Posts Tagged ‘textile industry’

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.


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.


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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Labor unions and environmental groups warned President Obama Wednesday December 10, that getting too cozy with congressional Republicans on trade issues could imperil other parts of his policy agenda.

They urged caution for a president who has signaled a willingness to buck his own party in favor of working with Republicans who back his trade agenda, which is nothing more than an agenda to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent, including authority to fast-track major international agreements.

“From our point of view it’s inadvisable,” said Thea Lee, deputy chief of staff for the AFL-CIO.

With informal Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks taking place this week in Washington the groups vowed to turn up the heat against trade promotion authority, which would allow Congress only an up or down vote on the massive 12-nation agreement, with no opportunity to offer amendments.

“Of all the things he can be doing in the end of his second term and for his legacy he would be a lot better served by working with his allies in labor, the environment and consumer safety world and try to help us figure out how we can do in a different direction,” Lee told reporters on Wednesday.

As recently as last week, Obama signaled in a talk to business leaders that he may be willing to go against dissenting Democrats and forge a partnership with congressional Republicans to help push through legacy-destroying trade agreements.

Notice the president plans to team up with Republicans to fight to redistribute the income of the 99 to the 1 percent in yet another of these so-called trade scams. Wall Street has guided this president since day one.

“Growing discontent among the labor and green groups, congressional Democrats and some Republicans have created a backlash against the Obama administration’s push for lawmakers to grant the president trade promotion authority (TPA).

Although the president has repeatedly asked for TPA, there remain questions about whether he has the political muscle to convince skeptical Democrats to get it done.”

A total lack of transparency over the deal’s components and some emerging details have created unlikely allies on the issue. Details from negotiations have been leaked against the wishes the president.

From these documents, which can be found on Wikileaks, we know the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership will 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 will effectively eliminate your votes on local and state levels for and against such things (which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination), outsource millions of jobs, offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices they charge you (which redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent), limit food safety standards (which redistributes and transforms your health into the profits of the 1 percent), and block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis (which will make it easier for Wall Street to redistribute your income and wealth to the 1 percent). It will also kill the remainder of the US textile industry, destroy millions of jobs in Latin America, drive millions of undocumented immigrants into the United States, and depress wages in both North and South America, all to the benefit of the 1 percent, and all at the expense of the 99 percent. And we can’t forget that it will increase the already massive US trade deficit with other nations, which is supposed to be a bad thing. In other words, this scam is the largest income redistribution treaty of all time from the 99 to the 1 percent.

On this issue, Wall Street Democratic Senator Ron Wyden is not the stupid little boy he pretends to be on this issue. Wall Street Republican Senator Mitch McConnell knows it, too. As does Wall Street Orrin Hatch. Obama knows it. All we have to do to stop this mammoth income redistribution scam from moving forward is to stop Fast Track.

Nice scam, isn’t it? Your Democratic president is for this! Your Wall Street Democratic Senators such as Ron Wyden are all for this plot!

“There’s a lot of frustration in Congress for many of the reasons on transparency and what we know about the agreement,” said Ilana Solomon, director of the Responsible Trade Program at the Sierra Club. “And there’s as very strong coalition of Democrats and a very strong number of Republicans that are frustrated by the president’s work on trade and are very reluctant to give fast-track authority to the president.”

The AFL-CIO has fought against fast-track authority and it is expected to increase its efforts heading into 2015, when Wall Street Republicans will control both chambers of Congress.

“The labor movement and its allies are planning a major campaign against fast-track and we have a lot of action in the new year,” Lee said.

“We think this is an important issue and we will work with our colleagues in the business community that have better relationships with Republicans in Congress than we do. But we think that we have a good shot at defeating or slowing it down.”

There’s no question that trade promotion authority has plenty of hurdles in its way.

Critics also cite a lack of currency manipulation provisions, as well as issues with the labor and environment chapters of the proposed deal.

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic & Policy Research, said currency manipulation protections could be included in the deal if it were a priority for the Obama administration, stressing that the provisions have support from majorities in both chambers of Congress.

