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Blowback against neoliberal globalization

Trump victory would be the US variant of Brexit

The last time America saw a strong paleo-conservative was Pat Buchanan in 1996. An early win in Louisiana caused Buchanan to place second in Iowa and first in New Hampshire. Lacking money, Buchanan was steamrolled by the establishment in Arizona and, in terms of paleo-conservatism, many thought he was the Last of the Mohicans. Trump's campaign is Buchananesque with one difference: Trump has money...  --  by Joseph R. Murray II (Orlando Sentinel, Aug 12, 2015)

 
News Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization Donald Trump -- an unusual fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization Recommended Links  Two Party System as Polyarchy Anti Trump Hysteria Immigration and free movement of workers Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism
Trump foreign policy platform Trump economic platform TTP, NAFTA and other supernational trade treates Anti-globalization movement Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers "Clinton Cash" Scandal: Hillary Clinton links to foreign donors and financial industry  Hillary as a pathological liar Hillary role in Libya disaster Hillary role in Syria bloodbath
 Zombie state and coming collapse of neoliberalism Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS New American Militarism  Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Lock her up movement Protestant church on danger of neoliberalism
The Iron Law of Oligarchy Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Myth about intelligent voter  American Exceptionalism Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme Pluralism as a myth Bernie Sanders betrayal of his supporters
The Deep State Corporatist Corruption Predator state  Neocons Myth about intelligent voter Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Corporatism National Security State Non-Interventionism
Libertarian Philosophy The Iron Law of Oligarchy Principal-agent problem Neoliberalism US Presidential Elections of 2012   Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
"There is one political party in this country, and that is the party of money. It has two branches, the Republicans and the Democrats, the chief difference between which is that the Democrats are better at concealing their scorn for the average man."

-- Gore Vidal

“The Democrats are the foxes, and the Republicans are the wolves – and they both want to devour you.” So what does that make Libertarians? Avian flu viruses?”

-- Leonard Pinkney

The race is no contest when you own both horses. That is why no matter which political party is in power nothing really changes other than the packaging. The puppets who drink at the champagne fountains of the powerful do the bidding of their masters. The people are superfluous to the process.

-- Daniel Estulin

In the “democracy” that America has evolved to, money counts more than people. In past elections, the votes were counted, now they are going to start weighing them.

America The Counter-Revolution - Salem-News.Com

(T)he rich elites of (the USA) have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris, and Tokyo than with their fellow American citizens … the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well being except as a place to extract loot. Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it.”

-- Mike Lofgren

Trump on free trade and victims of neoliberal globalization

From Gaius Publius When Trump Talks Trade, Voters Listen naked capitalism

Before you read, though, take a moment to watch less than two minutes of Donald Trump above, from his victory speech after winning in Michigan and Mississippi. I’ve cued it up to start at the remarks I want to highlight, Trump discussing our trade deficit.

Now Thomas Frank, writing in The Guardian. He starts by noting the utter invisibility of real working Americans to our elite class, including our media elites, and especially our liberal media elites (my emphasis throughout):

Millions of ordinary Americans support Donald Trump. Here’s why

When he isn’t spewing insults, the Republican frontrunner is hammering home a powerful message about free trade and its victims

Let us now address the greatest American mystery at the moment: what motivates the supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump?

I call it a “mystery” because the working-class white people who make up the bulk of Trump’s fan base show up in amazing numbers for the candidate, filling stadiums and airport hangars, but their views, by and large, do not appear in our prestige newspapers. On their opinion pages, these publications take care to represent demographic categories of nearly every kind, but “blue-collar” is one they persistently overlook. The views of working-class people are so foreign to that universe that when New York Times columnist Nick Kristof wanted to “engage” a Trump supporter last week, he made one up, along with this imaginary person’s responses to his questions.

When members of the professional class wish to understand the working-class Other, they traditionally consult experts on the subject. And when these authorities are asked to explain the Trump movement, they always seem to zero in on one main accusation: bigotry. Only racism, they tell us, is capable of powering a movement like Trump’s, which is blowing through the inherited structure of the Republican party like a tornado through a cluster of McMansions.

The conclusion of these writers is this:

The Trump movement is a one-note phenomenon, a vast surge of race-hate. Its partisans are not only incomprehensible, they are not really worth comprehending.

And yet…

A lot of people are racists, including those not supporting Trump. But people have other concerns as well, especially working people. They are dying faster than they used to, from drugs and despair, and they fear for their jobs and their families, for very good reasons. This economy is failing them.

They also hate — and understand — “free trade.”

Trump Also Talks Trade

Donald Trump talks about more than just race and immigration. He talks about trade and the trade deficit, an issue that powered Bernie Sanders to his Michigan victory as well. From the New York Times:

Trade and Jobs Key to Victory for Bernie Sanders

Democratic presidential candidate had campaigned in Traverse City, Mich., in decades until Senator Bernie Sanders pulled up to the concert hall near the Sears store on Friday. Some 2,000 people mobbed him when he arrived, roaring in approval as he called the country’s trade policies, and Hillary Clinton’s support for them, “disastrous.”

“If the people of Michigan want to make a decision about which candidate stood with workers against corporate America and against these disastrous trade agreements, that candidate is Bernie Sanders,” Mr. Sanders said in Traverse City, about 250 miles north of Detroit.

Mr. Sanders pulled off a startling upset in Michigan on Tuesday by traveling to communities far from Detroit and by hammering Mrs. Clinton on an issue that resonated in this still-struggling state: her past support for trade deals that workers here believe robbed them of manufacturing jobs. Almost three-fifths of voters said that trade with other countries was more likely to take away jobs, according to exit polls by Edison Research, and those voters favored Mr. Sanders by a margin of more than 10 points.

There is no question — America’s billionaire-friendly, job-destroying trade policy is toxic — again, literally. That’s why Obama and his bipartisan “free trade” enablers in Congress have to pass TPP, if they can, in post-election lame duck session. TPP is also toxic to political careers, and only lame ducks and the recently-elected can vote for it.

Frank again on Trump:

Last week, I decided to watch several hours of Trump speeches for myself. I saw the man ramble and boast and threaten and even seem to gloat when protesters were ejected from the arenas in which he spoke. I was disgusted by these things, as I have been disgusted by Trump for 20 years. But I also noticed something surprising. In each of the speeches I watched, Trump spent a good part of his time talking about an entirely legitimate issue, one that could even be called left-wing.

Yes, Donald Trump talked about trade. In fact, to judge by how much time he spent talking about it, trade may be his single biggest concern – not white supremacy. Not even his plan to build a wall along the Mexican border, the issue that first won him political fame. He did it again during the debate on 3 March: asked about his political excommunication by Mitt Romney, he chose to pivot and talk about … trade.

It seems to obsess him: the destructive free-trade deals our leaders have made, the many companies that have moved their production facilities to other lands, the phone calls he will make to those companies’ CEOs in order to threaten them with steep tariffs unless they move back to the US.

On the subject more generally, Frank adds:

Trade is an issue that polarizes Americans by socio-economic status. To the professional class, which encompasses the vast majority of our media figures, economists, Washington officials and Democratic power brokers, what they call “free trade” is something so obviously good and noble it doesn’t require explanation or inquiry or even thought. Republican and Democratic leaders alike agree on this, and no amount of facts can move them from their Econ 101 dream.

To the remaining 80 or 90% of America, trade means something very different. There’s a video going around on the internet these days that shows a room full of workers at a Carrier air conditioning plant in Indiana being told by an officer of the company that the factory is being moved to Monterrey, Mexico and that they’re all going to lose their jobs.

As I watched it, I thought of all the arguments over trade that we’ve had in this country since the early 1990s, all the sweet words from our economists about the scientifically proven benevolence of free trade, all the ways in which our newspapers mock people who say that treaties like the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement allow companies to move jobs to Mexico.

Well, here is a video of a company moving its jobs to Mexico, courtesy of Nafta. This is what it looks like. The Carrier executive talks in that familiar and highly professional HR language about the need to “stay competitive” and “the extremely price-sensitive marketplace.” A worker shouts “Fuck you!” at the executive. The executive asks people to please be quiet so he can “share” his “information”. His information about all of them losing their jobs.

Frank goes to greater length, and again, please click through. But you get the idea. This is what Trump is speaking to, whether he means what he says or not, and this is what his voters are responding to, whether they like his racism or not. After all, haven’t you, at least once, voted for someone with qualities you dislike because of policies you do like?

Whose Fault Is This? Both Parties, But Especially the Democratic Elites

One final point. Frank takes on the issue of responsibility:

Trump’s words articulate the populist backlash against liberalism that has been building slowly for decades … Yet still we cannot bring ourselves to look the thing in the eyes. We cannot admit that we liberals bear some [or most] of the blame for its emergence, for the frustration of the working-class millions, for their blighted cities and their downward spiraling lives. So much easier to scold them for their twisted racist souls, to close our eyes to the obvious reality of which Trumpism is just a crude and ugly expression: that neoliberalism has well and truly failed.

I am certain, if this comes up in a general election debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, she could very likely get her clock cleaned; not certainly, but certainly very likely. First, she can only equivocate, and Trump will have none of it. (Trump: “Let me understand. You were for this before you were against it? So … will you be for it again next year? I’m just trying to understand.”)

Second, this is a change election, Trump is one of only two change candidates in the race, and Clinton is not the other one.

Here’s that Carrier Air Conditioning “we’re moving to Mexico” video that Frank mentioned above. Take a look, but prepare to feel some pain as you watch:


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[Oct 15, 2017] Two Cheers For Trump's Immigration Proposal Especially "Interior Enforcement" - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... In the 1970s a programming shop was legacy American, with only a thin scattering of foreigners like myself. Twenty years later programming had been considerably foreignized , thanks to the H-1B visa program. Now, twenty years further on, I believe legacy-American programmers are an endangered species. ..."
"... So a well-paid and mentally rewarding corner of the middle-class job market has been handed over to foreigners -- for the sole reason, of course, that they are cheaper than Americans. The desire for cheap labor explains 95 percent of U.S. immigration policy. The other five percent is sentimentality. ..."
"... Now they are brazen in their crime: you have heard, I'm sure, those stories about American workers being laid off, with severance packages conditional on their helping train their cheaper foreign replacements. That's our legal ..."
"... A "merit-based" points system won't fix that. It will quickly and easily be gamed by employers to lay waste yet more middle-class occupational zones for Americans. If it was restricted to the higher levels of "merit," we would just be importing a professional overclass of foreigners, most East and South Asians, to direct the labors of less-meritorious legacy Americans. How would that ..."
"... Measured by the number of workers per year, the largest guestworker program in the entire immigration system is now student visas through the Optional Practical Training program (OPT). Last year over 154,000 aliens were approved to work on student visas. By comparison, 114,000 aliens entered the workforce on H-1B guestworker visas. ..."
"... A History of the 'Optional Practical Training' Guestworker Program , ..."
"... on all sorts of subjects ..."
"... for all kinds of outlets. (This ..."
"... no longer includes ..."
"... National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and ..."
"... and several other ..."
"... . He has had two books published by VDARE.com com: ..."
"... ( also available in Kindle ) and ..."
"... Has it ever occurred to anyone other than me that the cost associated with foreign workers using our schools and hospitals and pubic services for free, is more than off-set by the cheap price being paid for grocery store items like boneless chicken breast, grapes, apples, peaches, lettuce etc, which would otherwise be prohibitively expensive even for the wealthy? ..."
Oct 15, 2017 | www.unz.com

Headliner of the week for immigration patriots was President Trump's immigration reform proposal , which he sent to Congress for their perusal last Sunday. The proposal is a very detailed 70-point list under three main headings:

Border Security (27 items) Interior Enforcement (39 items) Merit-Based Immigration System (four items)

Item-wise, the biggest heading there is the second one, "Interior Enforcement." That's very welcome.

Of course we need improved border security so that people don't enter our country without permission. That comes under the first heading. An equally pressing problem, though, is the millions of foreigners who are living and working here, and using our schools and hospitals and public services, who should not be here.

The President's proposals on interior enforcement cover all bases: Sanctuary cities , visa overstays , law-enforcement resources , compulsory E-Verify , more deportations , improved visa security.

This is a major, wonderful improvement in national policy, when you consider that less than a year ago the White House and Justice Department were run by committed open-borders fanatics. I thank the President and his staff for having put so much work into such a detailed proposal for restoring American sovereignty and the rights of American workers and taxpayers.

That said, here come the quibbles.

That third heading, "Merit-Based Immigration System," with just four items, needs work. Setting aside improvements on visa controls under the other headings, this is really the only part of the proposal that covers legal immigration. In my opinion, it does so imperfectly.

There's some good meat in there, mind. Three of the four items -- numbers one, three, and four -- got a fist-pump from me:

cutting down chain migration by limiting it to spouse and dependent children; eliminating the Diversity Visa Lottery ; and limiting the number of refugees admitted, assuming this means severely cutting back on the numbers, preferably all the way to zero.

Good stuff. Item two, however, is a problem. Quote:

Establish a new, points-based system for the awarding of Green Cards (lawful permanent residents) based on factors that allow individuals to successfully assimilate and support themselves financially.

sounds OK, bringing in talented, well-educated, well-socialized people, rather than what the late Lee Kuan Yew referred to as " fruit-pickers ." Forgive me if I have a rather jaundiced view of this merit-based approach.

For most of my adult life I made a living as a computer programmer. I spent four years doing this in the U.S.A. through the mid-1970s. Then I came back in the late 1980s and worked at the same trade here through the 1990s. (Pictured right–my actual H-1B visa ) That gave me two clear snapshots twenty years apart, of this particular corner of skilled middle-class employment in America.

In the 1970s a programming shop was legacy American, with only a thin scattering of foreigners like myself. Twenty years later programming had been considerably foreignized , thanks to the H-1B visa program. Now, twenty years further on, I believe legacy-American programmers are an endangered species.

So a well-paid and mentally rewarding corner of the middle-class job market has been handed over to foreigners -- for the sole reason, of course, that they are cheaper than Americans. The desire for cheap labor explains 95 percent of U.S. immigration policy. The other five percent is sentimentality.

On so-called "merit-based immigration," therefore, you can count me a cynic. I have no doubt that American firms could recruit all the computer programmers they need from among our legacy population. They used to do so, forty years ago. Then they discovered how to game the immigration system for cheaper labor.

Now they are brazen in their crime: you have heard, I'm sure, those stories about American workers being laid off, with severance packages conditional on their helping train their cheaper foreign replacements. That's our legal immigration system in a nutshell. It's a cheap-labor racket.

A "merit-based" points system won't fix that. It will quickly and easily be gamed by employers to lay waste yet more middle-class occupational zones for Americans. If it was restricted to the higher levels of "merit," we would just be importing a professional overclass of foreigners, most East and South Asians, to direct the labors of less-meritorious legacy Americans. How would that contribute to social harmony?

With coming up to a third of a billion people, the U.S.A. has all the talent, all the merit , it needs. You might make a case for a handful of certified geniuses like Einstein or worthy dissidents like Solzhenitsyn, but those cases aside, there is no reason at all to have guest-worker programs. They should all be shut down.

Some of these cheap-labor rackets don't even need congressional action to shut them down; it can be done by regulatory change via executive order. The scandalous OPT-visa scam, for example, which brings in cheap workers under the guise of student visas.

Here is John Miano writing about the OPT program last month, quote:

Measured by the number of workers per year, the largest guestworker program in the entire immigration system is now student visas through the Optional Practical Training program (OPT). Last year over 154,000 aliens were approved to work on student visas. By comparison, 114,000 aliens entered the workforce on H-1B guestworker visas.

Because there is no reporting on how long guestworkers stay in the country, we do not know the total number of workers in each category. Nonetheless, the number of approvals for work on student visas has grown by 62 percent over the past four years so their numbers will soon dwarf those on H-1B visas.

The troubling fact is that the OPT program was created entirely through regulation with no authorization from Congress whatsoever. [ A History of the 'Optional Practical Training' Guestworker Program , CIS, September 18, 2017]

End quote. (And a cheery wave of acknowledgement to John Miano here from one of the other seventeen people in the U.S.A. that knows the correct placement of the hyphen in "H-1B.")

Our legal immigration system is addled with these scams. Don't even get me started on the EB-5 investor's visa . It all needs sweeping away.

So for preference I would rewrite that third heading to include, yes, items one, three, and four -- cutting down chain migration, ending the Diversity Visa Lottery, and ending refugee settlement for anyone of less stature than Solzhenitsyn; but then, I'd replace item two with the following:

End all guest-worker programs, with exceptions only for the highest levels of talent and accomplishment, limit one hundred visas per annum .

So much for my amendments to the President's October 8th proposals. There is, though, one glaring omission from that 70-item list. The proposal has no mention at all of birthright citizenship.

have abandoned it . It leads to obstetric tourism : women well-advanced in pregnancy come to the U.S.A. to give birth, knowing that the child will be a U.S. citizen. It is deeply unpopular with Americans , once it's explained to them.

Yes, yes, I know: some constitutional authorities argue that birthright citizenship is implied in the Fourteenth Amendment , although it is certain that the framers of that Amendment did not have foreign tourists or illegal entrants in mind. Other scholars think Congress could legislate against it.

The only way to find out is to have Congress legislate. If the courts strike down the legislation as unconstitutional, let's then frame a constitutional amendment and put it to the people.

Getting rid of birthright citizenship might end up a long and difficult process. We might ultimately fail. The only way to find out is to get the process started . Failure to mention this in the President's proposal is a very glaring omission.

Setting aside that, and the aforementioned reservations about working visas, I give two cheers to the proposal. email him ] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. ) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books . He has had two books published by VDARE.com com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT ( also available in Kindle ) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013 . (Republished from VDare.com by permission of author or representative)

SimpleHandle > > , October 14, 2017 at 2:56 am GMT

I agree with ending birthright citizenship. But Trump should wait until he can put at least one more strict constitutionalist in the supreme court. There will be a court challenge, and we need judges who can understand that if the 14th Amendment didn't give automatic citizenship to American Indians it doesn't give automatic citizenship to children of Mexican citizens who jumped our border.

Diversity Heretic > > , October 14, 2017 at 5:04 am GMT

@Carroll Price

Insofar as your personal situation is concerned, perhaps you would find yourself less "relatively poor" if you had a job with higher wages.

Diversity Heretic > > , October 14, 2017 at 5:16 am GMT

John's article, it seems to me, ignores the elephant in the room: the DACA colonists. Trump is offering this proposal, more or less, in return for some sort of semi-permanent regularization of their status. Bad trade, in my opinion. Ending DACA and sending those illegals back where they belong will have more real effect on illegal and legal immigration/colonization than all sorts of proposals to be implemented in the future, which can and will be changed by subsequent Administrations and Congresses.

Trump would also be able to drive a much harder bargain with Congress (like maybe a moratorium on any immigration) if he had kept his campaign promise, ended DACA the afternoon of January 20, 2017, and busloads of DACA colonists were being sent south of the Rio Grande.

The best hope for immigration patriots is that the Democrats are so wedded to Open Borders that the entire proposal dies and Trump, in disgust, reenacts Ike's Operation Wetback.

bartok > > , October 14, 2017 at 6:32 am GMT

@Carroll Price

Once all the undocumented workers who are doing all the dirty, nasty jobs Americans refuse to do are run out the country, then what?

White people couldn't possibly thrive without non-Whites! Why, without all of that ballast we'd ascend too near the sun.

Negrolphin Pool > > , October 14, 2017 at 7:53 am GMT

Well, in the real world, things just don't work that way. It's pay me now or pay me later. Once all the undocumented workers who are doing all the dirty, nasty jobs Americans refuse to do are run out the country, then what?

Right, prior to 1965, Americans didn't exist. They had all starved to death because, as everyone knows, no Americans will work to produce food and, even if they did, once Tyson chicken plants stop making 50 percent on capital they just shut down.

If there were no Somalis in Minnesota, even Warren Buffett couldn't afford grapes.

Joe Franklin > > , October 14, 2017 at 12:24 pm GMT

Illegal immigrants picking American produce is a false economy.

Illegal immigrants are subsidized by the taxpayer in terms of public health, education, housing, and welfare.

If businesses didn't have access to cheap and subsidized illegal alien labor, they would be compelled to resort to more farm automation to reduce cost.

Cheap illegal alien labor delays the inevitable use of newer farm automation technologies.

Many Americans would likely prefer a machine touch their food rather than a illegal alien with strange hygiene practices.

In addition, anti-American Democrats and neocons prefer certain kinds of illegal aliens because they bolster their diversity scheme.

Carroll Price > > , October 14, 2017 at 12:27 pm GMT

@Realist "Once all the undocumented workers who are doing all the dirty, nasty jobs Americans refuse to do are run out the country, then what?"

Eliminate welfare...then you'll have plenty of workers. Unfortunately, that train left the station long ago. With or without welfare, there's simply no way soft, spoiled, lazy, over-indulged Americans who have never hit a lick at anything their life, will ever perform manual labor for anyone, including themselves.

Jonathan Mason > > , October 14, 2017 at 2:57 pm GMT

@Randal Probably people other than you have worked out that once their wages are not being continually undercut by cheap and easy immigrant competition, the American working classes will actually be able to earn enough to pay the increased prices for grocery store items, especially as the Americans who, along with machines, will replace those immigrants doing the "jobs Americans won't do" will also be earning more and actually paying taxes on it.

The "jobs Americans/Brits/etc won't do" myth is a deliberate distortion of reality that ignores the laws of supply and demand. There are no jobs Americans etc won't do, only jobs for which the employers are not prepared to pay wages high enough to make them worthwhile for Americans etc to do.

Now of course it is more complicated than that. There are jobs that would not be economically viable if the required wages were to be paid, and there are marginal contributions to job creation by immigrant populations, but those aspects are in reality far less significant than the bosses seeking cheap labour want people to think they are.

As a broad summary, a situation in which labour is tight, jobs are easy to come by and staff hard to hold on to is infinitely better for the ordinary working people of any nation than one in which there is a huge pool of excess labour, and therefore wages are low and employees disposable.

You'd think anyone purporting to be on the "left", in the sense of supporting working class people would understand that basic reality, but far too many on the left have been indoctrinated in radical leftist anti-racist and internationalist dogmas that make them functional stooges for big business and its mass immigration program.

Probably people other than you have worked out that once their wages are not being continually undercut by cheap and easy immigrant competition, the American working classes will actually be able to earn enough to pay the increased prices for grocery store items, especially as the Americans who, along with machines, will replace those immigrants doing the "jobs Americans won't do" will also be earning more and actually paying taxes on it.

There might be some truth in this. When I was a student in England in the 60′s I spent every summer working on farms, picking hops, apples, pears, potatoes and made some money and had a lot of fun too and became an expert farm tractor operator.

No reason why US students and high school seniors should not pick up a lot of the slack. Young people like camping in the countryside and sleeping rough, plus lots of opportunity to meet others, have sex, smoke weed, drink beer, or whatever. If you get a free vacation plus a nice check at the end, that makes the relatively low wages worthwhile. It is not always a question of how much you are paid, but how much you can save.

George Weinbaum > > , October 14, 2017 at 3:35 pm GMT

We can fix the EB-5 visa scam. My suggestion: charge would-be "investors" $1 million to enter the US. This $1 is not refundable under any circumstance. It is paid when the "investor's" visa is approved. If the "investor" is convicted of a felony, he is deported. He may bring no one with him. No wife, no child, no aunt, no uncle. Unless he pays $1 million for that person.

We will get a few thousand Russian oligarchs and Saudi princes a year under this program

As to fixing the H-1B visa program, we charge employer users of the program say $25,000 per year per employee. We require the employers to inform all employees that if any is asked to train a replacement, he should inform the DOJ immediately. The DOJ investigates and if true, charges managerial employees who asked that a replacement be trained with fraud.

As to birthright citizenship: I say make it a five-year felony to have a child while in the US illegally. Make it a condition of getting a tourist visa that one not be pregnant. If the tourist visa lasts say 60 days and the woman has a child while in the US, she gets charged with fraud.

None of these suggestions requires a constitutional amendment.

Auntie Analogue > > , October 14, 2017 at 7:10 pm GMT

In the United States middle class prosperity reached its apogee in 1965 – before the disastrous (and eminently foreseeable) wage-lowering consequence of the Hart-Celler Open Immigration Act's massive admission of foreigners increased the supply of labor which began to lower middle class prosperity and to shrink and eradicate the middle class.

It was in 1965 that ordinary Americans, enjoying maximum employment because employers were forced to compete for Americans' talents and labor, wielded their peak purchasing power . Since 1970 wages have remained stagnant, and since 1965 the purchasing power of ordinary Americans has gone into steep decline.

It is long past time to halt Perpetual Mass Immigration into the United States, to end birthright citizenship, and to deport all illegal aliens – if, that is, our leaders genuinely care about and represent us ordinary Americans instead of continuing their legislative, policy, and judicial enrichment of the 1-percenter campaign donor/rentier class of transnational Globali$t Open Border$ E$tabli$hment $ellout$.

Jim Sweeney > > , October 14, 2017 at 8:26 pm GMT

Re the birthright citizenship argument, that is not settled law in that SCOTUS has never ruled on the question of whether a child born in the US is thereby a citizen if the parents are illegally present. Way back in 1897, SCOTUS did resolve the issue of whether a child born to alien parents who were legally present was thereby a citizen. That case is U.S. vs Wong Kim Ark 169 US 649. SCOTUS ruled in favor of citizenship. If that was a justiciable issue how much more so is it when the parents are illegally present?

My thinking is that the result would be the same but, at least, the question would be settled. I cannot see justices returning a toddler to Beijing or worse. They would never have invitations to cocktail parties again for the shame heaped upon them for such uncaring conduct. Today, the title of citizen is conferred simply by bureaucratic rule, not by judicial order.

JP Straley > > , October 14, 2017 at 9:42 pm GMT

Arguments Against Fourteenth Amendment Anchor Baby Interpretation
J. Paige Straley

Part One. Anchor Baby Argument, Mexican Case.
The ruling part of the US Constitution is Amendment Fourteen: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

Here is the ruling part of the Mexican Constitution, Section II, Article Thirty:
Article 30
Mexican nationality is acquired by birth or by naturalization:
A. Mexicans by birth are:
I. Those born in the territory of the Republic, regardless of the nationality of
their parents:
II. Those born in a foreign country of Mexican parents; of a Mexican father and
a foreign mother; or of a Mexican mother and an unknown father;
III. Those born on Mexican vessels or airships, either war or merchant vessels. "

A baby born to Mexican nationals within the United States is automatically a Mexican citizen. Under the anchor baby reasoning, this baby acquires US citizenship at the same time and so is a dual citizen. Mexican citizenship is primary because it stems from a primary source, the parents' citizenship and the law of Mexico. The Mexican Constitution states the child of Mexican parents is automatically a Mexican citizen at birth no matter where the birth occurs. Since the child would be a Mexican citizen in any country, and becomes an American citizen only if born in America, it is clear that Mexico has the primary claim of citizenry on the child. This alone should be enough to satisfy the Fourteenth Amendment jurisdiction thereof argument. Since Mexican citizenship is primary, it has primary jurisdiction; thus by the plain words of the Fourteenth such child is not an American citizen at birth.

[MORE]
There is a second argument for primary Mexican citizenship in the case of anchor babies. Citizenship, whether Mexican or American, establishes rights and duties. Citizenship is a reciprocal relationship, thus establishing jurisdiction. This case for primary Mexican citizenship is supported by the fact that Mexico allows and encourages Mexicans resident in the US, either illegal aliens or legal residents, to vote in Mexican elections. They are counted as Mexican citizens abroad, even if dual citizens, and their government provides widespread consular services as well as voting access to Mexicans residing in the US. As far as Mexico is concerned, these persons are not Mexican in name only, but have a civil relationship strong enough to allow a political voice; in essence, full citizenship. Clearly, all this is the expression of typical reciprocal civic relationships expressed in legal citizenship, further supporting the establishment of jurisdiction.

Part Two: Wong Kim Ark (1898) case. (Birthright Citizenship)

The Wong Kim Ark (WKA) case is often cited as the essential legal reasoning and precedent for application of the fourteenth amendment as applied to aliens. There has been plenty of commentary on WKA, but the truly narrow application of the case is emphasized reviewing a concise statement of the question the case was meant to decide, written by Hon. Horace Gray, Justice for the majority in this decision.

"[W]hether a child born in the United States, of parents of Chinese descent, who, at the time of his birth, are subjects of the Emperor of China, but have a permanent domicile and residence in the United States, and are there carrying on business, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under the Emperor of China, becomes at the time of his birth a citizen of the United States by virtue of the first clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution." (Italics added.)

For WKA to justify birthright citizenship, the parents must have " permanent domicile and residence " But how can an illegal alien have permanent residence when the threat of deportation is constantly present? There is no statute of limitation for illegal presence in the US and the passage of time does not eliminate the legal remedy of deportation. This alone would seem to invalidate WKA as a support and precedent for illegal alien birthright citizenship.

If illegal (or legal) alien parents are unemployed, unemployable, illegally employed, or if they get their living by illegal means, then they are not ". . .carrying on business. . .", and so the children of indigent or criminal aliens may not be eligible for birthright citizenship

If legal aliens meet the two tests provided in WKA, birthright citizenship applies. Clearly the WKA case addresses the specific situation of the children of legal aliens, and so is not an applicable precedent to justify birthright citizenship for the children of illegal aliens.

Part three. Birth Tourism

Occasionally foreign couples take a trip to the US during the last phase of the wife's pregnancy so she can give birth in the US, thus conferring birthright citizenship on the child. This practice is called "birth tourism." WKA provides two tests for birthright citizenship: permanent domicile and residence and doing business, and a temporary visit answers neither condition. WKA is therefore disqualified as justification for a "birth tourism" child to be granted birthright citizenship.

Realist > > , October 14, 2017 at 10:05 pm GMT

@Carroll Price Unfortunately, that train left the station long ago. With or without welfare, there's simply no way soft, spoiled, lazy, over-indulged Americans who have never hit a lick at anything their life, will ever perform manual labor for anyone, including themselves. Then let them starve to death. The Pilgrims nipped that dumb ass idea (welfare) in the bud

Alfa158 > > , October 15, 2017 at 2:10 am GMT

@Carroll Price

An equally pressing problem, though, is the millions of foreigners who are living and working here, and using our schools and hospitals and public services, who should not be here.
Has it ever occurred to anyone other than me that the cost associated with foreign workers using our schools and hospitals and pubic services for free, is more than off-set by the cheap price being paid for grocery store items like boneless chicken breast, grapes, apples, peaches, lettuce etc, which would otherwise be prohibitively expensive even for the wealthy?

Let alone relatively poor people (like myself) and those on fixed incomes? What un-thinking Americans want, is having their cake and eating it too. Well, in the real world, things just don't work that way. It's pay me now or pay me later. Once all the undocumented workers who are doing all the dirty, nasty jobs Americans refuse to do are run out the country, then what? Please look up;History; United States; pre mid-twentieth century. I'm pretty sure Americans were eating chicken, grapes, apples, peaches, lettuce, etc. prior to that period. I don't think their diet consisted of venison and tree bark.
But since I wasn't there, maybe I'm wrong and that is actually what they were eating.
I know some people born in the 1920′s; I'll check with them and let you know what they say.

[Jul 09, 2017] Trump Turns The Corner And Goes On The Attack. Will He Make The GOP Follow by James Kirkpatrick

Trump deflated and sold all his election promises. He is essentially a neocon now. why he will be different on immigration?
Notable quotes:
"... Trump Interrupted 6 Times in Poland With a Chant You Might Have Thought Would Only Be Heard in the USA ..."
"... Independent Journal Review, ..."
"... Critically, the president identified border security as one of the most important issues during his speech, declaring that the will to enforce immigration laws is synonymous with the will to defend Western Civilization. ..."
"... Trump's speech in Poland sounded like an alt-right manifesto ..."
"... 'Kate's Law' battle shifts to the Senate, testing Dems ..."
"... As Trump's Coach, Senator Cotton Provides Policy to Match Rhetoric ..."
"... 'These deaths were preventable': Trump urges Senate to pass 'Kate's Law,' ..."
"... Immigration bills face Senate hurdle ..."
"... San Antonio Express-News, ..."
"... Trump's 'face-lift' tweet overshadows week to push immigration, energy policies ..."
"... Washington Examiner, ..."
"... How The Democrats Lost Their Way On Immigration ..."
"... What's the point of an anti-immigrant left ..."
"... Trump is winning the immigration debate ..."
"... In my opinion, even more important than to attack the hostile, mostly liberal media is for Trump to distance himself not just form the Neocon wing of the Republican party, but also to keep a healthy distance from and even attack Ayn Rand fanboys like Paul Ryan and other lackeys of the Koch Brothers ..."
"... No, Donald Trump hasn't really read "Atlas Shrugged." Sad! But he's surrounding himself with Ayn Rand superfans ..."
"... IMO, Trump's deeds rarely match the words written for him by his speechwriter(s). There's been little progress on our Southern border wall and his administration only marginally decreased refugees to 50K for 2018. I want zero or only white refugees from S. Africa – not racial, cultural and religious aliens from the third world. ..."
"... That remains to be seen as Trump has drifted towards the center on immigration since his inauguration. He kept DACA in place and hasn't uttered one negative word on the presumption of birthright citizenship or implored Congress to pass legislation clarifying that the 14th amendment only applied to descendants of blacks slaves and not every person who sneaks across the border and drops an anchor baby or two or eight. The same applies to visa holders and "maternity tourists". ..."
"... Poland and the CIA – what memories, what a work over! Lech Walesa and Solidarność. No wonder they cheer Trump, but they might as well be cheering any US President and that's the point. ..."
"... There is no real opposition to Trump. He's a walking clown, pay attention if you must. But the mainstream media includes Kirkpatrick as much as it does The Atlantic and Vox and Fox and CNN. Super national corporations delivering control over your lives. When they tell you who, what and when you should foam at mouth you'll obey – 'those damn other guys!' ..."
Jul 06, 2017 | www.unz.com

Donald Trump received a hero's welcome in Poland on Wednesday, with a crowd of thousands chanting both his name and the name of our country [ Trump Interrupted 6 Times in Poland With a Chant You Might Have Thought Would Only Be Heard in the USA , by Jason Howerton, Independent Journal Review, July 6, 2017].

Critically, the president identified border security as one of the most important issues during his speech, declaring that the will to enforce immigration laws is synonymous with the will to defend Western Civilization. Not surprisingly, the hysterically and openly anti-white, anti-Trump Main Stream Media screamed that the president had delivered an "Alt Right manifesto". [ Trump's speech in Poland sounded like an alt-right manifesto , by Sarah Wildman, Vox, July 6, 2017]

Nothing of the sort of course: Trump merely delivered the kinds of patriotic platitudes which every other generation in history would have taken for granted. However, with many Western nations under de facto occupation by a hostile elite, such common sense comments are revolutionary. More importantly, President Trump finally seems to be going on the attack in the last week , championing the kinds of populist policies which put him in office.

The House Republicans finally seem to be taking some action on the immigration issue, recently passing both Kate's Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act . The former increases penalties on criminal aliens who attempt to reenter our country and latter cuts funding to cities which refuse to imply with federal immigration laws. Two dozen House Democrats voted for "Kate's Law" and Senate Democrats in red states, a number of whom are facing re-election in 2018, will be under pressure to support the legislation in the Senate. [ 'Kate's Law' battle shifts to the Senate, testing Dems , by Jordain Carney and Rafael Bernal, The Hill, July 3, 2017]

The increasing willingness of the President's team to seek the advice of Senator Tom Cotton, who seems to have succeeded Jeff Sessions as the greatest immigration patriot in the upper chamber, is also an encouraging sign [ As Trump's Coach, Senator Cotton Provides Policy to Match Rhetoric , by Maggie Haberman and Matt Flegenheimer, New York Times, June 8, 2017]. Most importantly, Trump himself is taking the strategic offensive, championing his success on these issues. [ 'These deaths were preventable': Trump urges Senate to pass 'Kate's Law,' Fox Insider, July 1, 2017]

Of course, the real question is what the Republican Senate Leadership will do. Everything depends on whether Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is willing to put the bills up for a vote and pressure the caucus to vote for them. [ Immigration bills face Senate hurdle , by Bill Lambrecht, San Antonio Express-News, July 5, 2017]

And here, again, it's really not even about McConnell but about Trump's own will. While Trump's fight with the MSM is amusing and important, ultimately, he needs to put pressure on the leaders of his own party. The battles with CNN and Mika Brzezinski risks distracting from the real policy accomplishments the president poised to secure in the coming weeks [ Trump's 'face-lift' tweet overshadows week to push immigration, energy policies , by Alex Pappas, Washington Examiner, June 30, 2017]. As leader of the party, he can set the priority and challenge McConnell to put his weight behind the immigration bills.

If Trump indeed has the "will" to go through with it, there are the faint outlines how to achieve the political realignment necessary for the United States of America to survive in any meaningful sense. For the first time in many years, there are real splits on the intellectual Left on immigration.

Peter Beinart recently admitted in The Atlantic, "A decade ago, liberals publicly questioned immigration in ways that would shock many progressives today," citing the legacy of Barbara Jordan among others . While Beinart is far from a born-again immigration patriot, he admitted restrictionists have valid concerns that progressives should heed:

Liberals must take seriously Americans' yearning for social cohesion. To promote both mass immigration and greater economic redistribution, they must convince more native-born white Americans that immigrants will not weaken the bonds of national identity. This means dusting off a concept many on the left currently hate: assimilation.

[ How The Democrats Lost Their Way On Immigration , July/August 2017]

Of course, Leftist Enforcer Dylan Matthews , [ Email him ] whose entire oeuvre can be summarized as a hysterical insistence on the moral necessity of white genocide , blasted Beinart on the grounds that Open Borders is what defines the West. "Beinart doesn't actually seem to care about promoting mass immigration," Matthews sneers. "And that's the one answer to this dilemma that's completely unacceptable". [ What's the point of an anti-immigrant left , Vox, July 2, 2017]

To whom? Matthews decrees:

[A]ny center-left party worth its salt has to be deeply committed to egalitarianism, not just for people born in the US but for everyone it means treating people born outside the US as equals.

But of course, this renders American citizenship essentially pointless. Indeed being an "American" (which would simply mean owning a certain kind of passport) would be an active disadvantage, as you would simply exist to be tax-farmed for the benefit of an ever growing number of hostile and hapless Third Worlders .

Few Americans would sign up for this. So, as even Rich Lowry [ Email him ] now admits, Donald Trump is "winning" on immigration simply by mentioning the issue and breaking apart the Democratic coalition.

Trump probably wouldn't have won without running so directly into the teeth of the elite consensus. According to a study published by Public Religion Research Institute and the Atlantic of white working-class voters, it was anxiety about culture change and support for deporting undocumented immigrants that correlated with voting for Trump, not loss of economic or social standing. Likewise, a Democracy Fund Voter Study Group report found Hillary Clinton cratered among populist voters who had supported Barack Obama, with the issue of immigration looming large.[Links added by VDARE.com]

[ Trump is winning the immigration debate , July 5, 2017]

Realist says: July 9, 2017 at 3:30 pm GMT

"Trump Turns the Corner and Goes On the Attack. Will He Make the GOP Follow?"

Not much chance.

jilles dykstra says: July 9, 2017 at 7:31 am GMT

• 100 Words When Bush jr was in Vilnius he was also cheered, by 30.000 carefully selected Lithuanians.
If Warschau did the same, I do not know.
However, Poles still seem afraid of Russia, and they resist the Muslim immigration Brussels tries to force on them.
The crash of the Polish aircraft with nearly the whole Polish establishment on board on its way to Katyn still is blamed on Russia, while it was Polish stupidity, and too much liquor.
So maybe this was a spontaneous crowd.

FKA Max says: July 8, 2017 at 11:11 pm GMT

• 400 Words @FKA Max ... ... ..

https://www.unz.com/jthompson/are-we-cleverer-than-the-ancients/#comment-1927899

This paper by Dutton and van der Linden (2014) might be interesting to you:

Who are the "Clever Sillies"? The intelligence, personality, and motives of clever silly originators and those who follow them

[...]
European Romantic nationalism could be seen as problematic from a Jewish perspective. Both thinkers may have been motivated by the good of their group.
[...]
neo-liberal "Chicago School"-style economics, also known as "Freshwater" economics, promoted by Milton Friedman
[...]
Western mind seducer and manipulator, "Objectivist" Ayn Rand
[...]
The Refutation of Libertarianism
[...]
But the competition for global domination is rarely honest. Thus when Western individualist societies conquered and absorbed collectivist ones, it was only a matter of time before the more intelligent tribes learned how to cheat.

https://www.unz.com/jthompson/are-we-cleverer-than-the-ancients/#comment-1928063

In my opinion, even more important than to attack the hostile, mostly liberal media is for Trump to distance himself not just form the Neocon wing of the Republican party, but also to keep a healthy distance from and even attack Ayn Rand fanboys like Paul Ryan and other lackeys of the Koch Brothers :

Fountainhead of bad ideas: Ayn Rand's fanboys take the reins of power

No, Donald Trump hasn't really read "Atlas Shrugged." Sad! But he's surrounding himself with Ayn Rand superfans

http://www.salon.com/2016/12/14/fountainhead-of-bad-ideas-ayn-rands-fanboys-take-the-reins-of-power/

Never forget the Never Trumpers , Mr. President:

Charles Koch Snubs Trump, Prefers Hillary

https://www.youtube.com/embed/OqbHkZV1yfA?feature=oembed

annamaria says: July 9, 2017 at 11:45 am GMT

The sensation: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/07/hiding-us-lies-about-libyan-invasion/

http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2016/06/hillary-clinton-and-libya-sending.html

"Libyans enjoyed the highest quality of life in all of Africa. Libyan citizens enjoyed free universal health care from prenatal to geriatric, free education from elementary school to post-graduate studies and free or subsidized housing. We were told that Gaddafi ripped off the nation's oil wealth for himself when in reality Libya's oil wealth was used to improve the quality of life for all Libyans.

We were told that Libya had to be rebuilt from scratch because Gaddafi had not allowed the development of national institutions. If we knew that infant mortality had been seriously reduced, life expectancy increased and health care and education made available to everyone, we might have asked, "How could all that be accomplished without the existence of national institutions?"

Knowledge is the antidote to propaganda and brainwashing which is exactly why it is being increasingly controlled and restricted."

KenH says: July 9, 2017 at 4:35 pm GMT

Critically, the president identified border security as one of the most important issues during his speech, declaring that the will to enforce immigration laws is synonymous with the will to defend Western Civilization.

IMO, Trump's deeds rarely match the words written for him by his speechwriter(s). There's been little progress on our Southern border wall and his administration only marginally decreased refugees to 50K for 2018. I want zero or only white refugees from S. Africa – not racial, cultural and religious aliens from the third world.

The increasing willingness of the President's team to seek the advice of Senator Tom Cotton, who seems to have succeeded Jeff Sessions as the greatest immigration patriot in the upper chamber,

Cotton has a proposed immigration bill that reduces legal immigration from 1.1 million to 700K. It also takes aim at some chain migration mechanisms which is a positive step, but overall immigration still overwhelmingly favors the third world. Some "immigration patriot".

Even if this miraculously passes this does nothing to arrest the pro-third world demographic trends that ensures white go from majority to plurality by 2040 and America is still on a path to become Brazil Norte.

The House Republicans have proven they will go along with a Trump immigration agenda, provided the president leads the way.

That remains to be seen as Trump has drifted towards the center on immigration since his inauguration. He kept DACA in place and hasn't uttered one negative word on the presumption of birthright citizenship or implored Congress to pass legislation clarifying that the 14th amendment only applied to descendants of blacks slaves and not every person who sneaks across the border and drops an anchor baby or two or eight. The same applies to visa holders and "maternity tourists".

Ben Banned says: July 9, 2017 at 5:51 pm GMT
• 200 Words Poland and the CIA – what memories, what a work over! Lech Walesa and Solidarność. No wonder they cheer Trump, but they might as well be cheering any US President and that's the point.

Americans are long worked over – they are led to believe in some fictional mass of opposition "that hates white people so they oppose Trump" and the standard false equivalence of a "main stream media" that isn't themselves to begin with! The so-called left are the dancing partners who play their part in this fraud – put up targets so the other team can shoot at them, that isn't left, and that isn't right.

There is no real opposition to Trump. He's a walking clown, pay attention if you must. But the mainstream media includes Kirkpatrick as much as it does The Atlantic and Vox and Fox and CNN. Super national corporations delivering control over your lives. When they tell you who, what and when you should foam at mouth you'll obey – 'those damn other guys!'

The unelected mob with their clowns on podiums doesn't concern themselves with borders, security and punishment the way their controlled minions are programmed to. These are there weapons – they'll publish every op-ed online if need be for you to cheer on the use of these weapons. Wear your weblinks like Solidarnosc buttons. You love Lockheed and you hate the others.

