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‘Left, Right & Center’: Socialism or Protectionism?

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Posted on Jan 30, 2009
Left, Right & Center

Will President Obama’s stimulus plan be a help or a hindrance to America’s economic future? The “Left, Right, & Center” panelists have their opinions, of course, on the subject, and they’re ready to go to battle—and sometimes even agree—on this week’s show.



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By Sodium, February 5, 2009 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To:Ariana and Robert.

It is a splendid idea to reach out for the Centrists
but I cannot see anything of a constructive value may result from putting-up with Blankley’s craps…

His right-wing tendency sounds,at least to me, competitive to cigar- smoking-drugs-addicted fat Rush,and the disgraced Newet,and the most disgusting Factor boy,and the rest of the non-stop lying crowd at Fixed News of Rupert Murdoch.

If you think that you may succeed in changing the mindset of a right winger like Tony,you are pipe-dreaming,at best,or disturbingly naive,at worst.

Try not to waste your time and energy with Tony.He is hopeless.

An Independent Centrist in Ohio.

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By screamingpalm, February 1, 2009 at 4:13 am Link to this comment

And… the money that the CBO and the GOP is whining about (and Mr. Scheer is agreeing with) not being spent immediately- much of it is going into things like Health Care IT, which is going to take some time to implement.

Sure, I’d much rather see single-payer take priority, but at least it’s a step towards controlling health care costs. Even though the rich will probably benefit the most from it. I doubt it will bring down costs enough to make health care affordable for much more than who already have it. But since single-payer isn’t on the table, what’s our options?

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By screamingpalm, February 1, 2009 at 3:36 am Link to this comment

Also, on the topic of the “Buy American” issue… this is the latest in the assaults on unions and labor by corporate special interest. David Sirota and others have a great discussion about it here:


[Lastest blog post from Public citizen, quoting EPI:]

Multinational companies such as General Electric and Caterpillar, and their allies in the Chamber of Commerce, are attacking “Buy American” provisions included in the economic recovery bill passed by the House on January 28th. They claim that these provisions will provoke a “trade war” with foreign governments, but foreign governments have long histories of supporting their own domestic companies. These companies are self-interested, simply wanting unlimited access to imports, many of which are illegally subsidized and unfairly traded… Companies like Caterpillar, which will benefit from billions of dollars of infrastructure spending in the stimulus package, want unfettered access to cheap steel from countries like China, which poured more than $15 billion into energy subsidies into that sector in 2007 alone. Chinese steel imports more than doubled between January and November, while U.S. steel production fell nearly 40%.

[In spite of you hearing on massive Catepiller layoffs, a call out on their real motivations:]

it’s worth noting now that companies like Caterpillar, who are arguing strenuously against these provisions, have moved much production overseas.

Get in touch with the senators on this committee, or call the committee office directly at 202-224-0411.

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By screamingpalm, February 1, 2009 at 2:56 am Link to this comment

I don’t think I found myself in agreement with anything in this entire show!?! Was the point to be nicey-nice so as not to offend Mr. Blankley?

My goodness Mr. Scheer, it’s not about being protectionist. I highly recommend Ralph Nader’s “The Good Fight” which clearly outlines why “free trade” is in such need of reform.

I am speechless…


“In approving the far-reaching, powerful WTO and smaller international trade agreements, such as NAFTA, the U.S. Congress, like the governments of other nations, has accepted harsh legal limitations on what domestic policies it may pursue and thus ceded much of its capacity to protect citizens. This new governing system is designed to exert control over minute details in the lives of the majority of the world’s people. This system is structured not to enhance the well-being of human beings, but rather the well-being of the world’s largest corporations and financial institutions.

Unlike members of Congress, Big Business knew what the WTO agreements contained. That’s because corporate lobbyists helped draft them. Big Business has crafted these agreements to circumvent national and local governmental democratic processes, to undermine citizens’ ability to force effective regulation of corporate activity, and to lock in rules that enable corporations to shut plants in one country and move elsewhere, even to a country under the thumb of a repressive regime, with virtually no restrictions.

Under these trade deals, U.S. and other nations’ laws, whether federal, state, or local, must comply with the special business-friendly rules of he trade agreements. Laws to protect consumers, or to ensure that products are not made with child labor, or to safeguard the environment—-all such laws risk being decreed impermissable “non-tariff trade barriers” under the tricky rules of trade agreements.

Secret tribunals established by the trade agreements render binding judgement on U.S. and other national laws. If the secret tribunals declare an American consumer protection law, say, to be in violation of WTO, NAFTA, or some other agreement, the United States has a choice: change the law or pay fines or accept sanctions to maintain it. The potential sanctions are so severe that governments now regularly repeal laws, or even withdraw them from consideration, lest they be challenged at the WTO or another trade body.

These are thus pull-down agreements. They pull down our accumulated victories and achievements in the areas of wages and hours, union organizing, food safety protection, consumer safeguards, and protections for our natural environment, among others, and have a chilling effect on future advances.”

-Ralph Nader “The Good Fight”

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