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Senate Republicans block hearing on free trade

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51 Comments
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Ah, the party of 'no'.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Better than the party of 'spend'

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The cost of retraining workers who lose their jobs as result of the trade agreements amounts to $40 million a year. Only because of this, Republicans, who claim they support the agreements , won't vote for them. Amazing!

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Obama's demands and amendments to these trade agreements show his true socialist colors. America doesn't want stealth socialism, and it should not be forced on our Korean or Colombian allies either.

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his true socialist colors.

You say that like it's a bad thing. A bit of socialism never hurt anybody, except the selfish rich.

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You say that like it's a bad thing. A bit of socialism never hurt anybody, except the selfish rich.

You came to Japan to enjoy the socialism?

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BINGO Lucabrasi and SmithinJapan

Lets go ahead with Free Trade and widen the economic divide that is America.

Obama: No, lets retrain individuals affected and make sure they have a nice Xmas too.

The selfish rich indeed. Hating the very people they depend on to get on to get rich.

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The Republicans won't support repealing tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, which costs the treasury billions, because it would "kill jobs". And yet they would scuttle the free trade agreements, which would generate billions for the treasury, because of $40 million a year to retrain workers who lose their jobs. What kind of convoluted logic is this?

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Republicans refused to participate, objecting to linking the deals to renewal of a program that retrains workers hurt by foreign trade.

"Retraining" people failed by our Democrat-controlled public school system.These so-called programs would be every bit as unaccountable.Just another slush fund for Democrats.

@paulinusa "The Republicans won't support repealing tax breaks for corporations..."

The US has the highest corporate tax in the world. Your comment has no validity. You just emote and repeat slogans.

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America's overall wealth will continue to decrease and the rich-poor divide will continue to increase. Add to that the huge amount of poorly educated people and firearms and in 50-100 years America will look like modern day Brazil, or maybe Nigeria.

Americans should be getting out while the getting is good.

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"The US has the highest corporate tax in the world. Your comment has no validity. You just emote and repeat slogans."

Really? Breitbart, do a liitle research, because of the thousands of loopholes, many US companies pay very low or next to nothing in taxes. "The US has the highest corporate tax in the world." THAT'S the slogan, not the facts.

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Really? Breitbart, do a liitle research, because of the thousands of loopholes, many US companies pay very low or next to nothing in taxes.

I have had this argument many times. When, for amusement, I agree with someone like paulinusa and suggest a flat or fair tax to eliminate loopholes altogether. he changes the subject. People like this aren't interested in 'justice' or 'fairness.' They are for wealth redistribution - theft - now, and by any means possible.

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They are for wealth redistribution - theft - now, and by any means possible.

And you are all for wealth concentrating at the top?

Because I tend to think that if the top 10% of America owns 70% of the wealth and the bottom 40% own 1% of the wealth then that's not a very stable, much less fair, system.

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"When, for amusement, I agree with someone like paulinusa and suggest a flat or fair tax to eliminate loopholes altogether. he changes the subject."

Exactly when did I change the subject?

And by the way, the real reason the Republicans won't vote for these free trade agreements (which they support)? It's called politics. They would rather delay enacting the agreements rather than Pres. Obama get any credit. That's it, nothing else.

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Exactly when did I change the subject?

You haven't. Nor have you answered if you would agree to a flat or fair tax - one solution to the loopholes you dislike.

For, or against?

And by the way, the real reason the Republicans won't vote for these free trade agreements (which they support)? It's called politics.

Read the article:"The trade deals were finalized in the Bush administration but were never taken up by the then-Democratic-controlled Congress." Both sides play politics.

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And you are all for wealth concentrating at the top?

The "top" is hardly a fixed demographic.To the extent I can say I am for a system I am for the system that allows the greatest social mobility - the freedom to succeed and fail. The poor throughout Africa - where there is little economic freedom - are truly poor, dying from hunger. The poor in America have cell phones and as a class are the most likely to be obese.

