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Donald Trump just secured the votes of millions of American citizens by renegotiating NAFTA. However, it has yet to pass congress and may never, just because it is a big-time body blow to the desires of Wall Street and the billionaires in their efforts to redistribute more income from working Americans to the rich by exporting jobs, thereby creating greater income and wealth inequality using U.S. taxpayer dollars in the process.

The millions of U.S. jobs currently occupied by Mexico’s $3 dollar per hour labor will almost certainly see some jobs returning to the United States, or more than likely, they may be exported from Mexico to Pakistan, China or Vietnam.

Regardless, Richard Trumpka, president of the AFL-CIO wrote of the renegotiated treaty, “The United States Mexico Canada trade agreement is a huge win for working people. After a quarter-century of suffering under the failed North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and 18 months of hard-fought negotiations, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is now proud to endorse a better deal for working people: the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USCMA)…The USMCA isn’t perfect — no deal ever is. But it’s a far cry from the original NAFTA, and that is a huge win for working people in North America. While it won’t bring back every job lost under NAFTA, it will help stop the bleeding and add important new protections for workers across the continent.”

A few things need to be said about the agreement. It will slow the pace of income and wealth inequality that has occurred over the last forty years, but only a little bit. Nowadays, three men own more wealth than the bottom half of the U.S. population and the 1 percent now steal somewhere between 22 to 38 percent of all the income produced each year in the United States, up from 8 percent in 1980; much of this can be attributed to international trade agreements negotiated to export U.S. jobs by the tens of millions.

The difference between the old higher wages and the new third world wages goes directly into the bank accounts of the rich via higher corporate profits, dividends and share prices.

The USCMA passed through the Democratic Party-controlled U.S. House of Representatives last week. However, it now has to pass through the RepubliCon controlled U.S. Senate early in 2020. The RepubliCons and their Wall Street and other corporate masters are dead set against it.

U.S. RepubliCon Senator Pat Toomey, who represents Wall Street and some billionaires, wrote in the Wall Street Journal that he will vote against the trade agreement. Here are a few of his objections;

1. Car manufacturers will need to… “pay wages far above prevailing Mexican rates.” In other words, Mexican auto workers do not deserve to earn more than $3 an hour.

2. “First are the laws to facilitate unionization of Mexican factory workers.” Apparently, Toomey thinks that organized billionaires (shareholders in corporations) is something that has God’s blessing, but organized labor is evil. This is class warfare at its worse.

3. “Another flaw is the drastic reduction of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism. U.S. investors don’t always get a fair adjudication of their business disputes in foreign courts, even in Canada and Mexico.”

These were secret tribunals that were highly unconstitutional. The U.S. Constitution allows the rules of treaties to override U.S. laws. However, a treaty requires 67 percent of the U.S. Senate to approve of treaties. That was not the case for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was, and notice this, called an “agreement.”

NAFTA only required a majority vote since it was an “agreement.” Consequently, the always secretly held tribunals of the Investor-State clause of NAFTA has always been unconstitutional. Representatives of local government, citizen groups, labor groups, and others, were never allowed into the tribunals. Only lawyers for the governments of Canada, the U.S., and Mexico, as well as corporate lawyers, were allowed in. Local and state laws were overturned by this unconstitutional tribunal, but Senator Toomey thinks it unfair the power of the tribunals is no more.

Expect Wall Street and the entire RepubliCon party to reject this agreement in the United States Senate, but expect Donald Trump to benefit politically nonetheless.

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The billionaires who control the US federal government and both major political parties are quaking in their boots because the Mexican government has increased the national minimum wage ever so slightly, by .45 cents per day. No doubt the billionaires are worried the increase will cut into corporate profits, slow the increase in share prices during the current economic and stock market bubbles, and perhaps even slow the increase in dividend payments. Heaven forbid!

CNN reports that “Nearly 25 million Mexicans are getting a pay raise next week. From $4.25 to $4.70 — a day. Mexican government and business leaders agreed on Tuesday to raise the country’s minimum wage starting on December 1 to 88.36 pesos from 80.04 pesos. The 10% raise is good news for 24.7 million Mexicans who work either one or two minimum wage jobs. But it also resurfaces a key complaint by American workers who voted for President Trump, in part because of his pledge to renegotiate NAFTA, the trade pact between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Trump blames NAFTA for the loss of many American jobs. Cheap labor has attracted American companies to Mexico for decades.”

Trump, of course, is correct. Millions of US jobs have been exported to Mexico since before Nafta, and millions more have been created there by US corporations rather than here because the terms of Nafta paved the legal road to do so. Generally, the numbers have been egregiously understated by researchers because the methodology they use deliberately understates US job losses.

What Trump doesn’t want US citizens to know, which is also what the billionaires who run the Republican Party and the Democratic Party don’t want you to know is that US income and wealth inequalities have been fueled by Nafta, and the stock markets have been booming since Nafta, precisely because Nafta has allowed US corporations to export millions of US jobs to Mexico. The difference between the old higher US wages and benefits and the new lower Mexican wages with no benefits goes straight into the already super-sized and ultra-fat wallets of the uber-rich via higher corporate profits, surging share prices and rising dividends.

Do you ever wonder how Warren Buffett, Phil Knight, the Koch Brothers, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and others ever got so much richer than they should be? These wonder boys have always been big-time supporters of cheap Mexican and cheaper Chinese, Vietnamese and Bangladesh wages with no benefits and fewer worker safety and relaxed or nonexistent environmental controls in those and other nations. They also have prospered because of these things.

So these rich folks owe quite a debt to the record income and wealth inequality they have created to Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, Paul Ryan, and Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden. The rest of us pay the price of the massive political corruption they have created.

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Hillary Clinton’s new book, What Happened shows she is completely out of touch with reality and voter’s anxieties over the economic policies that have redistributed trillions of dollars from the 99 to the 1 percent. These policies were championed by her, former President Bill Clinton, former President Barack Obama, former President George W. Bush, and a host of other Republicans and Democrats, such as Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and Wall Street’s favorite brown-noser, Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden.

In her book, Clinton blames Bernie Sanders for her defeat in the presidential election. She claims Sanders candidacy split the progressive vote. Hogwash! Hillary lost the presidential election because she is a gold plated pawn of Wall Street. Voters were tired of their jobs and tax dollars being exported to Mexico, China, and Vietnam. Clinton supported the policies that did this. Wall Street loved her support for these policies.

The CEOs of Wall Street, other major corporations, and billionaire investors rewarded her and her husband with $150 million in speaking fees from 2001 to 2016, at $225,000 a pop. Progressive voters knew that yes big money had gotten her to change her mind on legislation cutting back on the abilities of working folks to declare bankruptcy on behalf of the big banks who had purchased her lock, stock and barrel (See video above). Progressives knew the mind boggling millions of jobs that would have been exported from the United States to China with the Trans Pacific Partnership, which she called the “gold plated standard” for trade agreements. Then, of course, there was her support as Secretary of State for the coup that overthrew the lawful government of Honduras and resulted in the death of hundreds. You could go on and on about why progressives could not and would not support Candidate Clinton, but you cannot blame Bernie Sanders.

Hillary is completely out of touch with reality, but the book suggests she might want to run for president again.

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nafta-protest

The US corporate false-news media is reporting one-half of a story, but not the other half.

It’s true Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last Thursday he is willing to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which US President-elect Donald Trump has said he wants to change or scrap.

During the campaign, Trump called NAFTA the worst trade deal the United States has ever signed, while proposing protectionist measures to repatriate American jobs lost to free trade.

Now here’s what the right and left corporate news media doesn’t want you to know.

The US NAFTA problem isn’t with Canada. It’s with Mexico. Ultra-rich US campaign donors corrupting the politicians of both major political parties, as well as Wall Street executives, hedge fund managers, and other CEOs, like exporting US jobs to Mexico, rather than to higher paying, more unionized, Canada. So while this is big news that Trudeau is willing to renegotiate NAFTA, it isn’t that big of a deal since Canada isn’t where US jobs are being exported to.

When the Mexican president says he is willing to renegotiate NAFTA, then that’s news worth reporting, but only if any new agreement includes enforceable high minimum wages equal to about $10 an hour in the USA, as well as high labor, health, and environmental standards. That’s not likely to happen because corporate profits will suffer, meaning stock and bond prices will fall.

In which case, don’t count on any serious re-negotiation of NAFTA that might benefit the 99 percent of the United States. And certainly don’t look for such a re-negotiation like this, because it would help Mexican workers.

Neither the US or Mexican governments represents the vast majority of the 99 percent. NAFTA, as is, redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent, and that’s what it was negotiated to do.

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bring-back-the-jobs

The Eaton Corporation has decided to shut down its Berea Ohio factory where it manufacturers quick-connect couplings for hydraulic lines. More than 100 will lose their jobs.

The first layoffs will begin in April 2017 and the plant will be closed by December.

