Trump's Reversal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Can Be Explained by a Current Art Show and a New Book


So, we're just ignoring U.S. exports in this "analysis"?
Seattle Slog readers are educated, but not that educated. I have a graduate degree but my eyes started glazing over the third or fourth paragraph. Why aren’t you writing for a higher brow publication, Charles? I’m betting that about 75% if your readership only gets about 10% of the content of articles like this.
I remember when congress pulled out of the TPP deal, in November 2016. And then Obama conceded defeat.…

And then two months later, newspapers reported that Trump abandoned it for some reason.
@2, Charles writes like the old Socialist newspapers they use to hand out at the Market every May Day in the 60's and 70's.
Given the obvious impossibility of believing Trump about anything, it's unclear why some people bought into the "Trump is a protectionist" kabuki, especially since it's a key part of his populist propaganda.
And yet during this period of neoliberalism, of global financialization, this horrible period from 1970 or 1980 to the present, something very strange is happening in the Global South:

Life expectancy is soaring. Literacy is rising, and is now the norm, not the exception. Malnourishment and poverty rates have both fallen. Real (inflation-adjusted) median income has grown, even while it has stagnated in the Global North. Birth rates have fallen (making populations more sustainable). Urbanization (de-ruralization, if you prefer) has been rapid (making populations more energy-efficient). Major diseases (Cholera, Malaria, Polio, etc) are claiming far fewer victims. Crime has fallen (while it has been rising in some parts of the Global North, like Europe). Warfare, while sadly not yet extinguished, has decreased, affecting fewer people. Corruption has fallen (indicated by rising GINI coefficients).

How is any of this possible, in the oppressed Global South?

What on earth could cause all of this?

Whatever it is, it must be something very powerful. Something so strong that it can not only counteract but even reverse the horrible effects being inflicted at the very same time by the weapon of Free Trade, wielded by the Global Elite.
I'm so glad I avoid Twitter and got rid of my Tee-Vee.
@6: Where did you get your data?
No irony in white populism also being the heart of Bernie’s constituencies.

None whatsoever.

#6 It is obvious the sickle and hammer are pulling BRICS, kicking and screaming, toward enlightenment and peace.

When hostel diving I ran into this girl from Nanking. She was going to hide in her room for four days until her friends showed up.

I thought this terrible and informed her that she had to go out with me.

Turns out she was on the autism scale in one way shape or form and was weird as fuck. Anyways, she was enthralled by the terribly hazy sky and couldn’t stop taking pictures pointing straight up.

They can’t see the sky in Nanking.
Agree, I've read similar accounts of data. I've read Steve Pinker. The developing world is indeed 'better'. Yes, I believe global neo-liberalism is partly to blame. That's good, BTW. I've visited 81 countries and even lived in Cameroon, Africa (Peace Corps) and view positive effects of limited capitalism, development & consumption. Again that's good.

That fact and that more & more women are in the workforce in the developing world is extremely positive. I believe women working and postponing childbirth might be the biggest factor of all.
*With Venezuela having made my a marked departure from the above conversation.

I really like the Vital Signs reports from the WorldWatch Institute for this sort of global data, but they're in the midst of reorganizing their online publication, and haven't put out a paper edition since vol. 22 in 2015.

You can also find reports on any of this stuff out there in the internet wilderness, but you do have to work a little harder to dodge all the axes people are trying to grind if you just want to get to the data.

Any global analysis simply ceases to exist the moment you abandon totals/averages and start cherry-picking.

Bolivia has done just fine under Evo Morales, after all.

I do understand why reactionaries fixate on Hugo Chavez, but when you eventually stop slobbering over the misery-porn out of Caracas and look around at other countries, it becomes clear that the nominal ideology of a given nation's government doesn't matter anywhere near as much as things like corruption, rule of law, war, food instability, or internal strife.
Fair enough, and I apologize for not having the time to delve more deeply into this, but a cursory search shows that Bolivia’s 2016 GDP was less than 10% of Venezuela’s 2013 GDP - leading me to believe that a member of an indigenous people is spreading the wealth as they build their way upward from an agrarian society while a much more developed nation has collapsed entirely.

I do not believe diversity and collectivism are complimentary.
@6 as if global development wouldn't occur without grotesque disparity of wealth, systemic tax evasion, revolving door corruption, et al. You suck.

Strange, then, that development in the Global South was so stagnant in the post-colonial period, isn't it?

