June 23, 2015

MORE LIKE DONKEY-PUNCHED:

Are the Dems Being Sucker-Punched on Trade? (ROBERT KUTTNER JUNE 22, 2015, American Prospect)

In recent years, as Republicans have cut back benefits, and increased obstacles to coverage, TAA has benefitted only a tiny fraction of workers directly affected by trade. A Labor Department report to Congress in 2011 showed that only some 46,000 workers received wage support. 

In the meantime, trade deals have become less about trade barriers and more about corporate wish-lists and the use of back-door trade provisions to dismantle a regulated form of capitalism. Workers have lost out not just from direct job displacement, but from the broad assault on an array of safeguards. The proposed Pacific trade deal would intensify the trend.

The current brand of trade adjustment assistance is even weaker than its counterparts a generation ago. And since it is targeted only at workers who can show direct displacement, it does nothing to offset the broader damage of the deal. Backers of the deal claim (somewhat implausibly) that it will produce hundreds of billions of dollars in economic benefits yet the TAA part of the deal would provide displaced workers with just $300 million. So even in its own terms, this is one lousy deal.

Republicans have tried to frame the legislative situation as a fair trade-off: if they can get their reluctant caucus to vote for adjustment assistance, Democrats are somehow honor-bound to support the whole package. (Republicans don't like TAA both because of its budget impact and their ideological belief that the free market will take care of displaced workers.) 

But if Democrats fall for this ploy, they are dupes.

The UR has been duping them for this long, why stop now?
Posted by at June 23, 2015 7:29 PM
  

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