But with time ticking down, that means, Lee said, that the opportunity to address their long-standing problems with the direction of the deal as time grows short.

“There’s no indication that his trade deal is a departure from the failed model in the past,” Solomon said.

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These folks protesting Obama in the pictures above and below are not Tea Party folk. They’re labor unionists, environmentalists and other citizens deeply concerned about Obama’s financial ties to the 1 percent, most notably Big Pharma, Big Oil, Big Publishing, the Genetically Modified Poison Industry, and Wall Street tycoons. This protest is taking place in LaJolla, California. President Obama was at a fundraiser, getting representatives from Big Pharma, Big Oil, Wall Street and lesser financial interests to pony up some big campaign contributions. The political fundraiser took place at the La Jolla home of Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was scheduled to join Obama at the $10,000-per-person lunchtime fundraiser in La Jolla to benefit the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Couples who donate $32,400, the legal maximum, will be invited to a VIP reception and photo opportunity.

Jacobs, whose estimated net worth is $1.6 billion, was one of the top five financial supporters of Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012. He stepped down as chairman of Qualcomm — the mobile chip maker — five years ago.

Needless to say, the protesters couldn’t afford to contribute so much money, and so they weren’t going to get their voices heard, except by standing outside with signs.

Obama’s not happy his big income redistribution scam known as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is stuck in congress, due to grass roots activism, like that pictured above and below. The TPP will redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent by raising the prices of pharmaceutical drugs, reducing regulations on Wall Street, wiping out numerous American industries (like the remains of the US textile industry, sending millions of jobs overseas, and driving millions more undocumented immigrants into the USA, thereby pushing wages here lower. And these are just a few of the things that have been leaked from this secretly negotiated trade treaty, which is much to Obama’s liking, since the treaty negotiations are operating under his orders. By the way, a lot of Democrats in the Senate and the US House of Representatives, as well as all of the Republicans, like the terms of this treaty. This is especially true of Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden.

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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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From the Economic Policy Institute:

“The U.S. trade deficit with Japan has increased steadily over the past four years, reaching $79.9 billion in 2012, an increase of $13.4 billion (20.2 percent). Last month, the United States and Japan agreed on language that could allow Japan to join negotiations to enter the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed free trade agreement with 10 other Asia-Pacific countries (a new round of negotiations on the TPP began in Singapore last week ).

Exports support U.S. jobs but the larger volume of imports displaces even more jobs. Trade deficits such as the one we have with Japan have cost the United States millions of jobs, most of them high-paying jobs in manufacturing. Signing trade deals is an ineffective way to create jobs, in large part because they usually result in higher trade deficits. One of the biggest causes of our trade deficits is currency manipulation, which acts as an artificial subsidy to other countries’ exports and a tax on U.S. exports. Japan has a history of currency manipulation, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that he intended to weaken the yen when he was elected in December. The yen has declined 11.9 percent since then.”

The US also has a trade deficit with China, but that’s not quite the truth. The US has a trade deficit with US corporations that do their manufacturing in China, such as Nike, Apple and Microsoft. The worse thing is that the Obama man may force US textile manufacturers to move their facilities to China, as well. On the other hand, it should be pointed out that there are plenty of US textile manufacturers in China, already.

The TPP is being negotiated by officials from the Obama administration. Obama’s policy preferences, like George W. Bush before him, have been to redistribute income and political power from the 99 to the 1 percent, or at least the slice of the 1 percent that Obama represents, such as the Crown Brothers of General Dynamics. That’s what the TPP is all about.

The TPP will off shore more US jobs and continue a deadly race to the bottom in order to support the Ponzi Scam known as Wall Street. That’s because US corporations must experience long-term rising share prices, which means profits must continually rise, more or less. And the best way for that to occur is if wage rates are reduced more and more. And so the TPP is an engine not only to get around the US Constitution (That’s another story), but also to depress wages and other compensation worldwide. So naturally Obama is aiming to destroy US textile jobs and redistribute the wages of the people who actually do the work to the 1 percent via higher corporate earnings, rising share prices and surging dividends.

