Tag Archives: Fair Trade

CA-02: Unions endorse Jeff Morris’s fair trade approach

(Go Jeff! – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

Jeff Morris is running an impressive grassroots campaign to replace Wally Herger in California’s Second Congressional District. Last week, Jeff earned the endorsement of United Public Employees of California, LIUNA Local 792 — the first congressional candidate endorsement in the local’s history.

Jeff has also received endorsements from the Five Counties California Labor Council; Carpenters Local Union #1599, Redding; the California Labor Federation AFL-CIO Committee On Political Education; the Operating Engineers Union No. 3, District 70, Redding; and UAW, Region 5.

Meanwhile, Wally received an embarrassing 4% rating from the AFL-CIO in 2007, just a baby step up from his truly dismal 0% rating in 2003.

Wally Herger has spent the last 22 years doing everything he can to help wealthy business interests and doing almost nothing to help the hard-working citizens of District 2. He has consistently voted against raising the minimum wage, citing its effect on small business owners — yet, when a 2007 minimum wage bill also contained tax breaks for small businesses, Herger still voted against it. Herger is also an outspoken supporter of the Bush administration’s “free trade” policies, which have had dramatically negative effects on job security and wages for America’s workers.

In fact, Herger has frequently voted against bills that would help workers, such as the Employee Free Choice Act of 2007 (would have established a system to enable employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, and provided for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts); Trade and Globalization Assistance Act of 2007 (would have allowed service sector workers and public workers to be covered by trade adjustment assistance); a House Resolution supporting a bill to require the Secretary of Labor to issue interim and final occupational safety and health standards regarding worker exposure to combustible dust; and the Paycheck Fairness Act (would have provided more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex).

Not exactly a worker-friendly fellow, that Wally.

Jeff Morris, on the other hand, understands the critical difference between free trade and fair trade, which he explained to Wally in an op-ed piece last spring:

Trade agreements are not a bad thing, but unfettered free trade is a race to the bottom … True fair trade, on the other hand, works to balance out subsidized industries with our own to ensure that all factors are considered when agreements are struck. Free trade is always about the bottom line. Fair trade is about a combination of profits and philosophical values and goals.

The only use of the word “fair” that I would use when it comes to unfettered free trade would be that the American economy, jobs and workers are fair game under free trade.

As a small business owner and local government official, Jeff Morris truly understands the needs and concerns of both business interests and workers. He has personally experienced the financial hardships that threaten the Main Streets of our small towns and rural communities. He’s been there in the trenches, facing the problems at the local level and working hard to make real differences in the lives of the hard-working people of District 2. He understands that profitable businesses and fairness for workers are not incompatible concepts — that we can have beneficial trade agreements while protecting local jobs and ensuring that rural economies stay strong.

Please go to Jeff Morris for Congress and give my brother your support! If the economy is hitting you too hard to allow a donation to his campaign, you can always write a letter to a District 2 newspaper supporting Jeff, or post a diary on this site or at a blog in your local community. Every person you reach is potentially one more vote, and in this election, every vote is going to count!

(cross-posted at DailyKos)

Free Trade vs Smart Trade, Edwards takes on the Supply-Siders

Since the days of Reagan, America has been chasing a Theory.

Since the Clinton era, and the rise of NAFTA and Global Free Trade, our “Corporate Leaders” have been conducting an unprecedented Social Experiment.

The Experiment: Economic Darwinism

The Test Subjects in this Experiment: none other than American Workers and our “more competitive” counterparts, overseas.

Supply-siders have argued that Economic Growth comes from empowering Corporate Interests to become “More Productive”, by whatever means necessary. Be it “Tax-Give-aways to the Wealthy”, or “Job-Give-aways to Poor Foreigners”, well that’s just fine with them, long is it results in Corporate Growth.

Supply-siders are happy to trade away American Dignity for the sake of short-term Profits: “American Workers just need some retraining. They just need to apply themselves.”

We just need to learn to Adapt”(to Global Markets?)

That’s the Theory, that’s the Spin.  What are the Results of this on-going plan to outsource the American Dream?

