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Trump’s Policy on NAFTA Is Mostly Correct

2017 November 22
tags:
by Ian Welsh

Yeah, I know, Trump is wrong on everything.

But I agree with Thomas Walkom on NAFTA. The bottom line is that what Trump wants is what the left should want, and if it doesn’t, it isn’t the economic left.

And Trudeau’s pretty face and lovely abs don’t change that.

Trump wants to:

  • Raise the minimum North American content in autos from 62.5 to 85 per cent.
  • Have 50 percent of autos which qualify for NAFTA free movement be manufactured in the US.
  • Remove Chapter 11, which allows companies to sue NAFTA governments. (This has been horribly abused to stop environmental regulations)
  • A five-year sunset clause.

And Trudeau has said that if Chapter 19 doesn’t stay in, he’ll walk from NAFTA.(Chapter 19 allows us to take the US to court to see if domestic laws are applied. We’ve won such rulings and the US has just changed the law, as with softwood lumber.)

Frankly the changes that Trump wants to NAFTA are mostly good. The sunset clause simply means the deal must keep working, and it is far better than clauses which make it hard to leave deals.

Of course these changes aren’t all great, but they would lead to more jobs in all three countries, and I can’t see why that’s a bad thing. The bottom line is that countries not only have a right to say that access to their markets should benefit their citizens, they have a duty to do so.


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84 Responses leave one →
  1. Chiron permalink
    November 22, 2017

    I think would be interesting to talk about how the Center-Left (if is the correct term) was taken over by Neoliberals like Tony Blair and Macron? Someone genuine leftist like Jeremy Corbyn is attacked all the time by the Media, constant accusations of Anti-Semitism, is like saying that our Western Establishment is Jewish or has strong Jewish/Zionist interests behind its actions

  2. November 22, 2017

    “Of course these changes aren’t all great, but they would lead to more jobs in all three countries,”

    Not very many more, though. There aren’t very many jobs in manufacturing these days thanks to automation. U.S. manufacturing output today is at an all-time high, it’s just that there are fewer people involved in creating that output.

    That’s why Trump’s promise to bring back manufacturing jobs to the U.S. was always bullshit. The problem isn’t that those jobs moved overseas; that used to be the problem, but the problem today is that many of those jobs simply don’t exist anymore. Machines are doing them, not people in Mexico or China or wherever.

  3. StewartM permalink
    November 22, 2017

    NR

    The problem isn’t that those jobs moved overseas; that used to be the problem, but the problem today is that many of those jobs simply don’t exist anymore. Machines are doing them, not people in Mexico or China or wherever.

    Actually not quite true, trade deals like NAFTA often lead to companies shutting down higher-tech/automated sites making higher quality product to low-tech/labor intensive sites making lower quality product, if the difference in labor cost and lax environmental and safety regulations make enough difference. Economically, despite neoliberal doctrine, this isn’t about promoting efficiency at all; you’ve shut down the efficient process to grow the inefficient one.

  4. Lois Lussier permalink
    November 22, 2017

    As a Canadian, I’m going to have to disagree with you re NAFTA. Firstly, with respect to the softwood lumber issue, several courts ruled in favour of Canada, but the US refused to comply. So, what is the point in having a so-called dispute mechanism when one side refuses recognize the court ruling. By the way, the right wing Conservative government that finally settled (translation: paid up what the US was demanding) left a bad taste in the mouths of most British Columbians who were vitally impacted by this giveaway. As well, the money paid by taxpayers did not go to the US government, it went to the lumber barons of northwest US who argued that we were competing unfairly with them.

    With respect to the car industry, we can import vehicles from Japan and Korea via the TPP and as these vehicles are hugely popular in Canada, whatever terms t-Rump wants implemented does not force consumers here to bring vehicles from the US. Other than those honkin’ big Dodge Ram trucks that farmers and hunters like, and other trucks purchased to pull 5th wheels etc. there just not nearly as many US made passenger vehicles on the roads in Canada any more.

    And lastly, having your current head of state constantly blaming other countries for the current job situation in the US, is just a smokescreen from someone who has no real interest in job creation, health care, or any other social benefits that would benefit the majority of your population. As he would say…. so sad!

  5. November 22, 2017

    “Actually not quite true, trade deals like NAFTA often lead to companies shutting down higher-tech/automated sites making higher quality product to low-tech/labor intensive sites making lower quality product, if the difference in labor cost and lax environmental and safety regulations make enough difference.”

    Even if this is common practice (and I’d need to see some evidence to determine that), that doesn’t mean that changing or eliminating NAFTA will bring manufacturing jobs back to the US. Even if some manufacturing plants come back, the jobs won’t. Those jobs don’t exist anymore. As I said, US manufacturing output is at an all-time high, and yet the number of jobs has been on a steady decline for decades.

  6. November 22, 2017

    And you won’t see any of it.

  7. November 22, 2017

    We have to stop doing what we’re doing. It isn’t working.

  8. November 23, 2017

    @NR
    Many years ago I was in Mexico with a friend of mine who was a contractor. We had a guide driving us and we were watching a building under construction. There was little or no machinery being used. Laborers, for instance, were handing buckets of concrete up ladders and pouring it into the tops of forms. No cranes. No buckets lifts. There was a bulldozer, but a whole lot of hand shoveling was going on.

    Joe commented that he wished he could bring a crew down and bid on these jobs. With his equipment, he could outperform the contractors using manual labor and make a fortune. The guide explained that the government did not permit heavy equipment to be used on construction jobs. Joe was shocked. “Why not?” he asked, “How can contractors make a profit without using equipment? Whay would the government make such a crazy rule?”

    “Because the government does not care about the contractor making a profit, the guide explained, “the government cares about these men being able to feed their families.”

    Productivity, the automation that enhances it, is not a friend to the working class.

  9. sigurd permalink
    November 23, 2017

    > The bottom line is that what Trump wants is what the left should want, and if it doesn’t, it isn’t the economic left.

    Well, of course it isn’t. The soi-disant left now half-wittingly spouts libertarian talking points on trade and immigration and openly hates the working class.

    The alt-right is the new economic left.

  10. November 23, 2017

    @Bill H

    If that anecdote is true, it’s just evidence of incredible stupidity on the part of the government. To outlaw technological advancement and progress for the sake of keeping jobs that are no longer necessary is just flat-out idiotic. Should we outlaw email because it’s put postal carriers out of work?

    If the government wants to ensure that its citizens are able to live (and I agree this should be a goal of government), the way to do that is through universal basic income, not through artificially stifling progress so that the “working class” can hold on to jobs that were made obsolete decades ago.

    Far too many people in the Rust Belt and other places in the U.S. are unwilling to face the reality that fewer humans are required to make anything anymore. The reality is that these people need to find something else to do with their lives, and the sooner the better. Unfortunately, far too many of them don’t want to hear the truth–that the economy has permanently changed and they need to either change careers or face economic consequences. What they want is someone who will put on a coal mining hat and tell them that when they are elected, the coal miners are going back to work, or that the reason their manufacturing jobs are gone is that the damn Mexicans (or Chinese or whoever) have stolen them, and that we can put a stop to that if only you elect me. You know, like Trump did.

    Until these people stop rewarding lies and punishing the truth, their lives are not going to get any better.

  11. November 23, 2017

    @sigurd

    “The alt-right is the new economic left.”

    Bullshit. The alt-right doesn’t care about economic issues any more than the “mainstream” right does. They just pay lip service to them to gain power so they can pursue what really matters to them.

    For proof of this, you need look no further than Steve Bannon’s brief tenure in the White House. What did he have Trump spend his political capital on while he was around? It sure as hell wasn’t economic issues, it was crap like the Muslim ban.

  12. johnm33 permalink
    November 23, 2017

    “universal basic income” Universal basic credit would be better, creating new ‘money’ as debt by the government directly into each citizens account, at the same % that bankers get, after all poor bankers are rarer than hens teeth. Rake it back with a 2% transaction tax.

  13. StewartM permalink
    November 23, 2017

    NR

    Even if some manufacturing plants come back, the jobs won’t. Those jobs don’t exist anymore. As I said, US manufacturing output is at an all-time high, and yet the number of jobs has been on a steady decline for decades

    As Tommy Dore says, when people equate offshored production with obsolescence, “do we not still use this stuff? Why do people think it’s somehow an obsolete industry?” There of old legacy industries–textiles, shoes, whatnot–that can and should be made here again.

    People have been making your argument, in one variant or another, for a long time–back in the 1930s in fact, it was argued that “we’re going to have to live with structural unemployment forever”. In the 1950s it was made too–what, was automation and labor-replacing technology not also being introduced then too? Yet even as efficiencies and automation occurred in legacy manufacturing, the result (as long as we had the proper regulations/tax policy/economic infrastructure in place) was that the application of higher technology in legacy fields created new jobs–often other, new, manufacturing jobs!!–in other fields. As the number of people working in say, textiles, went down the number of people working in say, manufacturing polymers increased. This boy has cried wolf too many times.

    One caveat here–I would agree that the implementation of labor-replacing technology and increased efficiency (as long as it is a false efficiency that has large external social costs) is a good thing. But who should benefit from this good thing? Back up through the 1970s, the rewards for this in a better-structured economy were better employee benefits, including shorter work careers (earlier and earlier retirements) and more and more time away from work (i.e., sick pay, vacation, etc). Making more stuff in fewer hours meant not joblessness and despair, but more paid time away from work and hiring enough people to make up the resulting offtime. Since we’ve gone to the so-called ‘free trade’ neoliberal model, this trend has reversed. We reward inefficient low-quality manufacturing overseas (and yeah, I can give examples of that from my own personal experience at my job) and shut down efficient processes at home because it rewards Wall Street banksters, while US employees get fewer and fewer hours paid leave and (if they can) have to work longer and longer careers. It seems that half our workforce is either un- or under-employeed, while the other half is being worked to death.

  14. zotter permalink
    November 23, 2017

    There is what Trump says and what he does. He says everything to everyone to be loved and cheered. What he does though 95% of the time is what the top 0.01% want. If they can gain from killing NAFTA then he might do it, otherwise talk is very cheap for this conman.

  15. Hugh permalink
    November 23, 2017

    A few points,

    An economy exists to serve the needs and desires of society and its members. Not the other way round. An economy needs only to be sufficiently efficient to satisfy these needs and desires. Efficiency, like competivity, technology, etc. is not an end in itself. Rather nowadays it and the rest are used as standard justifications for driving down wages, eliminating benefits, and treating employees like shit.

    Automation as an explanation of job losses is more smoke. Why build an automated plant in China entailing vastly longer supply and delivery lines as well as loss of design and quality control? Why would the Chinese want such plants when they need to find jobs for millions of Chinese laborers coming off the farm each year? The original rationale for offshoring was for corporations to pay workers less, treat them worse, and pollute. But it morphed so that even when it makes no economic sense, corporations often offshore, not for the bottomline, but to satisfy Wall Street expectations. That is it is not about profits but about stock price.

    Re manufacturing, here is some historical data I put together from the BLS. I give the first year of the decade, the percent of manufacturing jobs in the private sector based on the averages for the year, and the absolute number of manufacturing jobs on average for the year.

    1940: 35.9% of private sector jobs were in manufacturing: 10.099 million
    1950: 35.8%: 14.013 million
    1960: 33.7%: 15.498 million
    1970: 30.6%: 17.848 million
    1980: 25.3%: 18.733 million
    1990: 19.4%: 17.695 million
    2000: 15.5%: 17.263 million
    2010: 10.7%: 11.526 million
    2016: 10.1%: 12.348 million

    From 1940 to 1970 about a third of private sector jobs were in manufacturing. The peak percentages were in 1943-1944 when due to the war effort (millions of workers out of the private sector and in the armed services and the great demands to keep them supplied) 44.4% of the private sector was geared to manufacturing. In terms of absolute numbers, 1979 was the peak year with 19.426 million workers on average in manufacturing. You can read into this a lot of contemporaneous history. 1970-1990 you had Vietnam, competition with Japan, the oil shocks, Volcker, Reagan, etc. and an 11% decrease in manufacturing jobs. 1990-2010 an 8.7% decrease, Clinton, NAFTA, the WTO, free trade, a nasty recession following the bursting of the tech bubble, Bush, the meltdown, foreign adventures, and a depression. So far this decade we have some stabilization, possibly related to hitting rock bottom and staying there. And over many of these decades, certainly from 1970 onward, the near elimination of unions from the private sector.

