President Obama’s Argument on TPP is Flawed!

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

In the article, “In Pushing TPP, President Obama Says He Has 'Better Argument' Than Trump or Clinton” the President offered several arguments for the trade scheme.

He warned that “trying to pull up a draw bridge on trade” would hurt the U.S. economy and American workers, and said that “if we don’t establish rules -- norms -- for how trade and commerce are conducted in the Asia-Pacific region, then China will.”

Since the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) currently excludes China, as a country China has no obligation to honor the new standards for labor, environmental responsibility, and other objectives – a huge plus for China. However, Chinese subsidiaries in TPP countries such as Vietnam benefit from the extraordinary advantages bestowed on corporations doing business in TPP counties. As a result, China has no obligations as a country under TPP but receives all of the corporate benefits that they choose to take advantage of through their subsidiaries. For China, TPP is a heads we win (as crony capitalist); but tails you lose (as a TPP country).

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A Lame Duck Vote on TPP Would Leave Americans Feeling Cheated

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

President Obama vilified Donald Trump’s lifelong behavior of leaving people with the feeling of being cheated. President Obama, what about your signing TPP into law after passage during the lame-duck session? Candidates Clinton, Trump and Stein all oppose TPP versus Johnson who recently flipped to favor TPP.

President Obama squarely placed Trump’s status as a “homegrown demagogue” in a lineup of other threats to the American democratic experiment. However, based on following quote Trump’s rise can be squarely placed on the shoulders of Presidents Clinton, Bush-43 and Obama:

“One thing I don't like about the consequences of sustained large trade deficits is I think it makes the potential for demagoguery and really foolish policies more likely over time.” – Warren Buffett

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To Win, Clinton Must Clearly State Her Opposition to TPP and NAFTA

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

The article Voters Aren’t Happy with NAFTA, Other Free Trade Deals based on a recent Rasmussen Reports Poll states unaffiliated voters by a 52% to 24% margin think NAFTA needs to be renegotiated and voters overall are more critical of U.S. free trade agreements than voters eight years ago.

In general, men and those 40 and over are more critical of free trade agreements than women and younger voters. Under 40 voters, Bernie Sanders’ most enthusiastic supporters, are the most likely to be undecided.

Since 2008 the percentage of U.S. voters registered Independent has increased by approximately 23 percent, primarily as a result of defections from the Democratic Party.

Critical for Hillary Clinton, the perceived establishment candidate in 2016, to win are the independent voters that believe more than 2 to 1 that NAFTA needs to be renegotiated and the undecided under 40 voters.

In addition to the challenge Hillary Clinton faces in defending NAFTA, her halfhearted opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) put her at odds with the red hot opposition by  virtually every labor union, environmental group, and even major religious groups, on trade.

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Get a Pledge to Veto the TPP in the Democratic Platform

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

In June 2015, the vast majority of Democratic senators and representatives voted against the enabling legislation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), namely, Fast Track. Because of dwindling pre-general election support, the GOP congressional leadership is conspiring to pass TPP during a lame duck session after the general election, shielding their candidates from accountability for TPP votes.

Here is what AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said about votes on the TPP: “Unless you make a strong statement [about the TPP], the American public is going to be confused by the opposite side who is very sharp and clear on trade. . .If we simply muddle through the issue, we’ll lose votes in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan … every state that’s seen a failed trade agreement work to their disadvantage. I think we have to be crystal clear and sharp on the issue, otherwise we lose to a Republican Party coming from the left.”

President Barack Obama should not be exempt from sacrifice to keep presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump out of the White House and to foster party unity. Compromising with fellow Democrats who oppose the TPP instead of supporting the GOP position favoring the TPP is common sense. If the President doesn’t veto a lame duck session passage of TPP, his legacy will be conspiring with the GOP in an end-run to prevent accountability by incumbents.

Please reply to the DFA SURVEY: What do you want in the Democratic platform? Please include a request that President Obama pledge to veto the TPP if passed in the lame duck session.

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 To submit a blog to Union Matters, e-mail it to bstack@usw.org. Keep it to 250 words or fewer. You MUST include your full name, hometown, and state. You may attach a photograph of yourself. Please include a phone number. This WILL NOT be published. Posting any given blog is within the discretion of the USW. No blog using foul language (this is a family site), false information (we don’t want to get sued), or unnecessary personal attacks (again, we don’t want to get sued) will be used. Wait a reasonable period of time, then blog again!

The “Money Changers” are Alive and Prospering in 2016 America

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

Heist: A Who Done It On The Economy? is a 28 minute documentary the establishment don’t want you and your friends to see before voting in the upcoming primaries/caucuses.

See how corporate overreach orchestrated the dismantling of middle-class prosperity through rampant deregulation, the outsourcing of jobs, tax policies favoring businesses and the wealthy and money in politics. The collapse of the U.S. economy was the result of conscious choices made over 35 years prior by a small group: corporate leaders and their elected allies, and the biggest lobbying interest in Washington, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. To these individuals, the collapse was not a catastrophe, but rather the planned outcome of their long, patient work.

Heist traces the 2008 worldwide economic collapse to the August, 1971 Powell Memo that called for a money-driven makeover of the U.S. government by big business through corporate control of the media, academia and the pulpit, arts/sciences and the destruction of organized labor and consumer protection groups.

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Why Thomas Paine’s Perpetual Inspiration Demands a Populist Revolution in 2016, as in 1776

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

Frances Chiu writes in Modern Prometheus: Thomas Paine and Our New American Revolution: It is time to feel the “democratic impulse and aspiration that he [Paine] inscribed in American experience,” to use Harvey Kaye’s words from his wonderful book, Thomas Paine and the Promise of America.

Like Paine, Bernie Sanders is aware that something is terribly wrong when the wealthiest and most advanced nation in the world harbors dire pockets of poverty–not to mention high rates of child poverty and hunger, “when 20 percent of the children in this country, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, are living in poverty” and “40 percent of African American children are living in poverty.”

Like Paine who drew attention to the numbers of poor youth sent to the gallows, Sanders knows it’s terribly wrong when “51 percent of African American high school graduates between the ages of 17 and 20 are unemployed or underemployed” and “the United States has more people in jail than China; a communist authoritarian country.”

Like Paine, Sanders knows that our system of taxation is anything but fair or equitable as the wealthiest pay a smaller proportion of taxes than those in the middle classes. For just as the 18th-century British economy was a rigged economy, designed to protect the interests of the landed elites, our economy is an equally rigged one, and according to Sanders, one “designed by the wealthiest people in this country to benefit the wealthiest people in this country at the expense of everybody else.”

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To submit a blog to Union Matters, e-mail it to bstack@usw.org. Keep it to 250 words or fewer. You MUST include your full name, hometown, and state. You may attach a photograph of yourself. Please include a phone number. This WILL NOT be published. Posting any given blog is within the discretion of the USW. No blog using foul language (this is a family site), false information (we don’t want to get sued), or unnecessary personal attacks (again, we don’t want to get sued) will be used. Wait a reasonable period of time, then blog again!

Trump, Sanders Channel Disaffection with Economic, Trade Policy

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

According to The New Yorker article ECONOMIC POPULISM AT THE PRIMARIES, Trump and Sanders are popular not just because they’re expressing people’s anger but because they offer timely critiques of American capitalism. Surface parallels between these two men had attracted lots of comment: both are insurgents, channeling widespread political disaffection. Less apparent, but more interesting, is the fact that they’re also channeling profound disaffection with three decades of American economic policy.

In his most recent debate Sanders called America’s trade policies “disastrous,” a way for businesses to drive wages down and profits up. He’s voted against every trade agreement that has come before Congress since he’s been in office, opposed normalizing trade relations with China and most recently opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

By focusing on trade, Sanders and Trump are acknowledging something important: what has happened to U.S. labor was not a natural disaster but, in a large part, is the product of government policies designed to accelerate globalization and expose American workers to foreign competition. That admission is more than working-class Americans have got from most Presidential candidates.

If either Sanders or Trump is the only populist nominee in the General Election, in theory, that nominee could reach across and win over some the other’s supporters. Even if neither candidate wins the nomination the basic anxiety they’re responding to is here to stay. American workers used to believe that a rising tide lifted all boats. But in the past thirty years it has sunk a whole lot of them.

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To submit a blog to Union Matters, e-mail it to bstack@usw.org. Keep it to 250 words or fewer. You MUST include your full name, hometown, and state. You may attach a photograph of yourself. Please include a phone number. This WILL NOT be published. Posting any given blog is within the discretion of the USW. No blog using foul language (this is a family site), false information (we don’t want to get sued), or unnecessary personal attacks (again, we don’t want to get sued) will be used. Wait a reasonable period of time, then blog again!

Why Super Delegates Should Give Great Weight to the Candidate That Attracts the Most Independent Voters

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

If the primary purpose of Democratic super delegates is to direct the nomination to the most electable candidate, then they should give great weight to the candidate who attracts the most independent voters in the approximately 20 open primaries. Independent voters can cast ballots in either the Democratic or Republican races.

Because these results reflect the views of unaffiliated voters, as opposed to closed primaries, open primaries are a microcosm for the 2016 general election.

According to this Washington Times article, Anti-Clinton Backlash Palpable in N.H., independent voters dominate New Hampshire's electorate, with those that took a Democratic ballot voting heavily for Bernie Sanders. He attracted more than 70 percent of the bloc. On the Republican side, the independents broke heavily for Donald Trump, according to exit polling.

It's a devastating evaluation from a state that has been kind in the past to Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, delivering a victory to her in the 2008 primary and rescuing his 1992 campaign with a surprise second-place showing.

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To submit a blog to Union Matters, e-mail it to bstack@usw.org. Keep it to 250 words or fewer. You MUST include your full name, hometown, and state. You may attach a photograph of yourself. Please include a phone number. This WILL NOT be published. Posting any given blog is within the discretion of the USW. No blog using foul language (this is a family site), false information (we don’t want to get sued), or unnecessary personal attacks (again, we don’t want to get sued) will be used. Wait a reasonable period of time, then blog again!

Bernie Sanders: From Political Science Fiction to a Force Set to Radically Disrupt the Political Marketplace

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

In his article Is Bernie Sanders the ‘Star Wars’ of politics? David J Adams compares Bernie Sanders to Star Wars’ Obi Wan who awakens Luke to his own potential. Sanders is demonstrating that the common folk, the everyday working families, the farmhands in remote parts of the political galaxy, actually do have power, that they can influence the political system and bring about change, that they can liberate themselves from perceived oppressors and have the better world they want.

As with Star Wars, the Sanders’ brand, his story, taps into our deepest longings. We want to believe the promise of ‘a new hope.’ We want to believe a better world is possible. We want to believe that by uniting together as a people we can awaken a force that can defeat the dark side.

 

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Four Can't-Fail Questions for Electing the Next President

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

As in 2008, a high percentage Americans don't believe in their leaders. Highlights from CoveyLink, LLC’s February 4, 2008 Press Release Covey Tells You How to Vote!, follow:

How can we fix it? What do voters want? America's CEO of Trust, Stephen M. R. Covey, knows the answers and will show you the way.

According to a survey conducted by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, 97% of Americans agree that the next president should possess honesty and integrity, intelligence, a strong prior track record, and the ability to communicate well. Without trust and ethical behavior, communication will fail, intelligence will fall under suspicion, and honesty and integrity will not exist. In short, the American people want and need trust.

To answer the question, "How do I determine whom to trust with my vote," voters should ask themselves:

-- What is my leading candidate's motive and intent for seeking office, and can they communicate effectively enough to work across party lines AND connect with voters?

-- Does my leading candidate inspire confidence and have the credentials and capability to be President?

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