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Hometown: Xenia, OH
Member since: Tue Sep 19, 2006, 03:46 PM
Number of posts: 24,690

Journal Archives

Krugman: ... why isn’t 2008- playing like 1929- ? Why no surge in protectionism this time?

The Protectionist Non-Surge

So why, exactly, aren’t we seeing more protection? Why aren’t politicians — especially conservative politicians like those responsible for Smoot-Hawley — looking at the situation and saying, hmm, a tariff won’t increase the deficit, it won’t involve debasing the currency, but it could clearly help create jobs?

One answer might be the “Smoot-Hawley caused the Depression” thing; this isn’t true at all, but it might be serving the purpose of a noble lie.

Or maybe it’s the structure of trade agreements.
The countries that arguably could really, really use some protection right now are inside the European Union, so no go. Countries outside still know that any protection they impose will lead to big problems at the WTO; the United States has to know that a protectionist response would break up the whole world trading system we’ve spent almost 80 years building.

So here’s a thought: maybe the secret of our protectionist non-surge isn’t macroeconomics; it’s institutions.


Sherrod Brown Statement Following Senate Committee Hearing On Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations

Brown Continues to Urge Administration to put American Businesses, Workers First in TPP Negotiations

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership represents an opportunity for American workers and businesses to sell products and services to new markets, but the rules of the agreement will define whether the TPP begins a new era in fair trade policy,” Brown said. “In ongoing TPP negotiations, American workers and businesses must be put first and our jobs not traded away in exchange for foreign policy goals.”

The TPP is a proposed trade agreement that currently includes the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, Canada, and Mexico. Last month, Japan expressed its intent to join the TPP. Congress has the constitutional authority to set the terms of trade and commerce with foreign nations. The Administration is conducting the TPP talks using authority which officially lapsed in 2007, suggesting it will seek renewed Trade Promotion Authority, known as “Fast Track,” to conclude TPP negotiations, as well as other trade initiatives.

Brown has long been an opponent of NAFTA-style agreements that undermine American workers and businesses. Last month Brown, U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), and U.S. Representative Sander Levin (MI-9), led a group of 49 of their colleagues in urging President Obama to put the best interests of American workers and businesses first as negotiations continued with Japan on its potential entry to the TPP. Brown and his colleagues specifically cited Japan’s longstanding efforts to impose trade barriers and block U.S. exports as actions that have hurt the American economy, domestic job creation, and specifically its auto-industry.

Earlier this month, Brown led a group of seven Senators in urging Acting United States Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis to craft disciplinary language in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations for actions taken by state-owned enterprises that discriminate and distort free markets. Failing to craft disciplinary language for these actions, Brown and his colleagues argued, would hurt the American economy and its workers and businesses by adversely affecting the United States’ ability to fairly compete in foreign markets as new nations enter the TPP.


Brown mentions action to deal with state-owned enterprises that receive government subsidies which give them an unfair advantage. "Failing to craft disciplinary language for these actions" "would hurt the American economy and its workers and businesses". "Disciplinary language" presumably would involve an enforcement mechanism that should be part of the treaty.

In this short statement Brown did not mention protections for unions, the environment and human rights but he has made previous statements that he wants to see these included in any eventual agreement.

Glad he is my senator. Wish my other one was not Portman. Talk about a schizophrenic state.

The wiki definiton of 'liberalism' is significantly different. You're right. It is important to keep

the terms separate.

Liberalism (from the Latin liberalis) is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas such as free and fair elections, civil rights, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free trade and private property.

From the "patriot" right: Internationalists dis sovereignty of nation-states and require cosmic

citizens to pledge their allegiance to a world community restructured around natural eco-systems (with surprisingly mystical nuances).

Politics of International Diffusion: Our Common Future

"It's one-world now" -- so said Leslie Gelb on the Charlie Rose Show (4 May 1993). President emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Gelb concedes that transnational paradigm shift is well underway. Indeed, the language of globalism is so deeply ingrained in American culture that definitions, and agendas supporting them, attract little attention beyond a knowing nod of placid approval. Whereas "national sovereignty," "free enterprise capitalism," and "traditionalism" are eschewed as "snarl" words, folks affirm as "purr" words "globalization," "harmonization," and "sustainability."

"International Diffusion" Purrs Pretty

... Professors, practitioners, and students from around the world recently gathered in San Francisco for the Fifty-fourth Annual Convention of the International Studies Association. Added to more than five thousand convention attendees were representatives from universities, non-profit organizations, publishing companies, and businesses from near and far. The ISA is a United Nations-recognized, nongovernmental organization that links directly to major UN conferences through which life altering global policies are determined.

Egalitarian Political-Economic Liberalism

... the ISA convention vigorously proselytized spread of political-economic liberalism across national borders with bogus promise of sustainable production and consumption, social justice, population control, and dispersion of power to a broader G-20.

One-world Reality, Not the American Dream

Be sure the one-world reality is no friend to our constitutional republic. Internationalists dis sovereignty of nation-states and require cosmic citizens to pledge their allegiance to a world community restructured around natural eco-systems (with surprisingly mystical nuances). Federalized global government redistributes the world's resources, thereby concentrating wealth and power into the hands of few.


The right is prepared for any "political-economic liberalism" that these devotees of international studies may dish out on behalf of the dreaded United Nations (the coming One World Government).

I suppose if you are on the 'patriotic' right you gotta be suspicious of "political-economic liberalism across national borders with bogus promise of sustainable production and consumption, social justice, population control, and dispersion of power to a broader G-20". "National sovereignty," "free enterprise capitalism," and "traditionalism" are much more comfortable terms for those folks who believe in "political-economic conservatism within national borders".

Doesn't mean much. Republicans now hate it. They were also for the Civil Rights Act, the EPA,

a guaranteed annual income, cap-and-trade and high tariffs at one time or another in the past, but republicans hate them all now. If we jettison every policy that a republican has ever supported - even in the distant past - we will be throwing out a lot of good with the bad. We have more to worry about from the positions of modern day far-right, tea party-intimidated republicans than we do from those of the old republican party.

CBS Twitter accounts hacked by 'pro-Damascus group'

Source: BBC

Fake messages appearing on the @60Minutes account criticised US support for "terrorist" rebels in Syria and others accused Barack Obama of trying to "take away your guns". A group calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army claimed to have been responsible for hijacking the accounts.

The SEA group has previously put out messages in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It appeared to behind the takeover of several BBC Twitter accounts last month and some of NPR's accounts last week.

A CBS spokeswoman confirmed that the accounts had been compromised. CBS said it was working with Twitter to "resolve the issue".

The fake messages that appeared on the @60Minutes account reportedly included:

"The US government is hiding the real culprit of the Boston bombing"
"The US government is sponsoring a coup in Venezuela and a terrorist war in Syria"
"Your duty is to protect your nation from the parasites that have taken your government"
"Obama wants to destroy the Syrian and American people. We must stop this beast"

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22237458

Love the:

"Obama wants to destroy the Syrian and American people. We must stop this beast"
"Your duty is to protect your nation from the parasites that have taken your government"
"The US government is hiding the real culprit of the Boston bombing"

Sounds like the hackers may have a tea party connection.

Not again- from the far right: accusations of 'amnesty', 'open borders' and a 'North American Union'

In Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, a Tea Party favorite and heir apparent to a leadership role among constitutionally conservative Republicans, has softened his stance against amnesty. The New York Times reported on March 19 that, in a speech before the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Paul outlined his position on immigration, “including an implicit pathway to citizenship.” ... As with many other issues, the GOP-Democrat divide is not always very deep.

But why should a place be found for those who sneak across the border and do not want to assimilate? Why can’t borders be enforced? In truth, the policy of providing repeated amnesties without enforcing the border does not make any sense — unless the intent is to eventually eliminate the border as part of a broader agenda to establish a North American Union. The evidence demonstrates this is exactly what’s happening.

Our internationalist-minded leaders have not ceased their efforts to create “more stable, more cooperative units.” During his recent State of the Union address (SOTU), President Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TAP) — which would combine the United States and the rest of NAFTA with some Pacific Rim nations and the EU.

In response to Obama’s plug for the trans-oceanic partnerships, investigative reporter Jerome Corsi noted: “Obama’s open discussion of the two-oceans TPP and TAP free trade agendas during his recent SOTU attests to the persistence of globalists. ... In order to prevent this, both sides of the internationalists’ agenda must be countered simultaneously: Illegal immigration must be controlled and amnesty denied, and new “free trade” pacts between the United States and other nations must be stopped and existing ones, such as NAFTA, repealed.


Their tune never changes.

France's Marine LePen continues to oppose the EU with its continent-wide open borders and free trade

"European people are realizing that the European Union is an empire, a Soviet Union, that in fact is destroying their freedom and doesn't protect them from economic, social or migratory difficulties. And I think that the increase in patriotism, to managing a country’s own affairs, to control of borders, whether it's human, capital, or product flows is irreversible."

"The worst thing that is happening now is the free trade agreement that is being negotiated with the United States. It will put an end to French agriculture. This is not 'his' mistake because he's not deciding anything. He's just serving globalization and applying decisions taken in Brussels."

