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A 21st Century Priority: The PRO Act will Revive the Labor Movement and Re-Build the Middle Class

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/07/21st-century-priority-pro-act-will-revive-labor-movement-and-re-build-middle-class


Good luck! We desperately need for some weapon to fight back against the global grab and its pressure to replace our workers with “temporary movement of natural persons” (guest workers).

Make sure to read the fine print, both here and in Geneva!

There almost isnt a single law now that isnt captured and perverted to become exactly the opposite of what it says it is by these horrible back room treaties.


With all due respect to the author, putting any faith in Richard Trumka is a waste of our time. He’s a closet conservative who only cares about the few thousand remaining workers in his dying labor union. During the 2016 election cycle it was all he could do to not just flat out endorsed Trump. In the end, Trumka is willing to trade an entire baking planet for the salaries of a few thousand petroleum industry workers. So fuck him.
One of the other things the author seems to see through his Pollyanna glasses is the PRO act. This act, plus so many others that were rushed through the center/right Democratic House right before the 2020 election season got rolling were simple window dressing. The hierarchy of the Democratic Party well knew that they had no chance of being addressed in the Senate, but they passed them any way for the most cynical of reasons, to try and prove to wary progressives that they do indeed care about liberal causes, all the while being able to use it as propaganda against the republicans, and comfortable in the knowledge that they would never become law and piss off the big money democratic corporate donors.
The only way, and easiest way, to re empower American labor and cause a quantum shift in the American body politic is to support single payer and green new deal, now! There is no substitute and no more time.


Why would you pledge to vote for the candidate that supported nafta, the TPP, and has only shown up for union strikers 2x in over 40 years???

I can see why your membership is at 6% and will soon be null and void.

How about creating a block that will vote 3rd party or write in a candidate until dem candidates pledge on air and in writing that they will pass your legislation.

It’s called leverage… Until unions use it, you are just full of it.

Did you read a different comment? Because it certainly doesn’t seem like you read mine.

“The only way to re empower labor and shift the American body politic is to support single payer and green new deal.” I have to agree on some decent GND proposal should be top priority. Jobs. New industries. Training. Adapting household EVs to regional utility grids. Neighborhood mini-grid and rooftop PV solar integration. Modern upgrades to heritage railroads and station area restoration redevelopment jobs. How labor may effect these industries is the question. How could labor organizations NOT realize ‘driverless’ car tech is a huge scam? If Trumka supports AV crap,
he’s full of it.

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Here is the most important single thing to making that possible again!


BTW, thanks for using the phrase “Single Payer” instead of the dangerously ambiguous “Medicare for All” which if implemented literally would literally kill Medicare, also people wouldnt be able to afford Medicare without jobs which are also being traded away.

Single Payer has to be tierless and free, and have no other alternatives so no gap plans, no add ons, everybody in, nobody out. We’d also have to be able to roll back the clock, but I think the cost to put that behind us if we do it now before any of the changes start in earnest, (preferably before the next President takes office) it might be affordable. Otherwise the sanctions which need to be paid might be astronomical being based on the healthcare sector and huge hypothetical expected lost profits…

So we must do this now.

All medical care unified under one payer, and covering everybody from conception to death. Thats important because otherwise its torn to shreds by the various rules, and for example, poor people who buy the lowest tier plans might be forced to receive healthcare in poor countries. I suspect thats likely going to be a cornerstone of Bidens (or Trumps in their second term) approach to healthcare. We’ll have to end the most likely temporary improvements made in the ACA, 10 years ago, I suspect, (It would be great if we had the cajones to just tell them to take a hike but then we would have to give up the predatory drug pricing, which may be too much to hope for, even though its killed 40 million poor people, see ~http://billhaddad.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-aids-story-you-may-not-have-heard.html?view=mosaic and the prize winning 2013 film “Fire in the Blood”

Otherwise, Biden will restore the authority of the WTO and end the foot dragging on ending the protectionist measures like the ACA.

so all these changes which we committed to 20 years ago now will start being implemented. Also the state of our rules on financial services as of feb 1998 (when the deal is effective) is a ceiling, except in emergencies like the one in 2010. To allow the ACA to continue, sucking up insurance industry profits would be to give up on a cornerstone of US ideology the standstill clause, which keeps investors secure in certainty voters can never vote to “expropriate” corporate profits, which is a big part of TISA.


We have to face the fact thats we’ve all been conned.

I wish it wasn’t so.

the deals we signed 26 years ago in the Uruguay Round culminating with the Marrakesh Agreement which have been hung up in the Doha negotiations and then a bunch of other failed talks, and the new one that they plan to revive together will be like NAFTA, but ten times worse, for the rest of the jobs. Services. 80% of the economy.

“You aint seen nothin yet”

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I would be surprised if things like creating and channeling decent jobs, environmental or not, to unemployed young Americans using our tax money was FTA legal. It sounds like it violates both the letter and spirit of our trade in services and/or procurement commitments.

