The basic problem facing the corporate and political powers who want you and me to swallow their Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal is that they can’t make chicken salad out of chicken manure.
But that reality hasn’t stopped their PR campaign, which pitches their “salad” as good and good for you! For example, a corporate front group called the Peterson Institute for International Economics recently issued a study blaring the happy news that TPP will increase real incomes in the U.S. by $131 billion a year.
Even if that was true (and plenty of other studies show that it’s not), it’s a statistic meant to dazzle rather than enlighten, for it skates around the real bottom line for the American public: An increase in income for whom?
In the past 15 years or so, and especially since 2008, it’s been made perfectly clear to the workaday majority of people that the corporate mantra of “income growth” benefitting everyone is a deliberate lie. Practically all of the massive annual increases in U.S. income, which every worker helps produce, now gushes up to the richest one-percent, with millionaires and billionaires (the one-tenth of 1-percenters) grabbing the bulk of it.
Economists have a technical term for this: “stealing.” TPP is written specifically to sanction and increase the robbery of the many by the world’s moneyed few, including provisions that give additional incentives to U.S. manufacturers to ship more of our middle-class jobs to places like Vietnam, with minimum wages under 65 cents an hour!
Don’t be bamboozled by glittery studies. TPP is a manure salad tossed together by the super-rich to further enrich themselves at our expense, and it would intentionally exacerbate the widening gulf of inequality in America. For information and action tips, go to Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch at www.citizen.org/trade.
This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.