[Jul 04, 2017] Is [neoliberal] America Still a Nation

Neoliberalism like Bolshevism sacrifices nations on the altar of globalism.
Notable quotes:
"... You have divided into two parts all men throughout your empire everywhere giving citizenship to all those who are more accomplished, noble, and powerful, even as they retain their native-born identities, while the rest you have made subjects and the governed. ..."
"... Ultimately, the American identity has not been lost within the past 60 years, it just has transformed, similar to when the Thirteen Colonies began as primarily British, but subsumed other European groups who were historic rivals, and eventually non-Europeans. The Welsh, the Cornish, Bavarians, the Catalans–they were distinct sub-Europeans groups, but over generations they intermingled and dispersed in our great land. Americans are a mixture of European and non-European ethnostates who, like any and all groups, self-identify. ..."
"... This identification is the direct result of indoctrination from our Founding Fathers. ..."
"... The idea that "diversity is strength", in the context of a society, is the kind of barefaced falsehood that only a man made foolish or dishonest by political dogma could believe or assert. ..."
"... Americans eat like pigs. US has become the premier imperialist power in the world, even aiding Al-Qaida in Syria and aiding neo-nazis in Ukriane. We are told we must support Israel or Sodomia because it has the biggest homo 'pride' parade. ..."
"... America is a culture in decay, it is a huge piece of land with lots of resources and ruled by outside forces from within. ..."
"... Pat seems to imply that if the original ancestry had been maintained, America would not have the problems it now faces. He singlehandedly lays out the blame for the decline of American Republic/democracy at the feet of non-white foreigners. Let us follow this line of reasoning and see where it leads us. ..."
Jul 04, 2017 | www.unz.com

In the first line of the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, Thomas Jefferson speaks of "one people." The Constitution, agreed upon by the Founding Fathers in Philadelphia in 1789, begins, "We the people "

And who were these "people"?

In Federalist No. 2, John Jay writes of them as "one united people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs "

If such are the elements of nationhood and peoplehood, can we still speak of Americans as one nation and one people?

We no longer have the same ancestors. They are of every color and from every country. We do not speak one language, but rather English, Spanish and a host of others. We long ago ceased to profess the same religion. We are Evangelical Christians, mainstream Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists, agnostics and atheists.

Federalist No. 2 celebrated our unity. Today's elites proclaim that our diversity is our strength. But is this true or a tenet of trendy ideology?

After the attempted massacre of Republican Congressmen at that ball field in Alexandria, Fareed Zakaria wrote: "The political polarization that is ripping this country apart" is about "identity gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation (and) social class." He might have added - religion, morality, culture and history.

Zakaria seems to be tracing the disintegration of our society to that very diversity that its elites proclaim to be its greatest attribute: "If the core issues are about identity, culture and religion then compromise seems immoral. American politics is becoming more like Middle Eastern politics, where there is no middle ground between being Sunni or Shiite."

Among the issues on which we Americans are at war with one another - abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, white cops, black crime, Confederate monuments, LGBT rights, affirmative action.

Was the discovery of America and conquest of this continent from 1492 to the 20th century among the most glorious chapters in the history of man? Or was it a half-millennium marked by mankind's most scarlet of sins: the genocide of native peoples, the enslavement of Africans, the annihilation of indigenous cultures, the spoliation of a virgin land?

Is America really "God's Country"? Or was Barack Obama's pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, justified when, after 9/11, he denounced calls of "God Bless America!" with the curse "God Damn America!"?

With its silence, the congregation seemed to assent.

In 1954, the Pledge of Allegiance many of us recited daily at the end of noon recess in the schoolyard was amended to read, "one nation, under God, indivisible."

Are we still one nation under God? At the Democratic Convention in Charlotte to renominate Barack Obama, a motion to put "God" back into the platform was hooted and booed by half the assembly.

With this July 4 long weekend, many writers have bewailed the animus Americans exhibit toward one another and urged new efforts to reunite us. Yet, recall again those first words of Jefferson in 1776:

"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them "

Are we approaching such a point? Could the Constitution, as currently interpreted, win the approval of two-thirds of our citizens and three-fourth of our states, if it were not already the supreme law of the land? How would a national referendum on the Constitution turn out, when many Americans are already seeking a new constitutional convention?

All of which invites the question: Are we still a nation? And what is a nation? French writer Ernest Renan gave us the answer in the 19th century:

"A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things constitute this soul, this spiritual principle. One is the past, the other is the present. One is the possession in common of a rich legacy of memories; the other is present consent, the desire to live together, the desire to continue to invest in the heritage that we have jointly received.

"Of all cults, that of the ancestors is the most legitimate: our ancestors have made us what we are. A heroic past with great men and glory is the social capital upon which the national idea rests. These are the essential conditions of being a people: having common glories in the past and a will to continue them in the present; having made great things together and wishing to make them again."

Does this sound at all like us today?

Watching our

The Alarmist > , July 4, 2017 at 11:35 am GMT

We're as much a nation as any in the Western world, and that is a sorry statement on the shape of the world today.

Bill Jones > , July 4, 2017 at 1:13 pm GMT

"God bless America"

Why?

What country is causing more slaughter around the world?

The Anti-Gnostic > , Website July 4, 2017 at 1:48 pm GMT

@jacques sheete Isn't the Church doubling down on modernity, social democracy, and multiculturalism?

Corvinus > , July 4, 2017 at 2:23 pm GMT

Part 1

"In the first line of the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, Thomas Jefferson speaks of "one people." The Constitution, agreed upon by the Founding Fathers in Philadelphia in 1789, begins, "We the people " And who were these "people"? In Federalist No. 2, John Jay writes of them as "one united people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs " ** If such are the elements of nationhood and peoplehood, can we still speak of Americans as one nation and one people? **

** YES

It would appear that Mr. Buchanan is making an argument our Founding Fathers established a British enthnostate, but IF (and I say IF) he is taking this position, similar to Vox Day, then he is totally wrong. Preserving rights "for one's posterity" was legal repudiation of feudalism, which stated liberties were a grant from a monarch and the State, and reverted upon his/her death. That is, fundamental freedoms were NOT passed to future generations. The Declaration and the Federalist Papers in particular destroys that feudalist notion. More importantly, Article I, Section 8, Clause 4, as a component of our Constitution and reflects original intent, granted Congress and NOT the States the authority to establish uniform rules of naturalization. By definition, naturalization extends citizenship, and the liberties related to it, to an "outsider".

So, the drafters of our Constitution and the adopting state s fully comprehended the new Congress would have to power to receive immigrants and set forth the standards under which they are naturalized. Citizenship therefore is NOT exclusively confined to the British. This means this argument that the franchise of citizenship is meant to be confined solely to the British children of rebel British subjects is not reflected in the clear meaning of the document. Since immigration was allowed to the United States, at first to Europeans but later extended to non-Europeans, the "posterity" includes more than the actual descendants of residents of our great nation at that time.

But, but, but "[the Constitution] did allow for the possibility of change. But change, by definition, is not the previous state. And the original purpose of the Constitution cannot change, obviously." Well, a contract, which essentially is what is our Constitution, that has an amendment process is NOT meant to remain constant. It has no original purpose but to establish exactly what the Preamble states. Posterity does not refer to the progeny of the founders but of the People as a whole. While this population was primarily of British descent, the Dutch, Germans, Irish, Scots, French, Africans, and Native Americans ALL fought to remove the shackles of tyranny from Great Britain.

Posterity is synonymous with "legacy"–what we leave behind. Indeed, few, if any, had imagined when the Constitution was created that anyone BUT a white European had the intellectual capacity to embrace Republican principles of government YET the criterion of commitment to those ideas is NOT itself racial or ethnic specific. Of course, that does NOT mean foreigners have the right to enter our shores, and it is legitimate, although in my opinion unreasonable, to doubt that non-white groups are equal to the task to embrace such principles. Of course, in the past foreigners have ben excluded on racial and religious grounds.

Corvinus > , July 4, 2017 at 2:25 pm GMT

Part 2

Interestingly enough, Vox Day makes these arguments

"As you probably know, my argument is that the Posterity for whom the Constitution is intended to defend the Blessings of Liberty consists solely of the genetic descendants of the People of the several and United States. Posterity does not include immigrants, descendants of immigrants, invaders, conquerers, tourists, students, Americans born in Portugal, or anyone else who happens to subsequently reside in the same geographic location, or share the same civic ideals, as the original We the People.

"Many, if not most, descendants of immigrants are not the Posterity of the then-People of the United States. Neither are people living in Mexico, Germany, Israel, or even Great Britain. The U.S. Constitution was not written for them, nor was it ever intended to secure the Blessings of Liberty for them. The idea that the Constitution was intended to do anything at all for immigrants, resident aliens, or foreigners is as absurd as the idea that its emanations and penumbras provide them with an unalienable right to an abortion. The fact that courts have declared otherwise is totally irrelevant.

"The proposition nation is a lie. There is no such thing, there never was any such thing, and there never will be any such thing."

So, everyone on this fine blog, if you are unable to trace directly your ancestors to British settlers, YOU MUST GO BACK. Like, immediately.

Happy 4th Of July!

Tom Kratman, a science fiction writer, took Vox Day to task on this matter.

http://www.everyjoe.com/2017/04/17/politics/civic-nationalism-ourselves-and-our-posterity/#1

"All of which invites the question: Are we still a nation? And what is a nation?"

Aelius Aristides, a Greek who received Roman citizenship in 123 A.D. stated

You have divided into two parts all men throughout your empire everywhere giving citizenship to all those who are more accomplished, noble, and powerful, even as they retain their native-born identities, while the rest you have made subjects and the governed. Neither the sea nor the great expanse of intervening land keeps one from being a citizen, and there is no distinction between Europe and Asia No one is a foreigner who deserves to hold an office or is worthy of trust. Rather, there is here a common "world democracy" under the rule of one man, the best ruler and director You have divided humanity into Romans and non-Romans and because you have divided people in this manner, in every city throughout the empire there are many who share citizenship with you, no less than the share citizenship with their fellow natives. And some of these Roman citizens have not even seen this city [Rome]! There is no need for troops to garrison the strategic high points of these cities, because the most important and powerful people in each region guard their native lands for you yet there is not a residue of resentment among those excluded [from Roman citizenship and a share in the governance of the provinces]. Because your government is both universal and like that of a single city-state, its governors rightly rule not as foreigners but, as it were, their own people Additionally, all of the masses of subjects under this government have protection against the more powerful of their native countrymen, by virtue of your anger and vengeance, which would fall upon the more powerful without delay should they dare to break the law. Thus, the present government serves rich and poor alike, and your constitution has developed a single, harmonious, all-embracing union. What in former days seemed impossible has in your time come to pass: You control a vast empire with a rule that is firm but not unkind "

Ultimately, the American identity has not been lost within the past 60 years, it just has transformed, similar to when the Thirteen Colonies began as primarily British, but subsumed other European groups who were historic rivals, and eventually non-Europeans. The Welsh, the Cornish, Bavarians, the Catalans–they were distinct sub-Europeans groups, but over generations they intermingled and dispersed in our great land. Americans are a mixture of European and non-European ethnostates who, like any and all groups, self-identify. They know who they are and where they come from, and create groups who share their self-identities. Furthermore, the default for American is American and not a particular race, regardless of one's willingness to admit it this decided fact. When you call yourself a black American or a Chinese American, you are still an American, as in residing in the nation referred as the United States. And while Yankees and Southerners and Midwesterners are clearly different, they are not separate "tribes" or "nations", just locations with groups of people who self-identify geographically, socially, and culturally.

This identification is the direct result of indoctrination from our Founding Fathers.

Avery > , July 4, 2017 at 2:28 pm GMT

@Johnny Smoggins

Yeah, and someone named Khizr Khan, a Pakistani Islamist-supremacist who, as a lawyer, has written articles defending Sharia law, was _invited_ by the Clinton campaign to speak at the Democratic convention, where the Islamist proceeded to lecture Trump on the U.S. Constitution, and wagging his finger declared .."Mr. Trump, this is not your America .." (or words that effect), to a wild applause of brainwashed 1,000s in the audience.

Imagine that.

Corvinus > , July 4, 2017 at 2:42 pm GMT

@The Anti-Gnostic "Isn't the Church doubling down on modernity, social democracy, and multiculturalism?"

So are you and your family, with you being a lawyer and your wife a school teacher. Now are you ready to get rid of all of your technological gadgets and live strictly in accord with the beliefs AND lifestyle of Orthodoxy?

KenH > , July 4, 2017 at 3:30 pm GMT

I think Pat already answered this question a few years ago when he observed that half the country hates the other half and one half of the nation reveres our history and traditions while the other half reviles them. Nothing has changed since then and if fact we're starting to see things slowly escalate to threats, fisticuffs and even a few shootings.

... ... ...

Randal > , July 4, 2017 at 3:46 pm GMT

Was the discovery of America and conquest of this continent from 1492 to the 20th century among the most glorious chapters in the history of man? Or was it a half-millennium marked by mankind's most scarlet of sins: the genocide of native peoples, the enslavement of Africans, the annihilation of indigenous cultures, the spoliation of a virgin land?

Both, obviously.

Randal > , July 4, 2017 at 3:56 pm GMT

Today's elites proclaim that our diversity is our strength. But is this true or a tenet of trendy ideology?

The idea that "diversity is strength", in the context of a society, is the kind of barefaced falsehood that only a man made foolish or dishonest by political dogma could believe or assert.

Common sense says that only societies that are at least reasonably homogeneous on most major issues – race, culture, religion – can be held together other than by brute force, and that the more homogeneous a society is the stronger it will be, in the sense of withstanding hard times an external shocks. Any diversity is a fault line, along which a society can crack under pressure, even if that pressure is merely the kind of opportunist identity lobby charlatans who have done so much harm in modern American and European societies.

But common sense has little chance in the face of ideology.

VIDALUS > , July 4, 2017 at 5:01 pm GMT

Pat like most Amurikans in the Fourth Reich have forgotten what ideals animated the American and French revolutions: liberty from tyrannical big guvmints, liberty to strike out on one's own to build a business and a homestead, and a declaration of universal human rights (life liberty pursuit of happiness privacy) all of which the current and past empires have trampled upon in the name of greed for money and power the glue that defines America is precisely the willingness to risk life and property for these ideals if we studied our two greatest wars 1770-87 and 1859-1965 (civil rights and states rights) we might educate ourselves to the light and dark in our culture

Priss Factor > , Website July 4, 2017 at 6:04 pm GMT

he(Wright) denounced calls of "God Bless America!" with the curse "God Damn America!"?

Happy Fourth. And God bless the USA.

ROTFL. Is Buchanan still in defensive mode about America?

Why would God bless the current America? Just think about it.

This is a degenerate nation whose new faith is homomania. People have tattoos and piercings for identity. Even in elite colleges. Mainstream culture has been pornified. Just turn on the TV. Some primetime shows are downright lurid.

We have white families falling apart too and opoid addiction going thru the roof. Gambling is of the main industries and GOP's main sugar daddy is cretin Sheldon Adelson. Fathers raise their boys to be pansies and their girls to be skanky sluts.

Catholic church is home of pederasty and homo agenda. Women's idea of protest is wearing 'pussy hats' and spewing vulgar filth from their lips.

Media are 100x nuttier than Joe McCarthy in their hysteria and paranoia. These are the very Libs who'd once made McCarthy the most sinister person in US history.
Blacks routinely beat up & wussify white boys and colonize white wombs, but white 'Muricans worship black thugs in sports and rappers.
Blacks do most violence but we are supposed to believe BLM.

Americans eat like pigs. US has become the premier imperialist power in the world, even aiding Al-Qaida in Syria and aiding neo-nazis in Ukriane. We are told we must support Israel or Sodomia because it has the biggest homo 'pride' parade.
And 'pride' is now synonymous with homo fecal penetration.

Why would God bless this kind of degenerate nation?

Bill Jones > , July 4, 2017 at 9:03 pm GMT

@KenH And on the third hand you have the whack-job "Christian" Zionist Israel first traitors.

Randal > , July 4, 2017 at 10:24 pm GMT

@Bill Jones

Despite the gibberish of the lunatic left most people recognize this and quite rightly reject the attempt to destroy their society in pursuit of a crazed political fantasy.

Not enough of them vociferously enough to make the ruling elites pay attention, clearly.

Despite this rejection the fantasy continues to be foisted upon the people.

As I noted, ideology trumps common sense, for those who make policy and for those who wish to be seen as good guys by their supposed betters and peers.

truthtellerAryan > , July 4, 2017 at 10:43 pm GMT

America is a culture in decay, it is a huge piece of land with lots of resources and ruled by outside forces from within. It is pimped to the max!!! Our cuckold "experts and politicians " imaginations run wild whenever the pimps (from outside) and their representatives (within) give the orders to further push this land into an increasingly decadent society .. look how happy we are when we kill defenseless people, clearing their (pimps) garbage, work hard to collect wealth for them, it is soooo sad just thinking about it. Carrying the pimp's flag is considered one of the most patriotic thing to do, ask Tom Cotton, Bolton, Rumsfeld .

Issac > , July 4, 2017 at 11:01 pm GMT

@Bill Jones Israel?

Talha > , July 4, 2017 at 11:18 pm GMT

@Corvinus Well thought out and stated.

Peace.

MEexpert > , July 5, 2017 at 12:04 am GMT

We no longer have the same ancestors. They are of every color and from every country. We do not speak one language, but rather English, Spanish and a host of others. We long ago ceased to profess the same religion. We are Evangelical Christians, mainstream Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists, agnostics and atheists.

Pat seems to imply that if the original ancestry had been maintained, America would not have the problems it now faces. He singlehandedly lays out the blame for the decline of American Republic/democracy at the feet of non-white foreigners. Let us follow this line of reasoning and see where it leads us.

First, unless the original white immigrants to this country had wiped out every non-white resident (the American Indians) of this country, there would still be non-white people living in America.

However, leaving that little detail aside, let us examine who caused the decline of America. The laws of the land are enacted by the congress of the United States. The US congress has the sole power of imposing taxation, allowing immigration, and the conduct of wars. Up until recently the congress of the United States consisted of mostly white citizens. Out of the 45 presidents that the country has seen, all but one have been white Americans. The one black president was more white than black. Just check with black citizens and they will tell you that they were better off before him.

The British taxes, without representation, that the colonist rebelled against were much lower than what they are now. These taxes have been imposed by the white congressmen and signed by white presidents.

The immigration laws and quotas were passed by the white congress and signed by white presidents.

The wars, both declared and undeclared, have been waged by the white presidents.
While I sympathize with Mr Buchanan lamenting upon the good old days, no one but his own white folks have destroyed those good old days. America took pride in been called the nation of immigrants but only when the going was good. As long as, the immigrant scientist, engineers, and architects made this country great they were welcome but as soon as things got rough America blamed the immigrants.

Mr. Buchanan, don't blame all immigrants. Most of them are still productive and faithful to their adopted country. If you want to blame someone, follow the money, since money is the root of all evil. I don't have to tell you who controls the money. You should know very well who. I have followed your career for a long time. I even voted for you in 1992 presidential primary. You were very outspoken then but your wings have been clipped. There is no zing left in your writing. You have toned down criticism of the very group of people that have destroyed this country.

Corvinus > , July 5, 2017 at 12:12 am GMT

@Bill Jones Bill Jones

"Societies succeed because they've built up, usually over centuries, a widely accepted and practiced set of behaviors; social capital built up of predictable actions and attitudes and beliefs. The core of the culture."

Which America has. "Immigrants; who do not have that ingrained culture are likely to be destructive of social capital and destructive to the host society." According to Vox Day, only the English immigrants were able to understand the Rights Of Englishmen. Non-English immigrants perverted its meaning. Are you non-English? If yes, you have to go back.

Jacques Sheete "We should be mourning our lost liberties on the Fourth, not wishing one another happiness over the fraud."

Thank you for your virtue signaling. "Can a cesspool be a nation? If so, who would want it?" Except America is not a cesspool, nor resembles anything like it.

The Jester

"In a historic turnabout, we have now given the feminists and sexual deviants hiding behind Cultural Marxist ideology a legally protected status and (under the Marxist aphorism that personal choice defines one's culture, gender, and sex) are inviting massive immigration from the hell-holes populating the Third and Fourth Worlds."

The scope of Cultural Marxism is Fake News.

Randal

"Common sense says that only societies that are at least reasonably homogeneous on most major issues – race, culture, religion – can be held together other than by brute force "

Except America does not fit that description.

"and that the more homogeneous a society is the stronger it will be, in the sense of withstanding hard times an external shocks."

America's people are bound by a common set of values.

[May 08, 2017] Acuckalypse Now! The Budget Betrayal And Trump Derangement Syndrome - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... Trump is another vassal/tool of the power elite. as all Presidents have been for decades. Some unhappily, but all completely. ..."
"... Anyone who thought Trump could wipe clean 50 years of accumulated government grime in 100 days has excrement for brains. He's got entrenched interests in D.C. that will not just give up their incomes and influence. He's got a hostile media eager to bring the 'homeless' back to front page status after they miraculously vanished during Obama's terms. Sob stories without end. A Congress that is full of RINOs and 48 Democrat Senators. ..."
"... He is thinning out the herd of visa issuing State Department apparatchiks. ..."
"... "EXPANDING" H2B visas ? The mere EXISTENCE of such a visa leaves me mindboggled. A visa to import landscapers, waiters & retail workers ?? In a country of over 320 million & a "real" unemployment rate over 8% ? Oh, give me a break -- ..."
"... Trump's plan was to build a wall and get Mexico to pay for it. Not to hit Congress for the money. If Trump doesn't get Mexico to pay it, he doesn't get his wall. Period. For the rest of the agenda other than the wall – I agree, but Trump was elected as the lesser evil of two. Not because his agenda is supported by a majority. ..."
"... The other 10% that gave Trump an electoral college victory voted because they wanted to keep Hillary away from the levers of power. Not because they care for Trump's agenda. ..."
"... Mission accomplished on dodging the danger of a Hillary presidency. Now Trump is evaluated on his own dangerousness and needs to be reigned in. ..."
"... Nobody here ever thought that. We fully expected the Trump presidency to be even more difficult than the campaign, not less. We are angry because Trump has reversed himself and sold out to the swamp. He is putting zero or negative effort into the core issues that got him elected. ..."
May 08, 2017 | www.unz.com

Realist , May 7, 2017 at 8:05 am GMT

Trump is another vassal/tool of the power elite. as all Presidents have been for decades. Some unhappily, but all completely.

Felix Krull , May 7, 2017 at 1:36 pm GMT

And, I'll say this for President Trump: He's still hated by all the right people. Boy, how they hate him!

That is the smoke-screen that allows him to cuck so hard. They can't very well congratulate him without the Trumpentroopers getting suspicious.

Bragadocious , May 7, 2017 at 1:52 pm GMT

Still hoping for the best from this President. But it's apparent he isn't fighting the Democrats, he's fighting the DC Uniparty. I wish him luck.

Sean , May 7, 2017 at 8:11 pm GMT

The Trumpocalypse is already building a wall in the minds of the prospective immigrant.

Amid immigration setbacks, one Trump strategy seems to be working: Fear Most notably, Trump signed an executive order during his first week in office that, among other things, vastly expanded the pool of the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants who are deemed priorities for deportation. [...] The most vivid evidence that Trump's tactics have had an effect has come at the southern border with Mexico, where the number of apprehensions made by Customs and Border Patrol agents plummeted from more than 40,000 per month at the end of 2016 to just 12,193 in March, according to federal data.

jilles dykstra , May 8, 2017 at 6:20 am GMT

Had a similar story, mutatis mutandis, been written by somone French in France about French immigration, he or she would have been labeled extreme right, or even fascist.

unit472 , May 8, 2017 at 8:26 am GMT

Anyone who thought Trump could wipe clean 50 years of accumulated government grime in 100 days has excrement for brains. He's got entrenched interests in D.C. that will not just give up their incomes and influence. He's got a hostile media eager to bring the 'homeless' back to front page status after they miraculously vanished during Obama's terms. Sob stories without end. A Congress that is full of RINOs and 48 Democrat Senators.

But progress is being made if you look. He is thinning out the herd of visa issuing State Department apparatchiks. If the US embassy in Yemen is closed there can be no Yemenis showing up in Dulles airport. Cubans can no longer gain permanent residency in the US by stepping on US soil. Making health care a matter for the states to determine will erode Medicaid outlays as the states simply cannot afford to hand out free medical care to their 'needy'.

It will take time to drain the swamp and it will be incremental but with every judge he appoints to the Federal courts, with every Federal bureaucrat retiring and with Republican Governors and legislatures doing their thing it will start to dry up.

animalogic , May 8, 2017 at 9:15 am GMT

"EXPANDING" H2B visas ? The mere EXISTENCE of such a visa leaves me mindboggled. A visa to import landscapers, waiters & retail workers ?? In a country of over 320 million & a "real" unemployment rate over 8% ? Oh, give me a break --
H2B is a clear example that those researchers from Stanford (?) where right: that the views/interests etc of 80-90% of Americans has exactly ZERO influence over government/s policy.

humpfuster , May 8, 2017 at 9:34 am GMT

how do you people of the list handle the information in these links..

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-06/thank-god-people-are-back-power-kushner-family-pitches-invest-500k-immigrate-america?page=2

see also the links talked about there ..

reiner Tor , Website May 8, 2017 at 9:35 am GMT

@Randal

Sounds exactly like all the previous "conservative" parties in US or UK government over the past few decades, then. It's a double sided ratchet process.
Zogby , May 8, 2017 at 9:36 am GMT

Trump's plan was to build a wall and get Mexico to pay for it. Not to hit Congress for the money. If Trump doesn't get Mexico to pay it, he doesn't get his wall. Period. For the rest of the agenda other than the wall – I agree, but Trump was elected as the lesser evil of two. Not because his agenda is supported by a majority. The 40% approval rating Trump enjoys – that's how many support his agenda. It's not a majority.

The other 10% that gave Trump an electoral college victory voted because they wanted to keep Hillary away from the levers of power. Not because they care for Trump's agenda.

Mission accomplished on dodging the danger of a Hillary presidency. Now Trump is evaluated on his own dangerousness and needs to be reigned in. His agenda is not particulary popular among people that voted against Hillary, not for Trump. Support for it is soft, and as Trump continues a divisive agenda push that creates too much opposition – soft support withers away.

sedgwick , May 8, 2017 at 10:55 am GMT

he is going to be the same in office as all previous Republican administrations . Worse: Hard to see how the following story can be interpreted as anything up Trump-Kushner selling visas for personal enrichment. This is FILLING the swamp with corrupt Chinese .

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/china-pitch-by-kushner-sister-renews-controversy-over-visa-program-for-wealthy/2017/05/07/59d18360-3357-11e7-b412-62beef8121f7_story.html?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_no-name%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.72006b5909d6

Mr. Derbyshire is a very smart guy and is worried about Trump. But I worry Mr. Derbyshire is not worried enough.

KenH , May 8, 2017 at 11:02 am GMT

There's been all kinds of cucking from Trump. I knew it would happen eventually, but never dreamed it would happen within the first 100 days.

His latest cuck is leaving DACA in place and agreeing to accept the 1250 Muslim refugees who Australia did not want after blustering that Obama made a "stupid deal" and we would not take them. You can't take anything Trump says to the bank as it could change tomorrow or next week and he acts like it's nothing.

fnn , May 8, 2017 at 12:52 pm GMT

Pretty good video on how the West failed and "we're all doomed."

bluedog , May 8, 2017 at 1:04 pm GMT

@unit472 Anyone who thought Trump could wipe clean 50 years of accumulated government grime in 100 days has excrement for brains. He's got entrenched interests in D.C. that will not just give up their incomes and influence. He's got a hostile media eager to bring the 'homeless' back to front page status after they miraculously vanished during Obama's terms. Sob stories without end. A Congress that is full of RINOs and 48 Democrat Senators.

But progress is being made if you look. He is thinning out the herd of visa issuing State Department apparatchiks. If the US embassy in Yemen is closed there can be no Yemenis showing up in Dulles airport. Cubans can no longer gain permanent residency in the US by stepping on US soil. Making health care a matter for the states to determine will erode Medicaid outlays as the states simply cannot afford to hand out free medical care to their 'needy'.

It will take time to drain the swamp and it will be incremental but with every judge he appoints to the Federal courts, with every Federal bureaucrat retiring and with Republican Governors and legislatures doing their thing it will start to dry up.

Agent76 , May 8, 2017 at 1:08 pm GMT

Apr 3, 2017 President Trump Could Drain the Swamp in 2 Seconds

Demand that President Trump sign the American Anti-Corruption Executive Order.

Clark Westwood , May 8, 2017 at 1:20 pm GMT

Please, someone come up with a better word than "cuck" for describing cowardly or fake conservatives. (Or two words - one for cowards and one for fakes.)

Carol , May 8, 2017 at 1:49 pm GMT

Where I live, in Montana, young white guys still work construction and landscaping jobs. It's an amazing oasis, really.

What scares me is that immigration decisions are being made by people who just can't imagine themselves or their family ever working these kinds of jobs or anything close. They're out of touch. They have no right to capitulate like this.

utu , May 8, 2017 at 3:31 pm GMT

@unit472 Anyone who thought Trump could wipe clean 50 years of accumulated government grime in 100 days has excrement for brains. He's got entrenched interests in D.C. that will not just give up their incomes and influence. He's got a hostile media eager to bring the 'homeless' back to front page status after they miraculously vanished during Obama's terms. Sob stories without end. A Congress that is full of RINOs and 48 Democrat Senators.

But progress is being made if you look. He is thinning out the herd of visa issuing State Department apparatchiks. If the US embassy in Yemen is closed there can be no Yemenis showing up in Dulles airport. Cubans can no longer gain permanent residency in the US by stepping on US soil. Making health care a matter for the states to determine will erode Medicaid outlays as the states simply cannot afford to hand out free medical care to their 'needy'.

It will take time to drain the swamp and it will be incremental but with every judge he appoints to the Federal courts, with every Federal bureaucrat retiring and with Republican Governors and legislatures doing their thing it will start to dry up.

Intelligent Dasein , Website May 8, 2017 at 3:38 pm GMT

@unit472 Anyone who thought Trump could wipe clean 50 years of accumulated government grime in 100 days has excrement for brains. He's got entrenched interests in D.C. that will not just give up their incomes and influence. He's got a hostile media eager to bring the 'homeless' back to front page status after they miraculously vanished during Obama's terms. Sob stories without end. A Congress that is full of RINOs and 48 Democrat Senators.

But progress is being made if you look. He is thinning out the herd of visa issuing State Department apparatchiks. If the US embassy in Yemen is closed there can be no Yemenis showing up in Dulles airport. Cubans can no longer gain permanent residency in the US by stepping on US soil. Making health care a matter for the states to determine will erode Medicaid outlays as the states simply cannot afford to hand out free medical care to their 'needy'.

It will take time to drain the swamp and it will be incremental but with every judge he appoints to the Federal courts, with every Federal bureaucrat retiring and with Republican Governors and legislatures doing their thing it will start to dry up.

utu , May 8, 2017 at 3:45 pm GMT

@Randal

Sounds exactly like all the previous "conservative" parties in US or UK government over the past few decades, then. It's a double sided ratchet process.
Bill , May 8, 2017 at 3:54 pm GMT

@unit472 Anyone who thought Trump could wipe clean 50 years of accumulated government grime in 100 days has excrement for brains. He's got entrenched interests in D.C. that will not just give up their incomes and influence. He's got a hostile media eager to bring the 'homeless' back to front page status after they miraculously vanished during Obama's terms. Sob stories without end. A Congress that is full of RINOs and 48 Democrat Senators.

But progress is being made if you look. He is thinning out the herd of visa issuing State Department apparatchiks. If the US embassy in Yemen is closed there can be no Yemenis showing up in Dulles airport. Cubans can no longer gain permanent residency in the US by stepping on US soil. Making health care a matter for the states to determine will erode Medicaid outlays as the states simply cannot afford to hand out free medical care to their 'needy'.

It will take time to drain the swamp and it will be incremental but with every judge he appoints to the Federal courts, with every Federal bureaucrat retiring and with Republican Governors and legislatures doing their thing it will start to dry up.

Joe Hide , May 8, 2017 at 3:57 pm GMT

Trump evolved in the cut throat world of real estate and mega deals big business over decades of time. It took dozens of years of deal making to become powerful, wealthy, and President of the United States. He is in this for the long game. He has to make deals with the worst sort of political, military, and business psychopaths, to play the long game. He has to trade the best outcomes for the people in exchange for not letting the very worst outcomes prevail. His (and our) insane and ruthless opponents still have great power and influence. Attacking them directly in a frontal attack would be political suicide. Always the pretend retreat then flank attack when the enemy loses cohesion and unity.

republic , May 8, 2017 at 4:16 pm GMT

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/donald-trump-hardens-immigration-rules-3-lakh-indian-americans-to-be-affected/story-L1YaYVWOo1ZvWJG97oNmHJ.html

This big Indian newspaper quote a US think tank that there are about 500,000 Indian Nationals
living illegally in the US

Delinquent Snail , May 8, 2017 at 4:39 pm GMT

@ThreeCranes A former psychology professor of mine who also worked as a counselor at a crisis center told our class that he could tell the real suiciders from the wannabes by whether, after the "bang" of the supposed gunshot to the head, he could actually hear the phone dropping onto the floor. If he didn't, then presumably the caller was clinging to some hope, which it was his job to nurture.

JT smith , May 8, 2017 at 4:42 pm GMT

Mr. Derbyshire, like you I chuckle whenever Pres. Trump's makes the PC crowd clamor for a safe space. But if you are concerned with the vilification and death of traditional America then snark doesn't cut it. If you voted for Trump, then sorry, the joke' on you, bloke.

We probably both miss the Scranton PA or Binghamton NY of 1955, but Trump or any pol is powerless to bring them back. The best we rubes stuck in the heartland can hope for is that the transfer payments from the costal elites keep coming, and that the dollar remains a reserve currency so that the government can borrow to support us. As I see it, Trumps policies , gutting healthcare, tax cuts for the investor class, will hurt us "badwhites". That is a bad bargain for seing Rosie ODonnell cry, no matter how sweet.

Delinquent Snail , May 8, 2017 at 5:37 pm GMT

@Clark Westwood Please, someone come up with a better word than "cuck" for describing cowardly or fake conservatives. (Or two words -- one for cowards and one for fakes.)

Tipsy , May 8, 2017 at 5:57 pm GMT

Chuck Schumer = Cuck Sooner?

Authenticjazzman , May 8, 2017 at 6:41 pm GMT

" How were these reptiles able to get their way on a major issue in the Trump electoral agenda"

Very simple : Because they, the Democrats, own and wield the "Racism" bludgeon, and there is nothing which terrifies a meek, mild-mannered "Fair" Republican politico more than being labeled as a :

RACIST

( not forgetting : " Enemy of women" , Homophobe, etc)

period.

And until these cowards learn to do their duty and persue that which they were elected for, and ignore the tauntings of racism, and until they begin to just throw it back, the racist label, at the crazy democrats, they will be in the losers seat, period.

Authenticjazzman "Mensa" society member since 1973, airborne qualified US Army vet, and pro jazz artist.

Authenticjazzman , May 8, 2017 at 6:51 pm GMT

@Intelligent Dasein

Straw man, much?

Nobody here thinks that, you sanctimonious jerk-store. Nobody here ever thought that. We fully expected the Trump presidency to be even more difficult than the campaign, not less. We are angry because Trump has reversed himself and sold out to the swamp. He is putting zero or negative effort into the core issues that got him elected.

truthtellerAryan , May 8, 2017 at 7:50 pm GMT

Worry not! The vice grip has been tightened , and now it's welded. You think a con man from New York will betray his cabal buddies for a down on his luck, beer chugging, and his world possession of a lifted 4×4, when he has resorts to build and secure his little Zionist grand children that one day will inherit the earth .Keep dreaming!

Bill , May 8, 2017 at 8:18 pm GMT

@Joe Hide Trump evolved in the cut throat world of real estate and mega deals big business over decades of time. It took dozens of years of deal making to become powerful, wealthy, and President of the United States. He is in this for the long game. He has to make deals with the worst sort of political, military, and business psychopaths, to play the long game. He has to trade the best outcomes for the people in exchange for not letting the very worst outcomes prevail. His (and our) insane and ruthless opponents still have great power and influence. Attacking them directly in a frontal attack would be political suicide. Always the pretend retreat then flank attack when the enemy loses cohesion and unity.

bluedog , May 8, 2017 at 8:26 pm GMT

@Wally The alternative was HILLARY.

In First 2 Months in Office – Trump Reduces Debt by $100 Billion – Obama Increased Debt by $400 Billion – Half a Trillion Dollar Difference!
The increased debt incurred under Obama equals approximately $76,000 for every person in the United States who had a full-time job in December, 2016. That debt is far more debt than was accumulated by any previous president. It equals nearly twice as much as the $4,889,100,310,609.44 in additional debt that piled up during the eight years George W. Bush served as president.

Trump's 100 Days a Success
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/04/28/making-america-great-again-donald-trumps-100-day-success/

Illegal Immigration Down by Unprecedented 73%
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/04/29/trump-illegal-immigration-down-by-unprecedented-73/

20 Ways Trump Unraveled the Administrative State
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/04/11/20-ways-trump-unraveled-administrative-state/

Bit by bit, Trump methodically undoing Obama policies
http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/89ae8247abe8493fae24405546e9a1aa/Article_2017-04-03-US--Trump-Undoing%20Obama/id-c4fa9fa659394514aa645a7cfd3c31ed

Illegal Entrance into U.S. Lowest in 17 Years, Mexicans Too Afraid of Trump
https://www.prisonplanet.com/illegal-entrance-into-u-s-lowest-in-17-years-mexicans-too-afraid-of-trump.html

2010 Dems lost the House

The Democrats lost more than 1,000 seats at the federal and state level during Obama's presidency, including 9 Senate seats, 62 House seats, 12 governorships, and a startling 958 state legislative seats.

Fake Law

Art , May 8, 2017 at 9:28 pm GMT

Congress is the problem – not the president. Congress is dysfunctional. Getting reelected is everything to those people. First and foremost, congress people represent themselves – not their voters. Taking campaign money from lobbyists to stop challengers in jerrymandered districts and blue or red states, is paramount.

The last time congress really accomplished something was in the Clinton administration. Newt Gingrich did good things (balancing the budget and changed welfare). Other than open ended war, Bush congresses did nothing. Obama's congress got a disastrously bad healthcare bill passed and nothing else.

For sixteen years, the Bush and Obama congresses just spent more and more money driving up the debt.

Trump is going to show his colors, when in a couple of months – a new long-term spending bill is coming up for a monumental vote.

Will Trump veto the trillion-dollar deficit that congress will send to him or not?

Realist , May 8, 2017 at 9:31 pm GMT

@Wally The alternative was HILLARY.

In First 2 Months in Office – Trump Reduces Debt by $100 Billion – Obama Increased Debt by $400 Billion – Half a Trillion Dollar Difference!
The increased debt incurred under Obama equals approximately $76,000 for every person in the United States who had a full-time job in December, 2016. That debt is far more debt than was accumulated by any previous president. It equals nearly twice as much as the $4,889,100,310,609.44 in additional debt that piled up during the eight years George W. Bush served as president.

Trump's 100 Days a Success
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/04/28/making-america-great-again-donald-trumps-100-day-success/

Illegal Immigration Down by Unprecedented 73%
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/04/29/trump-illegal-immigration-down-by-unprecedented-73/

20 Ways Trump Unraveled the Administrative State
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/04/11/20-ways-trump-unraveled-administrative-state/

Bit by bit, Trump methodically undoing Obama policies
http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/89ae8247abe8493fae24405546e9a1aa/Article_2017-04-03-US--Trump-Undoing%20Obama/id-c4fa9fa659394514aa645a7cfd3c31ed

Illegal Entrance into U.S. Lowest in 17 Years, Mexicans Too Afraid of Trump
https://www.prisonplanet.com/illegal-entrance-into-u-s-lowest-in-17-years-mexicans-too-afraid-of-trump.html

2010 Dems lost the House

The Democrats lost more than 1,000 seats at the federal and state level during Obama's presidency, including 9 Senate seats, 62 House seats, 12 governorships, and a startling 958 state legislative seats.

Fake Law

[Apr 25, 2017] Why The H-1B Visa Racket Should Be Abolished, Not Reformed - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... laissez faire ..."
"... There is no cap on the number of O-1 visa entrants allowed. Access to this limited pool of talent is unlimited. ..."
Apr 25, 2017 | www.unz.com
Billionaire businessman Marc Cuban insists that the H-1B visa racket is a feature of the vaunted American free market. This is nonsense on stilts. It can't go unchallenged.

Another billionaire, our president, has ordered that the H-1B program be reformed. This, too, is disappointing. You'll see why.

First, let's correct Mr. Cuban: America has not a free economy, but a mixed-economy. State and markets are intertwined. Trade, including trade in labor, is not free; it's regulated to the hilt. If anything, the labyrinth of work visas is an example of a fascistic government-business cartel in operation.

The H-1B permit, in particular, is part of that state-sponsored visa system. The primary H-1B hogs-Infosys (and another eight, sister Indian firms), Microsoft, and Intel-import labor with what are grants of government privilege. Duly, the corporations that hog H-1Bs act like incorrigibly corrupt rent seekers. Not only do they get to replace the American worker, but they get to do so at his expense.

Here's how:

Globally, a series of sordid liaisons ensures that American workers are left high and dry. Through the programs of the International Trade Administration, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the International Monetary Fund, and other oink-operations, the taxpaying American worker is forced to subsidize and underwrite the investment risks of the very corporations that have given him the boot.

Domestically, the fascistic partnership with the State amounts to a subsidy to business at the expense of the taxpayer. See, corporations in our democratic welfare state externalize their employment costs onto the taxpayers.

So while public property is property funded by taxpayers through expropriated taxes; belongs to taxpayers; is to be managed for their benefit-at least one million additional immigrants a year, including recipients of the H-1B visa, are allowed the free use of taxpayer-supported infrastructure and amenities. Every new arrival avails himself of public works such as roads, hospitals, parks, libraries, schools, and welfare.

Does this epitomize the classical liberal idea of laissez faire ?

Moreover, chain migration or family unification means every H-1B visa recruit is a ticket for an entire tribe. The initial entrant-the meal ticket-will pay his way. The honor system not being an especially strong value in the Third World, the rest of the clan will be America's problem. More often than not, chain-migration entrants become wards of the American taxpayer.

Spreading like gravy over a tablecloth, this rapid, inorganic population growth is detrimental to all ecosystems: natural, social and political.

Take Seattle and its surrounding counties. Between April 2015 and 2016, the area was inundated with "86,320 new residents, marking it the region's biggest population gains this century. Fueled in large part by the technology industry, an average of 236 people is moving to the Seattle area each day," reported Geekwire.com. (Reporters for our local fish-wrapper-in my case, parrot-cage liner-have discharged their journalistic duties by inviting readers to "share" their traffic-jam stories.)

Never as dumb as the local reporters, the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Mark Zuckerberg and Marc Cuban are certainly as detached.

Barricaded in their obscenely lavish compounds-from the comfort of their monster mansions-these social engineers don't experience the "environmental impacts of rapid urban expansion"; the destruction of verdant open spaces and farmland; the decrease in the quality of the water we drink and air we breathe, the increase in traffic and traffic accidents, air pollution, the cellblock-like housing erected to accommodate their imported I.T. workers and extended families, the delicate bouquet of amped up waste management and associated seepages.

For locals, this lamentable state means an inability to afford homes in a market in which property prices have been artificially inflated. Young couples lineup to view tiny apartments. They dream of that picket fence no more. (And our "stupid leaders," to quote the president before he joined leadership, wonder why birthrates are so low!)

In a true free market, absent the protectionist state, corporate employers would be accountable to the community, and would be wary of the strife and lowered productivity brought about by a multiethnic and multi-linguistic workforce. All the more so when a foreign workforce moves into residential areas almost overnight as has happened in Seattle and its surrounds.

Alas, since the high-tech traitors can externalize their employment costs on to the community; because corporations are subsidized at every turn by their victims-they need not bring in the best.

Cuban thinks they do. High tech needs to be able to "search the world for the best applicants," he burbled to Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

Yet more crap.

Why doesn't the president know that the H-1B visa category is not a special visa for highly skilled individuals, but goes mostly to average workers? "Indian business-process outsourcing companies, which predominantly provide technology support to corporate back offices," by the Economist's accounting.

Overall, the work done by the H1-B intake does not require independent judgment, critical reasoning or higher-order thinking. "Average workers; ordinary talent doing ordinary work," attest the experts who've been studying this intake for years. The master's degree is the exception within the H1-B visa category.

More significant: THERE IS a visa category that is reserved exclusively for individuals with extraordinary abilities and achievement. I know, because the principal sponsor in our family received this visa. I first wrote about the visa that doesn't displace ordinary Americans in 2008 :

It's the O-1 visa.

"Extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, business or athletics," states the Department of Homeland Security, "means a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor."

Most significant: There is no cap on the number of O-1 visa entrants allowed. Access to this limited pool of talent is unlimited.

My point vis-à-vis the O-1 visa is this: The H-1B hogs are forever claiming that they are desperate for talent. In reality, they have unlimited access to individuals with unique abilities through the open-ended O-1 visa program.

There is no limit to the number of geniuses American companies can import.

Theoretically, the H-1B program could be completely abolished and all needed Einsteins imported through the O-1 program. (Why, even future first ladies would stand a chance under the business category of the O-1A visa, as a wealth-generating supermodel could certainly qualify.)

Now you understand my disappointment. In his April 18 Executive Order, President Trump promised to merely reform a program that needs abolishing. That is if "Hire American" means anything to anybody anymore.

ILANA Mercer is the author of The Trump Revolution: The Donald's Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016) & Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011). Follow her on Twitter & Facebook

[Apr 09, 2017] Much of the focus on immigration as a mechanism for low wage growth is a red-herring that seeks to turn attention away from the undermining of labor, civil, and voting rights.