    Re Trump on anything, remember how he promised the best healthcare system ever and backed one Republican plan after another, each more malevolent than the last. Or now with tax cuts, a wonderful Christmas present for Americans, except that virtually all the benefits go to the rich. Cuts he’s willing to suck up to a pedophile to get. As for NAFTA, beyond being a campaign slogan, I doubt he has any idea of what it is or contains. So what gets cited in this post isn’t Trump but the work of some of his henchmen. And if it does anything good for ordinary Americans, it’s purely accidental, and likely to get dumped at any time.

  16. Ian Welsh permalink*
    November 23, 2017

    the idea that the cars and parts manufacture themselves without human involvement is a neoliberal myth. Humans are involved, it’s just less people per car. Doing this will create some jobs and change who gets some money.

    If it didn’t, it wouldn’t be opposed so much.

    Foolishness.

  17. marku52 permalink
    November 23, 2017

    NAFTA was always about crushing labor and arbitraging working conditions and environmental regs. When HP shut down its highly automated American printer assembly plant and moved it to first to Mexico (as soon as NAFTA was enabled) and then to Asia, we engineers were told to estimate that labor was “free”. I am not making this up. Labor was to be estimated as “free”.

    And what was automated in NA was now done by hand in Asia.

  18. November 23, 2017

    Of course, no one is claiming that “cars and parts manufacture themselves without human involvement.” It would be nice if people would address the actual arguments being made, instead of the straw men they make up.

    Manufacturing is not the same source of jobs it used to be. This is simple reality, evidenced by the fact that U.S. manufacturing output is the highest it’s ever been, even though the number of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. is significantly lower than it was at its peak. Automation has eliminated many manufacturing jobs and they are not coming back. And so even if some manufacturing plants return to the U.S., they will not bring the number of jobs with them that some people think they will.

  19. Chiron permalink
    November 23, 2017

    I agree with Sigurd that the Economic Left is almost dead or at least without any real power or influence.

  20. Willy permalink
    November 23, 2017

    That Sanders had to be ‘removed’ by the Clinton donor machine instead of just letting it ‘be dead’? Or that Trump’s (now obvious con) sales pitch consisted of draining the swamp?

  21. sigurd permalink
    November 23, 2017

    Chiron, while quite true, that wasn’t exactly the point I was making. I was simply pointing out that it’s fallen to people like Trump and Bannon to take up the mantle of the working class, which they’ve done, since people like Obama and Clinton have made clear they don’t want it.

  22. subgenius permalink
    November 23, 2017

    The idea that cars and their parts (and fuel) are anything thing other than weapons of mass destruction is provably false. It isn’t much of a stretch to follow this reasoning to include at least the majority of manufactured technology.

    The concept of ‘economics’ – left, right, or otherwise – is dead, as are most aspects of ‘civilization’ as we know it….but assholes gotta keep getting on attempting to one up the Jones’s, playing their part in the ongoing rape and murder of every other living being lower on the hallucinatory yardstick they all use to measure and rank their pathetic little mindless existences in the absence of actual relationships.

    If karma exists the rest of the biosphere deserves to spend the remainder of eternity shitting on most of ‘humanity’. To a far greater extent than what the near future will award us for our gross negligence and idiocy.

    Yes this is a 2nd hand (5+ year old) laptop, and yes if people stopped buying new shit I will happily not replace it, someday.

  23. November 24, 2017

    ” it’s fallen to people like Trump and Bannon to take up the mantle of the working class, which they’ve done,”

    There has been zero evidence of this so far. Bannon didn’t care one bit about economic issues, and when Trump has taken a position on economics, it’s in support of things like the Republican tax bill, which benefits the rich and fucks over the working class.

  24. Ché Pasa permalink
    November 24, 2017

    Trump? Policy? Come, come. Trump’s sole “policy” so far is that he come out on top and his designated enemies suffer — unto death in the various imperial wars of aggression which are expanding daily, a living death for the growing number of his domestic enemies.

    That’s it. There is no other policy possible in Trumpland.

    The Trump regime represents the apotheosis of the neoLibCon project, not its dismantlement and destruction as the false narrative of Trumpism would have it.

    NAFTA may or may not be blown up to suit his ego (there are other players besides him, I’m reliably informed) but whatever emerges will not be to the benefit of the Canadian people, the Mexican people, or in the end to the US people so long as Trump and his ego are involved.

    Trump doesn’t do that.

  25. Willy permalink
    November 24, 2017

    Che is right. Actions trump words. Trump is my poster child for those kinds of creeps we have to deal with in our own daily lives. Ye shall know them by their history.

    Did Trump ever even explain what “the swamp” even was?

  26. realitychecker permalink
    November 24, 2017

    Hmmm. The Establishment pols you guys love don’t even pretend to be about supporting the working class anymore. So, taking your comments at face value, a ‘pretense’ that Trump does at least keeps the concept alive.

    So stupid. So fucking, irredeemably, deplora, stubbornly stupid. Keep voting Dem, dupes.

  27. November 24, 2017

    Lois try to stick to facts. Softwood was never in NAFTA – the American land owners feel Canadian stumpage fees are too low. Mulroney really really wanted softwood in NAFTA because of the protections offered by the arbitration panels, but the Southern Landowners threatened to kill NAFTA.

    And learn something about the province you live in. Stumpage fees have been contentious for every Canadian Provincial and Federal government, regardless of ideology.

  28. November 24, 2017

    Gutting NAFTA to bring the logging and sawmill jobs back to Oregon and Washington is pure, undiluted 100% unmitigated bullshit.

    I’ve been chronicling this for many years: In 1890 Frank Cole, publisher of Wealth of the Northwest magazine (ancestor of today’s Forest Industries magazine) wrote “At any rate, the present generation of sawmill men need not worry about the supply of logs during their lives nor the lives of their children, though their grandchildren may have to skirmish a little for good timber.” The grandchildren Mr. Cole referred to were my father’s generation. That I was able to eek out fifteen years in the woods before it all went to shit thirty years ago is testimony to the management abilities of the U.S. Department of Agriculture: Forest Service and the reforestation practices established in both the public and private sector one hundred years ago.

    The sawmills are gone. The timber is gone. And they’re not coming back.

  29. Willy permalink
    November 24, 2017

    So stupid. So fucking, irredeemably, deplora, stubbornly stupid. Keep voting Dem, dupes.

    RC wants us to vote R.

  30. realitychecker permalink
    November 24, 2017

    No, you constant fool, I want you to understand what a loser’s game it is to vote for EITHER Dems or Reps. Both collude against us in an ongoing good cop-bad cop routine. The data could not be clearer on that point.

