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Your Humble Blogger and Dean Baker Speak with Bill Moyers About the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Budget Brinkmanship

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I hope you’ll enjoy this chat. Moyers gave Dean Baker and me over a half-hour on his show, so we were able to give a decent treatment of the issues surrounding the mislabeled trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership as well as the ongoing budget battle

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87 comments

  1. Jim Tucker

    EVERYONE should watch this.

    Your future is being sold down the river, again, and this needs a lot of sunlight. A lot.

    Yves – what do we do? Start going door to door and telling people they are being kept in the dark like mushrooms. Hang signs on highway overpasses? Are the people too numb?

    The power behind this is going to push it through, and it’s going to be another stake through the heart of the people by this administration and other elected officials. Clinton did it to us with the Financial Modernization Act and NAFTA, and here we are again.

    There should be a roar against this coming from every street in the world.

    1. Keith

      These trade acts are terrible. We have government that just ignores us and I for one am sick to death of it. Youngstown Ohio is a third world city now thanks to trade deals, outsourcing and corporate punishments for daring to make living wages.

      1. Jack Lohman

        It’s called campaign bribes, and ONLY public funding of campaigns will stop it. And ONLY a near-100% turnover in 2014 will get us there.

        Ignore the promises. If you are happy with our nation’s direction, vote for incumbents. If not, vote for challengers.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Besides public funding and better controls on campaign spending I think we must also remember that the radio and television air ways are public airways subject to control by the FCC. A large part of campaign spending goes toward television and radio advertizing. The FCC could require sufficient free television and radio access for the political parties to run a ‘reasonable’ election campaign.

          Other campaign spending that our Surpreme Court seems to think we need should require extensive documentation of just who supplied the money for these extra campaigns and how they are affiliated with corporations and individuals.

          1. rob

            Exactly!
            I think the whole notion of the “airwaves”/electromagnetic spectrum of broadcast wavelenths;being a part of “the commons”. is a natural truth/law of the world we live in.Nothing can be argued against this basic idea.
            “We” the people who give “the gov’t”, its “rights” to do anything;Are the “posterity”,to which these “commons” “naturally” belong.”We”, and our “posterity”.
            In the basic sense that “we” created a “government”, to serve us. All courts in the land, and abroad, must observe to whom the “commons” belong….

            Oh..SH*T,,,,I forgot… there are no courts in any land that are not a part of the problem.And certainly not here to be a part of the solution…. and the people don’t get it… and the ship is burning….look to the scraps all you little rats out there… maybe we can float to some fruit ridden island somewhere and shine for the rest of days.

      2. El Snarko

        Ditto from Dayton, Oh! We lost GM divisions closed as well as NCR HQ lost because the Manhattanite newbie CEO thought we were too uninteresting. This is another profound insult to educated competence and skill. This measure will only bring more of the same. The truly amazing part is that even many of those who were negatively affected by this still support similar measures!!!

        Locally, and as my counterpart in Youngstown well knows, the response at the state level is to replace manufacturing jobs with RACE TRACK CASINOS !!!!!! WTF !?!?!?!?! How is that a career path? or a solution? This is the basest form of enshrined pure extraction imaginable. I almost give up!

        So what is the upshot of this? Kasich may well be Christie’s VP that’s the way I see it.

        On the video: All three panelists deserve a a reward for responsible active citizenship! BRAVO, Yves.

        1. Carla

          Cleveland chimes in!

          Nice to meet you, Keith and El Snarko. Please check out http://www.movetoamend.org. E.S.– Dayton has a group with its own page: https://movetoamend.org/oh-dayton, but apparently most of their activity is on FB. Anyway, it gives a contact person.

          Keith, if you’re interested in getting a Youngstown affiliate going, get in touch with Greg Coleridge at http://createrealdemocracy.blogspot.com/

          We have the Move to Amend (Corps. are not people, money is not speech) on the Cleveland Heights ballot as Issue 32 this Tuesday!

          Let’s show them what we who live in flyover country really think.

        2. sufferin' succotash

          The day the Governor of New Jersey gets the GOP nomination is the day Christie will fly.

