614 Comments

I totally agree. Biden has turned out to be a much better President than I expected.

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What we should all remember is that Corporations are the functional arms of global capitalism. Trump knows this but his base does not. What they need to realize is that every time a corporation exports a good job to a person in a low-labor-cost venue overseas, they effectively import a bad job (or no job) into one of our heartland communities. Of course Trump and his wannabe contenders blame it all on people coming here. Immigrants! Get real folks - it's not the people coming here that are taking away jobs! It's the jobs being taken away by corporations! Trump is pushing the cover story that blinds his base to their reality. He is just twisting the real legitimate resentment they feel to take the blame away from the real cause of hollowing out American jobs. He is hiding the fact that his base are being taken to the cleaners by the same people they are voting into power!

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The Democrats need to sell the strong policies that benefit citizens. The Republicans have no policies, just the vortex of hatred and negativity .

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Joe Biden has five portraits directly across from his Resolute desk in the Oval Office.

The largest and central portrait is of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who for most of his presidency knew he was dying and rose to greatness anyway.

Joe humbly sees the greatness he can bring to America, through his swansong, his last great work on earth.

Godspeed, beautiful Joe.❤️

http://www.actblue.com

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So globalization was great for America's fat cats and China, but lousy for American workers. How frustrating is that! Trying to do the right thing, we did the wrong thing.

I bought into the sales pitches for globalization from both sides of the political aisle, especially Al Gore's; he's a leader that I trusted implicitly. In retrospect, it looks like he was right about global warming and wrong about globalization, proving for me, in a most embarrassing, gut-wrenching way, that you need to deeply evaluate each issue on its own merits and that no leader, despite his or her intelligence and experience, gets everything right all the time. Which makes the weight we carry as informed, involved citizens that much heavier. (I'm already overwhelmed, just with the firehose of outrages originating from and sustained by Trump and his MAGA Republicans, too numerous to name here.)

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I can’t agree more! Ever since Sam Walton abandoned “made in America” and chased more and cheaper products from China, along with NAFTA and Corporations leaving the country for less regulation and cheap labor, I’ve been screaming that out global race for cheaper goods was a race to our economic undoing! Not protecting our workers, their safety, pay and healthcare by demanding China and other nations adopt higher worker standards meant to compete, we’d have to adopt their lower standards! A race to the bottom instead of lifting up the world’s exploited workforce to US and European standards! Plus, we could’ve competed on making a uality, long lasting products instead of cheap, disposable products that’ve contributed to the global waste and quick reduction of resources! Better products & worker protections means higher cost but a higher standard of living for all. Just not as much profit for the overly greedy corporate stockholders or executive bonuses who buy politicians. There in lies the rub. Vote for Progressive Dem’s and maybe things can finally change.

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Such a great post, Bob! The strategy to denigrate Biden is so overwhelming and follows the Benghazi and email server lies about Hilary Clinton but articles from experts and good people like you counter those lies. More please🙏🏻

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I can't think of a modern economist who has been more consistently wrong than Larry Summers. Any position he takes I immediately treat with suspicion & doubt.

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"The age-old economic doctrine of comparative advantage assumes that more trade is good for all nations because each trading partner specializes in what it does best."

This is one of the few things Adam Smith got wrong. It was brilliant in 1776, when trade between comparable economies (like England and France) was restricted by tariffs. The famous example was the thought experiment of the irrationality of making wine in Scotland and whiskey in France. By doing what each country did best, products could be exchanged to the benefit of everyone.

However, the thought experiment does not apply when free trade is between a rich, highly-regulated, economy and a poor, unregulated economy. Then you get what Ross Perot called "a giant sucking sound." He happened to be right.

And you are also right, NAFTA led directly to Trump. But you missed out one of the beneficiaries: the six wealthiest families in Spain.

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I completely agree. You forgot to mention the devastating impact NAFTA had on Mexican farmers. Many of them were wiped out. In many ways, the Clinton administration was a disaster. You were one of the exceptions.

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professor reich: finally, some good news from the biden administration, especially after biden recently approved the Willow oil drilling project, which is absolute madness.

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I'm thinking you need to be in the autumn of life to have an arc of experiences to be informed enough to be POTUS.

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I have always felt that globalization is a euphemism for economic imperialism - modern day colonialism. Rich and powerful countries exploiting the underdeveloped for resources and labor; at the same time abandoning their own workers. Corporations are replacing nation states. They, not governments are making the rules. And how’s that going, one might ask. My answer is not good! Our very Earth is rebelling; it is on fire. Our greed is driving us over a cliff. The bill for abandoning humanity’s core values has come due! If we can’t come up with leaders with integrity, wisdom, intelligence, compassion and vision we are doomed. We are the only species causing our own extinction. To think: this is where our intelligence has gotten us! Maybe not so smart, after all.

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Finally we hear the truth and not a NPR talking heads version. The American oligarchy and private equity have bought off the political establishment to make millions off the American people. When will it stop?

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Prof. Reich is correct in his evaluation of NAFTA and free trade in general. It was mistaken, helped accelerate inequities, made a few rich and many poorer. There is another factor we have to throw in here: free trade also accelerates consumption, and bringing jobs back might do that too, in a time where we must contemplate "degrowth" for the sake of the planet. Degrowth and redistribution are, understandably, political losers, while "bringing jobs back" and strengthening infrastructure are political winners, explaining Biden's focus. This year is showing, with every passing climatic disaster, that simply bringing back jobs and improving our capacities will lead to steep loses if you don't also address the ecological decline smacking us in the face. Accepting the necessity of less is the hardest political choice to make, yet one essential for life on the planet. While all of us must do our parts, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, the Walton Family and the Cargill/McMillan's of the world have to do a lot more.

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RR has written "..what if a country’s comparative advantage comes in allowing its workers to labor under dangerous or exploitative conditions?" I will go one further: What if a country uses cheap labor to build itself up so that it may attack other countries? This is the situation the West now finds itself in with China. Free trade--ceteris paribus--may be the best economic policy. But in the real world there is rarely "ceteris paribus".

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