Well Folks, those same wonderful folks that gave us Shaftya, I mean NAFTA, which was supposed to give us 100,000 new jobs and by some accounts actually resulted in the loss of 1 million jobs in the U.S. are trying to do it again.
They are quietly trying to arrange a Trans-Pacific trade agreement. No doubt with the guidance of "Slick Willie," who by the way signed off on the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act which protected us from the robber banker barons for years.
Why are we forcing our U.S. workers to compete with third world nations on their terms?
Let them trade with us only on our terms, paying their workers the same wage levels and benefits we pay ours. Any difference causing us to be less competitive would result in them paying the U.S. treasury the difference in dollar terms of the wages and benefits.
Speaking of wages, if the minimum wage had kept pace with inflation since 1960, the minimum wage would be $22 an hour now.
We are trying to get congress to approve a measly $15 an hour. How many of the few jobs available today include a benefit package with retirement, health insurance and vacation?
On the other side of the political aisle we have the Republicans trying to strangle the financial regulatory agencies by cutting their budgets so they can't hire additional investigators and regulatory staff to protect us from the thieves in the financial world.
Every week we read where another international or national bank has rigged rates, traded in stocks illegally, or outright stole thousands of homes from strapped home owners while they chortled and laughed with glee.
I don't see any top level bankers in jail like we saw in the higher ranks of the savings and loan scandal.
On another point, after World War II millions of G.I.'s were given financial assistance to attend trade schools or college.
The increase in their incomes as a result gave the government back more in increased income taxes than it cost the government to help them. They built a strong country.
Now the current generation is being made a slave to the government with a usurious loan rate. You see, if you leave college with a 650 credit score you will suddenly find it reduced to around 300 because deferred loans are lumped into the "delinquent " category.
So prospective employers will refuse to hire you because of a bad credit rating.
So how is the student going to find money to live on, let alone pay of his debt?
This wholesale injustice of our citizens needs congress immediate attention and correction. Some European countries give their students free tuition, why can't we?
Maybe congress could find a way for the bankers to pay off our student loans instead of bailing the bankers out. Bail out the students instead. Most of them just want to make an honest living.
I've noted the shrill, hysterical crying by the Republicans about Obamacare. I see they don't have a plan of their own though.
Every doctor I've talked to has said the present system needs fixing. Why aren't the Republicans coming up with their own plan? By their actions I suspect there are some good things in Obamacare for us. Maybe our local health industry lobbyist can enlighten us with the advantages of the Republican alternative. I won't hold my breath though.
James O. Rye