    2. sue

      Indeed, Yves has continued to reiterate realities associated with “Trans-Pacific Partnership” for over 2 years now. It is incredible to see her achieve the level of
      transparency on issue she displays with Moyers-Baker.

      GO YVES!!!

      This is a national sovereignty issue of highest order-TPP intends to usurp U.S. domestic, and international law.

      If U.S. is based upon “private property” and private property is based upon “laws”, TPP runs roughshod over U.S. Constitution.

      It is sick that an Obama administration, sworn to conduct transparency, is yet again conducting secrecy on this “pact”, selling itself to corporate sponsorship.

    3. tom

      Just a heads up on a current Bill HR 992 that has passed Congress. This Bill was designed by Banking Lobbyists and featured in a NYT article.

      Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act – Amends the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act with respect to the prohibition against certain federal assistance to swaps entities, namely the use of any advances from specified Federal Reserve credit facilities or discount windows, or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance or guarantees, for the purpose of:
      (1) making any loan to, or purchasing any stock, equity interest, or debt obligation of, any swaps entity;

      (2) purchasing the assets of any swaps entity;

      (3) guaranteeing any loan or debt issuance of any swaps entity; or

      (4) entering into any assistance arrangement (including tax breaks), loss sharing, or profit sharing with any swaps entity.
      Extends to any major swap participant or major security-based swap participant that is an uninsured U.S. branch or agency of a foreign bank the exemption from the prohibition against federal assistance to swaps entities which is currently limited to any major swap participant or major security-based swap participant that is an FDIC-insured bank or savings association.

      Designates both uninsured U.S. branches or agencies of a foreign bank and insured depository institutions as “covered depository institutions.”

      Take action and inform Congress of your displeasure!

      1. Fiver

        Almost makes one wonder if trouble is hiding somewhere in those instruments already, and this is a retroactive insurance policy.

        How to justify for powering up what amounts to a magnet for risk, because now protected, being strapped onto an already absurdly leveraged financial system?

      2. sue

        Absolutely, Sheila Bair’s book, “Bull By The Horns” is a must read on all Wall Street attempts to eviscerate Dodd-Frank. Also necessary to comprehend who=what (Geithner) was behind continuing Wall Street speculative powers.

    4. MRW

      Yves,

      Could you ask Penny Pritzker for a copy. I would be interested to hear her answer as Secretary of Commerce.

  2. John Mc

    One of the few places we can find an intelligent dialogue on the TPP and Obama administration’s policies.

    Strike a point for Yves when discussing the one of the defining features of this administration is using propaganda to solve problems. Baker brought nuance discussing the importance of growth and paying livable wages as a response to an aging populace/social security.

  3. Clive

    I was always pretty hopeless at reading the Japanese government’s Kabuki policy implementations (and I’m no longer physically close enough to the country to get real time on the ground samplings)… but from following the media, my sense is that Japan is playing a version of its well-honed game of, on the face of it, engaging in policy discussions but in reality either dragging TPP implementation out or will enact it but not enforce it.

    They don’t want to annoy the US, but are not at all keen on TPP and its implications. At the end of the day, its too much of a threat to powerful domestic embedded interests.

    1. anon y'mouse

      it will be impossible to ‘enact & not enforce it’

      gov’ts will be dragged up before the international court to pay fines for blocking businesses, or insisting upon their own environmental or worker protection laws.

      the devil’s tentacle strikes again, folks—freer trade. our markets are YOUR markets. we won’t discuss that our businesses that already have economy-of-scale advantages will be invading your country like a virus and there is nothing you will be able to do to stop it.

      but yeah, you might make some money at it selling us your robot-cat-servants, eventually, someday. when robot-cat-servants are ubiquitous and low-priced enough so that even a minimum-wage slave can afford one.

      meanwhile, we’ll take your radioactive fish, and use our HMOs to destroy your health care system.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        The Japanese are the world’s best at bureaucratic gamesmanship. The shortest to explain of their many tricks: say yes but do only the easiest 40% of what needs to happen slowly.

        If the Japanese are serious about throwing sand in the gears, that’s the best news I’ve heard in weeks.

