Fashioning a New Path
DeLong, Krugman and Stiglitz my touchstones all have been posting on free trade. Labors circumstances have been damaged. The economists penciled out positive economic growth, but none penciled in trade negotiators ripping labor a new one.
I got people in my life, avid both-sides types, infinitely reminding me that Labor Unions were filthy, slimy, scum sucking gangster riddled enterprises, they were nothing but graft and mayhem makers. They skimmed off the top from the hard working people they faked representing. So why don’t you tell me how you really feel?
So, the circumstances, this leadership that lacked a certain aspect of integrity (Union bosses would break your windshield if you even looked like you’d cross a picket line) but in fact besides being Neo-Paleolithic were decent hard drinking, cigar smoking big hearted thugs.
The weasels of Wall Street, the negotiators for a more globalized world paid their hitmen to do a job on the ‘blue collar Bruce Springsteen listening factory workers.’ Keep taxes low, rape the EPA, deregulate every single industry you can think of, keep saying the tax breaks are for the job creators while shaming Democrats as being anti-free trade or worse still they were vote seeking protectionists.
For decades we have been put through this ringer. Dem’s kowtowing to the name calling shame and slime crew. R’s dismantling every factory they can find while eagerly shipping the carcass of capitalism to China. Both sides getting their pockets filled while the citizens got their pockets picked.
And now the f’ing pile of excrement has hit the fan. For the longest time we remained frozen in front of our television sets and watched, and plenty still do, while they keep playing with democracies fragile matches. Fox, Limbaugh and the Wall Street Journal have taken the rhetorical hammer and literally beat the living snot out of moderates and liberals to the point progressive political operative acts like battered housewives. (And I do not diminish male violence against women…) I mean why have we stayed in this relationship?
Part of one fragment of one reason is that the economissts we depended upon to help us frame policy stuck it to us. Yes, open markets are good, but they are not absolutely good, and the extra money, the growth that can come from trading with our trade partners if managed correctly can be a benefit to our entire society. At least in theory, but you have to set that policy and you have to supervise that policy, and you have to sustain that focus on that policy. They didn’t and we failed.
So, now here we are. The workout will be quite difficult, bottom line? We start writing fair trade deals. Stop with the free trade nonsense. We get the sane and sensible to help set new policy, and we get the gutter balls to turn in their bowling shoes back in and call it a lifetime.