So what is Supply Side Economics, and how did these Theorists manage to trump the classical Keynesian school of thought?  (John Maynard Keynes Theories ushered in the Middle Class Boom of the last century, by the way.)

Investopedia Says

Supply-side theorists advocate income tax reduction because it increases private investment in corporations, facilities, and equipment

Understanding Supply-Side Economics

by David Harper, CFA

Supply-side economics is better known to some as “Reaganomics”, or the “trickle-down” policy espoused by former U.S. president Ronald Reagan. He popularized the controversial idea that greater tax cuts for investors and entrepreneurs provides incentives to save and invest and produce economic benefits that trickle down into the overall economy. In this article, we summarize the basic theory behind supply-side economics.

The Argument That Supply Creates Its Own Demand

In economics we review the supply and demand curves. The left-hand chart below illustrates a simplified macroeconomic equilibrium: aggregate demand and aggregate supply intersect to determine overall output and price levels. (In this example, output may be gross domestic product and the price level may be the Consumer Price Index.) The right-hand chart illustrates the supply-side premise: an increase in supply (i.e. production of goods and services) will increase output and lower prices.

Supply-side actually goes further and claims that demand is largely irrelevant. It says that over-production and under-production are not really sustainable phenomena. Supply-siders argue that when companies temporarily “over-produce”, excess inventory will be created, prices will subsequently fall and consumers will increase their purchases to offset the excess supply


Supply-side economics has a colorful history. Some economists view supply-side as a half-baked economic theory – economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman even called its founders “cranks” in a book dedicated to attacking the theory (“Peddling Prosperity”)…

Indeed Paul Krugman had some very interesting things to say about Global Trade and Outsourcing today. The USA has just passed a new threshold on imports:

NY Times

Trouble With Trade

Dec 28, 2007


But recently we crossed an important watershed: we now import more manufactured goods from the third world than from other advanced economies. That is, a majority of our industrial trade is now with countries that are much poorer than we are and that pay their workers much lower wages.

Let’s talk for a moment about the economics.

Trade between high-wage countries tends to be a modest win for all, or almost all, concerned. When a free-trade pact made it possible to integrate the U.S. and Canadian auto industries in the 1960s, each country’s industry concentrated on producing a narrower range of products at larger scale. The result was an all-round, broadly shared rise in productivity and wages.

By contrast, trade between countries at very different levels of economic development tends to create large classes of losers as well as winners.

Although the outsourcing of some high-tech jobs to India has made headlines, on balance, highly educated workers in the United States benefit from higher wages and expanded job opportunities because of trade. For example, ThinkPad notebook computers are now made by a Chinese company, Lenovo, but a lot of Lenovo’s research and development is conducted in North Carolina.

But workers with less formal education either see their jobs shipped overseas or find their wages driven down by the ripple effect as other workers with similar qualifications crowd into their industries and look for employment to replace the jobs they lost to foreign competition. And lower prices at Wal-Mart aren’t sufficient compensation.

The trouble now is that these effects may no longer be as modest as they were, because imports of manufactured goods from the third world have grown dramaticallyfrom just 2.5 percent of G.D.P. in 1990 to 6 percent in 2006.

And the biggest growth in imports has come from countries with very low wages. The original “newly industrializing economies” exporting manufactured goods – South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore – paid wages that were about 25 percent of U.S. levels in 1990. Since then, however, the sources of our imports have shifted to Mexico, where wages are only 11 percent of the U.S. level, and China, where they’re only about 3 percent or 4 percent.

The highly educated workers who clearly benefit from growing trade with third-world economies are a minority, greatly outnumbered by those who probably lose.

As I said, I’m not a protectionist. For the sake of the world as a whole, I hope that we respond to the trouble with trade not by shutting trade down, but by doing things like strengthening the social safety net. But those who are worried about trade have a point, and deserve some respect.

Krugman seems worried about the effect of NAFTA, and the continuing trend for more Outsourcing. And Krugman seems to be advocating the same kind of Social Safety Net and Worker Dignity, that John Edwards has been calling for too. In short, Smart Trade and Fair Trade (high wage for high wage) seem to be among this progressive thinker’s priorities too.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked a very straight-forward Question at a recent Presidential Candidate Debate:

Wolf Blitzer: Ross Perot was fiercely against NAFTA, knowing what we know now, was Ross Perot right?



Good Question! Why aren’t more people asking this?

The Results of this decade-long NAFTA Experiment, has been much MORE painful than one would expect for such a well-reasoned Intellectual Exercise.

There were about a Million Reasons, Why this Free Trade Give-Away failed Ordinary Americans! (It seems that having workers “Learn to Adapt” sounds great on paper — but in the real world –NOT so much!)

Another Good Question is ‘Why isn’t anyone in the Media trying to seriously answer Wolf Blitzer’s Question?’

Well David Sirota HAS tried to answer it:

Was Ross Perot Right?

David Sirota

In 1993, the Clinton White House and an army of corporate lobbyists were selling NAFTA as a way to aid Mexican and American workers.

Perot, on the other hand, was predicting that because the deal included no basic labor standards, it would preserve a huge “wage differential between the United States and Mexico” that would result in “the giant sucking sound” of American jobs heading south of the border. Corporations, he said, would “close the factories in the U.S. [and] move the factories to Mexico [to] take advantage of the cheap labor.

The historical record is clear. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace reports, “Real wages for most Mexicans today are lower than when NAFTA took effect.” Post-NAFTA, companies looking to exploit those low wages relocated factories to Mexico. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the net effect of NAFTA was the elimination of 1 million American jobs.

Well according to Carnegie, it looks like NAFTA was a Lose-Lose deal for BOTH the High-Wage Workers of America, and the Low-Wage Workers of Mexico!

So much for Supply-side Global Competition, raising ALL Boats! (which was one of Reagan’s favorite lines, by the way)

John Edwards is just NOT Talking about “raising all boats” — he’s providing the Smart Plans that will ACTUALLY help the “Middle Class Rise” and restore Dignity for ALL Workers.

“Smart Trade” policy makes use of our greatest assets, our Intelligence and our Innovation. (These have always been the keys to real Adaptive Changes in eras past!)

Smarter Trade that Puts Workers First

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by John Edwards

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Let me tell you, if a CEO thinks the right thing to do is to ship American jobs overseas, to destroy families and communities, then I challenge him to go and look those workers in the eye and have the guts to tell them to their face that they can’t compete. I’ve stood with these workers all across America – and let me tell you, they can compete, because they are the best workers in the world.

NAFTA was written by insiders in all three countries, and it served their interests – not the interests of regular workers. It included unprecedented rights for corporate investors, but no labor or environmental protections in its core text. And over the past 15 years, we have seen growing income inequality in the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

Well enough is enough. Americans have paid the price long enough. We need to change our fundamental approach to trade. We need to make American values the foundation of our trade deals, and we need to put workers back at their core.


We can and we must change this. I believe we need to follow three principles to make sure globalization works for everyone.

(1st) trade deals must benefit workers, not just big multinational corporations.

Today, our trade agreements are negotiated behind closed doors. The multinationals get their say, but when one goes to Congress it gets an up or down vote – no amendments are allowed. No wonder that corporations get unique protections, while workers don’t benefit. That’s wrong.

Imagine trade policies that actually put American workers first.

We need fair rules for workers, and we need strong protections for labor and the environment and against currency manipulation. If a deal is good for middle-class families, it’s good for America; if it’s not, it’s not.

(2nd) our trade policies should also lift up workers around the world.

This struggle over fair trade is about more that just what’s at stake for America’s workers – it’s also about what’s at stake for workers in every country. Making sure that workers around the globe are treated fairly and share in trade gains is the right thing to do morally, it’s the right thing to do economically, and it will make us much safer and more secure.

That’s what strong labor standards are all about. Making sure that workers have the right to organize and earn a fair wage will not only prevent a “race to the bottom” on labor rights – it will also help build a global middle class that shares in the gains from trade and creates markets for U.S. exports.

