The Pacific Trade Agreement is an Attack on Sovereignty

The Pacific Trade Agreement is an Attack on Sovereignty
by JBS President John F. McManus

In 1958, six European nations agreed to participate in what was then termed a “Common Market.” Fifteen years later, several additional countries in Europe joined and the relationship became known as the “European Community” (EC). In 1986, the EC expanded to 12 nations and the term “European Union” (EU) supplanted the previous label. Now the EU has become the dominant political and economic governing body for 28 formerly independent European nations.

More tools available at our action page (Image from www.jbs.org).

There were warnings about what was taking place. In 2003, Czech President Vaclav Klaus objected to the proposed EU Constitution. He stated: “This is crossing the Rubicon, after which there will be no more sovereign states in Europe.” He was ignored.

That same year, British authors Christopher Booker and Richard North released their important book “The Great Deception: The Secret History of the European Union.” They termed the EU “a slow-motion coup d’état.” Their book received the silent treatment.

In 2004, Mike Nattrass, a leader of Britain’s United Kingdom Independence Party, thundered, “The EU was sold to the British people as a trading agreement and turned into a political union which is changing our basic laws and traditions.”

And in 2007, former German President Roman Herzog lamented: “84 percent of the legal acts in Germany stemmed from [EU headquarters in] Brussels.” He concluded that his country should no longer be considered an independent nation.

In 2000, Mikhail Gorbachev, the ruler of the soon-to-be-abolished USSR, had raised a different type of red flag. While in Britain, he described the EU as “the new European Soviet.” Few took that revealing remark seriously.

It is now 2015. Led by President Obama, the United States has agreed to link arms in a trade agreement with 11 Pacific Rim nations. Labeled the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the proposal has been promoted as a beneficial trade agreement that will enhance U.S. trade, counter China’s exports, create jobs here at home, protect the environment, enforce human rights, and more. But a close examination of what is known about this pact (no copies have been made available, other than what has leaked out) reveals that it is far more than a mere trade pact. Instead, it should be viewed as the beginning of a process similar to the one employed to create the European Union.

Negotiations leading to completion of this pact have been conducted in secrecy, even to the point of refusing to provide members of Congress with copies. Congress is given 90 days to mull over passage or refusal but no amendments are allowed because Congress has already given the President authority to forbid congressional changes. Not only that, TPP negotiators want to keep portions of the document secret for at least four years even if Congress okays it. Why any member of Congress would agree to all of this is somewhat mind-boggling.

Mr. Obama won’t admit it, but TPP is deigned to be the beginning step in a political and economic union that will result in our doing to itself precisely what has been done to 28 nations in Europe.

Members of Congress, both House and Senate, must hear from voters about this. If TPP isn’t rejected, a huge chunk of our nation’s independence will have been traded away. If asked, Gorbachev might even refer to a ratified TPP as “the new Pacific Soviet.”

Contact Congress today in opposition to TPP! Be sure to also call as that carries a greater impact than an email (Senate: 202-224-3121, House of Representatives: 202-225-3121).

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Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


Government Worker Total Grows

Government Worker Total Grows
by JBS President John F. McManus

By almost two to one, government employees in the United States exceed those in the manufacturing sector. Numbers supplied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and reported by blogger Terence Jeffrey show that federal, state, and local governments employ 21.9 million versus 12.3 million employed in manufacturing. Is it any wonder that America is slowing down?

Manufacturing continues its downward spiral, which will be made even worse with Obama’s trade agreements (Photo by V4711 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons).

Wealth is productivity. A nation is wealthy whose people use the raw materials of the earth to produce goods. Government workers, frequently impeders of wealth producers, do not produce goods and do not create wealth.

BLS data shows that 1989 was the year when the number of government workers first exceeded the number making things. That year has been followed by steady growth in number working for government and a steady decline in the manufacturing field where the things Americans expect to use are made. Over the past 25 years, 4 million more have found jobs for government and 5.6 million have been forced out of manufacturing. Their manufacturing jobs went to Mexico, China, Bangladesh, and plenty of other nations whose wealth is increasing while the wealth of the United States is evaporating.

What does the Obama administration offer to address this problem? More entanglements called trade agreements that will, like NAFTA, result in more manufacturing jobs being lost here and gained elsewhere.

Jeffrey notes that, in 1941, there were 12.8 million workers in the manufacturing sector out of a population totaling 133.4 million – a ratio of 1 person in manufacturing for every 10.6 counted by the census. But in mid-2015, that ratio had shifted from 1 person making things for every 26 people in the nation. The goods Americans want and need are coming from elsewhere.

