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#22. John Edwards on 'Trade' - Why We Need Edwards for President
by Bob Powell, 1/18/08
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Here is the Liberal Moment (SM) Handout on John Edwards on 'Trade' - Why We Need Edwards for President. Here are versions in pdf and doc formats that include many links to the information presented. They include graphs updated with Dec 07 data for Colorado and Colorado Springs as well as the graphs for information technology jobs.

Both Clinton and Obama are DLC Democrats, which is "free trade" supporting Republican lite. See The Death of the Middle Class.

Added 6/19/09:

Al From Won By David Paul Kuhn, June 16, 2009

This past March, in a private meeting with moderate House Democrats, Barack Obama aligned himself with centrists.

"I am a New Democrat," he reportedly said, choosing a term synonymous with the moderate Democratic Leadership Council. ...

Alan Greenspan is a far right extremist on economic issues. From Alan Greenspan vs. Naomi Klein on the Iraq War, Bush's Tax Cuts, Economic Populism, Crony Capitalism and More ... excerpt: 

ALAN GREENSPAN: Well, I stated that I'm a libertarian Republican, which means I believe in a series of issues, such as smaller government, constraint on budget deficits, free markets, globalization, and a whole series of other things, including welfare reform. And as you may remember, Bill Clinton was pretty much in the same -- was doing much that same agenda. And so, I got to consider him as someone -- as he described it, we were both an odd couple, because he is a centrist Democrat. And that's not all that far from libertarian Republicanism.

AMY GOODMAN: About how much would you say you agreed with him?

ALAN GREENSPAN: On economic issues, I would say probably 80%. ...

Here are a few additional points on Health Insurance, Hope, and Illegal Immigration in favor of John Edwards.

Health Insurance: See John Edwards' plan on Health Care

"So this is a smart, serious proposal. It addresses both the problem of the uninsured and the waste and inefficiency of our fragmented insurance system." Paul Krugman, The New York Times.

Edwards plan has an important feature. It puts private insurance plans in competition with a public insurance plan modeled after Medicare. Because the overhead of a public insurance has so much less overhead compared to private insurance (2 - 3 % compared to ~20%), it will eventually drive private plans out of the market and evolve to a single-payer system, which should happen anyway because of the "adverse selection" dynamic. This will be vehemently opposed of course, but it will be more difficult to argue against because it features a favorite conservative talking point: choice.

From Edwards' Universal Health Care Through Shared Responsibility

 The U.S. government will help states and groups of states create regional Health Care Markets, non-profit purchasing pools that offer a choice of competing insurance plans. At least one plan would be a public program based upon Medicare. All plans will include comprehensive benefits, including full mental health benefits. Families and businesses could choose to supplement their coverage with additional benefits. The markets will be available to everyone who does not get comparable insurance from their jobs or a public program and to employers that choose to join rather than offer their own insurance plans.

Choice between Public and Private Insurers: Health Care Markets will offer a choice between private insurers and a public insurance plan modeled after Medicare, but separate and apart from it. Families and individuals will choose the plan that works best for them. This American solution will reward the sector that offers the best care at the best price. Over time, the system may evolve toward a single-payer approach if individuals and businesses prefer the public plan.

Though Edwards' plan is the best of the top three Democratic candidates (Obama in Second Place by Paul Krugman), it falls short in one important way: "One provision ... certain to draw fire is a requirement that companies provide health insurance for all workers or pay 6 percent of their payrolls into a government fund to buy insurance for them." This is important because it fails to relieve manufacturers of the burden of paying for health insurance. It's a competitive disadvantage against other developed countries, which have national health insurance. Companies have located to Canada because of this factor. The U.S. needs a single-payer system that eliminates privatization that spends so much on figuring out who to not cover, figuring out what to not cover, and on executive pay (e.g., William McGuire "has made lots of news with cash-and-stock paydays that have topped $100 million in recent years -- and he's still sitting atop stock options valued at $1.6 billion." in McGuire's payday is a shame, if not a crime).

