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At a global level, trade may have been very good for the relatively poor.  It has enabled billions of people in India, China and the far east to rise up out of absolute poverty.  It has enabled them to compete effectively against relatively much wealthier workers in "the West".

That was ok when the only effect was to depress the wages and prospects of factory workers in rust belt industries.  But when that competition started to hit middle class workers in good jobs in "knowledge" industries and high tech sectors, that was a different thing entirely from a political point of view.  It undermined not just socialist trade unions but the bedrock support of right wing parties as well.

The other thing was that trade deals became less and less about free trade, and more about the enforcement of often dubious patents and intellectual property (human genome, anyone?) and very lob-sided contracts. TTIP even envisaged companies being able to sue governments for loss of profits if a government decision disadvantaged them, and to do so in non-governmental commercial courts - effectively making corporations sovereign over rather than subject to governments.

The corporate takeover of democracy and the commodification of everything had to stop somewhere...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 16th, 2016 at 07:15:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The corporate takeover of democracy and the commodification of everything had to stop somewhere...
Wrong tense. HAS to die! Neo-liberal vampires are very hard to stake. They can even go about in daylight.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jun 16th, 2016 at 09:13:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I consider TTIP (at v. least in its current form) to be dead in the water, but then I am an optimist, and YMMV.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 16th, 2016 at 09:21:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Competition isn't exactly the problem: the problem is that the productivity increases haven't been passed down to the workers in the West - and that's more down to the concentration of power in the hands of capital than labour price competition.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 16th, 2016 at 09:16:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Both.  Even after productivity improvements, western workers will struggle to compete with Indian & Chinese workers given current wage disparities.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 16th, 2016 at 09:23:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They've made productivity improvements. They haven't got the money for them, the companies have.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 16th, 2016 at 09:30:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I did say both... globalization has also led to a massive increase in profitability worldwide, partly by tapping into massive pools of low wage labour in developing countries, partly be increasing their bargaining power vis a vis governments and unions - capital can always threaten to go elsewhere - and partly through new reduced corporate taxation, technology, automation, economies of scale, and opening up new markets.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 16th, 2016 at 10:10:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the environmental, safety, and health regulation disparities.
by rifek on Thu Jun 16th, 2016 at 09:15:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is the bipartisan allegiance of the ruling class, the 10%, that is the problem. That is what cements in place the capture of government by finance. Thomas Frank deals explicitely with this in 'Listen Liberal'. I was amazed to see him interviewed by Judy Woodward on the PBS News Hour. Judy seemed uncomfortable to incredulous.

Link: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/new-book-listen-liberal-looks-at-democratic-party-schism/

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere." (But it helps!)

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jun 16th, 2016 at 09:30:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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