(3rd) we need to address more than just our trade policies in order to restore fairness and opportunity to workers.

I talked earlier about some of the adverse effects of globalization – stagnant wages and rising inequality.

To help regular Americans get ahead and stay ahead, we need to make sure our children get a quality education and have the chance to go to college.

We need to raise the minimum wage, strengthen unions, and help families build assets.

And the most important thing we can do to provide security to our workers is to guarantee universal health care in this country. I am proud to be the first major candidate to come out with a plan for universal health care.

We also need to invest resources to ensure that our country keeps its competitive edge in the world.

We need to create the jobs of the future right here in America and make sure our workers have the skills they need to fill them. We need to make the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit permanent, invest in life sciences and biomedical research, strengthen math and science education, and create a new energy economy.

We need a new era in trade policy. We need “smart trade” policies that American workers can say yes to – trade policies that do more than pay lip service to their needs and that actually make sure prosperity is shared. Trade policies that are as innovative as the American people. And when I’m president, those are the trade policies we will have.

And let me be clear: we will make sure that these policies are in place before we pass a single new trade deal.

In my first year in office, I will spend time working with Congress to get our trade policies straight — policies which ensure that Americans workers finally begin to see benefits from the global economy. And then, when we negotiate new trade deals it won’t just be big multinational corporations whose interests are served – it will also be the interests of American workers, America’s communities, and our global environment.

Sounds like Edwards “gets this globalization problem”, doesn’t it! Globalization involves so much more than empowering the Supply-side of the Equation (the big multinational corporations)it also involves empowering the Demand-side too (ie. the workers and the consumers who actually make Economies tick)!

Edwards see the root of the problem, as Ross Perot correctly identified — it’s the “wage differential” between countries.

This is the root of the “competitive advantage” for all the ‘Wal-Marts’ of the World. But it is also the source of “Lose-Lose economic insecurity” for Workers on both sides of so many global Trade Deals! (even for Workers in other countries)

Here’s a few more examples showing that Edwards ‘gets it’:

John Edwards on Outsourcing



John Edwards to Steelworkers on Trade



John Edwards answers question about ‘Made in the USA’



June 17, 2007

Questioner: If you go into a store nowadays, everything is Made in China, and Japan. What can be done so that some of the stuff we buy is made in the good old U.S.A?

John Edwards:

“If you’re talking about ‘low wage jobs’, which is the kind of goods you’re talking about — that’s the reason they’re ‘being made somewhere else’ — because people are working for a fraction of what people work for in the United States of America.

What we have to do is:

Have Trade Agreements that are Fair.

Have Country of Origin labeling.

And then in the United States looking forward,

we got have the most educated, most innovative work force on the planet.

It’s absolutely crucial!

I saw what happened when the mill closed …

and all of a sudden their job’s gone —

it does something to a man or woman’s dignity when that happens

It’s not just money — it’s about self respect!

We need a President of the United States who understands that — who feels it!

These were really good men and women who worked in that mill with my Dad, who I think are worth every bit as much as any President of the United States, and they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. And they deserve a chance when they are hit by Trade and Jobs going somewhere else. And we need a President who will stand up for them. That’s what we need.”

{loud applause}

If the American people aren’t smart enough, or brave enough, or quick enough to Adapt, and break out of this well worn track — called Free Trade and Outsourcing — well the raw forces of Global Competition, will ultimately destroy all memories of the American Dream, that our Constitution inspires!

Beware of Economic Darwinism — brought to you by Right Wing Priorities!

This subtle transfer of power primarily to an elite ruling class is well underway! The Losers in this Experiment are the hard working American Workers (and the desperate workers in other countries too).

To Supply-siders, such “wage-workers” are simply a cost of production, that must be minimized above all else.

To these “Free Traders”, Human Dignity has very little to do with it — it’s just Business!


Jan 30, 2006


The Future Of Outsourcing

How it’s transforming whole industries and changing the way we work

Globalization has been brutal to midwestern manufacturers

U.S. workers suddenly face a grave new threat, with even highly educated tech and service professionals having to compete against legions of hungry college grads in India, China, and the Philippines willing to work twice as hard for one-fifth the pay.

