Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich injected “realism” into his debate with CNN’s Jeffrey Lord over the implications of Trump’s “America First” policy, even as the conservative contributor used a bizarre story about women’s garments to illustrate his problem with trade agreements.
On Monday, Trump delivered on a much-hyped campaign promise to withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade deal designed to deepen economic ties among nations bordering the Pacific Ocean. Discussing the decision on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, Reich said his issue with Trump’s withdrawal extends beyond the president’s isolationist tendencies.
“It’s not just isolationism,” Reich told Cooper and Lord. “It’s Donald Trump’s assumption that the world is basically a zero sum game, in which we win only to the extent that someone else loses.”
Arguing this is emblematic of “Donald Trump’s approach to life in general,” Reich said, “that’s not the way the world economy functions—it’s not the way that world politics functions.”
Reich argued Trump’s “America First” platform “assumes that we do not depend on the prosperity of other nations in the world;” he called that “a very, very dangerous proposition.”
Lord countered that Reich was “misrepresenting” Trump’s “America First” policy, and insisted since some of Trump’s former rivals—including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Hillary Clinton—are “on the same page” as the president with regards to the TPP, “that’s Kumbaya.”
Reich explained that political alliances and agreements are largely a “win-win situation” for everybody, again charging that Trump’s “American First” slogan is dangerous. The former labor secretary said he’s spoken to European officials who are “confused, rattled and upset” by Trump’s rhetoric.
Reich argued if Trump was “really serious” about supporting workers, he would “come out slugging in favor of labor unions” and back pro-worker legislation including former President Barack Obama’s overtime rule and minimum wage increases.
Lord then launched into a “local example” about the impact of trade agreements. He said his “dry cleaner complains” to him “at length about NAFTA” and the minimum wage, arguing such policies work “great in academia, they are great in theory, but at the local level, in fact, they’re just not working.”
Lord said his dry cleaner complains to him about being “asked to clean ladies garments.”
“They bleed, which costs him money because he has to pay for the garment,” Lord said. “The reason they bleed is because they don’t come into this country with the same standards, because of NAFTA. That’s part of the problem here.”
Reich jumped in, returning the conversation to its original theme.
“Can I just add a note of realism here,” Reich asked. “We’re really talking about … the real disconnect here, is that corporate profits continue to rise, they’ve been rising now for 15 years overall, CEO pay is now 300 times the pay of the average worker. That’s the real disconnect. Most people in this country have not had a raise in 30 years.”
Reich said the problem is multifaceted, and includes major components like globalization, poor access to education and a “silly” healthcare system
“There’s a fundamental problem with regard to the allocation of power in this society,” Reich said, suggesting Trump’s TPP withdrawal could serve as a “smokescreen” for what the GOP really hopes to achieve.
Still, Reich insisted, if Trump manages to create more better jobs, he will “absolutely” give credit to the president.
Watch the video below, via CNN:
(Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Jeffrey Lord blamed NAFTA for women menstruating.)
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro takes on Norway for whaling, but bungles it
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Monday responded to Norway's decision to halt its forest protection subsidies, taking to Twitter to criticise the Scandinavian country for its whaling practice and post spectacular -- albeit misleading -- images.
"Look at the killing of whales sponsored by Norway," Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter.
The post includes a video and photographs of a spectacular whale hunt, where mammals in the shallow waters of a bay are slaughtered by people wading on shore, armed with hooked knives. The whales' blood turns the waters red.
However, the images, reportedly taken on May 29 in Norway, illustrate a "grind", a type of pilot whale hunt practised exclusively in the Faroe Islands -- a Danish territory in the North Atlantic.
Orange County teens busted for singing obscure Nazi song while giving Hitler salutes
Nearly a dozen high school students from Southern California delivered Nazi salutes and sang a Nazi marching song in a video posted on social media.
The video was uploaded to Instagram by one member of the boys’ water polo team at Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, California, along with lyrics to the song played for German troops during World War II, reported The Daily Beast.
A spokesperson for the Garden Grove Unified School District told the website administrators learned of the incident in March, four months after the video was posted, but declined to say whether any of the students were disciplined.
History provides us with no shortage of clowns and buffoons who were in politics
“The problem with political jokes,” Groucho Marx once said, “is that they keep getting elected.” Never has that been more true than today. We live in a world ruled by clowns. I mean that both literally and figuratively. Our century has ushered in the Age of the Clown Politician.
In Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, who played a Ukrainian president on the popular television comedy SERVANT OF THE PEOPLE, was elected to be the real president with over 70 percent of the vote. Zelensky is literally a clown. In Great Britain, Boris Johnson, who will replace Theresa May as prime minister, is a buffoon who elicits laughter –usually unintended- wherever he goes. Mr. Johnson is figuratively a clown.