Friday, October 14, 2011

Obama Discovers Free Trade

Pictured are South Korean President Lee Myun-bak and some guy from Chicago arriving for a press conference after the passage of a US/South Korean free trade agreement. Congress passed the agreement just six days after the Chicago guy (Barack Obama, I think) sent the proposal to the House and Senate.

And a mere two and a half years after the proposal first got to the Chicago guy's desk. Since the agreement involves economics, finance, diplomacy and math, it took Obama the two and a half years to get around to reading it. Boring stuff compared to community organizing, hope and chump change. People close to Obama are already having second thoughts, since such an agreement has angered the unions who say that free trade agreements are bad for jobs, workers' rights and our economy." Obama may have sought to pick up a few votes among independents and moderates who had previously thought he was a pure socialist/protectionist. It could cost him more votes and more campaign funds from the unions than he'll gain from supporting capitalism.

It should be interesting to see how this affects the Occupy Wall Street loonies who already have a baker's dozen of disjointed and incoherent objections to investment and other people's wealth. The US Chamber of Commerce issued a statement saying "The passage represents victory for American workers, American competitiveness, and American leadership." Not so opines AFL-CIO chief thug Richard Trumka, who said free trade agreements are "the wrong medicine at the wrong time and put corporations over people and profits over prosperity." Obviously, Trumka has been reading the signs being held up by the Occupy Wall Streeters.

Instead of TARP, bailouts, and government takeovers of private corporations Obama could have been signing the free trade agreements which actually create jobs and money. They all hit his desk at approximately the same time. But since Democrats are far better at spending other people's money than creating and earning it, Obama chose to lavish borrowed money on public employees, government projects, and union organizations which eat wealth rather than create it.

Republicans and even economists had been urging Obama to pay attention to creating real wealth almost since the day he first took office and the ice caps stopped melting and the oceans stopped rising. Unlike those wonderful projects that Obama threw billions at, the free trade agreements were shovel-ready from day one of the Obama administration. Three agreements were languishing on the Chicago guy's desk. Those proposals opened lines of free movement of goods and money rather than pumping government-printed money into unprofitable ventures, government employment, and crony socialism. South Korea, Colombia and Panama have been waiting all this time for Obama to read the damned agreements, submit them to Congress, and sign them.

The International Trade Commission has estimated that the South Korea agreement alone would result in an increase in American exports by $10 billion to $11 billion in the first year. US Trade Representative Ron Kirk says the deal will "secure at least 70,000 American jobs" and many more in subsidiary industries now freed of crippling tariffs. The US Chamber of Commerce estimated that had the agreements not been approved soon, Obama's unemployment lines would have gotten longer by another 300,000 jobs. But Trumka and his Keynesians estimate that it would cost 159,000 jobs (union jobs?).

It may be some time before we know what the actual impetus was for the guy from Chicago taking his feet off the Oval Office desk and submitting the agreements to Congress. Republicans, surely, but many blue dog Democrats as well. Maybe he just decided that nothing else was working, so let's try free trade and capitalism. Bill Clinton signed NAFTA, and his other half Hillary effusively praised the three new agreements. We can be sure of one thing. It wasn't Van Jones.

26 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

There is a bit of irony here. Not surprising considering the shallowness of the Chicago guy. As a Republican, I encourage a new group "occupy the white house."

Tehachapi Tom said...

Hawk
Golf and vacations probably preempted the reading requirements for him. Don't be so one sided here.
Think of all the jobs created by his first choice activities after all.
As for the unions withholding their support of him, lets hope so.
Trumka created the slogans on those signs is why his statements dove tail so well with the clueless bunch of wanabe freeloaders camping on Wall Street.

T-Rav said...

You know, when Obama was first speaking I was actually halfway pleased. It's still Obama, of course, but he was hitting all the right notes for a while--we stand in steadfast friendship with South Korea, North Korea is unacceptably threatening world peace and stability, etc etc. And his answers to questions about Iran were fairly inoffensive. Then, of course, the questions about the jobs bill and so on started and he was back to his old demagogic self.

Also, this is a minor thing, but it occurred to me yesterday that we should start referring to South Korea as "Republic of Korea" instead. For one thing, that's the official name, and for another, that would be a nice way of subtly delegitimizing Pyongyang. Maybe it wouldn't change things, but it would at least imply North Korean irrelevance.

ArmChairGeneral said...

Um, Occupy Wallstreet protesters you are right in demanding that businesses not be owned by the greedy rich people who care little for the common man but DC is the opposite direction. I think you should focus your attention there.

tryanmax said...

Let's see, corporations are comprised of people and profit is a synonym to prosper, so what exactly was Dick Thug-ka was trying to say?

tryanmax said...

To reiterate RCG's statement, here is a glimpse into the inner workings of the Occupier mind:

Occupier 1: "Hey, these greedy rich guys on Wall Street don't care about us."

Occupier 2: "Let's get some greedy rich guys from Washington to do something about it!"

All: "YEAH!!!"

