Saturday, March 12, 2016

Krugman Loses It: Brands Bernie A Demagogue Like Trump

Paul Krugman slams Bernie Sanders for being as big of a demagogue as Donald Trump False equivalence is on the rampage again as we now behold Paul Krugman - formerly believed to be a stout liberal economist- revealing his Neoliberal DNA in going after Bernie  Sanders as a comparable demagogue to Donald Trump. In his Friday editorial, Krugman attacked those on the left and right for criticizing the current set of free-trade policies without offering a solution that would accomplish the complementary political goals behind them..

What "complementary political goals"? You mean a race to the bottom? Massive job losses by Americans in order to infuse more global capital into less  developed nations like Vietnam? Else, what the fuck are you blabbering about? you mean granting legal hegemony to  trade "partners" - as in the TPP- to bring cases into American courts if we don't submit to the same lower thresholds for regulation, whether in labor abuses, allowing parasites in our meat and fish, or enabling use of more potent, carcinogenic pesticides.

One good thing about the current general election campaign is it's exposing once and for all whose side the assorted elites are on, as well as separating the Neoliberal chaff from liberal 'wheat'. (Or goats from sheep if you prefer that analog).

But I never thought in a million years I'd be levelling broadsides at Krugman who I'd always respected before his outbursts against Sanders. Now, he's proven he's just another Neolib  simpleton (wifey says I shouldn't use "labels" but holy fuck  - if it talks like a Neolib, and writes like one then it must be one! DUH!)

Krugman wrote:

"Global trade agreements from the 1940s to the 1980s were used to bind democratic nations together during the Cold War, [and] Nafta was used to reward and encourage Mexican reformers,”
 Yes, but Krugman is dishonest in not pointing out the earlier trade model (originating at Bretton Woods in  1944) was based on FAIR trade, at least in a relative sense, and not trade used to amass huge advantages for one side (mainly multinational global entities)  over another. NAFTA, was part and parcel of the latter - designed to  bulk up  the profits of corporations at the expense of American capital and jobs. Send more jobs to Mexico - like Chainsaw Al Dunlap did with 'Sunbeam' - and get cheaper labor so you can close more expensive American plants and lay off higher salaried American workers.

Auto manufacturing jobs were also sent overseas, because it cost the "Big Three" and others less to assemble them there - saving billions.  A lot of this was traced to Clinton's NAFTA. Robert Scott, chief economist at the Economic Policy Institute has observed:

Jobs making cars, electronics, apparel and other goods moved to Mexico, and job losses piled up in the United States, especially in the Midwest where those products used to be made.....By 2010trade deficits with Mexico had eliminated 682,900 U.S. jobs, mostly (60.8 %) in manufacturing.”
 This was the model not only for Mexico vis -a - vis the U.S. labor and capital -  but also dispatching Americans  jobs to India and China and other 3rd world locales where labor was much cheaper, worker health regulations and benefits could be ignored and vast profits were possible.

William Greider pointed out what would transpire in his terrific book, 'One World Ready Or Not: The Manic Logic Of Global Capitalism', e.g. page 401:

"It does not require great political  imagination to see that the world system is heading toward a further dispersion of governing power so the closet dictator of the marketplace can command things more efficiently, from everywhere and nowhere. The historic paradox is breathtaking: At the very moment when Western democracies and capitalism  have triumphed over the communist alternative, their own systems of self-government are being gradually unraveled by the market system."

And further (ibid.):

"Like feudal lords, the stateless corporations will make alliances with one another or launch raids against one another's stake. They will play weakening national governments off against each  other..... In that event, vast throngs of citizens are reduced to a political position resembling that of the serfs.... "

Ian McDonald, writing in The Barbados NATION (Aug.14 1998) was even more blunt on globalized "free" trade:

"Do we really believe for one moment that those who preach free trade and the inevitable triumph of market forces have anything other than their own increased wealth and aggrandizement in mind? Do we honestly believe they think the system they espouse is fundamentally a good one for all concerned? Are we so naïve as to think if, by any chance, the system were to operate against their interests, that they would not make sure it was changed or abridged to suit them? Are we so innocent and trusting that we cannot recognize bullying and crude self-interest when our noses are being rubbed in it constantly?"


