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Posts Tagged ‘AFL-CIO’

A friend on the political right wrote me about my support for Bernie Sanders for US president. My friend had some objections about Senator Sanders positions. So I wrote the response below. I should also like to point out that Bernie is a US senator from Vermont, where large pockets of conservatism flourish, and Republicans are elected to statewide offices. Yet Bernie continues to win election after election, campaigning mainly on bread and butter issues.

Anyway, below is my reason why everybody should vote for Bernie, regardless of their political ideology.

“…the Democratic and Republican Party leaderships, and the big money that controls them, also controls the levers of political power. I am against any candidate supported by the leadership of either major political party. That’s why over the years I’ve been a supporter of such diverse independent minded politicians as Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, Ralph Nader and Bernie Sanders. Besides, it doesn’t matter what Bernie wants, what matters it what he can achieve as president. If Bernie becomes president, with both houses of congress likely to be controlled by the twin party leadership, Bernie will likely only be able to limit their damage to the middle class in terms of economics.”

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With the help of the corporate news media, which can better be described as the corporate propaganda machine, the Democratic and the Republican leadership rip the grassroots of both parties apart and against each other by inventing social issues, while raping the grassroots of both parties financially on behalf their billionaire and millionaire benefactors.

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Fast Track Authority are classic examples of how the leadership of both political parties team together in their financial rape of the 99 percent.The Federal Reserve estimates the TPP will cost four to five million US jobs. The difference between the old higher US wages, and the new lower overseas wages, will go straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, dividends and share prices. That money will be stolen straight out of the pockets of working Americans and redistributed into the already fat bank accounts of the 1 percent, much of which will find its way into the pockets and campaigns of the Democratic and Republican party leadership. The local and state tax dollars paid by the jobs losers will no longer support schools, police, fire, road maintenance and much more. In other words, the TPP will rape our schools and other public services.

The TPP will also steal money that should go to the social security trust fund because the rich only pay social security taxes on the first $118,000 of their income. Worse yet, the TPP will force China to manipulate its currency even more than is already the case, costing the US millions more jobs than the Federal Reserve estimates. This manipulation of currency will compel US corporations to ship more jobs overseas because Chinese currency manipulation increases the profits of those who manufacture in China. (See 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–JohnHively.wordpress.com).

In other words, the TPP has been negotiated specifically to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent, and since 2009, the 1 percent has stolen 95 percent of all US income growth. Their share of the total national income has risen from 8 percent in 1980, to 21 percent in 2008, to 37 percent in 2015.

The TPP has also been negotiated to undermine US laws and democracy.

Hillary Clinton has stated publicly on 45 occasions that she is for the TPP. All of the Republican candidates are for it. Bernie would veto the TPP if he was president. Ergo, damage to the vast majority of US citizens would be limited.

Here’s something to think about. Opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership brought together unusual allies, such as the John Birch Society, the Tea Party, Black Lives Matter, and the AFL-CIO. We need more, not less, of that kind of cooperation among US citizens. Bernie understands this, and his candidacy is encouraging this. That’s precisely what the leadership of both political parties and their billionaire benefactors don’t want: Americans of all colors and political persuasions united together in opposition to the billionaire class and their complete corruption of the US government for their own ends.

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Based on the above, my guess is that Hilliary will do the bidding of Wall Street, which include redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent; and that Bernie will do the bidding of the 99 percent, which suggests he will begin the process of reversing the redistribution of income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent that the government has undertaken during the last 35 years of absolute corruption at the hands and dollars of the 1 percent.

Hilliary has earned hundreds of thousands of dollars of speaking fees from Wall Street investment corporations at the rate of $200,000 per hour. Goldman Sachs is one of her biggest employers in this regard.

The AFL-CIO has refused to endorse Hilliary because she has announced on 45 occasions that she is for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the largest income redistribution scam in US history, which is falsely being marketed as a free trade agreement, but which jacks up the prices of many goods citizens will pay for, such as pharmaceutical medicines.

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On May 24, the state leader’s of Vermont’s AFL-CIO asked their national leadership to endorse Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination over Wall Street’s candidate, Hilliary Rodham Clinton. This endorsement follows South Carolina’s state AFL-CIO endorsement of Sanders.

