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Trade Pacts & The GOP Debate

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posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 12:06 PM
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During last night's GOP debate, when Trump was ask about his plan to impose a high tax on Chinese imports if they don't "treat us right," there was a little back and forth discussion between he & Bush regarding our foreign trade policies and/or agreements that I'd like to talk about here.

As usual, Trump went on about how China has been "out-smarting" us with respect to trade and all about the "smart" people he'd bring to the table who would get us a better deal.

Now, when he & Bush got to debating the merits of getting into an import tax war with China, Trump started complaining about China's demand that Boeing build the planes it plans on selling to China, in China.

He couldn't have been any clearer about how wrong he felt their demand was and how he'd retaliate with high import taxes on their goods if they continue with that approach.

When it came to taxing imports, they couldn't make up their minds. It was pure double talk.

On the one hand, they said that if we raise taxes on imports it only hurts us because those taxes get passed along to the consumer.

But somehow, if China retaliates and raises taxes on soy beans they import from us, it would simply crush our soy bean farmers here in America.

Suddenly, those soy bean taxes don't get passed along to the consumer in China or what?????

That's a pretty dedicated "fear salesman" who can get you to be afraid of both sides of the same coin.

Trump also commented on how Caterpillar can't sell their tractors overseas because they can't compete with foreign manufacturers who get a competitive edge by building their stuff over there at a cheaper cost.

Now if China's negotiators are as smart as Trump says they are, how can they be so damn wrong?

I propose that China's policy towards Boeing is "dead-on" right and should be the foundational understanding for all future trade agreements.

IMO, The only "Fair" trade deal is one that allows each nation to protect their own economies and standards of living against unfair competition and the only way to realistically accomplish that goal is by adopting a "Build It Where You Sell It Policy."

If Caterpillar wants to sell heavy equipment in a foreign country, they should build a manufacturing plant there and Tohatsu should be forced to do the same thing if they want to sell their product here.

That way neither company, gets an unfair advantage over the other and big corporations aren't allowed to exploit the differences in our laws, economies and standards of living to reduce us both to the lowest common denominator.

What we're doing now with our current trade deals is essentially a mad race to the bottom!

Whichever country is willing to entertain the lowest standard of living coupled with the least amount of environmental and worker health & safety standards, gets the jobs.

If we don't adopt trade policies similar to what China is "smartly" demanding of Boeing, we're doomed to a path of regression that won't stop so long as there's another second or third world country left to exploit.

I think that maybe this time, Trump should take this opportunity to learn something from those same people he claims are continually out smarting us.

What say you ATS?




posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 12:29 PM
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originally posted by: Flatfish

I propose that China's policy towards Boeing is "dead-on" right and should be the foundational understanding for all future trade agreements.

IMO, The only "Fair" trade deal is one that allows each nation to protect their own economies and standards of living against unfair competition and the only way to realistically accomplish that goal is by adopting a "Build It Where You Sell It Policy."


I agree !!

Good analysis.

But "countries" and especially "workers" are up against international interests that may not agree.

Financial influences seem to win out more times than not.




posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 12:48 PM
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originally posted by: xuenchen

originally posted by: Flatfish

I propose that China's policy towards Boeing is "dead-on" right and should be the foundational understanding for all future trade agreements.

IMO, The only "Fair" trade deal is one that allows each nation to protect their own economies and standards of living against unfair competition and the only way to realistically accomplish that goal is by adopting a "Build It Where You Sell It Policy."


I agree !!

Good analysis.

But "countries" and especially "workers" are up against international interests that may not agree.

Financial influences seem to win out more times than not.





Yup!

And that's why we need someone like Bernie Sanders who could care less about the big financial influences that are destroying our middle class.



posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 01:07 PM
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a reply to: Flatfish

Sanders could indeed be effective.

But think of the resistance.

Lots of resistance.




posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 01:21 PM
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originally posted by: xuenchen
a reply to: Flatfish

Sanders could indeed be effective.

But think of the resistance.

Lots of resistance.



True enough!

