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Chamber Of Commerce Offers Communication Line Between Voters And Candidates

October 21, 2010 by  

Chamber of Commerce offers communication line between voters and candidatesThe United States Chamber of Commerce is encouraging voters to ask political candidates about their stance on free enterprise policies.

The Chamber recently announced the creation of a Web-based widget that gives individuals a voice before November's midterm elections. The widget allows users to send questions to candidates regarding job creation, government spending and tax increases. Politicians will then have the option of directly responding to the voter through email.

The Chamber has created several other initiatives as part of The Campaign for Free Enterprise, including mobile text, online advertisement and youth engagement programs.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Chamber is on track to spend $75 million this year to support "business-sympathetic" candidates, mostly Republicans. Early in the election season, Bill Miller, the organization's national political director, identified about a dozen Senate races and 40 House contests that the Chamber would spend "real money" on to help shift power in Congress.

"The businesses and individuals who have been successful in this country and have benefited from the free enterprise system feel like they're under threat," Miller told the news source. "Our goal is to change the numbers so that when we make arguments to lawmakers about the issues important to free enterprise, people will listen to us."

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  • http://GOGGLE vaksal

    FREE enterprise in this nation has been destroyed by the left wing neo-liberal bunch,try to start a bussiness,it takes five years of hard investments,putting the profits back into a bussiness just to keep it alive,in the mean time,the blood suckers are draining you dry,permits,regulations,building codes,employee overheads( BENEFITS)medical,dental,maternity,you name it,taxes on inventory,eqiupment,then state,county,federal taxes,then if you get real luckey the (EPA) and if you have any infractions,guess what? you will get a big fat fine,then my biggest winner is the insurance companies(extortionist)liability and fire protection,i left out a lot more,and as far as profit,when you kill yourself building your bussiness, capital gains taxes,and it goes on and on,than everyone wonders why the companies left this nation,its not because the american employers wanted to leave or the working public was too lazy,its because the government got too greedy and pushed them out of this nations shore,the result is now as plain as day,and bailouts wont solve it,you cant build a bussiness when people keep robbing it blind to serve their own budgets that have only no endless needs,time to wake up,we are becoming a third world country,thanks to those who run this circus,our government employees,and thats the cold hard truth,and the federal banking corpration,(the FED)must be replaced by an american owned banking system,if not all is lost.welcome to left wing america where only the folks running this system make a great living,free medical,life time full pay benefits,and all they can get for nothing.what a deal.

    • RW

      The United States Chamber of Commerce is against an American economic revival for the mass majority of Americans. Their main goal is to increase free trade to the point of Americans being willing to work for the same pay as third worlders while their American backers that profit from free trade take over more. You are on to the root cause of many ills – the Fed. There is absolutely no reason the United States Treasury shouldn’t replace them with a SET interest rate. The manipulation of the private bankers changing interest rates creating inflation or deflation robs everyone. Taxes are in some cases ridiculous but Americans could afford them and the legislation/adjustments would be in a more transparent open forum if America wasn’t being bled dry by free trade. A government that runs on investment from free trade partners has absolutely no incentive to help their own- the incentive is to keep the investment coming in. So if you want the government returned to the people you have to stop the free trade.

      • Carole Howell

        RW,
        You are almost right on, but it is Germany we cannot compete with, the German factory workers are the highest paid in the world, they export more to China than they import, therefore they are making $$$$$$$$ off of China. The are the highest paid, have the longest paid vacations and still they are very competitive.

        RW,We are lied to by our MSM when delivers the messages Big Business wants us to receive. Here is part of the truth. A little long, but very enlightening, so for your everyone read and learn.

        Why Germany Has It So Good — and Why America Is Going Down the Drain
        Germans have six weeks of federally mandated vacation, free university tuition, and nursing care. Why the US pales in comparison.
        October 14, 2010 |

        While the bad news of the Euro crisis makes headlines in the US, we hear next to nothing about a quiet revolution in Europe. The European Union, 27 member nations with a half billion people, has become the largest, wealthiest trading bloc in the world, producing nearly a third of the world’s economy — nearly as large as the US and China combined. Europe has more Fortune 500 companies than either the US, China or Japan.

        European nations spend far less than the United States for universal healthcare rated by the World Health Organization as the best in the world, even as U.S. health care is ranked 37th. Europe leads in confronting global climate change with renewable energy technologies, creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the process. Europe is twice as energy efficient as the US and their ecological “footprint” (the amount of the earth’s capacity that a population consumes) is about half that of the United States for the same standard of living.

        Unemployment in the US is widespread and becoming chronic, but when Americans have jobs, we work much longer hours than our peers in Europe. Before the recession, Americans were working 1,804 hours per year versus 1,436 hours for Germans — the equivalent of nine extra 40-hour weeks per year.

        In his new book, Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?, Thomas Geoghegan makes a strong case that European social democracies — particularly Germany — have some lessons and models that might make life a lot more livable. Germans have six weeks of federally mandated vacation, free university tuition, and nursing care. But you’ve heard the arguments for years about how those wussy Europeans can’t compete in a global economy. You’ve heard that so many times, you might believe it. But like so many things, the media repeats endlessly, it’s just not true.