There was simply no way that the leadership could endorse Wall Street candidate Hilliary Rodham Clinton, whose economic plan calls for eliminating labor unions by shipping jobs overseas, redistributing more income from the 99 to the 1 percent, and increasing the trade deficit, among other things.

The 1 percent now steal over 36 percent of all income produced in the United States, compared to 8 percent back in 1980. This redistribution is one of the reasons why the US economy is historically weak. The 99 percent simply don’t have the money to demand more goods and services, thereby increasing job and wage growth. Clinton plans to enact her plans by supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the largest income and political power redistribution scam in US history, which is currently being marketed as a trade agreement.

National AFL-CIO President Richard Trumpka has come out against such endorsements, rightfully pointing out that it violates the rules of their association, which only allows the national leadership to make endorsements. However, Hilliary has earned $200,000 at least twice from Goldman Sachs for giving two half an hour speeches. That alone, coupled with the campaign contributions alone, see the list below, should tell you exactly where her sympathies lay, especially compared to Sanders sympathies. Hilliary is the candidate of Wall Street.

In other words, Trumpka and the national leaders of the AFL-CIO would be total idiots, or corrupt boneheads, to endorse Hilliary over Sanders.

Politico reports that “some local AFL-CIO leaders in Iowa want to introduce a resolution at their August convention backing the independent senator from Vermont. More than a thousand labor supporters, including several local AFL-CIO-affiliated leaders, have signed on to “Labor for Bernie,” a group calling on national union leaders to give Sanders a shot at an endorsement.”

The endorsement of Sanders is below and is taken from the Facebook page of the Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO’s Executive Committee:

“Whereas: The Executive Committee of the Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO is committed to building a broad, effective movement for democratic change, and

Whereas: Our goal is a government that carries out the will of the people, not prop up the profits of the 1% at the expense of the rest of us, and

Whereas: We firmly believe that Senator Bernie Sanders is the strongest candidate articulating our issues. His commitment to union principles and labor’s values is longstanding and heartfelt, and

Whereas: As a truly progressive candidate for President, Bernie has the chance to inspire millions of Americans with policy proposals that put the interests of the labor movement, front and center. His campaign will draw attention to what unions and collective bargaining have accomplished for workers and energize our movement, and

Whereas: Labor must step up to fundamentally change the direction of American politics, by refocusing on the issues of our time: growing inequality and pervasive racism, the power of concentrated wealth and its corruption of our democracy, an escalating pension and retirement security crisis, runaway military spending and a militarized foreign policy*, Medicare for All, and the need for new, bold solutions to our shared problems.

Therefore be it resolved that:

We call on the AFL-CIO, labor leaders, union members and working people everywhere to unite behind Bernie Sanders and elect the President America’s workers desperately need, and

Be it further resolved that:

The Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO strongly urges the AFL-CIO to support Bernie Sanders 2016 and his campaign to become the nominee of the Democratic Party for president.

Adopted May 24th, 2015 and respectfully submitted for consideration to the AFL-CIO Executive Council.* Teamsters Local 597 proposed deleting “runaway military spending and a militarized foreign policy” but supports the general line of the resolution.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/afl-cio-endorsement-2016-democratic-primary-119701.html#ixzz3er9K6IN6

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The leadership of the South Carolina Chapter of the AFL-CIO announced last week that it was endorsing Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary for president of the United States. There was simply no way that the leadership could endorse Wall Street candidate Hilliary Rodham Clinton, whose economic plan calls for eliminating labor unions by shipping jobs overseas, redistributing more income from the 99 to the 1 percent, and increasing the trade deficit, among other things.

The 1 percent now steal over 36 percent of all income produced in the United States, compared to 8 percent back in 1980. This redistribution is one of the reasons why the US economy is historically weak. The 99 percent simply don’t have the money to demand more goods and services, thereby increasing job and wage growth. Clinton plans to enact her plans by supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the largest income and political power redistribution scam in US history, which is currently being marketed as a trade agreement. The South Carolina AFL-CIO leadership also recommended that the national leadership endorse Bernie Sanders. Duh!

Click on the link below for more on this story.