Eaton plans to buy the couplings from another manufacturer and ship them to a plant it owns in Mexico where workers will assemble them. Shares in Eaton peaked in 2014 at about $80. On Friday it closed just above $60 a share. The company will redistribute the wages of its soon to be former employees to rich shareholders in order to jack up share prices. Eaton management has been doing this since 2014.

Eaton cut some 2,500 jobs in 2015, closing eight factories in an effort to boost its declining share price. It is likely many of these jobs were exported to Mexico.

Eaton describes itself as a diversified industrial manufacturer of power management technologies, including electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power. Eaton’s products are used in mining, oil, solar, wind, other electrical systems, agricultural equipment and large trucks.

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Wall Street Senator Tim Kaine is a supporter of the Wall Street agenda, which means redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent. So in picking Kaine as her running mate, Hillary Clinton made certain Wall Street understood where she stands on the issues, no matter what she is forced to say in public. Today, Saturday 7/23/2016, Kaine came out against the TPP, after saying as late as two days ago (Thursday) that he was for it. Anybody believe he’s against it?

Before Bernie Sanders entered the Democratic primary race last summer, Hillary had publicly voiced support for the Trans Pacific Partnership 45 times (TPP), and she never expressed a doubt about it, going so far as to call it “the gold standard” of trade agreements. Bernie Sanders entered the race, mentioned how it would result in the loss of millions of jobs, just like NAFTA (which Hillary supported), and Wall Street’s candidate was forced to say she was against the TPP, even though she never was against it, and likely still isn’t. She’s just making stuff up to get elected.

But Mrs. Clinton had to give Wall Street a clear signal that she was still their political pawn, regardless of what lies she felt she needed to say on the campaign trail, so she made another Wall Street politician her running mate. Wall Street Senator Kaine is as much a pawn of Wall Street in the investment bankers war against the 99 percent, as is Hillary Clinton.

One has to wonder why Hillary felt so strongly about Kaine that she likely lost most of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Those are the Democrats that Donald Trump began wooing with his opposition to the TPP, and his vow that he will renegotiate NAFTA or exit it.

Obviously, Clinton felt she needed Wall Street money more than progressive votes. Sure Donald Trump has lied and exaggerated during the campaign, but Hillary has lied throughout her career. Most recently she knowingly gave many false statements to FBI agents in the email scandal, and each lie is a criminal offence. So Hillary can’t be trusted any more than Trump.

What’s a workin’ stiff to do in this election?

According to Wikileaks, “Making false statements (18 U.S.C. § 1001) is the common name for the United States federal crime laid out in Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which generally prohibits knowingly and willfully making false or fraudulent statements, or concealing information, in “any matter within the jurisdiction” of the federal government of the United States, even by mere denial.”

With these two candidates, the US hasn’t sunk this low in quality in a presidential election perhaps in its history.

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tppPANEL

TransCanada Corporation made its intention clear in January to recover costs through arbitration for Obama refusing the company a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. It is filing its claim for $15bn in damages under North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) provisions.

Now a secret tribunal made up of corporate lawyers will determine if US taxpayers have to ante up $15 billion in order to not allow an environmentally hazardous pipeline to cut across the USA.

TransCanada took a risk that it might not get the presidential permit, as required by law. The management took a risk, and now via an unconstitutional secret tribunal they may be able to require US taxpayers to cover their losses.

Some of the biggest US investors in TransCanada include JP Morgan/Chase, Vanguard Corporation, and Prudential.
These companies are circumventing US law via the unconstitutional rules of NAFTA.

If the US government loses, there is no reason why we as taxpayers should not launch a class action lawsuit challenging these secret tribunals of NAFTA as unconstitutional. Since the US Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are people, a challenge can be issued under the equal protection clause of the US Constitution, which should render illegal the secret tribunal provision of NAFTA, depending on how corrupt the US courts are.

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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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Somebody suggested on Facebook that the US is out of economic danger thanks to President Obama, and that he inherited a mess, and has since cleaned it up, and therefore we should continue with a third Obama term by voting for Hillary “Wall Street” Clinton. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We are in more danger now than then.

There’s a worse mess than last time heading our way. Obama did as much as President GW Bush about reining in the housing market bubble. His economic policies were deliberately intended to resurrect the housing bubble.

True, on the surface, and only on the surface, as a nation we appear to be in better shape now than in 2009, but in reality, Obama’s policies have led to a looming disaster, and the seeds were harvested and sowed on Obama’s watch. We’re heading for the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression. In other words, he is going to leave us with a worse mess than the one he inherited.

