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

United Way and the Bayfront East Side Taskforce team up for movies and books at Nate Levy Park.

In an era of 140 characterisms, two local students are acknowledged for their essay skills. 

"New Americans" filmmaker finds new subjects, new stories from outpost in Botswana. 

Aaron Cox has his mentor Mike Trout to thank and some strikes to throw now that he has a chance at making it in the big leagues.

With 40 years of interviewing experience, James LeCorchick goes back and recalls the good ones, the bad ones, and the just plain ugly ones.

IN THIS ISSUE

Aaron Cox has his mentor Mike Trout to thank and some strikes to throw now that he has a chance at making it in the big leagues.

With 40 years of interviewing experience, James LeCorchick goes back and recalls the good ones, the bad ones, and the just plain ugly ones.

The CEO of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, passed away a week and a half ago. With his time in the gaming industry, he left a lasting legacy.

It's not every day you get to see musicians wear wrestling masks while performing. Catch Los Straighjackets at 8 Great Tuesdays.

While Tyler Smilo isn't from the Erie area, he sure has made a name here for himself, and that is what brought him to perform at WQLN Sounds Around Town.

Geek Army performs at Sherlock's/ Park Place for another awesome show for a great cause.

Surprise! Wilco has a new album called Star Wars, and it packs a punch.

The Pittsburgh trio's EP shows off their old-school rock sound.

Jason Isbell uses the quiet spaces on the album to his advantage, which channels a quiet devastion.

Kevin Parker, the musician behind Tame Impala, adds more synth and leaves behind some guitar on Currents.