Bernie Sanders Gets the Endorsement of the South Carolina AFL-CIO

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Vietnam is the answer to the question in the title of this article.

Vietnam’s minimum wage rate is .28 cents an hour. Environmental standards are lax, if there are any, and labor unions are non-existent. Those conditions will make it likely that more American jobs will be exported overseas because the labor, health, safety and wage standards are much less than even in China. If it wasn’t financially feasible to ship US jobs to Vietnam, a trade pact with Vietnam will make it so, and send tens of thousands upon thousands of US jobs there. Let’s face it, jobs are the number one US export.

But there’s something even more sinister than meets the eye. Millions of jobs in Mexico, Central America, Peru and Chile will also be threatened with exportation to Vietnam and China under the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). In which case, US exports will decline.

Maquiladora zones are located in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America. These are free trade zones established by the United States and the host nations, such as Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador. The zones allow US manufacturers to assemble products in the zones, and then ship them duty free to the United States. Wages are bone poor in the Maquiladora zones, as low as $7.50 a day in Mexico’s northern zone, but they are higher than in Vietnam and China. China’s minimum wage is a little more than double Vietnam’s .28 cents per hour.

The parts assembled by US manufacturers in the Maquiladora zones must be made by US companies. This has been negotiated. In 2013, US corporations shipped $51 billion worth of parts manufactured in the United States to the over 3000 US factories in the northernmost Maquiladora zone in Mexico. That zone is twelve and a half miles deep and stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean.

That 51 billion dollars of exports supports 250,000 American manufacturing jobs. The people who earn a living with those jobs spend their hard earned cash in their neighborhood grocery stores, stereo stores, clothing stores, computer stores, automobile dealerships, real estate companies, restaurants and more. That’s how those 250,000 manufacturing jobs keep another 400,000 to 800,000 people employed in other areas of the economy.

That doesn’t count the tens of thousands of Americans that mine the iron ore, or the rock, or chop the trees to make paper and houses, or manufacture cement, or who mold metal into products, and other producers of raw materials, or the people who operate the electric companies that power those 250,000 soon-to-be-lost manufacturing jobs. That’s another 100,000 US jobs in mining, smelting, excavating and other jobs dealing with raw materials that will be lost. Those jobs support another 200,000 to 300,000 service sector jobs.

But that’s not all. All of these jobs pay state, federal and local taxes that support schools, road building and maintenance, forest service jobs, fire and police, and a lot more government jobs. This is another 100,000 jobs that will be lost.

The Trans Pacific Partnership appears to be geared toward rendering obsolete the Maquiladora zones. Why else would Vietnam be a party to this agreement? The Vietnamese aren’t going to be purchasing a lot of American goods and services simply because those people can’t afford to do so.

When the Trans Pacific Partnership becomes law, kiss those jobs in the Maquiladora zones goodbye. Kiss that $51 billion dollars in US exports goodbye. And that’s just for the exports to one of these zones.

In El Salvador, 230,000 apparel workers will likely lose their jobs, which will be shipped to Vietnam if the TPP becomes law. Tens of thousands of workers in other central America nations will also lose their apparel manufacturing jobs in the zones. These people sew many of the clothes people wear in the United States and elsewhere. However, the rules of the zones state they can only assemble finished products. And that’s only in one industry.

Over 200,000 American workers supply the parts necessary to manufacture those clothes. Fabric, yarn and thread are made in US factories, and are then exported to Central America. Kiss those exports goodbye. Kiss those 200,000 plus American jobs goodbye, as well as the hundreds of thousands of US jobs supported by those manufacturing jobs.

We’re looking at the loss of billions of dollars of exports yearly, and millions of US jobs, if the TPP becomes law. And that’s only with the loss of two zones.

With the loss of jobs in the zones on such a massive scale, wages will drop like dead flies in Central America. That happened in Mexico after Nafta, which drove millions of people into the USA illegally.

Hundreds of thousands, and perhaps millions, of people will be forced to migrate to the United States illegally, and not because they want to migrate. This will depress the wages of millions of American citizens and put incredible pressure on our social service tax dollars, which will be greatly weakened by the loss of jobs.

