The populist Warren-Sanders wing of the Democratic Party beat the pro-capitalist Obama-Clinton wing yesterday, uniting 44 out of 45 Senate Democrats to shut down the President’s request to fast-track the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Senator Warren tells us why this vote is a stand for workers against our corporate overlords:
“We can’t keep pushing through trade deals that benefit multinational companies at the expense of workers,” she added, with theatrical urgency. “Government cannot continue to be the captive of the rich and powerful. Working people cannot be forced to give up more and more as they get squeezed harder and harder.”
Warren masterfully undermined the trade bill, by highlighting the administration’s obsessive secrecy (the details of the proposed agreement are classified) and the role of corporate interests in drafting the deal (500 non-government advisors participated, she said, 85 percent of them industry executives or lobbyists).
“And now this trade deal is getting the full court lobbying press from those same giant multinational corporations,” she said. “The middle class is on the ropes and now is the time to fight back” [Dana Milbank, “Democrats Hand Obama a Stinging Defeat on Trade Deal,” Washington Post, 2015.05.12].
Memo to South Dakota’s right wingnuts: South Dakota’s Republican Senators John Thune and M. Michael Rounds are now advocating passionately for President Barack Obama’s globalist agenda. Tea Party, if you’re still out there, if you’re voting for liberty, you’re voting for Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
I won’t get into the economics of the TPP, but I will yield the floor to Augustana economist Reynold Nesiba, who himself yields the floor to the father of modern economics, Adam Smith, to help us understand why the Warren-Sanders wing is right to fight TPP:
The Democratic-wing of the Democratic party is back in control of the Democratic Party. This is progress…of a progressive kind. I suppose if one likes to vote on bills negotiated behind closed doors, written primarily by corporate interests, and whose content is “classified,” this is a defeat. But not very many of us want that.
I suspect Adam Smith, the great 18th century moral philosopher himself, would be on the side of Sanders and Warren on this one. As Smith says in the Wealth of Nations regarding the merchants, manufacturers and dealers:
The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.
Smith may favor free trade, but he does not trust capitalists and their manipulation of government in their own favor. (Page 200 of the free pdf available at http://www.ibiblio.org/ml/libri/s/SmithA_WealthNations_p.pdf in case you don’t believe me.) [Reynold Nesiba, Facebook post, 2015.05.12]
The interests of big business are not synonymous with the interests of the public—that’s straight from Adam Smith. if you’re looking for the party of a free market that makes everyone free, you’ve found it in the Warren-Sanders Democrats.