While You Were Out...

Category:  BloggERy
Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 at 9:58 AM
While You Were Out... by Jay Stevens

What better time to rush some bills through Congress that favor your corporate pals then when everybody's out protesting, focusing on pepper-spray cures and dodging tear-gas canisters?

Two weeks ago, Congress approved a free-trade agreement with Columbia, Panama, and South Korea, touting it as a boon to jobs and the economy:

"We don't do much around here that's bipartisan these days," said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who was U.S. Trade Representative during the George W. Bush administration. "This is an example of where we can come together as Republicans and Democrats realizing that with 14 million Americans out of work, we need to do things to move our economy forward."

It's true there isn't much both parties agree on, but when they do, it's usually on something that benefits their benefactors. And I don't mean ordinary working Americans. To wit:

  • Free trade mavens have always wrongly predicted job and economic growth (pdf) before signing agreements -- using historical effects of free-trade agreements shows the U.S. is likely to losebetween 100,000 and 200,000 jobs by 2015 because of the Korea/Panama/Columbia trade deal.
     
  • US corporations are no doubt salivating over Panama's status as a pre-eminent tax haven; our free-trade agreement now removes many barriers to big businesses setting up "subsidiaries" in that country to avoid paying taxes in the United States, and almost any taxes at all.
     
  •  In Columbia, government-sponsored and corporate-abetted death squads kill labor leaders with impunity -- 15 labor organizers alone have been killed since the spring of this year.  No wonder corporations like GE, Catipiller, and Wal-Mart were salivating for an agreement that included Columbia.

?Whee!

Erie Reader: Vol. 4, No. 17
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Conservatives met in Dallas. What does this mean for the PA-3?

The Onion's story of Brad Meredith Blevins continues into a second season of fantasy goodness.

A brief address of the continued need for all-ages venues in our community as a means of fostering creative growth

IN THIS ISSUE

The Art of Patricia Kearney: Selected Work 1975-2013

Erie Man Returns to Troubled Homeland to Document Crisis

No Second Guessing The New Depression starts with circus-like fanfare, but there's no funny business after that – only serious rhymes layered upon thick, jazzy samples that don't neglect the booming bottom-end we all appreciate.

If you are an inveterate fan of New Jersey pop-punk quartet The Gaslight Anthem, you will likely be disappointed or at least befuddled by their latest release.

After releasing their debut album back in 2011, Buffalo-quartet The Albrights return with their self-titled sophomore release, and the results are as catchy as ever.

The sole founding members of Spoon have mastered the art of piecing together separate sonic parts to create a memorable whole, carefully constructing songs with basic elements before adding special touches through audio engineering tricks to dazzle all of the headphone listeners out there.

German Heritage Festival, Zabawa Polish Festival, and the Erie County Fair -- all happening in two weeks!

Unicorns and vampires? FILM's got you covered, Erie.

Two nights, two killer shows: Chrome Moses w/ Daybreak Radio, and The Burning River Ramblers at King’s Rook Club.

Seventy years ago, three Erie brothers gave the ultimate sacrifice.