        According to Geoghegan, “Since 2003, it’s not China but Germany, that colossus of European socialism, that has either led the world in export sales or at least been tied for first. Even as we in the United States fall more deeply into the clutches of our foreign creditors — China foremost among them — Germany has somehow managed to create a high-wage, unionized economy without shipping all its jobs abroad or creating a massive trade deficit, or any trade deficit at all. And even as the Germans outsell the United States, they manage to take six weeks of vacation every year. They’re beating us with one hand tied behind their back.”
        Thomas Geoghegan, a graduate of Harvard and Harvard Law School, is a labor lawyer with Despres, Schwartz and Geoghegan in Chicago. He has been a staff writer and contributing writer to The New Republic, and his work has appeared in many other journals. Geoghagen ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic Congressional primary to succeed Rahm Emanuel, and is the author of six books including Whose Side Are You on, The Secret Lives of Citizens, and, most recently, Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?

        Terrence McNally: You start your book Were you Born on the Wrong Continent? with a personal experience, a stopover in Zurich. Could you talk about that?
        Thomas Geoghegan: In 1993 I got it in my head, for reasons too long to tell, to go see a woman I’d met who happened to be in Moscow. Because of the coup in October 1993, all the flights to Moscow were canceled, and I ended up in Zurich. I had not been in Western Europe for years, and, while I was waiting for clearance, I happened to walk around the streets and I was just thunderstruck by how nice it was. Every bookstore seemed like a boutique and even the train station was like a perfumery. And I thought, how did this part of the world get so wealthy without my knowing it? That was the epiphany that led me to take a bigger and bigger interest in how Europeans live, and to ask ultimately, were you born in the wrong continent?

        McNally: In talking about that walk, you point out that if you don’t have much poverty, life is better for everybody. Not just better for the poor, but for everybody.

        Geoghegan: You have more of the city available to you. [My hometown] Chicago’s fantastic, but there’s a huge swath of it that you don’t particularly want to go to — not because of any criminal danger, but just because it’s run down. Largely white ethnic neighborhoods on the northwest side are unattractive and dilapidated. Plus there are huge parts of the city that are downright dangerous. Europe isn’t like that. It’s the argument for social democracy: more equality and less poverty and disorder.

        McNally: In their book, The Spirit Level, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Picket point out that on average everything is worse for everybody in the countries with the most unequal distribution of wealth.

        Geoghegan: As a labor lawyer, I can see that janitors and truck drivers I represent would be better off in a social democracy. I make the argument in the book that even people who are doing relatively well would be literally, materially better off in a more egalitarian social democracy. Some of the public goods that are available there for free- – university education, for example, are skewed towards the people who are relatively at the top.

        McNally: Someone who doesn’t go to university doesn’t get that benefit, but a family who sends two or three kids gets an enormous benefit.

        Geoghegan: Of course, low income sectors do better too. Nonetheless, it could be said, there’s a growing amount of poverty in Germany. Especially during the 1990′s and the early part of the last decade, there was a scaling back of social democracy. For a while the bubble of casino capitalism in the US and the UK led to an allocation of capital into the US and UK looking for hot returns. Since the collapse of casino type capitalism in 2008, money has shifted back where it should have been in the first place, to the virtuous economies of the world like Germany, based in manufacturing.

        McNally: I recall Kevin Phillips pointing out in his book Bad Money that year after year the US shifted more and more of our money and our best and brightest young people into finance. When the casino seemed to be paying off, other countries also shifted in our direction, but when it broke, we didn’t have the manufacturing and export base a country like Germany has to fall back on.

        Geoghegan: The Germans had a certain amount of schadenfreude about the whole thing. They’re basically a very pessimistic people by temperament, and when they saw a world debacle that they weren’t responsible for, they actually became a little more upbeat.

        They had what they call a good recession. The German government was very quick off the mark, and immediately put in place what they called kurzabeit. Through this short work-week program, the government paid people to stay on the job when they otherwise might have been let go.

        We got ahead of the curve,” one German labor minister said, “employment didn’t drop here the way it did in the US.” When the economy recovered, there was no incentive to hold off hiring because the people were already on the job. Their unemployment is now significantly lower than ours and the economy is booming.

        McNally: When asked why Obama didn’t pursue a similar policy to stem the economic bleeding, Larry Summers dismissed the idea, saying the White House wanted to create new jobs not preserve old ones.

        Geoghegan: A pretty lame answer.

        Terrence McNally: And an arrogant one. Good for you, Larry. What about the guy who lost his job? And his family and his kids?

        Geoghegan: Larry Summers is the villain of my book. He was an architect of deregulation, and was doing a war dance back in the late 1990′s about how the US model was triumphant over all. Now, the shoe’s on the other foot.

        McNally: What’s the status of the crisis in Europe right now? The EU includes not only virtuous, productive economies like Germany, but also others not nearly so.

        Geoghegan: Those less virtuous economies were the so-called “new Europe” that Donald Rumsfeld was touting. People in the countries that are in trouble now economically were the ones willing to go to Iraq — and there is a connection. These are the countries that were much more inclined to go the American route, going into debt heavily, using housing speculation as the engine of the economy, and opening their economies big time to global bank debt and finance.

        Goldman Sachs poured tons of money into Greece, and other New York, London and German banks poured money into Spain. None of the bubbles occurred in Germany and in the “old Europe” that Donald Rumsfeld wrote off. Part of Europe is in trouble to the extent — and only to the extent — that it’s involved in the American model. Those countries most resistant to the American model are doing fine.

        By the way, why was Goldman Sachs willing to lend money to weak economies like Greece? Because Greece was in the EU. Because Spain was in the EU. These countries would never have gotten all this money from US banks. And what is so important about the EU? At the end of the day the Germans with their trade surplus are able to pay — and in fact that’s what has happened.