A note on "Hope"

Most of us have heard the myth of Pandora's Box. Pandora opened the box and released "all the evils of mankind -- greed, vanity, slander, envy, pining -- leaving only hope inside once she had closed it again." My view of this is that "hope," in the absence of appropriate policies, is also a curse ... and that's why hope was also in the box. This is a view expressed in note 18 at the Wikipedia link above: 

A minority opinion construes the phrase instead to mean "empty Hope" or "baseless Hope": not only are humans plagued by a multitude of evils, but they persist in the fruitless hope that things might get better.

"Free Trade"

Important Note on Illegal Immigration:

There's an important link between "trade" and the hot "illegal immigration" issue. Many blame the Mexican government, the lawbreaking immigrants themselves, and our government for not getting tough and defending our borders. What's not so readily examined is how the U.S. has created the problem by its farm subsidies and "trade" policies.

NAFTA allows our heavily subsidized farm commodities to compete against unsubsidized Mexican farm commodities. This forced Mexican farmers and farm workers off the land to cities (Maquiladoras) to which the U.S. "offshored" its jobs. Now that corporations are moving those jobs to even cheaper China, desperate Mexicans are coming to the U.S. to attempt to make a living. For details see Farm Policy Failure.

Of the top three Democratic candidates John Edwards is the only one who understands the "trade" problem and has appropriate policies to address this incredibly serious problem. The US economy has been undermined and this is continuing at a rapid pace (see The Death of the Middle Class). I continue to put "trade" in quotes because it isn't "trade" at all; it's primarily "transfer of the factors of production" ... using labor over there in order to pay lower wages.

Here are versions in pdf and doc formats that include many links to the information presented. They include graphs updated with Dec 07 data for Colorado and Colorado Springs as well as the graphs for information technology jobs.

Here are a few graphs from this document.

For Advanced Technology Products the trade deficit is rapidly increasing. Find ATP trade data at this US Census Bureau site.

1991 ATP Balance  +$38.4B
2007 ATP Balance  -$50.7B

From ATP Surplus to Deficit

Jan 06 ATP Balance -$3.3B
Oct 07 ATP Balance  -$6.7B

Picture the U.S. going down the technological toilet

Jobs Lost            Manufacturing           Information Technology

National                   21.1%                             17.4%

Colorado                  26.0%                             32.6%

Colorado Springs      37.8%                             47.2%

The national and Colorado losses are serious enough, but note that Colorado Springs has experienced a virtual manufacturing and IT job loss blood bath. Here are the graphs for Colorado Springs. It boggles the mind that there is not more concern about these trends.

Manufacturing job trend in Colorado Springs

Information Technology job trend in Colorado Springs

In The Death of the Middle Class I respond to a commentary by DLC Democrat Stephen J. Rose on "The Myth of Middle-Class Job Loss" published in the Wall Street Journal on 10/24/07. I cited job loss data for manufacturing and IT as demonstrating the undermining of U.S. wages and the middle class.

He responded to me that I "selectively cite a few sectors but overall employment is up." I replied that I cite specific sectors that have lost jobs, Manufacturing and IT, because those are the kinds jobs that have been affected by "trade." All other categories (except for mining) I saw that increased (government, education, financial services) were NOT primary jobs that create exports to reduce the trade deficit. I cite the Advanced Technology Products trade deficit as going from a $40B surplus in 1991 to a $50.7B deficit in 2007 as an indication that we're losing other high tech jobs as well. The issue is not the number of jobs, but the pay and quality of jobs.

Find National job data at this BLS site.
Find Colorado and Colorado Springs data at this BLS site.

URL: http://www.exponentialimprovement.com/cms/edwardsontrade.shtml

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© 2003 Continuous Improvement Associates
#28. Petroleum Prevarication
#27. Trade Truth #2: The Dollar & the Deficit
#26. The NAFTA Nemesis
#25. The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness (April Fool edition)
#24. Employment & Unemployment
#23. 'Free Trade' and the Environment
#22. John Edwards on 'Trade' - Why We Need Edwards for President
#21. Principles of Economic Development
#20. Serving the Corporatocracy
#19 - Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell