By Doug Porter
On the eve of what observers are calling a close vote in the House of Representatives over fast track legislation, the coalition of labor, faith and environmental groups released a shocking report on the potential impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on service sector jobs in the metro San Diego area. One in four jobs in the region spanning over 150 occupations are being placed at risk, according to the report.
San Diego has two of less than a dozen House democrats who remain undecided on this issue – Representative Scott Peters (CA-52) and Representative Susan Davis (CA-53).
Republican House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan is seeking to stifle opposition in his own party by promoting an amendment to a customs and trade law enforcement bill being considered alongside the fast-tracking legislation prohibit the U.S. Trade Representative from negotiating climate change elements as part of any trade dealing over the next six years.
As bad as that news is for the environment, the news for local employment is even worse. Among the report’s findings:
* 324,710 San Diego service sector workers are employed in occupations that are at risk of being off-shored. These off-shorable jobs represent 25% of the San Diego metropolitan area’s entire employed workforce.
* The San Diego service sector jobs at risk of being off-shored include 19,040 customer service representatives who earn an average annual salary of $37,850; 3,500 computer programmers who average $83,810 a year; 2,530 financial analysts who average $89,770; 14,300 Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks who average $41,590 a year; and 285,340 additional workers spread across another 156 occupations
* The TPP would undermine the ability of the U.S. federal government – and possibly state governments – from requiring that contracted services must be supplied by U.S. firms employing U.S. workers.
* Also included in the report is a case study on the Philippines addressing how the TPP would accelerate an already significant flow of U.S. service sector jobs and investment into the Philippines (which already employs 500,000 call center workers serving the U.S. market).
The House vote is scheduled for Friday. There will be a “Fast Track Vote Watch 2015” at Susan Davis’ office, Friday June 12 8:30am – 5:30pm, 2700 Adams Avenue San Diego, CA 92121
Participants are being asked to stay all day if possible or sign up for a shift here www.tinyurl.com/FastTrackVoteWatch2015. Contact Kali firstname.lastname@example.org
Truthiness, Carl Luna-style on TPP
Mesa College professor and prognosticator Carl Luna took to the op-ed page of the Union-Tribune today to argue that the current legislation for fast track approval of trade agreements being debated in Congress is really all about war and peace.
His point –as I understand it– is:“too bad about all those jobs we’re gonna lose, but it’s better than getting nuked.”
TPP, like all trade deals since WWII, will undoubtedly benefit our trading partners more than us. That has been the price the U.S. has been required to pay as the power responsible for preventing a world war replay.
The dominant lesson for postwar policymakers was that the Great Depression and the collapse of global trade directly led to WWII. Maintaining global prosperity and rising global trade meant peace. The goal of global trade is simply to universalize the first rule of retail sales: Don’t kill the customer. Or as Nixon might have put it as he used détente to open up the Soviet Union to trade and the importation of massive quantities of American wheat, one doesn’t nuke the hand that feeds you.
So much for the choices we’re being offered these days. It’s kinda funny how all the avarice leading up to economic collapses simply gets forgotten.
Escondido’s Budget Used as a Cudgel Against the Poor
While many cities in California–including San Diego–are restoring or even expanding services cut back during the recession, Escondido Mayor Sam Abed’s still whacking away up in the North County.
This time around, all the contracted instructors in the city’s recreation department will get the ax. The targeted programs include 37 adult classes, 5 teen classes, 12 youth classes and 16 classes/programs for toddlers, including everything from basic crafts to self-defense.
While the city isn’t saying (yet) that these programs are all cancelled, it’s hard to imagine them continuing without instructors.
Through diverse and innovative programs, these type programs play an important role in creating healthy communities around the country, with economically challenged communities, the very young and the very old being primary beneficiaries. And that, of course, is the point, especially given the increasing Latino population in the city.
Over the past few years Abed and his allies on the Escondido Council have demanded that all all city recreational activities should bring in enough funds to pay for their operation—what they like to call “full cost recovery.” The one exception to that policy is tennis, a sport favored by the people who don’t use these other programs.
Such recovery wasn’t foremost on their minds as they were doling out over hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past few years for studies for the feasibility of a Triple A ballpark. Nor have there been objections to waiving developer impact fees that might give some cost recovery (not fully) to taxpayers for the infrastructure and services required for new construction.
Escondido’s Democrats have been hot on Abed’s trail for some time now, pointing out how a library branch was closed due to “budget cuts” only to become the new home of a charter school run by the mayor’s cronies.
From the Escondido Democrats newsletter:
If there are no professionals to teach these classes, who will teach them? City staff? When asked about this proposal at his meeting, last Wednesday, Abed punted. [City Manager] Phillips, he said was responsible for all those sort of decisions, side-tracking off into a discussion of increasing efficiency on every level, expecting the best from all employees, basically not answering the question.
Escondido Mayor Sam Abed’s campaign for District 3 County Supervisor provides the opportunity for a gaggle of great stories illustrating the role that reactionaries play in destroying good governance. One can only hope a few mainstream media types take notice.
Supe Roberts Fights Back, Again
Supervisor Dave Roberts, whose troubles have led to Sam Abed’s (and others’) early interest in the 2016 contest, continues to fight back.
This time around, staffer Harold Meza, whose rapid rise from Starbucks barista to Policy Advisor purportedly was the cause of staff dissension, called a press conference to announce a lawsuit against two of Robert’s former staffers.
Now Meza’s saying that Glynnis Vaughan & Diane Porter “spread salacious rumors in the workplace” causing a “hostile work environment.” What makes this more than a fluff item is the fact that Meza is being represented by Attorney Dan Gilleon, who sued the SDPD (and won a settlement) on behalf of “Jane Doe #1.”
San Diego City Attorney’s Latest Buzzkill Moves
From the Daily Transcript comes word of an August 19th hearing date for three motions filed by Civic San Diego and the city seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit filed against CDC by board member Murtaza Baxamusa and the County Building & Construction Trades Council.
The lawsuit in question seeks a judicial declaration on whether the power granted to the nonprofit redevelopment agency by the city is legal.
Steve Coopersmith, attorney for Baxamusa and the trades council was quoted in the Daily Transcript article, saying:
“In short, these motions are a waste of time and judicial resources, not to mention taxpayer money,” Coopersmith wrote in an email. “We look forward to opposing the motions and to a court ruling so we can get to the more important issues in the case.”
Over at KPBS we learn that the City Attorney finds it difficult to facilitate open forum hearings (where the public has a say) on revising the City Charter.
And we get some insight into why Councilwoman Sheri Lightner won right-wing backing to become council president. (Either that or Lightner had no clue how dismissive she sounded when talking to the reporter).
Earlier this year, Lightner said the committee would publish a schedule to let the public know what changes would be discussed and when. While that hasn’t happened, she said Thursday’s meeting is specifically for the public to have their say about changes they’d like to see.
She called it “open mic night.” She said her staff calls the meeting “charter karaoke.”
Lightner added that it was difficult to get the City Attorney’s Office to approve an open forum on the charter because California’s Brown Act says meeting agendas must be published 72 hours in advance.
These week’s “open mic night” includes testimony from citizen groups demanding more oversight of the SDPD. I’m sure Jan Goldsmith can’t be bothered to hear their ideas.
On This Day: 1913 – Police shot at maritime workers striking United Fruit Co. in New Orleans; one killed, two wounded. 1996 – A Metallica concert at a small club in San Francisco was broadcast live via the Internet. 1998 – Mitsubishi of America agreed to pay $34 million to end the largest sexual harassment case filed by the U.S. government. The federal lawsuit claimed that hundreds of women at a plant in Normal, IL, had endured groping and crude jokes from male workers.
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