TPP stands for Trans Pacific Partnership, a far reaching free trade deal that US and our Asian trading partners have been working on for years. The TPP was in the news yesterday because Hillary Clinton came out and said that, in its current form, she cannot support TPP. You can read her reasons for taking this stance.

You would think as a free trade loving, free market loving venture capitalist I would be a huge proponent of TPP. But I am not.

I am very concerned about the copyright provisions in TPP which feel very much in the old world model of intellectual property protection and which would make it hard for the US government to evolve copyright laws in an era of digital content, more open innovation, and remix culture.

The EFF has a great discussion of these issues on its website so instead of reciting them here, you can read a detailed discussion of the copyright issues in TPP here.

One of the problems with these big multi-national trade negotiations is that it is super hard to get everyone to agree on everything in them. That is why they are negotiated in secret and the end result is then voted yes or no in each country without any amendments.

I realize that perfect is the enemy of the good and you need to have a comprehensive view of a trade bill like this and not focus on one issue. But copyright law is a big deal for the innovation economy and if I were in Congress, I would be seriously thinking about voting no on TPP.


Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    …and the TTIP between the US and the EU;…the devil is always in the detail, and this one is devilish.p.s. as an investor in Coinbase would you please try to influence the company to enhance its security protocols by introducing U2F authentication and the option of physical keys (e.g. Yubikey).

  2. William Mougayar

    The TPP covers about 40% of the world’s trade economy. It was a big bowl of wax type of agreement that involved concessions in order to obtain gains. From what I read it’s not very good for IP and e-commerce. Being in technology, I’d be opposing it too.

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      And not so good for Canadian drug pricing either !

  3. Aviah Laor

    It’s worse than the old model. Some of the critique of the TPP is that it allows corporations and investors to sue foreign governments outside of the country own courts system! It gives the corporate side even more instruments to prevent any future fixes and improvements to governments policies.

    1. Mike O'Horo

      Agree. This is the truly scary part of TPP. The corporatists are insulating themselves from any threat of populist awakening and political revolt.

    2. Richard

      True, but there is legitimate reason for this, pharmaceuticals (unlike software) are super expensive to develop and super easy to knock off. Where do drugs (and VC) develop? In the U.S. Where do they get knocked off?Pharma revenue is 10x that of apple.This is big potatoes.

      1. Mike O'Horo

        One wishes they’d get knocked off in the US, since their rapacious US pricing seems to be their primary profit source. Example: for the anti-clotting drug, Xarelto, the best price available in the US is $325/mo. I bought it from a Canadian pharmacy for $65/mo., which is 20% of the US price. BigPharma has already gotten Visa and MC to support their gouging scheme by refusing to process Canadian pharma transactions. If AmEx and Paypal also cave to them, we’re back to being raped, relative to the rest of the world.

        1. Richard

          The issue isn’t drug price as much as 10 years corporate margins, earnings etc. How much does it deviate from companies like Apple and Google ?

      2. Aviah Laor

        Such issues can, and should, handled in courts. The idea that a corporate can bypass a country legal system altogether is not pleasant. It will slowly eradicate the power of governments to confront corporations for the public good, even more than now. IP is just one example, but also environment, work laws, monopolies, etc. The large corporations already have tremendous power on the political system, and laws.

        1. Richard

          Three equal branches of govt. Anytime litigation can avoided by legislation, courts see that as a good thing. In the end this will result in lower drug prices for the U.S.

  4. Dave Pinsen

    Decades of these trade deals and the end result is always the same: huge American trade deficits and the net loss of good jobs. I think these guys have a better approach with their idea for balanced trade:

    1. Tom Labus

      not a great trade record.

      1. pointsnfigures

        What about the savings on goods and services to the economy? You have to add that back in. Look at it through an economic lens, not an accounting lens.

        1. Tom Labus

          good point

        2. LE

          What about the savings on goods and services to the economy?Let’s face it much of the things that people buy because it’s cheaply priced (and almost throw away) are things that they can do without. All you have to do is see the slobs trekking through Walmart to know that.Look at the rise of the storage industry (all those rental storage facilities). Look at the fact that in any new housing the closets are huge. Why is that? Because of all the shit that people buy that they couldn’t buy in the 1960’s (or even the 70’s) that they can now.My point is essentially the energy saving bulbs paradox (let’s call it that). Well known that when people have an energy saving bulb they are less likely to turn if off so the actual energy savings is not what is to be expected. Here what is happening is that people are taking those available $$ and just buying more things that they really don’t need with the money that they have saved.