        McNally: How is the relationship unfolding between Germany and the economies it is bailing out?
        Geoghegan: It’s working out pretty well. The Germans are doing even better because the Euro fell — it was overvalued to begin with — and that made German goods more competitive. After the great debt crisis, the Euro became relatively cheaper, and that made Germany more profitable as an export country. Greece didn’t collapse, partly because the Germans bailed it out and partly because there was belt tightening in Greece and plenty of tourists still coming in.

        McNally: By the way, Greece represents only 2% of the EU’s total GDP, whereas California represents 14% of the US. Yet when California reached out to the federal government for similar help, it didn’t get it.

        Geoghegan: You see a story in the New York Times every six weeks — ever since I graduated from college in 1971 — about how Europe is going to collapse. They come out like clockwork.

        McNally: I pulled one of those Times articles in May when the Greek crisis was hot. The headline: “Europeans Fear Crisis Threatens Liberal Benefits.” But you point out that when a country like Germany takes something away from the safety net, they usually balance it with a benefit.

        Geoghegan: They cut back on holiday and they add a nursing home benefit. But the US press always focuses on the cutback. One of the reasons I wrote this book was to show that there’s a leadership class over there that is very clever about these things. I don’t mean in a spurious, tricky way, but actually thinking, “What do we have to cut back now so that we can go forward in the future?”

        To quote a wonderful line from the Lampedusa novel, The Leopard: as the old order is collapsing, the Sicilian aristocrat says to his young prince, “We have to change so that everything remains the same.” How do you change social democracy so that you preserve it, and maybe even create an opportunity to expand it in a year or two when the wheel of fortune turns again?

        McNally: Let’s talk about some of the contrasts in the book between our culture and theirs. People here work nine more weeks per year.

        Geoghegan: In the US, the most driven work 2300 hours a year, and people a notch or two below the most driven are working 1800 hours a year. That doesn’t count hours that are off the clock.

        McNally: Why do we work so hard? You say one of the reasons is because we don’t have unions or job security. People are afraid that if they don’t work weekends and overtime, if they don’t skip their kid’s soccer game, they’ll get laid off.

        Geoghegan: Nobody knows who’s going to be laid off next. It’s all arbitrary, Chainsaw Al could knock down your cubicle door at any time. So everyone has an incentive to stay five minutes longer than everyone else, and that creates anarchy. According to labor economists Richard Freeman at Harvard and Linda Bell at Haverford, in the US there’s nobody to tell you to go home.

        McNally: Given the fact that we work more, are we more productive?

        Geoghegan: If you consider productivity as output per hour, working longer probably decreases it. My friend Isabelle came to the US to attend grad school at Northwestern, and was upset when she discovered there were no holidays here. In the middle of the year, I found her very stressed, and I figured out what was happening: she was working American hours with German efficiency. When you look at the fact that Germans rank at the top of the world in terms of export sales — on a par with the Chinese who work till they drop — you realize they must be doing something that makes them more efficient.

        Leisure time also has material value. The fact that Americans work longer and longer hours increases GDP per capita, but it doesn’t necessarily raise our standard of living.

        McNally: Americans don’t know how things actually work in European countries. For many people the fact that Germany is neck and neck with China as the number one exporting country — give or take the rise and fall of currency – must be mind blowing. Even progressives in America don’t look overseas for models that work. I find it almost pathological that our exceptionalism infects even those who assume they don’t believe in it.

        Geoghegan: I have a friend who’s just come back from being a journalist for a long time in France and now works as a political reporter in Washington DC. She recently told me, “It’s become impossible for me to stay in a carpool with other women journalists because all I do is say to them, ‘Oh, it’s so much better in France This is so much better If this happened we wouldn’t’ She said, “They’re just so sick of me, they don’t want to hear anything more about France.”

        In some ways it’s understandable and in some ways it’s tragic. Another journalist friend of mine told me, “The three most deadly words in American journalism are ‘in Sweden they’ People just won’t keep going from there, and why is that? These are economies that have developed a level of sophistication and look like the US in so many ways. People say, “Europe’s becoming just like America,” but it’s not.

        McNally: Let’s make a quick comparison of GDP. The problem with GDP is that it has only an addition side, it doesn’t have a subtraction side. So an auto accident increases GDP; crime increases GDP.

        Geoghegan: Waste and fraud and gambling; Katrina increases GDP; urban sprawl especially increases GDP. Hours stuck in traffic increase GDP.

        McNally: plus the fact that we’ve monetized so many things that we used to do for ourselves or for our families

        Geoghegan: You’re shelling out $50,000 in tuition for NYU law school and your counterpart in Europe is getting it for free. How pathetic for the poor European adding nothing to GDP. In America we’re increasing GDP, but dragging down people’s standard of living.

        It’s a very perverse system of accounting. You say it’s all addition and no subtraction, but it’s not even all addition. Nothing increases your well-being or your material standard of living as much as leisure time. Among the untouchables in India, of course, that’s absolutely not the case; leisure is a nightmare, unemployment is a nightmare. But for many, a loss of leisure is a loss of material value.

        For example, leisure to go to a free concert at Millennium Park in Chicago. It’s a glorious experience. People in Europe are gaga about it, because it’s the one thing in America that seems to them the most European — wonderful orchestras, pop bands, jazz bands, playing right in the middle of the city; gorgeous lawns; people picnicking, etc. — and it’s all free. It’s so un-American, there’s no money going out the door. It makes a mark on your life but you can’t turn it into a sum of dollars, so it doesn’t mean anything — even though of course it means everything.

        McNally: You say the three building blocks of German social democracy are the works councils, the election of boards of directors by workers as well as by hedge fund managers, and the regional wage setting institutions.

        Geoghegan: First: work councils. The analogy I used in the book is fictitious: Imagine you elect a works council from among the employees at the Barnes & Noble bookstore where you work. They don’t bargain for wages, that’s done by the unions; but they have all sorts of rights that relate to working time, who gets laid off, even whether the store is going to close or not. They can go in and look at the books. The management has to enter into agreements. The works council can’t dictate, but they have enormous influence over what working hours will be, who’s going to work when and how.

        Co-determined boards are mandated at German companies with 2000 employees or more, the global companies that are beating us, although you can have them in other situations. These are maybe more like super boards that don’t do as much day-to-day managing as our boards of directors do. It consists one half of people elected by and from the workers, and one half elected by the shareholders.

        The chairman of the board is selected by the shareholders and has a double vote so that, if there’s a tie between the shareholders and the employees, the shareholders win. But it creates a lot of potential influence over how the debate goes.

        McNally: But you also say that the shoe is on the other foot when it comes to choosing the CEO, correct?

        Geoghegan: If the shareholders are divided on who should be the next CEO, the clerks get to pick the king.

        McNally: In contract negotiations over the last 10, 15, 20 years, American workers have been giving back things, agreeing to two tiers, lowering their pension guarantees. I’ve never heard of any of them trading a concession for the right to elect members to the board.

        Geoghegan: The UAW had somebody on the board once.

        McNally: Management can’t even say it won’t work because Germany’s beating our pants in manufacturing, and the codetermined board is also spreading elsewhere, right?

        Geoghegan: The German model has made inroads on the US model in other European countries.

        McNally: You quote the German labor minister saying, “Our biggest export now is co-determination”. Now, third: regional or sector wage settling.

        Geoghegan: It’s much reduced these days, but they still have some version of regional wage bargaining setting standards that everybody has to comply with. That used to be true here — to a lesser extent than in Germany — but it’s disappeared.

        McNally: Are you talking about a situation where you would negotiate with one of the big three automakers and the others would basically get the same deal?

        Geoghegan: I was thinking more of the United Mineworkers negotiating a contract with multiple employer associations to produce a national agreement that covered every employer. That was true in the coal industry and with the Teamsters in the trucking industry.

        McNally: Agreements across a whole industry create a sense of transparency, right?

        Geoghegan: People know what their wages are. East Germany was a factor in the breakdown. You couldn’t really have the same labor costs and labor standards that you had in West Germany because the economy wasn’t at the same stage of development.

        IMcNally: f you compare your quality of life and the prospective quality of life for your children with the German quality of life, things are only getting worse. To cite just one example, economist Robert Frank talks about the fact that American families end up moving into neighborhoods they can’t afford because that’s where the good schools are, and I’m sure this played some role in the mortgage collapse.

        Geoghegan: We’d be much more competitive globally if Americans had six weeks off, and had a chance to go and see what people are doing in other countries. We’d come back much more sophisticated about them and probably have better ideas about how to sell things to them.

        McNally: You point out that as globalization grew, the US chose to compete on the basis of cheap labor by outsourcing. We kept the marketing and executives here and moved the manufacturing elsewhere. We’ve been playing that game for 20-30 years now. Germany chose to play the opposite game.

        Geoghegan: 30 years later the Germans are making money off of China, and China is making big time money off of us. One thing I really try to get across in the book: Many Americans think that we’ve got a trade deficit because we can’t compete with China. We’ve got a trade deficit because we can’t compete with Germany in selling things to China. Until people wake up and look at the kinds of things that the Germans are doing to keep their manufacturing base, we’re going to continue to run deficits which leave us in the clutches of foreign creditors and compromise our autonomy as a country.

        McNally: This is something that the right wing should be up in arms about.
        Geoghegan: Absolutely. And they’re clueless. They are mortgaging this country’s future and they’re too stupid to realize it.

        McNally: This seems like a good point to turn to “10 Things the Dems Could Do To Win,” a cover story I wrote for a recent issue of The Nation.

        Geoghegan: The Democrats have to do something for their base, keep it simple and make it universal. Unlike the healthcare bill which was perceived as a handout for “them”, the uninsured, many of them in red states. Democrats should focus on things that either give a direct benefit to people or give them a sense of power.

        For example, increase Social Security so that it’s a real public pension — push Social Security benefits up to 50% of people’s income. Of course we can’t do this overnight, but we can set it as a serious goal.

        McNally: Social security in the US is 39% at this point. In Germany it was 67%, but it’s dropped?

        Geoghegan: To the low fifties. But people have tons of money in the bank over there, there’s a high savings rate and, at least in the unions, they also have private pensions that work much better than in the US.

        McNally: They also don’t graduate college with thousands of dollars of debt that many will carry for the rest of their lives.

        Geoghegan: They do have a demographic crisis that they’re going to have to get through, but they’ve protected the system.

        McNally: Raising social security to 50% of working income means that when you go on to social security you’ll get half of what you were getting when you were working. Currently you get less than two-fifths.

        Geoghegan: The top 20 developed countries have an average rate of something like 60%, so we can do this.