Apr 09, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
yuan, April 08, 2017 at 10:40 AM
IMO, much of the focus on "immigration" as a mechanism for low wage growth is a red-herring that seeks to turn attention away from the undermining of labor, civil, and voting rights.

"First, not all migrants are competing against native workers. Some are complements, and so help to raise wages."

"Of course, it is the case that real wages have been under pressure in recent years. But why blame immigrants for this? There are many other culprits: weaker trades unions; fiscal austerity; financialization (pdf); the financial crisis; power-biased technical change; and all the things that have depressed productivity."

http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/2017/04/immigration-mechanisms.html

pgl -> yuan... , April 08, 2017 at 12:29 PM
Good post - thanks. But it is always easier for the politicians to blame immigrants as opposed to adopting better policies.

[Mar 28, 2017] Bill Black: Why Did Preet Bharara Refuse to Drain the Wall Street Swamp?

Notable quotes:
"... New York Times' ..."
"... Further, the Northern District of New York has jurisdiction over Albany, so the swampiest part of New York State politics did not lie in Bharara's jurisdiction. ..."
"... Obama was a rapacious doer for the .001%. ..."
"... That smirky dubya-esque smile on his face while on Sir Richard Branson's private island off of the coast of Madagascar says it all. "Fuck all of y'all, I got out and away with screwing the rest of the nation, not once, but twice!" ..."
"... Draining Wall Street is more challenging than cleaning out the Augean stables. ..."
"... Not for nothing, but Preet came out of Schumer's office who has parlayed being Wall Street's senator into dejure leadership of the Senate Dems and defacto control of the Democratic party. ..."
Mar 28, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
By Bill Black, the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One, an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and c–founder of Bank Whistleblowers United. Jointly published with New Economic Perspectives

The New York Times' editorial board published an editorial on March 12, 2017, praising Preet Bharara as the "Prosecutor Who Knew How to Drain a Swamp." I agree with the title. At all times when he was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (which includes Wall Street) Bharara knew how to drain the swamp. Further, he had the authority, the jurisdiction, the resources, and the testimony from whistleblowers like Richard Bowen (a co-founder of Bank Whistleblowers United (BWU)) to drain the Wall Street swamp. Bowen personally contacted Bharara beginning in 2005.

You were quoted in The Nation magazine as saying that if a whistleblower comes forward with evidence of wrongdoing, then you would be the first to prosecute [elite bankers].

I am writing this email to inform you that there is a body of evidence concerning wrongdoing, which the Department of Justice has refused to act on in order to determine whether criminal charges should be pursued.

Bowen explained that he was a whistleblower about Citigroup's senior managers and that he was (again) coming forward to aid Bharara to prosecute. Bowen tried repeatedly to interest Bharara in draining the Citigroup swamp. Bharara refused to respond to Bowen's blowing of the whistle on the massive frauds led by Citigroup's senior officers.

Bharara knew how to drain the Wall Street swamp and was positioned to do so because he had federal prosecutorial jurisdiction over Wall Street crimes. Whistleblowers like Bowen, who lacked any meaningful power, sacrificed their careers and repeatedly demonstrated courage to ensure that Bharara would have the testimony and documents essential to prosecute successfully some of Wall Street's most elite felons. Bharara never mustered the courage to prosecute those elites. Indeed, Bharara never mustered the courtesy to respond to Bowen's offers to aid his office.

The editorial lauds Bharara for his actions against public corruption in New York.

New Yorkers, who have had a front-row seat to his work over the last seven years, know him for his efforts to drain one of the swampiest states in the country of its rampant public corruption.

We are all for rooting out public corruption. The editorial ignores three key facts. First, New York politics are less corrupt than many other states, but Wall Street's leaders created the "swampiest" region in American business. Further, the Northern District of New York has jurisdiction over Albany, so the swampiest part of New York State politics did not lie in Bharara's jurisdiction. Second, Wall Street CEOs created, and infest, the swampiest of regions over which Bharara had jurisdiction. They led the epidemics of "control fraud" that hyper-inflated the housing bubble, drove the financial crisis, and caused the Great Recession. Third, Bharara did not prosecute any of them even when whistleblowers brought him the cases on platinum platters. Indeed, Bharara did not prosecute even low-level bank officers who were minor leaders in implementing those fraud epidemics.

I will summarize briefly Bowen's story as it intersects Bharara. Bowen held a senior position with Citigroup supervising a staff of several hundred professionals that conducted risk assessments on roughly $100 billion in annual mortgage purchases – a majority of which Citigroup resold to Fannie and Freddie or mortgage securitizers. Citigroup was exposed to enormous losses on these mortgages because the sellers had strong incentives to provide false "reps and warranties" to Citigroup and sell them fraudulently originated loans that were particularly likely to default and suffer larger losses upon default. Citigroup could only sell these fraudulently originated mortgages to others through making essentially the same fraudulent reps and warranties that it received from the original sellers. Bowen's staff found originally that 60% of the loans it was buying had false reps and warranties. He warned his superiors about the problem, but they responded by weakening Citigroup's already inadequate underwriting by buying pervasively fraudulent "liar's" loans. Bowen put Citigroup's senior management, including Robert Rubin, on written notice of the growing crisis and called for immediate intervention to stem the crisis. Citigroup's senior management responded by removing Bowen's staff and responsibilities. The incidence of fraud grew to 80 percent.

Bowen was blowing the whistle internally at Citigroup and acting exactly as he was supposed to do – as Citigroup articulated what an officer should do in such circumstances. He was not looking for money or a lawsuit. He was the opposite of a disgruntled employee. He had never gone public.

Citigroup's top leaders forced Bowen out – for doing exactly the right think according to Citigroup's own policies. Bowen did eventually blow the whistle to the public about the Citigroup's top leadership and the banks hundreds of billions of dollars in sales of mortgages through false reps and warranties. Those sales, because of the losses they caused to Fannie and Freddie, were substantial contributors to Fannie and Freddie's failures and the public bailout of both firms. Bowen met with the SEC staff and Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) in several districts to provide them with the critical facts and documents. Bowen also testified before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC), which made multiple criminal referrals against Citigroup, including a referral based on Bowen's testimony. Bowen was the perfect witness for a criminal prosecution of Citigroup's senior managers and for an SEC enforcement action against Citigroup for securities fraud.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) in Denver, the Eastern District of New York (where Loretta Lynch was then the U.S. Attorney), and Bharara's office told Bowen that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had never sent the criminal referrals that FCIC made about Citigroup to them. Bowen met with the AUSAs to assist them in what he had expected to be a series of prosecutions in 2016. Phil Angelides, FCIC's Chairman, made public in 2016 the fact that the FCIC had made a criminal referral about Citigroup based on Bowen's testimony before the inquiry. Bowen was by 2016 one of the best-known and most respected whistleblowers in America. FCIC's chair found his testimony about Citigroup's leaders highly credible, leading him to make the criminal referral, but DOJ's leadership not only refused to prosecute, but also buried the criminal referrals to discourage any U.S. Attorney from prosecuting Citigroup's fraudulent leaders.

AUSA Jonathon Schmidt (San Francisco) called Bowen on July 10, 2010. Bowen gave him everything. Schmidt was excited and said that they were going to pursue the claims that Bowen had laid out, particularly Citigroup's fraudulent reps and warranties. Bowen challenged Schmidt, telling him that I believed that once he talked to DC DOJ that Bowen would never hear from him again. Schmidt promised he would be back to Bowen within a week. Bowen never heard from him again.

Alayne Fleischmann, also one of the most famous whistleblowers to emerge from the crisis, provided vital information and documents to DOJ prosecutors about frauds led by JPMorgan's senior managers. Fleischmann continued to seek to aid a DOJ prosecution after the Attorney General transferred responsibility for the case to Bharara's office. No prosecution has occurred.

Bharara is like every other federal prosecutor and the SEC's top leaders. Bowen met with the SEC staff and five Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) in four different districts (including Bharara's) to provide them with the critical facts and documents. Each failed to prosecute the elite Wall Street officials who drove the three epidemics of fraud that drove the financial crisis. What is different is that because his office had jurisdiction over the elite frauds and the staff to conduct sophisticated investigations and prosecutions he could have drained the Wall Street swamp. Bharara simply had to take advantage of the courage and competence of whistleblowers like Bowen and Fleischman who brought him cases against the top managers of two of the world's largest banks on a platinum platter. Bharara also could have taken advantage of the expertise and experience of regulators and prosecutors who worked together to produce over 1,000 felony convictions in "major" cases against financial executives and their co-conspirators in the savings and loan debacle. Bharara (and Lynch and their counterparts) failed to take either approach.

Bharara knew how to drain the Wall Street swamp. He had the facts, the staff, and the jurisdiction to drain the Wall Street swamp. Bharara refused to do so.

0 0 0 6 0 This entry was posted in Banana republic , Banking industry , Credit markets , Guest Post , Politics , Regulations and regulators on March 28, 2017 by Yves Smith .
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Subscribe to Post Comments 31 comments skippy , March 28, 2017 at 5:48 am

Sorry Bill . but the Flexians are lined up deeper than the ramparts to the south Korea

disheveled . per MMT to much money and people is a bad mix . sigh

TK421 , March 28, 2017 at 1:20 pm

Huh?

skippy , March 28, 2017 at 2:34 pm

Money as a vote, where those with the most votes, maximize their utility over the control of the aforementioned.

disheveled ultimate self licking ice cream cone .

ambrit , March 28, 2017 at 6:24 am

Sorry to say it but the situation as it stands now makes mob actions against the financial elites a rational choice.
I know that such ideas are an essential part of the Libertarian Dream State, but, what else is left to do then either submit or fight?
As is the case in our politics now, reform is no longer an option.

Larry , March 28, 2017 at 7:17 am

Of course the NYT defines the liberal version of draining the swamp. Government actors are already considered bad eggs. But the upper echelons of elite Wall St firms sit on the boards of America's cultural and educational institutions and are culturally liberal, so whatever they may have done was done with no ill intent nor malice. Black exposes this as completely bogus in a short editorial but the leading pundits will be pounding on Russia, Hillbillies, and Russia some more.

steelhead23 , March 28, 2017 at 11:33 am

Dang, NC needs those up arrows so I could show my approval. The philanthropy fig-leaf of America's elite hides a plentitude of warts. Too many people are duped by these 'pillars of community.'

allan , March 28, 2017 at 8:01 am

Prof. Black loses some credibility when he writes,

First, New York politics are less corrupt than many other states

Evidence? Links to studies? Anything?

Given the national trends of the last few decades (many of them originating from Wall Street or Wall Street-owned politicians in D.C.), the NYS economy would have been fighting some very strong headwinds in any case. But the cesspool in Albany helped convince a lot of businesses and individuals to make their futures elsewhere.

Parents in NYS know that their children's adult lives will (if they're lucky) be spent somewhere else.

Yes, Preen is a fraud, but Albany was and remains a very corrupt place and the state suffers because of it.

Arizona Slim , March 28, 2017 at 8:57 am

And this has been going on for a long time. My mom and dad were born and raised New Yorkers​ who got out as soon as they could.

DorothyT , March 28, 2017 at 10:30 am

Recall Bill Black's work during the S & L crisis across the country. I'm one who was involved with the economic class of Americans who were likely to have their savings in CDs in the fraudulent institutions in the swamp that Black was instrumental in draining. And, pertinent to this piece about Citi, I recently met a group of former Citi mid-level execs who were laid off during the mortgage mess: they rec'd golden parachutes, stock options, and never had to work again.

Bill Black has my respect and gratitude.

Julie , March 28, 2017 at 11:07 am

I couldn't paste the link successfully but this is from the Center for Public Integrity: New York GRADE:D-(61)RANK:31ST

So 19 states are worse than New York. More than a few in other words, and only 3 states scored higher than a D+. At any rate, the swamp in Albany was not under Bhahara's jurisdiction anyway, as Black points out.

Seems unfair to attack his credibility over this.

allan , March 28, 2017 at 11:38 am

I have great respect for the work that Prof. Black did in the past and the work he continues to do.

But public corruption can be incredibly damaging to government functions
in the short and medium run, and corrosive to trust in government in the long run.
To suggest that NYS doesn't have a serious problem is not helpful.
I would much rather have the USA for SDNY devoting limited resources to going after that,
even if it might be publicity-seeking bigfooting of the USA in Albany,
rather than crusading against insider trading.

Even though I agree that Bharara, Breuer and Holder (and the czar they all worked for)
were a disaster for the rule of law in this country.

Left in Wisconsin , March 28, 2017 at 11:34 am

Further, the Northern District of New York has jurisdiction over Albany, so the swampiest part of New York State politics did not lie in Bharara's jurisdiction.

Not good enough?

Stephen Gardner , March 28, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Bill Black has all the credibility he needs. This is a classic propaganda technique to focus on unimportant minor points to impeach an otherwise very import essay. People here know better than to listen to that.

KYrocky , March 28, 2017 at 8:25 am

The Obama Administration prevented any investigations, let alone prosecutions, of Wall Street and large scale mortgage fraud. Obama's 50 State Solution was sold as consolidation of multiple state efforts, which were making good progress, into a single, streamlined and comprehensive federal effort that would take the burden off the states. It was a lie.

Preet Bharara was fired by Trump and has gotten a lot of sympathetic press over his firing. And he has certainly done many good things. But when it came to the biggest financial crimes in the history of the world he followed his orders, failed to do his job, and kept his mouth shut as the criminals reaped hundreds of billions of dollars and millions of American families suffered. And he is still keeping his mouth shut. But other than that .

robnume , March 28, 2017 at 5:40 pm

+1,000,000! Obama was a rapacious doer for the .001%.

That smirky dubya-esque smile on his face while on Sir Richard Branson's private island off of the coast of Madagascar says it all. "Fuck all of y'all, I got out and away with screwing the rest of the nation, not once, but twice!"

There's not one politician who doesn't deserve pitchforks and lamposts. Tar and feather these folk!

Good essay by a man I highly respect, but I, too, noted long ago that New York State politics are real down and dirty. It's the home of Wall Street, so how could it be otherwise?

johnnygl , March 28, 2017 at 9:51 am

It's been a long time since the crisis and it's clear that the elites would like to pretend there was very little of interest here.

Incidents like this are helpful to remember just how much criminality took place and just how bad the obama administration was on corporate crime.

linda amick , March 28, 2017 at 9:51 am

It is all theater. We read Wikileaks exposures. There are crimes or at least valid reasons for investigations.
We get teasers that investigations will happen.
They never do.
The political and corporate leadership class is immune from prosecution except for passing fine monies back and forth.
These people are completely corrupt and have greatly participated in corrupting our society and its cultures.

Robert NYC , March 28, 2017 at 9:56 am

I have always found the Richard Bowen story particularly fascinating and infuriating. His memo to Rob Rubin is unbelievable. Frontline also did a piece on the failure to prosecute the banks. The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission took testimony from Bowen but then locked it up under seal for five years. Do we have any rational explanation for this other than that the system is that corrupt. I am a cynic but this still shocks me to the point where I can't fathom that it is really this bad.

jhallc , March 28, 2017 at 10:42 am

"Bharara knew how to drain the Wall Street swamp. He had the facts, the staff, and the jurisdiction to drain the Wall Street swamp. Bharara refused to do so."

If my memory serves me, perhaps, like Neil Barofsky (SIGTARP), he had lunch with Larry Summers where it was explained to him that if he wanted to have a $$$career after leaving government it would be wise to let things slide ( i.e. see Lanny Breuer).

RUKidding , March 28, 2017 at 10:58 am

Bahara did what he was told by Obama. That's the end of it.

Anyone who wants to deify Obama – and I know far too many people who do – are completely ignoring Obama's and Bahara's criminal neglect to hold the banks and Wall St truly accountable.

Recall Jamie "Presidential Cufflinks" Dimon basically thumbing his snooty nose at the hoi poloi. What? Me, worry? Sucks to be you, great to be me.

These crooks will never do a perp walk, and Bahara made sure that they didn't. All the whining about Bahara being "fired" by Trump is ignoring these inconvenient truths.

UserFriendly , March 28, 2017 at 11:21 am

I'm no Obama apologist, but if Bahara indited someone on Wall Street just how was Obama going to explain firing him? If either had an ounce of integrity the right people would be in jail.

Ian , March 28, 2017 at 5:31 pm

Some manufactured scandal or leak regarding improper or compromising behaviour, well before the ball trully got rolling on prosecuting our criminal elite forcing Obama to step in and either move him down, sideways or outright let go to ensure the integrity of the office.

sd , March 28, 2017 at 11:08 am

Citigroup (previously Citibank, etc) has always been corrupt. They were caught money laundering for drug cartels in the 1980s and terrorism back in the 1990s and should have been shut down forever both times. They weren't.

The only conclusion I can come to is that Citigroup is a heavily exposed to CIA activity. It sounds like a loony conspiracy theory until you look at the history of Riggs Bank, BCCI, etc and realize that historically its in the realm of possibility. So yes, its entirely possible.

Susan the other , March 28, 2017 at 12:58 pm

It doesn't sound at all loony to me, sd. I think the current mess goes all the way back to the 50s. In defiance of financial prudence, in 1954, the rich guys went to DC, like some super mercenary army (pun intended) and threw what was called "The Bankruptcy Ball" which everyone who was anyone attended, all decked out in tuxedos and gowns. Catherine Graham's autobiography. And I think it marks a point in time when our government became blood brothers with the banks. A relationship that saw us through the Cold War – which had already bankrupted us – and the Vietnam War which was an awful and senseless debacle; and on through till the USSR finally said "enough" – at which point our government and the banks were one. One big mess. We should have had the integrity at that point, 1990, to fix things. But we couldn't because our capitalist economy, upon which most of the world had become addicted, would have failed without the crazy growth that the banksters provided so, god. Talk about a mess. But that's just my opinion.

Susan the other , March 28, 2017 at 1:34 pm

So, clearly we did learn one thing: we can supply the money to accomplish our goal, whatever it is. The important thing is to have a good goal.

JohnnyGL , March 28, 2017 at 4:55 pm

Well, there's also the fact that it's partially owned by Saudi Arabia. :)

robnume , March 28, 2017 at 5:44 pm

Ah, yes, the ol' "Bank of Crooks and Criminals, Intl." I remember them and good old Clark Clifford. Boy, that guy died just in time, huh? Good times! / sarc

Sluggeaux , March 28, 2017 at 12:23 pm

Well said, Professor Black. The Southern District of New York was the biggest crime scene in the U.S. during Bharara's tenure as United States Attorney, and he was the man in charge of the Holder doctrine, printing "Get Out of Jail Free" cards for the donor class. Of course, Bharara is ambitious enough not to take a multi-million dollar desk at Covington like Holder and Breuer did. Bad optics. He's going to academia, as a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at NYU School of Law. How noble!

NOT. Naked Capitalism readers recognize NYU as what Pam Martens called "a tyrannical slush fund for privileged interests" where Obot Flexian grifters roost in luxury:

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/05/the-art-of-the-gouge-nyu-as-a-model-for-predatory-higher-education.html

blert , March 28, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Draining Wall Street is more challenging than cleaning out the Augean stables.

Your first steps take you down the rabbit hole.

White collar paper crime is brutally difficult to prosecute. It corn fuses the juries.

(* per my Uncle in his career he prosecuted 10,000 cases ultimately as District Attorney with 700+ attorneys in his office.)

Yes, it's very slow going. It just is.

Dr Duh , March 28, 2017 at 2:40 pm

Not for nothing, but Preet came out of Schumer's office who has parlayed being Wall Street's senator into dejure leadership of the Senate Dems and defacto control of the Democratic party.

Picking off egregious individuals like Madoff, who can be described as "bad apples" while ignoring systemic fraud is the playbook.

[Mar 23, 2017] Trump is not a Republican. Hes a repudiation of Republicans. But they will reap the benefit of his victory, in all of their cynicism,

Notable quotes:
"... Stewart criticized Republicans leaders such as Senator Mitch McConnell and the House speaker, Paul Ryan, for the hypocrisy of ensuring the government is stuck at a standstill and then claiming that government doesn't get anything done. ..."
"... "They're not draining the swamp," he said. "McConnell and Ryan – those guys are the swamp." He also added: "I will guarantee you Republicans are going to come to Jesus now about the power of government. ..."
"... The same country with all its grace and flaws and volatility and insecurity and strength and resilience exists today as existed two weeks ago. The same country that elected Donald Trump elected Barack Obama ..."
Mar 23, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

"He's not a Republican. He's a repudiation of Republicans. But they will reap the benefit of his victory, in all of their cynicism," Stewart told CBS's This Morning co-host Charlie Rose on Thursday.

Stewart criticized Republicans leaders such as Senator Mitch McConnell and the House speaker, Paul Ryan, for the hypocrisy of ensuring the government is stuck at a standstill and then claiming that government doesn't get anything done.

"They're not draining the swamp," he said. "McConnell and Ryan – those guys are the swamp." He also added: "I will guarantee you Republicans are going to come to Jesus now about the power of government.

... ... ...

"I don't believe we are a fundamentally different country today than we were two weeks ago," Stewart told Rose.

"The same country with all its grace and flaws and volatility and insecurity and strength and resilience exists today as existed two weeks ago. The same country that elected Donald Trump elected Barack Obama," said Stewart.

The comedian also criticized liberals for lumping all Trump supporters into the category of "racist".

... ... ...

"Like, there are guys in my neighborhood that I love, that I respect, that I think have incredible qualities who are not afraid of Mexicans, and not afraid of Muslims, and not afraid of blacks. They're afraid of their insurance premiums," he said. "In the liberal community, you hate this idea of creating people as a monolith. Don't look at Muslims as a monolith. They are the individuals and it would be ignorance. But everybody who voted for Trump is a monolith, is a racist. That hypocrisy is also real in our country."

[Mar 20, 2017] Trump Administration To Reopen H1B Visa Program

Mar 20, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Anachronism -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... March 20, 2017 at 09:59 AM , 2017 at 09:59 AM
I posted this a few days ago. Another promise Trump reneged on.

http://www.ibtimes.com/does-immigration-help-economy-trump-administration-reopen-h-1b-visa-program-2509198

Does Immigration Help The Economy? Trump Administration To Reopen H-1B Visa Program

By Lydia O'Neal @LydsONeal On 03/15/17 AT 4:30 PM

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced Wednesday that it would not draw down the number of H-1B visas doled out to foreign workers for fiscal year 2018, leaving the total cap at 85,000, and would begin accepting applications April 3.

The decision came less than two weeks after USCIS alarmed proponents of freer immigration for skilled workers when it suspended the premium processing route for H-1B visas, which allows companies to import workers quickly with just 15 waiting days and a $1,225 fee, for a period of at least six months.

The agency attributed the decision to its need to "process long-pending petitions, which we have currently been unable to process due to the high volume of incoming petitions and the significant surge in premium processing requests over the past few years," according to a USCIS press release. USCIS also kept its expedited processing route, which is reserved for emergency situations, in place.

H-1B visas are reserved for foreign nationals with a clear relationship with the American company seeking to hire them, as well as a bachelor's degree or higher in a "specialty occupation," defined by USCIS as "in fields such as engineering, math and business, as well as many technology fields."

H-1B Visa Petitions Approved in 2014 by Level of Education

Showing petitions approved in the 2014 fiscal year by level of education. Approved petitions exceed the number of individual H-1B workers sponsored because multiple types of petitions can be filed for a single worker. The U.S. caps the number of H-1B workers that can be given a visa at 65,000 per fiscal year.

The tech industry often cites the program, which primarily benefits Indian workers and companies, as a necessary tool to compensate for labor shortages, but the existence of that shortage has long been disputed.

A recent study found that, had the program not been in place between 1994 and 2001, tech workers' salaries would've been up to 5 percent higher, while their employment would've grown by up to 11 percent. The paper, by researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of California, San Diego, also pointed out that productivity in the sector rose by as much as 2.5 percent, while consumer prices fell, ultimately benefitting information technology firms.

[Feb 01, 2017] Read Draft Text Of Trumps Executive Order Limiting Muslim Entry To The US

Notable quotes:
"... Block refugee admissions from the war-torn country of Syria indefinitely. ..."
"... Suspend refugee admissions from all countries for 120 days. After that period, the U.S. will only accept refugees from countries jointly approved by the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and the Director of National Intelligence. ..."
"... Expedite the completion of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all visitors to the U.S. and require in-person interviews for all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa. ..."
"... Suspend the visa interview waiver program indefinitely and review whether existing reciprocity agreements are reciprocal in practice. ..."
Feb 01, 2017 | www.huffingtonpost.com

According to the draft executive order, President Donald Trump plans to:

The draft order, which is expected to be signed later this week, details the Trump administration's plans to "collect and make publicly available within 180 days ... information regarding the number of foreign-born individuals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry into the United States and engaged in terrorism-related acts." It also describes plans to collect information about "gender-based violence against women or honor killings" by foreign-born individuals in the U.S.

The language is unclear as to whether the names of these individuals, which could include American citizens, would be made public, nor does the document define "radicalized" or "terrorism-related acts," leaving open the potential to sweep vast numbers of people onto the list.

The move is reminiscent of the expansive enemies lists created by former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover last century.

[Feb 01, 2017] Reply

Feb 01, 2017 | onclick="TPConnect.blogside.reply('6a00d83451b33869e201b8d25b4391970c'); return false;" href="javascript:void 0">
Wednesday, February 01, 2017 at 12:27 PM libezkova said in reply to pgl... First of all, what is called "School of management" typically is a voodoo cult that should have nothing to do with university education ;-)

"He [Bush] signaled the shift [in strategy] in a speech here [in Pittsburgh] last week when he charged that Reagan had made 'a list of phony promises' on defense, energy and economic policy. And he labeled Reagan's tax cut proposal 'voodoo economic policy' and 'economic madness.'"

Compare with comments to

Ok To Bomb Them But Don't Ban Them

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46349.htm

== quote ==
It's not the temporary ban on immigration that upsets people so much as singling out people from specific countries, whether Obama's Republican Congress in did it or Trump did it.

The ban should be on all religious extremists including apartheid Zionists and Christian extremists. Religious extremists from all of the major religions have committed heinous atrocities.

...And the Demo establishment lines up to attack Drumpf's ban; hoping to get some easy votes for corporatist neo-con hypocrites?

...The main purpose of all the noise against president Trump is to weaken him and then force him to take the positions the deep state wants him to take. Among the many problems he has he is only an apprentice. Reply Wednesday, February 01, 2017 at 08:40 PM

[Feb 01, 2017] Ok To Bomb Them But Don't Ban Them : Information Clearing House - ICH

Feb 01, 2017 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

By Jimmy Dore Show

January 31, 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FTFB9GDfls
Trump Muslim Ban Made Possible By Obama Admin & Media Won't Tell You

tictac · 1 day ago
Jimmy Dore makes some great points from time to time but this particular rant has so many flaws that it would be a real undertaking to itemize all of them.

Millions if not billions of people, including millions of USAmericans have been horrified at US terrorism wherever it occurs. We weren't OK with the US terrorizing these seven countries or any of the other countries the US has terrorized. We protested. We talked to our political representatives. We advised young men to refuse to volunteer to kill and be killed for money. We did whatever we could think of to stop the carnage. We were unsuccessful.

It's not the temporary ban on immigration that upsets people so much as singling out people from specific countries, whether Obama's Republican Congress in did it or Trump did it. The ban should be on all religious extremists including apartheid Zionists and Christian extremists. Religious extremists from all of the major religious have committed heinous atrocities.

I could go on, but those are the main points I wanted to make.

Belisarius6 · 1 day ago
What? Fake news isn't enough for you, so now you're engaging in fake debate? You have problems with Jimmy's points then argue them. Too many for you? Then pick the top six and critique them. Otherwise stop stuffing your fingers in your ears and loudly singing patriotic songs to drown out the unpleasant truths. P.S. There were significant protests when Bush Jr. was running the show but they all died out after Obama took over the nation's reins. After that all I heard from the American left about his constant assault on the Constitution, keeping Guantanamo, the country's wars of aggression, U.S. support of the military coup in Honduras, his unconditional and unlimited subsidization of Wall Street, his unprecedented vendetta against government whistle blowers, and his impressive accumulation of 306 golf outings (at a gob smacking five hours a pop!) ... was crickets.
tictac · 13 hours ago
You read different stuff than I do. I heard a fire hose stream of Progressive/liberal criticism of Obama's policies and enormous disappointment in Obama - including from people like Michael Moore, Rachael Maddow, and Amy Goodman, and especially from Glenn Greenwald, Assange and other brilliant political thinkers as well as from Veterans for Peace, Pro-Palestine humanitarians, and anti-nuclear activists. Medea Benjamin has been on the front lines for eight years attacking Obama's war mongering. Of course we need many more like her. Unless you are her, using a fake name, then why weren't you right there with her?
weevil wobbly · 1 day ago
And the Demo establishment lines up to attack Drumpf's ban; hoping to get some easy votes for corporatist neo-con hypocrites? Cynical demo pigs would love to impeach Drumpf and wage nice with Pence. We are f*^ked unless we (us "lefty ranters" and more) don't demand radical change from the Corporatist neo-fascist establishments of both parties - the party of dicks and the party of pant-suited V's. And the media/wall street/military industrial complex can't get enough of this.
Dr. Nomas Kakita · 1 day ago
Jimmy Great Information --

BEWARE -- Why is the Zionist control media, and many Zionist controlled organizations, so adamant about allowing people from war torn Muslim countries come to the US ?

The main purpose of all the noise against president Trump is to weaken him and then force him to take the positions the deep state wants him to take. Among the many problems he has he is only an apprentice.

bubbles · 1 day ago
thanks, jimmy, for the truth. from the mouths of comedians......
Mahmoud El-Yousseph · 1 day ago
Trump's Muslim ban is not about terrorism or keeping America safe. Otherwise Saudia Arabia would have been on the top of list. This is about countries that stand against the US/Israel agenda. https://www.darkmoon.me/ /dona.. .
гость · 23 hours ago
This guy should take Wolf Blitzer's job and expose the truth on the national media. Blitzer can be consigned to telling risible lies on You Tube, as should most of the jokers in the so-called mainstream media.
Schlüter 87p · 20 hours ago
Well, double standards implemented since long!
"Only ISIS is Barbaric? Burning People Alive!" https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2015/02/07/only-is...
anonymous · 16 hours ago
Good Point, But you ae biased. You never mention Zionism. The Zionists are at the center of this policy.
romanaorfred · 13 hours ago
HYPOCRISY.

People attacking Trump after 11 days in office, NEVER criticized Mrs. Clinton, Obama forblowing up and killing hundreds of thousands in Ukraine, Libya, Syria, etc, the phony bought and paid for Establishment Liberals who only call them 'war crimes ' when an (R) is attached to the Presidents name like: Michael Moore, Rachael Maddow, Medea Benjamin and Amy Goodman,
all frauds and liars like CNN, CBS and NBC, who ran this slimey headline:

NBC Today Show Warns of Possible Drone Bombing at Trump Inauguration
http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/media-warns-po...

more evidence bogus tv news:

"Citizens" who speak at town meetings are hired, scripted actors

"Last December, the town council in Camarillo, a small town in southern California, a man called Prince Jordan Tyson stood up and delivered a three minute speech as a "concerned citizen" about a planned construction project before the council.

Tyson is not a concerned citizen of Camarillo: he's a struggling actor from Beverly Hills, who was paid $100 to deliver a scripted position from the podium while misrepresenting himself as a local, sincere citizen.

Tyson worked for Adam Swart, a recent UCLA grad, who runs a company called "Crowds on Demand," which hires actors to attend politicians' campaign meetings, and to deliver scripted dialog in the guise of concerned citizens. Swart says that he has been paid by "dozens of campaigns for state officials, and 2016 presidential candidates" whom he won't name, because if he "did, nobody would hire us."
http://boingboing.net/2016/02/19/citizens-who-spe...

ringo · 11 hours ago
All those demonstrating against Trump are a asset to the deep state. I can't understand why those demonstrators in the UK/EU
bashing Trump, there are more pressing reasons to demonstrate
in the UK, poverty, austerity, families relying on food banks that the supermarkets have thrown out, where are the marches against that obscenity, instead of going along with the agenda of the Clinton band wagon, those causing havoc in the US/UK/EU, would be better employed in demonstrating against those who have created all those immigrants Muslim or otherwise in the first place, ie; bush blair obama the clintons etc; time those out on the streets got their priorities right.
European_Dad 98p · 6 hours ago
why use obama's list, donald, why? you were not elected to continue his policies, i thought.
romanaorfred · 4 hours ago
HYPOCRISY.

People attacking Trump after 11 days in office, NEVER criticized Mrs. Clinton, Obama forblowing up and killing hundreds of thousands in Ukraine, Libya, Syria, etc, the phony bought and paid for Establishment Liberals who only call them 'war crimes ' when an (R) is attached to the Presidents name like: Michael Moore, Rachael Maddow, Medea Benjamin and Amy Goodman,
all frauds and liars like CNN, CBS and NBC, who ran this slimey headline:

NBC Today Show Warns of Possible Drone Bombing at Trump Inauguration
http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/media-warns-po...

more evidence bogus tv news:

"Citizens" who speak at town meetings are hired, scripted actors

"Last December, the town council in Camarillo, a small town in southern California, a man called Prince Jordan Tyson stood up and delivered a three minute speech as a "concerned citizen" about a planned construction project before the council.

Tyson is not a concerned citizen of Camarillo: he's a struggling actor from Beverly Hills, who was paid $100 to deliver a scripted position from the podium while misrepresenting himself as a local, sincere citizen.

Tyson worked for Adam Swart, a recent UCLA grad, who runs a company called "Crowds on Demand," which hires actors to attend politicians' campaign meetings, and to deliver scripted dialog in the guise of concerned citizens. Swart says that he has been paid by "dozens of campaigns for state officials, and 2016 presidential candidates" whom he won't name, because if he "did, nobody would hire us."
http://boingboing.net/2016/02/19/citizens-who-spe...

[Feb 01, 2017] "They keep coming," In 1994, though, that message helped lift California's governor, the Republican Pete Wilson, to re-election. That same year, voters adopted a referendum, Proposition 187, denying state services to undocumented immigrants, including public education and health care.

Feb 01, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Fred C. Dobbs : February 01, 2017 at 09:23 AM

, 2017 at 09:23 AM
(California dreamin'?)

Strife Over Immigrants: Can California Predict the
Nation's Future? https://nyti.ms/2jW2PTW via @UpshotNYT
NYT - Emily Badger - February 1, 2017

The political ads warned that illegal immigrants were dashing, by the millions, over the Mexican border, racing to claim taxpayer-funded public services in California.

"They keep coming," the announcer intoned over grainy aerial footage and a thrumming bassline. When viewed on YouTube today, these ads hardly seem the stuff of multicultural California as we know it.

In 1994, though, that message helped lift California's governor, the Republican Pete Wilson, to re-election. That same year, voters adopted a referendum, Proposition 187, denying state services to undocumented immigrants, including public education and health care.

California is often held up as a harbinger of the demographics - and, Democrats hope, the politics - of the nation to come. Mr. Wilson's bet against immigration is thought to have hurt Republicans in the long run in the state. But in the dawn of the Trump era, the state is also a cautionary tale of what happens during the tumultuous years when that change is occurring rapidly.

Donald J. Trump has taken office in a nation that is not only growing more diverse, but also growing more diverse everywhere, because of both foreign immigration and shifting internal migration patterns that are touching the last bastions of nearly all-white America.

After an election in which Mr. Trump appealed to unease about the nation's changing identity - and a month when he alarmed civil rights leaders and immigration advocates - his presidency poses a very different question from his predecessor's.

Not: Are we post-racial? But: How will we handle the racial change that is only going to accelerate?

Sociological studies suggest that increasing contact between groups can yield familiarity and tolerance. But it can also unnerve, especially in communities where that rapid change is most visible - and when politicians stand to gain by exploiting it. California lashed out at diversity before embracing it.

"There's a very rich history of xenophobia, of racism, of trying to wipe each other out," said Connie Rice, a longtime civil rights lawyer in California. "It's not like we were all of a sudden born the Golden State." ...

Related?

More Californians dreaming of a country without
Trump: poll http://reut.rs/2j6s8iG
Reuters - Sharon Bernstein - January 24

The election of Republican businessman Donald Trump as president of the United States has some Californians dreaming - of their own country.

One in every three California residents supports the most populous U.S. state's peaceful withdrawal from the union, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll, many of them Democrats strongly opposed to Trump's ascension to the country's highest office.

The 32 percent support rate is sharply higher than the last time the poll asked Californians about secession, in 2014, when one-in-five or 20 percent favored it around the time Scotland held its independence referendum and voted to remain in the United Kingdom.

California also far surpasses the national average favoring secession, which stood at 22 percent, down from 24 percent in 2014.

The poll surveyed 500 Californians among more than 14,000 adults nationwide from Dec. 6 to Jan. 19 and has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of one percentage point nationally and five percentage points in California.

The idea of secession is largely a settled matter in the United States, though the impulse to break away carries on in some corners of the country, most notably in Texas.

While interest has remained about the same nationwide, it has found more favor in California and the concept has even earned a catchy name - "Calexit."

"I don't think it's likely to happen, but if things get really bad it could be an option," said Stephen Miller, 70, a retired transportation planner who lives in Sacramento and told pollsters he "tended to support" secession. ...

'Calexit' would be a disaster for progressive values http://fw.to/ks9LHNS
LA Times - January 27

Imagine if President Trump announced that he wanted to oust California from the United States. If it weren't for us, after all, Trump would have won the popular vote he so lusts after by 1.4 million. Blue America would lose its biggest source of electoral votes in all future elections. The Senate would have two fewer Democrats. The House of Representatives would lose 38 Democrats and just 14 Republicans. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, among the most liberal in the nation, would be changed irrevocably. And the U.S. as a whole would suddenly be a lot less ethnically diverse than it is today.

For those reasons, Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Republicans with White House ambitions, opponents of legalizing marijuana, advocates of criminalizing abortion and various white nationalist groups might all conclude –– for different reasons –– that they would benefit politically from a separation, even as liberals and progressives across America would correctly see it as a catastrophe.

So it makes sense that the leader of the Yes California Independence Campaign, Marcus Ruiz Evans, was - contrary to popular assumptions - a registered Republican when he formed the separatist group two years ago, according to the San Jose Mercury News. He briefly hosted conservative talk radio shows in Fresno, and would not tell the newspaper if he voted for Trump. ...

[Feb 01, 2017] The US national mythology glosses over the history of how unwelcoming our country has mostly been to new immigrants.

Feb 01, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
pgl : February 01, 2017 at 02:01 AM , 2017 at 02:01 AM
I'm not a Budweiser fan as I only drink real beer but this Super Bowl commercial is nice as it slams that Trump Muslim ban in its own unique way:

http://occupydemocrats.com/2017/01/31/budweiser-just-trolled-trump-amazing-super-bowl-ad/

Chris Lowery -> pgl... , February 01, 2017 at 09:58 AM
Point well made! Regarding the argument that today's immigrants aren't as willing as past immigrants to assimilate, I recently read that 80% of 19th Century German immigrants returned to Germany, and 30% of Italian immigrants did the same.

Our national mythology glosses over the history of how unwelcoming our country has mostly been to new immigrants. The idea that America has always been a land that welcomed immigrants and provided them immediate opportunity is very comfortable, but it contradicts a much harsher history. It's a real shame that so many of our fellow countrymen are willfully ignorant of their own ancestors' struggles, and are willing to inflict the same harshness on our newest arrivals.

On the other hand, the news coverage of this past weekend's protests over the Trump immigration Executive Order included a picture of a man carrying a sign saying, "Mexican-Americans Welcome Muslim Refugees!" I can't thing of anything that expresses the ideals of real Americanism better than that!

Peter K. -> pgl... , February 01, 2017 at 10:32 AM
Isn't Budweiser owned by a Belgian company?

[Feb 01, 2017] Full Executive Order Text Trump's Action Limiting Refugees Into the US

Feb 01, 2017 | www.nytimes.com

President Trump signed an executive order on Friday titled "Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States." Following is the language of that order, as supplied by the White House.

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq ., and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Purpose . The visa-issuance process plays a crucial role in detecting individuals with terrorist ties and stopping them from entering the United States. Perhaps in no instance was that more apparent than the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when State Department policy prevented consular officers from properly scrutinizing the visa applications of several of the 19 foreign nationals who went on to murder nearly 3,000 Americans. And while the visa-issuance process was reviewed and amended after the September 11 attacks to better detect would-be terrorists from receiving visas, these measures did not stop attacks by foreign nationals who were admitted to the United States.

Numerous foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001, including foreign nationals who entered the United States after receiving visitor, student, or employment visas, or who entered through the United States refugee resettlement program. Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States. The United States must be vigilant during the visa-issuance process to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism.

In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including "honor" killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Sec. 2. Policy. It is the policy of the United States to protect its citizens from foreign nationals who intend to commit terrorist attacks in the United States; and to prevent the admission of foreign nationals who intend to exploit United States immigration laws for malevolent purposes.

Sec. 3. Suspension of Issuance of Visas and Other Immigration Benefits to Nationals of Countries of Particular Concern . (a) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall immediately conduct a review to determine the information needed from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat.

(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the President a report on the results of the review described in subsection (a) of this section, including the Secretary of Homeland Security's determination of the information needed for adjudications and a list of countries that do not provide adequate information, within 30 days of the date of this order. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide a copy of the report to the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence.

(c) To temporarily reduce investigative burdens on relevant agencies during the review period described in subsection (a) of this section, to ensure the proper review and maximum utilization of available resources for the screening of foreign nationals, and to ensure that adequate standards are established to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists or criminals, pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas).

(d) Immediately upon receipt of the report described in subsection (b) of this section regarding the information needed for adjudications, the Secretary of State shall request all foreign governments that do not supply such information to start providing such information regarding their nationals within 60 days of notification.

(e) After the 60-day period described in subsection (d) of this section expires, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of foreign nationals (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas) from countries that do not provide the information requested pursuant to subsection (d) of this section until compliance occurs.

(f) At any point after submitting the list described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security may submit to the President the names of any additional countries recommended for similar treatment.

(g) Notwithstanding a suspension pursuant to subsection (c) of this section or pursuant to a Presidential proclamation described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.

(h) The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall submit to the President a joint report on the progress in implementing this orderwithin 30 days of the date of this order, a second report within 60 daysof the date of this order, a third report within 90 days of the date of this order, and a fourth report within 120 days of the date of this order.

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Sec. 4. Implementing Uniform Screening Standards for All Immigration Programs . (a) The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall implement a program, as part of the adjudication process for immigration benefits, to identify individuals seeking to enter the United States on a fraudulent basis with the intent to cause harm, or who are at risk of causing harm subsequent to their admission. This program will include the development of a uniform screening standard and procedure, such as in-person interviews; a database of identity documents proffered by applicants to ensure that duplicate documents are not used by multiple applicants; amended application forms that include questions aimed at identifying fraudulent answers and malicious intent; a mechanism to ensure that the applicant is who the applicant claims to be; a process to evaluate the applicant's likelihood of becoming a positively contributing member of society and the applicant's ability to make contributions to the national interest; and a mechanism to assess whether or not the applicant has the intent to commit criminal or terrorist acts after entering the United States.

(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Secretary of State, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of this directive within 60 days of the date of this order, a second report within 100 days of the date of this order, and a third report within 200 days of the date of this order.

Sec. 5. Realignment of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for Fiscal Year 2017 . (a) The Secretary of State shall suspend the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. During the 120-day period, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Homeland Security and in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, shall review the USRAP application and adjudication process to determine what additional procedures should be taken to ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States, and shall implement such additional procedures. Refugee applicants who are already in the USRAP process may be admitted upon the initiation and completion of these revised procedures. Upon the date that is 120 days after the date of this order, the Secretary of State shall resume USRAP admissions only for nationals of countries for which the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence have jointly determined that such additional procedures are adequate to ensure the security and welfare of the United States.

(b) Upon the resumption of USRAP admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual's country of nationality. Where necessary and appropriate, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall recommend legislation to the President that would assist with such prioritization.

(c) Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the USRAP to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest.

(d) Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I determine that additional admissions would be in the national interest.

(e) Notwithstanding the temporary suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest - including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship - and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States.

(f) The Secretary of State shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of the directive in subsection (b) of this section regarding prioritization of claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution within 100 days of the date of this order and shall submit a second report within 200 days of the date of this order.

(g) It is the policy of the executive branch that, to the extent permitted by law and as practicable, State and local jurisdictions be granted a role in the process of determining the placement or settlement in their jurisdictions of aliens eligible to be admitted to the United States as refugees. To that end, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall examine existing law to determine the extent to which, consistent with applicable law, State and local jurisdictions may have greater involvement in the process of determining the placement or resettlement of refugees in their jurisdictions, and shall devise a proposal to lawfully promote such involvement.

Sec. 6. Rescission of Exercise of Authority Relating to the Terrorism Grounds of Inadmissibility . The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Attorney General, consider rescinding the exercises of authority in section 212 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182, relating to the terrorism grounds of inadmissibility, as well as any related implementing memoranda.

Sec. 7. Expedited Completion of the Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System. (a) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all travelers to the United States, as recommended by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

(b) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the President periodic reports on the progress of the directive contained in subsection (a) of this section. The initial report shall be submitted within 100 days of the date of this order, a second report shall be submitted within 200 days of the date of this order, and a third report shall be submitted within 365 days of the date of this order. Further, the Secretary shall submit a report every 180 days thereafter until the system is fully deployed and operational.

