Memo to Obama: Corporate Elites Are Not "America"

Jim Hightower Author, Commentator, America’s Number One Populist

Memo to Obama: Corporate Elites Are Not

President Obama is miffed that nearly all of his fellow Democrats in the US House recently refused to follow him over the cliff of yet another global trade deal. But, ironically, it was the core of his own argument that led Democrats to hand such an embarrassing (and deserved) defeat to him.

"Simply put," Obama pleaded, "America has to write the rules of the 21st century economy in a way that benefits American workers."

Nice sentiment – but "simply put" – the claim that his Trans-Pacific Partnership scheme would benefit American workers is a scam. Democratic lawmakers knew that "America" had not written the 1,000-pages of rules the president was pushing. In the secret, closed-door negotiating sessions, the tiny fraction of "Americans" allowed inside were such corporate powers as AT&T, GE, the Koch brothers, and Walmart.

Workers themselves were not at the table, nor were consumers, small business, environmentalists, family farmers, and all other real people who know from experience that the old saying is true: If you're not at the table, you're on the menu.

Sure enough, the "rules of the 21st century economy" that Obama's TPP deal would impose on us is a raw deal, rigged against people for the benefit of global corporate powers. For example, the rules would raise our medicine prices, offshore more of our jobs, undermine our food-safety and environmental protections, and even allow multinational corporations to usurp our people's sovereignty by suing the US government in special corporate tribunals over laws and rules they don't like.

Obama is mad at House Democrats, but people back home are furious at him for trying to sell us out. As minority leader Nancy Pelosi put it, when members went back to their districts, "we put our hand on a very hot stove" of public opposition.


This has been reposted from Jim Hightower's website.

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be – consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks. Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top. He publishes a populist political newsletter, “The Hightower Lowdown.” He is a New York Times best-selling author, and has written seven books including, Thieves In High Places: They’ve Stolen Our Country And It’s Time To Take It Back; If the Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates; and There’s Nothing In the Middle Of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos. His newspaper column is distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate.