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The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the greatest income redistribution scam in US history. So-called trade agreements are nothing more than income redistribution scams falsely being marketed as international trade agreements. These scams are the primary conduit through which the rich continue to produce greater income and wealth inequality through their control of the corrupt US government and the corrupt two major political parties.

If Democrats are to address rising inequality and rebuild the middle class, as Hillary Clinton claims she wants to do, they must define a new, far more balanced trade policy. That policy would insist on minimum wages in all participating nations of at least the US federal minimum wage. And there would be mechanisms to enforce compliance in place with the TPP. There would also be environmental and health and safety standards built into the treaty.

There wouldn’t be US unconstitutionally private corporate courts created by investor-state dispute settlement clauses. There would be ways of challenging currency manipulation used by other nations, especially China. But the TPP will force China to manipulate its currency, which increases the profits of US corporations manufacturing in China and exporting to the USA. See The Trans Pacific Partnership: The Op-ed the Liberal and Conservative News Media Doesn’t Want You to See–JohnHively.Wordpress.com

Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden is the Chief Democrat in the US senate who stands behind the TPP. He wants American workers to compete against low wage Vietnamese workers. He wants to steal your voting rights with the TPP. Don’t let the senator from Wall Street get away with this.

Millions of jobs will be exported from the United States to China and Vietnam if the TPP becomes an unconstitutional law. When those jobs are exported, like the tens of millions that Wyden has already helped export over the last 35 years, the difference between the old higher US pay and the new lower overseas pay will go straight into the pockets of the super rich via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices. It’s a scam folks!

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The corporate news media does not operate independently, especially of the influence of its advertisers, and its editors, and that is why they prefer to keep you ignorant of certain facts. For example, when China manipulates its currency, this increases the profits of US corporations manufacturing there, and exporting those products to the USA. See https://johnhively.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/the-trans-pacific-partnership-the-op-ed-the-liberal-and-conservative-corporate-media-doesnt-want-you-to-see/

That’s precisely why US government and Federal Reserve officials castigate the Chinese government for doing this, but then do absolutely nothing to counteract it. To do so would cut into the profits of Nike, Microsoft, Dell, Campbell’s Soups, and thousands of other US corporations making stuff in China for export to the USA. This would make thousands of CEO’s and rich investors angry enough to cut off campaign contributions to Republican and Democratic Parties and their politicians. It would also send stock prices tumbling big time. Sweet lobbying jobs after politicians leave office would end. Corporate paid vacations called fact finding missions would disappear for politicians, as would money under the table, and those sweet speeches at $200,000+ a pop would vanish.

The Oregon Democratic Primary is coming up in a couple weeks, and Bernie Sanders is leading in the polls here. Quite naturally, the Oregonian newspaper is blitzing its readers with anti-Sanders messages in the form of editorials and news stories. The editors are doing everything they can to shift the election to the Wall Street candidate.

There has not been one positive or even neutral story about Sanders in the newspaper in the last two months, which is most likely a symptom of why the Oregonian has been suffering from a continuously declining readership. The newspaper is just a ghost of what it once was because more and more Oregon citizens realize the newspaper is mostly propaganda for the 1 percent along with occasional legitimate news stories.

Over thirty-five million jobs have been exported from the United States over the last twenty-five years. The Oregonian editors, along with all other corporate news outlets, have been careful to not report this loss of jobs and the tax dollars that once came with them when they were still here. The tax dollars lost equal nearly a trillion dollars a year.

Everything that Bernie wants to finance; free college tuition, medicare for all, and more, would be easily financed if those jobs were still here, rather than in China, Vietnam and elsewhere.

Bernie Sanders is against those disastrous trade policies which have paved the legal road for exporting jobs overseas, and which has paved the legal road for creating jobs over there, instead of over here. So, quite naturally, the editors of the Oregonian are for them, and against Bernie. It would be in the interest of the vast majority of US citizens to put an end to these international income and political power redistribution scams, falsely marketed by the Oregonian editors and other supporters as international trade agreements.

But it would not be in the interests of the Oregonian advertisers and their rich investors to put an end to them. It also would force the Oregonian editors to be responsible and objective journalists. However, challenging cherished beliefs with critical thinking, logic, and facts is among the last thing many people want to do. That’s precisely why the Oregonian editors support the Wall Street candidate; Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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'America's Biggest Export, Our Jobs!!'

‘America’s Biggest Export, Our Jobs!!’

The corporate news media, more accurately described as a propaganda machine, is on the move in an effort to derail the campaign of Bernie Sanders.

Below is an op-ed in the March 20, 2016 Oregonian newspaper. The Oregonian is a charter member of the corporate brainwashing machine. They used an op-ed written by economics professor Kimberly Clausing of Reed College.

The professor uses the economic fairy tales of free trade to point out the errors of those who are against the Trans Pacific Partnership, and other trade agreements, which are nothing more than scams to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent. In Italics I show how she aims to mislead. The professor’s point of view is supported by the editors of the Oregonian, otherwise they would have offered a counter argument to the professor’s claims. So here it goes.

By Kimberly Clausing

“Candidates on both ends of the political spectrum, the far-left Bernie Sanders and the extreme Donald Trump, have displayed skepticism and even outright hostility regarding the influence of foreign competition on the U.S. economy.”

When was the last time you purchased an I-phone or a Dell computer made by a Chinese company? When was the last time anybody purchased something by a Chinese company? How about hardly ever? Much, and perhaps most, of Chinese exports to the USA are made by US corporations producing their products in China. The “foreign competition” isn’t with China. That “foreign competition” US companies face is US companies manufacturing stuff in China. The US trade deficit with China does not exist, at least not in total. In reality, the so-called trade deficit with China is largely a US trade deficit with US corporations that have shifted production from the US to China, and then exported their Chinese made products to the USA. Stunningly, the professor does not know this, but her ignorance is serving Wall Street and the rest of the 1 percent by brainwashing us to reality. 

The professor went on:

“Both Sanders and Trump have vowed to tear up existing trade agreements, table new international initiatives and make tougher deals with China.”

As pointed out above, Clausing is clueless about what she writes, but Bernie Sanders is not. Sanders understands that the primary export product of the US is US jobs. I don’t know what Trump understands about these deals, but it is clear that the editors of the Oregonian newspaper, as well as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, Foxnews, MNSBC, and others, don’t want you to know this reality.

The Professor goes on and on:

“While both candidates are responding to very real voter concerns regarding wage stagnation and income inequality, they are proposing destructive solutions that will cause more harm than good for Americans, including Oregon’s workers and consumers.”

Clausing doesn’t understand that all those millions upon millions of US jobs in China, Pakistan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Mexico, and elsewhere, are depriving many US citizens of employment. Trade treaties paved the legal road to ship those jobs overseas, or create them there rather than here. One corporation alone, Nike, accounts for approximately one million jobs overseas. About 250,000 of those are in China, and another roughly 350,000 are in Vietnam. That’s just one US corporation, meaning tens of millions of US jobs are overseas exploiting lower wages, as well as lesser environmental and legal rights of workers.

“Let’s be clear,” Clausing wrote. “American workers have had a tough several decades. Aside from a period in the 1990s, wages have been nearly stagnant in recent years. And while economic growth in the United States does well in comparison with other rich countries, gains in gross domestic product (GDP) have increased incomes at the top of the income distribution far more than in the bottom 80 percent.”

Clausing’s got it correct there, but then she puts in the typical propaganda below. 

“Workers, and voters, are understandably frustrated. But many factors other than trade play a role in these economic outcomes.”

Trade is likely the biggest factor causing this frustration, and by a wide margin. Just look at all of those tens of millions of US jobs that have been exported, thanks to these trade agreements, but then Clausing steps into her own bullshit on her next paragraph.

“Foremost, technological change has revolutionized production processes, with computers displacing workers in many sectors. We no longer need secretaries to type our work or bank tellers to hand us cash. Assembly lines are more automated than ever before. Yet no one is suggesting that we throw away our computers to get these jobs back, because computers are useful in countless ways in our daily lives. And computers augment what skilled workers can produce and earn. The maker of a software application, the designer of an aircraft engine and the analyst of data are all more productive than they would be without computers to aid them.”

Economists have been warning for over two centuries that technology growth will lead to higher rates of unemployment, but that has never happened, then or now. Clausing, in the paragraph above, doesn’t understand reality, just obscure theory that isn’t based in reality. Technology wipes out jobs, and that’s true, but it typically creates far more jobs than it eliminates. Let’s take one example.

The National Cash Register Corporation (NCR), whose stock is traded on Wall Street, has been a US company since 1888. The company used to manufacture cash registers in the United States.Those jobs are long gone.

Nowadays, NCR manufactures its retail and restaurant self-checkout machines in China (which are officially called “Retail and Restaurant Point of Sale hardware and software,” on the company’s website). NCR is the largest manufacturer in the world of ATM machines, and almost all of them are made in China, and well, maybe they’re all still made there. A few years back, NCR announced that a tiny number of jobs manufacturing ATM’s might be brought back to the USA, but there is no evidence that I’ve been able to find to suggest this has come to pass. So it’s likely that all of NCR’s ATM machines are still made in China. NCR also manufactures Airport Self-Service Kiosks and a bunch of other items in China. In fact, everything it produces (with the possible exception of that small number of ATMs) are manufactured in China).

According to its website, NCR manufactures, “POS Terminals, POS Software, POS Printers, Fuel Controller, Back Office Software, Self Checkout.” Under the travel category, “Common Use Self-Service, Airport Kiosk, Hotel Check-In, Car Rental Software, Bus Check-In.” If this was fifty years ago, before the World Trade Organization, before all the free trade treaties, all of the company’s jobs would be in the United States.

NCR has more employees now than ever in its history, and this is especially true when you count the use of contractors and their employees in China. The technology produced by NCR has created more jobs than the old cash register business thirty years ago. Thousands of jobs were wiped out, but hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions more jobs have been created with the new technology.

Technology did not put those jobs in China. Low wages did, and the demands of its stock price did. The ability to produce massive amounts of pollution did. The ability to use an essential slave labor force six to seven days a week, and up to sixteen hours per day and without overtime pay, put those jobs in China. But something else paved the way to export those jobs; trade agreements.

“Trade, like computers, creates both winners and losers. Unfortunately, the workers that would have made the imported goods may be harmed.”

The professor should have added, because their jobs will be exported.

“But workers in export industries benefit greatly, and consumers benefit from price reductions on virtually every product they consume.”

The professor is way off base on this one, perhaps because she lacks real life experience. I have a friend named Sloan. He is a contractor who builds homes. He used to purchase his ceramic tiles from a company that manufactured them in the USA. Then one day he realized the company was now making them in China, and the price they charged him was the same.

“Increased foreign competition prevents domestic firms from wielding undue market power.”

Just look at the political markets and you’ll see who owns what. Wall Street investment firms own the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Koch Brothers own Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and you can go on and on, but the professor shows total ignorance.

“Economic growth abroad makes more stable societies and alleviates world poverty.”

Tell this to the folks in Vietnam. They’re not allowed to unionize, their air is totally polluted, and they live in a total police state. Poverty is difficult to determine, and sometimes it’s a matter of opinion. But if the rich are getting richer, then the rest of us must be getting more poor.

Close, mutually beneficial economic ties between countries build peaceful relationships and reduce needless antagonism among nations. And addressing global policy problems like climate change will require an international community that is more interested in building bridges than walls.

I agree with the professor above, but that’s part of her propaganda about how everything is wonderful with trade agreements.

“Indeed, the country as a whole benefits from trade.”

Trade agreements have largely created the income and wealth inequality we have here in the USA, so the professor is way off base here. The rich primarily benefit from the scams that redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent and that are marketed as trade agreements. The difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower overseas wages goes straight into the pockets of the rich via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and soaring share prices. The job losers get unemployment insurance if they’re lucky. So no, the country as a whole has not benefited from international trade, but the rich as a whole has.

I could go on and on with Professor Clausing’s propaganda op-ed on behalf of the 1 percent, but by now you should see the difference between the reality of trade agreements, and the theory offered by the professor.

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Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden is one of the great weapons the rich use in their war against the middle class in the US senate. Walmart is a good case in point. Wyden has voted time and time again to export US jobs and redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent. The difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower foreign wages goes straight into the pockets of the rich via higher corporate profits, rising share prices, and surging dividends. The job losers might get a bit of unemployment insurance, if they’re lucky.

In reality, Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden stole the American dream from millions of US citizens by supporting international income redistribution scams, falsely marketed as international trade agreements.

In reality, Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden stole the American dream from millions of US citizens by supporting international income redistribution scams, falsely marketed as international trade agreements.

Chinese imports made by US manufacturers entering through Wal-Mart in 2013 likely totaled at least $49.1 billion and the combined effect of imports from and exports to China conducted through Wal-Mart likely accounted for 15.3 percent of the growth of the total U.S. goods trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2013. Virtually all of those goods are made in China by companies that formerly used to manufacture in the USA, thanks to Wyden.

The Wal-Mart-based trade deficit with those US companies manufacturing in China alone eliminated or displaced over 400,000 U.S. jobs between 2001 and 2013.

The manufacturing sector and its workers have been hardest hit by the growth of Wyden’s Walmart imports. Wal-Mart’s increased trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2013 eliminated 314,500 manufacturing jobs, 75.7 percent of the jobs lost from Wal-Mart’s trade deficit. These job losses are particularly destructive because jobs in the manufacturing sector pay higher wages and provide better benefits than most other industries, especially for workers with less than a college education.
Wal-Mart has announced plans to create opportunities for American manufacturing by “investing in American jobs.” To date, very few actual U.S. jobs have been created by this program, and since 2001, the growing Wal-Mart trade deficit with US corporations manufacturing in

China has displaced more than 100 U.S. jobs for every actual or promised job created through this program.

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The 1 percent now steal over 37 percent of total US income, up from 8 percent in 1980. They’ve been stealing their income by corrupting both major political parties, which control the federal and state, as well as most local governments. Wall Street Senators, such as Mitch McConnell and Ron Wyden, are notorious for pushing legislation that redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

This government created inequality has created an economy spiraling toward third world status, with only 50 percent of US adults considered middle class, down from 61 percent in 1970. Another by-product of this is that people are dying younger, but not if you are rich. A new study by Angus Deaton and Anne Case show the mortality rate for white males, ages 45 to 55, is increasing.

F1.medium

The author’s lay the blame straight at income inequality pursued by senator’s like McConnell and Wyden. So why only white males of this age? Why not white or Hispanic women? Why not younger white males? The answer is expectations.

White males of this age group could always count on getting decent jobs, such as in manufacturing, from the 1970s through the 1990s. They had jobs, and then millions of those jobs were exported, leaving millions of people in debt, and unable to find a suitable job replacement. This has led to financial and emotional distress, increasing suicides, alcohol use, drug use, eating excessively, and other methods of self-perceived alleviation.

F2.medium

Note below, that mortality rates for white males in this age group declined from 1979-1998. These three decades witnessed extraordinary job growth, which meant opportunity. The guys in the 45-54 age range were in their physical prime. While the rich were getting richer, their share of income rising from 8 to roughly 15 percent of the total national income, real wages, or the illusion thereof, rose for a few years of the late 1980s, and the late 1990s. Now those jobs and opportunities have declined in numbers.

The authors write:

Midlife increases in suicides and drug poisonings have been previously noted. However, that these upward trends were persistent and large enough to drive up midlife mortality has, to our knowledge, been overlooked. If the white mortality rate for ages 45−54 had held at their 1998 value, 96,000 deaths would have been avoided from 1999–2013, 7,000 in 2013 alone. If it had continued to decline at its previous (1979‒1998) rate, half a million deaths would have been avoided in the period 1999‒2013, comparable to lives lost in the US AIDS epidemic through mid-2015. Concurrent declines in self-reported health, mental health, and ability to work, increased reports of pain, and deteriorating measures of liver function all point to increasing midlife distress.

Click here for the full study.

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Why do Nike executives want the US congress to pass the Trans Pacific Partnership?

The answer is simple, they want to offshore more jobs, which the corporation will be able to do once the TPP becomes law. But first let me explain a few things.

The folks at Nike declared that the notorious jobs exporter would create 10,000 new manufacturing jobs in the US if the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is passed by congress. President Obama repeated this lie when he gave a speech at Nike headquarters on May 8. I should point out that 10,000 jobs represents less than 1 percent of Nike’s total manufacturing labor force. So it’s a drop in the bucket.

So how is it that the president is willing to share information from his top secret trade negotiations with Nike executives, but not with the rest of us?

This willingness to create jobs in the United States defies both logic and Nike’s history.

Nike is one of the top jobs exporters in all of US history, if not number one of all time. And the defining issue for Nike in the TPP, that we know of via leaked documents, is the desire of Nike executives to reduce or eliminate the tariff on Nike products the company exports to the United States from Vietnam, which swells the US trade deficit, and ask anybody, the latter is a bad thing.

If the TPP becomes law, we can count on tens of thousands of Nike jobs to be relocated from China to Vietnam because the wages in Vietnam are much lower than in China. This will increase Nike’s profits and stock price. Take a look at the history of Nike’s stock price below.

Nike’s stock price was barely over $4 a share in November 1994, just before the implementation of NAFTA in December 1994. It more than doubled between 1994 and 2000, because the company was able to export more jobs. Then China was given most favored nation status. The price of Nike stock has jumped more than a thousand percent since then because the company was able to export even more jobs. If you owned 1000 shares of Nike in 1994, your stock was worth $4000. Now it would be worth $100,000, and that doesn’t even count the yearly dividend payment.

Nike’s stock growth was a result of exporting jobs. When a job is exported from the US, the difference between the old higher US wage and the new lower Vietnam wage increases profits, which drives stock prices and dividends higher, but leaves everybody else in poverty.

So it’s more than likely that Nike will not shift production to the United States with or without the Trans Pacific Partnership. This suggests that people should rightly be suspicious of the dubious claim by Nike executives that they will create 10,000 US manufacturing jobs in the US if only the TPP passes through congress. Nike could do it right now. And the lowering of US tariffs on imports from Vietnam via the TPP gives Nike absolutely no incentive to create production jobs in the US. Rather, it gives Nike incentives to export the few production jobs in the US and the hundreds of thousands in China to Vietnam.

On the other hand, these executives want the TPP in the worst sort of way, which suggests they have had the privilege of seeing the text of the TPP, a right which is being denied to the rest of us.

So what is the president and his chief Wall Street henchman in the senate (Ron Wyden) hiding?

We know from leaked documents that the TPP will:

* TPP will give incentives for US corporations to export millions of US jobs. The Federal Reserve estimates that 28 million US jobs were exported between 1990 and 2010. Wyden wants to increase this number. Jobs are the biggest US export product. Wyden likes this.

* TPP will increase US income and wealth inequality. The 1 percent have already taken 95 percent of all income growth in the United States since 2009. Currently, the 1 percent are stealing 36+ percent of all income produced in the USA, compared to only 8 percent in 1980. International trade scams and other federal legislation have brought inequality about. For example, when the above jobs were exported, the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower wages will go straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices. Wyden is a principle architect of this inequality.

* Those lost jobs will no longer be paying the taxes for our infrastructure, K-12 education, higher education (tuition and fees will go up), social safety nets, schools, fire, police, public transportation, social security taxes, but those lost jobs will push the stock markets higher.

* TPP will effectively eliminate your voting rights on local and state issues since it will unconstitutionally 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 most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination.

* TPP will eliminate millions of jobs in Latin America, which will drive millions of more people illegally into the United States and depress wages here. See How the Trans Pacific Partnership Will Destroy American Jobs and Exports

* TPP will jack up pharmaceutical prices by extending the patents of the pharmaceutical corporations. Hmm, that doesn’t sound like free trade. It sounds like they’re rigging the game against the 99 percent.

These things we know only from leaked documents, and they’re only a tiny bit of what’s been negotiated. It doesn’t seem like the stuff we don’t know about in the TPP is going to be very good for the majority of citizens, otherwise, the president would let us know what is in the TPP, which is precisely what the president doesn’t want us to know. If the TPP is so good for the majority of American citizens, as the president claims, then why don’t the rich folks want us to know what’s in it?

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This morning two protestors, John Hively and Ross Wrede, greeted President Obama when he arrived at Nike headquarters to drum up support for his job killing income and political redistribution scam called the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is falsely marketed as a free trade agreement. Within a few minutes, another two hundred protestors showed up.

The president, and his Wall Street henchmen like Ron Wyden and Mitch McConnell, are trying to push Fast Track Authority through congress. Fast track will limit debate on the TPP, not allow any amendments, and no filibuster will be allowed.

It appears the president doesn’t have enough support for fast track to pass through congress, and, for some reason, he and his aides thought it would be a good idea to drum up support for his jobs killing scam by visiting Nike, a notorious exporter of American jobs.

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