Monday, February 28, 2011
In another outstanding guest post, Nomadic Joe questions claims that corporations are motivated to do business in China to help “liberalize” (interesting choice of words) its authoritarian policies and build democratic institutions. He points out that China’s vast and cheap labor supply makes the wage and other demands of workers in the U.S. and other countries appear uncompetitive in comparison. He examines corporate opposition to labor reform in China, including lobbying against legislation allowing collective bargaining and labor contracts. Key message: “But US based corporations are trying to block legislation designed to improve the remuneration, treatment, health and safety, and other standards of Chinese workers.” Reform legislation eventually passed in watered-down form, but the lobbying revealed the corporations’ intent to quash expansion of workers’ rights in this dominant labor market. This is in opposition to the principles on labor rights embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the ILO’s worker protection principles.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
My first con-econ post is an attempt to shine a light on what I will call the “Conservative Manifesto” – a long-term strategy that is reversing progress in building a stronger middle class and better life for working-class Americans. The observable trends reveal the strategy, which is becoming more and more blatant, as formerly extremist ideas – and their spokespeople – become mainstream. (Think Scott Walker, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck et.al. and their puppet masters.) The Conservative Manifesto principles include: increasing wealth inequity; shifting the tax burden from the wealthy and corporations to the middle class; increasing the deficit and using that as an excuse to weaken the social safety net and regulations; privatizing profit and socializing risk; weakening worker protections and unions; and increasing corporate control of the media and government. It is a “con” game and the American middle-working class is the loser.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Following up, I’ve collected the thoughts of a range of progressive-moderate thinkers on economics and politics (along with a few conservatives). The post includes some revealing graphs that show stunning trends in the redistribution of wealth and tax burden, for example. (Funny how then-candidate Obama got skewered for talking about redistributing wealth in his exchange with Joe the Phony Plumber – many people called Obama a socialist for using those words – but a closer look at the actual economic data shows that wealth redistribution in the opposite direction, toward the wealthiest Americans, is occurring at an astonishing pace.) This information simply has to get out to people more effectively. I hope that we can help put this information together in a way that people can understand, and help push this issue into the public eye, so that regular Americans can begin to see how they are being exploited. Ambitious, I know…
Saturday, March 05, 2011
ProChoice Grandma has put together a very important post on the right-wing assault on the rights of women. With H/T to Jason Linkins at HuffPo, the list of anti-women/anti-choice measures that are being pushed by the right-wing is a major wake-up call about their ultra-extreme agenda. From laws that would allow murders of abortion-providers and family planners to criminalizing miscarriages to redefining rape and defunding Planned Parenthood, we have entered a twilight zone where the lunatic fringe is now openly setting a national agenda to roll back the rights and protections that women so painstakingly achieved over the past 40 years. Some of this agenda is already LAW. For all of us, but especially those women who do not know what it was like before ~1970, it is time to wake up and fight back.
Sunday, March 06, 2011
Michael Moore hopped a plane to Madison, WI to deliver a stirring speech to the protesters, now 3 weeks into their opposition to der Führer Scott Walker’s union-busting campaign.
“America is not broke… [Its wealth] has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich. Today just 400 Americans have than half of all Americans combined… [more] than the assets of 155 million Americans combined…a financial coup d’état…
The nation is not broke, my friends. Wisconsin is not broke. It’s part of the Big Lie… The truth is, there’s lots of money to go around. LOTS. It’s just that those in charge have diverted that wealth into a deep well that sits on their well-guarded estates…
Until now. On Wisconsin! …You have aroused the sleeping giant known as the working people of the United States of America…
America ain’t broke! The only thing that’s broke is the moral compass of the rulers. And we aim to fix that compass and steer the ship ourselves from now on…
America is with you, Madison…Don’t give up. Hang in there, buddies!”
I also want to tip my hat to Honestyingov for sending his excellent photos of a rally last week!
Comments and Links of the Week:
Cheeriogirl and Linda1961 found this: “A unionized public employee, a teabagger, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, then looks at the teabagger and says “watch out for that union guy– he wants a piece of your cookie.”
Cheeriogirl also quoted this: [Walker’s] budget repair bill has nothing to do with solving an emergency budget crisis, nor does it have to do with curbing the excesses of labor unions. This is about political power: Destroy the unions and you have destroyed a key institution representing the interests of the middle and working class.
Nicky in NY had some great titles for Bristol’s book:
Grifting for Dummies
101 Damn Lies
Bristol of Dairygate Farm
Chronicles of No Abstinence
The Lyin’, The Bitch, and The Open Robe
Memoirs of a Grifter
No Sense, and No Sensibility
Brave New Grifting
Grifter in the Rye
Pompous and Pregnant
Whatnot and Tease
A Tale of Two Babies
To which NJ fan added: “Not Afraid to Lie”
Maria Maria found this great quote in comments on HuffPo: “The last time a Republican cared about me, I was a fetus”
TurtleTears: Today’s conservative economic policy does not seem to be concerned with what is actually good for the nation as a whole. Instead it seems designed to reward not only our millionaire senate, but the people and corporations who fund their elections and keep them in power, while further marginalizing the opposition. There is no idealism or altruism that seeks to make our world a cleaner, happier, more peaceful place with a decent standard of living for all our citizens. There is only a consolidation of wealth and power, so that they may continue to consolidate their wealth and power.
ProChoiceGrandma: So, does this mean Sarah is starting her own party by capitalizing Commonsense Conservatives? Maybe she should call it the Christian Commonsense Conservative Party, i.e. CCCP. She would appoint her Palinbots as the uterus police, name them Keep God’s Babies, i.e. the KGB.
Dusty17: …and a fetus will lead them. OMG what idiots.
Juicyfruityy: …those who scream the loudest have the most to hide.
Bluerinse and HIG pointed out another great piece by Jon Stewart.
HIG linked to this excellent post by Keith Olbermann.
Arpil linked to Martin Bashar on msnbc interviewing Matt Taibbi on the failure to prosecute despite “massive widespread fraud” in the financial sector and the myth that these are “victimless crimes” – excellent.
Maria Maria found this excellent piece on “How the rich soaked the rest of us.” Nice addendum to the economics posts.
Ifitismygame linked to a wonderful post at margaretandhelen, complementing PCG’s post.
sunnyjane linked to Rachel Maddow interviewing Wisconsin legislator Nick Milroy. Stay with it and watch the second segment, where she covers how Walker fired the union security guards in Milwaukee, replaced them with private, non-union workers from foreign-owned security firm Wachenhut (infamous for malfeascance in Kabul), supervised by a felon. Then had to hire back the union guards, so now Wisconsin is paying double.
UPDATE: Maria Maria and cheeriogirl linked to this excellent table: