Social Protectionism

Max Sawicky sawicky at
Mon Mar 13 07:59:29 PST 2000

RK: . . . ps that social protection thing

1. This whole social protection thing stinks: eliminate third world tariffs, don't allow tech transfer, don't oppose Marreckh (sp?) patent rights regime, use your own threat of protection to force FDI into your right to work states; but then invoke social protection against third world countries. All burdens of adjustment are shifted outside. Well you're no rootless cosmpolitan for advocating such a program. Congratulations!

Thank you very much, but you've got me mixed up with someone else. That's not my program.

I support tech transfer & oppose predatory use of patent rights. Using 'threat of protection to force FDI' is the capitalists' program, not mine nor the labor movement. Invoke social protection is more like it.

RK: 2. You don't respond to my point that social protection will be mainly used against *NON-COMPETING* imports in order to compel subordination to or further integration with US imperialist capital or in order to save quota increases for countries that are already so subordinated and integrated.

MBS: What evidence can you cite to support this fantasy?

RK: You don't prove that US labor will have the power to do anything more than provide an imprimatur for such big country politics, which of course will allow Mazur, etc to pass off such symbolic victories as justification for their absurd salaries.

mbs: hard to "prove" the people will triumph. We just have to hope so, like the little engine that could.

RK: 3. You don't prove that if such social protection is invoked, automation at home won't accelerate, thus killing off the jobs you thought you could protect.

MBS: I don't think "automation" kills jobs. That chestnut was cast aside decades ago. Nor do I see what automation has to do with social protection.

RK: 4. You don't explain why if the boycott is such an important weapon that Sweeney, etc aren't fighting for the right to use it at home.

MBS: Which boycott are you referring to?

RK: 5. You don't prove that the WTO would ever be able to sanction tariffs against anti labor countries, which means that you are advocating entry into the WTO though labor has nothing to gain from it all.

MBS: The U.s. is already in the WTO. See above re: little engine.

RK: 6. Why should the US be able to threaten China every year with non renewal in order to exert maximum pressure to close down state enterprises, liberalize finance, and do all the things that it will turn it another Russia? Why is this good for American labor? And why is this good for Chinese labor?

MBS: That's the corporate agenda, not the labor agenda. The labor agenda is to upgrade Chinese labor standards, which is good for Chinese labor.

cheers, mbs

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