Sec. 8. Visa Interview Security . (a) The Secretary of State shall immediately suspend the Visa Interview Waiver Program and ensure compliance with section 222 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1222, which requires that all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa undergo an in-person interview, subject to specific statutory exceptions.

(b) To the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary of State shall immediately expand the Consular Fellows Program, including by substantially increasing the number of Fellows, lengthening or making permanent the period of service, and making language training at the Foreign Service Institute available to Fellows for assignment to posts outside of their area of core linguistic ability, to ensure that non-immigrant visa-interview wait times are not unduly affected.

Sec. 9. Visa Validity Reciprocity . The Secretary of State shall review all nonimmigrant visa reciprocity agreements to ensure that they are, with respect to each visa classification, truly reciprocal insofar as practicable with respect to validity period and fees, as required by sections 221(c) and 281 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1201(c) and 1351, and other treatment. If a country does not treat United States nationals seeking nonimmigrant visas in a reciprocal manner, the Secretary of State shall adjust the visa validity period, fee schedule, or other treatment to match the treatment of United States nationals by the foreign country, to the extent practicable.

Sec. 10. Transparency and Data Collection . (a) To be more transparent with the American people, and to more effectively implement policies and practices that serve the national interest, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall, consistent with applicable law and national security, collect and make publicly available within 180 days, and every 180 days thereafter:

(i) information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; convicted of terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; or removed from the United States based on terrorism-related activity, affiliation, or material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national security reasons since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later;

(ii) information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry into the United States and engaged in terrorism-related acts, or who have provided material support to terrorism-related organizations in countries that pose a threat to the United States, since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later; and

(iii) information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including honor killings, in the United States by foreign nationals, since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later; and

(iv) any other information relevant to public safety and security as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General, including information on the immigration status of foreign nationals charged with major offenses.

(b) The Secretary of State shall, within one year of the date of this order, provide a report on the estimated long-term costs of the USRAP at the Federal, State, and local levels.

Sec. 11. General Provisions . (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

[Feb 01, 2017] Are the neoliberals all riled up because the immigrant ban might reduce terror shootings in US

Notable quotes:
"... I happen to think the heartlessness of this Order was a feature, not a bug, in order to garner maximum attention. I just read Mish's comment section, and Trump's base is cheering. ..."
"... silent on ethnic racism and the rest of US so much more guilty ..... on drone assassination and militarist nation building gone awry, tilting with nuclear war to keep NATO less recondite, etc, etc....... ..."
"... Before the Nazi had the power to go after the Jews they had effect the party's police state, before which ordinary Germans [and whatever police there were after the depression shuttered everything] permitted the party to do organized violence on their opponents: the social democrats, socialists, bolshevists, et al. ..."
"... The ban on returning residents is utterly against the law. ..."
Feb 01, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

pgl : , January 29, 2017 at 01:45 AM
Bill McBride on Trump's Muslim ban:

'Mr. Trump's executive order is un-American, not Christian, and hopefully unconstitutional. This is a shameful act and no good person can remain silent.'

Thanks for saying this Bill. JFK International had a demonstration against this ban that featured the detention of a brave Iraqi who helped US troops. This ban is also incredibly stupid.

Jerry Brown -> pgl... , January 29, 2017 at 02:10 AM
I add my thanks to yours. Very important post from Bill McBride.
pgl -> Jerry Brown... , January 29, 2017 at 03:04 AM
A temporary victory from the courts:

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/316714-federal-judge-blocks-trump-immigration-ban-nationwide

New Deal democrat -> pgl... , January 29, 2017 at 05:24 AM
Agreed in full.

I happen to think the heartlessness of this Order was a feature, not a bug, in order to garner maximum attention. I just read Mish's comment section, and Trump's base is cheering.

But on a longer term scale, heartlessness towards Muslim immigrants and DREAMers is going to turn persuadables against Trump. That and the next recession.

EMichael -> New Deal democrat... , January 29, 2017 at 05:29 AM
We'll differ on this one part, people that voted for Trump are not persuadables. They have always voted the same way in every single election they have voted in.

Amazes me that even now people keep thinking that Trump voters are anything but loyal GOP voters. And I think the best argument against this (besides common sense) is the reaction of Rep leaders to this obviously illegal action.

They're silent.

They cannot afford to speak out against this racist policy, as their own voters are for this racist policy.

ilsm -> EMichael... , January 29, 2017 at 05:45 AM
silent on ethnic racism and the rest of US so much more guilty ..... on drone assassination and militarist nation building gone awry, tilting with nuclear war to keep NATO less recondite, etc, etc.......

Are the libruls all riled up because the immigrant ban might reduce terror shootings in US to reduce screaming for techno-murder?

New Deal democrat -> EMichael... , January 29, 2017 at 06:11 AM
There were a fair amount of voters who "came home" to the GOP before the election, even though they found Trump himself distasteful. At least some of those nouveau-Reagan democrats also voted for him because of his economic agenda. They believed that his racism was all for show.
New Deal democrat -> EMichael... , January 29, 2017 at 06:57 AM
A further historical analogy ....

Once upon a time, for academic reasons I read the same book that Trump was rumored to have by his bedside in NYC: the english translation of the full text of Adolf Hitler's speeches. Hitler's argument for getting ordinary Germans to go along with his extreme anti-Semitic agenda was masterful. It went in essence like this: "I know that there are a very few good Jews, and you may know a few of them. But the vast majority of Jews, who you don't know, are evil. But in order to get to the mass of bad apples, we might have to inflict some hardship on a few good people." By getting people to overlook their own experience with Jews they knew, he prevailed.

In contrast - for example - gay rights triumphed when enough people knew gays in their ordinary lives, and realized that they were no different from anybody else. So they were unable to see any valid reason to discriminate against them.

This ban is much more like the second situation than the first. It is inflicting a lot of pain on a lot of good people, in order to get to (allegedly) a few bad apples, and people can see that. It is not going to be popular.

anon -> New Deal democrat... , January 29, 2017 at 08:24 AM
" for academic reasons I read the same book that Trump was rumored to have by his bedside in NYC"

unsubstantiated nonsense. other wise known as fake news

New Deal democrat -> anon... , January 29, 2017 at 08:36 AM
Unsubstantiated = It may or may not be nonsense, since we don't know if it is true or not. Hence, as I said, "rumor."

Have a nice day.

ilsm -> New Deal democrat... , January 29, 2017 at 01:24 PM
Before the Nazi had the power to go after the Jews they had effect the party's police state, before which ordinary Germans [and whatever police there were after the depression shuttered everything] permitted the party to do organized violence on their opponents: the social democrats, socialists, bolshevists, et al.

It was way too late when the pogrom started.

Peter K. -> EMichael... , January 29, 2017 at 08:05 AM

"We'll differ on this one part, people that voted for Trump are not persuadables. They have always voted the same way in every single election they have voted in."

Reminds me of the obstinate, closed-mindedness which Trump voters direct at immigrants and Muslims.

BenIsNotYoda -> Peter K.... , January 29, 2017 at 08:26 AM
The ban on returning residents is utterly against the law.

However, I agree on PeterK. The closed mindedness of neoliberals to their own follies has brought this state of affairs upon us. Wake up.

Peter K. -> BenIsNotYoda... , January 29, 2017 at 08:34 AM
Neoliberals have not delivered a growing, healthy economy despite Krugman's claims that everything is great, crime is down, etc.

Obama's record for 8 years is an average of 1.7 percent growth. NGDP is even worse which is why I support an NGDP target for the Fed. It would show how poorly they have done.

This after decades of corporate trade deals and a shrinking middle class.

People are angry. They want scapegoats. Trump provided them with scapegoats and the uneducated white working class took the bait.

Gibbon1 -> Peter K.... , January 29, 2017 at 11:48 AM
Peter K shows an understanding of politics.
ilsm -> pgl... , January 29, 2017 at 05:33 AM
I agree!

but..... there are a lot more for all parties in starting with funding and training jihadis to do Assad like US did Qaddafi and Libya......

Bill pastes:

"Republicans in Congress who remain quiet or tacitly supportive of the ban should recognize that history will remember them as cowards."

http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2017/01/these-are-not-normal-times.html#cGvlOOcKIMa08xzJ.99

Most of the 95% rest of the world see the US like the NYT says history see GOP congress.

point -> pgl... , January 29, 2017 at 05:36 AM
I appreciate Bill's judgement that Trump's acts are odious, but "un-American, not Christian, and hopefully unconstitutional" seems to be going too far.

It only takes a quick tour of historical US acts on immigration to find plenty of precedent.

1870-1943, Chinese.
1882, lunatics.
1907, Japanese
1921, everybody.
1923, Indians.
1932, everybody, especially Mexicans.

This according to the useful article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_laws_concerning_immigration_and_naturalization_in_the_United_States


New Deal democrat -> point... , January 29, 2017 at 06:04 AM
Small historical anecdote.

Mme. Chiang Kai Shek (recently deceased at age 106 on Long Island) has much to answer for before the bar of history, but she had one shining moment.

Supposedly at one point during WW2 both she and Winston Churchill were living at the White House (must have made for interesting dinner conversation). Anyway, during that time she gave a speech to Congress. In that speech she pointed out that Japanese militarist propaganda, that America's myth of liberty and equality before the law was hypocritical, had one inconvenient feature: given the Chinese and Japanese Exclusion Acts, it was true.

This speech was so shaming that Congress changed the law to allow Asian immigation - in a trickle at first, but thereafter a river.

kthomas -> New Deal democrat... , January 29, 2017 at 06:23 AM
Thank you for sharing.
ilsm -> New Deal democrat... , January 29, 2017 at 06:48 AM
Mme Chiang was Christian, spent part of youth in Georgia.

Japanese militarist propaganda used 'Asian co-prosperity' propaganda to point out imperialism..... too!

Java was Dutch, etc.

New Deal democrat -> ilsm... , January 29, 2017 at 07:15 AM
Yes, and her teenage voyage to San Francisco ended with her being treated exactly like the people being detained at airports this weekend. It made a lifelong impression on her.
ilsm -> New Deal democrat... , January 29, 2017 at 01:27 PM
She married Chiang to give him a link to the west....

Aside I am no fan of Chiang and Mme C.

BenIsNotYoda -> point... , January 29, 2017 at 08:27 AM
whenever bans were by democrat presidents, people here will never criticize.
Tom aka Rusty -> pgl... , January 29, 2017 at 05:51 AM
Given at least 16 years of intentional presidential failure to fully enforce immigration laws, this seems pretty small change.

But enough to make lefty heads explode.

Have a nice day.

PS: Did the State Department intentionally avoid Christian Arabs for refugee status? Not certain.

EMichael -> Tom aka Rusty... , January 29, 2017 at 05:57 AM
Wow.

Five feet over your head.

kthomas -> EMichael... , January 29, 2017 at 06:23 AM
What head? Brain by accident.
ilsm -> EMichael... , January 29, 2017 at 06:49 AM
ad hom when you ate wrog the best tool.
kt too!
Observer -> Tom aka Rusty... , January 29, 2017 at 06:49 AM
Yes, its pretty unremarkable. And you are correct the that Christian Arab refugees from Syria have been accepted at 5% of the rate their population would suggest:

"But the numbers tell a different story: The United States has accepted 10,801 Syrian refugees, of whom 56 are Christian. Not 56 percent; 56 total, out of 10,801. That is to say, one-half of 1 percent.

The BBC says that 10 percent of all Syrians are Christian, which would mean 2.2 million Christians. It is quite obvious, and President Barack Obama and Secretary John Kerry have acknowledged it, that Middle Eastern Christians are an especially persecuted group."


Here's a quite detailed discussion of the background around the EO and its implementation ... including the 2015 law limiting visas from those countries, and the reference for the above quote. It also contrasts the headlines in much of the press. As they say, read the whole thing.

"There is a postponement of entry from 7 countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen) previously identified by the Obama administration as posing extraordinary risks.

That they are 7 majority Muslim countries does not mean there is a Muslim ban, as most of the countries with the largest Muslim populations are not on the list (e.g., Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Nigeria and more).

Thus, the overwhelming majority of the Muslim world is not affected.

Moreover, the "ban" is only for four months while procedures are reviewed, with the exception of Syria for which there is no time limit.

There is a logic to the 7 countries. Six are failed states known to have large ISIS activity, and one, Iran, is a sworn enemy of the U.S. and worldwide sponsor of terrorism.

And, the 7 countries on the list were not even so-designated by Trump. Rather, they were selected last year by the Obama administration as posing special risks for visa entry ..."

I believe they don't mention that IIRC we were bombing 5 of the 7 counties on the list last month.

http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/01/most-claims-about-trumps-visa-executive-order-are-false-or-misleading/

BenIsNotYoda -> Tom aka Rusty... , January 29, 2017 at 08:31 AM
The current system relies on referrals from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Syria's population in 2011 was 90 percent Muslim and 10 percent Christian, CNS said. Less than 3% admitted as refugees are Christian. But not the state dept's doing.
Peter K. -> Tom aka Rusty... , January 29, 2017 at 09:48 AM
why was Obama called "Deporter in chief?"

Too bad your empathy for those in the Rust Belt doesn't extend to honest, innocent immigrants trying to make a better life for their families.

DrDick -> pgl... , January 29, 2017 at 07:37 AM
Yep! But we need to get used to it, because this is just the beginning.
pgl : , January 29, 2017 at 01:52 AM
I've seen some farmers of late complaining about Trump's protectionism hurting their business. Yes they are smart enough to realize that the dollar appreciation will reduce their exports. Too bad these rural Americans were not smart enough on election day not to vote Trump in as President.
kthomas -> pgl... , January 29, 2017 at 04:04 AM
Stupid is as stupid does. Stupid is the new Smart.
ken melvin -> kthomas... , January 29, 2017 at 04:42 AM
The man knows only what he's seen on cable TV most of which he doesn't understand. Knows nothing about: economics, trade, foreign affairs, government, law, ... He epitomizes the know nothings of the world, and, the fact that he doesn't know doesn't bother him in the least. A narcissists-grandiose type with neither regard nor interest for the probable consequences.
ken melvin -> ken melvin... , January 29, 2017 at 04:45 AM
I think it's wrong to even hope Trump turns out well. I think the country needs act to save democracy, to save itself from traveling down the road of despots and tyrants, from the likes of Trump who can be manipulated by the likes of Bannon.
ilsm -> ken melvin... , January 29, 2017 at 05:36 AM
We need a Dr. King, America's Gandhi!
RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> ilsm... , January 29, 2017 at 07:57 AM
We have needed one ever since the last one we had was murdered.
im1dc -> kthomas... , January 29, 2017 at 07:37 AM
'Stupid is as stupid does. Stupid is the new Smart."

LOL, loved that.

It will make a great Bumper Sticker coupled with the GOP logo of its Red, White, and Blue elephant

BenIsNotYoda -> kthomas... , January 29, 2017 at 08:33 AM
stupid is one who ignores that Obama presidency growth averaged 1.7% and failed to lift millions while wall street prospered and corporate market power increased both in goods and labor markets.
kthomas -> BenIsNotYoda... , January 29, 2017 at 09:25 AM
He's not President anymore. Now go f yourself, Vlad.


BenIsNotYoda -> kthomas... , January 29, 2017 at 09:38 AM
awwww. did I hurt your fragile sensibility?
ilsm -> pgl... , January 29, 2017 at 05:35 AM
I will dig out that best seller about Jackson and review the chapter on Nullification in Charleston,. SC........

[Jan 30, 2017] Trump Administration Flip-Flops Green Card Holders Are Not Affected By Immigration Ban Zero Hedge

Jan 30, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
As The Hill reports , White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus on Sunday said the president's executive order barring refugees and people from seven majority-Muslim nations does not affect green card holders.

"We didn't overrule the Department of Homeland Security, as far as green card holders moving forward, it doesn't affect them," Priebus said on NBC's "Meet The Press."

But Priebus noted if a person is traveling back and forth to one of the seven countries included in that order, that person is likely to be "subjected temporarily with more questioning until a better program is put in place."

"We don't want people that are traveling back and forth to one of these seven countries that harbor terrorists to be traveling freely back and forth between the United States and those countries," he said.

When pressed further on whether the order impacts green card holders, though, Priebus appeared to reverse himself, saying, "Well, of course it does."

"If you're traveling back and forth, you're going to be subjected to further screening, " he said.

Furthermore, Priebus also said more countries could be added to the list already included in the president's executive order.

"Perhaps other countries needed to be added to an executive order going forward," he said.

"But in order to do this in a way that was expeditious, in a way that would pass muster quickly, we used the 7 countries that have already been codified and identified."

As we noted yesterday, of the seven countries that are on the banned list, we note that the United States is actvely bombing five of them.

evoila -> Croesus , Jan 29, 2017 11:41 AM

maybe he didn't include saudi arabia because he is a genius. couldn't do it on the first go, but if enough people raise their voice about that exclusion, he will be like, what do you think folks, should I include SA? Ok, done!

xythras -> BabaLooey , Jan 29, 2017 11:30 AM

Giuliani Knows WHAT TO DO:

Calls for"Detention Centers" for Illegal Immigrants

http://dailywesterner.com/news/2017-01-29/giuliani-calls-for-detention-c...

Number 156 -> FreezeThese , Jan 29, 2017 3:05 PM

"Yeah what a disaster."

Chattanooga TN - 5 dead. San Bernardino, CA - 14 dead Orlando FL - 49 dead. Ft Lauderdale FL - 5 dead.

Havent learned anything since 9/11.

flaminratzazz -> xythras , Jan 29, 2017 11:33 AM

as far as green card holders moving forward, [the order] doesn't affect them."

yet

TahoeBilly2012 -> BabaLooey , Jan 29, 2017 11:27 AM

Why isn't Saudi in the group, weren't they the hijackers on 9/11?

BigFatUglyBubble -> TahoeBilly2012 , Jan 29, 2017 11:31 AM

Maybe the Tweeter-in-Chief could clarify in a series of misspelled sentence fragments.

Oldwood -> junction , Jan 29, 2017 11:44 AM

The seven countries listed were already defined by the Obama administration as principle threats, which is WHY Trump used them in his EO of his FIRST WEEK in office. This is part of his campaign agenda and using Obama policy was the fastest way to get it started. You can also bet that there are PLENTY of government employees who will do their best to make ANY such policy an embarrassment.

It's uphill, ALL THE WAY.

cheech_wizard -> Mammon , Jan 29, 2017 4:58 PM

Just when I thought you couldn't embarrass yourself further, you prove me wrong.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1182

(f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline.

Standard Disclaimer: How long do you think those planes will keep flying when hit with a million dollar a day fee? 10M? 100M?

Or do the words "any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate." still fail to register within that pea-sized brain of yours.

Cassandra.Hermes -> BabaLooey , Jan 29, 2017 12:22 PM

Trump banned 7 countries who produced not a single terrorist attack on US soil, but Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Russian, Indian and Israeli Muslims are not in the list, such are uselessness. What about US jail system, it seems to produce more Muslims than the immigration. Even USA army produced more terrorists than the 7 countries.

Ballin D -> Cassandra.Hermes , Jan 29, 2017 2:01 PM

I came here to accuse you of being full of shit but the first few were somalia, afghanistan, pakistan. not going to dig deeper because the conclusion is obvious - we just need a full blown muslim ban.

halcyon -> BabaLooey , Jan 29, 2017 1:07 PM

This is already a PR fight.

Where the Trump admin is clumsy, inexperience and naive is in thinking that every move they will make will NOT be used as an opportunity to assassinate them politically and in PR terms.

The fight happens mainly in the media, for voters minds anyway.

Trump admin should learn this. Fast.

P.S. The decision was just fucking stupid. Non-muslim, non-refugee PhDs who've been working for US tech/aerospace/finance/medical industry were left stranded. I'm not sure that Bubba from Alabama or Joe from Flint would get those jobs, even if Trump kicked out every single foreign PhD working in the US. Also, Silicon Valley would totally tank, if that happened. It was just a stupid move. Stupid.

toady -> halcyon , Jan 29, 2017 2:00 PM

I think what you're missing here, along with many others, is that this administration DOES NOT CARE what the MSM thinks. They can fabricate all the protests and memes they want, the administration will just shrug and say "whatever".

W said he "had a mandate", then did half-steps. Obama said he "had a mandate" , then didn't do any of it (close Gitmo, close black sites, end the middle east wars (hell, he more than doubled the middle east entanglements!)), Trump isn't even bothering to say he has a mandate, he's just proceeding as if it's a given.

So go ahead and rage MSM and associated protesters, but I doubt it'll do you any good.

Blankone -> halcyon , Jan 29, 2017 3:51 PM

The only way for him to avoid that from occuring would be to turn over the office to them and not make any decision they have not given approval to.

The effectiveness of their PR using the msm and their protest events will lessen if Trump ignores them and makes moves quickly and moves on. They will have difficulty getting attention over last months news - Unless they get more destructive or violent.

ich1baN -> BigFatUglyBubble , Jan 29, 2017 12:55 PM

Sorry BigFat, I like Ron Paul as much as you do, but his Libertarian Foreign Policy viewpoint on the Islamic issue is COMPLETELY naive. They want to establish a caliphate REGARDLESS whether they are bombed or not. They are inextricably linked to following what the Koran says about murdering Christians and Jews and establishing Sharia Law to dominate and subdue unbelievers (yes even naive Libertarians).... goodness me bro, educate yourself. Watch this school in Britain that is teaching students crazy Sharia Law viewpoints and ask yourself if these people in its current form are really compatible with Western Society:

https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=708_1470922102

It took Charles Martel "The Hammer" to put a stop to the Islamist creed of conquering Europe after the Moors completely took over Spain and were headed north towards France and the rest of last vestiges of the West. It looks as if we need a revival of his bloodline in order to really bring about peace and security in the West.

Yog Soggoth -> BigFatUglyBubble , Jan 29, 2017 1:28 PM

Criminal factions in the USA created ISIS. The American people are trying to undo that crime and bring those responsible to justice. This ain't gonna happen in a week.

Everyman -> HelloSpencer , Jan 29, 2017 11:42 AM

No, you are wrong, VISAS and Green Cards are NOT "Forever documents" granting the holder full citizenship or voting rights. It CAN be suspended for ANY reason deemed proper under the ALREADY WRITTEN LAWS. The President can suspend ANY entry:

"8 US Code 1182 Inadmissable Aliens

Section (10) (f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline."

Additionally, theree can be action that can be taken on any airline or transporter that accepts fradulent documents for admission. The United States Law on immigration was NEVER get here stay here. WE get to choose and it is NOT for democrats or globalists or elitiets to make that call. It is .... wait for it.... wait for it...

WE THE (FUCKING) PEOPLE. WE DECIDE. Not a bunch of libtards that gave up on America.

HelloSpencer -> Everyman , Jan 29, 2017 1:44 PM

I am wrong in regards to what?

The fact that even Green Card holders are aliens (with legal permanent residence in the US) is clear. A Green Card expirs after 10 years, you can apply for another 10 years, but then either become a citizen or leave the country. I understand that.

I was referring to the 90-day ban in the executive order. The executive order appears to me - among many other things - to imply, for example, that all Green Card holders, say, from Iran that just left the US for, say, a week to go on vacation (but have otherwise lived and worked here for years) will be barred from re-entering the US for a period of 90 days until various objectives in the executive order are worked out.

From Trump's executive order, Sec. 3. (c): '... I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order'

The way I read this is that if I am a Green Card holder from Syria who has lived in the US for the past 17 years and has studied and worked here, but who went on vacation to Venice, Italy, I WILL BE (no exception) barred from re-entering the US for 90 days. While your quote of 8 U.S.C. 1182(f) appears to indicate that the president can do exactly that I still think it is not clear cut from a legal perspective. We will see. If I am wrong I am wrong. I maintain that the Trump administration did not think through this executive order carefully. We can reconvene in the near future once this initial transient period is over to see where we are.

Bay of Pigs -> HelloSpencer , Jan 29, 2017 11:40 AM

You obviously don't understand the size and scope of the problems this administration is inheriting. Your agenda is clear. Bash Trump at every turn and deflect from Obama's disastrous policies.

HelloSpencer -> Bay of Pigs , Jan 29, 2017 1:50 PM

I find it interesting that you claim that my agenda is clear from just reading one of my posts. That is not enough information that would allow you make such a grand claim. Maybe you should go back and only claim things, for which you have sufficient evidence. BTW, in my original post I actually do bash the previous administration.

Got The Wrong No -> HippieHaulers , Jan 29, 2017 5:41 PM

Cater Banned Iranians and deported Students during the Hostage situation. The Left needs to get a grip.

Max Cynical , Jan 29, 2017 11:46 AM

Why the fuck not?

Obama was giving out green cards like candy.

Chart: Obama Admin. On Pace to Issue One Million Green Cards to Migrants from Majority-Muslim Countries

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/06/17/obama-admin-pace-issu...

ANOTHER OBAMA DHS SCREW UP: 20,000 GREEN CARDS HANDED OUT LIKE CANDY

In the latest instance of the Obama administration's neglect and indifference toward America's immigration problem, around 20,000 green cards have been wrongly distributed or contained false information.

The DHS report highlights that at least 19,000 green cards were issued with either incorrect information or sent in duplicate, while the USCIS also received over 200,000 complaints that cards had either been sent to the wrong address or not received at all.

Furthermore, the OIG report found that over 2,400 immigrants who had only been cleared for two-year conditional residence status were inadvertently issued cards that don't expire for 10 years.

https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/11/another-obama-dhs-...

I Write Code , Jan 29, 2017 11:32 AM

Lance Prius makes a good enough case, actually.

_SILENCER , Jan 29, 2017 11:34 AM

Well, three of the countries on the list are countries we totally shit all over: Iraq, Libya and Syria. Legit call there.

That whole bloody region should be in immigration quarrantine.

But goddamn I'd add Saudi Arabia t

Wahooo , Jan 29, 2017 11:34 AM

Amateur Hour, Starring Drumpf.

Oh, and BTW, these countries where Drumpf has businesses or business interests are exempt:

1. Saudi Arabia

2. United Arab Emirates

3, Turkey

4. Indonesia

Of course, no terrorists ever came from those nations. Oh, wait...

It's one thing to try to tighten immigration overview. Quite another to knee-jerk your way into an international political blow-up with a fucked-up bull-in-china-shop approach to strategy and tactics.

Lots more of that with this bi-polar president.

buckstopshere -> Wahooo , Jan 29, 2017 11:45 AM

1. Saudi Arabia is the centerpiece of the petrodollar. An attack on Saudi Arabia is an attack on the dollar and worthy of a military response. Nixon and Kissinger laid the foundation of this monetary order and Carter made it very clear about US defending Saudi Arabia.

2. UAE is a key ally of Saudi Arabia.

3. Turkey is a key NATO member, contributing a large percentage of troops and vehicles, and also controls a key outlet for Russian warships based in Crimea.

4. Indonesia controls the Strait of Malacca, a strategic chokepoint for oil headed to East Asia.

Ilmarinen -> buckstopshere , Jan 29, 2017 12:07 PM

I would refer everyone complaining about KSA and friends not being on the list to your post.

Become self-sufficient (money/energy/manufacturing not critically dependant on others), then you can tell KSA what you really think of them. With all the winning these days, maybe it's not so far-fetched a dream...

Got The Wrong No -> Wahooo , Jan 29, 2017 5:51 PM

Obama picked the Countries ass hole. Trump said he may expand the list. Trump Haters are Funny Pukes

Xena fobe , Jan 29, 2017 11:39 AM

It's a difficult issue. We can't have our cake and eat it too. Some risk must be accepted in order to remain within the law. Obama issued these visas and we have to abide by them and that is that. We can not have witch hunts in this country. Fortunately going forward, we can refuse new visas. And what is taking President Trump so long to ban new border crossing "refugee" claims? That is actually a more pressing issue.

There , Jan 29, 2017 1:10 PM

It is not a matter of we vs. them, it's we vs. us. This Administration is proving in 7 days to be rank amateurs.

So many statements and decrees have been walked back, cancelled or corrected. No one thinks these things through or understands what is lawful or possible.

So many statements and numbers have been proven objectively wrong and changed on the fly.

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain, he cannot be trusted.

The Administration appointees and the Vampire Squid already control more wealth than 1/3rd of the population.

Today we learn that the National Security Council has been downsized so as not to include the Dec Def, or White House Security Adviser. A joke that only President Paranoid can love.

When will the loyalists realize we have been PUNKED by this Administration?

PleasedToMeatYou , Jan 29, 2017 1:14 PM

Good thing there's no Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, nor anti-Western Jihadis in Turkey, etc.

What I want to know is - regarding the drone ordering, cakewalk promising, WMD swearing terrorists who started all shit to begin with - when will they be banned permanently from sunlight and fresh air?

old_cynic , Jan 29, 2017 4:51 PM

Do you really think for a moment that Google is so desperate to hire good programmers that it needs to recruit from Syria/Iraq/etc???

The Obama administration and its henchmen for years has preyed upon the generosity of businesses like those in Silicon Valley, to get them to hire from these Muslim countries. This is how a Muslim governs. Obama did this with the express intent of cirumventing any limitations on refugees, this way their status was immediately legal.

This is a Muslim invasion. They are not refugees. And Islam is an evil cult, which should not be given the title of 'religion'.

Pitchman , Jan 29, 2017 7:09 PM

"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." - James Madison

This story is about an investigation by George Webb that takes us back to the Dulles Brothers and the birth of the CIA in 1947. It includes a cast of characters, entities, and events leading up to Snowden; including Booze Allen; the Carlie Group; the Enron scandal; Kosovo; Somalia; Argentina; East Timor; the Clinton Foundation in Haiti; Hillary's arming of ISIS, and destruction of Libya. And then there's the FALSE FLAG attack on Syria, using Sarin Gas from Libya, for which Assad was blamed.

Webb began investigating of the Clinton Foundation and has descended into a labyrinth of a Rabbit hole. Be assured the prima facie evidence against Hillary in Libya and the Foundation, including Bill, is overwhelming.

If you are interested in the depth of the Rabbit Hole and the psychopaths within, please see:

" DynCorp, Haiti & Me: Will Trump Drain the Swamp? This is How We'll Know "

https://notionalvalue.blogspot.com/2017/01/dyncorp-haiti-me-will-trump-drain-swamp.html

[Jan 30, 2017] The ban on Muslim immigration is so much more useless and immoral than selling cluster bombs for the Sunni to 'do' Huthi in Yemen!

Jan 30, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Fred C. Dobbs : , January 29, 2017 at 06:55 AM
Paul Krugman ‏✔ @paulkrugman · 1 hour ago

Deep thought: The abruptness and extremism of the refugee ban make no sense in terms of policy, even racist, anti-Muslim policy 1/

Best understood, I think, as an attempt by Trump to resuscitate a narrative of personal dominance after a humiliating first week 2/

Which makes the judge's stay a big deal -- a new humiliation -- even though it only protects a relative handful of people already here 3/

Trump's response is predictable: there will be new, bigger crazy in a couple of days, just to show that he's really in charge 4/

Fred C. Dobbs -> Fred C. Dobbs... , January 29, 2017 at 06:56 AM
https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/825698148152520704
ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , January 29, 2017 at 07:07 AM
Yup!

The ban on Muslim immigration is so much more useless and immoral than selling cluster bombs for the Sunni to 'do' Huthi in Yemen!

or a hundred other immoral neocon tactics espoused by libruls at nyt and subsidiary humbug mills.

JohnH -> ilsm... , January 29, 2017 at 07:30 AM
Good point. Much as I disagree with both bombing Muslims and denying refugees, it is refreshing to see a president actually try to accomplish what he believes in...after eight years of a president who just shrugged his shoulders, told us it can't be done, and that Americans should just suck it up...the jobs are never coming back!

What 'liberal's fail to understand is that Trump probably cares less about whether he succeeds in banning Muslim immigrants and is more concerned about how deplorables perceive how hard he is trying.

If Obama and Hillary had tried half as hard as Trump to accomplish things that working Americans wanted, then Trump wouldn't be president. It is tragic that Democrats were more interested in rolling over and having their bellies rubbed by wealthy and powerful interests than beating their heads against the wall for American workers.

Fred C. Dobbs -> ilsm... , January 29, 2017 at 07:38 AM
Hmmm. Perhaps you are picking up on the irony
of US munitions sales driving immigrants to
our formerly welcoming shores.
JohnH -> Fred C. Dobbs... , January 29, 2017 at 08:41 AM
Or maybe ilsm is picking up on the liberal hypocrisy of complaining when Muslims are denied entry to the US but being happy when Muslims get bombed...
Dan Kervick -> Fred C. Dobbs... , January 29, 2017 at 08:54 AM
In one way, the things that Trump is doing are similar to what other newly elected presidents have done. In their first weeks they try to reward the base voters by pushing through a huge number of changes that are high on those voters' agendas. Then they turn back to more normal, professional, DC-oriented politics.

But in this case, we might not get a return to normal. Possibly the most worrisome thing he is done yet is put the lunatic cretin Bannon on the NSC, and demote the Joint Chiefs and DNI. He's creating his own little radical, ideological national security directorate of wild-eyed, amateur outsiders and Holy Warriors.

He has already started a process for reviewing the US's ISIS policies, including looking for ways to avoid international law constraints. I expect that within a relatively short time, he will launch a major, ruthless military blitz against ISIS. He will team up with Putin to do it. It will be combined with a domestic campaign of persecution and intimidation directed against various kinds of Muslims and non-Muslim political dissidents.

Peter K. -> Dan Kervick... , January 29, 2017 at 09:16 AM
Trump believes he's the head of a movement, one that overthrew the Republican establishment and faces unyielding opposition from the press.

It's the economic and cultural nationalism of Jeff Sessions and Bannon etc. He's a populist which is why he is concerned with how popular he is. It's why the size of crowds matters to him. It's why it matters whether or not he won the popular vote. It's why he tweets directly at his supporters.

He repeatedly called Iraq a disaster on the campaign trail. Many of his voters agree. I don't see him putting boots on the ground, at least not for any extended period of time or for an occupation. He's isolationist. America First. They want to withdraw from the world, from alliances.

His Defense Secretary Mattis says torture doesn't work and Trump said he'll defer to him. We'll see. Yes he'll probably do some sort of military adventure but it will be drawn up by Mattis and the generals. He'll declare victory and go home and change the subject. When all is said and done he's a real-estate developer and a con man. He'll use bombing ISIS as a distraction. I see him as more like Berlusconi. Corrupt.

Just a guess. Trump is unpredictable.

Peter K. -> Peter K.... , January 29, 2017 at 09:18 AM
"They want to withdraw from the world, from alliances."

But in a way he's sees himself as part of the international populist movements in Europe like with Brexit, UKIP and Farange.

DeDude : , January 29, 2017 at 07:36 AM
How many of the 9/11 terrorists came from Saudi Arabia? So if all but one came from that country the travel ban on people from 7 countries must certainly include Saudi Arabia, right?

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-trump-immigration-ban-conflict-of-interest/

No apparently not - because it could hurt Trumps personal business deals. The criteria to select countries for this cruel and completely unnecessary travel ban (leaving many students at american universities stranded in their home countries) has apparently not been designed based on actual likelihood of terrorism.

[Jan 30, 2017] The judge's ruling blocked part of the president's actions, preventing the government from deporting some arrivals who found themselves ensnared by the presidential order.

Jan 30, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Fred C. Dobbs : Reply Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 06:33 AM , January 29, 2017 at 06:33 AM
Judge Blocks Trump Order on Refugees Amid Chaos
and Outcry Worldwide https://nyti.ms/2jHS6tQ
NYT - MICHAEL D. SHEAR, NICHOLAS KULISH and ALAN FEUER - Jan 28

WASHINGTON - A federal judge in Brooklyn came to the aid of scores of refugees and others who were trapped at airports across the United States on Saturday after an executive order signed by President Trump, which sought to keep many foreigners from entering the country, led to chaotic scenes across the globe.

The judge's ruling blocked part of the president's actions, preventing the government from deporting some arrivals who found themselves ensnared by the presidential order. But it stopped short of letting them into the country or issuing a broader ruling on the constitutionality of Mr. Trump's actions. ...

Boston judges temporarily block Trump edict on immigration
http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/01/29/judges-put-temporary-stop-trump-immigration-order/UQiz2kEXJMDQHuiIFoguuJ/story.html?event=event25
via @BostonGlobe - Maria Sacchetti - January 29, 2017

In a rare middle-of-the night decision, two federal judges in Boston temporarily halted President Trump's executive order blocking immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States.

At 1:51 a.m., Judge Allison Burroughs and Magistrate Judge Judith Dein imposed a seven-day restraining order against Trump's executive order, clearing the way for lawful immigrants from the seven barred nations – Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Syria – to enter the US.

"It's a great victory today," said Susan Church, a lawyer who argued the case in court. "What's most important about today is this is what makes America great, the fact that we have the rule of law."

The ruling prohibits federal officials from detaining or deporting immigrants and refugees with valid visas or green cards or forcing them to undergo extra security screenings based solely on Trump's order. The judges also instructed Customs and Border Protection to notify airlines overseas that it is safe to put immigrants on US-bound flights. ...

Fred C. Dobbs -> Fred C. Dobbs... , January 29, 2017 at 06:42 AM
Judge Who Blocked Trump's Refugee Order Praised
for 'Firm Moral Compass' https://nyti.ms/2jDI930
NYT - CHRISTOPHER MELE - January 29, 2017

The federal judge who blocked part of President Trump's executive order on immigration on Saturday night worked for years in the Manhattan district attorney's office, where she was one of the lead prosecutors on the high-profile Tyco International fraud trial.

Colleagues remembered the judge, Ann M. Donnelly, as an astute lawyer unfazed by the spotlight. She found herself in its glare unexpectedly on Saturday night, when she heard an emergency appeal from the American Civil Liberties Union challenging the executive order barring refugees. She granted a temporary stay, ordering that refugees and others detained at airports across the United States not be sent back to their home countries.

Enforcing Mr. Trump's order by sending the travelers home could cause them "irreparable harm," Judge Donnelly ruled.

The order, just before 9 p.m., capped an intense day of protests across the country by opponents of the order, which suspended the entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barred Syrian refugees indefinitely and blocked entry for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries. ...

President Trump takes to Twitter urging 'extreme vetting'
http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2017/01/29/president-trump-takes-twitter-urging-extreme-vetting/hnkdLMTzmCWELYbcuYBBqN/story.html?event=event25
via @BostonGlobe - Sean Smyth - January 29, 2017

President Trump was handed two losses in federal courts overnight regarding the executive order on immigration he issued Friday.

On Sunday morning, Trump appeared to refer to those court rulings on Twitter.

"Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW," he wrote.

Donald J. Trump ✔ ‎@realDonaldTrump

Our country needs strong borders and extreme
vetting, NOW. Look what is happening all over
Europe and, indeed, the world - a horrible mess!

8:08 AM - 29 Jan 2017

He also took aim again at The New York Times, a frequent foil for Trump during the presidential campaign and afterward.

Donald J. Trump ✔ ‎@realDonaldTrump

Somebody with aptitude and conviction should buy
the FAKE NEWS and failing @nytimes and either run
it correctly or let it fold with dignity!

8:00 AM - 29 Jan 2017

Fred C. Dobbs -> Fred C. Dobbs... , January 29, 2017 at 06:50 AM
Protest Grows 'Out of Nowhere' at Kennedy Airport
After Iraqis Are Detained https://nyti.ms/2jDgKhA
NYT - ELI ROSENBERG - January 28, 2017

It began in the morning, with a small crowd chanting and holding cardboard signs outside Kennedy International Airport, upset by the news that two Iraqi refugees had been detained inside because of President Trump's executive order.

By the end of the day, the scattershot group had swelled to an enormous crowd.

They filled the sidewalks outside the terminal and packed three stories of a parking garage across the street, a mass of people driven by emotion to this far-flung corner of the city, singing, chanting and unfurling banners.

This was the most public expression of the intense reaction generated across the country by Mr. Trump's polarizing decision. While those in some areas of the country were cheered (#) by the executive order, the reaction was markedly different for many in New York. References to the Statue of Liberty and its famous inscription became a rallying cry.

Similar protests erupted at airports around the country.

Word of the protest at Kennedy first filtered out on social media from the immigrant-advocacy groups Make the Road New York and the New York Immigration Coalition. It seemed like it might stay small.

But the drama seemed to rise throughout the day. ...

#- Trump's Immigration Ban Draws Deep Anger
and Muted Praise https://nyti.ms/2jBezLG
NYT - RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA - Jan 28, 2017

A group of Nobel Prize winners said it would damage American leadership in higher education and research. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and some relatives of Americans killed in terrorist attacks said it was right on target. An evangelical Christian group called it an affront to human dignity.

The reaction on Saturday to President Trump's ban on refugees entering the United States, with particular focus on certain Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa, was swift, certain - and sharply divided.

The order drew sharp and widespread condemnation Saturday from Democrats, religious groups, business leaders, academics and others, who called it inhumane, discriminatory and akin to taking a "wrecking ball to the Statue of Liberty." Thousands of professors, including several Nobel laureates, signed a statement calling it a "major step towards implementing the stringent racial and religious profiling promised on the campaign trail." ...

Fred C. Dobbs -> Fred C. Dobbs... , January 29, 2017 at 07:10 AM
'Give me your tired, your poor:' The story behind the Statue of Liberty's famous immigration poem http://ti.me/2keeIFr
Time - Katie Reilly - January 28, 2017

In the wake of President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration Friday, many critics quickly took up a familiar rallying cry, lifting words from the Statue of Liberty that have for decades represented American immigration: "Give me your tired, your poor / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

Former independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright all invoked those words - written by American author and poet Emma Lazarus in 1883 - as they condemned Trump's suspension of the country's refugee assistance program. ...

The poet James Russell Lowell said he liked the poem "much better than I like the Statue itself" because it "gives its subject a raison d'être which it wanted before," according to the New York Times.

"Emma Lazarus was the first American to make any sense of this statue," Esther Schor, who wrote a biography on Lazarus, told the Times in 2011. ...

"Wherever there is humanity, there is the theme for a great poem," she once said, according to the Jewish Women's Archives.

The poem was later published in New York World and the New York Times, just a few years before Lazarus died in 1887.

The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York in 1885 and was officially unveiled in 1886, but Lazarus' poem did not become famous until years later, when in 1901, it was rediscovered by her friend Georgina Schuyler. In 1903, the last lines of the poem were engraved on a plaque and placed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, where it remains today.

The poem, in its entirety, is below:

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

[Jan 29, 2017] Are the libruls all riled up because the immigrant ban might reduce terror shootings in US to reduce screaming for techno-murder?

Jan 29, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
New Deal democrat -> pgl... , January 29, 2017 at 05:24 AM
Agreed in full.

I happen to think the heartlessness of this Order was a feature, not a bug, in order to garner maximum attention. I just read Mish's comment section, and Trump's base is cheering.

But on a longer term scale, heartlessness towards Muslim immigrants and DREAMers is going to turn persuadables against Trump. That and the next recession.

EMichael -> New Deal democrat... , January 29, 2017 at 05:29 AM
We'll differ on this one part, people that voted for Trump are not persuadables. They have always voted the same way in every single election they have voted in.

Amazes me that even now people keep thinking that Trump voters are anything but loyal GOP voters. And I think the best argument against this (besides common sense) is the reaction of Rep leaders to this obviously illegal action.

They're silent.

They cannot afford to speak out against this racist policy, as their own voters are for this racist policy.

ilsm -> EMichael... , -1
silent on ethnic racism and the rest of US so much more guilty ..... on drone assassination and militarist nation building gone awry, tilting with nuclear war to keep NATO less recondite, etc, etc.......

Are the libruls all riled up because the immigrant ban might reduce terror shootings in US to reduce screaming for techno-murder?

[Jan 23, 2017] President Trump Kills TPP Once and for All with Executive Order Officially Withdrawing withdrawing from the trade deal negotiations

Jan 23, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

It came as a part of series of three separate executive actions that President Trump took on Monday.

"The first is a withdrawal of the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership," White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said, explaining the first executive action President Trump was taking in the list of three. The other two were one freezing hiring of all federal employees except in the military, and one that restores the Mexico City policy.

As President Trump signed the executive action killing the TPP, he announced for the cameras in the oval office that it was a "great thing for the American worker, what we just did."

Trump campaigned heavily against TPP, so it's only fitting he'd crush it once and for all on his first business day as President of the United States. It's his efforts campaigning against it-and the efforts of failed presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)-that shook Washington's political establishment, and eventually forced failed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton to come out against the deal that was supposed to be a legacy achievement of now former President Barack Obama.

Trump hammered TPP repeatedly throughout his campaign and even leading up to it in speeches and interviews, including many exclusive interviews with Breitbart News.

[Jan 14, 2017] Great Ironies of History: Supporters of China's Entry to WTO Now Argue for TPP as Bulwark Against China

Jan 14, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne : January 13, 2017 at 05:03 AM

http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/great-ironies-of-history-23-453-supporters-of-china-s-entry-to-wto-now-argue-for-tpp-as-bulwark-against-china

January 12, 2017

Great Ironies of History #23,453: Supporters of China's Entry to WTO Now Argue for TPP as Bulwark Against China

As the protectionist supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) desperately try to regroup, it's entertaining to see how they think that China-bashing is their best hope for success. (Yes, supporters of the TPP are protectionist. A major thrust of the deal is to impose longer and stronger patent and copyright and related protections on the member countries. These are by definition forms of protectionism, even if economists and reporters tend to like them.)