  4. TheCatSaid

    Great video.

    Excellent closing point, Yves, questioning the need for all the secrecy about this “Trade” pact if it its terms were genuinely in the best interests of the great majority of the people who will be impacted.

  5. AbyNormal

    China has got to be laughing again at silly westerners, always ready to remove the no$e$ off our face.

    This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably. Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few, and not the many.
    Obama https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UKTg0rlvYU (LIAR)

    Great Interview Yves…YOU ROCK

    1. AbyNormal

      China maintains the fastest-growing fleet of ballistic and cruise missiles on the planet, and soon will deploy a nuclear-tipped, submarine-launched ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States from Chinese waters, according to a new Pentagon report.

      Beijing’s new submarine-launched ballistic missile, the JL-2, will for the first time enable Chinese submarines to strike parts of the United States from China’s coastal waters, states the 2013 Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat Assessment, produced by the Department of Defense’s National Air and Space Intelligence Center.

      It adds that the number of Chinese ICBM nuclear warheads capable of reaching the United States “could expand to well over 100 within the next 15 years.”
      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jul/11/china-missile-fear-us-vulnerable-submarine-launche/
      (they launched some this past week)

      the Navy is cutting its submarine force by 30 percent, the admiral in charge of Pentagon submarine programs told Congress on Thursday. 9/13/2013
      http://freebeacon.com/declining-power/

      1. accidentalfission

        Whoa! The Washington Times?

        The imformation about Chinese weapons could possibly be correct but neither The Washington Times nor Newsmax are credible sources of information.

  6. judabomber

    Awesome job Yves. Very concise/to the point comments. I liked the nod to MMT about 20 minutes in.

    Doesn’t the saying go that (finance) capitalists don’t really like being capitalists, they would much rather be monopolists, rentiers, inside traders or usurers to allow them to achieve profits more easily than actually having to invest and create things?

    Industrial capitalists, in contrast, are likely preferential to a Bretton Woods style international regime where capital flows are controlled and inflation/exchange rates are more stable across countries. Makes it easier to produce things people use to enhance happiness.

    I would disagree with Baker’s assertion that a weaker dollar would go a long way towards curing perpetual current account deficits in the United States. As the issuer of the world’s reserve currency it is not quite that simple.

    In addition, given that petroleum is the single largest contributor to the U.S. current account deficit there are other structural changes in the U.S. economy – i.e., boomers aging, millennials driving much less, better fuel efficiency standards, and greater oil production in the U.S. – that could help reverse the pattern in the future.

    Just look at the results of the Plaza Accords…the Japanese reacted with stronger industrial policy while the United States did nothing to end Japan’s barriers against imports while still allowing unfettered access to the U.S. market.

    1. sufferinsuccotash, stupor mundi

      “Doesn’t the saying go that (finance) capitalists don’t really like being capitalists, they would much rather be monopolists, rentiers, inside traders or usurers to allow them to achieve profits more easily than actually having to invest and create things?”
      Bingo.
      TPP should be relabled FRO: For Rentiers Only.
      BTW, looking out the window of the Acela between DC and NYC can be entertaining. It’s all so quaint and picturesque out there, a kind of living museum of 20th century industrial Belching Smokestack America. All that’s needed is a large number of billboards with copies of that “There’s No Way Like The American Way” ad so famously photographed by Margaret Bourke-White in 1937.

  7. trish anderson

    wish more voters/citizens would see this, and more mainstream media journalists would present these facts. excellent.

    re this bit about disparity between Obama on the hope & change campaign trail and the TPP:

    “When you look at Obama’s record of his campaign promises vs. what he’s actually done, there’s sort of a normal, acceptable level of political lying and Obama has gone WAY past what is historically the normal in terms of politicians fudging and then doing something else when they’ve been in office. This has just been another example.”

    Thank you, Yves, for stating the truth on this. Isn’t said enough on the left (understatement), making Obama’s conservative/corporate agenda more insidious and successful.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Agreed; Obama’s entire persona is one grand fabrication. Seeing the lying PO[TU]S expounding on SHAFTA is especially damning. That he is now actively pushing the TPP says everything about his true character.

