TPP: An American Nightmare
Over the last 30 years the last 4 presidents have passed some unpopular laws. Clinton: NAFTA. Bush Jr: PATRIOT Act. ETC. These laws got heavy media coverage and scrutiny because they would have major implications, (some we are still feeling today). However, one law is not getting a huge amount of coverage in the media, it is called the TPP, (Trans-Pacific Partnership). What is this law you say? Well it is a “free” trade agreement which people will assume it is like NAFTA, or one of the other free trade agreements, you would be wrong. The TPP is a lot worse. First, there is a prevision that effects whistle-blowers and journalist, from eff.org: “Dangerously vague text on the misuse of trade secrets, which could be used to enact harsh criminal punishments against anyone who reveals or even accesses information through a “computer system” that is allegedly confidential.” In other words, if someone tries to expose criminal activity in a government organization or big company that has tight security, that person could be exposed and actions can be levied against them. The language is so vague that it leaves open a lot of holes to be exposed. This will put the whistleblower or journalist at a disadvantage and could potentially put them in danger.
Another dangerous provision in the law could make it to where anyone file sharing music or movies could be criminalized. From eff.org:
“Adopt criminal sanctions for copyright infringement that is done without a commercial motivation. Users could be jailed or hit with debilitating fines over file sharing, and may have their property or domains seized even without a formal complaint from the copyright holder” (Org, 2015).
In other words, if someone gets caught file sharing or watching a pirated movie, then they will be levied with criminal charges and face a hefty jail sentence. As if the prison population is not big enough, this would cause an explosion of new “criminals” into the system which will put more of a strain on state, local, and federal budgets. From CBPP,
“Corrections spending is now the third-largest category of spending in most states, behind education and health care.” That is ridiculous and that spending would go up if people who pirated movies and music had harsher criminal charges laid against them, and that money is taking away from education, from CBPP,”
At least 30 states are providing less general funding per student this year for K-12 schools than before the recession, after adjusting for inflation; in 14 states the reduction exceeds 10 percent” (Mitchell & Leachman). Education spending gets cut, but because of the expanding prison population, spending on correctional institutes and care for prisoners has went up. This money should be used for more important issues like properly educating children and making sure they get the chance to go to school and get a good job.
TPP also effects Medicare, this is something everyone should know. From
“That priority happens to be Medicare. TAA is partially financed through $700 million in Medicare cuts. Sequestration expires in fiscal year 2024, but the TAA bill expands it by piling those cuts onto the back end. Most of the other $2.2 billion gets financed through customs user fees” (Dayen, 2015).
In other words, cuts to Medicare will help fund this law. No wonder Obama wants to fast-track this bill, the more people find out about it, the more they will dislike it.
President Obama is trying to do his best to pass off the TPP as a jobs creation bill as well, from the Washington Post, “Estimates are that the TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership] could provide $77 billion a year in real income and support 650,000 new jobs in the U.S. alone” (Kessler, 2015). About that claim, it seems Obama and his staff are not telling the whole story about the “jobs” that the TPP would “create” from the Washington Post:
“The same dynamic exists with the claim that the trade bill would increase exports by $124 billion by 2025. The Commerce Department estimates that about 5,500 jobs are supported by every $1 billion in exports, so in theory that also would yield about 650,000 jobs. But that calculation would ignore the fact that the Petri book found that imports would increase by virtually the same amount as exports, meaning the net number of new jobs is zero” (Kessler, 2015). President Obama did not tell the whole story, that there would be no jobs created because of all the jobs being outsourced. How dishonest of you Mr. President. How can he accuse his opponents of lying about him, when in fact, he has lied to the American people as well. It is time people knew what this law was and what it really stands for.
The best way to combat this awful law is to make some noise to your local rep. Call the president and tell him how unhappy people are with this law. If the “main stream media” will not cover it, go to alternative sources like Thom Hartmann, RT, Democracy now, and the real news are good sources. The more people know about this law and what kind of long lasting damaging effect this law will have on policies for a long time, not just trade policies, but also internet “piracy” and even Medicare will be effected by this law. Call your local congress person, and tell them if they vote for this law, then in the 2016 campaign, tell them that they will not be getting your vote. It is time to call the president and tell him to stop trying to fast-track this bill, or you will vote for another party instead of the Dems in the next election. This law is the most important issue today and the fact that most of the media is not covering it is very telling of how badly the corporations have the media in their pocket. It is time YOU! Took control and helped bring this horrible law down.
The White House’s phone number:
Dayen, D. (2015). Salon. Another TPP Lie Exposed, 6. Retrieved May 26, 2015, from http://www.salon.com/2015/05/19/another_trans_pacific_partnership_lie_exposed_how_medicare_is_getting_stiffed_in_obamas_massive_trade_deal/
Front, C. (2014). Wealth Distribution. Retrieved April 26, 2015, from Cloud Front: http://d35brb9zkkbdsd.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/distribution.png
Kessler, G. (2015). Washington Post. The Obama administration’s illusionary job gains from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, 10. Retrieved May 26, 2015, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2015/01/30/the-obama-administrations-illusionary-job-gains-from-the-trans-pacific-partnership/
Mitchell, M., & Leachman, M. (n.d.). Center for Budget and Policy Priority. Changing Priorities: State Criminal Justice Reforms and Investments in Education, 6. Retrieved May 22, 2015, from http://www.cbpp.org/research/changing-priorities-state-criminal-justice-reforms-and-investments-in-education
Org, E. (2015). Eff dot org. Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, 12. Retrieved May 22, 2015, from https://www.eff.org/i