    Willy, if anybody ever convinces me to give up this fight in disgust, it will certainly be you. You have a brain, but refuse to use it. Maybe our species should be over if you are the east we can produce.

  31. realitychecker permalink
    November 24, 2017

    Edit: the best we can produce.

  32. November 24, 2017

    The irony of a Trump supporter calling other people dupes is truly rich.

  33. realitychecker permalink
    November 24, 2017

    @ NR

    Trump has value to me as a disrupter of a corrupt system that refuses to reform itself; not a leader, not a friend. He has value because he will force fools like you to think, despite yourselves.

    Too complex for you, I know.

  34. November 24, 2017

    The irony of a Trump supporter, who thinks Trump is “disrupting” a corrupt system rather than engaging in at least as much if not more corruption than anyone else, calling other people fools is rich.

  35. realitychecker permalink
    November 24, 2017

    @ NR

    Your comment might have more bite if folks like you had any coherent plan of their own.

    But you don’t.

    So you are part of the problem.

  36. realitychecker permalink
    November 24, 2017

    You might ask yourself sometime why all elements of the Establishment are against Trump if he does not represent disruption to them.

  37. bruce wilder permalink
    November 24, 2017

    “Humans are involved, it’s just less people per car.”

    Well, fewer people doing the actual assembly of parts or the machining of parts, but there is more to it. First of all, if the goods all in require fewer people thru the whole cycle of production and distribution, they ought to be that much cheaper. They cost less, the price should be less and the wages of those highly productive people engaged in making them should be higher.

    The actual costs of a great many products have plummeted, but their prices have not. That is a political problem to be solved — one that must be solved to create prosperity and reverse the deadly increase in inequality.

    In southern China, because that is where the key parts are made, you can buy an iPhone knock-off or wanna-be for $200 to $300. Some are schlock and some quite clever, with features and capabilities Apple has not groked onto. There is the potential for an artisanal culture, one that has not been choked to death by IP law and mass distribution.

    International trade was used as a financial instrument to make a few a great deal of money. Neoliberal economics rationalized the process as “efficient” though it mostly was not particularly efficient. It was a process that created big box stores and Amazon and undermined unions and local business and local government. By design. To build an economy good for financial parasites and business predators.

    If you want what Ian calls a prosperous economy, you have to have some understanding of what that is, and work with others to build it, in a political contest with powerful people who want something else, something more like Mr Potter’s world than George Bailey’s. The one-off of turning away from the neoliberal claptrap of “free-trade” is not nearly enough. And, the futilitarianism of “those jobs are never coming back” is nothing at all.

    You are surely not getting there voting for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump or letting every ounce of political energy you have be drained away by lesser evil rationalizations.

  38. November 24, 2017

    @realitychecker:

    The Republican establishment, barring a relatively small number of vocal dissenters, is fully in support of Trump. Because he supports their agenda. He does not represent disruption; his administration is a 100% bog-standard Republican administration, just dumber, nastier, and more racist.

  39. bruce wilder permalink
    November 24, 2017

    RC: “I want you to understand what a loser’s game it is to vote for EITHER Dems or Reps. Both collude against us in an ongoing good cop-bad cop routine. The data could not be clearer on that point.”

    Was some part of that statement of intent unclear to you, NR?

  40. November 24, 2017

    @Bruce:

    The statement was perfectly clear. I just saw it for the obvious bullshit it was. Realitychecker supports Trump, who has been in every way a standard, garden-variety establishment Republican when it comes to economic issues. Therefore, his protests about the parties ring extremely hollow.

  41. Ché Pasa permalink
    November 25, 2017

    When you see one phase of the duopoly as the “Establishment” and the other part as “Not” then of course you fall into the trap that RC and so many other objectively pro-Trump advocates do.

    Trump does not disrupt systems; why would he want to? He benefits greatly from them. He replaces the other side’s personnel with his own loyalists, as presidents are wont to do, but the systems continue, essentially untouched, just nastier and less inclined to accommodate opposing interests — because nastiness and disinclination to accommodate opposition are his way. It appears disruptive to those who only see the surface because personnel are changing and implementation is rougher and meaner. But it’s only superficial.

    Trump is part of and a product of the Establishment. Just because he’s rude and crude and socially unacceptable among the more sophisticated (and decadent) of the Overclass does not mean that they aren’t prepared to go along with many of his manias and desires. Why shouldn’t they when they closely track and correspond with their own? He represents them far more fully than Obama-the-Betrayer ever did.

    There was a moment when — if the Overclass so desired — Trump could have been prevented from assuming the presidency. These things (as we should know) are not all that difficult when push comes to shove. But the moment passed.

    His ascension wasn’t prevented and he hasn’t been removed. Clearly his presence in the White House serves a useful function for the Overclass and its primary interests. They are getting what they want out of him and his regime, faster and more fully than they ever got from previous regimes and their paper wealth is growing faster than they’ve seen in a very long time.

    This is not “disruption.” It is acceleration. Fulfillment. Or as I call it, apotheosis of the ne0LibCon paradigm that has ruled us for decades.

    It may shatter and fall apart from the speed at which it is being implemented, or from the inevitable conflicts (both wars and others) that will arise. But that’s not the intent. Not at all.

  42. realitychecker permalink
    November 25, 2017

    On exhibit is the profoundly childish nature of many on the left these days, and in particular at this moment of Mr. Not Rational.

    He wants a magic, push-the-button-one-time-and go-back-to-sleep, solution. A TV solution.

    There is no magic for you, child. Things will have to happen one step at a time, or not at all.

    You find yourself in a system where you have been politically impotent for decades, yet you reject ‘disrupters’ of that system unless they can magically transform it into Nirvana before the end of the hour.

    And your thought process is pathologically limited, IMO, if you cannot effectively distinguish between the behavior of Establishment Rethugs who are now stuck with Trump as Prez, and their behavior prior to his swearing in when they thought they might be able to defeat him.

    You should stay in the sandbox and not bother the adults until you can master the basics in a competent fashion.

    We’ll send for you when we finish getting the whole world child-proofed for your protection./s

  43. realitychecker permalink
    November 25, 2017

    @ Che Pasa

    You don’t get it, and you never will.

    Trump is not an outsider to the Oligarch Club, but he is an outsider to the Power Club. And a major disrupter in that context already.

    You and NR should get a room where you can keep each other safe and validated. Take Willy with you.

