Posts Tagged ‘unions’

“‘The other nations of the world are working very hard to open up markets for themselves,’ he said. ‘I want to make sure the negotiations benefit America. Signing agreements doesn’t mean anything for our workers if they’re not enforced.’—so says Romney as reported by someone named Jennifer Colton for the Greenwood Index-Journal, reproduced on in a post titled, strangely, Romney calls for “Ideology of Strength”

“Romney’s solution to the trade dilemma is creating what he called the ‘Reagan Zone of Economic Freedom.’

“‘The Reagan Zone is a group of nations engaging in trade and living by higher regulations and safety standards,’ he said. ‘Let’s create a global zone of economic freedom to create the large free-trade area in the world. We can promote American goods and services on a global scale if it is fair.’

“The zones would create a ‘true level playing field’ for trade, he said, and involve enforcement of regulations and currency exchange.” … etc., etc.

This is not free trade, dear readers. What Romney proposes is the antithesis of free trade, the precise antithesis of free trade. What Romney proposes is some species of so-called fair trade, which requires a “true level playing field” that takes the form of trade, regulatory, wage, and, yes, tax harmonization. Here is the problem: to administrate a boundary-spanning trade regime will require a boundary-spanning tax, labour, and regulatory regime—it will also require a budget and a governing, adjudicating, and deliberative assembly of its own. Think: WTO or NAFTA, only writ large, very large, with the same power to override local ordnances, statutes, laws etc.

If we read Romney by way of Colton correctly, what Romney proposes is to eliminate regulatory competition—and tax competition too, otherwise how can our trade be fair trade if our producers and exporters are unfairly burdened?—on the model of e.g. the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.


“Does Mike Huckabee think that the financial services industry is today’s robber barrons? Is he right? Certainly in a post-industrial economy, there’s an analogy between railroads and financial services, even if it is somewhat strained,” asks the eye of the influential and precise in a post titled Huckabee against the robber barrons?

I contrast this with John Edwards. He targets the rich. Huckabee may be targeting Wall Street. That’s a difference. Perhaps an important one. What would Huckabee have to say about the housing crisis?more

An interesting question to be sure—some sort of redacted, reconstructed populism seems to be forming itself on the margins of the center-right. BUT: Here is a question that interests us more: who among the GOP candidates springs super-rich from the financial services industry like a venus on the half-shell?—like Athena, fully formed, from the forehead of Zeus, not because of hard work or native genius, but because of an opportunity offered him by a mentor?—answer: Willard Milton Romney formerly of Bain Capital. We have harped upon this string for weeks. See:

Romney’s millions—more on the equity-sector candidate from the NYT

Is it possible—we ask, just possible—that Huckabee is sending a signal to Team Romney and his equity sector and banking industry constituencies?—if so, Huckabee needs to be clearer, plainer, and probably a lot more direct. Team Romney is not known for its subtlety or intellectual rigour.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

P.S. Not since the temple-based, central-storage economies of absolute antiquity—urban concentrations like Sumer, Akkad etc.—has there existed a social and material order the primary basis of which was not production, consumption, and trade, but hoarding and redistribution from a central site or sites. Post-capitalism—with its gigantic pension funds and other vast pools of spare money—seems to be taking us back to the future.

Does anyone remember the story of Joseph and the power that accrued to Pharaoh as he appropriated all the productive instruments of land and labour in exchange for the contents of his granaries?

Our laws and institutions have yet to adapt to the new regime of non-capital and its non-capitalists. It is from this new regime that Romney springs; see: Romney and private equity: the new ruling class. The first historical test of the new regime, already unfolding all around us—as intuits—is the so-called housing crisis, which is but the surface irritation of a global crisis of liquidity. See:

world financial system in crisis; Romney, who made his fortune in the equity sector, has nothing to say