Anyhow, we got an example of the China bashing of a TPP supporter in a Washington Post column * by Fareed Zakaria, in which he warned readers that China would be the main beneficiary from a decision by Donald Trump not to pursue the TPP as president. The economists at the Peterson Institute for International Economics are also among those making the argument for the TPP as an obstacle to China's growing political strength in the region. Many of these same people argued vociferously for allowing China to enter the World Trade Organization in 2000 without imposing conditions like respect for human rights or labor rights, which may have fundamentally altered China's path of political development. It is striking that they now think the U.S. public should now be concerned about the growing power of a country with little respect for these rights.

* https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-could-be-the-best-thing-thats-happened-to-china-in-a-long-time/2017/01/12/f4d71a3a-d913-11e6-9a36-1d296534b31e_story.html

-- Dean Baker

Peter K. -> anne...

"As the protectionist supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) desperately try to regroup, it's entertaining to see how they think that China-bashing is their best hope for success"

They're bashing Russia, why not China too?

anne :
http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/china-does-know-how-to-reduce-its-trade-deficit

January 13, 2017

China Does Know How to Reduce Its Trade Deficit

A New York Times article * on Robert Lighthizer, Donald Trump's pick to be trade representative, left out some important background information. It notes that Lighthizer wants to reduce the size of the U.S. trade deficit with China. It then told readers that this could lead to major conflicts with China:

"Exports are important for China. It consistently sells $4 worth of goods to the United States for each $1 of imports. That mismatch has produced a bilateral trade surplus for China equal to about 3 percent of the country's entire economy, creating tens of millions of jobs.

"The benefits to China from that surplus have been increasing rapidly in the past few years."

It is worth noting that China has actually sharply reduced its trade surplus in prior years. According to the International Monetary Fund ** it peaked at 9.9 percent of GDP in 2007. It then declined sharply to just 1.8 percent of GDP in 2011. It has since edged slightly higher, but it is still less than 3.0 percent of GDP.

Ordinarily, we would expect that a fast growing developing country like China would be running a trade deficit, as capital flows into the country to take advantage of higher returns. This has not happened in China's case as the government has offset inflows of private capital by buying up trillions of dollars of foreign assets. It now holds more than $3 trillion in reserves in addition to another $1.5 trillion in foreign assets in the form of sovereign wealth funds.

Reportedly China has recently been trying to raise the value of its currency. This would suggest an obvious path of agreement between the U.S. and China under which the two countries could act jointly to raise the value of China's currency against the dollar, thereby putting downward pressure on the trade deficit.

The piece also notes Lighthizer's advocacy of the efforts of the Reagan administration to pressure Japanese manufacturers to "voluntarily" limit their exports to the United States. It would have been worth mentioning that these restrictions on exports led the Japanese manufacturers to begin to set up factories in the United States. Today, most of the cars that Japanese auto companies sell in the United States are assembled here, although they still do include a substantial amount of foreign content.

This piece seriously misrepresents a proposal for corporate tax reform advocated by Republicans in Congress as a route to tax imports. In fact, the tax has been developed by economists who are very much conventional free traders. The purpose is to simplify the tax code and eliminate the enormous waste associated with the gaming of current system. The treatment of imports and exports is intended to make the tax symmetric with the treatment of value-added taxes in many U.S. trading partners. It is not intended as a protectionist measure to reduce the trade deficit.

* https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/13/business/china-donald-trump-robert-lighthizer.html

** http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2016/02/weodata/weorept.aspx?pr.x=37&pr.y=10&sy=2000&ey=2016&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=924&s=BCA_NGDPD&grp=0&a=

-- Dean Baker

[Jan 12, 2017] Lessons From the Demise of the TPP naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... The decision by the Obama administration to push ahead with the TPP may well have cost Hillary Clinton the presidency ..."
"... No doubt. But the Wall St. Dems are going to keep blaming Bernie Bros and the Russians. And they'll keep helping themselves to that sweet corporate payola. ..."
"... Talk about pushing ahead with TPP, this piece is jaw dropping. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lori-wallach/tpp-how-obama-traded-away_b_13872926.html?section=us_politics ..."
"... I see it as karma. TPP may have been the worst thing ever tried by a US President, to date. I didn't realize that so many people understood it though, at least I didn't get that impression in central California. ..."
"... And not just Hillary Clinton. The whole Democratic party. Obama has been a disaster for Democrats. There is a piece in the WAPO by Matt Stoller today discussing just this issue. ..."
"... Excellent point. Basically will corporations pass along increased costs to consumers? ..."
"... Take a look at what happened when the price of oil spiked. Corporations that had healthy profit margins in general didn't pass on to consumers their increased costs when oil was part of their COGS (cost of good sold). Though in contrast, airlines did. At the time Airlines had low profit margins. But I suspect their pricing power is less elastic regardless – their 10Ks show their entire business model is metric'd on the price of fuel. ..."
"... Offshoring isn't about lower consumer goods prices. The cost of labor in a mass-produced product is small, often trivial. That's what mass production is designed to do. ..."
"... The addiction to foreign trade is for the money in it. The importer doubles his money, the wholesaler doubles his money, the distributor doubles his money and the retailer gets what he can. The Chinese manufacturer is satisfied but most of the street cost goes to the intermediaries. ..."
"... In this case, "sovereignty" means the power to regulate commerce. Insofar as the signatories are democracy, it also means democracy – the ability to carry out the decisions of representative bodies. ..."
"... Countries without an internationally traded currency will not willingly sign up for specious 'trade in money' sections. Galbraith the Younger wrote a famous paper on the subject that clearly established there is no such thing as a trade in money. Every way I look at it, its a rip-off, facilitated by a useful idiot in the country's central bank. ..."
"... ISDS is nothing more than a scheme to enable direct foreign attacks on the legislative process itself – even more direct and invasive than influencing elections by hacking, propaganda or whatever ..."
Jan 12, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
... ... ...

By Jomo Kwame Sundaram, former UN Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development. Originally published at Inter Press Service and cross posted from Triple Crisis

President-elect Donald Trump has promised that he will take the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on the first day of his presidency. The TPP may now be dead, thanks to Trump and opposition by all major US presidential candidates. With its imminent demise almost certain, it is important to draw on some lessons before it is buried.

Fraudulent Free Trade Agreement

The TPP is fraudulent as a free trade agreement, offering very little in terms of additional growth due to trade liberalization, contrary to media hype. To be sure, the TPP had little to do with trade. The US already has free trade agreements, of the bilateral or regional variety, with six of the 11 other countries in the pact. All twelve members also belong to the World Trade Organization (WTO) which concluded the single largest trade agreement ever, more than two decades ago in Marrakech – contrary to the TPPA's claim to that status. Trade barriers with the remaining five countries were already very low in most cases, so there is little room left for further trade liberalization in the TPPA, except in the case of Vietnam, owing to the war until 1975 and its legacy of punitive legislation.

The most convenient computable general equilibrium (CGE) trade model used for trade projections makes unrealistic assumptions, including those about the consequences of trade liberalization. For instance, such trade modelling exercises typically presume full employment as well as unchanging trade and fiscal balances. Our colleagues' more realistic macroeconomic modelling suggested that almost 800,000 jobs would be lost over a decade after implementation, with almost half a million from the US alone. There would also be downward pressure on wages, in turn exacerbating inequalities at the national level.

Already, many US manufacturing jobs have been lost to US corporations' automation and relocation abroad. Thus, while most politically influential US corporations would do well from the TPP due to strengthened intellectual property rights (IPRs) and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms, US workers would generally not. It is now generally believed these outcomes contributed to the backlash against such globalization in the votes for Brexit and Trump.

Non-Trade Measures

According to the Peterson Institute of International Economics (PIIE), the US think-tank known for cheerleading economic liberalization and globalization, the purported TPPA gains would mainly come from additional investments, especially foreign direct investments, due to enhanced investor rights. However, these claims have been disputed by most other analysts, including two US government agencies, i.e., the US Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service (ERS) and the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

Much of the additional value of trade would come from 'non-trade issues'. Strengthening intellectual property (IP) monopolies, typically held by powerful transnational corporations, would raise the value of trade through higher trading prices, not more goods and services. Thus, strengthened IPRs leading to higher prices for medicines are of particular concern.

The TPP would reinforce and extend patents, copyrights and related intellectual property protections. Such protectionism raises the price of protected items, such as pharmaceutical drugs. In a 2015 case, Martin Shkreli raised the price of a drug he had bought the rights to by 6000% from USD12.50 to USD750! As there is no US law against such 'price-gouging', the US Attorney General could only prosecute him for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme.

"Medecins Sans Frontieres" warned that the agreement would go down in history as the worst "cause of needless suffering and death" in developing countries. In fact, contrary to the claim that stronger IPRs would enhance research and development, there has been no evidence of increased research or new medicines in recent decades for this reason.

Corporate-Friendly

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is also supposed to go up thanks to the TPPA's ISDS provisions. For instance, foreign companies would be able to sue TPP governments for ostensible loss of profits, including potential future profits, due to changes in national regulation or policies even if in the national or public interest.

ISDS would be enforced through ostensibly independent tribunals. This extrajudicial system would supercede national laws and judiciaries, with secret rulings not bound by precedent or subject to appeal.

Thus, rather than trade promotion, the main purpose of the TPPA has been to internationally promote more corporate-friendly rules under US leadership. The 6350 page deal was negotiated by various working groups where representatives of major, mainly US corporations were able to drive the agenda and advance their interests. The final push to seek congressional support for the TPPA despite strong opposition from the major presidential candidates made clear that the main US rationale and motive were geo-political, to minimize China's growing influence.

The decision by the Obama administration to push ahead with the TPP may well have cost Hillary Clinton the presidency as she came across as insincere in belatedly opposing the agreement which she had previously praised and advocated. Trade was a major issue in swing states like Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania, where concerned voters overwhelmingly opted for Trump.

The problem now is that while the Obama administration undermined trade multilateralism by its unwillingness to honour the compromise which initiated the Doha Development Round, Trump's preference for bilateral agreements benefiting the US is unlikely to provide the boost to multilateralism so badly needed now. Unless the US and the EU embrace the spirit of compromise which started this round of trade negotiations, the WTO and multilateralism more generally may never recover from the setbacks of the last decade and a half.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© , January 11, 2017 at 11:49 am

The decision by the Obama administration to push ahead with the TPP may well have cost Hillary Clinton the presidency

No doubt. But the Wall St. Dems are going to keep blaming Bernie Bros and the Russians. And they'll keep helping themselves to that sweet corporate payola.

Marley's dad , January 11, 2017 at 1:05 pm

Talk about pushing ahead with TPP, this piece is jaw dropping. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lori-wallach/tpp-how-obama-traded-away_b_13872926.html?section=us_politics

B1whois , January 11, 2017 at 2:37 pm

I see it as karma. TPP may have been the worst thing ever tried by a US President, to date. I didn't realize that so many people understood it though, at least I didn't get that impression in central California.

Oregoncharles , January 11, 2017 at 3:32 pm

Lori Wallach doing a rather ironic victory dance. Worth spreading around the Dempologist sites: "here's the real reason."

Left in Wisconsin , January 12, 2017 at 2:13 am

Lori Wallach is no dummy. She should run for president in 2020. As a Democrat. No kidding. She is way better than Bernie. Said it here first.

Jack , January 12, 2017 at 9:43 am

And not just Hillary Clinton. The whole Democratic party. Obama has been a disaster for Democrats. There is a piece in the WAPO by Matt Stoller today discussing just this issue.

Dave , January 11, 2017 at 11:49 am

Not knowing what he does not know may be beneficial. To be freed from the straitjacket of political sophistry that has led to previous disasters for American workers is, perhaps, a positive.

I'd be willing to pay twice as much for Chinese junk as I do now.

Corporations, Hollywood, Big Pharma and Silicon Valley will be hurt? Tough luck, they are there to make profits and are no friend of American workers. Might as well say it, because of their behavior, they are the enemy of progress for workers.

Short version:
Trump has done more for American workers and has obtained more net benefit out of the car companies, before he's even sworn in than the Clintons did in ten collective years of 'public service'.

a different chris , January 11, 2017 at 12:09 pm

>I'd be willing to pay twice as much for Chinese junk as I do now.

And I don't think you would even have to every time you can manage to look at what it costs* to make something in China instead of the USA, and compare it to the retail price, you get a real "whoa".** The price is just enough less to drive the US manufacturer themselves out of business, most of the money *does* stay in the US but it goes to the top 0.1%.

This is more about control of the proles than economics, sometimes I think.

*like anybody can totally figure it out given the Chinese state's involvement in everything, but we can make decent guesses

**I know that American mfg cost is generally 1/2 of retail price and sometimes as low as 1/3. I'm talking about 1/10 to 1/20th for Chinese goods.

djrichard , January 11, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Excellent point. Basically will corporations pass along increased costs to consumers?

Take a look at what happened when the price of oil spiked. Corporations that had healthy profit margins in general didn't pass on to consumers their increased costs when oil was part of their COGS (cost of good sold). Though in contrast, airlines did. At the time Airlines had low profit margins. But I suspect their pricing power is less elastic regardless – their 10Ks show their entire business model is metric'd on the price of fuel.

scraping_by , January 11, 2017 at 1:36 pm

Offshoring isn't about lower consumer goods prices. The cost of labor in a mass-produced product is small, often trivial. That's what mass production is designed to do.

It's more about dropping more of the top line to the bottom line. Along with the fake aristo disdain for wage earners that seems to be a requirement for corporate managers.

Dave , January 11, 2017 at 6:33 pm

That 35% tariff sure equals a lot of profits lost on cars made in Mexico. Therefore, they will be made in America. Due to the competitive nature of auto sales, the lack of interest in teenagers in buying cars, I think Detroit will not raise prices to match the labor cost difference. Also, there will be even less demand for U.S. made cars as most of the Mexican factories will possibly remain open for the Latin American market, which means even fewer exports of American made cars. A scarcity of markets means lower prices.

RBHoughton , January 11, 2017 at 7:20 pm

The addiction to foreign trade is for the money in it. The importer doubles his money, the wholesaler doubles his money, the distributor doubles his money and the retailer gets what he can. The Chinese manufacturer is satisfied but most of the street cost goes to the intermediaries.

The Chinese governments interest for many years was simply receiving the foreign money payments and paying out the exchange in RMB.

Phil , January 11, 2017 at 3:51 pm

Notwithstanding your comment about the Clintons:

Trump hasn't done a thing for American workers. Indiana taxpayers (American workers) are on the hook for Carrier taking on roughly 700 jobs of the 2000 that Trump said he would "save". We don't even know the deep details of that "deal". If anyone thinks that Carrier signed off on that deal without the permission of Carrier's parent, United Technologies (a pure defense firm), I have a bridge to sell them. What future "deal" did the American taxpayer (worker) get subjected to when this "deal" was made behind closed doors to a defense contractor whose *only* means of revenue is from the American taxpayer (worker)?

What about the citizens (workers) of Indiana who are going to carry the financial and social burden of the 1300 Carrier workers that Trump promised (early on in his campaign) whose jobs he would save. The carrier deal, in fact, was virtually the same deal that Pence had put on the table a year ago.

United Technologies has *three* air conditioning brands; their Mexican lines are still open, and the 700 jobs that Trump said he "saved" are not committed to any kind of permanent status in the USA. Again, the Mexican manufacturing lines remain open, operating, and ready to accept those jobs when Carrier thinks it's appropriate.

As for the auto companies? Please. Trump did NOTHING that wasn't already planned, or that wasn't already inspired by market forces and in the works.

FORD on the cancelled Mexican plant:
http://www.metrotimes.com/news-hits/archives/2017/01/04/we-didnt-cut-a-deal-with-trump-ford-on-canceled-mexican-plant
"'To be clear, Ford is still moving its production of small vehicles to Mexico. The Ford Focus will still be produced in Mexico, just at an existing Mexican plant instead of the canceled plant. "[T]he reason we are canceling our plant in Mexico, the main reason, is because we are seeing a decline in demand for small vehicles here in North America.."

CHRYSLER-FIAT
https://www.rawstory.com/2017/01/fiat-chrysler-smacks-down-trumps-boasts-president-elect-not-involved-in-companys-job-creation/
"Jodi Tinson, a spokeswoman for FCA told ThinkProgress, "This plan was in the works back in 2015. This announcement was just final confirmation." Tinson also confirmed that neither politics nor the presidential election was at all related to the company's expansion"

Trump is a fraud and an overt liar; he's a pure clinical narcissist who doesn't work for anyone but his frail ego – ever seeking out his next source of narcissistic supply – a supply he has been able to control from his early days from the happy accident of inherited wealth – going on from there to use his inheritance to enrich himself at the expense of others.

Yes, American workers have been screwed over, but they have been screwed over mostly by Plutocrats who have owned both parties for decades. Ironically (in the face of all the anti-immigration talk), the vast majority of those Plutocrats have been *white, male* CEOs.

Anyone looking at Trump's early appointments and Cabinet nominees – not to mentioned his unhinged comments and tweets – who is not scared stiff by the presence of this goon in the White House – is suffering from a serious case of confirmation bias.

different clue , January 11, 2017 at 8:50 pm

Why would you be willing to pay twice as much for Chinese junk? Especially if it were still junk? If I were going to pay twice as much for something, I would rather that something be American not-junk rather than Chinese junk.

bmiller , January 11, 2017 at 9:49 pm

Given the reality that the most modern manufacturing capacity in the world is Chinese when it comes to consumer durables, it is racist to assume that "American" products are automatically better. The disinvestment in American manufacturing would take decades to replace.

tegnost , January 11, 2017 at 10:12 pm

last night listening to some folks opine re starbucks as a ubiquitous bad, the defense was they generally treat their employees ok, better than mcdonalds certainly, homeless people are given a little space before they get cleared out after a few hours if they are civil, which seemed to make the "striving to be good consumers, attempting to be socially responsible" lean towards well maybe they guessed it might be ok to go there. They all have i phones, however, and I didn't say it as I like my job, but was thinking "how many suicide nets does starbucks have in their global domain?" To call that racist makes me wonder about your comment, maybe if you had said is it racist, but no further, and in direct relation to that, china got manufacturing because suicide nets are a solution for apple that would not go over well around here. Maybe that's why they produce there, and not because the chinese are better at manufacturing?

different clue , January 11, 2017 at 10:49 pm

You can only play the race card but so many times before you wear it out. And it is pretty thin.

I assume that American-made Science Diet dog food won't have poison in it the way I have to assume Chinese dog food may have. I assume that American-made sheet rock won't offgas sulfur dioxide gas which turns into sulfuric acid in moist air ( as in Florida), and destroys household appliances in a year or less. The way some Chinese high-sulfur sheetrock did at least once in Florida. I assume an American-made Oakland-Bay-Bridge at twice the price would not now be already having the decay and bad-build problems which the Cheap China Crap Construction bridge is already having.

Shall I go on?

You sound like a Free Trade Treason hasbarist for China. In fact, I think you are.

You still want to call me racist? Well . . . kiss me, I'm deplorable.

a different chris , January 11, 2017 at 12:00 pm

>Trump's plan to enter into bi-lateral trade deals (after supposedly tearing up extant pacts)

Well we never know what the frell he is actually going to do, sure can't judge by what he says. If he did start with and modifies "extant pacts", that would actually make a lot of sense and maybe even go decently well at a more-than-glacial speed.

Of course – I hate when people speculate, and especially when they speculate that somebody is going to do literally the opposite of what they said they were going to do, yet here I am doing exactly that. My only excuse is that his personality is not to get that deep into anything, so it just seems more likely that he would simply focus on whatever specific aspect of a given treatry is problematical, wack a bit at that (for better or worse), and move on.

Dude is going to make us all crazy.

Ignacio , January 11, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Bi-lateral trade deals can focus on relatively narrow trade areas and in this case those needn't so much time to get negotiated and passed. I don't know if that is Trump's strategy.

susan the other , January 11, 2017 at 12:38 pm

This is a great summary of the recent fate of the TPP and the reasons for it. It may not be dead yet – even though it has been unceremoniously tossed on the cart of the dead (monty python). But the thinking behind it is terminal. Why no one ever discussed the military aspect of the TPP can be attributed to its strict secrecy. It was obvious to lots of people that the TPP was NATO for the Pacific and China was the target, and equally obvious that it was bad policy from any perspective. Bilateral trade will survive this debacle and world trade will continue – but trade will not be such a military tool, hopefully. It will be a good thing.

different clue , January 11, 2017 at 8:53 pm

It was not obvious to me. It is still not obvious to me. "China" was the excuse advanced for TPP late in the day when the Tradesters discovered that popular sentiment was turning against the Corporate Globalonial Plantationist purpose of the TPP, and hence against the TPP itself.

Fiver , January 12, 2017 at 6:24 pm

First, she is much closer to correct than you re the purpose of TPP. Secondly, why would you argue that the 'Tradesters' had to resort to 'China' in order to attempt to sell their putrid deal if 'China' was not viewed by said 'Tradesters' as a word loaded with a host of negative associations, most of which are based on typical US foreign policy jingoistic nonsense rooted in what is certainly a classic case of US/Western supremacist nonsense, if not the more obvious, overt racism now making a rather spectacular comeback?

John k , January 11, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Lesson learned is to avoid electing corrupt candidates that call it a gold standard right away you know who is receiving, and who is paying, the gold.
And then there are sitting elected officials pushing the crap with all their might, anticipating their gold shares maturing as soon as they leave office

B1whois , January 11, 2017 at 2:26 pm

Trade was a major issue in swing states like Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania, where concerned voters overwhelmingly opted for Trump.

Bravo! "Concerned voters" is a much better descriptor than "deplorables", "working class whites" or even, in this case, "working class voters" as there were also sovereignty issues.

bmiller , January 11, 2017 at 9:51 pm

The statistics show it was more the middle class and upper middle classes, especially evangelicals. Sexism played a big role.

Outis Philalithopoulos , January 11, 2017 at 11:08 pm

The wording of your comment is rather ambiguous – are you stating that "statistics show" that "sexism played a big role" in the swing states? Where do you situate yourself relative to Lambert's discussion of the subject?

different clue , January 12, 2017 at 3:16 pm

The sexism card is wearing about as thin as the racism card is wearing. Clinton lost support in the Midwest when she revealed herself to be a Free Trade Traitor against America by stating that she would put her husband, NAFTA Bill, in charge of the economic recovery when she got elected.
That expression of support for anti-American Trade Treason guaranteed her loss right there.

Statistics show . . . that figures lie when liars figure.

Oregoncharles , January 11, 2017 at 2:43 pm

" trade agreements take a long time to negotiate, typically because they also include services, and those take way longer to sort out than the physical goods side."
My first reaction: good. Services shouldn't be in trade pacts. And if they take a long time to get done, all the better. The fetish for "trade pacts" is mostly destructive.

Fundamentally: they're superfluous. People have always traded, mostly without "pacts." When it comes to "absolute advantage," literally trading apples for oranges, everybody really does benefit and barriers melt away. Under modern conditions. "comparative advantage" is a falsehood, as a close look at the conditions Ricardo set for it will show. It requires that labor and capital don't move at all freely between countries – true in his day, but certainly not in ours. Bizarrely, his theory is being used, dishonestly, to promote the destructive free movement of capital, and that's what "services" mostly means.

The point that trade agreements take a long time is probably true, as well as not an objection; but it isn't an argument for multilateral agreements like the TPP; it's an argument for the WTO, if it had been done right. The plan was to set up an overarching, worldwide structure for trade. But it should have been done under the UN, and it shouldn't include attacks on sovereignty like the tribunals. The real reason for other agreements is that the requirement for consensus in the WTO put up a dead end sign: thus far, and no farther. So the "Washington Consensus" tried for work arounds. But the consensus model makes sense, and the rules should be universal.

The real gist of Ricardo is that trade is NOT an unmitigated good. It easily becomes more or less subtle forms of imperialism. Furthermore, low trade barriers make sense. Diversity depends on barriers. They encourage a modicum of self-reliance and provide firewalls so that a financial collapse in one country doesn't automatically go world-wide. We probably had it right in the 50s and 60s, when the economy was far healthier. Granted, there were still a lot of actual colonies then, so it's hard to tell how that translates to modern conditions.

I don't think I'm saying anything that isn't very familiar here. We should beware of capitalist ideologies.

different clue , January 11, 2017 at 8:55 pm

The fetish for Multilaterialism is also destructive. Multilateralism is just "french" for Corporate Globalonial Plantationist trade pacts designed to exterminate sovereignty for dozens of countries at a time.

Oregoncharles , January 11, 2017 at 2:48 pm

" Our colleagues' more realistic macroeconomic modelling suggested that almost 800,000 jobs would be lost over a decade after implementation, with almost half a million from the US alone. There would also be downward pressure on wages, in turn exacerbating inequalities at the national level."

Yes, that's what these "trade agreements" are FOR. You don't think the PTB take bullshit economics seriously, do you?

ChrisPacific , January 11, 2017 at 4:09 pm

As an aside, I never particularly liked the sovereignty argument against TPP (which I note is omitted from this article) because I felt it painted with an overly broad brush. More specifically, I would argue that it can sometimes be a good thing if nation-states collectively agree to be bound by rules that supersede national legislation. The Geneva Convention is one example.

TPP would have been bad not because it compromised national sovereignty, but because of the reasons for which it did so. Overriding national legislation to protect human rights is one thing. Overriding it to grant multinational corporations more power over workers, consumers and governments is quite another.

marblex , January 11, 2017 at 5:10 pm

I believe the sovereignty provisions are the most dangerous ones.

witters , January 11, 2017 at 7:48 pm

"I would argue that it can sometimes be a good thing if nation-states collectively agree to be bound by rules that supersede national legislation. The Geneva Convention is one example."

There is the general point, and there is your example and there is the US: http://baltimorechronicle.com/geneva_feb02.shtml

Oregoncharles , January 11, 2017 at 8:28 pm

In this case, "sovereignty" means the power to regulate commerce. Insofar as the signatories are democracy, it also means democracy – the ability to carry out the decisions of representative bodies.

RBHoughton , January 11, 2017 at 9:57 pm

The Pacific Rim countries might approve "needless suffering and death" if it keeps them in the west's good books.

Countries without an internationally traded currency will not willingly sign up for specious 'trade in money' sections. Galbraith the Younger wrote a famous paper on the subject that clearly established there is no such thing as a trade in money. Every way I look at it, its a rip-off, facilitated by a useful idiot in the country's central bank.

These agreements, whether global or bilateral, are an invitation to central bankers to become traitors to their own country; an attempt to take over a nation without firing a shot, a blast from a future that permits only trade blocks and no countries.

I am convinced what the world really wants is a debate on the shape of world government. I do not agree that the chap with the most printed money calls the shots. We are better than that.

Minnie Mouse , January 12, 2017 at 4:24 pm

ISDS is nothing more than a scheme to enable direct foreign attacks on the legislative process itself – even more direct and invasive than influencing elections by hacking, propaganda or whatever . Imagine if Vladimir Putin were to accomplish a legislative objective in the U.S. simply by launching an ISDS extortion suit via a Russian state owned enterprise and a willing ISDS tribunal outside the U.S. court system and not at all accountable to U.S. interests. What would the pro TPP corporate Dems have to say then?

different clue , January 12, 2017 at 5:37 pm

Here's what they'd say.

" Where's our money? We want our share of the Big Tubmans!"

[Dec 26, 2016] China Chases Silicon Valley Talent Who Are Worried About Trump Presidency

Dec 26, 2016 | news.slashdot.org
(cnbc.com) 416 Posted by msmash on Tuesday December 06, 2016 @10:20AM from the aftermath dept. China is trying to capitalize on President-elect Donald Trump's hardline immigration stance and vow to clamp down on a foreign worker visa program that has been used to recruit thousands from overseas to Silicon Valley. From a report on CNBC: Leading tech entrepreneurs, including Robin Li, the billionaire CEO of Baidu, China's largest search engine, see Trump's plans as a huge potential opportunity to lure tech talent away from the United States . The country already offers incentives of up to $1 million as signing bonuses for those deemed "outstanding" and generous subsidies for start-ups. Meanwhile, the Washington Post last month reported on comments made by Steve Bannon, who is now the president-elect's chief strategist, during a radio conversation with Trump in Nov. 2015. Bannon, the former Breitbart.com publisher, indicated that he didn't necessarily agree with the idea that foreign talent that goes to school in America should stay in America. "When two-thirds or three-quarters of the CEOs in Silicon Valley are from South Asia or from Asia, I think ...," Bannon said, trailing off. "A country is more than an economy. We're a civic society."

[Dec 26, 2016] Fearing Tighter US Visa Regime, Indian IT Firms Rush To Hire

Dec 26, 2016 | news.slashdot.org

(moneycontrol.com) 184 Posted by msmash on Monday November 28, 2016 @02:20PM from the meanwhile-in-India dept. From a report on Reuters: Anticipating a more protectionist US technology visa programme under a Donald Trump administration, India's $150 billion IT services sector will speed up acquisitions in the United States and recruit more heavily from college campuses there . Indian companies including Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, and Wipro have long used H1-B skilled worker visas to fly computer engineers to the US, their largest overseas market, temporarily to service clients. Staff from those three companies accounted for around 86,000 new H1-B workers in 2005-14. The US currently issues close to that number of H1-B visas each year. President-elect Trump's campaign rhetoric, and his pick for Attorney General of Senator Jeff Sessions, a long-time critic of the visa programme, have many expecting a tighter regime.

[Dec 26, 2016] Will Trump Protect America's IT Workers From H-1B Visa Abuses?

Dec 26, 2016 | it.slashdot.org
(cio.com.au) 400

Posted by EditorDavid on Sunday November 27, 2016 @11:34AM from the making-campaign-promises-great-again dept. Monday president-elect Donald Trump sent "the strongest signal yet that the H-1B visa program is going get real scrutiny once he takes office," according to CIO.

Slashdot reader OverTheGeicoE summarizes their report: President-elect Donald Trump released a video message outlining his policy plans for his first 100 days in office. At 1 minute, 56 seconds into the message, he states that he will direct the Department of Labor to investigate "all abuses of the visa programs that undercut the American worker ."

During his presidential campaign, Trump was critical of the H-1B visa program that has been widely criticized for displacing U.S. high-technology workers. "Companies are importing low-wage workers on H-1B visas to take jobs from young college-trained Americans," said Trump at an Ohio rally.

At other rallies, Trump invited former IT workers from Disney who had been forced to train their H-1B replacements to speak.
"What he didn't say was that he was going to close the door to skilled immigrants," one tech entrepreneur told CNN Money -- although Trump's selection for attorney general has called the shortage of qualified American tech workers "a hoax".

[Dec 23, 2016] The economics of open borders - Crooked Timber

Notable quotes:
"... I think if you want to improve the economic inequality between countries, there are better ways than open borders. If the aim is to decrease economic inequality, you could make policies to reach this outcome that are more targeted than open borders, for example you could implement financial transfers between countries, or you could implement international minimum wages that could be phased in over 10-20-30 years, etc. ..."
"... If the other problem you want to address is mobility for people who want to immigrate for personal reasons, you can just improve the access to immigration within the normal migration system, and increase migration quotas in line with some sort of expectation of what a optimum maximum population would be within a set period. ..."
"... Another thing is infrastructure, it would be difficult to forecast infrastructure needs if migration is unregulated. It would take several decades to settle into a sort of equilibrium and until then you couldn't do very good projections of future infrastructure needs. In Victoria we already have had population growth that has outpaced infrastructure, and there are big problems particularly with transport but also with other infrastructure needs. ..."
"... The surcharge is supposed to be a payment towards the existing infrastructure, from which the new entrants benefit. But native-born citizens, who benefit from the infrastructure built up by previous generations get the same benefit as a free gift! That already presupposes some quite strong claims about who is entitled to what, and who is entitled to exclude whom from access. ..."
"... In a world with a rapidly increasing population and a resource base coming under increasing stress it acting merely to spread misery faster and to stop experiments in sustainability. ..."
"... It undermining social and democratic structures. ..."
"... Another issue with the tax is that it would make migration more difficult for lower income people who could't afford the tax. Countries like the UK are already targeting their migration intake to higher income earners where possible, and a tax would encourage that policy. ..."
"... What if there were a minimum tax per immigrant per year, equal to the average taxes paid by citizens? ..."
"... It is worth considering the world's economy as an engineering system that responds to forces placed upon it. One of the features of making migration difficult, through either bureaucratic or financial resistance, is that it dampens the response of the system to external forces. Open borders removes that damping and allows much faster response. Like most things in life, that has both good and bad consequences, but one of the consequences is the system becomes less stable. ..."
"... As for the productivity argument – as usual, political theorists underestimate the value of extended family and long term inter-family arrangements in creating 'social capital' for productivity and stability. ..."
"... Mobility has its place, and in a time when most Americans never went more than 25 miles from their birthplace during their entire lives an increase in mobility increased overall productivity. However, there are many reasons to believe that individual mobility is costing communities dearly in these present times; and that bad government and market oriented policies which are exacerbating the problem. ..."
"... So in addition to the problems of infrastructure and gentrification on the recieving end of these net flows, we have issues in the regions that are being left-behind. Our current reactionary politics seems to be one of the consequences of this difficult issue. ..."
"... I worry that "free movement of people" tends to have massive social costs that get swept under the rug when the issues are discussed in a purely economic framework. ..."
"... For most of human history, the vast majority of people lived in extended family groups in villages, towns, or temporary encampments where they knew their neighbors, had relatively small social worlds, and didn't travel more than a few days from home. Cities, as we know them, (and their accompanying social maladies) are really only two or three centuries old and post-industrial cities are an even newer phenomenon. ..."
"... What's worse, the rootless urban professionals have money, which means they can buy or rent homes anywhere, displacing the old residents. This has a double whammy effect, not only do the neighborhoods get new people who don't quite fit in, but the old "villagers" get forced out (and in many cases become rootless transplants in some other town), so communities enter a state of perpetual social flux where there aren't enough old timers left to assimilate the new arrivals and the social fabric disintegrates as natural communities are replaced by a massive web of voluntary ones that often don't (especially if there's a class or language barrier) and leave some people with no community at all. ..."
"... Think of the million Poles in the UK, for example, they will predictably have "close relationships" with people in Poland, and will British retirees in Spain with people in the UK, and Irish people in the UK with people living in Ireland . ..."
"... At this point I really, really have to emphasize the plug for John Smith's Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century because he addresses this kind of neoclassical boosterism more or less directly, from a leftist point of view. ..."
"... In Smith's telling the suppression of international labor mobility is actually central to explaining not just global wage differentials perceived to result from differences in productivity, but also the data by which labor productivity between countries is measured in the first place. The neoclassicals' trick here is to take the international division of labor that emerges from what Smith calls "global labor arbitrage" (e.g. outsourcing) and remove it from their conceptual category of production altogether, instead regarding it through the lens of international trade as if workers on a factory floor were constantly "trading" their partially-assembled products to others further down the assembly line. ..."
"... It's not exactly freedom of movement I'm arguing against so much as the notion that population centers have an essentially unlimited ability to absorb newcomers. From 18th Century Manchester to the American West to exploding Chinese industrial cities today, boom towns are notorious for their environmental devastation and social dysfunction. ..."
"... Many municipalities already do this through the use of building permits, but their efforts are compromised by an imperative to expand their tax base and competition between municipalities that gravely limits their effective bargaining power. In a free trade, open borders world, I can see the same thing happening at the national scale, forcing whole countries to compete with one another for jobs and labor and hastening the rate of neo-colonial resource plundering. ..."
"... Factor endowments equals they have poor people for cheap labor and we have rich people who create, consume and finance and the origins of the difference is like shrouded in mystery? ..."
"... John Smith of WLGR is Marxian. Apples profits are generated by the workers at Foxconn in China, not the designers in San Jose. The surplus accruing to intellectual property is mostly a product of past and present Imperialism. ..."
"... By the way, at least according to Wikipedia, there are 830,000 Poles in the UK_ so well south of a million still. It's a lot, but, lots less than, say, the 2.9 million Russian-born people in the US, a population I'm very familiar with, so I don't really need the lecture here. ..."
"... I'm not arguing against change, but rather change that comes so quickly it creates a schism between the past and the present. The Gold Rush changed California from predominantly Spanish-speaking to majority Anglo in just a few years (and also killed tens of thousands of Indians in the process), so even if a place still has the same name following migration, it might not be pronounced the same way. ..."
Dec 23, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

Sebastian H 12.21.16 at 5:53 am ( )

This is definitely approaching it from the right angle–large immigration flows act like globalization. They improve overall average GDP but definitely hurt certain sectors of workers in ways that thus far in the experiment suggests that they never recover.

I wonder about the effect of big city housing costs. They act as a barrier to moving to a better job. Is this something that we should be worried about as part of the immigration issue?

ZM 12.21.16 at 6:15 am

I think if you want to improve the economic inequality between countries, there are better ways than open borders. If the aim is to decrease economic inequality, you could make policies to reach this outcome that are more targeted than open borders, for example you could implement financial transfers between countries, or you could implement international minimum wages that could be phased in over 10-20-30 years, etc.

If the other problem you want to address is mobility for people who want to immigrate for personal reasons, you can just improve the access to immigration within the normal migration system, and increase migration quotas in line with some sort of expectation of what a optimum maximum population would be within a set period.

Also there is already a problem with gentrification in many cities, and associated issues of people having to move further away from family and friends, and not enough affordable housing, and homelessness - open borders would increase all these problems I would think as it would take out all the regulations. And we already have problems with people from poor countries or poor areas being under pressure to migrate for work and financial reasons, and open borders would exacerbate that problem as well.

I think refugees need to be able to migrate the most urgently, but it would still be better for them that there were specific policies for refugee migration that would allow the high numbers of refugees to migrate to safety either temporarily or permanently, rather than open borders.

Most of the bloggers here are not in favour of laissez faire free trade, so I don't see why open borders are favoured when "open trade" isn't?

ZM 12.21.16 at 6:21 am ( 5 )

Another thing is infrastructure, it would be difficult to forecast infrastructure needs if migration is unregulated. It would take several decades to settle into a sort of equilibrium and until then you couldn't do very good projections of future infrastructure needs. In Victoria we already have had population growth that has outpaced infrastructure, and there are big problems particularly with transport but also with other infrastructure needs.

Chris Bertram 12.21.16 at 9:14 am

I blogged about a bunch of work, including a draft version of the same paper by Kennan, a few years ago John:

http://crookedtimber.org/2012/08/22/open-borders-wages-and-economists/

reason 12.21.16 at 9:19 am ( 7 )

I'm a bit suspicious that this sort of analysis suffers from large measurement biases.

As an environmentalist, I'm concerned that we may be increasing a statistic (GDP) that is just a measure of an extent of how much higher a proportion of consumer is now being captured in the market, and not a measure of actual welfare. I remember very well as young economist wondering when I heard a more senior economists complaining that Australians didn't want to work but just wanted to lie about on the beach. And then I thought about how northern Europeans pay large amounts of money in order to be able to lie about on the beach.

Maybe the beach occupying Australians were being rational and the economist was not being rational. Having more crowded beaches does not show as a minus on GDP as far as I know.

reason 12.21.16 at 9:20 am P.S.

GDP may also measure how rapidly our natural capital is being converted to perishable goods, but not measure how rapidly it is being eroded.

Chris Bertram 12.21.16 at 9:34 am ( 9 )

On the immigration surcharge thing, I can see its attractions as a policy, but let me just comment on it from the point of view of principle, not to advocate any particular solution but to notice some things:

The surcharge is supposed to be a payment towards the existing infrastructure, from which the new entrants benefit. But native-born citizens, who benefit from the infrastructure built up by previous generations get the same benefit as a free gift! That already presupposes some quite strong claims about who is entitled to what, and who is entitled to exclude whom from access.

(Adding in some plausible history, we might further note that the existing domestic infrastructure hasn't, in many cases, been built up simply from the unaided efforts of the ancestors of the natives but often reflects the efforts of the colonised or dominated ancestors of the would-be immigrants.)

Then notice also another asymmetry, that the proposal is to charge the incomers for the benefits they derive from the infrastructure, whilst allowing the natives to benefit for free from human capital that has been created elsewhere through educational and training programmes. That issue, the so-called brain drain problem (I'm not a fan of the term or many of the associated claims btw) forms the basis for a quite different set of proposals for taxing immigrants, the so-called Bhagwati tax. So the poor migrants get hit by taxation proposals from both sides, as it were!

reason 12.21.16 at 9:35 am

P.P.S. Don't get me wrong here, I'm not totally against open borders in all circumstances (in fact in a fairly equal world with a stable population I would be all for it), but I see a distinct danger of very rapid immigration:
  1. In a world with a rapidly increasing population and a resource base coming under increasing stress it acting merely to spread misery faster and to stop experiments in sustainability.
  2. It undermining social and democratic structures.

Tom Davies 12.21.16 at 9:42 am ( 11 )

"Chang, who opposes open borders" "Currently a reader in the Political Economy of Development at the University of Cambridge"

Open borders for me but not for thee?

ZM 12.21.16 at 9:45 am Chris Bertram,

"So the poor migrants get hit by taxation proposals from both sides, as it were!"

Another issue with the tax is that it would make migration more difficult for lower income people who could't afford the tax. Countries like the UK are already targeting their migration intake to higher income earners where possible, and a tax would encourage that policy.

I would rather make improve inequality between countries, and then experiment with freer migration after that. Since I think there would be less incentive to migrate if countries were more equal, and then freer migration would be more likely to run smoother.

Tom Davies 12.21.16 at 9:46 am ( 13 )

And (didn't see comment 7) - while yes, a surcharge isn't strictly fair, it is a far lesser evil than not letting immigrants in at all.

I think it's plausible that remittances would more than make up for the investments home countries had made in 'their' immigrants.

SamChevre 12.21.16 at 11:14 am

On a surcharge–I proposed one years ago in the context of the proposed "amnesty," that I think avoids some of the problems Chris Bertram notes above.

What if there were a minimum tax per immigrant per year, equal to the average taxes paid by citizens? This would be a "pay your share of current costs" tax, not an additional tax.

For the US, it would be roughly $10,000 a year for the federal government (20% of per capita GDP)–and any taxes paid to the federal government (FICA and income tax) would be credits against it.

Dipper 12.21.16 at 12:16 pm ( 15 )

It is worth considering the world's economy as an engineering system that responds to forces placed upon it. One of the features of making migration difficult, through either bureaucratic or financial resistance, is that it dampens the response of the system to external forces. Open borders removes that damping and allows much faster response. Like most things in life, that has both good and bad consequences, but one of the consequences is the system becomes less stable.

As an example, it is possible to get as many workers as you want into the UK within a few days. If you have a warehouse that needs staff they can be here from anywhere in the EU, all well educated, speaking English, with accommodation and ready to work. I'm not saying its a good or a bad thing. But its a thing that has consequences.

One organisation that has resisted Open Borders is the Corbyn clique in the Labour Party. Entry into the employment opportunities within that sector of the economy appears to be only open to relatives, children of political allies, school mates and children of celebrity chums.

BenK 12.21.16 at 1:50 pm '

Not allowed to vote' is political smokescreen. If those people have for some reason not established voting in the country they currently live in, then yes, they haven't paid the price for liberty there. If they can, then they are voting – just not where they would apparently prefer to be voting.

As for the productivity argument – as usual, political theorists underestimate the value of extended family and long term inter-family arrangements in creating 'social capital' for productivity and stability.

Mobility has its place, and in a time when most Americans never went more than 25 miles from their birthplace during their entire lives an increase in mobility increased overall productivity. However, there are many reasons to believe that individual mobility is costing communities dearly in these present times; and that bad government and market oriented policies which are exacerbating the problem.

William Meyer 12.21.16 at 2:46 pm ( 17 )

A surcharge might be a useful approach. I will say, echoing Reason, that massive waves of immigration into a region change a lot of things, and not necessarily in ways that the natives would view as positive.

I've lived in L.A. for the past 35 years, and during that time millions of immigrants have come into this metropolitan area. Traffic problems, noticeable in L.A. when I arrived in 1981 but something that could be reasonably dealt with, got much, worse.

The public school system went from fair to actively problematic. In both cases, the problem was made much worse by lagging public investment, particularly in transportation systems.

Maybe L.A. was uniquely dysfuntional politically, but I would suspect that most regions would see degradations in public goods in times of massive in-migration. The significant investment required for massive population growth will, in all likelihood, not be made, especially in a timely way, and the sort of planning that would actually be necessary for a pleasant transition to a more populous future seems likely to be beyond the capabilities of most cities, at least the ones I've lived in.

The inevitable resulting problems will not endear the newcomers to the natives, even if those problems are solely the fault of the immigrants.

William Meyer 12.21.16 at 2:48 pm

Sorry, my mistake, the last sentence should read "even if those problems are NOT solely the fault of the immigrants.

divelly 12.21.16 at 3:50 pm ( 19 )

#7
Reminds one of the old story of the Capitalist who berates the local for quitting fishing after catching enough for today's dinner so he can lay about playing guitar and drinking beer on the beach.

"You should fish from dawn to dusk 7 days a week. Sell your surplus. Buy another fishing boat. Do this for 30 years."

"What for?",asks the local.

"So you can retire and lay about, play guitar and drink beer on the beach!"