Within the framework of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the government of Vietnam is demanding “preferential rules of origin to use raw materials from China.” This includes yarn, thread and fabric.

Central American textile businesses are also worried that Vietnam will get more flexible terms to import its apparel into the US, such as an end to tariffs on apparel goods. In which case, some estimates suggest El Salvador alone will lose 200,000 textile jobs. These jobs are located in large part within Maquila zones, which are zones in which US companies are allowed to assemble goods and then export them duty free to the United States.

Once these zones were established, US corporations sent jobs to Central America. The difference between the old wages in the US and the new lower wages in Central America went into the pockets of corporate CEOs and rich shareholders. The people whose jobs were shipped away as part of the Democratic and Republican Party’s war against the 99 percent were lucky if they got unemployment insurance. The Central America Free Trade Treaty (CAFTA) did the same thing, only on a grander scale.

Nowadays, every year, the 1 percent legislatively steal about 32 percent of the income of the United States compared to about 7-8 percent thirty-two years ago. That means the 99 percent have less money to burn, which creates less jobs. And guess what else? The 1 percent destroy jobs by pressuring the government to enact more and more free trade treaties because they wipe out American jobs and redistribute the income from the lost jobs into their own pockets.

It just so happens that textile workers in the El Salvador Maquila zones earn .78 cents per hour, compared to .60 cents of their Vietnamese counterparts. However, the Maquila Zones in Central America have a cost advantage over their Vietnamese rivals since there are no tariffs for their products exported to the USA. If Vietnam is allowed to ship their apparel products into the US duty free, El Salvador will have a labor cost disadvantage vis-a-vis Vietnam.

Now here’s the real problem.

“U.S. textile manufacturers produce yarn, thread, and fabric for apparel, home furnishings, and for various industrial applications. In 2011, the U.S. textile industry generated $53 billion in
shipments and directly employed about 238,000 Americans, accounting for 2% of all U.S. factory jobs. Approximately one-third of U.S. textile production is exported, with the bulk of the exports
going to Western Hemisphere nations that are members of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or the Central American-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement
(CAFTA-DR), like El Salvador and Honduras.

Both free trade agreements provide that certain exports from member countries may enter the U.S. market duty-free only if they are made from textiles produced in the region. This has encouraged manufacturers in Mexico and Central America to use U.S.-made yarns and fabrics in apparel, home furnishings, and other products. Exports to the NAFTA and CAFTA-DR countries contributed to a U.S. trade surplus of $2.5 billion in yarns and fabrics in 2011.”

So the TPP has the potential to affect U.S. textile exporters in at least two ways. As mentioned earlier, it could enable Asian apparel producers, principally Vietnam, to export clothing to the United States duty-
free.” Roughly 40 percent of Nike’s products are produced in Vietnam. Guess what corporation is lobbying US politicians to support the TPP and eliminate the import duties from Vietnam?

“This (TPP) would eliminate much of the advantage now enjoyed by Western Hemisphere apparel producers in the U.S. market and, because Vietnamese manufacturers make little use of U.S.-made textiles,” will likely “reduce demand for U.S. textile exports,” killing US jobs, and redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent in the process. Second, it is possible the TPP will allow Western Hemisphere apparel manufacturers to use yarn and fabric made in any TPP member nations, such as China, which is where Vietnam gets its yarns and fabrics.”

In other words, Vietnamese apparel makers could wipe out El Salvador apparel makers, and that’s how Obama’s scam would destroy a couple of hundred thousand textile jobs in El Salvador. But this process would eliminate tens of thousands of US jobs in the textile industry, since the jobs in El Salvador are dependent on yarn, thread and fabric made in the USA.

In other words, Obama’s TPP scam is intended to make the 1 percent richer at the expense of the 99 percent, precisely because all free trade treaties are negotiated with this as the intended consequence. And this is just one of the income redistribution scams hidden within the negotiations of the TPP.

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