    You guys just can’t do details. It’s OK, not everyone was meant to be a thinker. We need lots of impotent complainers as well. 🙂

    And, NR, if you are just going to decide that what others write is bullshit fit only to be ignored, and the opposite ASSUMED, then how shall you defend when someone asserts that you are not even a human being, but only a bot, or perhaps a chimpanzee, furiously typing away in some dank basement?

  44. realitychecker permalink
    November 25, 2017

    I’ll just say this one time: It is not about liking Trump or his “intent,” it is about our desperate need, as impotent citizens, to derive benefits from his disruptive influence in many, many areas.

    And that includes the conflicts and the emboldenings that come about as people get angrier.

    Anger is the essential prerequisite for a revolution; y’all are able to understand that, aren’t you?

    Stop focusing on personalities, and start understanding the dynamics. This is not a game for shallow thinkers.

  45. Charlie permalink
    November 25, 2017

    “Anger is the essential prerequisite for a revolution.”

    That it is. And the good thing, if there is one, about Trump is that he will wind up weakening the system so much that it can be smashed to smithereens by someone else. But it won’t come from someone already at the top, as neoliberalism and their acolytes will have to be destroyed by one who is losing from it. That said, I’m just glad he is a disruptor, even if unintentionally.

    On another thread, someone mentioned if a player is cheating at Monopoly, you flip the board. Winners don’t do that, so we’re going to need to choose someone from the bottom to do it.

  46. StewartM permalink
    November 25, 2017

    Bruce Wilder:

    The actual costs of a great many products have plummeted, but their prices have not. That is a political problem to be solved — one that must be solved to create prosperity and reverse the deadly increase in inequality.

    My addendum to this excellent post.

    I scoff at the Clintonites and Obamacrats who defend NAFTA and TPP saying things like “oh, but if we repeal our ‘free trade’ model, then the US consumer will see massive price hikes”. “Free trade” never was about lowering prices for the US consumer; running shoes cost about $100 when they were made by US workers making (maybe) receiving decent wages and benefits and still cost $100 when made in Vietnam by workers getting less than $74 a month:

    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~lormand/poli/nike/nike101-4.htm

    In some cases, returning legacy industries to the US would result in price hikes, but after the infrastructure for making these things was rebuilt prices would again fall. At most, temporary pain but long-lasting gain. Environmentally, we would reduce the amount of fuel burned shipping things all over the planet, and that’s a good thing.

    The last argument made for free trade is that “oh, but it helps workers in developing countries”. I would argue that much of this “help” is more apparent than real; as Ian says, this development often drives subsistence farmers off their land (my not be ‘rich’ by IMF accounting, but who owned their own land and grew their own food and thus were in fact richer than many First World poor, who have access to neither residence or food without monetary assistance). It is true that that the number of people who make less than $1.90 a day has declined, this is mostly increases of say, $1.90 a day to $2.15 a day, and given these often no longer own access to food and housing, does this compensate? We have a similar problem in accounting for inflation in rich countries; once to get TV you simply bought a TV, now you have (in most cases) to buy satellite or cable service on top of that, so even though the real price of TVs has come down drastically has the price of actually watching TV not gone up?

    The whole point of the neoliberal economy has been to lower cost (not to promote efficiency) to create larger profits for the financier class. It drives down wages in First-world countries but does not correspondingly increase wages and demand in developing countries. Thus the hard-pressed Western consumer, facing declining real pay, is expected to not only support their own national economies but those of India, China, and elsewhere. The neoliberal “solution” to this is to pass out credit cards and a proliferation of title loan/payday loan debt, to keep the whole party going. But the whole thing is just unsustainable.

    I would argue that the best way to actually help foreign workers would be to enact policies that tell, in essence, the Foxconns and Nikes that “there’s no way in hell you’re going to sell this stuff here, so you’d better start paying your workers there enough money (a la Henry Ford) to actually *buy* the stuff they make). We’d still have the big problem of not-enough-planets resource-wise for everyone to live as wastefully as the average suburban American, but at least avoids the current trajectory towards economic collapse and gives us more time to figure out a solution.

  47. Ché Pasa permalink
    November 25, 2017

    @RC

    Talk about not getting it… ha!

    Obama wasn’t part of your mythical “power club” either, but he was certainly inducted, wasn’t he? Or was he?

    You understand factions, don’t you? How factions are integral to the workings of the governmental systems and how they compete with and more or less balance one another? That’s all built in, and it doesn’t go away because a show business personality and gangster takes over a faction of the establishment.

    We’ve had show business personalities and gangsters in office before; it’s nothing new, and the systems are quite capable of dealing with them.

    The gangsters and show business personalities in office inevitably follow the guidance of the systems they ostensibly head. They can’t do much else if they wish to persist in power.

    They don’t have the ability to disrupt those systems the way you make believe Trump can.

    But he doesn’t want to in any case. He never did.

    I think you could make a better case for someone like Bannon, but he’s out — you may have noticed — and his “revolutionary” fulminations have failed to ignite the masses to overthrow the systems by which they are ruled.

    The neo-Bolsheviks he seeks to rally seem to be few in numbers and largely disinterested in his program in any case.

    Besides the which, he’s no Lenin.

    You’ve been caught up in the illusion of “hope and change.” Ain’t happening. At least not the way you imagine.

    

  48. realitychecker permalink
    November 25, 2017

    @ Charlie

    First, there must be something that weakens the established order, the illusion that the PTB have everything under control.

    Then, maybe we can get a real People’s leader in the ensuing chaos, as well as people angry enough to join in with skin at risk.

    We are in agreement, seems to me.

    Some others (too many) can’t manage to comprehend a multi-step process, sadly. 🙁

  49. realitychecker permalink
    November 25, 2017

    @ Stewart

    Totally agree with your view of the process as practiced.

    I recall when they promised that better working conditions for the foreign workers would be insisted upon. As a balancing factor.

    Reveals much about the soulless nature of corporations, IMO. And the kind of behavior we should expect from them as long as they continue to have all the power wrapped up.

  50. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    November 25, 2017

    Anger is the essential prerequisite for a revolution; y’all are able to understand that, aren’t you?

    The only thing that’s ever come of any revolution is yet more tragedy at the expense of so much blood spilled in vain. Look at Vietnam. Approximately 5 million Vietnamese perished in that war that never should have been and for what? Have you seen Hanoi today? Capitalism, in the form of State Capitalism, had its way afterall and so the resistance was in vain and all that blood was shed needlessly.