So who benefits from the TPP? The difference between the old higher wages and the new lower wages will go straight into the pockets of rich shareholders and CEOs via higher corporate profits, rising dividends, and soaring share prices. Working people will pay the price. In other words, the TPP will redistribute massive amounts of income from the 99 to the 1 percent. That’s what it has been negotiated to do.

That’s one reason why Wall Senator Ron Wyden supports the Trans Pacific Partnership, along with President Obama, Mitch McConnell, Orrin Hatch, and Wall Street wing of the Republican Party. The TPP is an income redistribution scam.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka hits the mark in the video below.

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Labor unions can only hope next year’s main event goes as well as Tuesday’s dress rehearsal in Ohio.

The landslide defeat via referendum of a state law spearheaded by Republican Gov. John Kasich that curbed collective-bargaining rights of public employees instills hope in unions and their Democratic allies that they have found a template to defeat the GOP in 2012. Labor leaders say they will apply the lessons learned in the Buckeye State, a key political battleground, to a bevy of swing states that could determine the balance of power in Washington.

“Our work is just beginning this morning,” Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, told reporters on Wednesday. “Already, we’re moving into the next phase, where working people are mobilizing in Ohio and nationwide.”

Labor’s takeaways from last night’s larger-than-expected 22-point victory: Voters were disappointed Kasich and his Republican allies committed ideological overreach instead of focusing on job creation. They also liked and trusted the men and women targeted by the reforms—public employees like teachers and police officers—more than the politicians who did the targeting.

In an exit poll of Ohio voters conducted by Democratic pollster Guy Molyneux, only 25 percent of the state’s electorate said the collective-bargaining law “was the change Ohio was voting for.”

“This was very much a sense of overreach and it was inconsistent of what voters had been asking for,” Molyneux said.

Democrats can make Republican overreach a theme of next year’s election, labor officials said, with Democrats pointing not just to Ohio’s example but to governors in battleground states like Wisconsin and Florida. They also can highlight the Republican agenda in the U.S. House.

“What happened in Ohio in last night matters everywhere,” Trumka said.

Molyneux’s firm surveyed 1,015 early and Election Day voters by telephone for the AFL-CIO. One finding in particular might have the most far-reaching consequence for next year: The poll reported that 61 percent of white non-college voters opposed the new law.

That demographic has confounded Democrats of late, and has always been a weak spot for President Obama. Last year, 63 percent of non-college whites supported Republican House candidates, according to exit polls. In Ohio, 54 percent of them backed Kasich as he narrowly unseated the incumbent, Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland.

That means that in exactly one year, blue-collar whites had a 36-point swing against an initiative backed by a governor they helped to put in office. If Democrats and Obama can come close to replicating that shift next year, they would easily triumph in a state that is a key to every presidential election. No Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio.

Labor unions are vowing to harness Tuesday’s momentum. Earlier this year, Trumka announced plans to build a robust political organization to operate in an array of important states, and Ohio was the first test case of his new agenda. The organization built this year will stay in place through 2012 and beyond, a significant difference from years past.

“A year ago, just like three and five years ago, everyone was packing up and going home,” said one labor official.

Even as Democrats gloated about the victory, Republicans—publicly at least—claimed to be unperturbed. The Ohio race was a more important fight for liberals than conservatives, GOP strategists said, and the amount of resources that unions invested into the battle was far greater than what they can manage in a national election.

“There was no single touchstone to motivate Republicans to raise money, spend money, and win,” said Rick Wilson, a Republican strategist. “I think you’re going to see in the general election picture the opportunity to defeat Barack Obama is important.”

Wilson added that white non-college voters might have swung against the collective-bargaining bill, but that doesn’t mean they’ll support Obama.

“That demographic hates Obama with a burning passion,” he said.

Republicans also point to the success the party had in Wisconsin, where Democrats tried to make an election issue of another contentious bill to limit public employees’ collective bargaining rights, but the GOP turned back a recall effort to reclaim the state Senate and won a symbolic state Supreme Court race. Next year’s presidential battle will hinge on Obama’s handling of the economy and other national initiatives he’s pushed, like the health care law, said Greg Mueller, a GOP strategist.

“I think election is going to be more about ‘Obamacare’ and size and role of government … than the issue of collective bargaining,” he said.

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