Pop quiz, how many people here realiz that “Medicare for All” is totally violative of trade agreements signed more than 20 yrs ago, and that if we were to try to do something like extend Medicare so it begins before Social Security) today without getting the equivalent of a divorce from the current system via the procedure established in Geneva, we would actually destroy Medicare in terms of it being affordable, likely turning it into what we had decades ago, without the emergency ACA additions added in 2010 that make it possible for people with health conditions to get any kind of nongroup coverage at all. Well, read the Annex on Financial Services and Understanding oin Commitments in Financial Services and that will be staring you in the face.

Single Payer on the other hand is just one system for everybody with no insurance and no tiers. If we had had a single payer system, before 1995 when we joined the WTO we would still have it today, as long as we didnt change it, and it wouldnt just be limited to our retired people as Medicare is required to be.

That’s whats changed. Our politicians are no longer in control, they put all the things people need out of their reach, so all they can basically do is screw things up, more and more, this is done for corporate investors. These schemes outsource jobs too, even ones located here. That will no longer protect workers. they will likely have to train their own replacements, if the agenda the neoliberal cabal has signed us up for and is pushing continues to move forward as planned.

Don’t fall for the bullshit promises they make, which are supposed to tell people what they think they want to hear. Dont give them your votes ever again, until after they have gotten us out of these deals.

Talk isnt just cheap, its totally worthless, and worse than worthless if people depend on them, people would be wise to make other plans, especially if they have health problems. we’re basically the turkey and its Thanksgiving and the oven is being heated up.

We’re the feast.

People do forget that, for Medicare for all to become a workable reality, Medicare must first be fixed.
By any modern measure, Medicare would be considered a crappy, middle of the road, employer offered 80/20 indemnity plan. As a worker, if offered a plan like current Medicare by your employer, you would take it, but you wouldn’t jump for joy as you would still be on the hook for thousands of dollars of out of picket expenses and copays per year.
And the democrats fallback is, just tweak the ACA a little. What a fucking joke.
The bottom line for my wife and I is this. Right now our employer plans, while costing a few thousand dollars a year, are superior to what Medicare currently offers. If Medicare would become a 100%, no deductible no co pay plan, and was offered next year, my wife and I would both be able to retire in a couple of years at 60, freeing our good paying jobs up for younger people to cycle into.
But alas, I fear that no matter who wins in November, single payer is just another pipe dream for four more years at least.

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Do you want to know the real truth? Because I can tell youre wrong on a bunch of things. Although we in theory can still make laws on things we “committed” in all practical terms its rapidly heading towards becoming impossibly epensive. Our rights to regulate have been officially traded away. Its as if you still think a favored uncle left you his estate but in reality he sold it all off, decades ago but never told you, and you dont realize because he continues to live in it under some kind of viatical settlement. Which terminates upon his death.

Basically, they traded away the policy space to make all those changes, they all have lied to us. Its controlled by a trade agreement signed by Bill Clinton back in the 1990s. I mean, are you just saying this stuff to see how I would react or do you genuinely believe that is the truth? I suppose people are exposed to this over and over again and they just believe its indisputable truth. Most of what people just believe to be true is wrong. If Biden “expands medicare” to begin any earlier than social security, it will break medicare’s ability to be a better deal than commercial health insurance. For some reason, probably to cover up our governmenthaving signed our right to regulate away in so many crucial areas (this isnt the only one by any means) Bernie Sanders also misled us a great deal. Basically, nothing - no politician has really told us the truth, all are pretending that this was never done. I dont know what to say, thats just the way it is. To get democracy back we would have to buy it back. They also traded away potentially an unlimited number of jobs, whats disputed is when those rights would vest in other countries, whether upon completion of something called the “single undertaking” or not. We could wake up one day and millions of jobs could in theory be exposed to large scale outsourcing to other countries, whomever bid the lowest who was qualified. Really, a huge number of things we all think are one way are actually quite different. We dont realize how based on profit these mega corporations are, that they have some sentimental attachment to be hiring us, but in fact they seem to be pushing forthe right to hire other workers for much less. We could lose the default right to the jobs in our own country and the situation could change overnight to simpky favor whomever was the cheapest with other countries firms even getting to pay professional workers less than a legal US wage. At that point within a few years we could lose tens of millions of jobs or perhaps even more.

Upon that point many people would likely have no incomes, and dismal prospects to have them in the future. There is 30 years of one sided academic literature speculating how profitable this would be but very little of it even pays lip service to negative ramifications.

What this says to me is that the leadership, both parties and big parts of the so called experts they listen to are an echo chamber and completely out of touch with the wishesds of the nation. That they think they can just decide this without any referendum is particularly terrifying.

Just saying, if that is what you really believe, even though its typical for these kinds of sites, in the real world, its almost entirely wrong. And that is easy to verify, just go to the WTO site and look up our Schedules of Specific Committments and read the literature by the many organizations that have critical ofthis arrangement, mostly in the European context. There is very little here in the US and what little there is is pussyfooting around the big issues but things are not what people think, not even remotely so.

Yes, single payer is not just better its the only thing we could sustain if we get out of the GATS, but its blocked by at lest a dozen different WTO rules that basically make every single thing we coiuld do to work towards uit FTA illegal, additionally all the things people claim go to it actually prevent it or kill some right that we’d need to fix this, with GATS being set up like a trap with traps upon traps for the unwary. and had we implemented SP before this deal’s preliminary agreements or perhaps even it itself was signed, a series of agreements were signed we would have been able to get it and still have it today and as far as I can tell they coulnt touch us, but we didnt and instead we traded away the family farm for a handful of beans so to speak, poisonous ones that made drugs impossibly expensive for the poor, and stuff like that.

But the way its set up we now are represented as having this huge debt to them which we must pay in policy and jobs, rich people got very rich they say and now we must pay their debt, in our jobs, and really really bad policies that prevent virtually everything Democrats nmeed to do, it literally would be hard to make it worse but they are doing their bestto it seems, as far as i can tell.

And other countries feel we owe them now for having entered this deal with them, lots of other countries feel determined to get their payback from us because its a big con game where the rich just steal democracy and they are pros and we are peons who beleive the biggest pile of crap in the world without question.

There I said it. what do you say to that. I swear I am telling the truth. Also we killed many illions of poor people with drug prices that are an astronomical amunt - many many times times higher than they could have been and still been profitable. How many died duringthat time?

the figure Ive repeatedly heard is 30 million - mostly children. the film fire in the blood says ten million but that is way too low, I dont think anybody knows the exact number, so many of the dead were children.

Why do they hide this? So they can go on stealing our votes? or maybe because they are afraid or prosecution someday?

for some reason (perhaps that they know the country would get mad about our healthcare system having been rigged for 26 years and 1 to 2 million or more of us having died unnecessarily?) they are afraid to face the music. ) In any case, I am just saying, Mister BigB that you have been deceived, or are part of the cover up too.

And i swear to you on all that is sacred that to the best of my knowledge I am telling you the honest to gods truth. People need to deal with it. Because this is the real world not some fairlyland. And people are dying in large numbers because of these lies being repeated. No they are not good people and frankly, they are not Democrats, either. they are also fascists. Except better at hiding it than Trump.

I hope you dont mind my saying that what you were saying as if it was true, was actually very factually wrong. hopefully you appreciate knowing the truth.

Oddly enough, one of the world’s wealthiest men (at the time), Sir James Goldsmith, warned of the pitfalls associated with GAT during a 1994 Charlie Rose interview. It’s available on youtube if you’re interested.

I will try to find it.

Just to clarify the name…

GATT was the General agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which was the previous organization which only regulated trade in goods. Most Americans are still stuck in its way of looking at things which is wrong, as the Marrakesh Agreement in 1993 and 1994 established the framework for the creation of the GATS, which is part of the WTO and two days later the Congress was asked to vote on it. Wow, fast, huh? Bill Clinton really rushed to get the process moving of approving it and almost no discussion occurred as far as I can tell, and most people still have no idea what was done, thanks to politicians all pretending nothing has changed.

The gig change for most of us was “GATS” the General Agreement on Trade in Services? Which is what I was talking about.

Services - and its scope, what it impacts, are defined very widely in Article 1 of the agreement. Its worth reading and getting familiar with it because its basically being set up as a new global Constitution, some legal scholars say. One thats totally about money.


The WTO TRIPS agreement has also impacted us a lot by raising the price of drugs tremendously, its why they got rid of the Reasonable Pricing Rule for drugs which were developed with taxpayer money. No longer do they have to be affordable, they can be priced in the stratophere just like many other drugs. This kills a LOT of poor people but its great for PROFITS!

the rich are making huge profits - only poor people are dying. How many? Many many millions, all around the world. Here and in other countries. Of course since this is the US, profit is job #1 and 2 and 3 probably too.

“GATT” is something else, the name of the pre-WTO organization and the portion of trade rules, regarding just trade in goods, material things, not work and workers and jobs and services, like healthcare, education, and many other things that people do. Now they are traded across borders with the ultimate goal being to make business more profitable by lowering labor costs to the lowest they can be pushed.

GATT was the name of the negotiations under the Uruguay Round which officially began September 15-20 1986, and which was the official name until January 1, 1995 which is when the WTO came into force, including “GATS” the sevices agreement which takes charge of all measures of general application affecting trade in services".

So, it does not regulate anything political, just the economic issues affecting trade in services, around 80% of a modern economy.

Most of the things that we Democrats want to change are actually regulated by the WTO in Geneva now!

Since most of them are now international trade to some extent, even if just a little, but the intention is for international trade in services to grow exponentially in the coming years because the cost of labor is so much lower in some countries than others.

Thanks to GATS and a new deal thats in the pipeline, TISA will greatly increase that, the voters no longer have control.

Maybe a memo should have gone out telling us so that people could have saved a lot of energy they exended complaining to and in many cases, voting for the wrong people, these 26 years, huh?

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