibus spending bill in December 2014 proves an important point.

Referring to the Democratic Party meltdown in allowing a provision sneakily put in the latest budget bill (by corrupt Wall Street Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder of Kansas) that allows Wall Street investment banks to gamble with taxpayer money and expect to be bailed out if their gamble fails, Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone magazine wrote on December 13;

“If the Democrats actually stood for anything other than sounding as progressive as possible without offending their financial backers, then they would do what Republicans always do in these situations: force a shutdown to save their legislation. How many times did Republicans hold the budget hostage to rescue the Bush tax cuts? But the Democrats won’t do that here, because they’re not a real (political) party. They’re a marketing phenomenon, a big chunk of oligarchical”…”single furiously-money-collecting/favor-churning oligarchical Beltway party…cleverly sold to voters as the more reasonable and less nakedly corrupt wing of a two-headed political establishment.”

4. The budget battle of December 2014 proved a particularly gruesome point; both political parties have been totally corrupted by big money unleashed by the Reagan tax cuts, as well as other tax cuts, and the politicians of the US government are absolutely corrupt, with few exceptions, such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Jeff Merkley, Alan Grayson, and perhaps David Vitter. That’s why the political and economic game is totally rigged against the 99 percent.

5. The White House coordinated the crackdowns on Occupy Wall Street.

The Democrats, exactly like the Republicans, are all about redistributing income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent.

That’s why the Democratic base is leaving the Democratic Party because the Party Establishment left the base behind two decades ago, and continues to favor the rich and powerful over working families, just like the Republican Party. In this respect there is no difference between the twin parties of corruption. And no slick public relations campaign is going to keep the grassroots in line.

More and more grassroots Democrats are leaving the rotted ship called the Democratic Party because the Establishment can no longer direct their attention away from economic issues by appealing to social issues, which is what the latest wave of Democratic Establishment actions are intended to do. These actions may be the last gasp of a sinking skip.

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Referring to the Democratic Party meltdown in allowing a provision sneakily put in the latest budget bill (by corrupt Wall Street Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder of Kansas) that allows Wall Street investment banks to gamble with taxpayer money and expect to be bailed out if their gamble fails, Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone magazine wrote on December 13;

“If the Democrats actually stood for anything other than sounding as progressive as possible without offending their financial backers, then they would do what Republicans always do in these situations: force a shutdown to save their legislation. How many times did Republicans hold the budget hostage to rescue the Bush tax cuts? But the Democrats won’t do that here, because they’re not a real (political) party. They’re a marketing phenomenon, a big chunk of oligarchical”…”single furiously-money-collecting/favor-churning oligarchical Beltway party…cleverly sold to voters as the more reasonable and less nakedly corrupt wing of a two-headed political establishment.”

The budget battle of December 2014 proved a particularly gruesome point; both political parties have been totally corrupted by big money unleashed by the Reagan tax cuts, as well as other tax cuts, and the politicians of the US government are absolutely corrupt, with few exceptions, such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Jeff Merkley, Alan Grayson, and perhaps David Vitter. That’s why the political and economic game is totally rigged against the 99 percent.

For the rest of Matt Taibbi’s story, click the link below.

Dodd-Frank Budget Fight Proves Democrats Are a Bunch of Stuffed Suits Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/dodd-frank-budget-fight-proves-democrats-are-a-bunch-of-stuffed-suits–Rolling Stone Magazine

True story. The US government has caught major US banks laundering drug money time and time again and not a soul has gone to jail.

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Corrupt Senate Republicans defended the Monsanto Protection Act, which had to be secretly and corruptly inserted into another piece of legislation in order to pass through congress. In other words, the Act is another conspicuous example of quintessential corruption running amok through government. The Act “specifically allows the secretary of agriculture to block a judicial injunction and allow planting of particular seeds.”

Tom Vilsack is the current US secretary of agriculture. A former governor of Iowa, Vilsack was appointed by Monsanto President Barack Obama. “Vilsack has a glowing reputation as being a schill for agribusiness biotech giants like Monsanto.” See the story from Organic Consumers. 

According to the Organic Consumers Association, “As Iowa Governor, Tom Vilsack was a leading advocate for Monsanto, genetic engineering, and factory farming. President Obama proudly lauded his new Agriculture Secretary for “promoting biotech.”

Vilsack has, in fact, promoted the most controversial and dangerous forms of agricultural biotechnology, including pharma crops, plants genetically engineered to produce pharmaceuticals. When grown outdoors on farmland, where most pharma crop trials have occurred, pharma crops can easily contaminate conventional and organic varieties.

In one chilling example from 2002, a corn crop engineered by ProdiGene to produce a vaccine for pigs contaminated 500,000 bushels of soybeans that were grown in the Nebraska field the next season. Before this incident, a similar thing had happened in Iowa where the USDA ordered ProdiGene to pay for the burning of 155 acres of conventional corn that may have been contaminated by the firm’s biotech plants.

ProdiGene eventually went out of business, but not before it received a $6 million investment from the Governors Biotechnology Partnership, chaired by Iowa Governor Vilsack. Vilsack didn’t want any restrictions placed on experimental pharma crops. In reaction to suggestions that pharma crops should be kept away from food crops, Vilsack argued that “we should not overreact and hamstring this industry.”

In other words, Vilsack will do Monsanto’s bidding and he will block any judicial injunction that will harm the profits of Monsanto. In other words, he will place the profits of Monstanto ahead of the health and wallets of the rest of the nation.

During debate on the farm bill last Thursday, Oregon’s Senator of the 99 percent, Jeff Merkley, offered an amendment that would have repealed the measure, but it was blocked by corrupt, corporate Senate Republicans, led by the most likely corrupt Senator in congress, Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).

“Earlier on Thursday, in an interview with The Huffington Post, Blunt said that the point of the provision was to protect farmers who had already purchased seeds that were later deemed unsafe. “I was raised — my mom and dad were dairy farmers. Once you’ve made a decision to plant a crop for that year, you can’t go back and undo that decision,” he said.

Blunt, of course, is lying. The Act was signed less than a month ago. And it can be repealed. Sure, maybe you can’t go back on some seeds that have already been planted, but repealing the Act would prohibit any more seeds from being planted. Blunt isn’t as stupid as he appears, he’s simply lying and not making sense so as to justify not repealing this god awful piece of legislation.

 

 

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US Senator Jeff Merkley is making a lot of sense. Get out of the war in Afganistan, and use the money saved from the war to save social security.

“If the United States can afford to build 26 hospitals in Iraq,” US citizen Verde Frazier asked Sen. Jeff Merkley, “why are senior citizens in the United States threatened with cuts to the Medicare program?”

That was one of several questions fielded Tuesday morning by the fourth-year senator from Portland, Oregon during a town hall meeting at Sweet Home High School. More than 75 people attended, including several dozen students.

Merkley could’ve told the truth about how US contractors are making a ton of money building those hospitals in Iraq, but he didn’t. That’s okay. His actions speak louder than his words, but his words were fairly loud.

“We must cut overseas spending and that includes retiring our involvement in Afghanistan,” Merkley said. “We are spending $120 billion per year in Afghanistan and it’s not enhancing our national security. We must do more nation building at home.”

Click the link below for the complete story.

http://democratherald.com/news/local/merkley-keep-medicare-get-out-of-war/article_923dadf4-59f0-11e2-8d7d-001a4bcf887a.html

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