Senators who voted last week to Fast Track ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) call it a free trade deal, but really, it’s forced trade imposed on protesting American workers who have endured its damaging effects for decades.
Under the free trade regime, rich and powerful corporate interests have hauled in ever-higher profits as they shipped manufacturing overseas to low-wage, no-environmental-regulation countries. Meanwhile, American workers lost jobs, health benefits, income and all sense of stability.
For the past 50 years, the government provided compensation to some American workers who suffered because of trade deals. They got Trade Adjustment Assistance, a little bit of money to help them subsist and retrain after losing their jobs. Now, the wealthy beneficiaries of free trade, and the Republicans they fund, contend that senior citizens should pay the cost of Trade Adjustment Assistance. That Republicans feel it’s appropriate to cut Medicare to cover the cost of Trade Adjustment Assistance illustrates how deeply flawed American trade policy is. It is based on the philosophy that workers and the retired should suffer to facilitate the rich getting richer.More ...
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum will announce Wednesday that he will launch another bid for the Republican presidential nomination. He will make his formal entry into the race at an event at a manufacturing company in his hometown, Butler, PA.
Now that he’s running for president again, many analysts and voters may recall Santorum’s controversial assertions during his 2011 campaign. His frequent comparisons of same-sex relationships to inanimate objects like trees, basketballs and paper towels became a major punchline of the campaign cycle.
But here are ten equally outrageous comments he’s made that you may not remember:
Putting women in combat is a bad idea because of “emotions that are involved.” Women’s “emotions” may render them unworthy soldiers and thus not fit for the battlefield, according to the former Pennsylvania senator. “People naturally may do things that may not be in the interests of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved,” Santorum said after the Pentagon eased restrictions on women in combat in 2012. He has also made dire warnings about what would happen to the military after Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed and gays were allowed to openly serve.More ...
This is a message to activists trying to fight the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Stop calling the TPP a “trade” agreement. TPP is a corporate/investor rights agreement, not a “trade” agreement. “Trade” is a good thing; TPP is not. Every time you use the word “trade” in association with the TPP, you are helping the other side.
“Trade” is a propaganda word. It short-circuits thinking. People hear “trade” and the brain stops working. People think, “Of course, trade is good.” And that ends the discussion.
Calling TPP a “trade” agreement lets the pro-TPP people argue that TPP is about trade instead of what it is really about. It diverts attention from the real problem. It enables advocates to say things like, “95 percent of the world lives outside the U.S.” as if that has anything to do with TPP. It lets them say, “We know that exports support American jobs” to sell a corporate rights agreement. It enables them to say nonsense like this about a corporate rights agreement designed to send American jobs to Vietnam so a few “investors” can pocket the wage difference: “Exports of U.S. goods and services supported an estimated 9.8 million American jobs, including 25 percent of all manufacturing jobs … and those export-supported jobs pay 13 to 18 percent higher than the national average wage.”More ...
No one should have to choose between providing for your family and being a good parent. Yet "family-friendly" work is still a pipe dream.
Today most parents are also wage earners, whether in a two-parent or single-parent household. Politicians talk a lot about the importance of family, but must do a better job delivering.
- Require that women receive equal pay for equal work.
- Require employers provide predictable hours so workers can plan to be home when their family needs them.
- Provide universal childcare -- pre-school and after-school -- financed by employers and taxpayers.
- Require that employers offer paid family and medical leave.
The richest nation in the world should enable its workers to be good parents. Family-friendly work isn't a luxury. People who work hard deserve to make more than a decent living. They and their families deserve a decent life.
This has been reposted from The Huffington Post.