"We should cease making speech after speech accepting that our fate and the fate of the world, will inevitably be decided by impersonal, market controlled forces and the sooner we accept this the better off we will be. Instead we should be denying most strongly, in every forum available to us, that such a fate is inevitable... That instead the world deserves a better future than the one on offer from the ruthless money men and sleaze-ridden free trade marketeers, who are making this terrible bid to dominate the world."

So maybe it's time Paul pulled his head out of his ass, and ceased drinking the Neolib cocktails of "kool aid"  left over from Jonestown, 1978.  If he and the other Neoliberals ensconced in their comfort zones paid any attention they'd see the rage erupting now - not only on the Right but the Left, can be traced directly to Neoliberal trade policies that came onstream in the 1990s.  Their effects on the populace were captured most succinctly in a December, 1998 column by Baltimore Sun syndicated author Jay Bookman ('The New World Disorder'):

"The global economy has been constructed  on the premise that government guarantees of security and protection must be avoided at all costs, because they discourage personal initiative. In times of crisis, however, that premise cannot be sustained politically. In times of trouble it is human nature to seek security and protection and to be drawn toward those who promise to provide it. That is how men such as Adolf Hitler, and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin came to power, with disastrous consequences. "

And if I may say so, it may also be how a Donald Drumpf (his actual family name) comes to power in Jan. 2017. Krugman places Bernie Sanders and Drumpf on the same level of demagogue but would he really prefer having the latter as commander in chief of this country over Bernie?

Krugman went on to say that if candidates want to “rag” on those deals, “like Mr. Trump or Mr. Sanders, [he] should be asked what, exactly, he proposes doing now.”
So, in other words, since these deals have been signed,, sealed and delivered - to transform the bulk of global workers into serfs - as William Greider has put it -  then we could as well accept it as a fait accompli.  NO further thoughts or initiatives for liberation must ensue, we just accept our collective fate while the Elites enjoy their special $1 m golf getaways, gated enclaves and upscale lives?. Meanwhile we just let further American labor capital be destroyed right under our noses because well ...."it's too late to do anything"  about it according to Paul K. Sorry, I beg to differ and so does Bernie, and I believe Sen. Elizabeth Warren too.

The most pathetic rebuttal was Krugman asserting Bernie's proposals cannot include "simply ripping up America’s international commitments, as that would destroy what little is left of the country’s credibility and standing in the world.”

I have news for you, Paulie, that sacred 'cow' already left the barn - decades ago. The country's credibility was  destroyed the day its Elites signed the first trade pact to turn over citizen governance and welfare to multi-national corporations and bond pirates via NAFTA. And then compounded it by setting up the World Trade Organization to ensure these supranational entities commandeered power over actual nations.  As far as "international commitments" they 're not worth the paper they're printed on unless the citizens themselves are behind them....100 percent. The leaders alone don't mean diddly if their citizens see themselves being shafted.

And don't even think  of running that Paris Climate Change bogus "treaty"  as something to hang over our heads (to ensure "credibility" and adherence to "international commitments") , when anyone with a grain of scientific sense knows its prescriptions are too little, too late. See e.g.

In the end, Krugman has merely shown himself to be another  mouthpiece for the billionaires and multi-nationals that dominate and determine trade negotiations and deals - which is why they are mostly kept under wraps. But the public anger, even rage now,  at being shafted over will not be quelled no matter who wins. And the Trans Pacific Partnership deal will be among the first casualties as the PEOPLE say: "ENOUGH! FUCK OFF!"

See also:


"What is notable about the “free trade” issue is that it has long been a consensus position of both the Republican and Democratic establishments. For years, anyone who questioned these deals was mocked as a know-nothing or a protectionist. All the smart money was on “free trade,” a signature issue of both the Bushes and the Clintons, praised by editorialists from The Wall Street Journal through The New York Times.

The fact that “free trade” – over the past two decades – has become a major factor in hollowing out of the middle class, especially across the industrial heartland of Middle America, was of little concern to the financial and other elites concentrated on the coasts. At election time, those “loser” Americans could be kept in line with appeals to social issues and patriotism, even as many faced borderline poverty, growing heroin addiction rates and shorter life spans."


No comments: