The “fast track” trade bill introduced last week by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has a number of problems. It sets aside Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution and essentially pre-approves the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) before the public and most of Congress even sees it. Unfortunately, the Senate bill does not specify firm and sufficient objectives to make TPP a trade bill that could work for 99 percent of Americans.
Trade is great. We all trade. A lot of us trade labor for money that buys other things. A farmer trades corn for money that buys other things, and so on. No one is “against trade.” But is anything called “trade” always good for all involved?
U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman appeared before Congress Tuesday to make the corporate argument for fast track trade promotion authority. The USTR and President Obama are pushing fast-track pre-approval for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other big trade agreements they are working on.
The Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the League of Conservation Voters and 41 other environmental groups sent a letter to Congress this week, asking them to oppose fast track trade promotion authority for upcoming trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). They asked Congress to instead set up an open, transparent trade negotiating system that gives stakeholders, other than just corporate representatives, input in the process.
President Obama is likely to use the State of the Union to push for passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the rigged fast track trade promotion authority. Here are some facts to counter the expected public relations campaign.
The midterm elections were a wake-up call. Voters had given up on the Democratic party as irrelevant – not really on their side, so they didn’t bother to show up at the polls. But there are end-of-year holiday season bright spots for progressives as we think about the coming year’s fights.
The midterm elections were a wake-up call. Voters had given up on the Democratic party as irrelevant and not really on their side, so they didn't bother to show up at the polls. But there are end-of-year holiday season bright spots for progressives as we think about the coming year's fights. People are becoming more active with protests over issues like low pay and police treatment.
The big corporations are pushing our government to finalize three very big trade agreements: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). These are not really trade deals but cover all kinds of issues, including the ability to place corporate rights alongside or above the rights of countries to make their own laws. And if Republicans gain control of both houses of Congress, you can bet your last silver dollar that these "trade deals" will become planetary law.
Picture this: You are supposedly “off work” but every day after the end of your shift you have to wait in a line for up to 25 minutes to get “checked” to see if you are stealing things. The Supreme Court is going to decide if you should be paid for your time. This is part of the larger issue of “wage theft.”
A surprising "boom" in oil and gas production, fueled (no pun intended) by fracking and pipelines, brought a surplus in barrels and lower prices for the first time in forever. Of course, that means less profit for the oil companies. So to ensure that the destruction of the world's natural resources benefits them and only them, they're sneaking language designed to lift a beneficial ban on oil exports into U.S. treaties – a new low for the industry.
The Republican political strategy has been to obstruct efforts to help the economy for everyone but the wealthiest few, and then campaign on complaints that the economy isn’t helping anyone but the wealthiest few. It’s working.
Burger King is a company whose products encourage obesity, heart disease and diabetes in its customers and pays its employees so little that they require food stamps and other government assistance just to be able to sustain themselves. As fast-food workers across the country strike for decent pay, Burger King is still preparing to abandon the U.S. as its home country. How does a burger company get flipped like this and who gets rich when it happens?
It's time for progressives to put the demand for full employment policies on the table. And guess what? It’s also a great way to win elections. What would it mean in people’s lives if there were more job openings than people? Right now, people suffer terrible job fear that forces them to accept pay cuts, benefit cuts, extra hours and other things that increase profits for the giant corporations. While it sounds utopian, the first steps are obvious: fixing the nation's crumbling infrastructure and moving on from the carbon addiction that is burning the world around us.
Airlines have been notoriously following the typical American capitalist business model of (literally) squeezing the customer into smaller and more uncomfortable seats, literally starving their customers, extorting cash for a bit more comfort on long trips, charging more for less – and then, to top things off, adding hidden fees.
Republicans like to say again and again that there's no "War on Women." But when they do things like filibuster the Paycheck Fairness Act, it's hard to take them at their word.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the agency set up after the Great Depression to “protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation.” One would think those basic corporate facts and timely, comprehensive and accurate information needed by investors would include access to a company’s tax returns. One would think they would include information about where the executives of the company are spending millions and millions of the company’s dollars. Nope. And it might just be because the foxes are "guarding" the hen house.
FedEx, like so many other companies, has been shifting costs onto employees by pretending they are not employees. This is called “misclassification” and this ruling matters.
Our corporate tax rates are "the envy of [our] international peers." So what's the real reason behind businesses renouncing their "citizenship"?
Imagining a Republican-led Senate is bad enough, but Mitch McConnell's ramblings suggest it would be beyond our worst nightmares.
A Politico story being promoted by the Drudge Report, “McConnell’s plan to shut down Obama,” makes it clear that if Republicans capture the Senate this fall they will, as the Drudge Report puts it, “play chicken” and shut down the government if President Obama vetoes their legislation to dismantle the government.