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: We should freely trade the Chicago guy for a new President. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

Tehachapi Tom: Indeed, he did have better things to do. For one thing, he needed to spend a lot of time with his bowing and scraping coach before he went off to kiss the rings of foreign leaders.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Back when the Chinese Communist government was recognized by the US and the UN as the legitimate government of mainland China, one L.A. radio host started referring to Taiwan as Un-China. There is something in a name, Shakespeare to the contrary notwithstanding. Maybe we could call South Korea "Free Korea."

I'm pretty sure that Obama went off on his jobs tangent not realizing that he had just done one of the few things that would actually create jobs and get money flowing.

LawHawkRFD said...

ACG: There's no hope for these people. After announcing that the park area would be cleaned and the protesters ousted, the owners of the park chickened out at the last minute and allowed them to stay. The mob wins. Cowardice on all fronts. The park owners didn't want what was left to be trashed, and "city officials" pressured them not to hamper "free speech." The NYPD has announced it's ready, willing and able to clear the area, but since it's private property, they can't do anything until ordered to do so. I know one city official who would have given that order. But Rudy isn't mayor anymore.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: That pretty much sums it up. These lowlives have no idea how anything works. They don't understand capital, money, jobs, work, or self-government. They do understand "gimme."

tryanmax said...

They do understand "gimme."

Pretty sad. My 2-year old is already out of the "gimmie" phase. He says "please" and "thank you."

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: Your 2-year old is already intellectually superior to the 99%ers. And he has manners, which are considered too bourgeois for the unwashed masses.

AndrewPrice said...

Yeah, welcome to the world of Obama. This is the same guy who was pounding away for months that no one had passed thing when it was just sitting on his desk.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Ain't that the truth? He babbled on for months about Congress doing nothing about stirring up trade, yet those bills had been awaiting his approval and forwarding to the two houses for over two years. And then he puffs himself up and takes credit for the speed with which the trade bills were passed. Yep, he's the business president all right. And I thought Satan was the Great Liar.

BevfromNYC said...

Oh, and I hate Comrade Bloomberg too. But maybe you already knew that.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: I didn't know for sure, but I had made an educated guess that you might not particularly care for Auntie Bloomberg.

T-Rav said...

Dang, and I was kinda hoping to see some OWS protestors' heads get knocked in. Oh well. I did deface a poster in the campus library today, announcing the Memphis branch of the event this weekend, so I guess I'll have to settle for that.

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: Well, it ain't exactly turning a Highway Patrol car over as we did in Berkeley way back when, but it's a start. I'm proud of you. From little acorns, mighty counter-demonstrations grow. LOL

StanH said...

Barry probably thinks that it means “free” trade, I mean really free. We give them stuff, and they give us stuff ergo…free.

Rudy in an interview said if he were still mayor, he would deprive them of sleep. It is against NYC law to sleep in the park.

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: Very funny. "Free" as in "free lunch." There ain't no such thing. Obama is simply totally clueless about how capitalism works, so things "just happen." None of them understand that acts have consequences, and that it is equally true that inaction also has consequences.

Obama's ignorance is reflected in the Occupy Wall Street crowd. What I think is important for the Republicans to do is to point out that Wall Street and the megacorporations feel perfectly comfortable in this White House. It will split him off from his equally-ignorant Occupiers, and at the same time point out to moderates and independents that the tar-brush of "supporters of greedy business" has been painting the wrong party.

BevfromNYC said...

StanH - Many, many people are thinking (or wishing) that Guiliani were Mayor. Rudy had a way of finding the most obsure NYC laws to use to his advantage. You know, like it's illegal to sleep in NYC parks!

Have I said lately how much I hate the Occupiers and "Cannot-Be-Ex-Mayor Soon Enough" Bloomberg?

rlaWTX said...

wasn't "military advisers" in SA the "reason" those poor, misunderstood, communists went about shooting, maiming, raping, and pillaging - I mean "reforming" their countries in the 80s???

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: I'm not much on nostalgia, or what a different person might have done in the same situation, but I can't help myself with Giuliani after watching him transform New York City almost overnight. From one of the most dangerous cities in America to the safest big city in the nation. And one thing he understood that relates to Bloomberg's utter failure to govern is that there must always be a minimal level of law and order and civilized behavior. You don't turn your city over to barbarians just so they'll have a place to set up camp. Much of the difference comes from Giuliani being a former hard-nosed, no-nonsense prosecutor and Bloomberg being a boardroom level megacorporation manager.

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: Indeed, military advisors were one of the bases for getting deeply-involved in a dispute between tyrants. All it then took was a President determined not to be "the first President to lose a war," and the advisors became the core of what eventually became 500,000 troops.

In for a dime, in for a dollar. Either get involved in order to support a cause that you intend to win, or get out before the bloodshed becomes unbearable and even "victory" takes on a hollow ring.

StanH said...

Bev: In a former business, I had to occasion your fair city from the early ‘80s to the mid ‘90s, and the difference from Koch, Dinkens, too Gullianni was stark indeed. Times Square went from a sleazy porno, drug addled, cesspool, to a family friendly safe environment for one and all. Indeed, Rudy would have those maggot infested good for nothings on the run, it would make for some great TV.

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