Third Party & Independents Archives

Do You Need A Revolution?

Brazil has won a trade lawsuit against the US (taxpayer) over cotton subsidies. The case, which began in 2002 through the World Trade Organization (WTO), was settled with an award of $300 million dollars. The WTO ruling allows Brazil to invoke trade sanctions equivalent to $800 million just this year alone. Brazil initially sued for $2.4 billion and is considering another suit to challenge the 54 cents per gallon tariff by the US designed to protect ethanol production. Keep in mind that the government providing farm subsidies is the same government that worked for years to establish the WTO.

The US has sustained a trade deficit for every year since 1973, leaving a deficit of $355 billion for 2007. This imbalance is largely attributable to government trade policy put into effect years ago. After WWII the US government chose to facilitate the redevelopment of Europe by agreeing to a tax loophole favoring European countries. In the years since 153 countries have adopted the Value Added Tax (VAT) while taking advantage of our WWII trade policy. Pat Choate’s "Saving Capitalism" explains in detail the failure of this government’s trade policies. As a result we are subsidizing economies around the world including China and Saudi Arabia.

US citizens pay for the development of new drugs through brand name pricing. These same drugs are sold in overseas markets at a much lower cost. However, with a globalized economy and free trade policy in place, the US citizen cannot buy drugs from the overseas market. Thus, the US citizen is subsidizing drug cost for the rest of the world population. Keep in mind that the government that has forced free trade and a globalized economy on the world is the same government that refuses your purchasing foreign drugs.

Even in the middle of a full-blown recession, we continue to take in illegal immigrants seeking jobs. Word on the street is, even though the healthcare bill may state illegals will not be covered the Supreme Court is on hot standby to rule that no "person" residing in the country can be refused subsidies designed for the public at large. That based on a Texas case where the Supreme Court ruled that the State government had to cover educational cost for illegals, as they are "persons" residing in the State. Keep in mind the government that made border crossing illegal is the same government that refuses to enforce federal immigration law.

In a relatively few years we have gone from the richest nation to the largest debtor nation, witnessing the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind. We now have a total nation-wide debt of $57 trillion, ($11.9 Trillion National Debt plus the total non-federal debt of $45.8 Trillion), that is crushing the nation and has been for decades. And that does not even include the looming $62 Trillion Credit Default Swap/Derivatives bubble, or the future debt of $60+ Trillion in unfunded liabilities (future debt) for Social Security and Medicare. 90%-to-95% of all U.S. Dollars in existence in the U.S. already exists as debt. (www.one-simple-idea.com)


With no accountability for politicians and the ‘money influence’ driving the wagon it would seem we taxpayers are stuck on stupid. It is way past time for a "change" in government. A third party with a revolutionary reform agenda comes to mind.

There are two new start-up third parties on the landscape: the New Independent American Party (NAIP) and the Republic Sentry Party. I suspect, as the economy worsens, there will be others. You may want to get one quick!

Posted by Roy Ellis at October 10, 2009 7:57 PM
Comments
Comment #289149

Roy

Your comment on drug prices is true but not complete. It is true that the American consumer provides a de-facto subsidy to foreign drug consumers. But it is not true that the problem could be solved by buying foreign drugs.

What has to happen is that foreign and American prices come closer together. There are lots of area where the U.S. is the de-facto subsidizer of the world. We supply the world with security, medical innovation, markets and many other things. The world’s leading country gets stuck with this and gets blamed instead of thanked by the rest of the world. Before us, the Brits carried the world’s burden.

It is indeed about time the rest of the world pulled its own weight. Unfortunately, as in the case with the Brits, the other step up only when the leader falters.

In some ways the world system is self correcting. If the Chinese, Brazilians, Indians etc have to divert resources to protect their own shipping lanes, security etc, it slows their growth. Free riders slow when they have to pay.

One more thing. The fantastic U.S. power after WWII was an anomaly. At some points we produced half of the whole world GDP. This was because Europe was devastated and the rest of the world undeveloped. It is natural that other catch up and our relative wealth and power diminishes. We still produce more than 20% of the world GDP, provide a quarter of all the foreign aid, half of all the food aid, win the majority of all Nobel prizes in the sciences and the world depends on the U.S. Navy any time there is a natural disaster. We have only 4% of the world’s population. Let the others step up more often.

Posted by: Christine at October 11, 2009 12:17 AM
Comment #289153

Christine what does your comment have to do with the United States being tied into the WTO and the American taxpayer forced by an NGO, that we have not elected, to pick up the tab for corporate America’s and the capitalistic system’s failures to include the complete costs of goods and services in its sell price? It seems to me that since the days of Reagan we the taxpaying public have been bailing out corporate America with taxpayer money and you seem to be diverting us from Roy’s post to say let the others step up more often. What am I missing in your post?