        My second proposal is simply the most effective way to move ultimately to a single payer healthcare system, which I think we have to do. I would say that even if I didn’t think single payer were a better system. You have to have one consistent system of payment to get control of healthcare costs. All the European countries do. It doesn’t have to be single payer, but it has to be a consistent system. You can’t have a mix of private market and single payer.

        Let’s lower Medicare’s eligibility to 55. What brought back GM and Chrysler? The government came in and took away their retiree healthcare costs. We’ve got to lower labor costs not by bringing down wages — that would be a disaster, but by having the government assume wage labor costs that are making us less competitive. People of 55-65 will all vote for you because it will change their lives.

        McNally: Folks like Alan Simpson and Pete Peterson are going to say, “Wait a minute, you’re going in exactly the wrong direction.”

        Geoghegan: Social security basically is solvent now even at its current level. And I have ways of paying for it.

        First, if you brought back the estate tax and dedicated the proceeds to the Social Security trust–as Robert Ball, former Social Security commissioner, once proposed. Second, lift the cap on the Social Security tax — it’s at $90,000 now — so it applies to all incomes. After all, Social Security is for everyone. Third, if you did things like eliminate the corporate debt protection for debt that is used in leverage buyouts and non-productive uses right now, you could generate the financial reserve that could pay for this. Finally, I do think people should pay a little more for their Social Security because they’re going to get a better deal.

        All of these things have two purposes, to do something directly beneficial to the base now, and to do something that reduces the size and influence of the financial sector and increases the viability of manufacturing.

        Lowering the age for Medicare, for example, allows employers to substantially lower their labor costs for their most expensive workers. It’s not just to make them competitive, but it’s also to induce investment into manufacturing which is right now inhibited by the uncertainty of healthcare costs. Ultimately the goal of all of this is to get the US out of debt.

        The debt issue ought to be the Democrat’s issue not the Republicans. The real debt issue is our external trade deficit. We either have consumers go into debt to make the books balance at the end of the day as we did during the Bush era, or we have the federal government do it when consumers cut back. We don’t earn out way in the world, and until we do, we’re going to be running either large consumer debts which lead to private financial panics, or federal debt which could lead to a sovereign default. We’ve got to get out of that box, and the only way to do it is to put in measures that make our economy more competitive globally.
        McNally: You’re saying that Obama and the Democratic party could transform the issue of debts and deficits by offering solutions that are not just about paying today’s bill, but about restructuring our ability to pay the bill in the future.
        Geoghegan: We will never get out of debt until we confront our inability to pay our way in the world. Somebody is going to be in debt, whether it’s me the taxpayer paying off the federal deficit or me the consumer paying off my Visa card. It doesn’t make a whole lot of difference at the end of the day. The Democrats ought to present themselves as the party that has a plan to get the country out of debt.

        McNally: You also recommend a usury cap on credit cards.

        Geoghegan: You’ve got to get returns down in the financial sectors and returns up in manufacturing sectors. That’s the key. And proposing that will split the business community in this country in a very healthy way. The Democrats can be the party of the manufacturers, even if it’s at the expense of Wall Street. For years, the Democrats have slipped the other way. People perceive that and they’re frustrated by it.

        McNally: The financial sector currently funds both parties. Republicans get to be true to their convictions, while Democrats end up negotiating with themselves. Though they may have some progressive leanings, their funders pull them in the other direction.

        Geoghegan: Even progressive Democrats don’t have the sophistication of their counterparts on the left in France and Germany in terms of understanding how important it is not to run up a national debt. Here we march against Mexico and put up tariff walls. They don’t do that in Europe, they’re not that unsophisticated.

        McNally: Let me finish with a quote of yours that really struck me: Without an industrial base a democracy dies.

        Geoghegan: My own favorite ending line would be: Countries like Germany do both capitalism and socialism better than we do.

        Interviewer Terrence McNally hosts Free Forum on KPFK 90.7FM, Los Angeles and WBA I99.5FM, New York (streaming at kpfk.org and wbai.org). He also advises non-profits and foundations on communications. Visit terrencemcnally.net for podcasts of all interviews and more.

        • libertytrain

          A link would have been far more polite.

        • s c

          Ye gods, CH. Did you forget anything? Did you proof your commentary and make sure that we weren’t at all deprived? H L Mencken was right. Some people can handle words and ideas. And then there’s ‘the rest.’
          Be forewarned that when you get to that school, your professors/instructors will be ready and waiting to tell you that it’s far better to say what you want in a few paragraphs. When you go on and on and on and say little or nothing, then you’re doing something wrong. Are you SURE you didn’t leave anything out?

          • Claire

            s c —”Ye gods.” I am not picking on you, but when I read that I had to laugh. I haven’t heard that in years. However, I agree, the post was way too long. Like libertytrain said, a link would have been better. Sometimes a condensed post has more of an impact.

          • eddie47d

            Claire: SC didn’t like what she read and is showing her anger. It’s her way or the highway. We need to learn from all countries,especially if their economy is doing much better.Germany is a prime example and plays alot fairer than many countries. China doesn’t play fair no matter how their economy is doing so I don’t look to them.

          • Claire

            eddie– I will say China worries me–a lot. I don’t like their hands in America’s economy. I sure wish we could pay them off–in a hurry. Something has to be done as soon as possible. America does not need to owe China a damn cent. I don’t trust China– I never have. And the current administration needs to “watch” their backs. Hobnobbing with some of these countries that are our known enemies could be very tricky. They could turn on us like a Doberman, pardon the expression. There is a fine line that must be observed and caution must be used.