    Revolution is not the answer. Evolution is. Revolutions just go around & around. Evolutions are progress.

    If Trump is ever right about anything it’s purely serendipitous and for all the wrong reasons but the one thing beneficial about him is, his presence as POTUS has pulled back the veil and the emperor is truly naked in all its inglory.

    We can see clearly now and yet, still, so many can’t even though the emperor is dancing around on stage in its birthday suit.

  51. November 25, 2017

    Whatever happens, it ain’t gonna’ be pretty. There will be violence, there will be bloodshed.

    It has ever been thus.

    Vietnam was not a “revolution”, the suggestion is a goddamned lie.

  52. Charlie permalink
    November 25, 2017

    @Che Pasa,

    He’s not Lenin. He’s Yeltsin. For the one who may change things, look to Putin. And I for one won’t be mourning any wealthy people who happen to come down with polonium poisoning.

  53. November 25, 2017

    “one thing beneficial about him is, his presence as POTUS has pulled back the veil and the emperor is truly naked”-The Stephen Miller Band

    I am not sure about that.

    His supporters still see him as the symbol/embodiment of what they want in a leader while his detractors see him as the symbol/embodiment of what they detest in a leader.

    The only naked truth I see is that the public is becoming less rational, practical, and reasonable. And I don’t think that is going to change for the better anytime soon. People have gotten very accustomed to confirmation bias narrowing their information intake and they are highly concerned with preserving their reputation.

  54. November 25, 2017

    I lost fifty-eight thousand plus brothers and sisters over there, and more than just a little bit of my soul. It was a colonial occupation gone on far too long, Charlie was a freedom fighter. Flippantly calling it a “revolution” to co-opt it into some twisted version of commie pinko nazi jack-booted faggot thug agenda is the highlight of propaganda.

    If we were face to face right I’d hang you.

  55. Charlie permalink
    November 25, 2017

    Edit to my last comment: The change agent won’t be Putin himself, but he showed how to change the game away from neoliberalism.

    @Willy

    Trump didn’t tell us what “the swamp” was, but with everything happening now, aka sexual assaulting Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Papa Bush, Fusion GPS, Uranium One, Donna Brazile, etc., the water is surely being drained from the swamp.

  56. Willy permalink
    November 25, 2017

    Everything matters. Important is to keep encouraging the growing distrust in career politicians, career lobbyists, and their industrial donors, from any party. It’s the behavior, not the party that matters.

    Out in the common wisdom, bullshit political cliches have to be replaced with reality. “Job creators” have to actually create good local jobs before they receive that merit badge.

    People have to be clearly informed about why they feel hopeless, angsty, indentity-tribal…

  57. Willy permalink
    November 25, 2017

    Charlie,
    That’s why I don’t think separating from potential allies is a smart move. What are the links between what Trump said, the Women’s March back in January, and the current anti-harassment discussion? Plenty, I’d bet. How many of them will support the larger struggle against concentrated power which ‘harasses’ anybody who’s powerless? And then, how to manage big tents…?

  58. Charlie permalink
    November 25, 2017

    Willy,

    The women’s march? They won’t, as they are too enmeshed in the Hillary cult to be of use for anything. The key is convincing lower middle and lower class people of all identities that they are being fucked by the very people they adore. They know this inherently, but it’s much easier to be swayed by tribal bullshit.
    Persuade them of that, and if successful, go the Putin route. Hit the ones who have benefited the most from neoliberalism, and utterly destroy the chosen ones in one go.

  59. November 25, 2017

    @realitychecker:

    “And your thought process is pathologically limited, IMO, if you cannot effectively distinguish between the behavior of Establishment Rethugs who are now stuck with Trump as Prez, and their behavior prior to his swearing in when they thought they might be able to defeat him.”

    Yes, establishment Republicans are behaving so very differently now that Trump is president. Before Trump became president, they were pushing tax cuts for the rich. And now that Trump is president, they are… pushing tax cuts for the rich. With Trump’s full and complete support, of course. Yes, quite the disrupting force Trump has turned out to be.

    I must say that it’s really funny that you feel like you can insult the intellect of others when you yourself are too stupid to see that Trump is a con man.

  60. bruce wilder permalink
    November 25, 2017

    I do not feel I have any good sense of what is going on in U.S. politics, beyond a general high level of stress built around a profound tension between the donor class who fund politics and control Media and a big chunk of academia and the think tank world on the one hand and the interests of most of the electorate on the other.

    I am not saying the electorate are all the same or the donor class are all the same, but there is this yawning chasm in both Parties.

  61. Billikin permalink
    November 25, 2017

    Charlie: “Trump didn’t tell us what “the swamp” was, but with everything happening now, aka sexual assaulting Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Papa Bush, Fusion GPS, Uranium One, Donna Brazile, etc., the water is surely being drained from the swamp.”

    Trump did not say what the swamp was, so he can get credit for anything that looks swampy. As Dilbert points out, Trump is a Master Persuader (i.e., Bullshitter).

  62. Charlie permalink
    November 25, 2017

    Bill,

    Anyone can take credit for metaphor, but there it is.

  63. Altandmain permalink
    November 26, 2017

    @Lois Lussier

    There’s no reason why car manufacturers could not set up branch plants in Canada or the US. That’s what Toyota, Honda, etc, do for many of their cars.

    https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2016/06/01/japans-big-3-automakers-built-more-cars-in-u-s.html

    No reason why the Koreans couldn’t do the same.

    @ All

    Automation has been greatly hyped.

    Occupational field displacement is at record lows:
    https://itif.org/publications/2017/05/08/false-alarmism-technological-disruption-and-us-labor-market-1850-2015

    Note the low productivity growth since 2008
    http://country.eiu.com/asset_images/1973436781.gif

    Robots taking over would imply extremely high productivity growth. That hasn’t happened. Instead we see the opposite.

  64. realitychecker permalink
    November 26, 2017

    @ Che

    Obama came up thru the system, so once again you show your mental deficiency in comparing him to Trump.

    @ NR

    You show that you don’t even understand who the various players are in the current system. Apparently, you think the Republican Party represents a unified consensus these days. More knowledgeable people are analyzing how the party is tearing itself apart because of Trump. The Dems are also tearing themselves apart, because of Trump.

    How to convince the pathetic, like you, of how pathetic they truly are? ‘Tis a puzzlement.