          1. Dave Pinsen

            And look at the resale value of it. It’s negligible. You’re lucky to get $5 on Craig’s List or one of the new mobile apps for selling household stuff for something you paid $100 for.

          2. LE

            The chapter in the book (that I will never write).”Why people do garage sales or sell things on ebay”.Often it’s not for the money. It’s because it seems better to get $5 for something (even if you have to sit out all day to make a total of $200 or schlep to the UPS store to ship a trinket) than throw that thing out. Oh sure people think “another item not in a landfill” and it makes them feel better in some way. But the bottom line is it’s a poor investment in one’s time (unless one is living hand to mouth to begin with).

          3. Richard

            Let’s not forget how important corporate profits are to share holders and stock prices. For a large majority of people, the new social security system is the S&P 500. I for one an getting tired of people demonizing the “other company” for its profits.

        3. Dave Pinsen

          Look at your own post on the “Obama Economic Miracle”. Trade policy is part of the reason for it. Most Americans are worse off under the status quo.

  5. pointsnfigures

    What was interesting is many Republicans were against this deal, and were vilified for it-and in many cases by their own party. Hillary flip flopped. She is moving further and further left because she is a weak candidate. I don’t think people like her care about copyright laws. They only care about getting elected and power.I am a huge free trader when it comes to tariffs and duties-and taxes. Copyright is intellectual property and that is different.I see Ycombinator is doing an incubator where all intellectual property is open to all. I kind of wish that Tech Transfer offices at universities would be a lot freer with getting IP out of the university and into the marketplace.

    1. fredwilson

      YC can be a leader in a new way of thinking about basic research. They are impressing me more and more and they start from a high place to begin with

      1. pointsnfigures

        Yesterday’s announcement by them was very interesting. My impression was they took at shot at tech transfer offices-I blogged about it today. But this paragraph in Sam Altman’s post stood out.”YCR is a non-profit. Any IP developed will be made available freely to everyone. (The researchers will, of course, have full discretion over when they’re ready to release their work, and we’ll have a process in place to address technology that could be dangerous.) Because of the openness, the researchers will be able to freely collaborate with people in other institutions.”The more policy drives power into the ends of the network, the better it will be for all of us.

        1. William Mougayar

          Donating $10M of his own money was pretty impressive too.

          1. LE

            I found that interesting. Sam is the President of YC. This is a YC thing. Why did he give $10,000,000 (of his personal money) to something that is essentially YC? What other money was contributed and where did it come from? Is this essentially Sam’s thing and instead of calling it “Sam’s Thing” he is branding it with the YC name with the blessing of YC. Something is missing from the story. Why no mention of PG or anyone else in this? Was this Sam’s idea that he pushed through that others weren’t fully onboard with and he finally said “I will put up my own money” (so he made them an offer that they couldn’t refuse essentially).Also to repeat my reply to Fred “hands in to many pots”. Tech is a fast moving industry running YC or being YC is not like operating a cash cow stable predictable national beer distributorship.Pretend the same thing happened at USV. A partner had an idea. The others weren’t really for it for one reason or another. Finally the one partner says “I will put up all of the money to do this and run the ship but all of you get to share in the glory if it works and contribute your own money later if the ideal takes off!”

      2. LE

        Agree it’s impressive but the hands are in to many pots is my take.

