Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Owen Jones writes that we should give credit for the failure of the Trans-Pacific Partnership to the popular opposition which will be need to push back against Donald Trump, rather than pretending it represents a win for Trump himself:
That Trump has any ownership over TPP is a travesty, and a damning indictment of the Democratic establishment. The new president’s rightwing populism combines xenophobia, protectionism and policies which directly enrich the Donald Trump class. Yes, American workers have suffered years of stagnating or falling wages and the decimation of industries, devastating the communities they sustained. Both Republicans and establishment Democrats are responsible, and never considered the possibility they were creating anger and resentment which one day a vulgar demagogue would exploit.
Progressives oppose trade deals like TPP because they cost jobs, shift wealth and power to large corporations, drag down workers’ terms and conditions in a race to the bottom and threaten democracy. TPP – like the hopefully fatally wounded Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership – gave multinationals the ability to sue elected governments in secret courts for policies that threaten their profits. Here is an example of capitalism on a collision course with democracy and sovereignty.
A programme of investing in US infrastructure may provide a much-needed short-term boost to the US economy, but combined with tax cuts for wealthy Americans and big business, Trumpism represents a grave economic danger. As is the style of rightwing populists, scrutiny – let alone dissent – will be portrayed as treachery. All the more reason for US progressives to stand firm.

Nothing that Trump does is motivated by the interests of the average American. A megalomaniac plutocrat like Trump scapegoats foreigners while promoting policies which directly enrich his associates. Don’t fall for a single thing he does. Resist, don’t normalise, isolate him, exploit divisions within the Republicans. Don’t fuel the impression that Trump is anything other than a charlatan who encourages working Americans to blame anyone but the men like him who are responsible for the multiple ills that define this wealthy but unjust society.
- John Christensen, Nick Shaxson and Duncan Wigan discuss (PDF) the "finance curse" facing countries which rely unduly on oversized financial sectors (with damaging consequences for neighbours as well). And Alex Cobham points out that even if Theresa May's first inclination is to barge ahead with a plan to make the UK even more of a tax haven, the EU has no incentive to play along in negotiating Brexit terms.

- Sally Weale writes that the gender pay gap which persists in today's workplaces starts as early as childhood, with girls receiving less allowance and on more strict conditions than boys.

- Lizanne Foster slams Christy Clark for looking out only for number one even as her government has ignored or actively exacerbated the needs of British Columbia's most vulnerable citizens.

- Finally, Tom Parkin takes a look at Guy Caron's campaign to lead the federal NDP - with a particular focus on his work to ensure public policy furthers the cause of equality, rather than being used to favour banks over people.

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