  65. wendy davis permalink
    November 26, 2017

    early on i’d thought that herr T’s ‘drain the swamp’ had meant drain ‘foggy bottom’, and apparently rexxon tillerson liked that notion.

    “Great news for the future of the United States: “The Foreign Service officer corps at State has lost 60 percent of its Career Ambassadors since January. Ranks of Career Ministers, our three-star equivalents, are down from 33 to 19. The ranks of our two-star Minister Counselors have fallen from 431 right after Labor Day to 369 today — and are still falling.”
    Secretary of State Tillerson, at the urging of President Trump is getting rid of those responsible for the failed Obama/Bush foreign policies. The best way to end the corruption and failures is to rid the State Department of its anti-American/globalist sycophants. Glad to see Trump is draining the swamp at Foggy Bottom.”

    but the IB times notes that:

    “One of the first known examples of the phrase symbolizing political change came in the early 1900s, when community organizer Mary Harris “Mother” Jones promised to “drain the swamp” of capitalists. Ronald Regan also famously used the term a year after being in office to remind the country why he felt he was elected in the first place: “I know it’s hard when you’re up to your armpits in alligators to remember you came here to drain the swamp.””

    and given that herr T’s campaign posters echoed rayguns…who can say? but yes, he’s all about jobs in his tax reform and jobs act. now admittedly, michael hudson’s analysis was ahead of the senate version, which apparently hasn’t been tweaked altogether yet, but:

    http://michael-hudson.com/2017/10/what-tax-plan/

    and wsws.org nov. 18: ‘The US tax bill: A massive handout to the financial elite (a couple outtakes):

    “The centerpiece of the bill is the reduction of corporate tax rates by almost half, from 35 to 20 percent, at an estimated public cost of $1.5 trillion, making US corporate taxes the lowest since 1939. This will dramatically accelerate the fall in effective corporate taxes that has taken place since the 1950s, when the effective tax rate was 50 percent, to today, when it is less than 20 percent.”

    “According to a report published last month by UBS, more than half of all billionaire wealth in the US is controlled by individuals older than 70, and the US financial elite has been waiting for the abolition of the estate tax to transfer its wealth to the next generation. The abolition of the estate tax would be a major step toward making the United States a hereditary oligarchy, in which wealth is passed down dynastically without any diminution.

    According to the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation, under the Senate version of the bill, by 2027 every family earning below $75,000 per year will see a tax hike, and every family making above $100,000 per year will see a tax cut.

    Finally, by putting a $1.5 trillion hole in the budget, the tax plan will accelerate demands for slashing Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, together with other forms of social spending, to plug the gap.

    While Democratic politicians mouthed criticisms of the Republican-sponsored bill, its most important measure, the corporate tax cut, has been a major element in the Democratic playbook. The Obama administration’s 2016 budget, for example, called for lowering the corporate tax rate to between 28 and 25 percent.”

    now here comes the Ha Ha Ha paragraph:

    “The New York Times, a leading mouthpiece for the Democratic Party, wrote in an editorial this week, “The Right Way to Cut Corporate Taxes,” that “Republicans are right about the corporate tax system being broken.” The newspaper added, “If Republicans worked with Democrats… they could reach a compromise to lower the top corporate tax rate to between 25 percent and 28 percent.”

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/11/18/pers-n18.html

    but which ‘left’ is anyone speaking of here? only leftists i know are socialists and the good commies on twitter and at monthly review.

  66. wendy davis permalink
    November 26, 2017

    oh rats and tiddly-pom. my earlier comment is in moderation; three links or too long, who can say?

  67. DMC permalink
    November 26, 2017

    If you’re still not clear on the dynamic in the R party, you can think of it as the Koch Bros owning about 80% of conservative thought through their vast array of think tanks and foundations(Cato Inst., Heritage Foundation, ALEC, AEI, Americans for Prosperity,etc.)and consequently, dictating the message, which is Neo-Liberalism at home and Neo-Conservativism abroad. Trump and the populist insurgents are(wittingly or otherwise) the tools of the Mercer family(Amway/hedge-fund billionaires)and their allies, who SEEM to have more of an isolationist, nationalist vision of where the US ought to be going. There’s a good deal of overlap in their positions, in that they’re fundamentally oligarchic and reactionary, and they’ve similar notions about ends but there’s considerable controversy about means. The R in the street is as dissatisfied with his party as the D in the street is with his and for similar reasons. The old guard is seen as at best ossified and at worst corrupt. Trumpistas as much as Berniecrats wonder aloud when they will be delivered from the stodgy old fogies in the party and some real firebrands can get into office and things can finally start Getting Done.

  68. November 26, 2017

    @realitychecker:

    “Apparently, you think the Republican Party represents a unified consensus these days. More knowledgeable people are analyzing how the party is tearing itself apart because of Trump. The Dems are also tearing themselves apart, because of Trump.”

    Oh, well if you say it, then it must be true. You even cited “knowledgeable people” to bolster your authority, making it extra special true, I guess.

    Meanwhile, if you look at the policy debate that’s happening, you can see that the Republican establishment is unified in pushing tax cuts for the rich, and Trump is their dutiful lackey on that subject. And the Democratic party is unified in opposing those tax cuts. So neither party is “tearing themselves apart because of Trump” as you claim.

    So you can bluster and deny reality and call others pathetic all you like, but few things are more pathetic than people who vastly overestimate themselves. If ever there was a poster child for the Dunning-Kruger effect, it’s you.

  69. realitychecker permalink
    November 26, 2017

    @ NR

    Riiiiiight, the Establishment parties are rejoicing at their good fortune.

    Now, go eat your meat, or you can’t have any pudding. 🙂

  70. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    November 26, 2017

    RC to NR:

    “If ever there was a poster child for the Dunning-Kruger effect, it’s you.”

    As projections go, this is IMAX quality. 😛

  71. realitychecker permalink
    November 26, 2017

    @ Pecker

    You don’t seem to have adequate cognition to even know who said what to whom.

    Projection, you say??????

    Oh, the irony . . .

  72. Willy permalink
    November 27, 2017

    What policies has Trump pushed for which would benefit the middle and lower classes?

  73. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    November 27, 2017

    Whatever Vietnam was, it was a failure and a tragedy and it was in vain, so shut your pie hole. You’re going to hang me? You know where I am and who I am so come give it a try and I promise you’ll never have to worry about any of this again. Come on. Bring it on.