If development simply occurs naturally, and is subverted and impeded by financialization and free trade and the Washington Consensus and austerity and all that, wouldn't we have expected development to be much faster before these and other facets of Globalization coalesced around 1970-80?

And yet we observe just the opposite. What could possibly account for that?
@15: Obviously they embraced Objectivism.
Mudede, you’re also trolling. In that speech you clipped, Trump said that “special interests” are “raping” America through the TPP. Most people heard “special interests” as meaning “corporations and big business” because “special interests” have usually referred to the lobbyists for the 1% or TNCs.

The funny thing is, Hillary and Bernie both came out against the TPP as well. Much to the consternation of neoliberal globalists, all three presidential candidates said they didn’t support this POS. Of course, we knew that Hillary was lying. Democratic and Republican leaders of Congress were keeping the deal on the table until she lost. People also suspected that Trump was lying, which is why his statement of abandonment on day 1 was such an oddly big story (“He said he was gonna!”).

But, his cabinet picks also pointed to his being beholden to the special interests he so decried in that speech you quoted. Not to Asians and Mexicans but to TNCs and the big banks. It’s this status of his indebted nature to the TNCs that has caused him to want to jump back in with the TPP. Nothing more.

But, globalist neoliberals are actually supportive of the wild wealth inequality and are also supporting the worsening of America. Do you know why we ended up with Trump? Globalism. He’s but one of the results of the impoverishing of American workers and the enrichment of the corporate elite. Trump is what you get when the “racist” and “non-racist” parties spend our tax money to bomb brown and black countries and then spend money rebuilding them rather than investing in our own country (remember when Hillary was so supportive of bombing Syria?).

Globalist neoliberals ensured that our choice in 2016 was between the racist mother who assured us everything was alright (even as schools deteriorated, infrastructure crumbled, taxes were cut, and privacy was invaded) and the racist father who was “pissed off” that everything was not all right and preyed upon the financial fears of average Americans to win the election and ultimately push a globalist neoliberal agenda.

The flip flop of Trump is no surprise considering his cabinet. The biggest surprise is how long it took him to get there. Now, the only thing Centrist Democrats have to complain about is that Trump ruined Obama’s Legacy. They support this flip flop but still have to bitch about something.
@2: Mudede's writing style is essentially a dinosaur left over from the style of academic writing in the 70's where you purposefully obfuscated your points and made it purposefully confusing to appear smarter. The opaqueness is a feature, not a bug.

Your eyes aren't glazing over because you aren't smart enough (but the writing is designed to trick you into believing just that), but because it is nonsensical garbage that is tied to no objective reality.

Deep down your brain knows it is just meaningless noise, and it is trying to tune it out for you.
@15 Globalization is responsible but it doesn't have to be neoliberal. Cuba scores significantly higher than many on most development coefficients that you mentioned despite decades of a crippling economic embargo. Is neoliberalism responsible for Cuba's literacy rate being through the roof?

Ah, you get it then.

Now all that's left for you to tell us (or at least sort out for yourself) is which parts of Globalization are good, and which parts are neoliberal (evil). Start with free trade agreements: good or neoliberal? Then move on to foreign investment: good or neoliberal? Privatization (vs. e.g. nationalization of oil reserves)? Cross-border lending? Migration? Debt (the other word for lending)? Cultural dilution? Urbanization (aka depastoralization)?

Good or neoliberal?

Which parts of Globalization are one, and which parts are the other?

And off-topic, because again, once we start cherry-picking, we no longer have a global analysis, but...

You're right, the burst of Cuban development that happened before the neoliberal program took root in the late '70s doesn't fit the larger global pattern. But I also seem to recall that Havana accomplished all that progress while receiving massive amounts of foreign capital and other assistance from somewhere or other at the time.
You want a global analysis that considers only a single input to the model -- time, as a proxy for global average transnational activity.

Cherrypicking is one thing, but here's no reason to avoid steps toward a globally valid analysis that considers additional inputs.
I’m just a poor, working class woman but I see grotesque income disparity every day here in the plutocracy of Seattle. Its about time this was seriously addressed by a powerful movement of people determined to eradicate poverty. I certainly don’t think that will be the wealthy 1% or 10% of this city. It looks like it will be people on the bottom and people at the near bottom and those likely to join us. Of course this will be a threat to the selfish, monied percentage as always.