      3. sigmaalgebra

        The YCR approach to research misses two biggies:(1) Long Term. Go to a medical research hospital and discover that the MDs are still regarded as professionals and are still expected to practice their profession, i.e., see patients. Typically students are right there, also. Notice also how ethics, compensation, and professional peer review are handled.Professors in applied parts of the STEM fields, especially technology and engineering, of course computer science, and also business schools, very much need to borrow from these points of medicine.The Higgs boson and the mass of the neutrino are different. Mostly so is number theory. But for the research intended to be applied, need to borrow from medicine.So, a school/department of engineering, business, applied math, applied physics, etc., should have the halls filled with non-academic people with pressing problems and desperate to have professors and students consider their problems.Such work is just trivial? History says nope: E.g., most of the initial and much of the continuing motivation for the fundamental question of P versus NP came from, at first Bell Labs, wanting to find optimal designs for communications networks. Some short term results, e.g., Lagrangian relaxation, column generation, branch and bound, least cost capacitated network flows, can yield big bucks now, and an algorithm that shows P = NP would shake the world.(2) Short Term. Broadly in our society, especially for national security, in the best research universities, and in the best industrial labs, new technical work can get funded and then get technical reviews. Such reviews are often, but not always, fair and competent. But in Silicon Valley, the Sand Hill Road people in information technology refuse to do technical reviews.So, YCR stands to discover that their research results will not be welcome on Sand Hill Road. A company with traction? Maybe. A company with powerful, valuable research to solve an important problem in a big market? Nope. YCR’s research results and even prototype software or even production ready software on Sand Hill Road stand to be seed on stony ground.YCR can learn this lesson here, now, for free or later, as an expensive surprise, for real. Sure, the solution for YCR would be an application to YC! Maybe. But, then, so far YC is not interested in evaluating technical work, either.If YC wants to see powerful, valuable research, then Sam can save his $10 million and just review some of his YC applications, now, for free.The broad lesson is, except in medicine, in the business world, research results are less welcome than a skunk at a Victorian garden party. Don’t fit in. Just not wanted. New bizdev or coupon approaches? Sure. Research results? Nope. It’s as if no one in business wants to be reminded that they forgot their calculus.E.g., one Saturday morning, all the BoD and C-level people at FedEx struggled with the very simple, elementary, first order, linear, ordinary differential equation initial value problemy'(t) = k y(t) ( b – y(t) )and came close to killing the company.Thankfully for US national security, research results important for US national security can be quite welcome in the US DoD. In business (except biomedical)? Nope.

      4. creative group

        Fred:do you view YC and MassChallenge as similar entities? Has USV considered any of the technologies they are investing?

    2. creative group

      pointsnfigures:your line of thinking regarding free trade, duties, tariffs and taxes we are similarly aligned in view. We totally are misaligned regarding your statement of Hillary only caring about power and getting elected. All politicians want to be elected and use the power to enact policies the financial SuperPac supporters provided the money.There isn’t one candidate running Repubican or Democrat that isn’t flawed.The system is broken. The American people require a third party. (Disclosure: Registered Independent from first vote 1980)

    3. Jess Bachman

      Agreed, Hilary is a windsock that tend to blow one way in the daytime and another way at night, when less people are looking.

      1. pointsnfigures

        Some of her largest fundraisers are HFT guys. No way she taxes them

    4. ShanaC

      Ycombinator could lose a lot of money though if too much IP was free. at some point..IP is a differentiator.

      1. pointsnfigures

        It depends on what you are doing and what the IP is. Agree for many companies it is the only differentiator. But, we haven’t tried to do open source IP too much yet. Most of the time it’s locked away in vertical silos.

  6. boteman

    It’s quite telling that such deals are negotiated in secrecy because they couldn’t come to fruition otherwise.If that’s the case, then it would be a better approach to tackle one issue or a handful of related issues in an open manner, then ratify that. The ones that survive win; the ones that don’t should by rights die.Even more telling is that the strange bedfellows coming out in opposition to the TPP are typically at each others’ throats on other issues. If that isn’t the mark of a bad deal, I don’t know what is.

  7. Cam MacRae

    I cannot fathom why Congress would ratify this deal as it has already failed (spectacularly!) to curb China’s influence in APAC.Nearly everyone in the region signed up to the AIIB against the explicit wishes of the USA — even traditional allies and trading partners are on board. And pretty much all TPP signatories are negotiating or have concluded bilateral FTAs with China.Not exactly the start I’d want to my “strategic pivot”.

    1. kidmercury

      there is enough corporate support, which means congress will be “inspired” to pass for what’s in it, commoners like myself and most folks in the states aren’t privy. probably for our own protection. </sarcasm>

      1. Cam MacRae

        I’m quite certain you are right on both counts given the agreement has failed in it’s strategic aims, and if you can believe the punditry, the US of A isn’t in the winners circle — that would be Japan, Vietnam, and to a lesser extent, Malaysia. As such, the only reason to vote “aye” is if you’re balls deep in corporate largesse, so to speak.