Workers’ fears have some grounding in fact. The prime motive of most corporate bean counters jumping on the offshoring bandwagon has been to take advantage of such “labor arbitrage” — the huge wage gap between industrialized and developing nations. And without doubt, big layoffs often accompany big outsourcing deals.

The changes can be harsh and deep. But a more enlightened, strategic view of global sourcing is starting to emerge as managers get a better fix on its potential. The new buzzword is “transformational outsourcing.” Many executives are discovering offshoring is really about corporate growth

“This isn’t about labor cost,” says Daniel Marovitz, technology managing director for Deutsche Bank’s global businesses. “The issue is that if you don’t do it, you won’t survive.”  …

The “transforming of whole industries” is underway … and the Captains of Industry have begun to re-frame their Supply-side Theories in terms of essential “Global Survival”!

I’m reminded of the great wit of John Edwards, to capture this insane chase, and re-frame the argument right back on these unchecked Corporate Interests:


John Edwards:

It doesn’t say life, liberty and the pursuit of endless corporate profit in the Declaration of Independence.





John Edwards IS Standing Up for Workers, right now!

Will the Workers “adapt”, and Stand Up for Edwards?

That Global Clock is Ticking …

Edwards Evening News RoundUp: Real Leaders take Stands

Our Country needs, Hope … yes very much so.

Our Country also needs Competence in SO many Government Positions of power … NO more ‘Heck of Job — Brownies’ PLEASE!

But the one thing America needs even more than Hope and Competence — it’s Real Leadership!

What is Real Leadership made up of?

More Compromise and Committee meetings?  (I hope not)

Media Fanfare and soaring rhetoric?  (nice, but …)

How about Honesty, How about taking a real Stand?

How about talking straight with the American People, and detailing all the ‘Hard Work’ and ‘Sacrifice’ that Real Change will ultimately require?

That’s what Real Leaders do.

They tell you the Truth, and speaking the Truth eventually leads to widespread Action, and the Changes we need.

Once again John Edwards, has NOT failed to Lead on the Issues, so important to everyday Americans …

Edwards HAS been taking Stands, all along. And he continues to do so:

(1) Edwards Statement On Destruction Of Tapes By CIA

(2) African-American Leaders Discuss Edwards’ “Plan For Opportunity For All Americans”

(3) Edwards talks about 14th Anniversary Of NAFTA in New Hampshire

(4) Southwest Iowa Newspaper endorses Edwards

(5) Senator Bill Bradley Interviews Presidential Candidate John Edwards

(6) Edwards confident about South Carolina

(7) Edwards: Real Leaders take Stands — on Social Security

(8) Edwards confidence about his new Administration

(1) Edwards Statement On Destruction Of Tapes By CIA

Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Today, Senator John Edwards released the following statement on the CIA’s destruction of interrogation tapes:

“I was disturbed to learn that the CIA deliberately destroyed video recordings of interrogations it conducted using extreme techniques. These tapes were destroyed during the ongoing 9-11 Commission investigation, raising deeply troubling questions about whether their destruction was intended to prevent the American people from learning the truth about the harsh interrogation techniques sanctioned by the Bush-Cheney Administration. Particularly with an issue so critical to our moral authority in the world, the American people deserve the truth, not suspicious excuses and evasions.

Torture is morally wrong, it is illegal, it is ineffective, it endangers our own troops and citizens, and it plays into the hands of our enemies. My administration will uphold and protect the law rather than trampling over it.”



If you’re wondering what kind of Commander and Chief Edwards would be on the global stage of Foreign Affairs (short answer — a good one!), here’s some recommended reading:

Edwards on Bush Today; John Edwards: No Rush to War with Iran

by TomP – Tue Dec 04, 2007



Edwards: the Lesson of Iraq and a New Strategy for Iran

by jamess – Fri Dec 07, 2007



On the Domestic Front, Edwards continues to show Leadership on how to heal another kind of ‘divide’ in our Country:

(2) African-American Leaders Discuss Edwards’ “Plan For Opportunity For All Americans”

Columbia, South Carolina – Key African-American supporters held a conference call today to discuss Senator Edwards’ “Plan for Opportunity for All Americans,” which includes proposals for creating good jobs, guaranteeing universal health care and reforming the criminal justice system.