Nothing is being done to reverse the downward trend that gets worse year after year. If the U.S. doesn’t rebuild its manufacturing sector and shrink the number of government employees, the entire nation will suffer because the few who still produce goods will be taxed to keep the burgeoning rolls of government employees happy. And they will eventually cease producing.

We repeat: Wealth is productivity. Government workers, only some of whom are needed, don’t make things and many of them stand in the way of those want to be manufacturers.

Candidates for high office should take note of these simple facts before there are so many government employees, who are unlikely to vote for anyone wanting to reduce government employment numbers, that a continuance – or even a speeding up – of America’s downward spiral will be our fate.

For more on how money, banking, and the Federal Reserve affect our economy, view Dollars & $ense.

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Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


Unemployment and Job Figures Aren’t Truthful

Unemployment and Job Figures Aren’t Truthful
by JBS President John F. McManus

The U.S. Department of Labor recently claimed that the number of unemployed workers in America has shrunk to 5.6 percent. And the same source claimed that 252,000 new jobs were created during the month of December and everyone should cheer the success of the Obama administration. Shouldn’t we all be delighted with these numbers?

The real unemployment rate is 11.2 percent, exactly twice the published figure (Image from Flickr by Sean MacEntee, some rights reserved).

But there are problems with these claims – big problems. Plenty of seasonal jobs are created during the end-of-the-year, pre-Christmas buying spree. They don’t last. Celebrating temporary seasonal job growth as though it were permanent is dishonest.

Secondly, the unemployment figure doesn’t count the many Americans who have ceased looking for work after months of trying to find a job. Nor does it count others who have part-time jobs instead of the full-time employment they formerly enjoyed and would surely prefer. The statisticians compiling the government’s figures don’t include all of these individuals. If they did, the real unemployment rate swells to 11.2 percent, exactly twice the published figure.

A nation’s economic vitality – including decent-paying jobs – depends on manufacturing. A nation whose people are making things is a nation where wealth is being created. But the number of manufacturers in our country continues to shrink. Everyone knows that the stores are full of imported goods made by others in faraway lands. So, too, are many other items made outside the U.S. when they were formerly manufactured by Americans.

America’s wealth-producers took a huge hit after enactment of the 1995 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In 1993, the U.S. had a $1.66 billion trade surplus with Mexico. After NAFTA, the surplus disappeared, replaced immediately by a $15.8 billion deficit that has grown to more than $60 billion per year. The jobs that Americans formerly held haven’t returned. Many more have ended up in China where the U.S. trade deficit has ballooned to more than $80 billion per year.

The Obama administration has customarily provided dishonest unemployment figures. But the President and his team are now seeking congressional passage of two additional NAFTA-like trade agreements, one with Pacific-rim nations and the other with the European Union. If these two pacts are approved by Congress, the already bad unemployment situation will grow even worse.

Follow these links to contact Congress and tell them to reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). And messages sent to elected officials ought to demand honesty from the bureaucrats who habitually paint the nation’s economic situation with rosy colors when honesty calls for quite the opposite.


Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


Say No to Dangerous Trade Pacts

Say No to Dangerous Trade Pacts
by JBS President John F. McManus

A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center sought the public’s attitude about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) intending to greatly link the U.S. with 12 Pacific nations and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that would deeply tie our nation with the bloc of nations known as the European Union. Both pacts will soon be considered by Congress. To say the least, the Center’s findings were mixed.

Two-thirds of those polled favored trade in general, while fewer than 25 percent believed that trade pacts created jobs and boosted wages. Yet, asked about the TPP and TTIP specifically, about half of the respondents expressed approval and half were skeptical.

Facts are more important than the attitudes of the public, however, especially when the public has little awareness about the loss of jobs because of previous trade pacts. Most Americans know that jobs have indeed been lost but few know that a 20-year-old trade pact largely led to the losses. The 1995 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) paved the way for saying good-bye to approximately 5 million jobs. It also established judicial tribunals whose rulings now supersede decisions handed down by American courts, a development that has shocked even some of NAFTA’s previous supporters. A hard look at both TPP and TTIP shows that they threaten to worsen both of these problems.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is an admitted socialist. Yet he is cautioning colleagues about the TPP because he sees in it a great deal more than just tariffs on goods. The liberal Washington Post correctly claims that the agreement deals with “a broad range of regulatory and legal issues,” that can impact foreign policy and even domestic lawmaking. Sanders rightly insists that TPP “is much more than a free trade agreement.” If he understands this, other senators and congressmen can see it as well. But most think only in terms of increased trade, which is what the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce stress. Numerous labor unions, environmental groups, and global health organizations have also registered opposition because the pact deals with matters of concern to them.