Omega Centauri 12.21.16 at 5:10 pm

I think its a very difficult sale politically. But, you already know that.

There also is the issue of potentially large scale population flows from less "productive" areas to more "productive" areas.

We have this same issue within countries, such as rust belt to coastal cities in the US, and we've seen political consequences -Trumpism become ascendant.

So in addition to the problems of infrastructure and gentrification on the recieving end of these net flows, we have issues in the regions that are being left-behind. Our current reactionary politics seems to be one of the consequences of this difficult issue.

Chris Bertram 12.21.16 at 7:25 pm ( 21 )

@divelly it is from Adam Smith, Theory of the Moral Sentiments, part 3, ch. 3 :

"What the favourite of the king of Epirus said to his master, may be applied to men in all the ordinary situations of human life. When the King had recounted to him, in their proper order, all the conquests which he proposed to make, and had come to the last of them; And what does your Majesty propose to do then? said the Favourite.-I propose then, said the King, to enjoy myself with my friends, and endeavour to be good company over a bottle.-And what hinders your Majesty from doing so now? replied the Favourite."

Stephen 12.21.16 at 8:10 pm

Moral sentiments of less desirable people: I propose to enjoy myself by being revenged on and utterly destroying my enemies, and to be good company over the finest available bottle with those who dare not contradict me.

Not my sentiments, not CB's but

Matt 12.21.16 at 10:43 pm ( 23 )

I think we should be extra skeptical of any paper that claims that the "economics of open borders" hasn't received "much" attention. Maybe not as much as many other things, and there may be some hedging about what, exactly, fits, but the economics of migration has received _lots_ of attention. In The US, the National Academy of Science did a huge study on it in the mid 80's, and updated it again just recently.

Jagdish Bhagwati has written quite a bit on it, both popular and formal. George Borjas has written a lot on it (most of it not good, in my opinion, but a lot on it.) Lots and lots of people, including some very famous economist, have responded to Borjas. Paul Krugman has written on it. One of my mentors, Howard Chang, a lawyer-economist at Penn Law, has written a lot on it. Etc. So, already we know that there is something a bit fishy here.

Next, this sort of thing typically assumes, for its strong conclusions, that everyone will move to where he or she will get the "highest" return for his or her skills. We know this is false, because it doesn't even happen within any particular country, where there are no restrictions, no "surcharge" to pay, and fewer cultural barriers. So, the gain will certainly be much smaller than is projected.

I'd also suggest that this bit from John, Moreover, in a world where more than a billion people travel internationally each year, it's inevitable that vast numbers of people are going to have close relationships of all kinds with citizens of other countries. Restrictions on movements across borders impose costs on all those people ranging from minor to calamitous.

Would need to be _much_ more rigorous to do any work. I travel quite a bit, yet unless "close relationships" means "people I know somewhat", this isn't true for me. Is it true for "vast" numbers of people? I'm not sure. It's too flabby to do work now. And, do we have in mind visits, temporary residence, permanent residence (with or without access to full membership?) Etc. There are really a huge number of details here, and the absolutely must be worked through, carefully, before you can say anything useful. I'm in favor of reducing most barriers to movement. But, the arguments, if they are to be any good, really do need some care.

Chris Bertram 12.22.16 at 12:00 am

I'm puzzled by your last paragraph Matt, given what I know about your work. I don't know how large a number has to be to be "vast", but the spouses separated from one another and the children separated from one parent by the UK's spousal visa income requirements already number in the 10s of 1000s. Add to that elderly dependent relatives who are separated from children, lone refugee children separated from family members in other countries. And then multiply all this separation by the number of countries that make things difficult for people. I think that probably adds up to a vast number of people in close relationships with others who are separated by border regimes and who are currently incurring costs that are often calamitous. Don't you?

Matt 12.22.16 at 2:41 am ( 25 )

Hi Chris – yes, the cases you mention are interesting and important ones. It goes a little way towards making John's too flabby to work statement a bit better. But even in these cases, it's important to work through what's wrong with the different examples. (This is what I try to do in my work, and it's why I'm annoyed by what seems to me to be handwaving that blurs and distorts more than it helps.) I would insist that "making this difficult" for people, or causing them to "incur costs" isn't a good way to think about these issues at all. (I will go see my parents for the first time in over a year next week. It will be difficult and I will incur may costs to do so. Nothing interesting follows from that at all, I think.) And, John's categories include may more than those you mention. What follows for them? Why are borders, and not other types of boundaries relevant here? (Suppose my best friend is admitted to Harvard and I am not. But I'd like to study with him! Is it unfair that I'm not allowed to? Why not?) There are answers here, but we'll not get at them from the approach in the post, I think, and especially not if we follow the approach in this paragraph. The issues need to be dug in to, even though that take time.

(I might note that I've just finished a semi-popular short piece on thinking about immigration post-Trump and post-Brexit. I started it by thinking about some of your discussion of Joe Carens' book from a few years ago, and tried to think about reasonable strategies for working towards fairer immigration policies in our dark times. One thing I suggested was fighting against needlessly mean (in both senses of the word) restrictions like the too-high social support requirements for family members in the UK. So, I see that as a real problem. But, I don't think that helps rehabilitate the claims made, or suggested, in this paragraph. If and when the piece comes out, I'll send it to you.)

John Quiggin 12.22.16 at 3:22 am

Matt @24 It was an aside of course, but one that I didn't think needed a detailed exposition. The calamitous cases Chris mentions are well known, as is the fact that lots of people suffer no, or only trivial, problems of this kind. Rather than multipy such trivial examples as you do in @26, why not explain why you think the calamitous cases are rare, or need to be explained in detail?

Faustusnotes 12.22.16 at 5:10 am ( 27 )

Matts response is to glib. My own family was driven into poverty by separation in the 1980s and the long term pressures on all of us of that experience were huge. Yes nothing follows from that if you're a wealthy academic, but quite a lot follows from it if you're not.

Dave 12.22.16 at 10:05 am

I worry that "free movement of people" tends to have massive social costs that get swept under the rug when the issues are discussed in a purely economic framework.

For most of human history, the vast majority of people lived in extended family groups in villages, towns, or temporary encampments where they knew their neighbors, had relatively small social worlds, and didn't travel more than a few days from home. Cities, as we know them, (and their accompanying social maladies) are really only two or three centuries old and post-industrial cities are an even newer phenomenon.

What people in the urban professional class tend to forget, however, is that the old model of village life never went away . In truly rural or otherwise undeveloped areas, it's mostly stayed the same, and other cases it was remapped onto urban neighborhoods or desperately clung to in "small towns" that are, in fact, larger than most Medieval cities.

Now, these people have a problem, which is that they'd very much like to maintain a traditional village lifestyle (well, some of them just want to escape or move to the city and get rich, but I'll get to that), but neither industrial nor post-industrial capitalism has had any patience for people who want to stay put. Industries and opportunities have concentrated in large urban agglomerations, but exactly which industries and which cities shifts every generation or two. Plants close down or move to other countries, higher education pulls millions of people far from home, entire fields of employment vanish or emerge from whole cloth and it's impossible to keep up. So, we as individuals can, at any time, be forced into a terrible dilemma. Either move away from the life you know and the people who keep you happy, healthy, safe, and sane, or forfeit your "optimal" career and some share of prosperity and human capital.

Depending on what class you are, the values you hold, and what the costs and benefits of moving away really are, there may be no choice at all. Really, there are two kinds of migrants. There are the desperate, who migrate for negative reasons, and the ambitious, who do it for positive ones (with plenty of overlap) and only the latter is really making a choice as such. The outcomes are different too. Refugees and economic migrants occasionally become rich and successful, but usually they're just looking for security. Whereas people who move around a lot to get the best education and the best jobs, are often massively rewarded, but too many such people creates a culture of anomy and alienation where no one knows their neighbors and everyone seems to be from somewhere else.

What's worse, the rootless urban professionals have money, which means they can buy or rent homes anywhere, displacing the old residents. This has a double whammy effect, not only do the neighborhoods get new people who don't quite fit in, but the old "villagers" get forced out (and in many cases become rootless transplants in some other town), so communities enter a state of perpetual social flux where there aren't enough old timers left to assimilate the new arrivals and the social fabric disintegrates as natural communities are replaced by a massive web of voluntary ones that often don't (especially if there's a class or language barrier) and leave some people with no community at all.

I grew up in the Southern California suburbs in wake of the Sunbelt migrations and massive immigration from Latin America and had the utterly peculiar experience of being one of only a tiny fraction of the population whose grandparents (well, two of them) also grew up there. Growing up, it seemed like most of my teachers (and really a huge chunk of the professional class in general) were from either the East Coast or the Midwest and many of them had strange notions about what it meant to be Californian, having moved here for the sunshine or the surfing or the jobs or the "vibe" and more able to see the place as an ideal than a reality.

People don't realize the extent to which generations of migration can isolate people from the land, but I saw it. People that luxuriantly watered their lawns despite the climate and planted gardens full of plants from all over the world while treating the native plants like weeds. The tragedy of people in brushfire country not even realizing that having wooden shingles is a bad idea. People mocking the native California accents, affecting them badly to fit in, or refusing to acknowledge that we had one at all (we have several). Or, take the baffling experience millions of California kids get this time of year where adults around them act like our Christmas is somehow "wrong" because there's no snow and we don't have a "real" winter.

There was and is wanton disregard for tradition or the environment. The old growth oaks that once covered much of SoCal were cut down for wood and cattle land and now most people have no idea they were ever there, huge tracts of "empty" desert were flooded with saltwater when the Salton Sea was created, the LA river was turned into a storm drain, massive population increases and utterly unrestricted suburban sprawl has destroyed most of our wetlands and turned the Coastal Sage Scrub into one of the most threatened ecosystems on Earth. All that and CalTrans still plants invasive, flammable Eucalyptus by every freeway. These were largely the work of generations of short sighted, greedy migrants who didn't understand or value the land, but will be borne by generations to come. Our land is being paved, poisoned, and pumped dry and most people don't even see it because there aren't enough people around who still remember when it was any different.

If open borders means that places all over the world start getting flooded with migrants and disrespected and debased the way Southern California has been, then I have no choice but to oppose it.

reason 12.22.16 at 10:47 am ( 29 )

A small point: – instead of adding additional taxes, one way to get the same net effect is to have a basic income with a long residency requirement for non-citizens.

Matt 12.22.16 at 3:29 pm

John – there is a lot of space between "not rare" and "vast", isn't there? That space needs to be looked at carefully, and not used as a hand-wave. That's my point.

Faustunotes – I'm sorry to hear that. In published work, I've argued for strong rights for family migration schemes. Without knowing more about your situation (not that I'm asking for details now) I can't say more about, but, for example, the sorts of public support systems I've argued for (and that exist in many countries) can be easily met by lots of people – the US requires 125% of the poverty level for a family of the appropriate size, for example. That is arguably a top acceptable level.

That meant that I was able to sponsor my wife when I was a grad student making $15,000 a year (in 2003), not at all a "wealthy academic". So, again, it's important to get the details right, to criticize particular cases, and not draw strong conclusions from hand-waving generalizations. Failing to do this won't lead to any good work.

Chris Bertram 12.22.16 at 7:08 pm ( 31 )

Matt, I think your quibbling with John on "vast numbers" is pretty silly here. You are an American, and the US is a continental power with a large population. Perhaps it is rare for Americans to have close relationships (let's set the bar at good friendships) with people outside the borders of their country. But many of us live in smaller countries and on continents with lots of borders. I think you'll find that when you tot up all the Europeans and Latin Americans with cross border relationships (to name but two continents) and add in all the people who belong to ethnicities that stretch across many borders, you'll get to a pretty high number.

Think of the million Poles in the UK, for example, they will predictably have "close relationships" with people in Poland, and will British retirees in Spain with people in the UK, and Irish people in the UK with people living in Ireland .

Alesis 12.22.16 at 8:55 pm

The ever present struggle with taking the empirical body of knowledge on gains from migration and making it into policy is that the only salient objections to migration are decidedly non economic. Sure they pretend at an economic basis with admirable dedication to the act but the bottom line is even if you prove that net wages for every single individual would go up from migration it would till have exactly the same opponents you started with.

WLGR 12.22.16 at 9:53 pm ( 33 )

At this point I really, really have to emphasize the plug for John Smith's Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century because he addresses this kind of neoclassical boosterism more or less directly, from a leftist point of view.

If he was reacting to this post Smith would zero in on the key premise underlying Kennan's model: the idea that global wage differentials inherently reflect global differences in the productivity of labor between nation-states, known as the Balassa-Samuelson hypothesis. Kennan seems to handwave away the idea of actually defending it by deferring to "large bodies of evidence", evidence whose interpretation within a more-or-less standard neoclassical framework he takes as a given - although notice how he hedges his initial claims more carefully ("cross-country differences in income levels are associated with differences in productivity", and "large differences [in productivity] remain after adjusting for differences in physical and human capital endowments ", emphasis mine) before moving on to construct a model where "relative wages are used below to measure cross-country differences in labor efficiency", plain and simple. Nice trick!

In any case, here's Smith:

The North-South purchasing power anomaly is sometimes called the Penn effect, after the Penn World Table, which has gathered comparative price data from most countries in the world since 1950. This effect is inversely correlated with per-capita GDP; as Figure 5.2 (page 143) clearly shows, the poorer the nation, the bigger the gap. Mainstream neoclassical economics advances two chief explanations for this anomaly, the Balassa-Samuelson hypothesis, which hinges on differences in labor productivity between rich and poor countries; and an alternative model, proposed by Jagdish Bhagwati, Irving Kravis, Richard Lipsey, and others, which claims to circumvent differences in labor productivity and accounts for the anomaly as the consequence of differences in "factor endowments," that is, the relative abundance of capital and labor in the two countries. Since their arguments are tautological, they arrive at the same conclusion. In the former approach, the relative productivity of labor and capital determines the demand for these two factors and, in conjunction with their supply, determines their equilibrium (market-clearing) prices. In the second approach, different factor endowments affect the supply and demand in markets for labor and capital, determining marginal productivities, so arriving at the other's starting point.

According to both approaches, the purchasing power anomaly arises because of the low wages of workers providing services (for example, a bus journey or a haircut), resulting in the prices of these services being typically much lower in, say, Bangladesh than in Belgium. But equilibrium exchange rates do equalize the prices of internationally tradable goods-in other words, they assume that strong PPP holds in the tradable goods sector. Service sector wages are low in Bangladesh because wage levels in the service sector are determined by wage levels in the tradable goods sector. This occurs because labor is intersectorally mobile but not internationally mobile; in other words, workers can freely move between the tradable and non-tradable sectors within nations, equalizing wages between them, but cannot freely move across the borders between nations, especially those between hard-currency and soft-currency nations. it therefore turns out that the suppression of the free international movement of labor, the great exception to the principle of globalization and whose cardinal importance is stressed in this book, is also at the heart of the purchasing power anomaly.

In sum, the Balassa-Samuelson hypothesis says that the purchasing power anomaly results from the lack of correspondence between the similar levels of productivity of service workers in Belgium and Bangladesh and the vast differences in their wages. The contrary argument advanced here is that it is the oversupply of labor, not its productivity, that is the prime determinant of Southern wage levels. wages of service providers and incomes of petty entrepreneurs are kept low not by the paltry productivity of workers in the tradable goods sector, as mainstream theory has it, but by the destitution of a large part of the working population. This is why a haircut or a bus journey in Dhaka is so much cheaper than in Amsterdam, even though a pair of scissors or a bus may cost the same in both countries, and may even have come off the same production line. Furthermore, local capitalists are not the prime beneficiaries of the super-profits generated by this expanded employment of low-wage labor. Instead, intense competition among Southern exporters leaves them with only a minor share of the proceeds, the rest passed on to their Northern customers through ever-lower export prices. The purchasing power anomaly results not only or mainly from conditions in goods and Forex markets but is fundamentally the product of conditions in labor markets and in the sphere of production where this labor is put to work. The enormous growth in the relative surplus population combines with suppression of international labor mobility to exert a tremendous downward pressure on all wages and on the incomes of small producers, maintaining or widening still further the distance between real wages in the imperialist nations and in the Global South.

In Smith's telling the suppression of international labor mobility is actually central to explaining not just global wage differentials perceived to result from differences in productivity, but also the data by which labor productivity between countries is measured in the first place. The neoclassicals' trick here is to take the international division of labor that emerges from what Smith calls "global labor arbitrage" (e.g. outsourcing) and remove it from their conceptual category of production altogether, instead regarding it through the lens of international trade as if workers on a factory floor were constantly "trading" their partially-assembled products to others further down the assembly line. Here's Smith again:

Statistics on labor productivity, obtained by dividing the value added of a firm, industrial sector, or nation by its total workforce, are highly deceptive. Much of the alleged increase in labor productivity in the imperialist nations is an artifact resulting from the outsourcing of low value-added, labor-intensive production processes to low-wage countries. As Susan Houseman has argued, "when manufacturers outsource or offshore work, labor productivity increases directly because the outsourced or offshored labor used to produce the product is no longer employed in the manufacturing sector and hence is not counted in the denominator of the labor productivity equation." This is extremely important, because "the rate of productivity growth in U.S. manufacturing increased in the mid-1990s, greatly outpacing that in the services sector and accounting for most of the overall productivity growth in the U.S. economy." Thus she argues, "To the extent that offshoring is an important source of measured productivity growth in the economy, productivity statistics will, in part, be capturing cost savings or gains to trade but not improvements in the output of American labor." Houseman believes this solves "one of the great puzzles of the American economy in recent years the fact that large productivity gains have not broadly benefited workers in the form of higher wages. Productivity improvements that result from offshoring may largely measure cost savings, not improvements to output per hour worked by American labor."

Thus, when a firm outsources labor-intensive production processes, the productivity of the workers who remain in its employment rises, even though nothing about their specific labor has changed. Outsourcing therefore has what might be called a "ventriloquist effect" on measures of productivity. But this only scratches the surface of the productivity paradox. Labor-intensive production processes are practically synonymous with low value-added production processes, yet the more labor-intensive it is, that is, the larger living labor is relative to dead labor, the greater is its contribution to value and surplus value-but much of this is captured by capital-intensive capitals, showing up as a much higher value added per worker.

John Quiggin 12.22.16 at 11:17 pm

@Dave You are arguing against internal freedom of movement. Do you support systems of internal passports, as in the Soviet Union or the hukou system in China?

John Quiggin 12.23.16 at 3:14 am

WLGR: I'll look for this book. But on an initial reading of your first quotation, it seems to me that Smith is just restating the factor endowment model. What does "surplus labor" mean, if not a high ratio of labor to capital? Does he spell out the distinction somewhere else?

ZM 12.23.16 at 3:26 am

John Quiggin,

China has a very large population, hukou is problematic and has some undesirable impacts, but China needs to get all the provinces and cities more equal before they can change the hukou system. At the moment the inequality between provinces and cities in China is very very great compared to inequality between States and cities in Australia.

ZM 12.23.16 at 3:27 am ( 37 )

Although inequality has decreased as more people have been lifted out of poverty in the last 10-20 years.

Dave 12.23.16 at 6:06 am

@ John Quiggin 34

That's a very good question and it does show why one should always consider the full ramifications of ones' arguments. I would say that policies against internal migration are not limited to Communist dictatorships - that's what serfdom was, after all. I'm enough of a liberal to find that sort of thing oppressive, but I do think it had a certain social utility (of course, letting people move and travel has advantages too).

It's not exactly freedom of movement I'm arguing against so much as the notion that population centers have an essentially unlimited ability to absorb newcomers. From 18th Century Manchester to the American West to exploding Chinese industrial cities today, boom towns are notorious for their environmental devastation and social dysfunction.

Even in a modern era where resource extraction and heavy industry are less dominant economic drivers than they once were, the combination of free movement of capital and free movement of labor is a consistent recipe for explosive, unplanned, and unsustainable growth in whatever areas are deemed economically valuable. The boom bust cycle of capitalism maps onto the landscape itself and the effects for both the natives and the newcomers can be devastating.

What I would argue though is that free movement of people is a problem only insofar as there is free movement of capital. You won't have millions of people flood a region if that region hasn't already been flooded with millions of jobs. This would require a new international regulatory framework to put the brakes on massive industrial and commercial development and a rejection of the current extreme growth bias in economic thought. In effect, I think that it should be businesses that have to apply for those permits or internal passports, rather than individuals.

Many municipalities already do this through the use of building permits, but their efforts are compromised by an imperative to expand their tax base and competition between municipalities that gravely limits their effective bargaining power. In a free trade, open borders world, I can see the same thing happening at the national scale, forcing whole countries to compete with one another for jobs and labor and hastening the rate of neo-colonial resource plundering.

My worst case scenario is something like this. Lets say a fairly small - but not necessarily tiny - country like Uruguay adopts global open borders. A little while later, they make the shocking discovery that they're sitting on some of the largest reserves of, oh let's say, rare earth metals in the world.

Now, these metals are incredibly valuable so getting the capital to open mines and ore processing centers isn't a problem, the bigger issue is that Uruguay only has 3.4 million people, most of whom already have jobs, so the tens of thousands of employees needed to build the new mining industry will mostly be coming from elsewhere (or the mining companies will start by hiring Uruguayanos, but then they'll need migrants to fill the jobs the natives vacated). It doesn't stop there though, because the great new mining industry will produce secondary industries such as cell phone manufacturing, service jobs for the growing population, construction jobs to expand the national infrastructure, and on and on and on. These jobs bring in new migrants, who help grow the economy, and attract new migrants in a feedback loop that only ends when the bubble bursts or wages collapse.

How big does Uruguay get before the boom goes bust? Does it double in size? Triple? Does Montevideo become one of the biggest cities in South America, with sprawling, polluted, slums to match? What happens to the reasonably stable, reasonably prosperous, reasonably progressive little country that was there before? Would Uruguay still be Uruguay at that point?

These are the things I worry about.

hix 12.23.16 at 7:14 am ( 39 )

Poor former farmers that move to big cities typically wont drive cars, wont handle big industrial manichery and will only heat /cool tiny living spaces. So they are probably not a significant factor for the environmental issues in say big Chinese cities.

Neville Morley 12.23.16 at 7:39 am

@Dave #28:

"Cities as we know them (and their accompanying social maladies) are really only two or three centuries old".

No. Ancient Rome had a population of 750,000-1,000,000, based almost entirely on migrants, and more than large enough to create any number of social maladies; at least five other cities in Mediterranean with populations in the hundreds of thousands; series of cities in China with populations similar to Rome.

Evidence suggests significant levels of mobility, not just for elite. I don't think this necessarily has any bearing on the modern situation (capitalism, technology, yadda yadda), but certainly the historical evidence doesn't support your implied "large-scale migration is unnatural" thesis.

Igor Belanov 12.23.16 at 7:58 am ( 41 )

Dave @ 38

"Would Uruguay still be Uruguay at that point?"

What a daft question. When did the 'model' Uruguay exist, the one that we are supposed to preserve for all eternity? Now? Before the Uruguayan nation-state was formed? Before Columbus?

The irony is that the effort needed to prevent change would in all likelihood just lead to other changes of a more dysfunctional nature.

engels 12.23.16 at 12:21 pm

OT and possibly an ignorant question but does anyone know of any meaningful national or cultural difference between Uruguay and Argentina?

bob mcmanus 12.23.16 at 12:27 pm ( 43 )

Factor endowments equals they have poor people for cheap labor and we have rich people who create, consume and finance and the origins of the difference is like shrouded in mystery?

John Smith of WLGR is Marxian. Apples profits are generated by the workers at Foxconn in China, not the designers in San Jose. The surplus accruing to intellectual property is mostly a product of past and present Imperialism.

Matt 12.23.16 at 1:30 pm

Chris – maybe it's silly, but, if my work on immigration has tried to show anything at all, it's that to make a contribution on the subject, it's important to get the facts right, not make assumptions about movement we know are not true (people will move to where they get the best return on their skills, etc.), not assume away other difficulties, and not blur cases together through hand-waiving ("vast numbers", "relationships", etc.) All of that's done here, and even more so in the paper under discussion. I find it really annoying. Maybe I shouldn't let it bother me, but it seems to me to be typical "assume a can-opener" level of discussion, at the very best, and not helpful.

By the way, at least according to Wikipedia, there are 830,000 Poles in the UK_ so well south of a million still. It's a lot, but, lots less than, say, the 2.9 million Russian-born people in the US, a population I'm very familiar with, so I don't really need the lecture here.

Dave 12.23.16 at 2:03 pm ( 45 )

@ Neville 40

You're right, of course. I recognize now that my argument was a bit fuzzy and verges into begging the question ("Modern cities, as I've chosen to define them, only existed under capitalism, therefore urban dysfunction is all capitalism's fault, QED, etc."). "Bigger than Cleveland" is not a universal definition of what a city is and I shouldn't have treated it as one.

I'm not trying to say massive migration was unnatural though. I'm of the opinion that anything humans do is natural, if that helps. Nor do I think migration, even of the large-scale variety is wrong , but rather that it can be immensely harmful if there are no systems in place to mitigate its social and environmental effects. So discussing policy that would tear down all political barriers to migration as if it were mainly an issue of wages and productivity struck me as reductive. Even on purely economic terms, the way migration contributes to urban sprawl outpacing infrastructure is a huge issue that I frequently see overlooked.

@Igor 41:

I'm not arguing against change, but rather change that comes so quickly it creates a schism between the past and the present. The Gold Rush changed California from predominantly Spanish-speaking to majority Anglo in just a few years (and also killed tens of thousands of Indians in the process), so even if a place still has the same name following migration, it might not be pronounced the same way.

engels 12.23.16 at 3:32 pm

Also would be interesting to see numbers on marriages to foreign nationals by country-a quick google didn't turn it up.

Chris Bertram 12.23.16 at 4:26 pm ( 47 )

@engels – pretty sure that this is because the stats don't exist for many countries. The British government simply has no idea how many of its nationals are married to EU nationals (at least for England and Wales, there may be some record-keeping in Scotland).

engels 12.23.16 at 6:55 pm

Chris, that makes sense-there's a bit about estimates here though:
http://www.economist.com/node/21538103

Dipper 12.23.16 at 7:36 pm ( 49 )

@47. The UK has no idea how many EU citizens are here full stop. Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia.

The 2001 UK Census recorded 36,555 Portuguese-born people resident in the UK. More recent estimates by the Office for National Statistics put the figure at 107,000 in 2013. The 2011 Census recorded 88,161 Portuguese-born residents in England and Wales. The censuses of Scotland and Northern Ireland recorded 1,908 and 1,996 Portuguese-born residents respectively. Other sources estimate the Portuguese community to be larger, with the editor of a Portuguese-language newspaper putting the number of Portuguese passport holders in London alone at 350,000. According to academics José Carlos Pina Almeida and David Corkill, writing in 2010, estimates of the Portuguese population of the UK range from 80,000 to 700,000.

I mention it because informal information from someone at the embassy puts the number closer to 1 million. Many of them well have been born here. But nevertheless the point is that the estimates are all over the place.

Again, its not necessarily a good or a bad thing, but as a scientist with a bit of a measurement fixation I find the fact that no-one has any idea to be quite disturbing.

engels 12.23.16 at 8:31 pm

E.g. on US vs Europe:

[Dec 06, 2016] Very negative sentiment expressed in comment on immigration of progressive web site Moon of Alabama

Dec 06, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org
chipnik | Dec 3, 2016 7:40:26 PM | 42

30

A friend on Facebook made the mistake of posting two declamatory articles on the India financial apocalypse under Modi with the snark line 'this is what passes for democracy (sic) in the world now' and was notified just a day later by FB that their Profile was 'Determined to be an unauthorized Business Space', and would then be shut down, without any recourse, if they didn't provide a confirmed birth name and confirmed cell phone number. Nyet spasiba, ...so their profile went immediately 404.

This FB purge masks the truth for what Modi really is, the Menem of India, for privatization of Indian gold wealth, for taxation of outsourced high-tech workers, and covering up the 100,000s of Hindu HIBs flying into the USA by the 747-load, taking away, by some estimates 98% of new high-tech jobs, and 56% of existing high-tech jobs, where American workers are being forced to train their Hindu replacements, then given a pink slip and six months of COBRA and booted out.

[ASIDE: I was walking off frustration with Trump's financial picks today, and by sheer fate met an older guy who had just been terminated before he reached his employee-share pension age, by a company moving their assembly operations to China. He's hoping to move to Idaho or Montana, where there are so many unemployed meth heads, anyone who is clean and straight can find some kind of job that the Monkey Boys can't get their hooks into.]

Hindus flooded the MSM back-office journalist pool, cratering American journalism careers. Forbes, Wall Street Journal, The Street, ...all use Hindus to write their news, bloat their comment section, and with more 'legal' Hindu H1Bs in editorial positions within the USA, which is why in the Big Feu-faw since 9/11 fussing over Mexicans, Muslims, Deadbeat Students and UnInsurable Elders, ...even with 95,000,000 Americans unemployed, you will NEVER, EVER hear a single word about Hindus.

Nadella, Ellison, McDermott, Gelsinger, Besos, Zuckerberg, and Trump and his Cabinet are all 100% behind UNLIMITED H1B 'legal' immigration for USA. (Amazon even had to put cones around a dead PT minimum-wage worker, so their robots wouldn't crush his body, then the other day, an 'addlebrained' employee jumped off the roof). With all the jobs going to H1Bs, Trump will have to make America Great Again with his YUUGE infrastructure program : The Few, The Proud, The Brave!

[Dec 05, 2016] The Democratic Party Presidential Platform of 1996 – On Immigration

Blast from the past. Bill Clinton position on illegal immegtation.
Notable quotes:
"... Today's Democratic Party also believes we must remain a nation of laws. We cannot tolerate illegal immigration and we must stop it. For years before Bill Clinton became President, Washington talked tough but failed to act. In 1992, our borders might as well not have existed. The border was under-patrolled, and what patrols there were, were under-equipped. Drugs flowed freely. Illegal immigration was rampant. Criminal immigrants, deported after committing crimes in America, returned the very next day to commit crimes again. ..."
"... President Clinton is making our border a place where the law is respected and drugs and illegal immigrants are turned away. We have increased the Border Patrol by over 40 percent; in El Paso, our Border Patrol agents are so close together they can see each other. Last year alone, the Clinton Administration removed thousands of illegal workers from jobs across the country. Just since January of 1995, we have arrested more than 1,700 criminal aliens and prosecuted them on federal felony charges because they returned to America after having been deported. ..."
"... However, as we work to stop illegal immigration, we call on all Americans to avoid the temptation to use this issue to divide people from each other. We deplore those who use the need to stop illegal immigration as a pretext for discrimination . And we applaud the wisdom of Republicans like Mayor Giuliani and Senator Domenici who oppose the mean-spirited and short-sighted effort of Republicans in Congress to bar the children of illegal immigrants from schools - it is wrong, and forcing children onto the streets is an invitation for them to join gangs and turn to crime. ..."
Nov 30, 2016 | angrybearblog.com

What follows is from Today's Democratic Party: Meeting America's Challenges, Protecting America's Values , a.k.a., the 1996 Democratic Party Platform. This is the section on immigration. I took the liberty of bolding pieces I found interesting.

Democrats remember that we are a nation of immigrants. We recognize the extraordinary contribution of immigrants to America throughout our history. We welcome legal immigrants to America. We support a legal immigration policy that is pro-family, pro-work, pro-responsibility, and pro-citizenship , and we deplore those who blame immigrants for economic and social problems.

We know that citizenship is the cornerstone of full participation in American life. We are proud that the President launched Citizenship USA to help eligible immigrants become United States citizens. The Immigration and Naturalization Service is streamlining procedures, cutting red tape, and using new technology to make it easier for legal immigrants to accept the responsibilities of citizenship and truly call America their home.

Today's Democratic Party also believes we must remain a nation of laws. We cannot tolerate illegal immigration and we must stop it. For years before Bill Clinton became President, Washington talked tough but failed to act. In 1992, our borders might as well not have existed. The border was under-patrolled, and what patrols there were, were under-equipped. Drugs flowed freely. Illegal immigration was rampant. Criminal immigrants, deported after committing crimes in America, returned the very next day to commit crimes again.

President Clinton is making our border a place where the law is respected and drugs and illegal immigrants are turned away. We have increased the Border Patrol by over 40 percent; in El Paso, our Border Patrol agents are so close together they can see each other. Last year alone, the Clinton Administration removed thousands of illegal workers from jobs across the country. Just since January of 1995, we have arrested more than 1,700 criminal aliens and prosecuted them on federal felony charges because they returned to America after having been deported.

However, as we work to stop illegal immigration, we call on all Americans to avoid the temptation to use this issue to divide people from each other. We deplore those who use the need to stop illegal immigration as a pretext for discrimination . And we applaud the wisdom of Republicans like Mayor Giuliani and Senator Domenici who oppose the mean-spirited and short-sighted effort of Republicans in Congress to bar the children of illegal immigrants from schools - it is wrong, and forcing children onto the streets is an invitation for them to join gangs and turn to crime.

Democrats want to protect American jobs by increasing criminal and civil sanctions against employers who hire illegal workers , but Republicans continue to favor inflammatory rhetoric over real action. We will continue to enforce labor standards to protect workers in vulnerable industries. We continue to firmly oppose welfare benefits for illegal immigrants. We believe family members who sponsor immigrants into this country should take financial responsibility for them, and be held legally responsible for supporting them.

[Dec 05, 2016] The US grand strategy post-Bush was to reposition itself at the heart of a liberal economic system excluding China through TTIP with the EU and TPP with Asia-Pac ex. China and Russia. The idea was that this would enable the US to sustain its hegemony.

Notable quotes:
"... It has been an absolute failure. Brexit has torpedoed TTIP and TPP has limited value - the largest economy in the partnership, Japan, has been largely integrated in to the US for the past 70 years. ..."
"... IMO the biggest failure of the US has been hating Russia too much. The Russians have just as much reason to be afraid of China ..."
"... It's old Cold War thinking that has seen America lose its hegemony -- similar to how the British were so focused on stopping German ascendancy they didn't see the Americans coming with the knife. ..."
Sep 27, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com
Dante5 1d ago
The US grand strategy post-Bush was to reposition itself at the heart of a liberal economic system excluding China through TTIP with the EU and TPP with Asia-Pac ex. China and Russia. The idea was that this would enable the US to sustain its hegemony.

It has been an absolute failure. Brexit has torpedoed TTIP and TPP has limited value - the largest economy in the partnership, Japan, has been largely integrated in to the US for the past 70 years.

IMO the biggest failure of the US has been hating Russia too much. The Russians have just as much reason to be afraid of China as the US do and have a pretty capable army.

If the US patched things up with the Russians, firstly it could redeploy forces and military effort away from the Middle East towards Asia Pac and secondly it would give the US effective leverage over China -- with the majority of the oil producing nations aligned with the US, China would have difficulty in conducted a sustained conflict.

It's old Cold War thinking that has seen America lose its hegemony -- similar to how the British were so focused on stopping German ascendancy they didn't see the Americans coming with the knife.

[Dec 05, 2016] Fareed Zakaria Is Confused on Trade and the TPP

Notable quotes:
"... The real problem is the Chinese do not believe in economic profits, just market rates of return on invested capital which to be honest is only about 2-5% depending on risk. ..."
Jul 20, 2015 | economistsview.typepad.com
July 20, 2015
anne :

No one disputes the need for more official infrastructure funding :

What we find the most interesting is that the AIIB founders didn't ask member countries to approve an expansion of either the World Bank or the ADB. Instead, they opted for a new organization altogether.
Why? The problem is institutional legitimacy arising from issues of power and governance :

-- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz

[ Why? Because when all is said and done the United States wants to be able to control the Asian Development Bank, the IMF and World Bank and use them to in turn "control" countries that it wishes to be subject to the US but especially to control China as the New York Times editorial board made clear today in supporting Japanese militarism. *

* http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/20/opinion/japan-wrestles-with-its-pacifism.html ]

anne -> anne :

No one disputes the need for more official infrastructure funding :

-- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz

[ Unless the word "official" suffices as an excuse, of course United States and British policy makers in particular dispute the need for more government supported infrastructure funding. Amartya Sen and Vijay Prashad have made this entirely clear for India. *

* http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/20/opinion/why-india-trails-china.html ]

mulp -> anne :

The real problem is the Chinese do not believe in economic profits, just market rates of return on invested capital which to be honest is only about 2-5% depending on risk.

Americans demand monopoly profits and ROIC so high that the price of capital assets rapidly inflates.

Thus China's high speed rail plans are evil because China is advocating high volumes of HSR construction that costs decline by economies of scale leading to the replacement cost of any existing rail line being lower than original cost so the result is capital depreciation lower the price of assets, tangible and intangible, and the frantic pace of creating jobs and building more capital - more rail - eliminates any monopoly power of any rail system, thereby forcing revenues down to costs with the recovery of investment cost stretched to decades, and ROIC forced toward zero.

And it's that policy of investing to eliminate profits that drives conservatives insane. They scream, "it is bankrupt because those hundred year lifetime assets are not paying for themselves and generating stock market gains in seven years!"

Its like banking was from circa 1930 to 1980! It is like utility regulation was from 1930 to 1980! How can wealth be created when monopoly power is thwarted?!?

Just imagine how devastating if China uses the AIIB to build a rail network speeding goods between China and the tip of Africa and every place in between! Highly destructive of wealth.

anne -> mulp :

Interesting argument that I will carefully think through and argue with in turn. Nice, nice comment.

anne -> mulp :

Terrific comment, which should be further developed; I am thinking.

anne -> mulp :

Though I want to smooth the writing and terminology, I completely agree. Again, a terrific thoroughly enlightening comment. ]

anne :

And :after failing to stop the AIIB, and refusing to participate as a founding member, the United States should join the institution as soon as it can, participating actively in holding it to the highest 21st century standards :.

-- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz

[ Surely the IMF and the like are responsible for the "explosive" 38 year growth in real per capita Gross Domestic Product and 35 year growth in total factor productivity from Mexico, neighbor to the United States, to the Philippines, to Kenya : ]

anne -> anne :

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1pbp

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, India, Brazil and South Africa, 1976-2014

(Percent change)


https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1pbq

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, India, Brazil and South Africa, 1976-2014

(Indexed to 1976)

anne -> anne :

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=RZD

November 1, 2014

Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for China, India, Brazil and South Africa, 1976-2011


http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=VJj

November 1, 2014

Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for China, India, Brazil and South Africa, 1976-2011

(Indexed to 1976)

anne -> anne :

Even supposing analysts short of an Amartya Sen wish to be judicious in actually looking to the data of the last 38 years, as even Sen has found there is a price for arguing about the obvious importance of soft (social welfare spending) and hard institutional infrastructure spending in China:


http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=15Ie

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China and Mexico, 1976-2014

(Indexed to 1976)


https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1tO2

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China and Philippines, 1976-2014

(Indexed to 1976)


https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1tO3

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China and Kenya, 1976-2014

(Indexed to 1976)

anne :

And :after failing to stop the AIIB, and refusing to participate as a founding member, the United States should join the institution as soon as it can, participating actively in holding it to the highest 21st century standards :.

-- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz


https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1qyT

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, United States and
United Kingdom, 1976-2014

(Indexed to 1976)


http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=VJf

November 1, 2014

Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for China,
United States and United Kingdom, 1976-2011

(Indexed to 1976)

anne :

No one disputes the need for more official infrastructure funding :

And :after failing to stop the AIIB, and refusing to participate as a founding member, the United States should join the institution as soon as it can, participating actively in holding it to the highest 21st century standards :.

-- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1tiq

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for United States, United
Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Germany and China, 1976-2014

(Indexed to 1976)


http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=197l

November 1, 2014

Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for United
States, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Germany and China,
1976-2011

(Indexed to 1976)

anne :

No one disputes the need for more official infrastructure funding :

What we find the most interesting is that the AIIB founders didn't ask member countries to approve an expansion of either the World Bank or the ADB. Instead, they opted for a new organization altogether.

Why? The problem is institutional legitimacy arising from issues of power and governance :

-- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz


https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1qsO

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore, 1976-2014

(Indexed to 1976)


http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=10zf

November 1, 2014

Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for China,
Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore, 1976-2011

(Indexed to 1976)

anne :

No one disputes the need for more official infrastructure funding :

And :after failing to stop the AIIB, and refusing to participate as a founding member, the United States should join the institution as soon as it can, participating actively in holding it to the highest 21st century standards :.

-- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz


https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1qzW

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for Sweden, Denmark, Norway,
Finland and China, 1976-2014

(Indexed to 1976)


https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1qzY

November 1, 2014

Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for Sweden,
Denmark, Norway, Finland and China, 1976-2011

(Indexed to 1976)

anne :

No one disputes the need for more official infrastructure funding :

And :after failing to stop the AIIB, and refusing to participate as a founding member, the United States should join the institution as soon as it can, participating actively in holding it to the highest 21st century standards :.

-- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz


https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1qE2

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for Ireland, Portugal, Spain,
Italy, Greece and China, 1976-2014

(Indexed to 1976)


https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1qE5

November 1, 2014

Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for Ireland,
Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece and China, 1976-2011

(Indexed to 1976)

anne :

No one disputes the need for more official infrastructure funding :

And :after failing to stop the AIIB, and refusing to participate as a founding member, the United States should join the institution as soon as it can, participating actively in holding it to the highest 21st century standards :.

-- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz


https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1pco

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, Japan and Korea, 1976-2014

(Indexed to 1976)


http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=VYR

November 1, 2014

Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for China, Japan and Korea, 1976-2011

(Indexed to 1976)

kthomas :

yawn

anne :

Yawn

[ When did the United States experience 38 years of 8.6% real per capita GDP growth yearly? How about the United Kingdom? How about any other country? I have just begun, go ahead choose another country to go with China. I am waiting. Go ahead. I will include the astonishing total factor productivity growth as well. ]

anne :

While most of the G20 nations, including the big European states, Australia, and South Korea, are among the founding members, the United States, Japan, and Canada are noticeably not :

-- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz

[ I found it startling and discouraging that Greece virtually alone in Europe did not apply to be a founding member of the AIIB. ]

anne :

No one disputes the need for more official infrastructure funding :

And :after failing to stop the AIIB, and refusing to participate as a founding member, the United States should join the institution as soon as it can, participating actively in holding it to the highest 21st century standards :.

-- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz


https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1q64

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, United Kingdom,
Australia and Canada, 1976-2014

(Indexed to 1976)


http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=10fa

November 1, 2014

Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for China,
United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, 1976-2011

(Indexed to 1976)

anne -> anne :

Yawn

[ I am still waiting, choose a country to go with China. ]

anne -> anne :

No one disputes the need for more official infrastructure funding :

And :after failing to stop the AIIB, and refusing to participate as a founding member, the United States should join the institution as soon as it can, participating actively in holding it to the highest 21st century standards :.

-- Cecchetti & Schoenholtz


https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1tX6

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and China, 1976-2014

(Indexed to 1976)


https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1tX8

November 1, 2014

Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and China, 1976-2011

(Indexed to 1976)

anne -> anne :

Yawn

[ Still waiting, choose a country to go with China. ]

Bruce Webb :

As to why the AIIB decided to go alone (at least without the US) it may have something to do with a fact that I stumbled on in relation to the Greece crisis. I am sure that most people here knew the basic fact and perhaps appreciate the irony but I didn't know whether to weep or laugh outright.

The U.S. only controls 17% of voting powers of the IMF. Why barely a sixth! Yet any positive decision requires an 85% vote. Meaning that in operational terms the U.S. might as well hold 51%.

You see similar things with NATO. It's a partnership that has high officers rotating in from here or there. But which requires that the overall NATO Commander be an American.

Nothing undemocratic or hegemonic here! Nope! Moving right along!

anne -> Bruce Webb :

The U.S. only controls 17% of voting powers of the IMF. Why barely a sixth! Yet any positive decision requires an 85% vote. Meaning that in operational terms the U.S. might as well hold 51%.

You see similar things with NATO. It's a partnership that has high officers rotating in from here or there. But which requires that the overall NATO Commander be an American.

Nothing undemocratic or hegemonic here! Nope! Moving right along!

[ Perfect and important. ]

anne -> Bruce Webb :

I am sure that most people here knew the basic fact and perhaps appreciate the irony but I didn't know whether to weep or laugh outright :.

[ No, in continually whining about the need for Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to be transparent and democratic the United States was making sure never ever to explain the historic lack of transparency and anti-democratic nature of the IMF and World Bank and Asian Development Bank. ]

anne :

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1qtx

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for Brazil, Argentina, Chile
and China, 1976-2014

(Indexed to 1976)


https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1qtr

November 1, 2014

Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for Brazil,
Argentina, Chile and China, 1976-2011

(Indexed to 1976)

anne :

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=1tYy

August 4, 2014

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product for China, India and Turkey, 1976-2014

(Indexed to 1976)


http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=181Y

November 1, 2014

Total Factor Productivity at Constant National Prices for China, India and Turkey, 1976-2011

(Indexed to 1976)

[Dec 05, 2016] The geopolitical reasons for TPP, from Americas point of view, are pretty clear. It is a preemptive move against future China dominance in the region

Notable quotes:
"... Bill Clinton: "The geopolitical reasons for [TPP], from America's point of view, are pretty clear. It's designed to make sure that the future of the Asia-Pacific region, economically, is not totally dominated by China" ..."
"... " The full 40-page paper (PDF) [from the Global Development And Environment Institute at Tufts University] goes into the details [of projected economic gains from trade deals]. Along the way, it provides a highly critical analysis of the underlying econometric model used for almost all of the official studies of CETA, TPP and TTIP - the so-called "computable general equilibrium" (CGE) approach. In particular, the authors find that using the CGE model to analyze a potential trade deal effectively guarantees that there will be a positive outcome ("net welfare gains") because of its unrealistic assumptions" [ TechDirt ]. ..."
Sep 26, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Bill Clinton: "The geopolitical reasons for [TPP], from America's point of view, are pretty clear. It's designed to make sure that the future of the Asia-Pacific region, economically, is not totally dominated by China" [ CNBC ].

"However, he stopped short [by about an inch, right?] of supporting the TPP. He added that his wife [who is running for President' has said provisions on currency manipulation must be enforced and measures put in place in the United States to address any labor market dislocations that result from trade deals." Oh. "Provisions enforced" sounds like executive authority, to me. And "measures put in place" sounds like a side deal. In other words, Bill Clinton just floated Hillary's trial balloon for passing TPP, if Obama can't get it done in the lame duck. Of course, if you parsed her words, you knew she wasn't lying , exactly .

" The full 40-page paper (PDF) [from the Global Development And Environment Institute at Tufts University] goes into the details [of projected economic gains from trade deals]. Along the way, it provides a highly critical analysis of the underlying econometric model used for almost all of the official studies of CETA, TPP and TTIP - the so-called "computable general equilibrium" (CGE) approach. In particular, the authors find that using the CGE model to analyze a potential trade deal effectively guarantees that there will be a positive outcome ("net welfare gains") because of its unrealistic assumptions" [ TechDirt ].

"Conservative lawmakers looking for a way to buck Donald Trump's populist message on trade may have gotten a little more cover with more than 30 conservative and libertarian groups sending a letter today to Congress expressing strong support for free trade" [ Politico ]. National Taxpayers Union, Club for Growth, FreedomWorks

"France is set to arrive at the meeting with a proposal to suspend TTIP negotiations, our Pro Trade colleagues in Brussels report. But for the deal's supporters, there's hop'e: 'France will not win the day,' Alberto Mucci, Christian Oliver and Hans von der Burchard write. 'Britain [???], Italy, Spain, Poland, the Nordic countries and the Baltics will thwart any attempt to end the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership in Bratislava'" [ Politico ].

[Dec 05, 2016] Stiglitz Blasts Outrageous TPP as Obama Campaigns for Corporate-Friendly Deal Common Dreams Breaking News Views for the

Notable quotes:
"... Expressing his overall objections to the TPP, Stiglitz said "corporate interests... were at the table" when it was being crafted. He also condemned "the provisions on intellectual property that will drive up drug prices" and "the 'investment provisions' which will make it more difficult to regulate and actually harm trade." ..."
"... The Democratic candidate, for her part, supported the deal before coming out against it , but for TPP foes, uncertainty about her position remains, especially since she recently named former Colorado Senator and Interior Secretary-and " vehement advocate for the TPP "-Ken Salazar to be chair of her presidential transition team. ..."
"... Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) said , "We have to make sure that bill never sees the light of day after this election," while Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) said at the American Postal Workers Union convention in Walt Disney World, "If this goes through, it's curtains for the middle class in this country." ..."
Aug 25, 2016 | www.commondreams.org
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has reiterated his opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), saying on Tuesday that President Barack Obama's push to get the trade deal passed during the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress is "outrageous" and "absolutely wrong."

Stiglitz, an economics professor at Columbia University and chief economist of the Roosevelt Institute, made the comments on CNN's "Quest Means Business."

His criticism comes as Obama aggressively campaigns to get lawmakers to pass the TPP in the Nov. 9 to Jan. 3 window-even as resistance mounts against the 12-nation deal.

Echoing an argument made by Center for Economic and Policy Research co-director Mark Weisbrot, Stiglitz said, "At the lame-duck session you have congressmen voting who know that they're not accountable anymore."

Lawmakers "who are not politically accountable because they're leaving may, in response to promises of jobs or just subtle understandings, do things that are not in the national interest," he said.

Expressing his overall objections to the TPP, Stiglitz said "corporate interests... were at the table" when it was being crafted. He also condemned "the provisions on intellectual property that will drive up drug prices" and "the 'investment provisions' which will make it more difficult to regulate and actually harm trade."

"The advocates of trade said it was going to benefit everyone," he added. "The evidence is it's benefited a few and left a lot behind."

Stiglitz has previously spoken out against the TPP before, arguing that it "may turn out to be the worst trade agreement in decades;" that it would mean "if you pass a regulation that restricts ability to pollute or does something about climate change, you could be sued and could pay billions of dollars;" and previously said that the president's TPP push "is one of Obama's biggest mistakes."

Stiglitz has also been advising the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. The Democratic candidate, for her part, supported the deal before coming out against it, but for TPP foes, uncertainty about her position remains, especially since she recently named former Colorado Senator and Interior Secretary-and "vehement advocate for the TPP"-Ken Salazar to be chair of her presidential transition team.

Opposition to the TPP also appeared Tuesday in Michigan and Florida, where union members and lawmakers criticized what they foresee as the deal's impacts on working families.

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) said, "We have to make sure that bill never sees the light of day after this election," while Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) said at the American Postal Workers Union convention in Walt Disney World, "If this goes through, it's curtains for the middle class in this country."

[Dec 05, 2016] Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Tulsi Gabbard - Fighting for the people.

Aug 01, 2016 | www.votetulsi.com

We cannot allow this agreement to forsake the American middle class, while foreign governments are allowed to devalue their currency and artificially prop-up their industries.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is a bad deal for the American people. This historically massive trade deal -- accounting for 40 percent of global trade -- would reduce restrictions on foreign corporations operating within the U.S., limit our ability to protect our environment, and create more incentives for U.S. businesses to outsource investments and jobs overseas to countries with lower labor costs and standards.

Over and over we hear from TPP proponents how the TPP will boost our economy, help American workers, and set the standards for global trade. The International Trade Commission report released last May (https://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub4607.pdf) confirms that the opposite is true. In exchange for just 0.15 percent boost in GDP by 2032, the TPP would decimate American manufacturing capacity, increase our trade deficit, ship American jobs overseas, and result in losses to 16 of the 25 U.S. economic sectors. These estimates don't even account for the damaging effects of currency manipulation, environmental impacts, and the agreement's deeply flawed Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) process.

There's no reason to believe the provisions of this deal relating to labor standards, preserving American jobs, or protecting our environment, will be enforceable. Every trade agreement negotiated in the past claimed to have strong enforceable provisions to protect American jobs -- yet no such enforcement has occurred, and agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of American jobs. Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich has called TPP "NAFTA on steroids." The loss of U.S. jobs under the TPP would likely be unprecedented.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fC0qppnK_U

Watch: Tulsi restates the need for transparency in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on the House floor.

[Dec 05, 2016] BuzzFeed Exposes Corporate Super Courts That Can Overrule Government

Corporations are "one-dollar-one-vote" top-down systems. They consider "one-person-one-vote" democracy illegitimate
Notable quotes:
"... Existing "trade" agreements like NAFTA allow corporations to sue governments for passing laws and regulations that limit their profits. They set up special " corporate courts " in which corporate attorneys decide the cases. These corporate "super courts" sit above governments and their own court systems, and countries and their citizens cannot even appeal the rulings. ..."
"... Now, corporations are pushing two new "trade" agreements - one covering Pacific-are countries and one covering Atlantic-area countries - that expand these corporate rights and move governments out of their way. The Pacific agreement is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Atlantic one is called the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). ..."
"... International corporations that want to intimidate countries have access to a private legal system designed just for them. And to unlock its power, sometimes all it takes is a threat. ..."
"... ISDS is so tilted and unpredictable, and the fines the arbitrators can impose are so catastrophically large, that bowing to a company's demands, however extreme they may be, can look like the prudent choice. ..."
Sep 03, 2016 | Back to (our) Future

BuzzFeed is running a very important investigative series called "Secrets of a Global Super Court." It describes what they call "a parallel legal universe, open only to corporations and largely invisible to everyone else."

Existing "trade" agreements like NAFTA allow corporations to sue governments for passing laws and regulations that limit their profits. They set up special "corporate courts" in which corporate attorneys decide the cases. These corporate "super courts" sit above governments and their own court systems, and countries and their citizens cannot even appeal the rulings.

The 2014 post "Corporate Courts - A Big Red Flag On "Trade" Agreements" explained the origin and rationale for these corporate courts:

Picture a poor "banana republic" country ruled by a dictator and his cronies. A company might want to invest in a factory or railroad - things that would help the people of that country as well as deliver a return to the company. But the company worries that the dictator might decide to just seize the factory and give it to his brother-in-law. Agreements to protect investors, and allowing a tribunal not based in such countries (courts where the judges are cronies of the dictator), make sense in such situations.

Here's the thing: Corporate investors see themselves as legitimate "makers" and see citizens and voters and their governments - always demanding taxes and fair pay and public safety - to be illegitimate "takers." Corporations are all about "one-dollar-one-vote" top-down systems of governance. They consider "one-person-one-vote" democracy to be an illegitimate, non-functional system that meddles with their more-important profit interests. They consider any governmental legal or regulatory system to be "burdensome." They consider taxes as "theft" of the money they have "earned."

To them, any government anywhere is just another "banana republic" from which they need special protection.

"Trade" Deals Bypass Borders

Investors and their corporations have set up a way to get around the borders of these meddling governments, called "trade" deals. The trade deals elevate global corporate interests above any national interest. When a country signs a "trade" deal, that country is agreeing not to do things that protect the country's own national interest - like impose tariffs to protect key industries or national strategies, or pass laws and regulations - when those things interfere with the larger, more important global corporate "trade" interests.

Now, corporations are pushing two new "trade" agreements - one covering Pacific-are countries and one covering Atlantic-area countries - that expand these corporate rights and move governments out of their way. The Pacific agreement is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Atlantic one is called the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Secrets of a Global Super Court

BuzzFeed's series on these corporate courts, "Secrets of a Global Super Court," explains the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions in the "trade" deals that have come to dominate the world economy. These provisions set up "corporate courts" that place corporate profits above the interests of governments and set up a court system that sits above the court systems of the countries in the "trade" deals.

Part One, "Inside The Global "Club" That Helps Executives Escape Their Crimes," describes, "A parallel legal universe, open only to corporations and largely invisible to everyone else, helps executives convicted of crimes escape punishment."

In a little-noticed 2014 dissent, US Chief Justice John Roberts warned that ISDS arbitration panels hold the alarming power to review a nation's laws and "effectively annul the authoritative acts of its legislature, executive, and judiciary." ISDS arbitrators, he continued, "can meet literally anywhere in the world" and "sit in judgment" on a nation's "sovereign acts."

[. . .]

Reviewing publicly available information for about 300 claims filed during the past five years, BuzzFeed News found more than 35 cases in which the company or executive seeking protection in ISDS was accused of criminal activity, including money laundering, embezzlement, stock manipulation, bribery, war profiteering, and fraud.

Among them: a bank in Cyprus that the US government accused of financing terrorism and organized crime, an oil company executive accused of embezzling millions from the impoverished African nation of Burundi, and the Russian oligarch known as "the Kremlin's banker."

One lawyer who regularly represents governments said he's seen evidence of corporate criminality that he "couldn't believe." Speaking on the condition that he not be named because he's currently handling ISDS cases, he said, "You have a lot of scuzzy sort-of thieves for whom this is a way to hit the jackpot."

Part Two, "The Billion-Dollar Ultimatum," looks at how "International corporations that want to intimidate countries have access to a private legal system designed just for them. And to unlock its power, sometimes all it takes is a threat."

Of all the ways in which ISDS is used, the most deeply hidden are the threats, uttered in private meetings or ominous letters, that invoke those courts. The threats are so powerful they often eliminate the need to actually bring a lawsuit. Just the knowledge that it could happen is enough.

[. . .] ISDS is so tilted and unpredictable, and the fines the arbitrators can impose are so catastrophically large, that bowing to a company's demands, however extreme they may be, can look like the prudent choice. Especially for nations struggling to emerge from corrupt dictatorships or to lift their people from decades of poverty, the mere threat of an ISDS claim triggers alarm. A single decision by a panel of three unaccountable, private lawyers, meeting in a conference room on some other continent, could gut national budgets and shake economies to the core.

Part Three, "To Bankers, It's Not Just A Court System, It's A Gold Mine," exposes how "Financial companies have figured out how to turn a controversial global legal system to their own very profitable advantage."

Indeed, financiers and ISDS lawyers have created a whole new business: prowling for ways to sue nations in ISDS and make their taxpayers fork over huge sums, sometimes in retribution for enforcing basic laws or regulations.

The financial industry is pushing novel ISDS claims that countries never could have anticipated - claims that, in some instances, would be barred in US courts and those of other developed nations, or that strike at emergency decisions nations make to cope with crises.

ISDS gives particular leverage to traders and speculators who chase outsize profits in the developing world. They can buy into local disputes that they have no connection to, then turn the disputes into costly international showdowns. Standard Chartered, for example, bought the debt of a Tanzanian company that was in dire financial straits and racked by scandal; now, the bank has filed an ISDS claim demanding that the nation's taxpayers hand over the full amount that the private company owed - more than $100 million. Asked to comment, Standard Chartered said its claim is "valid."

David Dayen explains this last point, in "The Big Problem With The Trans-Pacific Partnership's Super Court That We're Not Talking About": "Financiers will use it to bet on lawsuits, while taxpayers foot the bill."

But instead of helping companies resolve legitimate disputes over seized assets, ISDS has increasingly become a way for rich investors to make money by speculating on lawsuits, winning huge awards and forcing taxpayers to foot the bill.

Here's how it works: Wealthy financiers with idle cash have purchased companies that are well placed to bring an ISDS claim, seemingly for the sole purpose of using that claim to make a buck. Sometimes, they set up shell corporations to create the plaintiffs to bring ISDS cases. And some hedge funds and private equity firms bankroll ISDS cases as third parties - just like billionaire Peter Thiel bankrolled Hulk Hogan in his lawsuit against Gawker Media.

Part Four of the great BuzzFeed series, "Secrets of a Global Super Court," is expected to be published later this week.

PCCC Statement

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) released this statement on the ISDS provisions in TPP:

"Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Wall Street would be allowed to sue the government in extrajudicial, corporate-run tribunals over any regulation and American taxpayers would be on the hook for damages. This is an outrage. We need more accountability and fairness in our economy – not less. And we need to preserve our ability to make our own rules.

"It's time for Obama to take notice of the widespread, bipartisan opposition to the TPP and take this agreement off the table before he causes lasting political harm to Democrats with voters."

[Dec 05, 2016] No TPP - a certainty in case Donald Trump is elected in November - means the end of US economic hegemony over Asia.

Notable quotes:
"... "No TPP - a certainty in case Donald Trump is elected in November - means the end of US economic hegemony over Asia. Hillary Clinton knows it; and it's no accident President Obama is desperate to have TPP approved during a short window of opportunity, the lame-duck session of Congress from November 9 to January 3." ..."
"... To me, the key to our economic hegemony lies in our reserve currency hegemony. They will have to continue to supply us to get the currency. Unless we have injected too much already (no scholars have come forth to say how much trade deficits are necessary for the reserve currency to function as the reserve currency, and so, we have just kept buying – and I am wondering if we have bought too much and there is a need to starting running trade surpluses to soak up the excess money – just asking, I don't know the answer). ..."
Sep 01, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Joe Hunter , August 31, 2016 at 2:52 pm

" http://www.defenddemocracy.press/whole-game-containing-russisa-china/

A response to Hillary Clinton's America Exceptionalist Speech:

1. America Exceptionalist vs. the World..
2. Brezinski is extremely dejected.
3. Russia-China on the march.
4. "There will be blood. Hillary Clinton smells it already ."

clarky90 , August 31, 2016 at 4:01 pm

"No TPP - a certainty in case Donald Trump is elected in November - means the end of US economic hegemony over Asia. Hillary Clinton knows it; and it's no accident President Obama is desperate to have TPP approved during a short window of opportunity, the lame-duck session of Congress from November 9 to January 3."

http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20160829/1044733257/russia-china-game-brics.html

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , August 31, 2016 at 4:18 pm

To me, the key to our economic hegemony lies in our reserve currency hegemony. They will have to continue to supply us to get the currency. Unless we have injected too much already (no scholars have come forth to say how much trade deficits are necessary for the reserve currency to function as the reserve currency, and so, we have just kept buying – and I am wondering if we have bought too much and there is a need to starting running trade surpluses to soak up the excess money – just asking, I don't know the answer).

[Dec 05, 2016] In the face of public opposition to the TPP and TISA proponents have trotted out a new argument: we have come too far , our national credibility would be damaged if we stop now.

Aug 27, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
L , August 26, 2016 at 2:44 pm

Regarding the push to pass the TPP and TISA I've been needing to get this off my chest and this seems to be as good a time as any:

In the face of public opposition to the TPP and TISA proponents have trotted out a new argument: "we have come too far", "our national credibility would be damaged if we stop now." The premise of which is that negotiations have been going on so long, and have involved such effort that if the U.S. were to back away now we would look bad and would lose significant political capital.

On one level this argument is true. The negotiations have been long, and many promises were made by the negotiators to secure to to this point. Stepping back now would expose those promises as false and would make that decade of effort a loss. It would also expose the politicians who pushed for it in the face of public oppoosition to further loss of status and to further opposition.

However, all of that is voided by one simple fact. The negotiations were secret. All of that effort, all of the horse trading and the promise making was done by a self-selected body of elites, for that same body, and was hidden behind a wall of secrecy stronger than that afforded to new weapons. The deals were hidden not just from the general public, not from trade unions or environmental groups, but from the U.S. Congress itself.

Therefore it has no public legitimacy. The promises made are not "our" promises but Michael Froman's promises. They are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government but only by the words of a small body of appointees and the multinational corporations that they serve. The corporations were invited to the table, Congress was not.

What "elites" really mean when they say "America's credibility is on the line" is that their credibility is on the line. If these deals fail what will be lost is not America's stature but the premise that a handful of appointees can cut deals in private and that the rest of us will make good.

When that minor loss is laid against the far greater fact that the terms of these deals are bad, that prior deals of this type have harmed our real economies, and that the rules will further erode our national sovreignity, there is no contest.

Michael Froman's reputation has no value. Our sovreignity, our economy, our nation, does.

flora , August 26, 2016 at 2:51 pm

+1

grizziz , August 26, 2016 at 2:52 pm

Thank you for your comment. +1

Lambert Strether Post author , August 26, 2016 at 2:57 pm

"We've gone too far."

Whaddaya mean, "we"?

ambrit , August 26, 2016 at 6:45 pm

The imperial "We."
I just had a soul corroding vision of H Clinton done up as Victoria Regina. Ouch!!! Go get the butter!

Jim Haygood , August 26, 2016 at 6:53 pm

In modern parlance, she's Victoria Rejayjay. :-0

JohnnyGL , August 26, 2016 at 3:01 pm

Good comment .

"What "elites" really mean when they say "America's credibility is on the line" is that their credibility is on the line. If these deals fail what will be lost is not America's stature but the premise that a handful of appointees can cut deals in private and that the rest of us will make good."

Yes! And the victory will taste so sweet when we bury this filthy, rotten, piece of garbage. Obama's years of effort down the drain, his legacy tarnished and unfinished.

I want TPP's defeat to send a clear message that the elites can't count on their politicians to deliver for them. Let's make this thing their Stalingrad! Leave deep scars so that they give up on TISA and stop trying to concoct these absurd schemes like ISDS.

abynormal , August 26, 2016 at 3:10 pm

sorry but i don't see it that way at all. 'they' got a propaganda machine to beat all 'they' make n break reps all the time. i do see a desperation on a monetary/profit scale. widening the 'playing field' offers more profits with less risk. for instance, our Pharams won't have to slash their prices at the risk of sunshine laws, wish-washy politicians, competition, nor a pissed off public. jmo tho')

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , August 26, 2016 at 4:13 pm

LOL "America's credibility" LOL, these people need to get out more. In the 60's you could hike high up into the Andes and the sheep herder had two pics on the wall of his hut: Jesus and JFK. America retains its cachet as a place to make money and be entertained, but as some kind of beacon of morality and fair play in the world? Dead, buried, and long gone, the hype-fest of slogans and taglines can only cover up so many massive, atrocious and hypocritical actions and serial offenses.

Synoia , August 26, 2016 at 4:57 pm

his legacy tarnished and unfinished.

And his post-presidential money small .

NotTimothyGeithner , August 26, 2016 at 6:11 pm

Clinton Inc was mostly Bill helping Epstein get laid until after Kerry lost. If this was the reelection of John Edwards, Kerry's running mate, and a referendum on 12 years of Kerronomics, Bill and Hill would be opening night speakers at the DNC and answers to trivia questions.

My guess is Obama is dropped swiftly and unceremoniously especially since he doesn't have much of a presence in Washington.

John Wright , August 26, 2016 at 6:15 pm

The must preserve American credibility argument on the line again.

Here is a quote from NYT's Nicholas Kristoff from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/29/opinion/kristof-reinforce-a-norm-in-syria.html

"It looks as if we'll be firing Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syria in the coming days, and critics are raising legitimate concerns:"

"Yet there is value in bolstering international norms against egregious behavior like genocide or the use of chemical weapons. Since President Obama established a "red line" about chemical weapons use, his credibility has been at stake: he can't just whimper and back down."

Obama did back down.

NIcholas Kristof, vigilant protector of American credibility through bombing Syria.

polecat , August 26, 2016 at 7:14 pm

he's just another syncophantic punk .in a long line of syncophantic punks

..oh..that includes Kristof too

RabidGandhi , August 26, 2016 at 3:48 pm

Ah yes the credibility of our élites. With their sterling record on Nafta's benefits, Iraq's liberation, Greece's rebound, the IMF's rehabilitation of countries

We must pass TPP or Tom Friedman will lose credibility, what?

polecat , August 26, 2016 at 7:17 pm

yeah but will he have to shave off his 'stache' ??

Propertius , August 26, 2016 at 3:53 pm

Well said!

HopeLB , August 26, 2016 at 8:36 pm

Wonderful (and credible) assessment.

[Dec 05, 2016] Framing Votes for TPP as the Surrender of National Sovereignty (i.e., Treason) naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... pro-TPPers "consciously seek to weaken the national defense," that's exactly what's going on. Neoliberalism, through offshoring, weakens the national defense, because it puts our weaponry at the mercy of fragile and corruptible supply chains. ..."
"... Now, when we think about how corrupt the political class has become, it's not hard to see why Obama is confident that he will win. ..."
"... I think raising the ante rhetorically by framing a pro-TPP vote as treason could help sway a close vote; and if readers try that frame out, I'd like to hear the results ..."
Aug 29, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Why the Proponents of TPP Are Traitors

There are two reasons: First, they consciously seek to weaken the national defense. And second, the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system is a surrender of national sovereignty .

National Defense

This might be labeled the "Ghost Fleet" argument, since we're informed that Paul Singer and Augustus Cole's techno-thriller has really caught the attention of the national security class below the political appointee level, and that this is a death blow for neoliberalism. Why? "The multi-billion dollar, next generation F-35 aircraft, for instance, is rendered powerless after it is revealed that Chinese microprocessor manufacturers had implanted malicious code into products intended for the jet" ( Foreign Policy ). Clearly, we need, well, industrial policy, and we need to bring a lot of manufacturing home. From Brigadier General (Retired) John Adams :

In 2013, the Pentagon's Defense Science Board put forward a remarkable report describing one of the most significant but little-recognized threats to US security: deindustrialization. The report argued that the loss of domestic U.S. manufacturing facilities has not only reduced U.S. living standards but also compromised U.S. technology leadership "by enabling new players to learn a technology and then gain the capability to improve on it." The report explained that the offshoring of U.S. manufacturing presents a particularly dangerous threat to U.S. military readiness through the "compromise of the supply chain for key weapons systems components."

Our military is now shockingly vulnerable to major disruptions in the supply chain, including from substandard manufacturing practices, natural disasters, and price gouging by foreign nations. Poor manufacturing practices in offshore factories lead to problem-plagued products, and foreign producers-acting on the basis of their own military or economic interests-can sharply raise prices or reduce or stop sales to the United States.

The link between TPP and this kind of offshoring has been well-established.

And, one might say, the link between neo-liberal economic policy "and this kind of offshoring has been well-established" as well.

So, when I framed the issue as one where pro-TPPers "consciously seek to weaken the national defense," that's exactly what's going on. Neoliberalism, through offshoring, weakens the national defense, because it puts our weaponry at the mercy of fragile and corruptible supply chains. Note that re-industrializing America has positive appeal, too: For the right, on national security grounds; and for the left, on labor's behalf (and maybe helping out the Rust Belt that neoliberal policies of the last forty years did so much to destroy. Of course, this framing would make Clinton a traitor, but you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs. (Probably best to to let the right, in its refreshingly direct fashion, use the actual "traitor" word, and the left, shocked, call for the restoration of civility, using verbiage like "No, I wouldn't say she's a traitor. She's certainly 'extremely careless' with our nation's security.")

ISDS

The Investor-State Dispute Settlement system is a hot mess (unless you represent a corporation, or are one of tiny fraternity of international corporate lawyers who can plead and/or judge ISDS cases). Yves wrote :

What may have torched the latest Administration salvo is a well-timed joint publication by Wikileaks and the New York Times of a recent version of the so-called investment chapter. That section sets forth one of the worst features of the agreement, the investor-state dispute settlement process (ISDS). As we've described at length in earlier posts, the ISDS mechanism strengthens the existing ISDS process. It allows for secret arbitration panels to effectively overrule national regulations by allowing foreign investors to sue governments over lost potential future profits in secret arbitration panels. Those panels have been proved to be conflict-ridden and arbitrary. And the grounds for appeal are limited and technical.

(More from NC on the ISDS panels , the TPP clauses on ISDS , the "code of conduct" for lawyers before the ISDS, pending ISDS settlements , and the potential constitutional challenges to the ISDS system.)

Here again we have a frame that appeals to both right and left. The very thought of surrendering national sovereignty to an international organization makes any good conservative's back teeth itch. And the left sees the "lost profits" doctrine as a club to prevent future government programs they would like to put in place (single payer, for example). And in both cases, the neoliberal doctrine of putting markets before anything else makes pro-TPP-ers traitors. To the right, because nationalism trumps internationalism; to the left, because TPP prevents the State from looiking after the welfare of its people.

The Political State of Play

All I know is what I read in the papers, so what follows can only be speculation. That said, there are two ways TPP could be passed: In the lame duck session, by Obama, or after a new President is inaugurated, by Clinton (or possibly by Trump[1]).

Passing TPP in the Lame Duck Session

Obama is committed to passing TPP (and we might remember that the adminstration failed to pass the draft in Maui , then succeeded in Atlanta . And the House killed Fast Track once , before voting for it (after which the Senate easily passed it, and Obama signed it). So the TPP may be a "heavy lift," but that doesn't mean Obama can't accomplish it. Obama says :

[OBAMA:] And hopefully, after the election is over and the dust settles, there will be more attention to the actual facts behind the deal and it won't just be a political symbol or a political football. And I will actually sit down with people on both sides, on the right and on the left. I'll sit down publicly with them and we'll go through the whole provisions. I would enjoy that, because there's a lot of misinformation.

I'm really confident I can make the case this is good for American workers and the American people. And people said we weren't going to be able to get the trade authority to even present this before Congress, and somehow we muddled through and got it done. And I intend to do the same with respect to the actual agreement.

So how would Obama "muddle through"? One way is to appeal to legislators who won't have to face voters again :

So it is looking like a very close vote. (For procedural and political reasons, Obama will not bring it to a vote unless he is sure he has the necessary votes). Now let's look at one special group of Representatives who can swing this vote: the actual lame-ducks, i.e., those who will be in office only until Jan. 3. It depends partly on how many lose their election on Nov. 8, but the average number of representatives who left after the last three elections was about 80.

Most of these people will be looking for a job, preferably one that can pay them more than $1 million a year. From the data provided by OpenSecrets.org, we can estimate that about a quarter of these people will become lobbyists. (An additional number will work for firms that are clients of lobbyists).

So there you have it: It is all about corruption, and this is about as unadulterated as corruption gets in our hallowed democracy, other than literal cash under a literal table. These are the people whom Obama needs to pass this agreement, and the window between Nov. 9 and Jan. 3 is the only time that they are available to sell their votes to future employers without any personal political consequences whatsoever. The only time that the electorate can be rendered so completely irrelevant, if Obama can pull this off.

(The article doesn't talk about the Senate, but Fast Track passed the Senate with a filibuster-proof super-majority, so the battle is in the House anyhow. And although the text of TPP cannot be amended - that's what fast track means! - there are still ways to affect the interpretation and enforcement of the text, so Obama and his corporate allies have bargaining chips beyond Beltway sinecures.[2])

Now, when we think about how corrupt the political class has become, it's not hard to see why Obama is confident that he will win. ( Remember , "[T]he preferences of economic elites have far more independent impact upon policy change than the preferences of average citizens do.") However, if the anti-TPP-ers raise the rhetorical stakes from policy disagreement to treason, maybe a few of those 80 representatives will do the right thing (or, if you prefer, decide that the reputational damage to their future career makes a pro-TPP vote not worth it. Who wants to play golf with a traitor?)

Passing TPP after the Inaugural

After the coronation inaugural, Clinton will have to use more complicated tactics than dangling goodies before the snouts of representatives leaving for K Street. (We've seen that Clinton's putative opposition to TPP is based on lawyerly parsing; and her base supports it. So I assume a Clinton administration would go full speed ahead with it.) My own thought has been that she'd set up a "conversation" on trade, and then buy off the national unions with "jobs for the boys," so that they sell their locals down the river. Conservative Jennifer Rubin has a better proposal , which meets Clinton's supposed criterion of not hurting workers even better:

Depending on the election results and how many pro-free-trade Republicans lose, it still might not be sufficient. Here's a further suggestion: Couple it with a substantial infrastructure project that Clinton wants, but with substantial safeguards to make sure that the money is wisely spent. Clinton gets a big jobs bill - popular with both sides - and a revised TPP gets through.

Finally, an even more radical proposal, again from a conservative source :

What Clinton needs is a significant revision to TPP that she can tout as a real reform to trade agreements, one that satisfies some of the TPP's critics on the left. A minor tweak is unlikely to assuage anyone; this change needs to be a major one. Fortunately, there is a TPP provision that fits the bill perfectly: investor state dispute settlement (ISDS), the procedure that allows foreign investors to sue governments in an international tribunal. Removing ISDS could triangulate the TPP debate, allowing for enough support to get it through Congress.

Obama can't have a conversation on trade, or propose a jobs program, let alone jettison ISDS; all he's got going for him is corruption.[3] So, interestingly, although Clinton can't take the simple road of bribing the 80 represenatives, she does have more to bargain with on policy. Rubin's jobs bill could at least be framed as a riposte to the "Ghost Fleet" argument, since both are about "jawbs," even if infrastructure programs and reindustrialization aren't identical in intent. And while I don't think Clinton would allow ISDS to be removed ( her corporate donors love it ), at least somebody's thinking about how to pander to the left. Nevertheless, what does a jobs program matter if the new jobs leave the country anyhow? And suppose ISDS is removed, but the removal of the precautionary principle remains? We'd still get corporate-friendly decisions, bilaterally. And people would end up balancing the inevitable Clinton complexity and mush against the simplicity of the message that a vote for TPP is a vote against the United States.

Conclusion

I hope I've persuaded you that TPP is still very much alive, and that both Obama in the lame duck, and Clinton (or even Trump) when inaugurated have reasonable hopes of passing it. However, I think raising the ante rhetorically by framing a pro-TPP vote as treason could help sway a close vote; and if readers try that frame out, I'd like to hear the results (especially when the result comes from a letter to your Congress critter). Interestingly, Buzzfeed just published tonight the first in a four-part series, devoted to the idea that ISDS is what we have said it is all along: A surrender of national sovereignty. Here's a great slab of it :

Imagine a private, global super court that empowers corporations to bend countries to their will.

Say a nation tries to prosecute a corrupt CEO or ban dangerous pollution. Imagine that a company could turn to this super court and sue the whole country for daring to interfere with its profits, demanding hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars as retribution.

Imagine that this court is so powerful that nations often must heed its rulings as if they came from their own supreme courts, with no meaningful way to appeal. That it operates unconstrained by precedent or any significant public oversight, often keeping its proceedings and sometimes even its decisions secret. That the people who decide its cases are largely elite Western corporate attorneys who have a vested interest in expanding the court's authority because they profit from it directly, arguing cases one day and then sitting in judgment another. That some of them half-jokingly refer to themselves as "The Club" or "The Mafia."

And imagine that the penalties this court has imposed have been so crushing - and its decisions so unpredictable - that some nations dare not risk a trial, responding to the mere threat of a lawsuit by offering vast concessions, such as rolling back their own laws or even wiping away the punishments of convicted criminals.

This system is already in place, operating behind closed doors in office buildings and conference rooms in cities around the world. Known as investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, it is written into a vast network of treaties that govern international trade and investment, including NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Congress must soon decide whether to ratify.

That's the stuff to give the troops!

NOTE

[1] Trump: "I pledge to never sign any trade agreement that hurts our workers." Lotta wiggle room there, and the lawyerly parsing is just like Clinton's. I don't think it's useful to discuss what Trump might do on TPP, because until there are other parties to the deal, there's no deal to be had. Right now, we're just looking at Trump doing A-B testing - not that there's anything wrong with that - which the press confuses with policy proposals. So I'm not considering Trump because I don't think we have any data to go on.

[2] In-Depth News explains the mechanisms:

To pacify [those to whom he will corrupt appeal], Obama will have to convince them that what they want will anyway be achieved, even if these are not legally part of the TPP because the TPP text cannot be amended.

He can try to achieve this through bilateral side agreements on specific issues. Or he can insist that some countries take on extra obligations beyond what is required by the TPP as a condition for obtaining a U.S. certification that they have fulfilled their TPP obligations.

This certification is required for the U.S. to provide the TPP's benefits to its partners, and the U.S. has previously made use of this process to get countries to take on additional obligations, which can then be shown to Congress members that their objectives have been met.

In other words, side deals.

[3] This should not be taken to imply that Clinton does not have corruption going for her, too. She can also make all the side deals Obama can.

[Dec 05, 2016] US Faces Major Setback As Europeans Revolt Against TTIP

Notable quotes:
"... One of the main concerns with TTIP is that it could allow multinational corporations to effectively "sue" governments for taking actions that might damage their businesses. Critics claim American companies might be able to avoid having to meet various EU health, safety and environment regulations by challenging them in a quasi-court set up to resolve disputes between investors and states. ..."
"... These developments take place against the background of another major free trade agreement - the Trans Pacific Partnership ( TPP ) - hitting snags on the way to being pushed through Congress. ..."
"... "US Faces Major Setback" Well, actually, US corporations face a major setback. Average US citizens face a reprieve. ..."
Zero Hedge
TTIP negotiations have been ongoing since 2013 in an effort to establish a massive free trade zone that would eliminate many tariffs. After 14 rounds of talks that have lasted three years not a single common item out of the 27 chapters being discussed has been agreed on. The United States has refused to agree on an equal playing field between European and American companies in the sphere of public procurement sticking to the principle of "buy American".

The opponents of the deal believe that in its current guise the TTIP is too friendly to US businesses. One of the main concerns with TTIP is that it could allow multinational corporations to effectively "sue" governments for taking actions that might damage their businesses. Critics claim American companies might be able to avoid having to meet various EU health, safety and environment regulations by challenging them in a quasi-court set up to resolve disputes between investors and states.

In Europe thousands of people supported by society groups, trade unions and activists take to the streets expressing protest against the deal. Three million people have signed a petition calling for it to be scrapped. For instance, various trade unions and other groups have called for protests against the TTIP across Germany to take place on September 17. A trade agreement with Canada has also come under attack.

US presidential candidate Donald Trump has promoted protectionist trade policies, while rival Hillary Clinton has also cast doubt on the TTIP deal. Congressional opposition has become steep. The lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have railed against free trade agreements as unfair to US companies and workers.

These developments take place against the background of another major free trade agreement - the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) - hitting snags on the way to being pushed through Congress. The chances are really slim.

silverer •Sep 5, 2016 9:51 AM

"US Faces Major Setback" Well, actually, US corporations face a major setback. Average US citizens face a reprieve.

[Dec 05, 2016] A Protectionist Moment?

Notable quotes:
"... Furthermore, as Mark Kleiman sagely observes , the conventional case for trade liberalization relies on the assertion that the government could redistribute income to ensure that everyone wins - but we now have an ideology utterly opposed to such redistribution in full control of one party, and with blocking power against anything but a minor move in that direction by the other. ..."
Sep 12, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
Paul Krugman:
A Protectionist Moment? : ... if Sanders were to make it to the White House, he would find it very hard to do anything much about globalization - not because it's technically or economically impossible, but because the moment he looked into actually tearing up existing trade agreements the diplomatic, foreign-policy costs would be overwhelmingly obvious. ...

But it's also true that much of the elite defense of globalization is basically dishonest: false claims of inevitability, scare tactics ( protectionism causes depressions !), vastly exaggerated claims for the benefits of trade liberalization and the costs of protection, hand-waving away the large distributional effects that are what standard models actually predict. I hope, by the way, that I haven't done any of that...

Furthermore, as Mark Kleiman sagely observes , the conventional case for trade liberalization relies on the assertion that the government could redistribute income to ensure that everyone wins - but we now have an ideology utterly opposed to such redistribution in full control of one party, and with blocking power against anything but a minor move in that direction by the other.

So the elite case for ever-freer trade is largely a scam, which voters probably sense even if they don't know exactly what form it's taking.

Ripping up the trade agreements we already have would, again, be a mess, and I would say that Sanders is engaged in a bit of a scam himself in even hinting that he could do such a thing. Trump might actually do it, but only as part of a reign of destruction on many fronts.

But it is fair to say that the case for more trade agreements - including TPP, which hasn't happened yet - is very, very weak. And if a progressive makes it to the White House, she should devote no political capital whatsoever to such things.

cawley : , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 03:47 AM
Again, just because automation has been a major factor in job loss doesn't mean "off shoring" (using the term broadly and perhaps somewhat inaccurately) is not a factor.

The "free" trade deals suck. They are correctly diagnosed as part of the problem.

What would you propose to fix the problems caused by automation?

jonny bakho -> cawley... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 04:25 AM
Automation frees labor to do more productive and less onerous tasks. We should expand our solar production and our mass transit. We need to start re-engineering our urban areas. This will not bring back the number of jobs it would take to make cities like Flint thrive once again.

Flint and Detroit have severe economic problems because they were mismanaged by road building and suburbanization in the 1950s and 1960s. Money that should have been spent on maintaining and improving urban infrastructure was instead plowed into suburban development that is not dense enough to sustain the infrastructure required to support it. People moved to the suburbs, abandoned the built infrastructure of the cities and kissed them goodbye.

Big roads polluted the cities with lead, noise, diesel particles and ozone and smog. Stroads created pedestrian kill zones making urban areas, unwalkable, unpleasant- an urban blights to drive through rather than destinations to drive to.

Government subsidized the white flight to the suburbs that has left both the suburbs and the urban cores with too low revenue to infrastructure ratio. The inner suburbs have aged into net losers, their infrastructure must be subsidized. Big Roads were built on the Big Idea that people would drive to the city to work and play and then drive home. That Big idea has a big problem. Urban areas are only sustainable when they have a high resident density. The future of cities like Flint and Detroit will be tearing out the roads and replacing them with streets and houses and renewing the housing stock that has been abandoned. It needs to be done by infill, revitalizing inner neighborhoods and working outward. Cities like Portland have managed to protect much of their core, but even they are challenged by demands for suburban sprawl.

Slash and burn development, creating new suburbs and abandoning the old is not a sustainable model. Not only should we put people to work replacing the Flint lead pipes, but much of the city should be rebuilt from the inside out. Flint is the leading edge of this problem that requires fundamental changes in our built environment to fix. I recommend studying Flint as an object lesson of what bad development policy could do to all of our cities.

http://www.flintexpats.com

jonny bakho -> jonny bakho... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 04:29 AM
An Interview with Frank Popper about Shrinking Cities, Buffalo Commons, and the Future of Flint

How does America's approach shrinking cities compare to the rest of the world?

I think the American way is to do nothing until it's too late, then throw everything at it and improvise and hope everything works. And somehow, insofar as the country's still here, it has worked. But the European or the Japanese way would involve much more thought, much more foresight, much more central planning, and much less improvising. They would implement a more, shall we say, sustained effort. The American way is different. Europeans have wondered for years and years why cities like Detroit or Cleveland are left to rot on the vine. There's a lot of this French hauteur when they ask "How'd you let this happen?"

Do shrinking cities have any advantages over agricultural regions as they face declining populations?

The urban areas have this huge advantage over all these larger American regions that are going through this. They have actual governments with real jurisdiction. Corrupt as Detroit or Philadelphia or Camden may be, they have actual governments that are supposed to be in charge of them. Who's in charge of western Kansas? Who's in charge of the Great Plains? Who is in charge of the lower Mississippi Delta or central Appalachia? All they've got are these distant federal agencies whose past performance is not exactly encouraging.

Why wasn't there a greater outcry as the agricultural economy and the industrial economy collapsed?

One reason for the rest of the country not to care is that there's no shortage of the consumer goods that these places once produced. All this decline of agriculture doesn't mean we're running out of food. We've got food coming out of our ears. Likewise, Flint has suffered through all this, but it's not like it's hard to buy a car in this country. It's not as if Flint can behave like a child and say "I'm going to hold my nose and stop you from getting cars until you do the right thing." Flint died and you can get zero A.P.R. financing. Western Kansas is on its last legs and, gee, cereal is cheaper than ever.

In some sense that's the genius of capitalism - it's heartless. But if you look at the local results and the cultural results and the environmental results you shake your head. But I don't see America getting away from what I would call a little sarcastically the "wisdom" of the market. I don't think it's going to change.

So is there any large-scale economic fallout from these monumental changes?

Probably not, and it hurts to say so. And the only way I can feel good about saying that is to immediately point to the non-economic losses, the cultural losses. The losses of ways of life. The notion of the factory worker working for his or her children. The notion of the farmer working to build up the country and supply the rest of the world with food. We're losing distinctive ways of life. When we lose that we lose something important, but it's not like The Wall Street Journal cares. And I feel uncomfortable saying that. From a purely economic point of view, it's just the price of getting more efficient. It's a classic example of Schumpeter's theory of creative destruction, which is no fun if you're on the destruction end.

Does the decline of cities like Flint mirror the death of the middle class in the United States?

I think it's more the decline of the lower-middle class in the United States. Even when those jobs in the auto factories paid very high wages they were still for socially lower-middle-class people. I think there was always the notion in immigrant families and working-class families who worked in those situations that the current generation would work hard so that the children could go off and not have to do those kind of jobs. And when those jobs paid well that was a perfectly reasonable ambition. It's the cutting off of that ambition that really hurts now. The same thing has been true on farms and ranches in rural parts of the united states.

http://www.flintexpats.com/2010/05/interview-with-frank-popper-about.html

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to jonny bakho... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 04:45 AM
It is a much different thing to be small minded about trade than it is to be large minded about everything else. The short story that it is all about automation and not trade will always get a bad reception because it is small minded. When you add in the large minded story about everything else then it becomes something entirely different from the short story. We all agree with you about everything else. You are wrong about globalization though. Both financialization and globalization suck and even if we paper over them with tax and transfer then they will still suck. One must forget what it is to be a created equal human to miss that. Have you never felt the job of accomplishment? Does not pride and self-confidence matter in your life?
RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:11 AM
"Have you never felt the joY of accomplishment?"

[Apparently I have "jobs" on the mind even though I no longer have one nor need one in the least.]

ken melvin -> jonny bakho... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 04:49 AM
America's first course of action is denial; then, we pretend that things are different than the seem a lot.
RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to ken melvin... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:39 AM
Priceless!
DrDick -> jonny bakho... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:52 AM
While automation is part of the story, offshoring is just as important. Even when there is not net loss in the numbers of jobs in aggregate, there is significant loss in better paying jobs in manufacturing. It is important to look at the distributional effects within countries, as well as between them

http://www.statisticbrain.com/outsourcing-statistics-by-country/

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=12&ved=0ahUKEwjj9OK1xrbLAhUG92MKHbveBAgQFghhMAs&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wto.org%2Fenglish%2Fres_e%2Fbooksp_e%2Fglob_soc_sus_e_chap1_e.pdf&usg=AFQjCNHRBtLPlhJsKMg5PfxSlUIgOsFuwA&cad=rja

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/news/2014/07/30/94864/offshoring-work-is-taking-a-toll-on-the-u-s-economy/

Julio -> cawley... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:24 AM
"off shoring"

[The trending term is "tossing it over the Wall".]

Chris G : , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 03:58 AM
Legislatively, what would it take to withdraw from the WTO? NAFTA? Other trade agreements?
RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Chris G ... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 04:52 AM
It would probably be cheaper and easier to just fix them. We don't need to withdraw from trade. We just need to fix the terms of trade that cause large trade deficits and cross border capital flows and also fix the FOREX system rigging.
JohnH -> Chris G ... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:10 AM
What would it take to ignore trade agreements? They shouldn't be any more difficult to ignore than the Geneva Conventions, which the US routinely flaunts.
Richard A. : , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 04:30 AM
In order to import we must export and in order to export we must import. The two are tied together. Suppressing imports means we export less.

What free trade does is lower the price level relative to wages. It doesn't uniformly lower the price level but rather lowers the cost of goods that are capable of being traded internationally. It lowers the price on those goods that are disproportionately purchased by those with low incomes.

Free trade causes a progressive decline in the price level while protectionism causes a regressive increase in the price level.

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Richard A.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 04:56 AM
Are you saying that free trade lowers the cost of rice in India and China and raises the cost of cell phones and autos in the US?
pgl -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:48 AM
Funny rebuttal! Bhagwati probably has a model that says the opposite! But then he grew up in India and should one day get a Nobel Prize for his contributions to international economics.
pgl -> Richard A.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:47 AM
"What free trade does is lower the price level relative to wages."

Which price? Whose wages? Look up Stopler-Samuelson ... a 1941 classic which I suspect Greg Mankiw has never bothered to learn.

Tom aka Rusty said in reply to Richard A.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:54 AM
People don't need good wages, they can buy cheap Chinese stuff at WalMart.
JohnH -> Richard A.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:14 AM
"In order to import we must export and in order to export we must import." One would think. However, experience shows that that's not the case.

Capital flows from overseas investments help balance the books. When that doesn't work, the US simply prints money to be held by foreign CBs.

ken melvin : , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 04:53 AM
Our media needs to copy France 24, ... and have real debates about real issues. What we get is along the lines of ignoring the problem then attacking any effort to correct. for example, the media stayed away from the healthcare crisis, too complicated, but damn they are good at criticizing.
JohnH -> ken melvin... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:16 AM
France 24 promotes neocon-style jingoism...even worse than Big Media in America.

I hope they're better on domestic social policy.

Tom Palley : , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:08 AM
A seriously shameful article. Krugman has been a booster of trade & globalization for 30 years: marginally more nuanced than the establishment, but still a booster.

Now, the establishment has what it wanted and the effects have been disastrous for those not in the top 20 percent of the income distribution.

At this stage, comes insult to injury. Establishment economists (like Mr. Krugman) can reinvent themselves with "brilliant new studies" showing the costs and damage of globalization. They pay no professional costs for the grievous injuries inflicted; there is no mention of the fact that critical outsider economists have been predicting and writing about these injuries and were right; and they blithely say we must stay the course because we are locked-in and have few options.

Forgive me while I puke.

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Tom Palley ... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:44 AM
Bless you my son.

I don't think that they think that we weebles have memories.

Peter K. -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:13 AM
"I don't think that they think that we weebles have memories."

They insult our intelligence and wonder why people get mad.

pgl -> Tom Palley ... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:51 AM
Krugman is not Greg Mankiw. Most people who actually get international economics (Mankiw does not) are not of the free trade benefits all types. Paul Samuelson certainly does not buy into Mankiw's spin. Funny thing - Mankiw recently cited an excellent piece from Samuelson only to dishonestly suggest Samuelson did not believe in what he wrote.
Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:12 AM
Why are we talking about Mankiw? You can't move the goalposts.
pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:40 AM
Why are you mischaracterizing what Krugman has written? That's my point. Oh wait - you misrepresent what people write so you can "win" a "debate". Never mind. Please proceed with the serial dishonesty.
Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:55 AM
"The truth is that if Sanders were to make it to the White House, he would find it very hard to do anything much about globalization - not because it's technically or economically impossible, but because the moment he looked into actually tearing up existing trade agreements the diplomatic, foreign-policy costs would be overwhelmingly obvious. In this, as in many other things, Sanders currently benefits from the luxury of irresponsibility: he's never been anywhere close to the levers of power, so he could take principled-sounding but arguably feckless stances in a way that Clinton couldn't and can't."

As Dean Baker says, we need to confront Walmart and Goldman Sachs at home, who like these policies, more than the Chinese.

The Chinese want access to our consumer market. They'd also like if we did't invade countries like Iraq.

"so he could take principled-sounding but arguably feckless stances in a way that Clinton couldn't"

And what is that? Tear up trade deals? It is Krugman who is engaging in straw man arguments.

DrDick -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 09:02 AM
Krugman does indeed misrepresent Sanders' positions on trade. Sander is not against trade, he merely insists on *Fair Trade*, which incorporates human rights and environmental protections. His opposition is to the kinds of deals, like NAFTA and TPP, which effectively gut those (a central element in Kruman's own critique of the latter).
DrDick -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:56 AM
Krugman has definitely backed off his (much) earlier boosterism and publicly said so. This is an excellent piece by him, though it does rather downplay his earlier stances a bit. This is one of the things I especially like about him.
Dan Kervick -> Tom Palley ... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:11 AM
I can get the idea that some people win, some people lose from liberalized trade. But what really bugs me about the neoliberal trade agenda is that it has been part of a larger set of economically conservative, laissez faire policies that have exacerbated the damages from trade rather than offsetting them.

At the same time they were exposing US workers to greater competition from abroad and destroying and offshoring working class jobs via both trade and liberalized capital flows, the neoliberals were also doing things like "reinventing government" - that is, shrinking structural government spending and public investment - and ending welfare. They have done nothing serious about steering capital and job development efforts toward the communities devastated by the liberalization.

The neoliberal position has seem to come down to "We can't make bourgeois progress without breaking a few working class eggs."

pgl -> Dan Kervick... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:41 AM
I guess I'm not a neoliberal. Neither is Dani Rodrik. Nor is Paul Krugman.
Dan Kervick -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 07:50 AM
What does Dani Rodrik have to do with the above comments?
pgl -> Dan Kervick... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:51 AM
Read his 1997 book. Excellent stuff.
Julio -> Dan Kervick... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:38 AM
Great points, and a good line too.
JohnH -> Tom Palley ... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:22 AM
Agreed! "Krugman has been a booster of trade & globalization for 30 years: marginally more nuanced than the establishment, but still a booster.'

Now he claims that he saw the light all along! "much of the elite defense of globalization is basically dishonest: false claims of inevitability, scare tactics (protectionism causes depressions!), vastly exaggerated claims for the benefits of trade liberalization and the costs of protection, hand-waving away the large distributional effects that are what standard models actually predict. I hope, by the way, that I haven't done any of that..."

You would be hard pressed to find any Krugman clips that cited any of those problems in the past. Far from being an impartial economist, he was always an avid booster of free trade, overlooking those very downsides that he suddenly decides to confess.

Dan Kervick : , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:11 AM
As far as I know, Sanders has not proposed ripping up the existing trade deals. His information page on trade emphasizes (i) his opposition to these deals when they were first negotiated and enacted, and (ii) the principles he will apply to the consideration of future trade deals. Much of his argumentation concerning past deals is put forward to motivate his present opposition to TPP.

http://feelthebern.org/bernie-sanders-on-trade/

So Krugman's point about how difficult it would be diplomatically to "rip up" the existing trade deals seems like a red herring.

Dan Kervick -> Dan Kervick... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:29 AM
Note also that Sanders connects his discussion of the harms of past trade policy to the Rebuild America Act. That is, his approach is forward facing. We can't undo most of the past damage by recreating the old working class economy we wrecked, but we can be aggressive about using government-directed national investment programs to create new, high-paying jobs in the US.
jonny bakho -> Dan Kervick... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:16 AM
You could have said the same about the 1920s
We can't undo most of the past damage by recreating the old agrarian class economy we wrecked, but we can be aggressive about using government-directed national investment programs to create new, high-paying jobs in the US.

The march of progress:
Mechanization of agriculture with displacement of large numbers of Ag workers.
The rise of factory work and large numbers employed in manufacturing.
Automation of Manufacturing with large displacement of workers engaged in manufacturing.
What do we want our workers to do? This question must be answered at the highest level of society and requires much government facilitation. The absence of government facilitation is THE problem.

Dan Kervick -> jonny bakho... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:23 AM
Completely agree. Countries need economic strategies that go beyond, "let the markets sort it all out."
RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Dan Kervick... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:47 AM
"...So Krugman's point about how difficult it would be diplomatically to "rip up" the existing trade deals seems like a red herring."

[Win one for the kipper.]

pgl -> Dan Kervick... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:52 AM
Memo to Paul Krugman - lead with the economics and stay with the economics. His need to get into the dirty business of politics dilutes what he ends up sensibly writes later on.
Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 08:56 AM
""The truth is that if Sanders were to make it to the White House, he would find it very hard to do anything much about globalization - not because it's technically or economically impossible, but because the moment he looked into actually tearing up existing trade agreements the diplomatic, foreign-policy costs would be overwhelmingly obvious. In this, as in many other things, Sanders currently benefits from the luxury of irresponsibility: he's never been anywhere close to the levers of power, so he could take principled-sounding but arguably feckless stances in a way that Clinton couldn't and can't."
Chatham -> Dan Kervick... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 09:36 AM
Yeah, it's pretty dishonest for Krugman to pretend that Sanders' position is "ripping up the trade agreements we already have" and then say Sanders is "engaged in a bit of a scam" because he can't do that. Sanders actual position (trying to stop new trade deals like the TPP) is something the president has a lot of influence over (they can veto the deal). Hard to tell what Krugman is doing here other than deliberately spreading misinformation.

Also worth noting that he decides to compare Sanders' opposition to trade deals with Trump, and ignore the fact that Clinton has come out against the TPP as well .

anne : , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:26 AM
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/03/09/a-protectionist-moment/

March 9, 2016

A Protectionist Moment?
By Paul Krugman

Busy with real life, but yes, I know what happened in the primaries yesterday. Triumph for Trump, and big upset for Sanders - although it's still very hard to see how he can catch Clinton. Anyway, a few thoughts, not about the horserace but about some deeper currents.

The Sanders win defied all the polls, and nobody really knows why. But a widespread guess is that his attacks on trade agreements resonated with a broader audience than his attacks on Wall Street; and this message was especially powerful in Michigan, the former auto superpower. And while I hate attempts to claim symmetry between the parties - Trump is trying to become America's Mussolini, Sanders at worst America's Michael Foot * - Trump has been tilling some of the same ground. So here's the question: is the backlash against globalization finally getting real political traction?

You do want to be careful about announcing a political moment, given how many such proclamations turn out to be ludicrous. Remember the libertarian moment? The reformocon moment? Still, a protectionist backlash, like an immigration backlash, is one of those things where the puzzle has been how long it was in coming. And maybe the time is now.

The truth is that if Sanders were to make it to the White House, he would find it very hard to do anything much about globalization - not because it's technically or economically impossible, but because the moment he looked into actually tearing up existing trade agreements the diplomatic, foreign-policy costs would be overwhelmingly obvious. In this, as in many other things, Sanders currently benefits from the luxury of irresponsibility: he's never been anywhere close to the levers of power, so he could take principled-sounding but arguably feckless stances in a way that Clinton couldn't and can't.

But it's also true that much of the elite defense of globalization is basically dishonest: false claims of inevitability, scare tactics (protectionism causes depressions! ** ), vastly exaggerated claims for the benefits of trade liberalization and the costs of protection, hand-waving away the large distributional effects that are what standard models actually predict. I hope, by the way, that I haven't done any of that; I think I've always been clear that the gains from globalization aren't all that (here's a back-of-the-envelope on the gains from hyperglobalization *** - only part of which can be attributed to policy - that is less than 5 percent of world GDP over a generation); and I think I've never assumed away the income distribution effects.

Furthermore, as Mark Kleiman sagely observes, **** the conventional case for trade liberalization relies on the assertion that the government could redistribute income to ensure that everyone wins - but we now have an ideology utterly opposed to such redistribution in full control of one party, and with blocking power against anything but a minor move in that direction by the other.

So the elite case for ever-freer trade is largely a scam, which voters probably sense even if they don't know exactly what form it's taking.

Ripping up the trade agreements we already have would, again, be a mess, and I would say that Sanders is engaged in a bit of a scam himself in even hinting that he could do such a thing. Trump might actually do it, but only as part of a reign of destruction on many fronts.

But it is fair to say that the case for more trade agreements - including Trans-Pacific Partnership, which hasn't happened yet - is very, very weak. And if a progressive makes it to the White House, she should devote no political capital whatsoever to such things.

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Foot

** http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/the-mitt-hawley-fallacy/

*** http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/01/the-gains-from-hyperglobalization-wonkish/

**** http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/ten-miles-square/2016/03/trade_trump_and_downward_class059814.php

anne -> anne... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:26 AM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Foot

Michael Mackintosh Foot (1913 – 2010) was a British Labour Party politician and man of letters who was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1945 to 1955 and from 1960 until 1992. He was Deputy Leader of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1980, and later the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition from 1980 to 1983.

Associated with the left of the Labour Party for most of his career, Foot was an ardent supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and British withdrawal from the European Economic Community. He was appointed to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Employment under Harold Wilson in 1974, and he later served as Leader of the House of Commons under James Callaghan. A passionate orator, he led Labour through the 1983 general election, when the party obtained its lowest share of the vote at a general election since 1918 and the fewest parliamentary seats it had had at any time since before 1945.

pgl -> anne... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:53 AM
Foot sounds like he was a good leader of the Labour Party.
anne -> anne... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:27 AM
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/the-mitt-hawley-fallacy/

March 4, 2016

The Mitt-Hawley Fallacy
By Paul Krugman

There was so much wrong with Mitt Romney's Trump-is-a-disaster-whom-I-will-support-in-the-general * speech that it may seem odd to call him out for bad international macroeconomics. But this is a pet peeve of mine, in an area where I really, truly know what I'm talking about. So here goes.

In warning about Trumponomics, Romney declared:

"If Donald Trump's plans were ever implemented, the country would sink into prolonged recession. A few examples. His proposed 35 percent tariff-like penalties would instigate a trade war and that would raise prices for consumers, kill our export jobs and lead entrepreneurs and businesses of all stripes to flee America."

After all, doesn't everyone know that protectionism causes recessions? Actually, no. There are reasons to be against protectionism, but that's not one of them.

Think about the arithmetic (which has a well-known liberal bias). Total final spending on domestically produced goods and services is

Total domestic spending + Exports – Imports = GDP

Now suppose we have a trade war. This will cut exports, which other things equal depresses the economy. But it will also cut imports, which other things equal is expansionary. For the world as a whole, the cuts in exports and imports will by definition be equal, so as far as world demand is concerned, trade wars are a wash.

OK, I'm sure some people will start shouting "Krugman says protectionism does no harm." But no: protectionism in general should reduce efficiency, and hence the economy's potential output. But that's not at all the same as saying that it causes recessions.

But didn't the Smoot-Hawley tariff cause the Great Depression? No. There's no evidence at all that it did. Yes, trade fell a lot between 1929 and 1933, but that was almost entirely a consequence of the Depression, not a cause. (Trade actually fell faster ** during the early stages of the 2008 Great Recession than it did after 1929.) And while trade barriers were higher in the 1930s than before, this was partly a response to the Depression, partly a consequence of deflation, which made specific tariffs (i.e. tariffs that are stated in dollars per unit, not as a percentage of value) loom larger.

Again, not the thing most people will remember about Romney's speech. But, you know, protectionism was the only reason he gave for believing that Trump would cause a recession, which I think is kind of telling: the GOP's supposedly well-informed, responsible adult, trying to save the party, can't get basic economics right at the one place where economics is central to his argument.

* http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/us/politics/mitt-romney-speech.html

** http://www.voxeu.org/article/tale-two-depressions-what-do-new-data-tell-us-february-2010-update

anne -> anne... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:28 AM
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/01/the-gains-from-hyperglobalization-wonkish/

October 1, 2013

The Gains From Hyperglobalization (Wonkish)
By Paul Krugman

Still taking kind of an emotional vacation from current political madness. Following up on my skeptical post on worries about slowing trade growth, * I wondered what a state-of-the-art model would say.

The natural model to use, at least for me, is Eaton-Kortum, ** which is a very ingenious approach to thinking about multilateral trade flows. The basic model is Ricardian - wine and cloth and labor productivity and all that - except that there are many goods and many countries, transportation costs, and countries are assumed to gain productivity in any particular industry through a random process. They make some funny assumptions about distributions - hey, that's kind of the price of entry for this kind of work - and in return get a tractable model that yields gravity-type equations for international trade flows. This is a good thing, because gravity models *** of trade - purely empirical exercises, with no real theory behind them - are known to work pretty well.

Their model also yields a simple expression for the welfare gains from trade:

Real income = A*(1-import share)^(-1/theta)

where A is national productivity and theta is a parameter of their assumed random process (don't ask); they suggest that theta=4 provides the best match to available data.

Now, what I wanted to do was apply this to the rapid growth of trade that has taken place since around 1990, what Subramanian **** calls "hyperglobalization". According to Subramanian's estimates, overall trade in goods and services has risen from about 19 percent of world GDP in the early 1990s to 33 percent now, bringing us to a level of integration that really is historically unprecedented.

There are some conceptual difficulties with using this rise directly in the Eaton-Kortum framework, because much of it has taken the form of trade in intermediate goods, and the framework isn't designed to handle that. Still, let me ignore that, and plug Subramanian's numbers into the equation above; I get a 4.9 percent rise in real incomes due to increased globalization.

That's by no means small change, but it's only a fairly small fraction of global growth. The Maddison database ***** gives us a 45 percent rise in global GDP per capita over the same period, so this calculation suggests that rising trade was responsible for around 10 percent of overall global growth. My guess is that most people who imagine themselves well-informed would give a bigger number.

By the way, for those critical of globalization, let me hasten to concede that by its nature the Eaton-Kortum model doesn't let us talk about income distribution, and it also makes no room for the possible role of globalization in causing secular stagnation. ******

Still, I thought this was an interesting calculation to make - which may show more about my warped sense of what's interesting than it does about anything else.

* http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/30/should-slowing-trade-growth-worry-us/

** http://www.nber.org/papers/w11764

*** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity_model_of_trade

**** http://www.gcf.ch/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/GCF_Subramanian-working-paper-3_-6.17.13.pdf

***** http://www.ggdc.net/maddison/maddison-project/home.htm

****** http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/26/trade-and-secular-stagnation/

anne -> anne... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:46 AM
http://www.nber.org/papers/w11764

November, 2005

General Equilibrium Analysis of the Eaton-Kortum Model of International Trade
By Fernando Alvarez and Robert E. Lucas

We study a variation of the Eaton-Kortum model, a competitive, constant-returns-to-scale multicountry Ricardian model of trade. We establish existence and uniqueness of an equilibrium with balanced trade where each country imposes an import tariff. We analyze the determinants of the cross-country distribution of trade volumes, such as size, tariffs and distance, and compare a calibrated version of the model with data for the largest 60 economies. We use the calibrated model to estimate the gains of a world-wide trade elimination of tariffs, using the theory to explain the magnitude of the gains as well as the differential effect arising from cross-country differences in pre-liberalization of tariffs levels and country size.

anne -> anne... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:46 AM
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity_model_of_trade

The gravity model of international trade in international economics, similar to other gravity models in social science, predicts bilateral trade flows based on the economic sizes (often using GDP measurements) and distance between two units. The model was first used by Jan Tinbergen in 1962.

anne -> anne... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:47 AM
http://www.gcf.ch/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/GCF_Subramanian-working-paper-3_-6.17.13.pdf

June, 2013

The Hyperglobalization of Trade and Its Future
By Arvind Subramanian and Martin Kessler

Abstract

The open, rules-based trading system has delivered immense benefits-for the world, for individual countries, and for average citizens in these countries. It can continue to do so, helping today's low-income countries make the transition to middle-income status. Three challenges must be met to preserve this system. Rich countries must sustain the social consensus in favor of open markets and globalization at a time of considerable economic uncertainty and weakness; China and other middle-income countries must remain open; and mega-regionalism must be prevented from leading to discrimination and trade conflicts. Collective action should help strengthen the institutional underpinnings of globalization. The world should move beyond the Doha Round dead to more meaningful multilateral negotiations to address emerging challenges, including possible threats from new mega-regional agreements. The rising powers, especially China, will have a key role to play in resuscitating multilateralism.

anne -> anne... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:56 AM
Real income = A*(1-import share)^(-1/theta)

[ Help! What does this mean in words? ]

Peter K. : , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:37 AM
"Furthermore, as Mark Kleiman sagely observes, the conventional case for trade liberalization relies on the assertion that the government could redistribute income to ensure that everyone wins"

That was never the conventional case for trade. Plus it's kind of odd that you have to add "plus have the government redistribute" to the case your making.

Tom Pally above is correct. Krugman has been on the wrong side of this issue. He's gotten better, but the timing is he's gotten better as the Democratic Party has moved to the left and pushed back against corporate trade deals. Even Hillary came out late against Obama's TPP.

Sanders has nothing about ripping up trade deals. He has said he won't do any more.

As cawley predicted, once Sanders won Michigan, Krugman started hitting him again at his blog. With cheap shots I might add. He's ruining his brand.

Peter K. -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:41 AM
'A Protectionist Moment?'

So for Krugman, no doing corporate trade deals means you're "protectionist?"

It's a fair trade moment. As Dean Baker points out, corporate trade deals are protectionist:

http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/tell-morning-edition-it-s-not-free-trade-folks

Tell Morning Edition: It's Not "Free Trade" Folks
by Dean Baker
Published: 10 March 2016

Hey, can an experienced doctor from Germany show up and start practicing in New York next week? Since the answer is no, we can say that we don't have free trade. It's not an immigration issue, if the doctor wants to work in a restaurant kitchen, she would probably get away with it. We have protectionist measures that limit the number of foreign doctors in order to keep their pay high. These protectionist measures have actually been strengthened in the last two decades.

We also have strengthened patent and copyright protections, making drugs and other affected items far more expensive. These protections are also forms of protectionism.

This is why Morning Edition seriously misled its listeners in an interview with ice cream barons Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield over their support of Senator Bernie Sanders. The interviewer repeatedly referred to "free trade" agreements and Sanders' opposition to them. While these deals are all called "free trade" deals to make them sound more palatable ("selective protectionism to redistribute income upward" doesn't sound very appealing), that doesn't mean they are actually about free trade. Morning Edition should not have used the term employed by promoters to push their trade agenda.

pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:57 AM
This has been Dean Baker's excellent theme for a very long time. And if you actually paid attention to what Krugman said about TPP - he agreed with Dean's excellent points. But do continue to set up straw man arguments so you can dishonestly attack Krugman.
Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:06 AM
Some of us have memories. Like Tom Palley up above.
pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:42 AM
Memories of things Krugman never wrote. In other words, very faulty memories.
Julio -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 09:07 AM
No. That is not a sign of a faulty memory, quite the contrary.

Krugman writes column after column praising trade pacts and criticizing (rightly, I might add) the yahoos who object for the wrong reasons.
But he omits a few salient facts like
- the gains are small,
- the government MUST intervene with redistribution for this to work socially,
- there are no (or minimal) provisions for that requirement in the pacts.

I would say his omissions speak volumes and are worth remembering.

Syaloch -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 11:51 AM
Krugman initially wrote a confused column about the TPP, treating it as a simple free trade deal which he said would have little impact because tariffs were already so low. But he did eventually look into the matter further and wound up agreeing with Baker's take.
pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 05:56 AM
"That was never the conventional case for trade". Actually it was. Of course Greg Mankiw never got the memo so his free trade benefits all BS confuses a lot of people. Mankiw sucks at international trade.
Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:11 AM
Actually it wasn't. I remember what Krugman and others wrote at the time about NAFTA and the WTO.

https://uneasymoney com/2016/03/06/krugman-suffers-a-memory-lapse/

David Glasner attacks Krugman from the right, but he doesn't whitewash the past as you do. He remembers Gore versus Perot:

"Indeed, Romney didn't even mention the Smoot-Hawley tariff, but Krugman evidently forgot the classic exchange between Al Gore and the previous incarnation of protectionist populist outrage in an anti-establishment billionaire candidate for President:

GORE I've heard Mr. Perot say in the past that, as the carpenters says, measure twice and cut once. We've measured twice on this. We have had a test of our theory and we've had a test of his theory. Over the last five years, Mexico's tariffs have begun to come down because they've made a unilateral decision to bring them down some, and as a result there has been a surge of exports from the United States into Mexico, creating an additional 400,000 jobs, and we can create hundreds of thousands of more if we continue this trend. We know this works. If it doesn't work, you know, we give six months notice and we're out of it. But we've also had a test of his theory.

PEROT When?

GORE In 1930, when the proposal by Mr. Smoot and Mr. Hawley was to raise tariffs across the board to protect our workers. And I brought some pictures, too.

[Larry] KING You're saying Ross is a protectionist?

GORE This is, this is a picture of Mr. Smoot and Mr. Hawley. They look like pretty good fellows. They sounded reasonable at the time; a lot of people believed them. The Congress passed the Smoot-Hawley Protection Bill. He wants to raise tariffs on Mexico. They raised tariffs, and it was one of the principal causes, many economists say the principal cause, of the Great Depression in this country and around the world. Now, I framed this so you can put it on your wall if you want to.

You can watch it here*

* https://uneasymoney com/2016/02/17/competitive-devaluation-plus-monetary-expansion-does-create-a-free-lunch/

jonny bakho -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:26 AM
You obviously have not read Krugman. Here is from his 1997 Slate piece:

But putting Greenspan (or his successor) into the picture restores much of the classical vision of the macroeconomy. Instead of an invisible hand pushing the economy toward full employment in some unspecified long run, we have the visible hand of the Fed pushing us toward its estimate of the noninflationary unemployment rate over the course of two or three years. To accomplish this, the board must raise or lower interest rates to bring savings and investment at that target unemployment rate in line with each other.

And so all the paradoxes of thrift, widow's cruses, and so on become irrelevant. In particular, an increase in the savings rate will translate into higher investment after all, because the Fed will make sure that it does.

To me, at least, the idea that changes in demand will normally be offset by Fed policy--so that they will, on average, have no effect on employment--seems both simple and entirely reasonable. Yet it is clear that very few people outside the world of academic economics think about things that way. For example, the debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement was conducted almost entirely in terms of supposed job creation or destruction. The obvious (to me) point that the average unemployment rate over the next 10 years will be what the Fed wants it to be, regardless of the U.S.-Mexico trade balance, never made it into the public consciousness. (In fact, when I made that argument at one panel discussion in 1993, a fellow panelist--a NAFTA advocate, as it happens--exploded in rage: "It's remarks like that that make people hate economists!")

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_dismal_science/1996/10/economic_culture_wars.html

pgl -> jonny bakho... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:44 AM
Yes. But please do not interrupt PeterK with reality. He has important work do with his bash all things Krugman agenda. BTW - it is a riot that he cites Ross Perot on NAFTA. Perot has a self centered agenda there which Gore exposed. Never trust a corrupt business person whether it is Perot or Trump.
Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 07:42 AM
Did you read what Al Gore said? He said nothing about the government redistributing the gains from NAFTA?
Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 07:44 AM
"But please do not interrupt PeterK with reality."

We are talking about the reality of Krugman's past support for free trade agreements.

You can't rewrite the past.

jonny bakho -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 07:47 AM
Yes the model PeterK is using is unclear. He doesn't seem to have a grasp on the economics of the issues. He seems to think that Sanders is a font of economic wisdom who is not to be questioned. I would hate to see the left try to make a flawed candidate into the larger than life icon that the GOP has made out of Reagan.
Peter K. -> jonny bakho... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 09:15 AM
"Yes the model PeterK is using is unclear. He doesn't seem to have a grasp on the economics of the issues."

Dean Baker and Jared Bernstein. Like you I want full employment and rising wages. And like Krugman I am very much an internationalist. I want us to deal fairly with the rest of the world. We need to cooperate especially in the face of global warming.

1. My first, best solution would be fiscal action. Like everyone else. I prefer Sanders's unicorn plan of $1 trillion over five years rather than Hillary's plan which is one quarter of the size. Her plan puts more pressure on the Fed and monetary policy.

a. My preference would be to pay for it with Pigouvian taxes on the rich, corporations, and the financial sector.

b. if not a, then deficit spending like Trudeau in Canada

C. if the deficit hawks block that, then monetary-financing would be the way around them.

2. close the trade deficit. Dean Baker and Bernstein have written about this a lot. Write currency agreements into trade deals. If we close the trade deficit and are at full employment, then we can import more from the rest of the world.

3. If powerful interests block 1. and 2. then lean on monetary policy. Reduce the price of credit to boost demand. It works as a last resort.

"I would hate to see the left try to make a flawed candidate into the larger than life icon that the GOP has made out of Reagan.'

I haven't seen any evidence of this. It would be funny if the left made an old Jewish codger from Brooklyn into an icon. Feel the Bern!!!

Sanders regularly points out it's not about him as President fixing everything, it's about creating a movement. It's about getting people involved. He can't do it by himself. Obama would say this too. Elizabeth Warren become popular by saying the same things Sanders is saying.

Syaloch -> jonny bakho... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 12:19 PM
The Compensation Principle certainly is part of standard Heckscher-Ohlin trade model, you can find it in any textbook:

http://internationalecon.com/Trade/Tch60/T60-13.php

However to say that the conventional case for trade liberalization relies on the Compensation Principle isn't quite accurate. The conventional case has traditionally relied on the assertion that "we" are better off with trade since we could *theoretically* distribute the gains. However, free trade boosters never seem to get around to worrying about distributing the gains *in practice*. In practice, free trade is typically justified simply by the net aggregate gain, regardless of how these gains are distributed or who is hurt in the process.

To my mind, before considering some trade liberalization deal we should FIRST agree to and implement the redistribution mechanisms and only then reduce barriers. Implementing trade deals in a backward, half-assed way as has typically been the case often makes "us" worse off than autarky.

Peter K. -> jonny bakho... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 07:43 AM
From Krugman's wikipedia article:

"Krugman has at times advocated free markets in contexts where they are often viewed as controversial. He has ... likened the opposition against free trade and globalization to the opposition against evolution via natural selection (1996),[167]

167 167 http://web.mit.edu/krugman/www/ricardo.htm

"Ricardo's difficult idea". Web.mit.edu. 1996. Retrieved 2011-10-04.

pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 07:48 AM
Wikipedia. Now there is an unimpeachable source!
Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 09:17 AM
what's your alternative?
Julio -> jonny bakho... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 09:10 AM
(In fact, when I made that argument at one panel discussion in 1993, a fellow panelist--a NAFTA advocate, as it happens--exploded in rage: "It's remarks like that that make people hate economists!")

[Thanks to electoral politics, we're all fellow panelists now.]

Peter K. -> Julio ... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 09:20 AM
"To me, at least, the idea that changes in demand will normally be offset by Fed policy--so that they will, on average, have no effect on employment--seems both simple and entirely reasonable. Yet it is clear that very few people outside the world of academic economics think about things that way."

As we've seen the Fed is overly fearful of inflation, so the Fed doesn't offset the trade deficit as quickly as it should. Instead we suffer hysteresis and reduction of potential output.

Peter K. : , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:04 AM
"The truth is that if Sanders were to make it to the White House, he would find it very hard to do anything much about globalization - not because it's technically or economically impossible, but because the moment he looked into actually tearing up existing trade agreements the diplomatic, foreign-policy costs would be overwhelmingly obvious."

Here Krugman is more honest. We're basically buying off the Chinese, etc. The cost for stopping this would be less cooperation from the Chinese, etc.

This is new. He never used to say this kind of thing. Instead he'd go after "protectionists" as luddites.

pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:09 AM
"This is new. He never used to say this kind of thing. Instead he'd go after "protectionists" as luddites."

You have Krugman confused with Greg Mankiw. Most real international economics (Mankiw is not one) recognize the distributional consequences of free trade v. protectionism. Then again - putting forth the Mankiw uninformed spin is a prerequisite for being on Team Republican. Of course Republicans will go protectionist whenever it is politically expedient as in that temporary set of steel tariffs. Helped Bush-Cheney in 2004 and right after that - no tariffs. Funny how that worked.

Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:20 AM
"Most real international economics (Mankiw is not one) recognize the distributional consequences of free trade v. protectionism."

Obama and others don't defend the TPP that way. Krugman and Hillary don't support the TPP but only because the politics has shifted since the 1990s.

If Krugman wrote today as he did in the 1990s, he'd completely ruin his brand as liberal economist.

Peter K. -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:22 AM
Where is the "redistribution from government" in the TPP. There isn't any.

Even the NAFTA side agreements on labor and the environment are toothless. The point of these corporate trade deals is to profit from the lower labor and environmental standards of poorer countries.

pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:46 AM
And where did I say TPP was a good thing? I have slammed TPP. And I never said NAFTA included this compensation thing. Nor did Mark Kleiman.

But do continue to misrepresent what I and others have said. It is what you do.

pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:12 AM
Hat tip to my Econospeak colleague Sandwichman for noting this from Krugman:

http://econospeak.blogspot.com/2013/06/paul-krugmans-sympathy-for-luddites.html

Mark Thoma also noted this sympathy for the Luddites. But the professional Krugman haters have to deny he would write such things.

Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:17 AM
The fact that you resort to calling me a professional Krugman hater means you're not interested in an actual debate about actual ideas. You've lost the debate and I'm not participating.

One is not allowed to criticize Krugman lest one be labeled a professional Krugman hater?

Your resort to name calling just weakens the case you're making.

pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 06:47 AM
You of late have wasted so much space misrepresenting what Krugman has said. Maybe you don't hate him - maybe you just want to get his attention. For a date maybe. Lord - the troll in you is truly out of control.
Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 07:29 AM
I have not misrepresented what Krugman has said.
pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 07:49 AM
Who wrote?

"This is new. He never used to say this kind of thing. Instead he'd go after "protectionists" as luddites."

Did you even bother to read that link to what the Sandwichman posted? Didn't think so.

Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 09:23 AM
Sandwichman's quote is from 2013. I'm talking about before that and especially in the 1990s.

Sandwichman says the quote is notable because Krugman has changed his views. That proves my point.

Did you read it?

pgl -> Peter K.... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 10:34 AM
Sandwichman may think Krugman changed his views but if one actually read what he has written over the years (as opposed to your cherry picking quotes), you might have noticed otherwise. But of course you want Krugman to look bad. It is what you do.
Syaloch -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 12:31 PM
Krugman's views have evolved quite a bit over the years. Can you envision today's Krugman singing the praises of cheap labor?

http://www.pkarchive.org/trade/smokey.htm

In Praise of Cheap Labor (1997)

Peter K. -> pgl... , Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 09:25 AM
Only recently he has begun to say that trade deals are part of diplomacy, like we're giving these countries something in order for them to cooperate.

If we didn't do these trade deals, these countries would cooperate less.

Peter K. -> Peter K.... , -1
It's a legitimate point.

[Dec 05, 2016] The conditions that produced and enabled Trump are the Democratic Party betrayal or working classes, especially its transformation into another wing of neoliberal party of the USA under Clinton. People now view a vote for Hillary as a vote for more of the same - increasing disparity in wealth and income.

Sizeable numbers of Americans have seen wages decline in real terms for nearly 20 years. Many/most parents in many communities do not see a better future before them, or for their children.
Notable quotes:
"... Democracy demands that ballot access rules be selected by referendum, not by the very legacy parties that maintain legislative control by effectively denying ballot access to parties that will pose a challenge to their continued rule. ..."
"... I think the U.S. Party system, in the political science sense, shifted to a new state during George W Bush's administration as, in Kevin Phillip's terms the Republican Party was taken over by Theocrats and Bad Money. ..."
"... My understanding is trumps support disproportionately comes from the small business owning classes, Ie a demographic similar to the petite bourgeoisie who have often been heavily involved in reactionary movements. This gets oversold as "working class" when class is defined by education level rather than income. ..."
"... Racism serves as an organizing principle. Politically, in an oppressive and stultifying hierarchy like the plantation South, racism not incidentally buys the loyalty of subalterns with ersatz status. ..."
"... For a time, the balkanization of American political communities by race, religion and ethnicity was an effective means to the dominance of an tiny elite with ties to an hegemonic community, but it backfired. Dismantling that balkanization has left the country with a very low level of social affiliation and thus a low capacity to organize resistance to elite depredations. ..."
"... Watching Clinton scoop up bankster money, welcome Republicans neocons to the ranks of her supporters does not fill me with hope. ..."
Aug 02, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

Glenn 08.02.16 at 5:01 pm

@William Meyer 08.02.16 at 4:41 pm

Legislators affiliated with the duopoly parties should not write the rules governing the ballot access of third parties. This exclusionary rule making amounts to preserving a self-dealing duopoly. Elections are the interest of the people who vote and those elected should not be able to subvert the democratic process by acting as a cartel.

Democracy demands that ballot access rules be selected by referendum, not by the very legacy parties that maintain legislative control by effectively denying ballot access to parties that will pose a challenge to their continued rule.

Of course any meaningful change would require a voluntary diminishment of power of the duopoly that now has dictatorial control over ballot access, and who will prevent any Constitutional Amendment that would enhance the democratic nature of the process.

bruce wilder 08.02.16 at 8:02 pm

I think the U.S. Party system, in the political science sense, shifted to a new state during George W Bush's administration as, in Kevin Phillip's terms the Republican Party was taken over by Theocrats and Bad Money.

Ronan(rf) 08.04.16 at 10:35 pm

"I generally don't give a shit about polls so I have no "data" to evidence this claim, but my guess is the majority of Trump's support comes from this broad middle"

My understanding is trumps support disproportionately comes from the small business owning classes, Ie a demographic similar to the petite bourgeoisie who have often been heavily involved in reactionary movements. This gets oversold as "working class" when class is defined by education level rather than income.

This would make some sense as they are generally in economically unstable jobs, they tend to be hostile to both big govt (regulations, freeloaders) and big business (unfair competition), and while they (rhetorically at least) tend to value personal autonomy and self sufficiency , they generally sell into smaller, local markets, and so are particularly affected by local demographic and cultural change , and decline. That's my speculation anyway.

bruce wilder 08.06.16 at 4:28 pm

I am somewhat suspicious of leaving dominating elites out of these stories of racism as an organizing principle for political economy or (cultural) community.

Racism served the purposes of a slaveholding elite that organized political communities to serve their own interests. (Or, vis a vis the Indians a land-grab or genocide.)

Racism serves as an organizing principle. Politically, in an oppressive and stultifying hierarchy like the plantation South, racism not incidentally buys the loyalty of subalterns with ersatz status. The ugly prejudices and resentful arrogance of working class whites is thus a component of how racism works to organize a political community to serve a hegemonic master class. The business end of racism, though, is the autarkic poverty imposed on the working communities: slaves, sharecroppers, poor blacks, poor whites - bad schools, bad roads, politically disabled communities, predatory institutions and authoritarian governments.

For a time, the balkanization of American political communities by race, religion and ethnicity was an effective means to the dominance of an tiny elite with ties to an hegemonic community, but it backfired. Dismantling that balkanization has left the country with a very low level of social affiliation and thus a low capacity to organize resistance to elite depredations.

bruce wilder 08.06.16 at 4:31 pm

Watching Clinton scoop up bankster money, welcome Republicans neocons to the ranks of her supporters does not fill me with hope.

[Dec 05, 2016] Trump and the Transformation of Politics

Notable quotes:
"... Journal of Democracy ..."
"... John Feffer is the director of Foreign Policy In Focus. ..."
Sep 04, 2016 | fpif.org
Trump and the other illiberal populists have been benefiting from three overlapping backlashes.

The first is cultural. Movements for civil liberties have been remarkably successful over the last 40 years. Women, ethnic and religious minorities, and the LGBTQ community have secured important gains at a legal and cultural level. It is remarkable, for instance, how quickly same-sex marriage has become legal in more than 20 countries when no country recognized it before 2001.

Resistance has always existed to these movements to expand the realm of civil liberties. But this backlash increasingly has a political face. Thus the rise of parties that challenge multiculturalism and immigration in Europe, the movements throughout Africa and Asia that support the majority over the minorities, and the Trump/Tea Party takeover of the Republican Party with their appeals to primarily white men.

The second backlash is economic. The globalization of the economy has created a class of enormously wealthy individuals (in the financial, technology, and communications sectors). But globalization has left behind huge numbers of low-wage workers and those who have watched their jobs relocate to other countries.

Illiberal populists have directed all that anger on the part of people left behind by the world economy at a series of targets: bankers who make billions, corporations that are constantly looking for even lower-wage workers, immigrants who "take away our jobs," and sometimes ethnic minorities who function as convenient scapegoats. The targets, in other words, include both the very powerful and the very weak.

The third backlash, and perhaps the most consequential, is political. It's not just that people living in democracies are disgusted with their leaders and the parties they represent. Rather, as political scientists Roberto Stefan Foa and Yascha Mounk write in the Journal of Democracy , "they have also become more cynical about the value of democracy as a political system, less hopeful that anything they do might influence public policy, and more willing to express support for authoritarian alternatives."

Foa and Mounk are using 20 years of data collected from surveys of citizens in Western Europe and North America – the democracies with the greatest longevity. And they have found that support for illiberal alternatives is greater among the younger generation than the older one. In other countries outside Europe and North America, the disillusionment with democratic institutions often takes the form of a preference for a powerful leader who can break the rules if necessary to preserve order and stability – like Putin in Russia or Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Egypt or Prayuth Chan-ocha in Thailand.

These three backlashes – cultural, economic, political – are also anti-internationalist because international institutions have become associated with the promotion of civil liberties and human rights, the greater globalization of the economy, and the constraint of the sovereignty of nations (for instance, through the European Union or the UN's "responsibility to protect" doctrine).

... ... ....

The current political order is coming apart. If we don't come up with a fair, Green, and internationalist alternative, the illiberal populists will keep winning. John Feffer is the director of Foreign Policy In Focus.

[Dec 05, 2016] The most powerful force in Presidential election 2016 is the sense of betrayal pervading our politics, especially among Democratic electorate

Notable quotes:
"... if neo-liberalism is partly defined by the free flow of goods, labor and capital - and that has been the Republican agenda since at least Reagan - how is Trump a continuation of the same tradition?" ..."
"... Trump is a conservative (or right populist, or whatever), and draws on that tradition. He's not a neoliberal. ..."
"... Trump is too incoherent to really represent the populist view. He's consistent w/the trade and immigration views but (assuming you can actually figure him out) wrong on banks, taxes, etc. ..."
"... But the next populists we see might be more full bore. When that happens, you'll see much more overlap w/Sanders economic plans for the middle class. ..."
"... There's always tension along the lead running between the politician and his constituents. The thing that seems most salient to me at the present moment is the sense of betrayal pervading our politics. At least since the GFC of 2008, it has been hard to deny that the two Parties worked together to set up an economic betrayal. And, the long-running saga of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan also speak to elite failure, as well as betrayal. ..."
"... Trump is a novelty act. He represents a chance for people who feel resentful without knowing much of anything about anything to cast a middle-finger vote. They wouldn't be willing to do that, if times were really bad, instead of just disappointing and distressing. ..."
"... There's also the fact Reagan tapped a fair number of Nixon people, as did W years later. Reagan went after Nixon in the sense of running against him, and taking the party in a much more hard-right direction, sure. But he was repudiated largely because he got caught doing dirty tricks with his pants down. ..."
"... From what I can tell - the 1972 election gave the centrists in the democratic party power to discredit and marginalize the anti-war left, and with it, the left in general. ..."
"... Ready even now to whine that she's a victim and that the whole community is at fault and that people are picking on her because she's a woman, rather than because she has a habit of making accusations like this every time she comments. ..."
"... That is a perfect example of predatory "solidarity". Val is looking for dupes to support her ..."
Aug 12, 2016 | crookedtimber.org
Rich Puchalsky 08.12.16 at 4:15 pm 683
"Once again, if neo-liberalism is partly defined by the free flow of goods, labor and capital - and that has been the Republican agenda since at least Reagan - how is Trump a continuation of the same tradition?"

You have to be willing to see neoliberalism as something different from conservatism to have the answer make any sense. John Quiggin has written a good deal here about a model of U.S. politics as being divided into left, neoliberal, and conservative. Trump is a conservative (or right populist, or whatever), and draws on that tradition. He's not a neoliberal.

... ... ...

T 08.12.16 at 5:52 pm

RP @683

That's a bit of my point. I think Corey has defined the Republican tradition solely in response to the Southern Strategy that sees a line from Nixon (or Goldwater) to Trump. But that gets the economics wrong and the foreign policy too - the repub foreign policy view has not been consistent across administrations and Trump's economic pans (to the extent he has a plan) are antithetical to the Nixon – W tradition. I have viewed post-80 Dem administrations as neoliberals w/transfers and Repub as neoliberals w/o transfers.

Trump is too incoherent to really represent the populist view. He's consistent w/the trade and immigration views but (assuming you can actually figure him out) wrong on banks, taxes, etc.

But the next populists we see might be more full bore. When that happens, you'll see much more overlap w/Sanders economic plans for the middle class. Populists have nothing against gov't programs like SS and Medicare and were always for things like the TVA and infrastructure spending. Policies aimed at the poor and minorities not so much.

bruce wilder 08.12.16 at 7:47 pm 689

T @ 685: Trump is too incoherent to really represent the populist view.

There's always tension along the lead running between the politician and his constituents. The thing that seems most salient to me at the present moment is the sense of betrayal pervading our politics. At least since the GFC of 2008, it has been hard to deny that the two Parties worked together to set up an economic betrayal. And, the long-running saga of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan also speak to elite failure, as well as betrayal.

These are the two most unpopular candidates in living memory. That is different.

I am not a believer in "the fire next time". Trump is a novelty act. He represents a chance for people who fee