Going Your Own Way

ship 3

San Francisco Bay

The Catalans vote to separate from the federal center of power in Madrid, the British vote to exit the European Union are unmistakable indications that national governance is failing to protect its citizens from the barbarians of business and finance.

City of London types leveraged influence upon British Parliament tilting policy away from the rest of the nation’s in favor of banking’s international financial interests. Madrid during the run up to the financial crisis of a decade ago had gone on a real estate spree. The culprits in government, royalty and European banking had their fingerprints all over the collapse in housing prices.

Lobbyists fanned out decades ago with the aim to capture the regulatory apparatus located at the nation-states nerve center’s: London, Madrid and Washington DC among the many. Supervision and regulation of the transnational corporations was relaxed. Labor relationships were smothered while entrepreneurial individuality was encouraged. Profits went to the top while flat wages were sent to the working stiffs lower down on the pay scale.

Agents who had gone to the worlds leaders to purchase their agenda had sold their policies in the false assumption that these changes would be cost free.

Capitalism and democracy have proven to be a fragile alliance in the hyper-intense internet of information era. What is rotten is not forgotten so much as buried in a fire hose of more information tumbling forth virtually toward exhausted consumers of the human condition.

With central governments besieged voters are keenly aware that the collapse of the climate changing ecosystem is racing full speed ahead and there is nobody home to steer the ship of state.

Responding to the well oiled stalemates voters are deciding they would prefer power be exercised on the basis of regional interests. Californian’s do not much care for other regions views on abortion, immigration, or climate change. Renewable energy, electrification of the transportation system and clean air all seem more probably solved by the state government in Sacramento.

It is no wonder that consensus is breaking down. While regional differences grow shrill shouts go out for separating from centralized political power. Head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, and the petroleum centric state of Oklahoma he has long represented is not a suitable policy interface for anything other than the multinational corporations he devotedly serves. The business friendly fringe responds by ignoring a world with problems they have no answers for. In the minds of an ever increasing percentage of voters if this is the case there is no reason to remain.

 

 

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Fair/Free Trade Con Artistry

Pouilly Fuisse

YOU ARE LOOKING AT A FAIR TRADER

I’m going after James Kitfield today. He is a storied reporter, beltway veteran, and quintessential centrist. He holds all sorts of views I have no quarrel with, but on trade he’s off by a Moon shot, perhaps a crash landing on Mars.

Look, the new world order, the one we helped build from the ruins of what was left of the world after World War II? That deal included our helping to get Germany and Japan back up on their feet.

We also have spent most of the last seven decades building up a global trading system. That isn’t a black and white proposition, it isn’t all good or all bad, it is a mixed bag.

I feel like a one armed poker player in a a two sided argument. I feel like the house is dealing from the bottom of the deck. They’ve won every hand and there are way too many journalists (Kitfield to Cokie Roberts) who are participating in an underhanded card counting game of intentional duplicity.

Our globalized trade system is a mashup of all manner of treaties, bilateral agreements, and codified understandings. You and me? We don’t need to be bogged down in the details. They’d like us to be. It would be useful to the free trade advocates. We’d be on their turf.

All you need to know is this. Whatever agreements the United States makes either to amend previous agreements or in making new agreements must include representatives from the many  many labor representatives, environmental representatives and progressive (non-market likely educational institutional) economists.

What is missing is balance. We can make superb trade agreements that will be good for the world trade system, but we’ll need to bring the right members of our country to the table. The Big Banks, Wall Street, multinational corporations and their many many sycophant’s need to be excused from the table for the next half century why we clean their’ tilting the playing field in their favor’ mess up.

I repeat… we are in favor of fair trade not the con job free trade agreements that have been foisted on our country. Those agreements have been a disaster. James Kitfield misdirected his listeners today. The French wine industry knows how the game is played. Paris listens. It is time Washington get with the people and do our country right.

Centrist trade apologists are toxic right now. Fair trade… repeat it is fairer trade we want to negotiate… not the end of trade… unless free mindless trade is what you mean by that Frank Luntz tested phrase?