Monday, June 12, 2006



FROM DAVID SIROTA, author of "Hostile Takeover", speaking to Tom Friedman

  • The World Is Flat, the work is a classic tribute to the corporate power structure you have so publicly fellated over the years
  • It tells the tale of your desperate efforts to sugarcoat the Global Class War happening right under our noses
  • Big Business shill and glorified press release writer for multinational companies who exploit low-wage labor, lax environmental rules, and human rights atrocities to pad their bottom line.
  • dishonestly presenting the free trade orthodoxy you peddle as a law of nature and leaving that law of nature wholly unchallenged
  • this snake oil continues to be roundly embraced by most high-profile politicians - Republicans and Democrats alike - no matter how many of their constituents lives are destroyed.
  • In this day and age where politics is the art of legalized bribery, that embrace by politicians and the elite intellectual classes around them should be the ultimate proof of just how dishonest and bankrupt your arguments really are.

How about the facts. These facts, mind you, don't come from some bleeding heart liberal outfit - they come, in fact, from former Reagan Assistant Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts

  • government data shows that over the last five years - the years where all the major free trade pacts have been fully implemented - job growth in America has been "the weakest on record" with the U.S. economy coming up "more than 7 million jobs short of keeping up with population growth."
  • "Communications equipment lost 43% of its workforce.
  • Semiconductors and electronic components lost 37% of its workforce.
  • The workforce in computers and electronic products declined 30%.
  • Electrical equipment and appliances lost 25% of its employees.
  • The workforce in motor vehicles and parts declined 12%.
  • Furniture and related products lost 17% of its jobs.
  • Apparel manufacturers lost almost half of the work force.
  • Employment in textile mills declined 43%.

  • Paper and paper products lost one-fifth of its jobs.
  • The work force in plastics and rubber products declined by 15%.
  • Even manufacturers of beverages and tobacco products experienced a 7% shrinkage in jobs.
  • The knowledge jobs that were supposed to take the place of lost manufacturing jobs in the globalized 'new economy' never appeared.
  • The information sector lost 17% of its jobs,
  • with the telecommunications work force declining by 25%.
  • Even wholesale and retail trade lost jobs.
  • Despite massive new accounting burdens imposed by Sarbanes-Oxley, accounting and bookkeeping employment shrank by 4%.
  • Computer systems design and related lost 9% of its jobs.
  • Today there are 209,000 fewer managerial and supervisory jobs than 5 years ago."

"At a time when America desperately needs the voices of educated people as a counterweight to the disinformation that emanates from the Bush administration and its supporters, economists have discredited themselves.

Lazy journalists at the New York Times [That's you, Tom] simply rewrite the Bush administration's press releases."

at least what you are preaching helps ordinary folks in countries like China and India?

  • But before you feel too much better, or actually go to the rural areas in these countries or the sweatshop factories where near-slave-labor is employed, just consider some statistics from Mexico.
  • the clearest and fullest example of what happens to our trade policies under the corporate-written trade policies you advocate, and we should use Mexico where we've had NAFTA for years.
  • About 24 million -- nearly one in every four Mexicans -- are classified as extremely poor and unable to afford adequate food
  • Trade volume has nearly tripled since NAFTA. So while the trade policy you justify does make the kinds of CEOs and elites you surround yourself with very rich, for many ordinary people in the developing world, it has been a disaster

maybe no one should expect you to even think about anything other than advocating a trade policy that helps enrich your elite class and punishes everyone else

But because you and the rest of the elite media seem to bill you as an objective journalist, I'd ask that you at least consider some of these facts in the future, if not out of concern for the average people your free trade advocacy has helped crush, then at least out of a concern for your own credibility

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