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President Obama recently declared: “We’ve got to make sure we’re writing the rules so that we’ve got a level playing field.”
Wow – so much “we” in only one sentence. He was talking about his Trans-Pacific Partnership – but who exactly is “we”? Not you and me. TPP is yet another global trade scam that will ship even more of our middle-class jobs to places like Vietnam (with its 53-cents-an-hour wage base); it’ll let Big Pharma extend its worldwide price gouging of consumers, it will encourage more environmentally-destructive fracking of our communities; it will kill our “Buy Local” and other valued-based government purchasing programs; it will allow foreign corporations to take over our public services; and… well, TPP will empower multi-national corporations in the US and 11 other nations to reign supreme over regular folks.
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Obama and his global corporate cohorts are mounting a massive PR campaign to get our congress critters to rubber stamp this un-American, anti-democratic deal. Even the Secretary of Agriculture is being used to hype this corporate boondoggle. How embarrassing to see Secretary Tom Vilsack shamelessly shilling for TPP, which he knows will help corporate middlemen further squeeze family farmers. Bizarrely, Vilsack hailed the deal as a boon to farmers, claiming it could increase exports of US farm commodities. Maybe… but dirt farmers don’t do the exporting – that’s done by Cargill, Tyson Foods, and other giant global marketers that profit by holding down the price they pay to our farmers. To paraphrase a verse from an old Western swing song: Little bee sucks the blossom/But the big bee gets the honey/Little farmer grows the crop/But the middleman gets the money.
That’s a good line in a song – but it’s ugly when our so-called “leaders” turn it into official policy.
“Obama Promotes Benefits of Trade Deals to Workers And Small Businesses,” www.nytimes.com, February 27, 2015.