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Rightwing vs. Leftwing Populists on Global Trade


Rightwing vs. Leftwing Populists on Global Trade

Ruth Conniff

It must have given the earnest wonks at the Economic Policy Institute a bit of a start when Donald Trump touted their research in a speech courting white, working-class voters by criticizing NAFTA and U.S. trade policy with China.


Neo-Liberal economists, including Paul Krugman, Larry Summers, and Robert Reich

Fixed it for you Ruth.


"Liberal economists, including Paul Krugman, Larry Summers, and Robert Reich, have moved away from their pro-NAFTA positions and begun to support the call for fair trade." -R. Conniff

Dr. Krugman is a neoliberal as was pointed out by TedBlodgett. He's conspicuous by his dearth of NYTimes columns and blog posts about the non-trade deal. He calls himself a "mild opponent" of the TPP while remaining mostly silent about it. I suppose he hopes it will pass and that he can ignore it and it's effects on the US and worldwide working class.

Further, when Occupy Wall Street was in Zuccotti Park, Dr. Krugman wrote in a blog post, "My army has arrived." As it it was his army! However, the NYTimes forbade him from addressing the protesters, probably on penalty of being fired from his couple of hundred thousand dollars a year gig at the Times. He chose the Times and the demonstrators were forcibly removed from the park and other sites around the country in a coordinated national police crackdown.

Again Dr. Krugman remained conspicuously silent on the Democratic primary contest. Eventually he came out of the closet as a full throated apologist and vicious, cynical supporter of Secretary Clinton and her half stepping, milquetoast, thin as gruel, half full policies. According to Dr. Krugman and Secretary Clinton, "No, we can't." To try is idealist and self-defeating.

Dr. Lawrence Summers is even farther right than Dr. Krugman. Let's be clear about this. Neither of those two are liberal economists. They are mainstream neoclassical economists who view capitalism as the best of all possible worlds. They are, whether they know it or not (I suspect deep down they know) the "scientific" representatives of the capitalist class.

Ms. Conniff would do well to point to Dr. Dean Baker of www.cepr.net as a liberal economist who opposes NAFTA and the TPP. Dr. Baker is a great source for a thoughtful evaluation of the TPP. Among his conclusions is that it's not a trade deal at all.


No need to fix it though. A fundamental element of liberalism, all over the world, has ALWAYS been the "opening" of national and traditional economies, and the "liberty" of capital and investors to insert their tentacles everywhere and force everything into markets.


There's a lot of truth here, that should be recognized by all the posters in these threads who have repeatedly asserted that "Trump is to the left of Clinton on trade!"

No, Trump has a right-wing, nationalist, xenophobic, anti-solidarity, anti-immigrant, racist critique of "trade."


A more accurate correction would be: "Trump is to the left of Clinton on REGULATORY CAPTURE", seeing how only six of the thirty TPP chapters address trade.

Concurring with the forces of evil that TPP is a "trade deal" plays into their hand making it a losing strategy for the 99%.

This is the first national election in my lifetime where the GOP candidate is to the left of the Dimocritter on ANYTHING.


Which is why the republicans will elect Shillary. Bernie supporters should just tune out the "lesser of two evils conversation happening between the elites - if we all 'fall in line' behind the DNC she will act as though she has a mandate. Vote Jill Stein, unless Bernie has something up his sleeve. I wouldn't count him out yet.


I have always voted for the candidate, not the party. After experiencing the worst case of buyer's remorse during Clinton's first year in office, I have yet to find a Dimcritter Party Presidential candidate that would represent the 99% better than one or more of the third party candidates. Needless to say i have never voted for any American Taliban Party (ATP) candidate (are they still calling the ATP the GOP ?).