  8. Pwelder

    True it’s a thirty-minute piece; but you’ll know a lot more than you knew before after six minutes.

  9. craazyboy

    Personally speaking, I figure if the TPP is being kept secret, it just has to be good. Once signed into law and the details released, it’s gonna be like those really fun surprise parties we’ve all experienced – helium balloons, noise poppers, kazoos to blow and lots of French Champaign corks go pop!

    1. craazyman

      I watched 10 minutes and that was all I could take, due to the subject matter alone combined with my attention deficit disorder. However, Yves whoa! you’re looking very hot, I have to say.

      Anyway, this may be a very bad TPP. I’m not saying it’s good, but at the end of the day, creative people have to have some protection against copyright infringement and patents have to exist in some reasonable way.

      What those details are, I can see how that could be controversial and I’m NOT saying the TPP is the right way.

      What if F. Scott Fitzgerald came back and wrote a sequel to the Great Gatsby. I’d sure as hell buy it. I’d pay good money for it. I wouldn’t copy it and spam it around to one web site after another, especially if he’s trying to make rent with Zelda there in Paris.

      Also, when I make the video Watermelon Man — where I drop watermelons from the tops of buildings and watch them splat on the sidewalk drenching people and taping their reaction — there’s no doubt it’ll be a blockbuster revenue generator. How do I protect my genius? LOL

      How about Mr. Moyer’s accent? Nekkid Capitalism. hahahah. I could see him in the Confederate Army someplace if it was another time and place. It’s weird to think of that. Since he’s so righteous in this life. How do people know what do to? It’s not easy for some reason. Only the Big Gorilla knows for sure and he’s not talking.

      1. craazyboy

        I think copyright is good for the lifetime of the artist, and now that corporations are persons – they’ll be covered after they rip the artist off in the standard corporate artist contract. I think it was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers that had to make 7 albums almost for free, for example.

        Watermelon Man can be copyrighted. I think there’s a little form to fill out and mail somewhere, then at the end of the film just say so because that helps.

        Course the Chinese didn’t join TPP, so if it’s a big hit in China (who knows?) then you’ll be screwed.

        Patents are “only” good for 15 years, but they might fix that. Say, Pfizer ends up with a patent on penicillin or something. Then you know how irritating those cheap online websites are that sell Indian pharma products straight to the consumer and completely bypass our drug marketing companies.

        So, like Dean Baker said, something good may happen by accident. We’ll just have to wait and see.

      2. Waking Up

        craazyman states: “…creative people have to have some protection against copyright infringement and patents have to exist in some reasonable way.”

        Then specifically deal with copyright infringement and patents. Eliminate a TPP deal which can have far reaching impacts on sovereign rights.

        This “chat” with Bill Moyers is a must see. Thanks Yves (and Dean Baker). Hope you become regular guests on the show.

        1. hunkerdown

          Against *whose* copyright infringements? Large businesses like Nike, H&M, Hot Topic and others can rip designs off the Internet and mass-produce them with very little risk of recourse.

          Creatives need tools to make these thieving corporations cry. File-sharers are only a real problem for the gatekeepers.

    2. Keenan

      Well, just as with a previous instance of a legislative exploding cigar, we have to pass it to see what’s in it.

  10. Glen

    Nice job! How do we make this go viral? I will forward this link to all my friends and do the best I can.

    1. susan the other

      Trade itself could be a moot point. I know Dean Baker believes that a slightly devalued dollar would do our exports good… but when you think about the premise of trade it just doesn’t work. Everybody cannot have a trade surplus. It’s a laughable idea. The best of all possible trade worlds is where everybody’s trade balance is zero. Trade, as we have become accustomed to think about it, is now just another oxymoron. I agree with him that the government needs to deficit spend to create a functioning economy. But in lieu of that we have quantitative easing. It is weird that none of the deficit hawks are all that upset about QE whereas they are catatonic about deficit spending. Makes no sense. Our elite government is all so Larry Kudlow. Boo devalued dollar; Yay stock market. It would seem that a functioning economy is exactly what the government does not want. Maybe the trade we should agree to is a new domestic trade which is no longer a free trade zone, but each state could set its own trade limits and tariffs. Then there would be plenty of trade going around and around, all taxable and socially beneficial, and all within the confines of our own economy and rules. I mean if trade is so important it should be made to work.

