Friday, December 20, 2013

The Liberal Case against a Universal Basic Income

I completely agree with Max Sawicky regarding the proposed (by certain utopian libertarians mainly) Universal Basic Income.  In many ways, I like the utopianism, and like Max I'm not worried about how it changes incentives for individuals.  It's just that it would wreck other programs that, while less utopian, are actually successful.  It would also be unfair to many, such as current and future social security recipients who had high income jobs.

What the idea is, actually, is a kind of hot potato used to smear existing programs while sounding even more "progressive" than they are.  Max spells this out in great detail.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Nix TPP !!!

Krugman shows there cannot be a big economic win from trade agreements like the TPP, as supporters claim.  But where does he show there will be no big negatives, which he claims in passing without any substantiation?  Fellow prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz is more direct, be blasts both the TPP and the anti-democratic processes behind it, and the US Government's approach to trade agreements in particular.

Rather than reducing negative environmental externalities, consumer protections, and worker rights, these trade pacts are immediately used to attack whatever stands in the way of corporate greed, environment, workers, and democratic processes be damned.  This has been endlessly documented with regards to NAFTA, GATT, and WTO.

A leaked memo published by HuffingtonPost shows a bonanza of special rights TPP would grant to corporation.

Public Citizen calls TPP the Corporate Power of the 1%.     Here is their Take Action page, with multiple letters you can send regarding different aspects of the TPP and Fast Track authority supporters want.

I'd call for the abrogation of all existing trade pacts, and the defunding and abolition of the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR)--a corporate shill--which pushes them.  But more presently, write every message you can to stop this, starting with the Public Citizen's Take Action page.  The first is one  suggested by Senator Elizabeth Warren to release the full text to the public.  There is no excuse for the lack of transparency used to ram through these agreements.