“Too many Americans are separated from the opportunities of our country,” said Texas State Representative Garnet Coleman. “Senator Edwards has dedicated his life to building One America, where every person has the same opportunities to work hard and get ahead.

Senator Edwards has laid out detailed plans to strengthen African-American communities and all communities by expanding the middle class and ending poverty in America,” said Tyrone Freeman, president of SEIU United Long Term Care Workers West. “If we work together, I have faith we’ll be able to lift up families and make a real difference in people’s lives.”

Building One America: A Plan for Opportunity for All Americans

There are still Two Americas — one favored and the other forgotten. While they are not defined by race, the Two Americas have a disproportionate impact on people of color and in many ways reflect the tragic history of race in this country.

As someone who grew up in the segregated South, Senator Edwards feels a special responsibility on the issue of race in America and has made equality of opportunity the central tenet of his campaign. To build One America and make sure everyone has the same chances that America has given to him, he supports:

 – Guaranteeing Health Care for Every American

 – Strengthening Schools So Every Child Can Succeed

 – Ending the Disgrace of Two Criminal Justice Systems

 – Creating Safe and Affordable Housing

 – Protecting the Right to Vote

 – Ending Poverty in America

 – Helping Small Businesses

 – Environmental Justice

 – Enforcing Civil Rights Laws

 – Closing the Digital Divide

for more details:



(3) Edwards talks about 14th Anniversary Of NAFTA in New Hampshire

AP is finally following Edwards on the Trail, today they report that:

Edwards Condemns NAFTA


CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards says he wants to replace the empty promise that NAFTA would create millions of jobs with his own promise to be a tough negotiator on trade deals.

On the 14th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Edwards planned to condemn the deal that lowered trade barriers between the United States and Canada and Mexico, arguing that it has paved the way for a series of deals that put the interests of multninational corporations ahead of working families.

“NAFTA was sold to the American people with promises that it would grow the economy and create millions of new jobs. But today, we know those promises were empty,” he said in remarks prepared for delivery at a town hall forum in Derry. “In all three countries, it has hurt workers and families while helping corporate insiders.”

The former North Carolina senator said more than 5 million American jobs have gone overseas since President Bush took office, and that up to 30 million more could follow in the next decade.

“The folks in Washington say that trade is good for the economy, even if it hurts a few ‘losers,'” he said. “That’s the word they use, losers, and it tells you something about how they see regular American workers and families who are struggling to compete.”

The former North Carolina senator said the effects of NAFTA and other trade deals is evident in New Hampshire’s north country, where several paper mills have closed in recent years. As president, he said he would pursue trade deals that leave most families better off and that include strong labor and environmental standards.

Edwards also has said he would make enforcing trade laws a greater priority and eliminate tax incentives that encourage U.S. companies to move overseas.



The Edwards Plan for Smart and Safe Trade:

Be a Tough Negotiator, Unafraid to Reject Bad Deals:

The American position in trade negotiations has been formulated behind closed doors with help from corporate lobbyists. Under the “fast track” procedure, Congress could not amend the resulting deals. Not surprisingly, trade agreements include special privileges for corporations, such as strong remedies for commercial rights and unprecedented rights to challenge environmental and health laws, but failed to protect workers.

As president, Edwards will pursue trade deals that:

   – Make most families better off, considering its impact on jobs, wages, and prices.

   – Enforce labor rights — including the right to organize and bargain collectively and prohibitions against forced labor, child labor, and discrimination – to prevent a global race to the bottom and help build a global middle class.

   – Protect the environment, preventing the exploitation of weak or poorly enforced laws and greenhouse gas commitments if necessary.

   – Clearly prohibit currency manipulation that puts American businesses at a disadvantage.

Demand a Level Playing Field for Trade: …

Edwards will assign top prosecutors at the U.S. Department of Justice to the job of enforcing trade laws, including the stronger labor and environment standards he will negotiate. …

Eliminate Tax Incentives to Move Offshore: …

Edwards will eliminate the benefit of deferral in low-tax countries, ensuring that American companies’ profits are taxed when earned …

Revamp Trade Assistance and the Safety Net to Help Dislocated Workers and Communities: …

Edwards will fight for these workers and their communities, by modernizing unemployment insurance to cover 500,000 more workers a year and creating a new “Training Works” initiative tied to high-wage jobs.

He will help communities recover quickly from mass layoffs with better advance warning and more resources to shore up the local tax base, plans for attracting family-sustaining jobs, and help for local businesses.

Ensure the Safety of Imported Food, Drugs and Toys:

Food imports more than doubled in the last decade and Americans eat 260 pounds of imported foods a year. Nearly 80 percent of children’s toys are made in China …

   – Enforce mandatory country-of-origin labeling on all food, increase inspections of imported food, and require the Food and Drug Administration to assess foreign nation’s food safety systems.

   – Raise penalties for toy safety violations, require independent testing, authorize border detention and inspection of toys in high-risk categories and ensure the independence of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

   – Mandate the pharmaceutical industry to quickly implement non-forgeable electronic “track-and-trace pedigrees” to ensure that drugs stay safe at every step in the supply chain — from factory to store and require sellers to prove that their drugs came from an authorized distributor.



And in case you missed it TomP covered this NAFTA anniversary, and its implications, in an excellent post earlier today:

Edwards on NAFTA Anniversary Day: “Those promises were empty”; NAFTA Failed.

by TomP – Sat Dec 08, 2007



(4) Southwest Iowa Newspaper endorses Edwards

And in Iowa, where the People know the the meaning of ‘Hard Work’, those important Endorsements keep going to John Edwards:

Southwest Iowa Newspaper: Edwards “Represents The Best Of What This Country Has To Offer”

Des Moines, Iowa – Senator John Edwards today received the endorsement of Valley News Today, a daily newspaper in Shenandoah, Iowa. The paper, which covers a rural southwestern Iowa community, does not typically endorse presidential candidates and has not done so in recent presidential primaries. The paper’s endorsement reflects Edwards’ appeal to rural America and his commitment to making sure Iowans in every part of the state know where he stands on the important issues facing our country. Edwards is the only candidate to visit and take questions from Iowans in all 99 counties twice, and has announced the public support of more than 1,000 rural Iowans.

“As the only Democratic candidate with rural roots, Edwards knows first hand about the daily trials and tribulations of the working poor,” reads the endorsement. “As a result of his upbringing, he has by far the most specific, most progressive and most far-reaching ideas to improve our nation.



(5) Senator Bill Bradley Interviews Presidential Candidate John Edwards

Talk about REAL Progressives taking notice of What Edwards is saying — check this out:


Senator Bill Bradley Interviews Presidential Candidate John Edwards — Exclusively On SIRIUS Satellite Radio

Two visionaries speak with candor on the state of politics, the importance of this election, and what the future holds

Bradley and Edwards share an optimistic view of the potential of what this country can accomplish if united under strong and compassionate leadership. Both believe in the power of the voice of the individual, and in this thought-provoking and candid conversation, Edwards shares his goals, concerns and plans if elected.

“We are by nature optimistic, strong, and courageous. What we need is a president and a leader who actually believes in the American people, and believes in the extraordinary human capital and potential of the American people,” said John Edwards.

I want to be surrounded by really smart, talented people who say to me, ‘You’re wrong.  Mr. President, you’re just dead wrong about that.’ …If we’re going to make hard decisions, the last thing I need is a bunch of people around me just telling me how smart I am and how great I am. …We’ve seen what the result is when that’s your approach.”

Senator Bradley’s interview with John Edwards will air December 10th at 5:00 am, 7:00 am, 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm, and 11:00 pm, all times ET.

Visit www.sirius.com for more information.