As a small c conservative aren’t you appalled that taxation without representation by an NGO has become the norm as corporate globalization has spread unabated and become a race to the bottom instead of a leveling of the playing field?

Posted by: j2t2 at October 11, 2009 12:55 AM
Comment #289161

j2t2

my comment gets to disease of which you are describing symptoms. Our problem is that we are and have been for a couple generations, the predominant world leader. Others have come to hop on the wagon instead of helping pull it. During the Cold War, we consciously traded economics for security. This trickled down to all sorts of places where it didn’t belong.

America performs the duties of a hegemon. Everybody hates that, while reaping the benefits.

Let me take the precise example of drug prices. Most of the cost of drugs is paid up from in the research and development. After it is developed, it costs almost nothing to make. Somebody has to pay for the R&D, but everybody will think it shouldn’t be his responsibility. They will point out that it only takes a couple cents to produce the drug, so why should they pay dollars.

Until not long ago, most drug companies were focused on the U.S. market. They made their plans about and their money in the U.S. After they recouped their investment, anything you could sell outside the U.S. was just like finding free money. You could sell a lot cheaper to the Germans because the development costs were paid.

This was not a nefarious plot. It just made sense if you see the world as divided into the big U.S. market and a series of lesser markets. Reality has changed but our world outlook is behind.

We have to change the STRUCTURE of how things are done. Some of this will happen because of necessity. This will be in relative terms that Americans pay less and foreigners pay more.

I would point out one advantage to the old system. Firms aimed at the U.S. market cater to the U.S. market. That is why we spend lots of money to develop medicines for our problem. We have many new medicines for rich-world “luxury diseases” while we pay little attention to tropical bugs that kill and maim many more at younger ages. We call this unjust, but the structure I describe above is the reason.

He who pays the fiddler calls the tune. When others “step up” they will get more choice at more cost to themselves.

Posted by: Christine at October 11, 2009 10:34 AM
Comment #289163

Protecting ethanol production equals protecting ADM and others.

Trade deficit equals importing petroleum for jet fuel and hummers.

Smart people are figuring out how to grow their own drugs.

We can put the illegal immigrants on reservations like our own illegal natives, and provide them with alcohol, drugs, and guns to shoot eachother.

The debt shows that we are being governed from the island of misfits known as Washington D.C.

“taxpayers are stuck on stupid” and the politicians come up with even stupider solutions, like, in nearby DesPlaines IL, forcing an elderly woman into a nursing home to get her historic home away from her so that it could become a parking lot for a new Walgreens.

“New Independent American Party (NAIP) and the Republic Sentry Party” sound like the ugly stepchildren of Beck and Dobbs.

Posted by: ohrealy at October 11, 2009 11:14 AM
Comment #289164

j2t2
The WTO ruling is neither taxation nor without representation. The Brazilians get to levy a tariff on our goods because the WTO found we had an unfair tariff on their goods. Unless you export stuff to Brazil you won’t really be affected. Maybe some Broken Window associations but I doubt anything very significant. (not taxation) Also, as the WTO is an InterGovernmental Organization, and the US would have been able to argue its case for our tariffs. (not without representation)

For the most part the WTO has helped the US by facilitating free trade. We made asymmetric bargains that helped others more than they helped us, but for the most part we, as the hegemon, could afford it. As American hegemony declines, we may become more malign and antagonistic to try to protect that hegemony.

You seem to have two concerns: American well-being and leveling the playing field. Sorry, but you can’t have both. The playing field is uneven because America is so much stronger than everyone else. If you want to level it, you have to take the US down a few notches.

Posted by: Calvin at October 11, 2009 11:33 AM
Comment #289170

Calvin thanks for the clarification I guess I am just so use to the federal government bailing out corporate America that I thought the taxpayer would be footing the bill for the fine levied by the WTO. However when I refer to leveling the playing field I mean it more in terms of raising the labor and environmental standards in other countries not lowering ours so that our workforce has to compete with slave wages and forced labor.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 11, 2009 1:01 PM
Comment #289174

