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The Democrats' 'Better Deal' Means More Government Control Over American Businesses

Dems are pushing economic protectionism, giving more power to unelected officials, and public shaming of American businesses.

Alex Edelman/ZUMA Press/NewscomAlex Edelman/ZUMA Press/NewscomTo unveil their new policy agenda on July 24, several top congressional Democrats took a road trip to Berryville, Virginia.

The choice of a small town was a intentional, of course. Just 80 miles west of Washington, D.C., Berryville—population 4,100—isn't exactly the heart of Donald Trump's America, but it's hardly a liberal stronghold either. By going to the seat of Clarke County, where Hilary Clinton had won less than 38 percent of the vote in November, those Democrats were hoping to demonstrate their commitment to the blue collar, rural voters who have received so much attention since Donald Trump's stunning victory last year.

After reflecting on the lost election, Schumer said, Democrats realized the biggest mistake they made in 2014 and 2016 was not presenting "a strong, bold economic agenda to working Americans so that their hope for the future might return again."

"We are here today to tell the people of Berryville, and the working people of America: Someone has your back," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told a crowd gathered in a small park.

Despite the carefully crafted roll-out, though, the Democrats' new platform seems more focused on Washington than anything else.

The proposal, "A Better Deal," remains a bit sketchy. It can be interpreted as a dig at Trump's book and self-proclaimed status as a master deal-maker. Or as an attempt to troll Speaker of the House Paul Ryan's equally focus-grouped "A Better Way" agenda. Or as a nod to FDR's New Deal or Teddy's Square Deal.

The July 24 kickoff event in Berryville was mostly devoid of specifics, but a white paper is reportedly being crafted and parts of it are being strategically released to the press. Proposals leaked so far are unanimously aimed at growing the size of government and its role in regulating the decisions made by American businesses.

Fittingly, top Democrats were back in D.C. this week to offer more detail on "A Better Deal." At a Wednesday press conference in front of the Capitol, they outlined plans for an "independent trade prosecutor" to investigate businesses that shift jobs overseas, and an unelected "American Jobs Council" to investigate foreign investments in American businesses.

The American Jobs Council, Schumer said, will "slam the door shut on foreign companies who want to buy-up American businesses and harm our workers." The council appears to be the centerpiece of a seven-point plan that includes penalties for federal contractors who outsource jobs, guarantees that taxpayer-funded subsidies flow only to American-based companies, and creates a public "shame list" for companies that move jobs offshore, according to The Washington Post's Dave Weigel, who reported on some of the details of the Better Deal plan this week.

In other words, more bureaucracy and more regulations aimed at trying to freeze a dynamic economy and halt the flow of capital and goods around the world.

Maybe this is, as Slate has suggested, the basis of a plan "to campaign against cable companies, airlines, and other things everyone hates," but I'm not seeing it. It seems more like the basis for a campaign that says government bureaucrats know what's best for a country, or one that promises to centralize more rulemaking at the expense of businesses and workers.

The focus on preventing outsourcing—something Trump and the Democrats have in common—ignores the benefits of being able to produce goods in places where labor is more inexpensive. That makes it possible for Americans to buy products that would otherwise be unaffordable, but it also allows global supply chains to lower the cost of living for everyone. Government controls over trade drive up costs and raise prices for the very low- and middle-income workers the Democrats (and Trump) claim to be trying to help.

As a purely political matter, if Democrats are trying to turn Trump's economic populism their direction, this seems like a misguided effort.

Trump's path to the White House had two (often conflicting) economic messages that have carried over into his first six months in office. He promised to "drain the swamp" and cut regulations to allow American businesses more freedom, while promising a bigger, more muscular government to stop outsourcing, limit immigration and reward right-thinking American companies with subsidies.

The "Better Deal" plan shows Democrats learning the wrong lessons from the Trump era. An agenda that includes a "trade prosecutor" and a Soviet-sounding "Jobs Council" suggests they are about to go all-in on economic protectionism without so much as an acknowledgment of the deregulatory, pro-freedom part of Trump's message.

American workers want to believe someone has their back, Democrats say, but the "Better Deal" proposal sounds like it would mean more government officials looking over our shoulders.

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  • WakaWaka||

    "Dems are pushing economic protectionism, giving more power to unelected officials, and public shaming of American businesses."

    Also, the sun rose in the east this morning. The Democrats remain the best salesmen for voting Republican

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Hopefully that switches a bit this next election cycle and more people vote Libertarian.

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    And the Republicans are the best guardians of Democratic programs. Why the fuck would anybody vite for any of these idiot clowns? Seriously, Schumer doesn't even look like a used car salesman, he looks like the guy who molests the used car salesman's kids. And McConnell looks like the guy who films it.

  • some guy||

    I think Schumer has the most annoying voice in politics these days. Ever since Clinton disappeared, at least.

  • ||

    Not just his voice. Do a google image search of the man, and try to find a photo where he looks pleasant or nice.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    He's got fantastic breasts, at least.

  • Red Twilight||

    and you sound like one fantasizing to play his victim. even in this fantasy

  • WakaWaka||

    "Schumer doesn't even look like a used car salesman, he looks like the guy who molests the used car salesman's kids. And McConnell looks like the guy who films it."

    That was the most accurate analogy I've ever heard. It's like poetry.

    I wasn't trying to say people should vote Republican (unless it's Rand, Massie, Amash, and I'll even throw in Lee). I was just saying that this will bring more people to vote Republican

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I suppose weak, empty and feckless is better than marxist, parasitic, race baiting, and tyrannical.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Democrats are not going to win majorities in the House or Senate back for the foreseeable future.

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    Republicans are trying as hard as they can to change that.

  • some guy||

    Yeah, the GOP might manage to (barely) lose the Senate over the next 6 years. Mainly because the American people continue to demand that Congress "do something" even though the American people also tend to dislike everything that Congress does.

  • ||

    even though the American people also tend to dislike everything that Congress does.

    Yes, but right now that's Republicans. In another few months, people will want "change" again, which is always whichever of the two parties isn't in power at the moment. Enough people don't remember that the other party were the very people that they wanted to change from the last time that it just snaps back and forth.

    This has been happening at least since the mid-70s.

  • BYODB||

    Pretty much this. One constant you can expect in human behavior is the 'grass is always greener' mentality.

  • BambiB||

    After half a century of welfare, the inability of people to focus for more than 6 seconds or remember anything more than 8 years back surprises you ... why exactly?

    I don't care about outsourcing. I just wish they'd stop IMPORTING outsourcing.

  • Jerryskids||

    I assumed "A Better Deal" referred to a stacked deck or a rigged game, as in if you don't like the hand you've been dealt the Democrats will just change the rules of the game and declare that a pair of twos beats a full house if the twos are held by a handicapped black lesbian and the full house is held by a straight white male.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    They are not quite there yet. They need more brown people to use to vote out Republicans and change the laws.

  • Red Twilight||

    or fewer racists like you.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Fuck off, dead thread-fucker

  • Cynical Asshole||

    ...more bureaucracy and more regulations aimed at trying to freeze a dynamic economy and halt the flow of capital and goods around the world.

    Sounds like more of the same re-heated shit they've been peddling for the last 100 years or so.

    Doctor: "In one hand, I have a copy of the Democrat's 'Better Deal' plan, in the other is a picture of a turd in a microwave. Which one is which."

    Me: "I don't know, they both look like turds about to be re-heated."

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    I see more a comparison to the Family Truckster. You think you hate it now, but wait until you drive it!

  • pan fried wylie||

    I actually like that color green, but otherwise apt.

  • Microaggressor||

    Government controls over trade all aspects of economic activity drive up costs and raise prices for the very low- and middle-income workers the Democrats claim to be trying to help.

    I'm sensing a pattern.

  • Gadfly||

    Considering the economy is currently headed towards full employment, the Democrats will have their work cut out for them. Whether he realizes it or not, Trump's mish-mash of economic policy is actually genius: his outspoken protectionism signals to the voters that he has their back, while cutting regulations and taxes will offset the negative economic effects protectionism entails. The people will think he cares for them, and the economy will remain strong, which will give him an edge going into 2020.

  • Brian||

    I think one of the goals is to make being factory drone worth more and more over time, such that no one has any incentive to learn anything ever.

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    That would explain the Dem's zealous devotion to gov schools and teachers unions.

  • some guy||

    The Democrats are playing economic chicken. How close can you get to Venezuela's economic polices before suffering Venezuela's economic outcome?

  • Tony||

    How long is this "Democrats want to be just like Venezuela" horseshit going to go on? At some point the retard talking points induce headaches.

  • Philadelphia Collins||

    When they give up socialism.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    They won't. Not until their dying breath

  • Sevo||

    Tony|8.4.17 @ 10:23AM|#
    "At some point the retard talking points induce headaches."

    Yes, you certainly do.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Tony,
    Nobody gives a fuck what you think.

  • Brian||

    Until Somalia.

  • Tony||

    But you idiots actually advocate for minimal government. All us normal people do is advocate for a Canada-like system.

  • Brian||

    If this is part of whining about strawmen, then you're not doing yourself any service here.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    With buffalo, rochester, and seattle to care for your privileged so they don't have to suffer the wait times the muggles do.

  • DesigNate||

    I love that you continue to try and conflate a failed communist state run by various warlords (who are totalitarian assholes leftover from the old communist regime) with the minimal government set out in the constitution.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|8.4.17 @ 11:01AM|#
    "All us normal people do is advocate for a Canada-like system."

    Yep, "normal" IQ is bound to be, well, "normal".
    Fuck off, slaver.