    Next thing you know, this moron will tell us there was no Russian Revolution or Cuban Revolution. Get lost you numbskull. How dare you threaten me you screwed up lost-in-the-wilderness irrelevant militant violence-loving leftist.

  74. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    November 27, 2017

    Whatever happens, it ain’t gonna’ be pretty. There will be violence, there will be bloodshed.

    And there you’ll be in the midst of it with your walker and your diaper and your rope ready to hang and & all. Shut up you fool. You are precisely why I would never support a revolution. The only thing worse than Trump in charge is you in charge. I could see it now — gallows everywhere from sea to shining sea.

  75. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    November 27, 2017

    If we were face to face right I’d hang you.

    Let’s make this happen. Face to face. What do you say? I want to take you up on this threat. I want to see you try and hang me. Are you game? We can put it on YouTube.

  76. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    November 27, 2017

    Ten Bears is a troll and obviously a Trump supporter. That’s why he took such umbrage with my post. And shut up about your brothers and your sisters. They were not your brothers and your sisters. They were fools like you who were hoodwinked and that was the point of my post — to not be hoodwinked again and be someone’s fool errand boy sent to be slaughtered in vain.

  77. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    November 27, 2017

    Strike that. Vietnam wasn’t a failure for the economic system that is raping the planet daily. It’s a thriving, robust, bustling economy experiencing incredible, uncontrolled, rapacious growth and that rapacious growth is a gang-rape of the planet. The Ho Chi Minh Trail ended up being a the Yellow Brick Road beneath a river of blood.

  78. The Stephen Miller Band permalink
    November 27, 2017

    I am not sure about that.

    Your point was taken into account with my last sentence which is a caveat on everything that came prior. Here’s the last line.

    We can see clearly now and yet, still, so many can’t even though the emperor is dancing around on stage in its birthday suit.

    Some of us see clearly and more than a few in the rest of the world. But yes, you’re right, quite a few in America, the majority really, fail to see this for what it really is and instead continue to see the world through the muddied lenses of their partisan politics sunglasses which are really, in effect, blinders.

  79. Willy permalink
    November 27, 2017

    I think the point was that historically, mass violence for any reason has tended to lead to unpredictable ends. The mob needs to be better understood than the kleptocrats already understand them.

    Mohammad Mosaddegh had some reasonably progressive ideas for Iran, and much support, yet Khomeini won power and the Freedom Movement of Iran folks pretty much had to flee or hide.

  80. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    November 29, 2017

    Oopsie! 😛

    Oh well, I guess I shouldn’t fret about goofing up.

    After all, doing dumb things didn’t stop Putin’s Puppet from infesting the Oval Office.

    *******************

    As for the desirability of revolution, I think I’ll agree with The Who over RC:

    “Meet the new boss/Same as the old boss”

    Not the same people, but the same kind of people.

  81. ultra permalink
    November 30, 2017

    It’s doubtful that the Trump administration will accomplish anything significant with NAFTA. If the US pulls out of NAFTA and does what Trump wants, sending more jobs to the US as a result of quotas, tariffs, and other barriers to trade, Canada and Mexico will retaliate in kind, sending an equal number of jobs back to their countries, and the trade wars will begin.

    Theoretically, trade imbalances are supposed to take care of themselves by changes in the value of international currencies. Because the US runs chronic trade deficits (both Canada and Mexico are minor components of this problem), the value of the US dollar should fall relative to other currencies that have chronic trade surpluses. This should boost US exports and reduce US imports. However, this hasn’t been happening for some reason.

    Here are four major theories (that I can think of) why the expected changes in currency values haven’t been happening:

    1) International trade flows are no longer measured appropriately because we have an information and service economy (patent income, copyright income, international consulting fees, licensing Hollywood movies, selling downloaded software, etc.). These are things that are not transported to and from the United States by trucks, rail, or ships, so they are not counted. As a result, the United States may not have the trade deficits that are being reported because the statistical measurements for international trade have become archaic.

    2) The value of the US currency is being maintained artificially because of its dominant role in international trade, e.g., barrels of oil are traded using US dollars. Other major currencies that could compete with the US dollar are relatively weak (e.g., the value of the Euro has been reduced because of the problems occurring within the European Union, while Japan’s economy has been troubled by recessions).

    3) Thanks in part to computer-mediated trading, there are huge currency flows in such speculative investments as derivatives, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, commodity prices, etc., that have masked or eliminated any changes in currency values that occur as a result of international trade.

    4) Major banks, financial service firms, and owners of private equity funds deliberately manipulate the values of international currencies in order to protect the value of their assets. Because most of their assets are located in developed countries with large economies (e.g., the United States, European Union, Japan), the currencies of those countries are manipulated to be overvalued.

    I have no idea which of these theories, or which combinations of them, are correct, if any.

  82. realitychecker permalink
    November 30, 2017

    @ Pecker

    You say:

    “As for the desirability of revolution, I think I’ll agree with The Who over RC:

    “Meet the new boss/Same as the old boss” ”

    Careful there, amigo, it might be another dumb thing to swallow your revolutionary theory in whole from a known child molester lololol. 🙂 (I love the Who, but only for their music.)

    So many here are, correctly, aware of the risk that a revolution MIGHT ultimately usher in a new boss we don’t like. What you miss is, maybe it will produce a good result. Some of that will depend on what the participants want and the choices they make along the way.

    What you also seem to miss, IMHO, is the true cost of continuing to go down the path to livestock-hood which is clearly our destiny under the present regime. That cost is clear and, to me, totally unacceptable.

    Somebody better do something, or we will just keep going where we have been going. Deal with it. I’m on my way out, but in fairness, it should be those with a stake in the future that make any fight.

  83. Peter permalink
    November 30, 2017

    @RC

    I wonder where your trust in any of todays revolutionaries to do the right thing comes from. If there were new ideas about politics and economics being offered to revolve towards and not old failed ideas to devolve into I might be interested.

    The bosses today may be bad boys but they are somewhat restrained while these new bosses would have no restraints and we have already seen what this kind of unrestrained power can and will do.

  84. realitychecker permalink
    December 1, 2017

    @ Peter

    You lament, along with many others, that a good result of revolution is not guaranteed.

    But the dismal dystopian future for regular human beings being planned and implemented at breakneck pace by the corporate globalists is a guaranteed horrible result.

    So, guaranteed horrible vs. posssibly horrible. Not unreasonable to consider the possibly horrible, which is the only route which seems to hold any hope of possibly better.

    What is worth fighting for?

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