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Why the Trans Pacific Partneship Is Nearly Dead


Why the Trans Pacific Partneship Is Nearly Dead

Robert Reich

How can it be that the largest pending trade deal in history – a deal backed both by a Democratic president and Republican leaders in Congress – is nearly dead?

The Trans Pacific Partnership may yet squeak through Congress but its near-death experience offers an important lesson.

It’s not that labor unions have regained political power (union membership continues to dwindle and large corporations have more clout in Washington than ever) or that the President is especially weak (no president can pull off a major deal like this if the public isn’t behind him).


As you read what is above, please remember how the author was (as Secretary of Labor no less!) a major force in getting NAFTA fast track passed. Did he learn from his mistake or is he just trying to cover up his conflicted history on such matters?


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So true. Genuine economics was fixing a '60’s vintage VW Beetle with a coat hanger and some duct tape–no Nobel Prizes involved!


“So even though everyone gains from trade…” Not.


I don’t remember it that way at all. In the version of American products I recall we were known for our fall-apart appliances, our leaden department store bicycles, and bloated, dangerous cars where anything which could rupture, break, fall-off or catch fire did so with the regularity of the Anvil Chorus. Engineers were tasked with pursuing planned obsolescence and designing in unreliability, toxic management-labor relations led to cases of worker sabotage of the products they were making, and top management always fought any kind of minimum safety or performance regulations. The rot from the top started long before their more recent massive consolidation of wealth and power.


Robert Reich ultimately is an advocate of “free trade” as is obvious in yet another essay. Does anyone else get the feeling that the clock slows way down while slogging through one of his essays?

So even though everyone gains from trade, the biggest winners are at
the top. And as the top keeps moving higher compared to most of the rest
of us, the vast majority feels relatively worse off.

Nice propaganda Robert. In one sentence you assert as fact that “everyone gains from trade”, and that the injustice of inequality boils down to a perception problem based in relativism.

The rest of the article simply repeats this.


Give him the benefit of the doubt. I know, I know, such generosity would kill you.


If you’re not doing as much for the progressive cause as Robert Reich is, don’t criticize.


“Free trade” is the red herring Obama, Congress, the corporations and their media have been using to distract us from the fact that only 6 chapters out of 30 in the TPP deal with trade while the other 24 chapters include framework for transferring judicial authority from governments and into the hands of corporate tribunals, changing human trafficking from a felony to a misdemeanor, stealing Medicare funds to pay well connected consultants and contractors to train displaced workers for jobs that don’t exist or don’t pay anything.

Reich is complicit in distracting us as much as Obama, Congress, the corporations and the media they own are.


Yes Reich is a champion of “the progressive cause” as long as it is defined closely within the bounds of the established oligarchy parading as two dominant parties.

The degree of criticism of THAT “progressive cause” seems to me a fair litmus test for a person’s pedigree of progressiveness.

What’s your rating?