"I even asked the French President to organize a big referendum in January 2014 to ask the question to the French people: do they want to stay in the European Union? Do they want to stay with open borders? Do they want to take the risk of having Romania and Bulgaria in the Schengen, with the arrival of millions of Roma who are attracted by a social system that is very advantageous, which is the French system. Do they want to go on with free trade? Do they want to forbid economic patriotism? Do they want European laws to be stronger than national laws? And I want to salute Hungary who decided to change the constitution so that it prioritizes national rights over European rights."

"I mean, I'm not going to stop bringing the truth because a few leftists are trying to stop me from doing that. In fact, they pretend to be eurosceptic, those leftists, but they participate in the system, they implement the system! They themselves are in favor of immigration when they know that immigration is used to lower salaries. They are themselves defenders of Europe. Oh they always explain that they want a "different Europe", but it is still the European Union with open borders, so one cannot sincerely be the defender of a nation while at the same time be for totally free trade and totally free immigration."


Have to give LePen "credit" for sticking to her eurosceptic position despite finishing third in the last presidential election and despite the National Front winning just 2 seats in the parliament.

Iceland to Cyprus: Make the rescue more equitable and watch out for inflation

Iceland to Cyprus: 'People should not pay for speculators'

One big difference between Cyprus and Iceland is that the Mediterranean island - as part of the eurozone - cannot devalue its currency as the Nordic island did. "Our recovery (Iceland's) is a typical case based on currency devaluation. Then the exports get more competitive on fish or aluminium sold abroad, also services and tourism got a boost as prices dropped in Iceland," the former spokesman said.

"But we can't forget who's paying for all that - it is the citizens in Iceland, because inflation doubled while salaries stayed the same. We don't pay with high unemployment, but with lower salaries," Omarsson added.

"I would not recommend Cyprus to leave the euro now, even you can wonder in hindsight if it was reasonable to join. Rather, get the capital controls lifted so domestic payments can work again properly, sit down and figure out what to do to shift the burden from locals who lost a lot in a very unfair manner to a more equitable solution," Magnusson said.

"It will be fascinating to see what comes out of the Offshore leaks," Magnusson said, in reference to a trove of leaked names of individuals and banks with offshore accounts obtained by the International Consortium for Investigative Journalism. "We can only hope this leads to a reduction in these activities, which are no benefit to society. It would be better for these tax havens to find other business models that are less damaging to the countries where all these tax revenues are fleeing from," he said.


In the 20th century, 40 million killed in wars, but 160 million by their own governments.

Twentieth-Century governments and their soldiers have killed perhaps forty million people in war: either soldiers (most of them unlucky enough to have been drafted into the mass armies of the twentieth century) or civilians killed in the course of what could be called military operations. But wars have caused only about a fifth of this century’s violent death toll.

Governments and their police have killed perhaps one hundred and sixty million people in time of peace: class enemies, race enemies, political enemies, economic enemies, imagined enemies. You name them, governments have killed them on a scale that could not previously have been imagined. If the twentieth century has seen the growth of material wealth on a previously-inconceivable scale, it has also seen human slaughter at a previously-unimaginable rate.

Call those political leaders whose followers and supporters have slaughtered more than ten million of their fellow humans “members of the Ten-Million Club.” All pre-twentieth century history may (but may not) have seen two members of the Ten-Million Club: Genghis Khan, ruler of the twelfth century Mongols, launcher of bloody invasions of Central Asia and China, and founder of China's Yuan Dynasty; and Hong Xiuquan, the mid-nineteenth-century Chinese intellectual whose visions convinced him that he was Jesus Christ’s younger brother and who launched the Taiping Rebellion that turned south-central China into a slaughterhouse for decades in the middle of the nineteenth century. Others do not make the list. Napoleon does not make it, and neither does Alexander the Great or Julius Caesar.

By contrast the twentieth century has seen five or six people join the Ten Million Club: Adolf Hitler, Chiang Kaishek, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Tojo Hideki. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao have credentials that may well make them the charter members of the Thirty Million Club as well—and perhaps the Fifty Million Club. A regime whose hands are as bloody as those of the 1965-1998 Suharto regime in Indonesia—with perhaps 450,000 communists, suspected communists, and others in the wrong place at the wrong time dead at its creation in 1965, and perhaps 150,000 inhabitants of East Timor dead since the Indonesian annexation in the mid-1970s—barely makes the twentieth century's top twenty list of civilian-massacring regimes.


The number for people killed in wars in the 20th century seems low to me. But even if it were doubled, it is amazing that governments have killed their own people in much higher numbers than have died at the hands of foreign armies.
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