        1. susan the other

          True. And we can’t just buy those dollars back. Plus China really doesn’t want to sell our IOUs because 1.5 trillion of them will devalue the dollar and make the yuan stronger. Is there anything China actually wants to import from us? Besides an overvalued dollar?

          1. anon y'mouse

            raw materials, and food.

            so that they can make the raw materials into (semi) useful things and then ship them back here. and all over the rest of the world.

            their people get to eat, and perhaps have some knockoff designer handbags.

    2. Ulysses

      The real battle at this moment is to prevent “fast-tracking,” where Congresscritters collect their bribes, and pass the deal without any of us getting a chance to see exactly how rotten it is until it’s too late!

  11. Copake

    Gee, TPP sounds like another step toward one-world government. You might have to join the battle against TPP with some folks whose views you may once have regarded as wacky.

    Politics makes strange bedfellows.

    1. hunkerdown

      Thus, the numerous partisan busybodies peeping in blogs and windows to make sure no unauthorized miscegenation is going on.

    2. kimsarah

      Indeed. Strange bedfellows could put this TPP charade to rest once and for all. The progressives should align with the tea baggers on this one. That would shock the hell out of the old guard establishment.

  12. susan the other

    We are probably isolating China to trade with them on different terms and to our own advantage. China has agreements with Ecuador, the ASEAN nations, Japan, Russia, Afghanistan, maybe Canada, and us – just to name the ones in the news. Not sure how China is isolated from anything except paying the TPP fines for patent infringement. Etc.

  13. from Mexico

    Really great job, Yves.

    I would just add that it would be impossible to overstate the devastation which NAFTA has wrecked on Mexico.

    Unsubsidizied Mexican agriculture could not compete with the US’s massively subsidized agriculture. The result was that millions of peasants were forced from the land by economic necessity into sprawling urban gettos, where they serve as fodder for foreign-owned maquilaodres. I was thinking the maquiladores paid about 1,000 pesos (about $77) for 48-hour work week, but a friend recently told me it is more like 800 pesos (about $62).

    Other millions of rural Mexicans fled to the United States. Others switched to marijana produciton, which even under the neo-feudal monopolies operated by the drug cartels it at least pays a non-starvation living.

    1. Chris Rogers

      @from Mexico,

      I think Ross Perot summed it all up pretty well in the 1992 Presidential campaign, he was prescient on what would happen if NAFTA was ever signed into law – denigrated at the time as a “whisk from the sticks”, his pronouncements are still worth listening too on You Tube.

      God help us all if Hilary gets the keys to the Whitehouse next time around, if you think Obama is rotten, just wait when we have the two greatest exponents of neoliberalism and greed occupying the government.

      And to think, poor Chelsea in no doubt beyond any hope, such is the indoctrination she’s received.

      Anyway its all frightening and as a European it puts the willies up me – darn scary stuff, and there was me thinking how much worse can it get – we’ll be slave next, with the obvious caveat that we’ll be required to feed ourselves. Totally unforgivable.

    2. Fiver

      What they did to Mexican farmers was criminal. US-based corporate globalization is a profound disaster.

    3. skippy

      @Mexico, the dumped agrochemicals which were banned in the States, to Mexico et al, is horribly damaging not only adults but, lobotomizing several generations of kids.

  14. optimader

    Nicely played..
    Nice suit…

    Moyer’s final commentary disappoints me. Even if the web interface/software worked seamlessly, the ACA “product” is a FAIL.

  15. Doug Terpstra

    Brava, Yves. You’re very telegenic, and the synergy with Baker and Moyers was great. It’s so good to see you get a broader audience.

  16. DakotabornKansan

    Under the Constitution, Congress writes the laws and sets our trade policy. In the Federalist papers, the founders wrote about building checks and balances in foreign trade. They wanted trade power to be controlled by Congress (power closest to the people), but wanted executive power to negotiate trade.

    Yet, over the last few decades, presidents have increasingly grabbed that power through a mechanism known as “Fast Track.”

    “Fast Track” was hatched 40 years ago by President Richard Nixon to consolidate authority in the executive branch to dictate trade policy – upending 200 years of Congress exercising its exclusive constitutional authority to write our laws and set the terms of trade.

    Lori Wallach calls “Fast Track” a legislative luge run.

    Lori Wallach, co-author of The Rise and Fall of Fast Track Trade Authority, discusses how the process of designing U.S. trade agreements has changed from 1789 to the present. She argues that the executive branch has increasingly gained control of U.S. trade through fast track negotiating authority, and that this development is bad for democracy:

    http://www.booktv.org/Watch/14522/The+Rise+and+Fall+of+Fast+Track+Trade+Authority.aspx

    Corporate CEOs are lobbying Congress for a renewal of fast-track authority. Wallach calls the Trans-Pacific Partnership “a corporate coup d’etat.”

    Will those in Congress, who decry Obama as the “imperial president,” grant him this expansive new authority?

  17. Chris Rogers

    Yves,

    Well done on your Bill Moyers interview, whilst I always wanted to get you over to Hong Kong to speak honestly with those we lambast continually, it was not to be – maybe next year, or perhaps you’d be interested in a trip to Cardiff, Wales, UK to join a big group dialogue – alternative thought exists and some leaders are open to an alternative to the nonsense taken for granted today.

    A few points you omitted from your chat with Bill and Dean which perhaps deserve a hearing, and here I’m speaking as someone who lives in China, and as a highly concerned European – forget economics, lets look at geopolitics for the moment.

    Since the collapse of the iron curtain and implosion of the Soviet Union in the early 90′s we have seen a concerted effort to encircle the Russian Federation with clients states – much of this being achieved with the expansion East of NATO and placement of US military bases in strategic Middle East nations – Afghanistan being a classic example of this.

    At the same time we have Obama’s “tilt to Asia” who’s intent is much like that in relation to Russia, whereby we see China being viewed as a military threat and the USA using its muscle to mitigate Chinese economic growth by stationing more arms in client states – the Philippines being a case in point, whereby having expelled the US presence, we are now seeing the re-establishment of naval and air bases in that nation – which is quite close to China I can tell you.

    Now, add up what’s happening economically with all these supposed “free trade” negotiations/agreements that are nothing whatsoever to do with free trade, quite the reverse the intent is to strengthen US corporations and a few of their overseas competitors if you are lucky. Again we have two concurrent sets of negotiations, one looking East over the Pacific, and one looking West over the Atlantic with the EU.

    Both military reality, and now these two trade pacts have one thing in common, to undermine Russia and undermine China. Which is strange, because Nixon and Kissinger in the early 70′s wanted to actually divorce Russia and China from one another via “triangulation” policies, the 1972/1972 rapprochement with China and Nixon’s visit being the pinnacle of this policy.

    Fast forward 40 years, and now we have US military and economic policy actually pushing Russia and China into each others arms, something that would have been anathema under Reagan, and probably Bush Snr.

    What gives, what do they know what we don’t and can China and Russia, now seen as both military and economic threats to US interests, actually combine to thwart the neoliberal coup that’s ongoing all around us.

    Looking forward to some feedback, but something is amiss, and where there is smoke, one usually finds fire.

    1. sufferin' succotash

      Why are we so intent on turning China and Russia back into enemies?
      What Randolph Bourne wrote nearly a century ago still holds:
      “War is the health of the state.”

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Hong Kong is glam but SO FAR from NYC! The travel time is a huge cost for me.

      But I was thinking of a UK trip next year (late spring-early summer) so that might work. Thanks for asking!

  18. Hugh

    Free trade, like free markets, doesn’t exist. It is always a question of who is running it and for whose benefit. The TPP is just another scheme to loot us. Sure, there are some goofy notions about “containing China” but mostly it is about letting hot money and corporations do whatever they want wherever they want. Ordinary Americans don’t need to know anything about the TPP because aside from being among its victims, it has nothing to do with them.