Good response j2t2. The taxpayer pays for the farm subsidy and the WTO fine. The government (Corpocracy, Oligarchy, Plutocracy, call it what you will) has done everything within their power to “harmonize” our economy with the “global economy”. In other words, they have pissed away trillions of hard-earned money, including the largest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind, to level the playing field. But, note that they have targeted only the middle class and poor. How? By bringing in illegals to take the jobs ‘we want do’. By bringing in foreign students who graduate and decide to stick around. 50% of graduate degrees go to foreign students. By propping up regimes around the world instead of propping up their people. Through giveaway trade policy, a trade deficit every year since 73. Why would one think that Wendy and Phil Gramm were the only ones involved in deregulation through the Glass-Steagall Act with Gramm-Leach-Bliley and the Commodities Futures Modernization Act? Do you think just one or two people decided that energy could be treated as a commodity and traded in the hedgefund markets? Do get real. Also, note that France is doing nicely with only 8% of their energy cost going for fossil fuels. This, while the US ‘wants to drill’ to find more oil. This Government doesn’t fart unless some Corporate entity tells them they can.
Let’s see, public pension funds have taken a trillion dollar hit and unless there is a turn to risky investments, such as hedgefunds and mortgage securities the ‘taxpayers’ may have to pick up the tab!
Not to belabor the point, it’s clear the government will continue working to bring the middle class in line with other world economies. Note that professionals and upper income folks are not included in the ‘harmonization’ process. The Corpocracy feels the workers should be ‘harmonzied’ but the high flying execs and professionals are perhaps, ‘too big to fail’.
Pat Choate notes that just by adopting a Value added tax policy the US would have sufficient revenue to balance the federal budget, begin paying down the federal debt and go a long way toward reducing the trade deficit. He notes that the US switching to a VAT is within the treaty agreements with the WTO and can be enacted through legislation and the administration. I would say to Pat that the only way this would every happen is through a third party with a different political attitude.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve!

Posted by: Roy Ellis at October 11, 2009 2:52 PM
Comment #289176

Truly major political reforms are not going to happen through some third party emergence because the stubborn fact is that the grip of the current two-party plutocracy on our political system is so strong that there is no chance whatsoever of any third party becoming competitive. In other words, corruption has reached such a sustained level that we must seek another route to bloodless revolution; though it is certainly no easy possibility, I believe using what the Constitution gives us: the Article V convention path to proposing constitutional amendments merits wide support. Check out this site and a poll which is significant, with nearly two-thirds of people voting for a convention:
http://patterico.com/2009/10/07/should-we-have-a-constitutional-convention/
Then go to www.foavc.org and become a member.

Posted by: Joel Hirschhorn at October 11, 2009 4:02 PM
Comment #289214

No suprise that I don’t agree with Joel and other naysayers. IMO, the only thing holding third parties back is that they offer nothing more to the political movement that the current two major parties. People have every reason to not put their faith and trust in just another third party. I believe that a third party that can put accountability into the political equation and get rid of corrupt or non-performing politicians through membership oversight of their elected officials will find broad appeal with the voting public. Build it and they will come. And, unfortunately, it will require a higher level of economic pain than we are now experiencing. But, I wholeheartedly agree that just another third party would go nowhere.
I support FOAVC and VOID but realize that each activity has its limitations. FOAVC can go nowhere until congress agrees to accept Article V ratifications as law and act on them. Could take one year or twenty years. Still, we should push congress and the Supreme Court to make it happen. VOID might have success in one election cycle but really needs a string of successes to be successful. Otherwise, it has the same limitations as a vanilla third party effort.
I believe our best hope for real reform is to continue to build a third party with a different political attitude. A party that people can trust. A party that offers something to the voter other than just accepting their vote. A party that can hold politicians accountable for their actions, or inactions. That’s powerful.

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve!

Posted by: Roy Ellis at October 12, 2009 3:06 PM
Comment #289217

Reinforcing my article is the current revelation that the US does not track exit visas. CNN is reporting that last year over 3M people entered the US but the government doesn’t know if any of them left the country. I’m sure the government tracks entry and exit of those traveling on government passports as there has always been a system in place for that. Just more validation that we have a failed government and it needs to be replaced/reformed.
Can you think of any useful reason why one would want to operate in this country in stealth mode?

Otherwise, we have the Government we deserve!

Posted by: Roy Ellis at October 12, 2009 3:29 PM
Comment #289228


Truely major political reform is not going to happen.

Not until it really doesn’t matter anymore.

Not until wealth flees the nation, the government can no longer borrow, and the country is bankrupt.

Until then, the people will continue to complain and buy into catchy little political phrases like change we can believe in or keep America strong.

Posted by: jlw at October 12, 2009 4:25 PM
Comment #289231

IMO we shouldn’t allow the country to go down the tube before taking action. Seems it would be extremely dangerous to initiate reform in a super depression environment. My fear is a fair haired, slick tongued strongperson would pop to the top and the residual government would authorize him/her all kinds of powers in an attempt to jump start a new government. Chavez comes to mind. I believe there are many today who would just jump to the next great thing and bedammned as to the Constitution. I think of just defined the duopoly.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at October 12, 2009 5:26 PM
Comment #289372

its to late are goverment is for the companys NOT for the people. case and point i have a tatoo and i am no longer alowed to take my shirt off anywhere even at the beach. the police say that i am disrupting the peace. How is my art a picture of a plant herting anyone. They say we have never lost a war but i think we lost the most important war of all but now its not north v south its the people v goverment. its the duty of the people the inforce the american ideal. are founding fathers dident create this but the people will restore it

Posted by: josh at October 14, 2009 11:59 PM
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