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!

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CURRENT

Warner upgrades highlight an optimistic outlook for 2017 and beyond.

Cultivating a woman’s spirit of entrepreneurism

Red, wild, and blue

Join Erie Reader photojournalist Maitham Basha-Agha, and local photographer Erica Whiting on a two-hour photo exhibition.

Erie’s own pop punk quartet, Jurassic Skatepark, are releasing their latest EP, Dog Years.

IN THIS ISSUE

Warner upgrades highlight an optimistic outlook for 2017 and beyond.

Cultivating a woman’s spirit of entrepreneurism

Red, wild, and blue

Join Erie Reader photojournalist Maitham Basha-Agha, and local photographer Erica Whiting on a two-hour photo exhibition.

Erie’s own pop punk quartet, Jurassic Skatepark, are releasing their latest EP, Dog Years.

Yuri quickly establishes itself as an incredibly enjoyable record from the beginning.

Ron Bayuzick brings a grand gesture to the Erie Art Museum.

Tommy in Toon: Weather

28 North takes the gastropub high road

Michael Plasha: yoga teacher