          • http://?? Joe H.

            sc & Claire,
            I thought we were supposed to post, not write a book!!!!

        • Robert S

          When will it be coming out in paperback?

          • libertytrain

            based on the excerpt it would have to be the size of “War and Peace”

          • http://?? Joe H.

            Libertytrain,
            Or a tale of two cities, except with her it would HAVE to be a tale of four cities!!!

      • http://GOGGLE vaksal

        RW you are correct,the fed must be stopped and nafta must be revoked,this nation has been throw in to the black pit of failure,do to those who signed nafta,our elected employees,what a joke,dumocrat or rhinos they should be shot for treason,but do to the fact that they are not worth one bullet,the whole bunch of them,maybe we should laugh them out of office,when they come to get our support and votes.look at all the crooks running for offices,i wouldnt hire one of these people to clean my outhouse,for they would sell it to china,and force me to buy a new one from some foreign nation.the point is where are the american made products? the answer there are none.

  • Doc Sarvis

    The United States Chamber of Commerce needs to divulge what foreign countries/entities are funding them and what the expectations are of that funding. If they are getting funding from countries with an anti-American agenda then we need to know that.

    • Mick

      Doc Sarvis says:
      October 21, 2010 at 8:23 am
      The United States Chamber of Commerce needs to divulge what foreign countries/entities are funding them and what the expectations are of that funding. If they are getting funding from countries with an anti-American agenda then we need to know that.

      ***************************************
      Doc Sarvis,,,
      it would be nice to know exactly where all of that money is coming from starting with all of the foreign contributions and crooked organizations the democrats received in the past decade……….

      • RW

        The money is anti-American in the sense that the purpose is to expand free trade until American business is completely unrecoverable – which is nearby. Though these foreigners mostly fund the Chamber and Republicans the Democrats get a share too. The Democrats use the stupid argument that free trade is needed to lift third-worlders out of poverty and that it is okay if that hurts Americans who are so well off.

        • DavidL

          Yes, yes, yes. OMG!!! Chamber of Commerce, an extension of the RNC, Koch brothers, Fox, Palin, Limbaugh, Levin, Beck, Hannity, Republicans in Congress CAMPAIGN MONEY FROM FOREIGN ENTITIES AND BIG OIL ATTEMPTING TO BUY OUR ELECTION AND COUNTRY.

          UNTIL THEY RELEASE ALL THE NAMES OF ALL THEIR DONORS, AND THEIR DEMANDED FAVORS, I’M VOTING DEMOCRATIC. THE BUM YOU KNOW IS BETTER THAN THE DEVIL YOU DON’T. AT LEAST THE DEMOCRATS ARE AMERICANS FIRST!!!!!!

          • JoeG

            Unfortunately the bum we know is headed on course that by design will will reduce America from a major world superpower to a par with third world countries. Understand his background, his influencers, to understand his Belief system and objectives for America. I think “the bum we know” scares me a lot more than the devil we don’t.

          • ValDM

            Yes, by all means, let’s have full disclosure. Lefties go first. Odumbo needs to explain the millions he got from Saudi Kings and the Hamas drudge machine that drummed up more than a million thru a call center. Foreign money? You bet, but not just the Chamber.

          • Gary

            IMHO htat makes you an idiot.

      • Robert S

        Mick It’s not only Democrats. When people learn that we have a 1 party system only then will things start to change.

        • Rep=Dem=Rep=Dem

          Well said Robert S., pretending that Reps and Dems aren’t getting their orders from the same people will allow the continued decline of America. The bum we know is exactly the same as the one we don’t.

          • Robert S

            RDRD People think voting for TP candidates is a good thing. They are just your ordinary Republicans who have hijacked the TP. It was originally intended to get away from the same old crap of R-D.

    • alpha-lemming

      Red China is underwriting ~10% (documented) of the Federal budget. That means they’re paying (portion of) Presidential and Congressional salries. Does Red China have an anti-American agenda? To quote DS… “if they’re funding them, what are the expectations of that funding”?

  • Claire

    At this moment in time, I do not trust the Fed in any way, shape, or form, and I already had misgivings about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, including the Supreme Court judges. My gut instinct tells me the Chamber of Commerce is not what it seems, in fact, I don’t think they have been on the “up and up” for years. It was a big mistake for foreign countries to fund some of these U.S. organizations. I think these organizations have dealt the U.S. a mighty blow in many ways. Now some of these foreign countries have a “hold” in the American system and this is not good. There is always a day of reckoning, and a “payback” to be considered.

    • Claire

      I do not care if the Chamber is right or left. I still hold to what I believe. I still want to know what countries have donated to this organization. All donations should be made public. Right or left–makes no difference. When it gets down to the nitty gritty-as an American I want the truth. I want to know exactly what is going on, no more fun and games. Party affiliation is beside the point as far as I am concerned because this is what has caused a lot of the problems we are having now. This is serious business and everyone in government should be held accountable.

      • Barb

        I agree with you Claire, however no matter what the Chamber comes up with Obama and HIS news media will swear it’s not all divulged and there will always be doubt in your mind if they are coming completely clean or not. There is plenty Obama has not come clean with and his fellow lefties, tons in fact. My point is the Chamber is doing the American voters a great service in posting these sites and sending the news letters to inform and educate us and I say more power to them, they have Obama and Pelosi running scared spitless, works for me!

        • Claire

          Barb– I do not have much respect for any of the powers that be, they all leave a lot to be desired in the honesty department. I have reached a point in my life that none of them appear to be very trustworthy to me. They all have something up their sleeve, besides an arm! They are all “out for themselves” or their particular party. There is always a “method” to their madness. And madness is what it is.

      • Gary

        Claire, you are absolutely right. You have hit the nail on the head.
        What we need is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
        WE THE PEOPLE have been fed a line of crap for decades. The truth is buried under so much B.S. that many don’t even recognize it when it is seen or heard. THE TRUTH…NOW THAT WOULD BE CHANGE!

        • Claire

          Gary–A CHANGE we could believe in!!

    • John

      The chamber is made up of 96% small business 100 people or less, the money brought in is in dues. They want to know where the money is coming from so they can attack the people and business like they did the AIG other CEO’s to stop the money flow by fear.

      • RW

        The chamber doesn’t just get money from dues. If the chamber cared about American business they would stop supporting free trade and outsourcing. Small business can’t compete with slave and child labor.

  • Barb

    The Chamber of Commerce has made an impact against Obama and his cronies that’s why they are going after them so hard now. Obama is anti-workers and anti commerce and though the Chamber is a Big Organization mainly out for themselves they ultimately help us the workers whether they mean to or not. Therefore I’m all for the Chamber on many levels especially since they are on the RIGHT side against Osama Obama! And remember the lamestream media and Obama are not above flat out lying about their enemies, such as the Tea Party, & now the Chamber!

    • Mick

      Barb says:
      October 21, 2010 at 9:54 am
      The Chamber of Commerce has made an impact against Obama and his cronies that’s why they are going after them so hard now. Obama is anti-workers and anti commerce and though the Chamber is a Big Organization mainly out for themselves they ultimately help us the workers whether they mean to or not. Therefore I’m all for the Chamber on many levels especially since they are on the RIGHT side against Osama Obama! And remember the lamestream media and Obama are not above flat out lying about their enemies, such as the Tea Party, & now the Chamber!

      *********************************
      Barb,,,You’re absolutely correct.
      The media and Obama are definitely not above lying and on a regular basis..
      The left has made a career at scaring older citizens . easy for them to do, who wants to die alone on the streets…
      They have been using this tactic for decades knowing full well that when someone reaches a certain age they will be more apt to back away from reason out of fear but if our elderly were to use common sense they would realize that eliminating social security will never fly however the republicans are talking about reforming the social security to eliminate the fraud and abuse this system has been plahued with for decades..
      Social security is and should only be for the people who paid into it,,,,,,,,,,

  • Carole Howell

    I have been listening to some of the Candidates lately on Radio talk shows. Meg Whitman (spent over 144 million of her own money) for instance made the statement that CA farmers have not been receiving their full share of water and if she becomes Governor she will turn the water back on. WHAT? WHAT?

    I was in California for the past few years during my backpacking vacations. The reservoirs there have been way down for years, I mean alarmingly low. One in particular had spots I could have waded across. Now where is the water going to come from when she turns the spigots back on.

    Then I listened to Ron Widen’s challenger in Oregon. He talked about how the environmentalists protection of old growth for the benefit of the Spotted Owl, killed the timber industry there, most of the saw mills have been shut down. Now it is true most of the saw mills have been shut down. But the reason they were shut down and continue to be shut down is because raw logs are sold to Japan, who have factory ships off the cost and they process the logs into lumber and plywood and then sell it to us. Sick, Sick. But some companies make more money that way. So the hell with Oregon’s saw mill workers. The bottom line is most important.

    Anyone know the history of CA’s redwood industry? The most productive lumber industry in the entire world? What happened there eh? Know that story? It was the most productive in the world for generations. All sold to a company that wanted a quick return and they clear cut the entire areas. Well hell, they bought it didn’t they. But guess what? It is not a productive area anymore. More lost saw mill jobs there also.

    I have not even touched the leveraged buyouts and hostile takeovers and the outsourcing of American jobs. We have been and continue to be screwed and robbed. Sick. And what do we talk about here, Gays, abortions, prayer in schools etc. etc. Our black President yadda yadda yadda.

    We should be talking about our lost jobs, what 8 million under Bush and we were told they were not coming back and that was before Oboma, Obammer, yak yak yak, was even elected. And what are we saying? ROTFLMAO, everything will change in November when we elect the Republicans back into office in the house and hopefully the Senate, Blah Blah Blah.

    Yeah! we need to elect these know nothings, or bald faced liars I have been listening to, into office and Whalla problems solved. What the hell men and women? What the hell? Were we always this stupid?

    • Rep=Dem=Rep=Dem

      Come on Carole you know those same old social conservative issues are the most important – lets keep people discussing them so Republicans can get back to the business of growing government and fleecing America.

  • UncleOtto

    What was not mentioned here is the real cause of the lack of jobs, namely the free trade agreements, surely a field of dreams. The big sucking sound has happened. Lou Dobbs was the only tv news man that was against it, and he was kicked off tv. The neocon Republicans and very likely the Chamber are in favor of it.

  • Carl Leonhard senior

    Dear Editor
    The Ubama democrats are desperate to cover up there inability to govern. The last Presidential Election Ubama used Acorn to register illegals. Hilary recieved Money from Mark woods a pardoned overseas felon that bought a pardon from the Clintons. Chinese money was used.
    Now the NACP is acusing the tea party of being racist. THey hired Ubama’s former White hating Minister to there Convention.