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I am for the system that allows the greatest social mobility - the freedom to succeed and fail.

And you feel America has such a system? Don't the children of the wealthy become wealthy and the children of the poor stay poor, not 100%, but at a very, very high rate.

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No wonder that free market/free trade saves Americans is an undying myth of the century.

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Don't the children of the wealthy become wealthy and the children of the poor stay poor, not 100%, but at a very, very high rate.

Do the research. You might be surprised.

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Do the research. You might be surprised.

Maybe it's you that needs to do the research.

The idea that America's system is fair and that anybody can be a success if they just work hard enough is a national myth, and a self-serving one at that. There is much less social mobility than people like to think and being poor is seen as a character flaw.

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Maybe it's you that needs to do the research.

I grew up there.You aren' t seriously going to tell me I don't know the real America, are you.

"The idea that America's system is fair and that anybody can be a success if they just work hard enough is a national myth, and a self-serving one at that."

All countries have national myths, which are , by their very nature, self-serving, as you call it.

If the US bothers you or shatters certain self-serving myths you cling to maybe you should look at the regions this article focuses on. No one is trying to enter Stalinist North Korea.And the subjects/prisoners in North Korea have no idea what free trade means. But people die trying to get into the free,capitalist southern half of the peninsula. Likewise, Colombia - one of the oldest democracies in S America - is faring much better than places like Venezuela, ruined by the kind of social engineering I get the impression you favor.

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I grew up there.

Yeah, so did I. So what? Growing up there doesn't equal "doing the research."

Also, I might point out, lots of people immigrating to America is not proof of great social mobility in America. People are simply moving from countries where the average level of wealth is much lower. As you said something to the effect earlier, a poor person in America is much better off than a poor person in many, many other countries.

And are you really scared of the "social engineering" bogeyman? Plenty of things are socialized in America and other wealthy countries. I assume you are not against taxes completely, only when they help someone who is poor or otherwise disadvantaged?

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Also, I might point out, lots of people immigrating to America is not proof of great social mobility in America.

You say you grew up there. Are you going to tell me you work as hard as your great grandparents did and exist at precisely the same socio-economic position they did?

You are going to tell me 20 million are in the US illegally because they like the food?

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Are you going to tell me you work as hard as your great grandparents did and exist at precisely the same socio-economic position they did?

No, I strongly suspect that I work much less hard than my great-grandparents did and enjoy a much higher standard of living because the relative wealth of the country has risen. As far as as relative socio-economic position, I wouldn't know. Where do Nebraskan farmers rate on that scale? Anyways, even if true. It's just anecdotal bollocks. Do the research, as I said. You are not going to find one study on the subject saying America has a high degree of social mobility. Overwhelmingly, the children of the rich stay rich and the children of the poor stay poor.

America being a relatively wealthy country is a different subject and is true for reasons very different from a lack of social mobility and an inherent inequality in it's socio-economic system.

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You are not going to find one study on the subject saying America has a high degree of social mobility.

And what country, in your opinion, provides real opportunities for social mobility? I have a tough time thinking 20 million Mexicans are all wrong...

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And what country, in your opinion, provides real opportunities for social mobility? I have a tough time thinking 20 million Mexicans are all wrong...

Mexicans come to America to work cheaply because the relative wealth of America is higher. Has nothing to do with social mobility.

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Mexicans come to America to work cheaply because the relative wealth of America is higher. Has nothing to do with social mobility.

What's more they remain in America and start families. A corollary to your absurd statement would go something along the lines of "I like the food but never go to Mexican restaurants in America because I make too much money and setting foot in one of those places would lower my income."

Why is relative wealth higher? Ever think of using that as a starting point?

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A corollary to your absurd statement would go something along the lines of "I like the food but never go to Mexican restaurants in America because I make too much money and setting foot in one of those places would lower my income."

That doesn't make any sense to me and has nothing to do with anything I've said.

