Friday, July 29, 2016

Hillary Clinton will sign the TPP job-outsourcing agreement. Jill Stein will push for a WPA-like program to improve America's infrastructure.

Above: A worker on a WPA airport project in Morgantown, West Virginia, 1936. Currently, there are 19 million un- and under-employed Americans, and the American Society of Civil Engineers has given our aviation infrastructure a D letter grade. Photo courtesy of the National Archives.

Hillary Clinton was for the TPP. Now she says she's against it. Why? Because she's trying to trick progressives into voting for her. Ultimately, she will sign it. Statements by her friend, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, and her adviser, economist Joseph Stiglitz, show how this will happen:

McAuliffe: "Once the election's over, and we sit down on trade, people understand a couple things we want to fix on it, but going forward, we got to build a global economy... Yes. Listen, she was in support of it. There were specific things in it she wanted fixed" ("McAuliffe: Hillary Clinton Would Flip-Flop on TPP," CNN, July 27, 2016.

Stiglitz: [When asked about Clinton's stance on the TPP] "if there is ever to be a TPP, it has to be totally renegotiated... So, my interpretation, it’s a commitment of Hillary, the next Democratic administration, to renegotiate NAFTA and to renegotiate TPP" ("Will Hillary Clinton Flip-Flop Again On TPP After Election Day?" Democracy Now, July 28, 2016.

You see where this is heading, right? A few tweaks will be made, Clinton will sign the TPP, and say, "Well, that was the old TPP, this is the new and improved TPP!" But we know how Wall Street Democrats--like Clinton and Obama--negotiate. They come to the table with a corporate-friendly offer, cave a little more to the political right, and then sign off on it. This was Obama's primary political strategy during his 8 years in office and Clinton will continue this tradition. With respect to Stiglitz's statement about renegotiating NAFTA, does anyone seriously believe the Democratic Establishment is going to invest any time in that - after it's made their corporate paymasters so wealthy? Please. Stiglitz is a great economist and commentator, but I think he's being naive here.

Jake Tapper of CNN writes, "Clinton was one of the leading drivers of the TPP when Secretary of State" ("45 Times Secretary Clinton Pushed the Trade Deal She Now Opposes," CNN, June 15, 2015). And Clinton has already showed that she has no problem lying about her position on the TPP. She once said, "I waited until it had actually been negotiated [before supporting it] because I did want to give the benefit of the doubt to the [Obama] administration. Once I saw what the outcome was, I opposed it." But Politifact has pointed out that, Clinton promoted the TPP as it was being crafted and "used words such as 'exciting,' 'innovative,' 'ambitious,' 'groundbreaking,' 'cutting-edge,' 'high-quality' and 'high-standard' in describing the partnership before she left the State Department in 2013. The partners finalized the deal in 2015." Politifact ultimately concluded that "her comments at the time were so positive and so definitive, it becomes disingenuous to argue, as she's doing now, that she didn't endorse the deal before it was finalized."

As Donald Trump has said (I hate quoting him, but when he's right, he's right): "Just like I have warned from the beginning, Crooked Hillary Clinton will betray you on the TPP." Of course, we don't really know where Trump stands on the TPP either, because his policy positions are so inconsistent and, many times, incoherent.

But we do know where the Green Party's Jill Stein stands. From her platform: "Replace NAFTA and other corporate free trade agreements that export American jobs, depress wages, and undermine the sovereign right of Americans and citizens of other countries to control their own economy and political choices. Enact fair trade laws that benefit local workers and communities." Instead of supporting wage-suppression agreements, like NAFTA and the TPP, Stein would fight for good jobs in America, and also for the creation of "direct public employment, as the Works Progress Administration did, in public services and public works for those who can't find private employment."

Which do you prefer? Would you prefer that we keep entering into wage-suppression agreements with other nations, or would you prefer a new WPA to provide jobs for our 19 million fellow Americans who are un- and under-employed, to fix our dilapidated infrastructure? Both Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan praised the WPA. They did so for good reason. Whether you are left or right--whether you like Roosevelt or Reagan--you should support a new WPA, and oppose the TPP. That means opposing Clinton.

Vote for Jill Stein. Unlike Hillary, she will fight back against Corporate America's persistent demands that we sign agreements that send American jobs overseas and/or humiliate American workers by making them train their foreign replacements here at home.

1 comment:

  1. While giving lip service to the New Deal, the reality is that the green agenda, much like the Milton Friedman style neo-liberal approach is hostile to the capital budgeting and industrial development that would go along with a public works program that would modernize the infrastructure and bring back a decent section of the former wage earners that once characterized the blue collar sector of the economy.