      2. SubstrateUndertow

        “inspired”such eloquent understatement 🙂

  8. Tom Labus

    That’s a big chuck of the world that’s going to do this deal with us or without us. I’d vote yes

    1. boteman

      Yep. Wouldn’t want to be the lone lemming that failed to run off the edge of the cliff, now would we??

      1. Tom Labus

        risk = reward

  9. LE

    That is why they are negotiated in secret and the end result is then voted yes or no in each country without any amendments.Of course they have to be negotiated in secret. Because everybody has an ox to gore. Your ox is the IP issue. To you that’s a non-starter. Deal breaker. But to someone else it’s another factor entirely. In the end there really isn’t anyway to get everyone happy with something like this. So by keeping it under wraps they are not only preventing your influence but 1000’s of others who each have an issue that is abortion like in importance that would cause a deal to never happen. Makes total sense to me.

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      Of course they have to be negotiated in secret. Because everybody has an ox to gore. So who’s ox-goring interests get to sit at the inner-circle big-boy’s deal making table ??????We can’t make a deal that is agreeable to all stockholders so us supra-national corporate stakeholders and our lobbyists have decided to relieve all you other stakeholders of any pretense of democratic participation in your soon-to-be locked in trans-national economic fate.Its right out of Star Wars.You can’t make this stuff up.Now lets all salute our new overlords.I elect municipal representatives.I elect provincial/state representatives.I elect national representatives.I don’t recall electing anyone to representative me in the supra-national domain.If we are by default/omission going to tolerate our national government’s hubris at usurping that not-so-democratic political space then the least we can expect is to have them operate in daylight thus allowing other stakeholders to at least speak to their issues, despite not being allowed to sit at the deal-making big-boy’s table.If we cannot fine a mechanism by which to fold all the stakeholders into this trans-nation mix then it is probably a giant sign that the “big global trade-deal’s time” has not yet come. These supra-national organic-level interdependences(trade labour environment) are still far beyond out present integrative-metrics skill-set.Still, this is our big opportunity for a collective “fool rush in” moment !The Gods will allow us to sculpt this deal at a later date under more appropriate rational/democratic mechanisms. It is not they that are giving us “the bums rush” on this deal ! We’ve waited thousands of years so what the sudden panic here ?The idea that one could negotiate an effective global trade deal in isolation from labor and environmental dependencies is straight up laughable/dangerous!Anywaynetwork-effect gradients will probably do a better market-driven job of organically shaping/aligning all these global relationship dependencies over time than this forced, lopsided, panic-driven deal.

      1. LE

        Not saying it is right couldn’t be better or improved, just saying that’s the way it is.And guess what? How many things does a typical person get involved in that they can get involved in and look at and make comments? Practically nothing.Yet those same people are ready to complain right away about “the party that they were never invited to and feel left out of”. Have you ever been on a condo board? This happens. People don’t go to meetings, don’t want to be on the board, then they criticize what the board does and if the board makes mistakes. Monday morning quarterbacking.Ultimately you elect officials to make decisions for you, right? So yes maybe this should not be a secretive process. But the other side is having everyone and anyone give their 2 cents and opinion on every issues. [1] People who only know what they read in the papers or whose opinion is shaped by others.[1] Actually that is what happens with social media. A vote on everything by the peanut gallery.

        1. SubstrateUndertow

          It is a legitimate democratic gradient all the way up from the peanut gallery to the top editorial leaders.Democracy is messy as they say and again I elected no one to represent me in the supra-national domain !

  10. RZ2849

    If Hillary came out in favor of it you can be sure Fred would as well.

    1. Dave Pinsen

      I’m not sure about that, but I do wonder how Fred reconciles his support for her with his desire for a new, “trickle up”, economics. What new economic policy does Hillary offer that Obama didn’t? Mainstream Dems all lament how the plight of the middle class has gotten worse on their watch, and yet they propose more of the same policies that got us here.

      1. fredwilson

        i might support Bernie. you should not assume she’s got my vote. we’ve given the max to both of them.