A further complicating factor regarding these pacts is President Obama’s desire to be awarded “fast-track authority” for speedy approval of both. Such a grant of power would bar Congress from debating and amending the pacts, allowing only a “Yes” or “No” vote on each. Sanders reminds colleagues that the Constitution grants Congress sole authority “to regulate commerce with foreign nations,” not the Executive branch.

The Socialist from Vermont might be dead wrong on some issues but he’s correct in this instance. And the high and mighty so-called capitalists at the Business Roundtable and Chamber of Commerce are wrong. Congress should never cede its constitutional prerogatives by granting “fast-track authority” to the President. And both the job-threatening and foreign-entangling TPP and TTIP should be rejected. Let Congress know today!

 


Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


Say No to the North American Union

Say No to the North American Union
by JBS President John F. McManus

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) won congressional approval in late 1993. Signed by then-President Clinton, the pact, has contributed to one million manufacturing jobs lost and many hundreds of closed factories.

But the loss of jobs and factories hasn’t been the only casualty. When NAFTA was being considered, both Henry Kissinger and David Rockefeller, two eager proponents of eventual world government, made clear in their published statements that the pact was only a stepping stone toward the larger goal of uniting Canada, the United States, and Mexico into a North American Union (NAU). And creation of a formal NAU would be a step toward the “new world order” that each desires. Effective work by The John Birch Society and some allies prevented realization of the plan to sacrifice national independence in favor of the NAU.

But the enemies of national independence never sleep. At a recent gathering of the Texas-Chihuahua-New Mexico Regional Economic Competitiveness Forum held in El Paso, Texas, Congressmen Beto O’Rourke, Joaquin Castro and Henry Cuellar – all Democrats from Texas – stated their hopes to create more ties with Mexico. And Congressman Bill Owens (D-N.Y.) who represents a district bordering Canada added his hope that a similar expansion of ties can be made with Canada.

Mr. Cuellar pointed to energy production in the three North American countries. He wants to “put Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. [into a relationship] that will be the new Middle East of the world.” Energy production, of course, can continue and grow without sacrificing the independence of each of the countries. Simply stated, there is no need to give up national sovereignty in order to produce energy.

A report about the El Paso meeting provided by Newspaper Tree stated: “But with regional economies and markets across the planet becoming increasingly competitive in a globalizing and urbanizing world, the notion of building upon a stronger North America in a post-NAFTA hemisphere was clearly on the lawmakers’ minds.”

The American people must be made aware that the NAFTA pact, as costly as it was regarding jobs, also contained in its 1,700 pages numerous additional entanglements such as NAFTA judicial panels whose decisions supersede the rulings of our nation’s state and federal courts. There can be little doubt that the intention of the globalists includes having a newly created North American Union crush independence here in the same manner that it has been crushed for 28 European nations by the European Union. Members of Congress must be told by constituents that keeping our nation away from entanglements such as the proposed NAU is imperative.

For more on the agenda behind free trade agreements, read “International Merger by Foreign Entanglements” by JBS CEO Arthur Thompson. Check out a review of it here.


Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.


Another Way To Police the World

Another Way To Police the World
by JBS President John F. McManus

On Sunday, July 27th, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright appeared on the CBS “Face the Nation” program and said something the American people wanted to hear. She then promptly contradicted her own pronouncement.

After agreeing that “the world is a mess,” and that its current travails are less important to most Americans, she registered her opinion that the people in our nation don’t want the U.S. “to be the world’s policemen.” Amen to that! But Albright, who probably would never have come even close to expressing that conclusion when she was holding her high office (during the final years of the Clinton presidency, 1997-2001), followed her sound assessment of the thinking of most Americans by completely reversing it. She said, “What has to happen is we need to really work harder on partnerships.”

Partnerships? Wouldn’t partnerships with other nations involve us in whatever squabble any one of them might find themselves? George Washington urged that our nation “steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.” Thomas Jefferson cautioned against “entangling alliances.” John Quincy Adams stated that America’s policy should not have us roaming the earth “seeking monsters to destroy.” But Madeleine Albright wants our nation to tighten relationships with other countries via “partnerships” which are the very opposite of the wise counsel given by America’s early leaders.

In 1949, Secretary of State Dean Acheson led the charge that persuaded Congress to approve creation of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). Originally linking the United States and Canada with 14 European nations, the treaty has been expanded in recent years to include a total of 28 nations – with others clamoring to sign up. NATO’s 14 brief articles include this whopper: “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all….” Not only that, the treaty makes note of the fact that the organization derives its authority to exist from the Charter of the United Nations that requires all of the alliance’s actions to be duly reported to the world body.