    • Carole Howell

      Carl,
      OMG! here we go again. Lets just ignore the real problems and go back to this divide and conquer crap.

      Someone up above mentioned the NAFTA & WTA, I forgot to mention that. Yes, Clinton got it passed in no time after the Bush Admin tried and tried to get that passed. I was infuriated with Clinton for that. He has since apologized and admitted it was wrong. Yeah! and he a Rhodes Scholar, did not know that to begin with, Yeah right. LOL

      They are bought and paid for, what can we expect? We will not get anything changed until we have publicly financed elections. What we have now basically is Congressional seats for sale and a Presidential office for sale. Face it, this is killing us.

      When you get the Republicans back in office and things get worse, what are you going to say then? When will you face reality?

  • Rep=Dem=Rep=Dem

    Go Carole, most won’t face reality. Tea party is even 100% Republican candidates but Tea party enthusiasts act like it is an independent movement. They will get people elected and then when things keep getting worse they will find excuses. Tea party candidates are just using catchy slogans and are not addressing root causes.

    • http://?? Joe H.

      Rep=dem,
      not all the TEA party is republican!! Don’t lable something you obviously know nothing about!

      • eddie47d

        Sorry Joe, The biggest majority of Tea Party folks vote Republican and will vote Republican in the coming election. They will vote against a Republican if it brings in a Constitutional Republican.

        • Rep=Dem=Rep=Dem

          Tea party is 100% Republican candidates – not one isn’t.

        • http://?? Joe H.

          edduhhhh47duhs!,
          I’ve talked to quite a few that are voting libertarian!!! tired of the one party system doncha know!!

  • jopa

    John; You are confusing the US Chamber of Commerce with your local chamber of commerce.The two are nothing alike.The Us chamber funnels money in from foreign countries like China ,India, and Bahrain.They actually conduct seminars on how to move American jobs overseas and how to avoid paying taxes to the US.Their members are big oil, banks,forest products, big Pharma and Wall Street.A very scary situation when it comes to the American public as far as jobs and security go.Hidden donations to any party does not even sound like the American way.

    • s c

      J, are you also describing AARP? That description would also fit some well-known pollsters.

    • eddie47d

      So true Jopa.

  • Patriot

    I am very encouraged by the comments on this website. I have seen firsthand the devastation that so called “free trade” has caused to the American way of life. Our family business used to proudly manufacture all of our products in the United States, but we were forced to go overseas to compete. I actually had a Wal-Mart buyer tell me that our price was too high and that if I wanted to sell to them I had to make our product in China.

  • s c

    If the C of C can introduce something functional to the political process, then GOOD for them. We, the people, need to know what candidates stand for, what they really think (when their handlers aren’t hovering around them) and whether or not they’re ‘in it for the money.’
    Something else we need to know is whether or not a candidate plans to make politics a CAREER. From what I’ve seen from the Washington circus, I would NOT vote for anybody who thinks they’re so TALENTED that they need to be in Washington until they retire from “public service.”

    • eddie47d

      Is that suppose to be words of wisdom from someone who doesn’t want Campaign Reform or Campaign Finance Reform.So much for having accountable politicians. I guess it only sounds good if you are the one doing the spinning.

  • Warrior

    Pretty obvious that most have made these positions an “Occupation”. Extremely small percentage are “Statesmen”. Lie, slander, cheat and steal goes on and on. Make their own rules, give themselves raises, hire their friends, supporters and family. Intentionally remap districts to keep themselves in office. Steal elections.

    This is the best our nation can do? Throw these self serving crooks out at every level. It’s worse than despicable.

    Transparency has finally arrived for we can all see them for what they have become.

  • http://com i41

    Every envior, backpacking, dreams are part of the problem why jobs disappear. The clear cutting B–l s–t is just that, go up in Mt and see what the envior college trained smucks don’t have a damned clue of reality. Some species of trees quit groweing when the top bushes. The idea of if mankind would disappear and nature takes over, yellowstone fire was a good example. Your bull about Spotted owl was a farce, those owls live in old cars the old grow is a need for the ecosystem crap is a knee jerk attitude for the concrete pounders. It is the same retards that give billiomn to idle productive farm ground, so instead of $1500 a month welfare mothers, they prefer muyimillion dollar welfare vacationing farmers or mega corporation. So you socialist dumbocrtaps are liplocked on to the big corporations and bamks. When farmers and corporation get million it get put in banks for more screwing of the small business and families, by taking taxpayers money on bailouts of deposited taxpayer deposits and loaning it out several points higher interest rates. How apprtoved all this crap completely, The National Marxist Democrat Communist Party which are lock step with the purple lipped marxist muslim moron. I see some one was extolling Germaany, when you are about 16 in school, you chose to either apprentice as a student of industerial training, or go on to be a non productive desk jockey. And you are stuck there with no chance of getting in to the elit top position, which I guess democrats endorse any way. Onumnutts beleives everyoner needs a college degree, I see a billionare is taking kids without a degree that have an idea and supporting them with finacial help, which our loaded up with cash banks should do, with out all the “experts” degreed advisors, who do nothing but shuffle papers.

  • eddie47d

    Corporations love the free market until there is real competition. Then they go into full frontal attack mode and destroy the competition. (through mergers,buyouts and takeovers). In their reality they love monopolies and will do anything to keep it that way. The Chamber of Commerce does plenty to encourage that behavior.

    • Warrior

      As does their co-conspirators.

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