        1. Dave Pinsen


        2. LE

          Oh come on. You aren’t going to support Bernie despite the fact that he says some nice things that you like.I heard him on a show last night and he sounds all common sense, reasonable, coherent. So yes he sounded good, I agree. However Bernie is a socialist. And politics and getting things done is not Elizabeth Warren style soft spoken common sense. It’s the art of deal making and compromise with others that hold power. Back scratching. Deal making and compromise. Bernie is living in an idealistic world that is unattainable given the political environment.Remember what happened in NYC in the 70’s in the “Ford to City: Drop Dead” days? Social welfare state leading to Bankruptcy. Now look at the way it is [1] with all of the piggish capitalists hoarding money! Ultimately it’s a great city because of all of that.[1] And you are clearly a beneficiary of this, right?

        3. sigmaalgebra

          Gee, I hate to see money being wasted!Sorry, Fred: Hillary is still that coed back at Wellesley who was with the in group reading Camus, Durkheim, Kierkegaard, etc., out to get all power to save the world, i.e., right away solve all the problems the previous generation neglected! First, she wants the power. Second, she’s determined, angry, ruthless. But, while she has a lot of talent in various respects, she has no real judgment, really, deeply dysfunctional judgment, about being effective for the US.Bernie? He wants the US to be somewhere between modern France and 1920 USSR.Both of them want to solve all the problems of the US by running the US directly from DC or the White House and keeping taxes high enough to accomplish that. That’s all they know and trust and, thus, won’t be at all effective at anything else.We can have a much better country and government just by using some basic competence and a good dose of common sense and without trying to retrace France or the USSR or following some Seven Sisters, frustrated, ambitious, basically naive to ignorant, coed, midnight, save the world bull sessions.

          1. LE

            My niece is one of those coeds. (A recent graduate) . And you are spot on. The idealistic drivel that comes from her mouth (by the way she was a French major) is truly amazing. She is living in DC now and her parents have to help her pay for her apartment since whatever job she has doesn’t pay enough of the rent.You left out the part of how they listen to the guy playing guitar and all of his wisdom. The guy that believes what he reads in Rolling Stone (written by Mike Taibbi).

          2. sigmaalgebra

            Ah, the guitar playing guys!Here’s one:In the summer after my college freshman year, each week day I drove to my college for my course in second year German — wanted to get that out of the way (did learn enough for the foreign language requirement for my Ph.D.).So, I had to drive by a house down the street, and sitting on the curb was a girl who just finished her freshman year, in high school. I’d talked to her and a second girl for a few minutes when I was 15 and she was 11 but otherwise had never talked to her.But the third day she was sitting there, I stopped. We started dating.On one date, we went to a coffee house with the whole guitar, Eastern wisdom thingy.They were playing a little board game Nim and explained that only deep, profound Eastern wisdom could do well at that game.Soon I’d slaughtered everyone in the place, 100% to 0%. Easy. No Eastern wisdom involved.From immaturity, I had a character flaw: I should have hustled them. I mean, those guys were convinced about their Eastern wisdom thingy! They were lambs rushing to the slaughter!Ah, just for recreation I’d recently wandered in Courant and Robbins, What is Mathematics.Of course, that was Richard Courant, formerly at Göttingen, until in the 1930s or so, he was smart enough to leave for the US, along with much or all of the excellent Göttingen math department, and NYU was smart enough to setup the NYU Courant Institute, and, of course, R. Courant and D. Hilbert, Methods of Mathematical Physics: Volume II, Partial Differential Equations.There are claims from a friend who got his Ph.D. at Courant that at times the US DoD was really happy with Courant Institute, e.g., for the math of shock waves.Nim is a game of match sticks for two players. The game starts with three piles of matchsticks. For one move, have to pick a pile that still has sticks and pick up at least one stick from that pile. The player who picks up the very last stick loses.Well, for Nim, Courant and Robbins has a good strategy: Given the number of sticks in each pile, if can select who moves first, then can always win. Otherwise, as soon as the other player makes a mistake, can always win.Well, I remembered the strategy and always won. And the guitar guy played on.