It’s just beginning. As of last Fall, according to Investor Daily, the US manufacturing sector was as bad off as during June 2009. That’s because millions of jobs have been exported on Obama’s watch, which has redistributed trillions of dollars from the 99 to the 1 percent, and accounted for record corporate profits, unprecedented housing and stock market bubbles, increasing poverty, declining wages and benefits for the 99 percent, and a record 48 million people on food stamps in the seventh year of an anemic economic expansion.

The rich have gone from getting 17 percent of all income produced in the USA to 30+ percent nowadays due to those bubbles and jobs exported.

Obama continuously pushed for more and more international income redistribution treaties, falsely marketing them as trade agreements, to continue the same dead end path for the 99 percent. This included the South Korea Free Trade Agreement, and the looming knockout blow to the middle class known as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Clinton claims she wants to continue Obama’s disastrous policies.

I’m part of the 99 percent. Why would I vote against my interests by voting for Clinton since she wants to continue Obama’s policies? I worked for Obama in 2008 on the telephone and door-to-door, and I gave money to his campaign. He campaigned on hope and change. There was no change in US policies.

He killed all hope that he would be different from George W Bush two years after taking office. Here’s a couple of important statistics to bear in mind for those of you who are thinking of voting for Clinton in the remaining Democratic primaries.

The US created more jobs and with rising real wages under President Jimmy Carter than under Obama, and Carter did this with a gross domestic product 40 percent the size of today, with a population 60 percent of today, and during two official recessions that occurred during his watch. By today’s standard, Jimmy Carter was a great president. I believe he was. Hillary will simply continue Wall Street’s policies of redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

A vote for Hillary is a vote for continuing corporate America’s rape and pillage of the 99 percent. That means she is going to vote for the Trans Pacific Partnership, which she has called the gold standard of trade agreements. The TPP has been called “NAFTA on steroids,” and will export millions of US jobs, and redistribute trillions of dollars of income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent. The stock markets will go up as the rest of us are bled financially dry.

Of course, Hillary will be for transgender bathrooms, pro-choice, for gun control, more testing in public schools, and all other social issues that will distract us from the things that are really important to all Americans; such as good paying jobs, and a better future for our children.

The choice for Democrats and all Americans couldn’t be more clear.

Vote Bernie!

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epi_college_unemployment.png.CROP.promovar-mediumlarge

In The Rigged Game, I wrote that the negative impacts of each successive recession would continuously get worse for a growing number of people because of growing income and wealth inequality, and a new study by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) shows this is the case.

Also note that the policies espoused by both Hillary and Bill Clinton brought this situation about. These policies include international income and political power redistribution scams they marketed as free trade agreements, such as NAFTA, giving China most favored nation status, and the South Korea, Panama and Colombia free trade agreements. These scams redistributed trillions of dollars from working Americans to rich fat cats as tens of millions of jobs were shipped overseas.

Now there is an approaching economic storm that will strike sometime between October 2016 and June 2017. The economic impacts of the coming recession will be worse than the last recession.

Some of the findings by EPI include:

  • Unemployment and underemployment rates among young graduates have improved but remain higher than before the recession began.
  • Unemployment of young graduates remains elevated today, but not because of something unique about the Great Recession and its aftermath that has affected young people in particular. Rather, it is high because young workers always experience disproportionate increases in unemployment during periods of labor market weakness—and the Great Recession and its aftermath is the longest, most severe period of economic weakness in more than seven decades (Italics mine).
  • The vast majority (65.8 percent) of people age 24–29 do not have a college degree. Access to good jobs for these individuals is especially critical, as stable employment allows them to build a career or pay for further schooling.
  • In addition to the unemployed (jobless workers who report that they are actively seeking work), the underemployment rate also includes those who work part time but want full-time work (“involuntary” part-timers), and those who want a job and have looked for work in the last year but have given up actively seeking work in the last four weeks (“marginally attached” workers).
  • For young college graduates, the unemployment rate is currently 5.6 percent (compared with 5.5 percent in 2007), and the underemployment rate is 12.6 percent (compared with 9.6 percent in 2007).
  • For young high school graduates, the unemployment rate is 17.9 percent (compared with 15.9 percent in 2007), and the underemployment rate is 33.7 percent (compared with 26.8 percent in 2007).

Now we are hurtling into the worse recession since the Great Depression, and the results of the following boom period will be more egregious than the pathetically weak economic expansion after the Great Recession, which lasted from 2009 to late 2016 or early 2017. Income inequality is the big culprit in this explosion of poverty in the midst of plenty because your government actively works to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent via such things as trade agreements, which are really income redistribution agreements.

Click on the following link for the complete EPI study.

The Class of 2016: The labor market is still far from ideal for young graduates

for more on the EPI study.

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