The revolution that Bernie is promoting requires that "We The People" become the "Resistance" and stand up to the big corporate interests that are destroying the American Dream and way of life.

The only thing that's for sure is that it won't change if we don't demand it and I have a feeling we're not going to get our middle class back until we do.



posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 01:46 PM
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a reply to: Flatfish


What say you ATS?


I say you're pretty much spot on!!!

I love how you called out the doom-and-gloom double-speak -- Oh noes! We're damned if we do! Oh noes! We're damned if we don't! Oh noes!!! That's exactly what's going on there.

If China wants Boeing to build planes for them and insists they be built in China, that's between Boeing and China. I sure don't blame China. They'll be spending a small fortune on those goods; it would be stupid NOT to use Chinese labor and resources to the greatest extent possible. That's just good economic sense.

Nor should the USA be taxing any income that Boeing or any other company earns in another country with that nation's labor. If they bring that income back here, so much the better for us! That just boosts our economy by injecting more dollars into it. I don't think we should be taxing exports either, that's just stupid for the same reason; corporate income taxes are enough. If a USA manufacturer uses our resources and our labor to sell elsewhere and then bring those funds back, the USA as a whole has already benefitted greatly. I would however tax imports from foreign nations who operate according to our own high standards... although I would like them clearly marked as such. ( I still prefer to buy American-made when I can, the more local the better.)

There was a time when the USA refused to trade with nations that did not regulate businesses to a fair standard; i.e., "Most Favored Trading Status." So we did not trade with nations that utilized child labor or sweat shops or slave wages (like China). Their goods were not imported here and our goods were not exported there. Besides the purely humanitarian reasons, it was not economically feasible for our manufacturers -- who are required to maintain certain wages and working conditions -- to compete with manufacturers who could pay their employees little to nothing, or who were subsidized by their nation's government.

But those were the good old days when we were trying (or maybe just pretending?) to encourage and empower other nations to rise to our standards... now we're just determined to lower our own standards.



posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 01:59 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea

Exactly!

Those old policies worked pretty good, right up until we started awarding that most favored trading status in exchange for political favors from corporate lobbyist, instead of environmental standards & human rights.

When Bill Clunton took it one step further by awarding China with America's Permanent Most Favored Trading status, (despite their despicable environmental & human rights record) it spelled the beginning of the end.

It's no longer about people & standards, it's all about the money and that has to change.
edit on 15-1-2016 by Flatfish because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 02:08 PM
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a reply to: Flatfish


The revolution that Bernie is promoting requires that "We The People" become the "Resistance" and stand up to the big corporate interests that are destroying the American Dream and way of life.

The only thing that's for sure is that it won't change if we don't demand it and I have a feeling we're not going to get our middle class back until we do.


Again, spot on!!!

This is why it's so very important that we stop this crony capitalist corporatocracy and return to a true free market, because that's exactly where our power is. Government intervention/regulation increasingly limits our choices and options, thus denying us the ability to control where and how our world's natural resources and bounty are developed and distributed. We have less and less power to vote with our wallets so to speak.

Just think of that corporate monster Monsanto and how hard they fight any GMO labeling and using the courts to force their frankenseeds on farmers and therefore the world and on and on. But the people have clearly spoken their will and desires and they want NOTHING to do with this poison, but government does everything they can to protect and enable and empower Monsanto while brazenly defying our will and forcing their tainted goods on us.

Big Pharma is another gross example of how government intervention/regulation puts Big Profit before our best interests, our health, even our very lives! Just consider cannabis. Clinical medical research, as well as medical observation, tells us that cannabis has many MANY healing qualities, including cancer and antibiotic resistant staph infections... but it's classified as a drug with no medicinal value. Those who know best that it does indeed have healing qualities should be DEMANDING that it be removed from schedule I drugs. Instead, they're doing everything they can to turn it into a patentable -- and therefore profitable -- product, even if the whole unpatenable plant has exponentially greater healing qualities.

