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This blog used to be about politics. Not so much anymore as I have worked through my fascination with that subject. It now seems appropriate that with a new president and the end of the Bush nightmare that I move on to new subjects that are more in line with my current interests. I may still occasionally express an opinion about political matters but for the most part I will be commenting on music, photography and personal observations. Thank you for reading.

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Eschaton: Comments on Free Trade

I'll repost what I had to say there. Its less formal because its a "comment" but I'll bring it up here for your digestion.

Its so refreshing to see so many people finally getting it. Thank you thank you thank you, it was a long hard slog (to borrow a phrase) and requireed lots of repetition.

Right, so there is no such thing as free trade as it was sold to us, just like there is no such thing as Permanent Tax Cuts!!!

As long as you have govts and borders you have distortions in trade. What we had is wholesale ignorance run amok. There is a truth in the mantra that trade will better our lives. The anti-G movement was never about stopping trade, or even the adjustments that might have to be made as we bring the world into a bigger market. What we saw was a freedom of capital within a restricted labor market without any means of addressing inherent inequialities. Race to the bottom. Though nobody seemed to care a decade ago.

If a tree falls in China and no Americans are there to hear it does it still make a sound?

How was it ever considered "good" to exploit certain kinds of labor that we have had the good sense to ban here. Why is a child working in a sweatshop in LA any more repulsive than one working in asia. Doesnt make sense if you ask me. I dont care if it DOES mean cheap goods, slavery meant cheap goods as well. We had the good sense to see the problem with that. We never said, oh well, but I like cheap food, its too bad about those black people.

For years we were complicit as long as we still had jobs, cheap goods and we never had to see the people making them. We've lost one of those things and now we care. 50 inch plasma tvs could cost a penny but alot of good that will do you if you don't have a job.

Classic NotMeism at work, well fast forward to... now, and its you too. welcome to the future.

Its funny that only now, the so called "left" as represented by Eschaton readers, namely the more affluent liberal variety are just now coming around the realities of what this whole anti-globalization thing was all about. For years we heard this same crowd poo-pooing the anti-G movement because they bought into the terms dictated by the economic puppetmasters (even the term anti-globalization!). They were perfectly happy to reap the short term benefits of selling out manufacturing because it fit with their whole Democratic-President-Saves-the-World mythology. While the grubby people that work with their hands were "rightfully" losing their jobs to "free trade" they fiddled and bought old Commodore 64's on Ebay. Now of course we see the price of their complacence. The main damage was done under Clinton and not Bush. Bush just happens to be an extraordinary asshole on top of it all. The anti-G movement grew under Clinton for a good reason. We all knew that trade policies would have the predictable results. What passed for media discussion of the issue was a combination of a thumbed through version of Economics For Dummies and corporate talking points.

It pains me to see the current crop of Democratic candidates trying to capture the Clinton aura while at the same time trying to pretend the free trade disaster was not all his fault. I've always suspected that Clinton's greatest crime against the GOP was not his liberalism but his blatent attempt to take over the corporatist arm of the Republicans and claim it for the Democrats. Isn't that what the DLC is all about, a pro-corporate arm of the Democrats?

There was good reason to believe that Gore would continue these corporate friendly policies. THIS more than anything fueled the mass defection to the Greens in the 2000 race. I still maintain (though you dare not mutter such blasphemy at DalyKos) that the dems strayed into GOP territory to shore up their funding, thus disaffecting their base. Nader was a symptom people, get over it!

With any luck, and its seems likely, the dems have rediscovered their roots and realized that unless they represent the working people of America they don't have squat.

Good night and my God continue to bless this blog!


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35 yr old
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Voted for Kerry
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