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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Trumpka’


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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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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Earlier this week, working people at Verizon went on strike. It’s never been good when working families are forced to take this step but Verizon workers felt they had no choice.

They’re fighting to create a better workplace for themselves and those that come after them. That’s why they work. It used to be called the American Dream. Now they’re stuck in the American Nightmare, so they aren’t going to give up until Verizon ends its push to send jobs overseas, stops intimidating Verizon Wireless workers who are trying to create a better future for themselves and their families and drops its demands to cut retirement benefits, gut job security and to make workers move away from their homes and families for months at a time just to keep their jobs.

Verizon’s stock is doing well, and that’s the primary criteria for determining how well every CEO is doing. Verizon’s CEO is doing very well at $18 million a year, which happens to be more than 200 times what the average Verizon worker earns. So stock price and CEO pay aren’t the problems forcing workers to go on strike. It’s plain greed, and nothing more.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued the following statement regarding the labor movements’ broad support for the striking workers:

“The AFL-CIO stands in solidarity with the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers fighting for a fair contract. The 39,000 working people who went on strike this morning at Verizon deserve a fair contract that provides stability and acceptable working conditions.

Verizon made $39 billion in profits over the last three years, but is unwilling to provide job security, better benefits and safe working conditions to the people who made it possible for their top five executives to make over $233 million in the last five years.

No one wants a strike. But Verizon’s unwillingness to negotiate fair terms shows its disrespect for working people. Verizon wants to uproot workers, hurt communities and force retirees to pay extremely high health care costs. This strike is about doing what is right for everyday working people – not corporate interests. We call on Verizon to bargain in good faith and work with unions to create a fair and equal contract that stands up for working people rather than corporate greed.”

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In 2012, in a town hall in India, then US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said,

“Outsourcing jobs is part of our economic relationship with India. I think there are advantages with it that have certainly benefited many parts of our country (the USA), and there are disadvantages that goes toward the need to improve the work skills of our own people (those who lose their jobs), and create a better economic environment. It’s like anything. It’s got pluses and minuses.”

What Clinton didn’t say is who benefits and who loses when she supports exporting jobs. Let’s get something straight, nearly thirty million US jobs were exported from the US from 1990 to 2010. Millions more have been exported since. Notice in the graph below how the exporting of US jobs increased with NAFTA, which Clinton supported. Hillary has also supported the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), until she came under intense criticism as a presidential candidate. No doubt, she still supports it because Wall Street does, and she is Wall Street’s candidate.

manufacturing-jobs-exported-per-year

The United States is in the seventh and likely final year of an economic boom. The statistics are staggering about what exporting jobs have brought about here.

  1. Income inequality perhaps never experienced in US history.
  2. The 99 percent has gone from earning 92 percent of all income produced in the USA in 1980 to 63 percent today.
  3. 48 million people on food stamps, which is nearly one out of six Americans.
  4. A middle class that has shrunk from 61 to 49 percent of US adults from 1970 to 2016.
  5. Wages that have declined in real terms for 36 years.
  6. A rising homeless population.
  7. Wealth inequality never experienced in US history.
  8. The worst economic expansion in terms of wage growth and jobs growth since the Great Depression.
  9. Slower job growth than under President Jimmy Carter, back when the population was 65 percent of today, and the Gross Domestic Product was 45 percent the size of today.
  10. A tax base that is shrinking every year as the jobs are being exported, and this has brought about higher college costs, shrinking social safety nets (such as social security), decrepit public infrastructure, and many more negative things.
  11. A massive trade deficit the United States has with US corporations manufacturing abroad and then exporting those products to the USA.

Obviously, exporting jobs is not a winning formula for the vast majority of US citizens, but Mrs. Clinton thinks so. The rich, of course, benefit from exporting jobs.

When jobs are exported (and let’s face it, jobs are the number export product of the United States), the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower wages in China, Vietnam and elsewhere, go straight into the pockets of the super rich via higher corporate earnings, rising share prices, and surging dividends.

So the good things about exporting jobs that Hillary spoke about in the video are that exporting jobs is the fuel that causes the stock markets and corporate profits to surge at record levels. Clinton doesn’t seem to give a rat’s ass about the massive collateral damage to the 99 percent, much of which is listed above.

That’s why every geographic area of the United States outside of the old confederacy is Bernie Sanders country, and why he will win the Democratic nomination.

That why Bernie Sanders whipped Hillary Clinton badly in Kansas and Nebraska on Saturday, March 5. He won by 68 percent of the vote in Kansas, and 55 percent in Nebraska. Hillary, as expected, took 70 percent of the vote in Louisiana.

Clinton has yet to prove she can win decisively outside of the southeast. She appears to be nothing more than an over-hyped regional candidate. True, Clinton edged out Bernie in Iowa, Nevada, and Massachusetts, but outside of the South, it is Sanders who has dominated the Democratic primaries.

Not counting the super delegates, most, of which, have declared for Clinton, Hillary leads in delegates 659 to 455. However, most of the Southern states have voted in the Democratic primary (save for Florida) and the rest of the nation appears to be Sanders country.

Sure most of the super delegates temporarily support Clinton, but if she loses the popular vote in the primaries, which is highly likely, the super delegates are not bound to Clinton. They will switch to Sanders, or experience the end of the Democratic Party by sticking with Hillary.

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Wall Street President Barack Obama has come one step further along with the announcement that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been finalized in the Atlanta sessions that ended last weekend. His Democratic henchman, Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, must have been smiling with the announcement, since he is the chief Democratic supporter of the TPP in the US senate.

The Democrats are desperate since they have been losing ground in congress and the polls since 2010. Their fundraising falls far short of Republican efforts, and their base is falling by the wayside for reasons described below. President Obama has been intent on securing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for his Wall Street benefactors, as well as other sources of big campaign contributions and other sizable perks. If he can’t secure this for Big Donors, what good are the Democrats?

The TPP will show how adept the Democrats are at caving in to Republican Party since the TPP is falsely marketed as a trade agreement when it is designed to redistribute income and political power from the 99 to the 1 percent, just like all previous so-called trade agreements.

In order to get his deal, the president and his negotiators had to engage in serious back door deals with senators, congressional representatives and foreign trade negotiators. For example, in order to get the deal out of the gridlock of negotiations, the president and his team caved in to all of Japan’s demands on agriculture. See why-japan-did-americas-dirty-work-in-the-tpp-ustr-gave-away-the-agricultural-store–nakedcapitalism.com.

The president also made it easier for Japanese automobile parts manufacturers to export their stuff to the US, which will cost the US jobs. The price to get Japan in on the deal was destroy US jobs in auto parts.

The final battle against the middle class will now be waged in the halls of congress. It will be led by Wyden and Obama, along with a bevy of Big Cash politicians from the Republican Party. The news media will remain largely mum on the subject. It’s better to keep the little people illiterate about the issue, than arouse their indignation and protests via honest reporting.

The Democratic base has been falling by the wayside since Obama began his tenure as president. “Hope and change” was a nice slogan as the president gave the rich everything they wanted, including 95 percent of all income growth since Obama took office. The 1 percent steal 37 percent of the nation’s income, up from 8 percent in 1980. That’s what they’re buying with those campaign contributions and other perks.

Little by little the Democratic base has come to realize how indifferent the president is to their concerns, how much he actually favors the rich, what a lie “hope and change” was, since there was no “change,” and this is reflected in recent elections as more and more of the base has increasingly decided to stay home at voting time. That’s precisely why the Republicans have such large margins in both houses of the US congress.

If the TPP passes through congress, within a decade the 1 percent will steal 50 percent of the nation’s income, driving millions of people into poverty in the process.

Take China for example. China is not a part of the TPP, but Vietnam is. Wages in China are about twice is high as in Vietnam. In order to keep jobs in China, the Chinese government will be forced to manipulate its currency vis-a-vis the US dollar. Chinese exports will become cheaper in the US, while US exporters will be encouraged to export US jobs to China. But there is also a devious side to this situation. Prices of Chinese imports won’t decrease in the US. Instead, profit margins will increase.

Any company manufacturing in China will see an increase of its profits, and they won’t need to do a damn thing to make that happen. Corporations like Microsoft, Nike, Dell, and Apple will see massive rises earnings and their stock prices, as income is redistributed from US export workers losing their jobs to US manufacturers producing goods in China. Their rich shareholders will reap a massive bonanza at the expense of people who actually work for a living. 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–JohnHively.wordpress.com

This isn’t lost on everybody. Some people are already coming out against

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:

“We are disappointed that our negotiators rushed to conclude the TPP in Atlanta, given all the concerns that have been raised by American stakeholders and members of Congress. The Administration had a hard time reaching this deal for good reasons: it appears that many problematic concessions were made in order to finalize the deal. We ask the Administration to release the text immediately, and urge legislators to exercise great caution in evaluating the TPP. As we’ve said, rushing through a bad deal will not bring economic stability to working families, nor will it bring confidence that our priorities count as much as those of global corporations. We will evaluate the details carefully and work to defeat this corporate trade deal if it does not measure up.”

Communications Workers of America President Chris Shelton:

“Negotiators from the 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal countries, meeting in Atlanta, have announced an agreement. Despite all the hype, and given what we’ve learned over the past many months and years of negotiations, it’s clear that this TPP remains a bad deal for working families and communities. The corporate lobbyists who make up the majority of U.S. trade advisers have been pushing hard for an agreement, mainly because they’ve known all along that what’s in the TPP represents a sweet deal for multinational corporations and the 1 percent. For the rest of us—U.S. working families and communities, and workers in the other TPP countries—this agreement is bad news.”

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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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