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Obama’s plan

Back in 2013, labor, trade, health and environmental Advocates were urging open negotiations, and protections for American workers as the Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Deal (TPP) was being negotiated. The Guardian newspaper called the trade pact “Nafta on Steroids” and “an end run around the US Constitution.” The editors were absolutely correct.

On the eve of his fifth State of The Union Address, President Barack Obama was urged by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and a broad coalition of progressive organizations to ensure that strong, enforceable labor, health and environmental protections are included as part of the largest “free” trade agreement ever negotiated by the U.S.

The president most likely doesn’t care about these issues since he knows the TPP will likely send 200,000 low paying textile jobs in El Salvador to lower paying Vietnam. This will cause tens of thousands of US textile workers to lose their jobs since many US textile workers manufacture thread, fabric and yarn and export them to El Salvador

About 2 percent of all US manufacturing exports are textiles. 250,000 US citizens work in this industry, mostly manufacturing yarn, thread and fabric for export to Central America. US citizens will lose their jobs when those apparel manufacturing in Central America head for Southeast Asia.

Vietnamese textile firms get their thread, fabric and yarn from Chinese businesses. So Chinese workers will likely get those American jobs, while Vietnamese workers get the jobs of 200,000 people in El Salvador. That’s a likely loss of 200,000+ United States jobs in one small industry alone.

Good job President Obama! The difference between the old wages in El Salvador and the new lower wages in Vietnam will go into the pockets of rich shareholders. The same holds true of the US jobs that will be lost to China. In other words, the TPP is another income redistribution scam, just like all the rest.

“Unless President Obama insists on strict standards of openness and iron-clad protections for American workers, the TPP will likely become the biggest and most destructive free trade agreement we’ve ever seen,” said CWA Chief of Staff Ron Collins. “This agreement will provide even more incentives for corporations to off-shore U.S. manufacturing and service jobs to countries like Vietnam which pay extremely low wages and suppress workers’ rights. Also, it could lead to lower wages and benefits in the U.S. as the remaining U.S. employers are forced to compete with these low wage countries. These same incentives will further erode labor rights, health and environmental protections among all participants. It would be part of a global race to the bottom that only benefits multi-national corporations.”

Collins noted that CWA and the other organizations support fair trade, but not the giveaway of jobs that has been the outcome of previous agreements, particularly the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the entry of China into the World Trade Organization. The current TPP process has given corporate lobbyists access to all negotiating documents, while the public is shut out of any discussion.

“We will only support trade agreements that secure fundamental labor rights for workers and fundamental protections for our health and environment in America and abroad,” Collins said.

In addition to the lost jobs above, the TPP will also export millions of American jobs during the worst economic expansion in US history. See The Trans Pacific Partnership: The Op-ed the Liberal and Conservative Corporate Media Doesn’t Want You to See–JohnHively.Wordpress.com

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To a remarkable extent, the level of inequality—which fell during the New Deal but has risen dramatically since the late 1970s—corresponds to the rise and fall of labor unionization in the United States; and US labor union participation rates corresponds with the number of free trade agreements the US government enters into, as well as the development of historic levels of income and wealth inequality.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, “As union membership has fallen over the last few decades, the share of income going to the top 10 percent has steadily increased. Union membership fell to 11.1 percent in 2014, where it remained in 2015 (not shown in the figure). The share of income going to the top 10 percent, meanwhile, hit 47.2 percent in 2014—only slightly lower than 47.8 percent in 2012, the highest it has been since 1917 (the earliest year data are available). When union membership was at its peak (33.4 percent in 1945) the share of income going to the top 10 percent was only 32.6 percent.”

As you can see in the graph below, the share of US workers represented by labor unions began to drop in 1960 as electronic jobs, such as manufacturing televisions and radios, began to be exported more and more to places like Taiwan. That process began in the 1950s.

Union membership began to decline even more in 1964 when Mexico and the USA signed a treaty creating the free trade Maquiladora Zone inside Mexico. This zone runs along the US border, and is twelve miles wide and runs from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. Corporations are allowed to import parts into the zone, assemble things there, and export the finished products into the United States duty free. Tens of thousands of US labor union jobs were exported into Mexico because of this treaty.

Other maquiladora zones have been created throughout Central America since then. What happened to the US textile industry? Much of it is in Central America. Roughly 225,000 former US textile jobs now reside in El Salvador alone.

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US labor union membership dropped from 28.5 to 25.4 percent from 1964 to 1980. Then, of course, Reaganomics and more trade treaties hit US workers. NAFTA struck, and the rest is history. The stock markets shot up as labor union members saw their jobs being exported. You can see the amazing coincidence in the graphs above and below. As the jobs were exported, the stock markets exploded upward. Roughly 35 million US jobs have been exported since 1990.

S&P500_(1950-12)

Nowadays, the top 1 percent are stealing 37 percent of all income produced in the United States, compared to 8 percent in 1980. That’s because when a job is exported the difference between the old higher US pay and the new lower third world country pay goes straight into the pockets of the rich via higher corporate profits, surging dividends, and soaring share prices.

This is the link between income/wealth inequality and trade agreements business leaders, politicians, academics, and the corporate press don’t want you to know about.

Corporate stocks and bonds, by the way, are wealth. Wealth is something of value that you own, while income is money coming in. So the rich get more income by shipping jobs overseas, and in the process, they inflate the value of their wealth, such as stocks and bonds. The rich get richer with every trade agreement.

Now President Obama, and several Wall Street Democrats, such as Hillary Clinton and Ron Wyden, have joined with the majority of Republicans in congress to redistribute more income from the 99 to the 1 percent via the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is the largest income redistribution scam in US history, and the Wall Street Democrats and most Republicans are falsely marketing it as a free trade agreement. The Guardian News Paper calls the TPP “NAFTA on steroids.”

As more of those labor union jobs are exported, much of the tax base is exported with it. Actually that tax base is redistributed to the rich. As that tax base diminishes, the tax funds for fire, police, Social Security, public schools, slowly evaporates. And unionized public sector employees find themselves under attack.

It’s a big scam folks.

Protect your jobs! Protect your future! Fight against the TPP! Vote for Bernie Sanders!

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A new  study by the Social Security Administration shows that in 2014, slightly more than 51 percent of Americans made less than $30,000, and nearly 63 percent made less than $40,000. In other words, the middle class is dying and its being sucked dry by a parasite known as the 1 percent. At a time when the cost of living continues to rise across the country even as salaries have stagnated for years, it’s sobering—though not unexpected—news about the economic challenges facing a number of American families. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the latest assault to destroy the middle class. This middle class destroying accord has been ushered through the senate by Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden. Here’s how Wyden’s scam works.

Enactment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will force China to manipulate its currency more than is currently the case, and this will enrich wealthy US corporations that have shipped hundreds of thousand and millions of jobs to China, such as Nike, Microsoft, and Apple, as well as their rich shareholders, and CEOs, while destroying US export jobs, and redistributing massive amounts of income from the 99 to the 1 percent. The TPP will also send millions of undocumented immigrants into the USA, driving down wages here. But let’s begin with currency manipulation.

Vietnam is one of the nation’s involved in negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership. 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.

There are nearly 313,000 Nike workers in Vietnam, and nearly 250,000 in China. Vietnam has lower labor costs than those in China. The Chinese government, however, has been able to 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 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, those tariffs will 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:
1. US unemployment will grow with the TPP, as exports to China diminish.
2. Inequality in wealth and income will continue to increase, destabilizing the economy further.
3. The stock market bubble will continue to expand, and the coming stock market crash will be even worse than imaginable.
4. 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, as the taxes from those jobs are shipped overseas.
5. All of which means the US trade deficit will become greater because all of those things made by US companies in China will continue to be exported to the US, and the number is bound to increase with the TPP.

The super rich will become even more super richer, while the middle class will continue to evaporate.
Take a look at the graph below. On the left side (the Y axis) is the Yuan, which is the Chinese currency. The US dollar is on the bottom line (the x axis). 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.

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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.
Under the same conditions, this 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 often manipulated 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.

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Why are the higher up folks at Nike, Microsoft, Apple and hundreds of other US corporations that are producing goods in China for export to the United States against any legislation that seeks to address Chinese currency manipulation? The answer is easy; it increases their profits!
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 China’s currency manipulation increases the profits of Nike. Rarely, if ever, do prices go down for US citizens in this scenario.
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 its 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 all US corporations manufacturing in China, and exporting their products to the United States.
So who pays the price for this?
The 99 percent 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 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 declining 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.

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 many more. And if the TPP passes through congress, more US manufacturers will need to shift production to China.
However, it’s going to be worse than you can imagine.
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. But that’s not all.
Just like the jobs that will be lost to Chinese currency manipulation via the TPP, 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.
The TPP 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 TPP 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.
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 American jobs goodbye, as well as the hundreds of thousands of US jobs supported by those textile jobs.
If the TPP becomes law, we’re looking at the loss of billions of dollars of exports yearly, and millions of US jobs. And that’s only with the loss of two Maquiladora zones. Thank you Senator Wyden!
With the loss of jobs in the zones on such a massive scale, wages will drop like dead flies in Mexico and 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.

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USA Uncut reports that “El Salvador has rejected all Monsanto’s GMO seeds in stunning defeat for the multinational and a huge victory for small farmers and consumers. Prior to 2013, El Salvador purchased 70% of their seeds from Monsanto, but today that number is zero. Instead of relying on corporate seeds, small farmers now contribute dozens of local varieties which are higher quality and half the price. This is also a significant win considering the US government last year threatened to withhold $300 million in foreign aid if El Salvador did not buy Monsanto seeds. Share if the US should follow El Salvador’s lead and give Monsanto the boot!”

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The President-elect of El Salvador has publicly committed to prohibit new mining during his administration, just as his predecessors have done since 2008. OceanaGold should respect the democratic process in El Salvador, abandon its acquisition of Vancouver-based Pacific Rim Mining, and drop its lawsuit against the government of El Salvador for not having permitted a mine, according to international civil society organizations. A new study debunks eight falsehoods the company has used to try to justify mining in El Salvador and undermine public debate and policymaking.

Click the link below for more on this story.

Oceana Mining–Out to Destroy the Rivers of El Salvador

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On March 29, over 300 New Zealand citizens marched in the city of Wellington to protest against the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a treaty negotiated in secret (except for 600 mostly corporate lobbyists) to redistribute massive amounts of income and political power from the 99 percent of the world to the 0.1 percent of the world. In fact, this treaty is the biggest income redistribution treaty of all time.

Below is the face of total depravity, Wall Street Senator Ronnie Wyden. The senator is supposed to represent the people of Oregon, but he has a 100 percent voting record to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent as a congressman and as a senator. This is stunning because Wyden and the corporate press have falsely cultivated his reputation as a good liberal fighting for the common person, which plays well among the liberal voters of Oregon. Because of his well cultivated but false reputation, Wyden so far doesn’t have any serious challenge from the left or the right, which means he has a safe seat and could easily legislate on behalf of the people of Oregon rather than the corporate and Wall Street 1 percent. That’s what makes him a study in total depravity. How much is corruption involved with a senator who doesn’t need campaign contributions?

Wall Street Senator Ron “Money” Wyden

According to Jennifer Reid of Doctors Without Borders, the TPP will reduce by a wide amount the access to medicine for most of the people in the trade region. In addition, the US trade deficit will increase with the treaty as more and more jobs are shipped overseas. The goods and services formerly made in the USA will then be made in China and elsewhere, and then the goods and services will be exported to the USA. The reason Wyden supports this is because the difference between the old wages and benefits workers once received in the USA and the new lower rates will go toward enhancing corporate profits, dividends and share prices; and this means income will be redistributed to from the 99 to the 1 percent via this route; shipping jobs overseas.

According to one study, if the treaty becomes law, over 200,000 jobs in the remains of the US textile industry will be shipped to China. Those jobs currently support 230,000 jobs in El Salvador, and those jobs will be shipped to Vietnam. This suggests that hundreds of thousands of El Salvadoreans, as well as other Latin nations, will be forced to migrate, most likely into the US. Once they arrive here, they will push wages and salaries down, which is something the senator and Wall Street desires, because this will enhance corporate profits, dividends and share prices. The senator knows all of this and more, and that’s why he is a study in total depravity. BTW, the senator does show some aspects of being a sociopath.

Finally, the TPP is being negotiated to increase prices and profits, reduce wages and benefits in the Western Hemisphere, as well as redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent, and this is why Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden supports the treaty.

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Obama’s plan

Labor, trade, health and environmental Advocates are urging open negotiations, protections for American workers as the Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Deal is being negotiated. The Guardian newspaper calls the trade pact the largest in history, “Nafta on Steroids” and “an end run around the US Constitution.”

On the eve of his fifth State of The Union Address, President Barack Obama was urged by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and a broad coalition of progressive organizations to ensure that strong, enforceable labor, health and environmental protections are included as part of the largest “free” trade agreement ever negotiated by the U.S. The president most likely doesn’t care about these issues since the current negotiations will likely send 200,000 low paying textile jobs in El Salvador to lower paying Vietnam. This will cause tens of thousands of US textile workers to lose their jobs since many US textile workers manufacture thread, fabric and yarn and export them to El Salvador. About 2 percent of all US manufacturing exports are textiles. Vietnamese textile firms, on the other hand, get their thread, fabric and yarn from Chinese businesses. So Chinese workers will likely get American jobs, while Vietnamese workers get the jobs of 200,000 people in El Salvador. Good job President Obama! The difference between the old wages in El Salvador and the new lower wages in Vietnam will go into the pockets of rich shareholders. The same holds true of the US jobs that will be lost to China. In other words, the TPP is another income redistribution scam, just like all the rest.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership currently is being negotiated in secret among the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Roughly 600 corporate lobbyists have access to the negotiations and nobody else does, not even Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Trade, and one of Wall Street’s fiercest warriors in their financial plundering and rape of the middle class.

“Unless President Obama insists on strict standards of openness and iron-clad protections for American workers, the TPP will likely become the biggest and most destructive free trade agreement we’ve ever seen,” said CWA Chief of Staff Ron Collins. “This agreement will provide even more incentives for corporations to off-shore U.S. manufacturing and service jobs to countries like Vietnam which pay extremely low wages and suppress workers’ rights. Also, it could lead to lower wages and benefits in the U.S. as the remaining U.S. employers are forced to compete with these low wage countries. These same incentives will further erode labor rights, health and environmental protections among all participants. It would be part of a global race to the bottom that only benefits multi-national corporations.”

Collins noted that CWA and the other organizations support fair trade, but not the giveaway of jobs that has been the outcome of previous agreements, particularly the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the entry of China into the World Trade Organization. The current TPP process has given corporate lobbyists access to all negotiating documents, while the public is shut out of any discussion.

“We will only support trade agreements that secure fundamental labor rights for workers and fundamental protections for our health and environment in America and abroad,” Collins said.

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