If you have "no place to go," come here!

Email from 12 Million Member AFL-CIO, asking me to sign petition so that "TPP is as good for working people as President Obama has said it is". That'll strike fear into the heart of the plutocracy!

metamars's picture

Actually, no it won't. We need credible electoral threats, in the form of credible masses of voters circling primaries, like sharks about to engage in a feeding frenzy. We need a massive public education program (ya know, one that actually educates if not most of the electorate, than a large enough percentage of them to actually make a difference. I.e., the exact opposite of the massive FAIL we can readily observe, for ourselves, if we just devote a few hours to engaging our clueless neighbors.)

We also need some software tools to semi-automate (and leverage social networks) the processes of primarying free traitors and educating the public, using face-to-face appeals. Based on the following, it would be laughable to expect that the AFL-CIO would lift a finger (or donate a single dollar) on either score.* Maybe Donald Trump will help out (though I'm not holding my breath, there, either.)

All I can say is: wow. I’ve been working on stopping Fast Track for years now and I can tell you that—even though Congress pulled some last-minute political maneuvering to get Fast Track passed last month—we beat all the odds and changed the game. And we did it together.

One year ago, if you had told me that Congress would vote against this awful legislation, I wouldn’t have believed you. But despite the arm-twisting from corporations and the 1%, we nearly got Congress to defeat Fast Track because of the pressure you and millions of others put on your legislators.

And now the real debate has begun. In the coming months, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—the biggest trade deal in the history of U.S. trade deals—is going to be finalized, and Congress will have to vote on it. We need to make sure the TPP doesn’t sell out working people here and abroad, give foreign corporations special privileges to sue U.S. taxpayers to recover lost profits or undermine efforts to stop climate change.

Sign our petition now to tell U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and President Barack Obama to make the Trans-Pacific Partnership work for working people, not corporate CEOs.

When this Fast Track fight began, corporate CEOs and high-powered Washington lobbyists thought it was going to be a walk in the park. But because we put enough pressure on legislators by sending emails, making calls, taking action on social media and turning out for events, we slowed down and almost thwarted their plan to rubber stamp more bad trade deals that ship jobs overseas, lower wages and give more power to big corporations. This should send a strong signal to our elected leaders and the 1% that we’re not going to tolerate corporate CEOs and billionaires undermining our democracy.

We need to carry this momentum forward and tell our lawmakers to focus on policies to raise wages, so millions of working families don’t have to worry about putting food on the table or keeping a roof over their heads. And one way to do that is to ensure that the final TPP is as good for working people as President Obama has said it is.

Leaked documents from the TPP negotiations (remember, the actual text is secret) show that some of the same problematic things included in past disastrous trade deals are being considered for the final version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Things like the investor-state dispute settlement system, which allows corporations to sue governments if they feel a law or regulation cost them profits.

So this is only the beginning of our fight to demand better trade rules that benefit our families and communities.

Tell U.S. Trade Representative Froman and President Obama to ensure the TPP and future trade deals don’t sell out working people.

And thank you again for all the actions you took to stop Fast Track. We’re strongest when we stand together.

In Solidarity,

Celeste Drake
Trade and Globalization Policy Specialist, AFL-CIO

Correct me if I'm mistaken, but since the Fast Track ship already sailed, aren't our future legislative choices "Yes" or "No"? And who, in God's Green Earth, can possibly imagine that any amount of petition signing will somehow force Obama's hand into negotiating a progressive TTP?

Apparently, the AFL-CIO imagines such a future.

There's something rotten in all this.....

* they've made some electoral threats. OTOH, AFL-CIO: 2016 endorsement doesn't hinge on fast track I'm not feelin' the righteous killer instinct from them.... Perhaps we can help them organize a massive water balloon pelting of images of the TPP legislation!

No votes yet


Submitted by lambert on

Send us more money! We really need it!

Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

Nothing new here, I'm sorry to say (which is not to say this isn't a good article - it is). The AFL-CIO's political work has been lame for a long time. Watching them get boned on ACA, and every other labor-related legislative issue in Congress over the last decade has been painful.

metamars's picture
Submitted by metamars on

Flush the TPP! has come out with an "Escalation Proposal", which is somewhat better than the AFL-CIO's water balloonish non action.

It has the same "smorgasbord" flavor as That's not entirely a bad thing.

However, the terms "electoral" and "election" don't appear in the text. Contrary to what I've repeatedly advised activists of all stripes to do, which is to aggressively use elections to, at the very least, disrupt the Democratic and Republican electoral gravy trains. (This doesn't mean spending most of one's time and energy on electoral issues. Just the opposite, activists should be spending most of their time educating, and doing overt, public, "branded" social good works, that build social capital. The education and social capital should enhance motivation for the public to vote more intelligently.)

This makes as much sense as bringing a knife to a gun fight. Or fighting with one arm tied behind your back.

There are no quantitative goals of any type, never mind having at least that for educational goals. You can't quantify everything, but public educational goals can be quantified. Once again, refer to "9 Things Successful People Do Differently".(As far as avoiding stupid and irrelevant quantitative goals, see the discussion of vanity statistics in "The Lean Startup".)

The word "treason" or "traitor" does not appear in the document, despite this section on Messaging:

Global corporate coup, corporate globalization
Much more than lost jobs. Impacts around the world.
Less common angles: Inequality, poverty, hunger, global gentrification, privatization, human slavery/trafficking, mass migration, 6th mass extinction, endless war, constitutionality, etc.
There are better alternatives

Still no mention of massive INsourcing, and effectively unrestricted immigration of at least workers who have been promised jobs ("free flow of labor", to quote Japanese PM Shinzo Abe).

It's pretty clear that this document reflects no scientific approach to meme propagation (focus groups, surveys and the like). I'm strongly opinionated as what memes would be most effective, but hey, maybe I'm dead wrong. I'd rather know what memes have the best chance of success, rather than just express my opinion, however certain I may feel about it.

I think we can safely dismiss AFL-CIO as being sincere players, but what excuse do other players, presumably sincere, have for being content to operate with less obtainable knowledge relative to their objectives??

In short, I view this plan of action as basically "more of the same", and nothing that will strike fear in the heart of the plutocrats, either.

Submitted by lambert on

You write:

It's pretty clear that this document reflects no scientific approach to meme propagation

I'm interested in knowing whether there are features in the text (vocabulary, stylistics) that would enable you to determine this.

metamars's picture
Submitted by metamars on

Vocabulary? Stylistics?

There's no indication in the text that one meme might be more effective than another, at least for a particular segment of the American population. Even if there had been, there's no mention or reference to any methodology (that had some experimental - 'scientific' - backing) to determine how superior memes and actions could be determined.

Can you imagine any advertising agency, tasked with promoting the sales of one of their major clients, making no effort to determine which of various promotional scenarios would be most effective?

I've been itching to do a video "poll", to try and determine whether most Americans would be more alarmed or concerned about unlimited OUTsourcing vs. unlimited INsourcing.

I'm pretty confident that the anti-TPP "activists" will do no such thing. They seem reluctant to even mention the the "free flow of labor" TPP "gift that will keep on giving".

Is this a sign of a competent "movement"? Do you believe that the anti-TPP "activists" are competent, in general, even if they seem averse to even discussing the "free flow of labor".