Removing the Boot from the Throat of American Businesses
President Obama has the opportunity to prove that he cares about keeping jobs for working class families in America. He can speak up about his appointees at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) who have their boots on The Boeing Company’s neck. Does the President support the rights of businesses and working class people in right-to-work states to make sound
decisions without government regulatory agencies unfairly punishing them? Does the President realize the real concern here is not that businesses will choose to locate in one state over another? It’s that businesses will choose to locate in other countries because thanks to the Obama administration’s job killing policies and over-reaching regulatory boards the business climate in the United States is growing toxic. South Carolina’s Senator Jim DeMint reminded President Obama that the President said in his State of the Union address: “We have to make America the best place on Earth to do business.” I agree with this sentiment, Mr. President. If we want to keep good paying jobs for working class families in the United States then you shouldn’t pit South Carolina against Washington state because eventually every state will suffer when businesses declare “enough is enough” with these tactics and decide to relocate in more business-friendly countries.
Let us be very clear on what this is all about. This is about allegations that Boeing broke federal law by moving production activities from one factory to another to punish their workforce for unionization efforts. Palin is advocating we let Boeing off the hook for potentially breaking the law so they do not move to a more “business-friendly” country.
In short, she is endorsing one of the key precepts of neo-liberal globalism: competition between geopolitical entities for capital. Very often, this “competition” is little more than a race to the bottom in terms of labor and environmental standards. If a company feels pestered enough by government regulators who do not appreciate their water supply being contaminated or their workers being underpaid and abused, they have the right to move their operations to another country that is willing to accept the pollution and blatant exploitation. Thanks to “free trade” agreements such as NAFTA and CAFTA, national governments are now often bound by international law to keep their barriers on capital to a minimum. There are even conditions imposed on domestic economic activity thanks to “investor rights” provisions in these agreements.
We should find it peculiar that a prominent figure in the supposedly anti-globalist Tea Party movement is shilling for the New World Order. As I have noted before, the Tea Party’s paranoia about world government is very selective in condemning undocumented immigrants and international human rights bodies who say mean things about the US and Israel while totally ignoring the globalism successful conquest of the US’ economic sovereignty.
I believe that the Tea Party should be seen as an effort on the part of cosmopolitan business interests to impose neo-liberal adjustment on the American economy while wrapping themselves in the cloak of old-fashioned American nationalism and appealing to paleo-conservative paranoia about global government. In order for this to succeed, the inconsistency over the Tea Party’s neglect of globalization and the violations of sovereignty by international capital must remain hidden from view. The wealthy individuals who fund the movement seem to be willing to accept the anti-immigration hysteria of the Tea Party despite the fact that having more low-wage workers in the country can mean higher profit margins.* It can be assumed that with globalization and reduced barriers to the movement of goods and capital, they already have access to all the cheap, flexible labor they desire. As ThinkProgress notes, major Tea Party political figures such as Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Jim DeMint are avid free traders despite the fact that the majority of rank-and-file Tea Partiers say free trade has “hurt the US.” Such a trade-off (no pun intended) can only mean good things for the obscenely wealthy oligarchs who reside not only in America but around the world as well.
The end goal of this effort is to lower the wages and benefits of the average American worker to the point where the US workforce can compete with the third world’s sweatshops and low-wage service centers. This is currently being done through austerity more than anything else. By gutting social welfare benefits and assaulting the last bastion of organized labor in the public sector, the US ruling class is intentionally trying to pauperize the average American so that they will be more willing to accept lower wages and substandard conditions:
Earlier this month, House Republicans laid out a perverse plan to lower working Americans’ wages, supposedly in a bid to get employers to hire more of them (PDF). One would be hard-pressed to find a better example of the “race to the bottom.”as Tim Fernholz and Jim Tankersley wrote in the National Journal, the GOP report “makes the party’s … case that fiscal consolidation (read: spending cuts) can spur immediate economic growth and reduce unemployment.”The paper calls for cuts that are “large, credible, and politically difficult to reverse once made,” and offers a typical conservative fantasy about shuttering entire federal agencies. But topping the list of what should be on the Republicans’ chopping block is “decreasing the number and compensation of government workers,” which the staffers say will spur job creation because “a smaller government workforce increases the available supply of educated, skilled workers for private firms, thus lowering labor costs.”
“Labor costs,” of course mean “wages” – Americans’ paychecks. So, a central plank in the GOP’s economic recovery plan is to flood the market with yet more unemployed people in order to drive wages (which have stagnated for an extended period) further down.
In short, the Tea Party–while parading itself as a defender of American exceptionalism and sovereignty–is playing a central role in downgrading the American standard of living to levels more in line with the bulk of the world. Far from putting America on a pedestal, they are actively engaged in subordinating the American people to the whims of international capital and the so-called “free market.” After imposing neoliberal economics on much of the third world, the US establishment–with the assistance of its foreign compradors–has now turned its gaze inward towards its own middle-class.