(6) Edwards confident about South Carolina

What me worry?

Edwards confident:  Presidential hopeful predicts win in S.C. Democratic primary


SENECA – Former Sen. John Edwards said Thursday he’s confident at least 75 percent of S.C. voters have not decided for whom they will vote next year.

Edwards predicted that when S.C. voters begin focusing on the presidential race, he will be their man.

“I won it in 2004, and might I remind you that in the polls I was doing less well then than I am now.

When voters are reminded that he grew up here, that he understands their lives and will fight for them, “they’ll respond,” Edwards assured.



(7) Edwards: Real Leaders take Stands — on Social Security

This IS What Leadership is ALL About — and John Edwards has been telling you where he Stands, all year!


Edwards: Real leaders take stands

By PHILIP ELLIOTT — The Associated Press

MANCHESTER –  Democrat John Edwards yesterday criticized rival Hillary Rodham Clinton, saying candidates who seek the White House should take strong, clear stands on difficult issues like Social Security.

Clinton has said she doesn’t want to put forward a specific plan now to shore up Social Security, but would wait for recommendations from a bipartisan commission because any plan will need the support of Democrats and Republicans to be enacted.

Asked about her stance at an AARP-Divided We Fail lunch on health and financial security, Edwards told seniors: “If you want to be President of the United States, you should lead. Leadership means taking clear, strong positions for the American people. … I’ve said very clearly what I would do, not said I’m going to wait and figure this out later.”



Washington Post — The Trail

Was [Edwards] suggesting that Clinton was not showing leadership? he was asked. “I’m saying I am,” he answered.

Social Security has emerged as a flash point in the Democratic debate. Edwards has proposed raising the cap on income that is taxed for Social Security, which now stands at $97,500, possibly allowing for a “doughnut hole” of income over $97,500 that is not taxed but then taxing income over $200,000. Barack Obama has also said he would favor raising the cap, on some occasions endorsing a doughnut hole approach and on some occasions referring simply to lifting the cap.

Clinton has declined to lay out specific options for shoring up the Social Security system, saying that she would start by restoring fiscal discipline and then convene a bipartisan commission to study a long-term fix.



(8) Edwards confidence about his new Administration

Real Leaders — Lead!

And Real Leaders start being the Change, they would want to see …

Some may think this presumptuous, to me it says Edwards has the confidence it takes to lead the greatest nation in the world:

Despite poll numbers, Edwards said he already has made a list of candidates for his running mate and his Cabinet.

The Democrats’ 2004 vice presidential nominee said he would seek out “the most qualified, most competent, most independent, strong-minded people that I can find” for a Cabinet.

“I want people who will say, ‘You’re wrong about this. You’re not right. You’re going to do harm if you do this,'” Edwards said. “The goal is not to make me feel good about myself.”

He said he would consider Republicans for his Cabinet, but not his vice president.

If I’m elected president, what that means is America is ready for my version of the future of our country,” Edwards said.

“If something happens and I couldn’t complete my term, I would want to ensure that that vice president would push forward with this same vision, because that’s what America is voting for.”



Now that’s Confidence!

Who’s ready to Lead America on Day One — No On the Job Training required?

Sounds like John Edwards to me and to an ever growing number of forward-thinking Americans too!

Who’s ready to look you in eye, and tell you what they will do, to restore America’s Moral Authority — both at home, and aboard?

And who’s ready to form another Committee to study the matter, and get back with you, someday?

Edwards is fighting for Equal Opportunity for All Americans — and Edwards IS doing the ‘Hard Work’ already, by spelling out detailed steps of what needs to be done, by spelling out the differences between himself and the other ‘would-be’ Leaders:



Others may have the Media Spotlight, but Why is it that they frequently are playing “catch up” with the many detailed Progressive Policies, that Edwards was almost always the first to boldly declare?

Who is not afraid to Stand up for the Progressive Issues that  matter to working Americans — John Edwards, that’s who!

How that old saying go …

Either Lead, Follow, or get out of the Way!

(I’ll give you one guess, which one of those Options, Edwards has been working overtime on, already!)