Rachel Maddow: Corporations Are "Child Labor-Endorsing, Pro-Slavery Freaks" for Trying to Skirt Trade Laws

The following is excerpted from the Nov 10 Transcript of the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.

Rachel Maddow: The new rules for Wall Street and the banks will also create a consumer financial protection agency.  So in the same way that regulation keeps off the market things that, when used as directed, have a good chance of killing you, things like long darts, or cars with the fuel tank right next to the bumper. 

A consumer financial protection agency would keep off the markets, say, really bad mortgages that, when used as directed, are likely to blow up in your face as well.  Are these bills from Barney Frank and Chris Dodd the end-all, be-all for Wall Street rules?  Will these prevent the shunting of all the financial risk on to the public while those doing the shunting never personally risk anything more than drowning in their own bonus money? 

I don‘t know.  Surely, these bills aren‘t perfect, but they are a start.  And so, of course, the opposition is already lined up and ready to do anything they can to protect themselves and their profits and their profligate risk from any new constraints. 

You know, since the last period of them not having rules worked so well for them.  The New York Times noting that even before the new regulation bill was unveiled today, quote, “It had encountered sharp resistance from Republicans and powerful business interests in Washington.  Mr. Dodd has yet to produce the Republican who supports his plan.  Moreover, several provisions will probably be opposed by moderate and conservative Democrats with ties to various industry groups that have raised objections to the measure.” 

Even though the country just barely survived the disaster that the financial industry got us into, I supposed that it‘s inevitable that that industry would even now fight new regulations designed to stop that from happening again. 

But as Republicans and conservative Democrats in Congress start lining up with corporate America and against new regulations now, consider the alliance that they are making. 

Populist columnist David Sirota today made this catch from the business newsletter “Inside U.S. Trade.”  This is a D.C.-based publication on trade issues.  It‘s especially for people in international business.

What else are business groups worried about and lobbying against other than the new Wall Street regulations?  I wouldn‘t believe this if I had not seen it for myself. 

But check this out, quote, “Business groups are worried by the potential effects of provisions banning the import of all goods made with convict labor, forced labor or forced or indentured child labor that were included in a recent customs bill.  American business groups are concerned, upset.”  “Worried” was the actual phrase, worried about laws against using slaves and child labor. 

Quote, “Business sources say the bill could cause DHS to more actively seek out imported products made with child labor, forced labor or convict labor.” 

Oh, no.  How will the corporations save themselves from that onerous rule that you can‘t use slaves and prisoners and children to make your products if you want to sell that product in the United States?  Darn that liberal red tape.  

Quote, “Sources conceded that this was a sensitive issue because industry groups do not want to be seen as opposing strict measures guarding against human rights abuses.  However, one source did expect a push from lobbyists closer to the finance committee mark-up of the bill.” 

Wow.  I‘m guessing that business interests are OK with something like this being discussed in a subscriber-only industry newsletter publication like “Inside U.S. Trade.”  I‘m guessing they might not want to let it become widely known that they are lobbying to stop rules against slavery. 

But actually, you never know.  The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think-tank that is very high profile in Washington and that maintains all sorts of Web sites and educational public venues to promote their ideas. 

And on the Heritage Foundation‘s “Overcriminalized” blog, the Heritage Foundation, too, singles out the Child Labor Safety Act, which levies fines and jail time for companies using child labor as an example of what they call “trivial conduct that is now often punished as a crime.” 

I mean honestly, “Kids these days.  In my day, you would be delighted to be chained to the loom for a few pennies a day.”  For the record, the Heritage Foundation also singles out Neil Abercrombie‘s bill against war profiteering as another example of making something trivial into a criminal matter. 

Business interests and their think-tank friends on the right have every right to lobby on anything they want to.  Think that Wall Street, despite almost destroying the whole economy of the United States should be left to its own devices again?  Go ahead, make your case.  I would love to hear it. 

You think that child labor and slave labor and forced convict labor are cheap and therefore cool with you?  Go ahead, make your case.  I would love to hear it. 

But unless you‘re going to make your case for things like that in total secrecy, know that the case against you is there to be made, too and that that will apply to any member of Congress who sides with you as well, you child labor-endorsing, pro-slavery freaks.


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