          3. LE

            From immaturity, I had a character flaw: I should have hustled them. I mean, those guys were convinced about their Eastern wisdom thingy! They were lambs rushing to the slaughter!Yeah but the upside is that you learned a lesson in a situation that didn’t matter “sacrificial lamb” that you could apply in a situation later on which was much more to your benefit. And you remember it to this day whereas you probably don’t remember what you ate last Tuesday for lunch. So this was good, not bad.I am amazed at people for example will do a college interview first at a school that they really want instead of practicing on a shit school or 3. Same with job interviews.

          4. sigmaalgebra

            Yup!And at FedEx, some guys were playing, guess what, Nim. So, soon I was regarded as the smartest guy in the C-suite! They were amazed. Guys were asking me how to play.My character flaw fix wasn’t complete: I should have just said “Ah, just have to think about it a little.”. Or given them the Eastern wisdom BS explanation!I wouldn’t make that mistake again, although with irony, of course, I have, here!Ah, I should collect several such games and you and I should go to some bars near Wall Street, play, make a scene, e.g., borrow from the movie The Hustler, and clean up.Let’s see: There’s a tricky assumption in math called the axiom of choice. Seems obvious enough until consider some of its consequences and then wonder.There is a relatively nice equivalent statement due to Max Zorn.One of his remarks was “Be wise, generalize”.Well, the Courant and Robbins strategy for Nim, starting with the current state of the game, needs just a little arithmetic and concludes if that state is winning or not.Well, it’s a not very difficult result that for all such two person games, of perfect information, e.g., including checkers and chess but not games of chance, each state of the game, that is, each board position, is winning for one of the two players if they know how to play the rest of the game, no matter what the their opponent does.Since such a game has only finitely many board positions, there has to be a table that shows for each possible board position which player is winning.Well, for Nim, we can write out the table from just some simple arithmetic. So, be wise, generalize: Is there some such simple arithmetic for checkers or chess?Arithmetic? Well, yes. “Simple”? Maybe not.How to find the arithmetic? Good question.Can we do something simple and empirical? The arithmetic might be some really tricky manipulation. Well, can get a lot of tricky manipulations out of some large neural networks.For for some neural network learning, put in a lot of games, that is, board positions, of, say, chess, that is, the end games, where the results are already known and have a neural network build on that. Then starting with that, work backwards step by step to more complicated games and having the neural network revise its learning.Maybe soon enough the neural network would actually discover the actual tricky arithmetic that holds for the whole game and, thus, at some step, need no more learning. Maybe.Try this on, say, Nim and, then, Othello, checkers, and, then, chess?By now I’ve tried to correct my character flaw: For my startup, for the crucial core that says how to manipulate the input data to get the desirable output data, I derived some math, likely and apparently original. I’m not talking about that!Not many people could figure out Nim. Well, still fewer could duplicate what I derived, and, of the people who could, nearly none of them are interested in startups!Sure, if my startup is successful, then some people will try to duplicate my work. But, Google is still successful, and Bing along with people in China and Russia have essentially duplicated the Google work. So, Google’s competitiveness now is that they are going a good job with the ordinary things and have lots of happy users who are reluctant to switch, even though the switching cost is not very high.

        4. LE

          My theory is that unless you are a bundler or can provide other value [1] it makes little sense to do that. After all, first you are cancelling out the benefit by giving to multiple people and hedging. [2] Second “the max” is not going to buy you much in terms of payback. Maybe on a local campaign but not on a campaign of this size. Of course as far as getting and keeping you on the radar it’s possible that it has a benefit.[1] Hillary did not attend Trumps wedding because he gave “the max”. What he is able to do is to get others to donate and to be able to take credit for that and other things. Obviously. Or provide other consideration that is valuable.[2] And it’s just so odd that a candidate simply is not even bothered at all by the lack of loyalty of a single person giving money to multiple people. Of course it makes total sense but it still is an odd quirk.

        5. ShanaC


    2. fredwilson

      so true. i do whatever she does. you nailed it.

      1. jason wright

        i didn’t know Americans did irony.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Americans just call it being factious!

        2. ShanaC

          only in ny

          1. jason wright

            that’s understandable. closest point to the UK.

    3. Cam MacRae

      Friend, I’ve read some stupid shit in the comments on this blog, but you have elevated the bar to new heights. Well done.

    4. SubstrateUndertow

      Oh sureFred has a reputation for not thinking for himself :-)As for Hillary, I’d bet dollars to donuts this is just her primary stance to beat back Bernie Sanders populist appeal.