The on-going conflict in Afghanistan is a NATO project. Whatever happens or fails to happen there is NATO’s call, and the current leader of NATO is Denmark’s Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The alliance’s Military Commander is General Knud Bartles, also from Denmark. Talk about a “far cry” from the thinking of America’s early leaders.

Albright pointed to the Ukraine crisis without noting that the U.S. is already involved through supplying weaponry to that nation’s government. And Ukraine’s officials have already expressed interest in joining NATO. They obviously want U.S. committed to being their defender.

What do treaties like NATO produce? It’s worth noting that the U.S. Constitution’s required congressional declaration of war before militarily entering a conflict got bypassed in the Vietnam struggle. The U.S. involvement there obtained its authorization from a NATO duplicate called SEATO (Southeast Asia Treaty Organization). What our forces did or were prevented from doing in that costly struggle was determined by SEATO.

The favored policy of America should be “non-intervention.” It’s not isolationism; it’s good sense.

A final curious note must be mentioned here. Albright’s choice of the word “partnership” likely was deliberate. U.S. leaders are promoting passage of economic partnerships with the European Union (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership TTIP) and Asian/Pacific nations (Trans-Pacific Partnership TPP). Just as NAFTA unnecessarily involved our nation in many ways with Canada and Mexico, these new “partnerships” would entangle the U.S. with many more nations economically and politically while diluting sovereignty even further. Passage of both should be blocked. But be forewarned: The word “partnership” is the current coverup for treaty, alliance, or free trade agreement. And Madeleine Albright, who really favors more entanglements, surely knows why she chose it.

 

 


Much Ado About Nothing (of Real Importance)

Much Ado About Nothing (of Real Importance)
by JBS President John F. McManus

Youngsters by the thousands have crossed into the United States in a new wave, invading our nation. They are being given food, shelter, and medical treatment courtesy of the American taxpayer. The federal government, supposedly the guardian and policeman of the border, has actually stimulated the massive crossing and is actually encouraging more to come with the generosity given to those already here.

In Iraq, the country that the U.S. tore apart because of non-existent weapons of mass destruction and false claims that its leaders had ties to Al Qaeda plus complicity in the 9/11 attack, is now being besieged by a new wave of militant Islamists. Those who continue to advocate U.S. policing of the world want our forces to reenter the country, flex a few muscles, kill a few more, and undoubtedly add to the already achieved list of U.S. casualties.

The U.S. government continues to deepen the nation’s indebtedness while scorn gets heaped upon any attempt or even any advocacy of cutting spending for numerous completely unconstitutional programs (e.g. foreign aid, housing, education, medicine, etc.).

But instead of dealing properly and constitutionally with the above problems and many more, attention is focused on the name of the Washington Redskins. Described as a “racial slur” that is offensive to some, the “Redskin” part of the name is the target although one wag suggested that the “Washington” portion of the team’s name is more loathed by many Americans because of the deficiencies and outrages consistently being emanating from the nation’s capital. According to RedState columnist Eric Erickson, school teams on several Indian reservations proudly call themselves the “Redskins.” It’s clearly not offensive to them and, if so, why is there a growing demand for ditching the name?

On June 18th, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled that use of the term is “disparaging” to many American Indians. Some Indians agree. But this federal bureaucratic decision doesn’t force the hand of team owner Dan Snyder to make any change. He has adamantly informed all that there will be no change. Even so, he has appealed the ruling. Meanwhile, U.S. Representative Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) outspokenly called for the Redskins to ditch their name. And other liberals, including the likes of TV sports announcer Bob Costas, have ginned up the cry for altering the name.

Several years ago, a North Dakota university caught the wrath of the nation’s busybodies because its teams had for years been known as the “Fighting Sioux.” Sioux spokesmen came to the school’s defense telling all who would listen that they liked the name, were even proud of it, and hoped it would remain. It didn’t. A similar campaign targeted Florida State University whose teams are known as the Seminoles. But Seminole support for the name has so far kept change from occurring there.

If the Redskins cave in, what of the Atlanta Braves whose fans wave their arms in tomahawk fashion and chant an Indian war hoop during games? Isn’t that displaying a form of racism and maybe even a love for reinstituting war? What of the Cleveland Indians? Think for a moment about the Pittsburgh Pirates and their audacity in adoption of the name of criminals who killed and pillaged for centuries?

It’s well past the time that all Americans ought to focus more on real problems. News headlines should be focusing on foreign policy and the U.S. involvement in the Middle East, the current influx of illegal immigrants and the action our government is taking to accommodate them, stopping the free trade agenda, and much more. Count me as one in the camp of those who say the Redskins should be left to win or lose on the football field, not having to satisfy a minority that thinks a mere molehill is a huge mountain.