As far as why relative wealth is higher, as I've said it's a separate issue. Ever think of sticking to the point?

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Ever think of sticking to the point?

The point is free trade, and how it improves quality of life and brings progress. America's relative wealth is higher because we have greater economic freedom than countries like Mexico. (Though we have, under Obama, less economic freedom.) People in Chile, which saw its economy grow almost 6 percent last year, have more economic freedom than any other nation in S America.

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The point is free trade

Maybe that is your point, but it wasn't mine. My point was that America,as the poster boy for unbridled capitalism, has a huge underclass. Wealth accumulates at the top of a capitalist society and therefore some socialized mechanisms for taking care of the poor and, yes, redistribution of some wealth through taxes is a good thing.

I would not agree with your uber-simplistic statement that America's wealth is higher due to a certain level of economic freedom. I would say it more has something to do with a long history of stolen land, slave labor, colonialism, predatory economic policies, military hegemony, etc....

I'm not anti-business, but I do feel that it often brings out the worst in people due to greed and a lack of self-restraint.

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The strange thing is that the replublicans are they onew who want free trade, great work for the party of no

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Do the research. You might be surprised.

OK, luckily there are other people out there who already have done the research.

http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/2/7/45002641.pdf

US ranks 3rd highest among Euopean and NA nations for the strength of the link between parental and personal earnings, only UK and Italy are worse. Top of the list are Denmark, Norway, Finland, Canada and other such socialist hellholes.

US has the strongest link between parental background and student achievement in secondary education of all OECD countries.

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Quite an interesting thread. Laughed to see this old chestnut:

"I would not agree with your uber-simplistic statement that America's wealth is higher due to a certain level of economic freedom. I would say it more has something to do with a long history of stolen land, slave labor, colonialism, predatory economic policies, military hegemony, etc...."

Well then Professor Zinn, ,how does someone like tthis explain the success of Hong Kong and Singapore? Or the above-mentioned economic miracle in Chile???

The Spaniards did not steal land? Slavery? Brazil had slavery til 1888. Colonialism? What - - the Phillipines?Ottoman Turkey had vast colonial holdings. LOL. "Predatory economics" ? Even left wing economists are embarrassed by the term. It has been proven to be nearly impossible.

Nice headline though. Makes the repubs look like real bad guys - - obviously that was the intended effect.

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Laughed to see this old chestnut:

Gotta love revisionist history.

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Makes the repubs look like real bad guys - -

If the chestnut fits.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

No members are republican on japantoday?

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Lieberman, nobody is here to write a history of the world. Nobody said others could not get rich by the same rotten methods America did. The subject is America, and no one else.

America also got rich thanks to abundant natural resources untapped by the former inhabitants.

But greed and trampling of the poor are well documented in America. If you don't know what a deadly fight it was just to get unions, you are woefully ignornant of American history.

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The two measures should be considered seperatly. I believe the free trade measure should pass as increaced freedom is the only way to increase prosperity.

The job retaining portion should be dropped though. If there is somebody that can do the job cheaper and better the idea of preserving the less efficient job runs counter to the principle of 'free' trade. Retaining those jobs helps nobody. Eventually they will need to be let go and keeping them on longer at the expense of the taxpayer will not change that fact.

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The goverment need to adjust trade policies since all other countries play by the different rules. U.S. can no longer sustain large yearly trade deficits without putting its future at risk. U.S. corporations control the trade and they are in a viscous cycle. They have outsource jobs, increase unemployment, and this creates tax losses. The U.S. goes further into debt from these lost tax revenues, then U.S. must then sell more treasury bonds to China and foreigners. Consumers are forced to purchase more and more foreign imports with few U.S. made alternative products. This enables foreign to make huge trade deficit profits, which allows them to purchase more U.S. businesses and debt and foreign owned business pay far less taxes then U.S. equivalent businesses and hire fewer American employers. This creates higher unemployment and more tax losses, and the cycle continues. Economic global greed is excessive and the U.S. free trade policy encourages foreigners to cheat as every country wants a piece of America.

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This is a beginning of Protectionism and an end of Walmart.

I am afraid the history of economics (the great depression and protectionism) may well be repeated. I would think twice before US going to protectionism. The world economy is more closely linked today than these days. US has to analyze a cost vs benefit of protectionism.

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You say that like it's a bad thing. A bit of socialism never hurt anybody, except the selfish rich.

Tell that to the Greeks.

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chewitup:America also got rich thanks to abundant natural resources untapped by the former inhabitants. But greed and trampling of the poor are well documented in America.

Former inhabitants? It's you who needs to study a little history. Plenty of Native Americans where I grew up. Greed is a constant in all societies. Sounds like your position on capitalism vs all other systems is a result of your naivete. And the poor in the US, as someone upthread pointed out , have cell phones, color TV and the highest rates of obesity in the world.

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The two measures should be considered seperatly. I believe the free trade measure should pass as increaced freedom is the only way to increase prosperity.

Of course, hence why the Republicans blocked it. Basically they told Obama and 'Dirty' Harry, bring it up when you're ready to be serious. Until then, don't bother.

This is a beginning of Protectionism and an end of Walmart.

lol. Sorry, not going to hurt Wal-Mart.

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Oh good grief. A Senate Finance Committee hearing on legislation involving agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama was canceled....

One Senate committee meeting was canceled and the House committee has yet to meet on the issue. This is only the beginning of a very long and complicated process BEFORE it can even come up for a full floor vote in both houses.

The Democrats have sat on this issue for years without allowing a vote and just now they've decided it would be a good re-election issue.

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The Democrats have sat on this issue for years without allowing a vote and just now they've decided it would be a good re-election issue.

Good point. I am ashamed of what the party has become.

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Sorry guys, but I must ask. I am Swedish and simply cannot consider wealth distribution "theft" when it so obviously helps create a society with better (not equal, take note) opportunities for everybody.

What's wrong with a bit of wealth distribution in society? I don't mean to step on anybody's toes but I just cannot understand how some people can oppose it. Aren't people supposed to support each other? Should everything be about "me, me and me"?

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Should everything be about "me, me and me"?

Unfortunately, many Americans feel that selfishness is a virtue.

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Why should the US manufacture anything, when it can farm it out to the Chinese. Even GE has stopped producing light bulbs. The amount of the GDP generated by the financial services industry (i.e., Wall Street) will eventually account for half. That is about generating commissions and profits just by shifting money and commodities from one account to the other. Worse than that, it's terrifying to contemplate an economy run by the same greedy, amoral slimeballs responsible for the subprime crisis.

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What's wrong with a bit of wealth distribution in society?

Several things. The first is obviously theft. Is stealing ok, so long as its done for what you consider a good cause? The 2nd problem is one of entitlement. Are people entitled to receive a minimum standard of living from the government, without their needing to do anything? Are they entitled to this simply by virtue of being born? And where is their responsibility? And finally, if you take from those who are productive, to give to those who are unproductive, whats that saying to those who work hard and achieve? How is their efforts rewarded?

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Molenir, it cannot be theft as the person gets something from it(free health-care, education, roads) and also you can consider working in the country as rent, if people don't want to pay taxes, they may leave and go live in Somalia if they do not wish to pay taxes. You talk of responsibility yet you cannot understand this? Society cannot flourish without a government, all must contribute for the greater good so to speak and you cannot achieve it if everything is simply left to its own devices, like an anarchic state.

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if you take from those who are productive, to give to those who are unproductive, whats that saying to those who work hard and achieve? How is their efforts rewarded

I take it you'd be in favour then of 100% death duties? When the productive, hard-working person who made the money is gone, the unproductive second and third generations should go out and make their own way, not live off Dad's money, yes? Better by far to take the money and use it to fund hospitals and schools, so that those who want to work hard and achieve can have the health and education they need to do so.

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