September 15, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Obama cites globalization as a reason for wage stagnation for the 99% while pushing globalization through TPP

During a wide-ranging interview on ABC's This Week, President Obama had the following interchange with host George Stephanopoulos:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: –and still, 95% of the gains [of the economic recovery} go to the–


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS –top 1%.  Do you look at that, four and a half years in, and say, “Maybe a president just can’t stop this accelerating inequality?”

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: No, I think– I think the president can stop it.  I– the problem is that– there– continues to be a major debate here in Washington.  And that is:  How do we respond to these underlying trends?  If– if you look at– at– at the data–couple of things are– are– are creating these trends.

Number one, globalization.  Right?  Capital, companies, they can move businesses and– and jobs– anywhere they want.  And so they’re lookin’ for the lowest wages.  That squeezes workers here in the United States, even if corporations are profitable.  

At the same time, Obama is pushing hard to get the Trans Pacific Partnership -- including caving to tobacco interests that threatened to block the whole deal if the Administration's anemic effort to protect tobacco regulations -- a deal that would substantially accelerate globalization.

While my primary concerns with the TPP have been related to how it could dramatically help tobacco companies block tobacco control policies both here in the US and other countries, the same provisions could also help other multinational corporations block other health and environmental laws as well as laws designed to improve worker protections and wages.

The Obama Administration needs to decide what its top priority is: Expanding markets and protections for multinational corporations or protecting the 99% (including from Big Tobacco).




The analysis is correct that continuing activism is necessary to protect the 99%.  As the Middle Class is being undermined and reduced, the danger is that America can deteriorate back to the monarchy system, the nobility system, a few rich, the 995 at "serf" level, historically the "default" mode of societies. So it indeed takes continuing activism to prevent returning to that default mode.  But as noted, that is being obstructed by protracted "debate."  I testified in June 2012 to several Congressmen on the urgency of preventing America defaulting back to the default monarchy mode of society, posted that testimony online at";http://medicolegal.tripod.c... As Dr. Glantz correctly notes,  "The Obama Administration needs to decide what its top priority is: Expanding markets and protections for multinational corporations or protecting the 99% (including from Big Tobacco)." Unfortunately, the message of history is that society falls backwards into its default monarchy mode. Some excuse or rationalization by politicians (here, for tobacco) regularly intervenes to push society back into its default mode. That does not bode well for America.  Our descendants will likely look back, and see that America only had about a century of a middle class, then deteriorated. -- Leroy Pletten.    

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