I wonder which most people would choose: an all-natural healing medicine that they can cultivate and make themselves, with minimal adverse side effects and absolutely no possibility of killing you OR Big Pharma's ridiculously priced poison pills with more negative effects than positive, including the possibility of death? (I think I know... but Big Pharma sure doesn't want to find out for sure!)
edit on 15-1-2016 by Boadicea because: formatting



posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 02:21 PM
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a reply to: Flatfish

You're so right!!! The day I knew there was no real difference between the Republicans and Democrats was the day Clinton endorsed NAFTA -- a disaster from the start. It was like the clouds had parted and the sun suddenly burst through. That's when I started voting third party/independent (for the most part).

Those policies did work well, and embiggened ALL of us -- here and abroad. People were paid a fair wage for an honest day's labor, they had a roof over their heads and a chicken in every pot (to paraphrase a comment from a fellow ATSer!). THAT is what lifted the masses out of poverty and subsistence.

The other disaster on Clinton's watch (though not his doing alone) was the repeal of Glass-Steagall and the passage of Gramm-Leach-Bliley... we still haven't suffered the worst of that yet...



posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 02:34 PM
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originally posted by: Boadicea
a reply to: Flatfish


The revolution that Bernie is promoting requires that "We The People" become the "Resistance" and stand up to the big corporate interests that are destroying the American Dream and way of life.

The only thing that's for sure is that it won't change if we don't demand it and I have a feeling we're not going to get our middle class back until we do.


Again, spot on!!!

This is why it's so very important that we stop this crony capitalist corporatocracy and return to a true free market, because that's exactly where our power is. Government intervention/regulation increasingly limits our choices and options, thus denying us the ability to control where and how our world's natural resources and bounty are developed and distributed. We have less and less power to vote with our wallets so to speak.

Just think of that corporate monster Monsanto and how hard they fight any GMO labeling and using the courts to force their frankenseeds on farmers and therefore the world and on and on. But the people have clearly spoken their will and desires and they want NOTHING to do with this poison, but government does everything they can to protect and enable and empower Monsanto while brazenly defying our will and forcing their tainted goods on us.

Big Pharma is another gross example of how government intervention/regulation puts Big Profit before our best interests, our health, even our very lives! Just consider cannabis. Clinical medical research, as well as medical observation, tells us that cannabis has many MANY healing qualities, including cancer and antibiotic resistant staph infections... but it's classified as a drug with no medicinal value. Those who know best that it does indeed have healing qualities should be DEMANDING that it be removed from schedule I drugs. Instead, they're doing everything they can to turn it into a patentable -- and therefore profitable -- product, even if the whole unpatenable plant has exponentially greater healing qualities.

I wonder which most people would choose: an all-natural healing medicine that they can cultivate and make themselves, with minimal adverse side effects and absolutely no possibility of killing you OR Big Pharma's ridiculously priced poison pills with more negative effects than positive, including the possibility of death? (I think I know... but Big Pharma sure doesn't want to find out for sure!)


While I agree with most everything you said here, I think the root of the problem comes from inadequate and/or ineffective government regulations written by special interest lawyers and lobbyist, specifically designed to enhance the profit margins of corporate America.

I would argue that regulation, in and of itself, is not a bad thing.

That's not to say that we don't have plenty of outdated or counterproductive regulations that need to be updated or repealed either.

Sometimes it's more regulation that's needed, like regulation demanding the labeling of GMO products for instance.

I think Bernie said it best when he told Hillary that "Congress doesn't regulate Wall St. anymore, Wall St. regulates Congress."



posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 02:48 PM
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originally posted by: Boadicea

The other disaster on Clinton's watch (though not his doing alone) was the repeal of Glass-Steagall and the passage of Gramm-Leach-Bliley... we still haven't suffered the worst of that yet...


While I realize the repeal effort was a Republican initiative, Bill Clinton signed it into law and I will always blame him for that. Pisses me off too because I voted for that turd.

That's one of the things that makes me really uncomfortable about Hillary. Even more so when she stated during a debate that she would rely heavily on his advice if she became POTUS, "especially when it comes to economics." That's what she said!

I'm ready to try something different and right or wrong, Bernie's record and message resonates with me.

The one thing I do know, is that it's kinda dumb to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.


edit on 15-1-2016 by Flatfish because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 02:49 PM
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a reply to: Flatfish


While I agree with most everything you said here, I think the root of the problem comes from inadequate and/or ineffective government regulations written by special interest lawyers and lobbyist, specifically designed to enhance the profit margins of corporate America.

I would argue that regulation, in and of itself, is not a bad thing.

That's not to say that we don't have plenty of outdated or counterproductive regulations that need to be updated or repealed either.

Sometimes it's more regulation that's needed, like regulation demanding the labeling of GMO products for instance.

I think Bernie said it best when he told Hillary that "Congress doesn't regulate Wall St. anymore, Wall St. regulates Congress."


I totally agree -- so I must not have expressed myself clearly enough. My apologies. A free market isn't about "more" regulation or "less" regulation, it's about the right regulation.... Regulation that ensures a level playing field, fair labor and trade practices, and making sure it works for the greater good of ALL. A free market does not allow one party to lie and defraud another party... it protects the integrity of negotiations and contracts. A true free market does not allow shortchanging of goods... it protects my trust that if I purchase a pound of goods that I get a pound of goods. A true free market does not artificially restrict/prohibit my access to goods which nurture and sustain my health and life... it promotes the greatest access and availability. A true free market regulates to protect and promote the best interests of the consumer, and therefore society as a whole.
edit on 15-1-2016 by Boadicea because: formatting

edit on 15-1-2016 by Boadicea because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 02:52 PM
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originally posted by: Boadicea
a reply to: Flatfish


While I agree with most everything you said here, I think the root of the problem comes from inadequate and/or ineffective government regulations written by special interest lawyers and lobbyist, specifically designed to enhance the profit margins of corporate America.

I would argue that regulation, in and of itself, is not a bad thing.

That's not to say that we don't have plenty of outdated or counterproductive regulations that need to be updated or repealed either.

Sometimes it's more regulation that's needed, like regulation demanding the labeling of GMO products for instance.

I think Bernie said it best when he told Hillary that "Congress doesn't regulate Wall St. anymore, Wall St. regulates Congress."


I totally agree -- so I must not have expressed myself clearly enough. My apologies. A free market isn't about "more" regulation or "less" regulation, it's about the right regulation.... Regulation that ensures a level playing field, fair labor and trade practices, and making sure it works for the greater good of ALL. A free market does not allow one party to lie and defraud another party... it protects the integrity of negotiations and contracts. A true free market does not allow shortchanging of goods... it protects my trust that if I purchase a pound of goods that I get a pound of goods. A true free market does not artificially restrict/prohibit my access to goods with nurture and sustain my health and life... it promotes the greatest access and availability. A true free market regulates to protect and promote the best interests of the consumer, and therefore society as a whole.


I couldn't have said it one bit better!

I agree 100%!



posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 02:55 PM
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a reply to: Flatfish


I think Bernie said it best when he told Hillary that "Congress doesn't regulate Wall St. anymore, Wall St. regulates Congress."


Forgot to add:

Yes! Yes! Yes!!! Regulatory capture. Nothing good happens when the lunatics run the asylum.



posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 03:15 PM
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a reply to: Flatfish


I couldn't have said it one bit better!

I agree 100%!


Whew! Glad I redeemed myself and true free market principles



posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 03:22 PM
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a reply to: Flatfish


I'm ready to try something different and right or wrong, Bernie's record and message resonates with me.


If someone had told me 20 years ago that I would even be considering voting for a self-declared socialist, I would have told them they had rocks in their head... and yet, here I am doing exactly that (although Gary Johnson who just declared for the Libertarian party nomination is still a strong contender). But I've learned much -- and had many delusions shattered -- in the last 20 years. We have strayed so far from our organic law and the social contract that Bernie's vision is closer to our roots than any other candidate now...


The one thing I do know, is that it's kinda dumb to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.


Damn right!!!



posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 04:50 PM
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originally posted by: Boadicea

If someone had told me 20 years ago that I would even be considering voting for a self-declared socialist, I would have told them they had rocks in their head... and yet, here I am doing exactly that (although Gary Johnson who just declared for the Libertarian party nomination is still a strong contender). But I've learned much -- and had many delusions shattered -- in the last 20 years. We have strayed so far from our organic law and the social contract that Bernie's vision is closer to our roots than any other candidate now...


I've always liked Bernie and what he stands for. Although I have to admit, I never thought he had a chance of being POTUS because of his willingness to describe himself as a Democratic Socialist.

Over time, I came to realize that in actuality, he no more socialist than I am. He's just not afraid to accurately describe himself as one in public.

We all know that sometimes, the best results are obtained through a unified group effort and not left to the whims of a capitalist market. Things like education, healthcare, policing, firefighting, road & highway construction, public transportation, zoos, parks, etc....

I think that's what Bernie is talking about and when you get right down to it, he's no more socialist than the average American, he's just willing to admit it.

That being said, I think Americans have learned to look past all the fear mongering, socialism=communism hype being propagated by the right.

I think his time has come.


edit on 15-1-2016 by Flatfish because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 05:42 PM
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a reply to: Flatfish


I've always liked Bernie and what he stands for. Although I have to admit, I never thought he had a chance of being POTUS because of his willingness to describe himself as a Democratic Socialist.


I have never disliked Bernie, but I've learned the most about him in the last year or so, and I've come to respect and appreciate his vision. I sure understand why you would doubt his chance of being prez though! For those of us who grew up in the 50s and 60s and even the 70s, the fearmongering against socialism/communism in general and the USSR/China in particular was mindboggling. The propaganda today seems much more desperate and even ridiculous... I don't know if its changed or if I have!


Over time, I came to realize that in actuality, he no more socialist than I am. He's just not afraid to accurately describe himself as one in public.


For me, his Democratic Socialism is simply his vision of the Social Contract -- our organic law and philosophical foundation. Which is not only ignored and forgotten by most of todays political critters, but even mocked and ridiculed. In practice, I might find myself disagreeing with how he would implement the changes. But in theory and in spirit, I totally support and appreciate his efforts and vision.


We all know that sometimes, the best results are obtained through a unified group effort and not left to the whims of a capitalist market. Things like education, healthcare, policing, firefighting, road & highway construction, public transportation, zoos, parks, etc....


Of course we do! There's strength in numbers, and we can always achieve more together than alone. Of those things you listed, the only two things not pretty much virtually agreed upon are healthcare and education, which is a crying shame. Unfortunately, we've been led down a primrose path, with the governing authorities putting profit and power before people. And to our detriment. Nothing strenghtens and empowers the individual more than education and healthcare, giving them the tools to be resourceful and self-sufficient and able to depend on themselves -- NOT government and NOT corporations and NOT charity. When the individual is strong, and society is strong, they do not depend on government and government is weak. That's when government fears the people and not vice versa!


I think his time has come.


Maybe... and maybe our time has come! We're getting closer anyway...



posted on Jan, 15 2016 @ 06:16 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea

Another huge benefit of socialized or "Universal Healthcare" is that it gives the individual worker the freedom to follow their dreams and not be tied down in a dead end job for fear of losing their healthcare insurance.

Not that I have any regrets about my career path as a longshoreman for 33 yrs, but at the same time when I was young and people asked me what I was going to be when I grew up, I remember saying "astronaut" a lot, but I don't ever remember saying "longshoreman."

I got married to my high school sweetheart 3 months after graduating and 2 yrs later, I had a child. Needless to say, I wasn't going to do anything, (like going back to school or changing jobs) that might jeopardize my insurance coverage.

I stuck it out for the better part of 33 yrs and ended up retiring at age 48, so it didn't turn out all bad, but those kind of jobs are far and few between nowadays. Unless like Obama said, you're a member of Congress.

If people don't have to worry about losing their coverage, they will be much more free to pursue a career in a field they love and when people are doing what they love to do, they usually do a much better job than someone who'd rather be doing other things.

It's the right thing to do for a whole host of reasons.
edit on 15-1-2016 by Flatfish because: (no reason given)



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