    1. Fiver

      Nothing silly whatever about the “contain China” theme, or that TPP figures into the mix. The US is positioning truly massive military capability all over the region. Africa is essentially up for grabs between China, Europe and North America. China has backed Russia throughout the Syrian/Iranian dual-crisis. At the recent G20, the “rest” told the “West” to shove it, and it was not received well.

      The US has a stated policy: it will not tolerate any competitor to its power, and it will positively do whatever it takes to ensure that condition holds. That policy was articulated well before 9/11, now a decade behind us, and the stupidly provocative “pivot” to China is a “First Reminder” that this policy stance remains in effect, and is operational. As is, China has effectively been forced to spend more on defense, and the question is whether an upward spiral of truly useless spending will occur, and if so, at what point does it become a truly dangerous game?

      I know all about how mutually-reliant the Chinese/US economies are, and, while it surely prevents rash, ill-witted action by both parties most of the time, ruling out as if impossible a total breakdown between the two would not be a great bet from here to 20 years out.

    1. kimsarah

      The major networks don’t deserve quality, thought-provoking programming like this.
      Let them sink with their regular idiotic talking heads and worn-out guests

  19. Chauncey Gardiner

    Yves,
    Thank you, Bill Moyers and Dean Baker for your work to keep this secretly negotiated agreement and its counterpart with the EU in the public’s mind. The level of secrecy, obfuscation and propaganda surrounding this matter is remarkable.

    “Fast Track”?… I hope this administration and their congressional and corporate-lobbyist allies have exhausted their political capital to pass this legislation due to all their other missteps. IMO they have depleted their reservoir of credibility both domestically and internationally, as is now being reflected in both the polls and Merkel’s actions.

    Particularly appreciated Bill Moyers showing the clip of Obama from the 2008 campaign making the pledge to revisit NAFTA with the government of Mexico, and contrasting it with reality.

  20. GDC707

    Yves, excellent job and thank you for all your work on these matters. You seem to be getting better all the time on camera.

    Just a suggestion: You and Dean both mentioned that the government should be running greater deficits. To the average viewer that sounds like a couple of liberals wanting to waste more of their tax dollars. It woud probably have a better effect if you mentioned what those deficits would pay for, such as infrastructure and research and how this spending would power job creation.

    Thanks again

    1. kimsarah

      As far as running greater deficits, how about somebody suggesting we spend some of that $85 billion a month in free money being printed on some worthwhile job stimulus programs.

  21. kimsarah

    Taking a page from the Obamacare public relations fiasco, why not add Mr. Obama’s name to this supposedly wonderful trade agreement, and call it the Trans Obama Partnership.
    Then we might see Congress members worried about re-election want nothing to do with TPP.
    Think of it, Trans Obama Partnership.

  22. peace

    Your humility is among your attributes I appreciate most. However, please inform your readers how you prep; because you obviously prep some speaking points and other bloggers, proteges, etc. could benefit from realizing that your intellect is equally matched by your effort. Thanks for being an exemplar of these admirable traits and qualities.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Actually I don’t prep talking points at all. I pull articles and re-read the best sections shortly before the interview.

      But Moyers had a chat via the phone with Dean Baker and me the day before so we both had an idea of some of the things he wanted to discuss.

  23. Al

    In the video interview from the 19:41 mark to 23:10 mark both Yves and Dean come out clearly in the Keynes economic camp. This position is clearly the position of banking, academia, government and their corporatist partners.

    This school of thought has too long dominated the power centers for its own sake. It seems clear Keynes path is unsustainable if truly encouraging wealth distribution and a healthy middle class is the goal. Sadly, it seems our great schools have been captured by the funding of interests working against real wealth diversity in property and freemarket interest available to savers in an enviroment where money is more scarce and valuable. There can be no real benefit to the greater economy when large failures have no consquences and can be qualitatively eased away by the very same power brokers that failed. This hurts real economic opportunity as bad debt is not reabsorbed as new opportunity for others. This system operates at the expense of everyone but those that benefit the most. It is not logical no matter how many “papers” are written about it.

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