    5. sigmaalgebra

      Standard cost of doing business in NYC!

    6. ShanaC

      There are some very liberal folk here, some very conservative folk, and no one shares their voting reciepts. kinda the way democracy works in real life.

  11. sigmaalgebra

    But, but, but, don’t we, don’t we all, surely all of us, want nothing more than we want our dream, One World Uniform, Unified Government with no rich people, no poor people, no bosses, no private property, only workers, everyone equal, everyone the same, wearing the OWUUG unisex uniform, all around the world, all for one, one for all? Right? At least that, right? And we want our hero to negotiate that for us, right?And, for just one small example, we want official, controlled, regulated, uniform OWUUG education starting at birth. Right? Of course we do!Individual uniqueness, financial security, prosperity, and “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” — commonly conflict with the collective good, right?There’s just one itsy, bitsy, teeny, tiny, tinsy, winsy, problem-o, little mistake-y we might consider first: Each negotiating session we should guide Obama or his representative on which side of the table to sit on. Uh, there is some history that at times the US guys/gals sat on the wrong side of the table and then were very surprised and pleased at how well the negotiations went.Gee, this just in!”Ph.D. recipients in computing fields are primarily non-U.S. residents in most states in the U.S.”at…So, let me get this straight: The US economy is so badly hurt that even 0.25% interest rates for seven years won’t get the economy off its back; the US has ballpark 92 million people out of the labor force; if really count unemployment in any meaningful way, then we have 20-40% unemployment; and we have US tax payers heavily supporting university education, sure, at public institutions but, really, also at private ones (where ballpark 60% of the budgets are from research grants from the US Federal government, e.g., NSF and NIH, for both US national security and US health care) but where the students are not US citizens. So, we have US citizens paying for immigrants to take US jobs and compete with US businesses.The people who set this up are not working for US citizens and, really, are seriously working against US citizens.Look, guys, don’t look at me; I didn’t do that; I didn’t make this up; it wasn’t me; I’d have a tough time believing this, too; but, sorry ’bout that, in fact it’s just very much true.Is there some way we can get the US to stop shooting the US in the gut of the US?

  12. ShanaC

    Maybe we should be doing the TPP piecewise – this is a weird sort of pork trading that doesn’t do anyone any good internally in every country.

  13. Douglas Crets

    Notice that China is not in the TPP agreement? What does that mean when things like personal I-max theatres are being created in wealthy Chinese’s homes, where you can get a Bond film on same day it’s released in the US?

  14. LissIsMore

    Whenever I hear of a Free Trade Agreement I am reminded of the words of the great Henry Hazlitt:”Just what the planners mean by free trade in thisconnection I am not sure, but we can be sure of someof the things they do not mean. They do not meanthe freedom of ordinary people to buy and sell, lendand borrow, at whatever prices or rates they like andwherever they find it most profitable to do so. Theydo not mean the freedom of the plain citizen to raiseas much of a given crop as he wishes, to come and goat will, to settle where he pleases, to take his capitaland other belongings with him. They mean, Isuspect, the freedom of bureaucrats to settle thesematters for him.”And then I hear in my head the words of the great American philosopher Groucho Marx (set to music, of course): “Whatever it is, I’m against it.”

  15. Cam MacRae

    Zero transparency isn’t quite accurate: At least 500 corporate lobbyists have been party to the agreement, and, if you can believe our media (50:50, at best), have even drafted a non-trival proportion of it on behalf of their political lapdogs.

  16. Matt A. Myers

    The U.S. doesn’t play well with those they say they will though either; lumber disputes, labelling disputes, etc – and that’s just with Canada.All of this stuff is actually just a distraction from fixing the base system, the foundation of how everyone interacts.Designed chaos leads to distraction and arguing all moot points – causing us vs. them mentality and scarcity.

  17. LE

    That’s why I’m hopeful about B-corp.Bcorp is a niche structure and you know that. Those people who will “sell you down the river” are many people’s competitors.

  18. CJ

    From the future – This is a good article about companies that are getting tired of trying to run a business on Quarterly profits.

  19. ShanaC

    lovely. i’d like to read something like that before lobbyists enter the picture,just to see what the difference is