  • BYODB||

    If you want a Canadian system so badly, why not move there so you can get both long lines and come down to the United States when they fuck you over and deny care?

    Oh...is it because their immigration system demands that you have some sort of job skills? That's the reason...isn't it. You can be honest.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Oh...is it because their immigration system demands that you have some sort of job skills?

    I think you've found the grain of sand in Tony's cock-shaped bottle of social justice lubricant.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    I think you've found the grain of sand in Tony's cock-shaped bottle of social justice lubricant

    It's funny--he constantly bitches about the backwards cousin-fuckers that he has to live with in Oklahoma, when there are plenty of deep blue states that would provide the exact social and economic environment where he would easily fit in.

    The fact that he won't leave Oklahoma and has lately been obsessed with cousin-fucking are pretty telling factors in his recent posting career.

  • MarkLastname||

    You do realize the US and Canada have about the same level of government spending, right? (42% of GDP)

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tony, you're not normal. You are an outlier in terms of extreme weakness and stupidity. And I would caution you against comparison of intellect. For example, my own exceeds yours by many dozens of IQ points.

    You are small and pathetic. Now apologize to your betters i.e. everyone here that isn't you.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    LOL the only reason you guys turned on Venezuela is because not even you can pretend that it's a success anymore. It wasn't that long ago that you thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

  • Tony||

    The Bernie wing maybe. Those people are idiots.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You shouldn't be so hard on yourself. On second thought...

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Of course, they're not elitist enough for your standards. Or racist enough.

  • albo||

    It's not that Venezuela's policies are wrong, they just have the wrong people in charge. Smart American Democrats would absolutely make price controls and redistribution work!

  • Brian||

    Venezuela is just one more lesson in why you don't want to give socialists power: they never admit failure and give up; they always double down.

  • Rhywun||

    I'm convinced that nobody outside of a few fringe weirdos like Tony actually believes in socialism; the ones who actually put it into practice are only doing so in order to squeeze as much money out of their unfortunate subjects as possible.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    There are always plenty of stupid tagalongs. It appears to be human nature to believe in free shit.

  • Sevo||

    "It appears to be human nature to believe in free shit."

    And to be resentful of anyone doing better than you are. Tony is nothing if not the politics of envy.

  • ||

    Tony is nothing if not the politics of envy.

    I don't think that's quite it. I get the impression Tony leads a pretty comfortable life.

    It's the politics of upper-middle-class virtue posturing. Which looks a lot like the politics of envy, because they assume that indulging in the politics of envy will endear them to the lower classes.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "I get the impression Tony leads a pretty comfortable life."

    Most parasites do. Its the whole point of being a parasite.

  • Brian||

    I'm not sure if Maduro has an exit strategy that actually involves keeping his head on his shoulders.

  • Rhywun||

    Well, he seems to be keeping the military happy. That's step one. Step two gets a little ugly.

  • Brian||

    If he goes North Korea, then I assume he took The Road to Serfdom as a training manual.

  • Ron||

    Lots of people don't think they are advocating for socialism but their actions and vote lead to socialism step by step. I think they don't see it and think they think their actions are for the good. Or at least thats my hope but they need to be awakened to the cliff that approaches.

  • ||

    Chavez seemed like a particularly cynical example, even. He tried to lead a coup earlier in his adult life, and his fellow-travelers left him holding the bag while they all disappeared and denied any involvement. He went to jail for a long time, and to me it seems like he came out with . . . let's say a new attitude toward leftist politics.

  • Robert||

    You can't "always double down", you can double down only once. But you can double up forever.

  • some guy||

    The American Jobs Council, Schumer said, will "slam the door shut on foreign companies who want to buy-up American businesses and harm our workers."

    Yeah, it's soooo bad when foreigners try to pump money into our economy. So very bad. How dare they.

  • KerryW||

    Yes, without foreign investment the doors slamming shut would be those of a lot of American businesses.

  • albo||

    If Chuck Schumer is the face of your party's comeback, you've basically admitted that you're the Browns of politics.

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    I don't understand the reference. I assume it has something to do with scatological fetishes?

  • Mickey Rat||

    It putting crap on display for the world to watch.

  • DesigNate||

    It's because the Dems are gonna let everyone down one more time.

    On my phone so I can't be arsed to find the link.

  • pan fried wylie||

    *the Cleveland Browns of politics.

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    This helps. I was thinking last name.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Berryville is part of the same MSA as DC and plenty of its inhabitants commute to the capital for work, so this wasn't exactly some brave expedition to the wilds of Middle America.

  • albo||

    Yeah. You gotta keep driving west until you find someone who knows what a "hotdish" is. Then you're there.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    [shudder]

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    And doesn't drink the stuff you use to deoderize cat litter.

  • Stoic||

    I worked in Clarke County in 2011-2012, and even then their unemployment rate was low. None of my high school students had trouble finding a job in-county, and most of the adults could find something within a 30-minute drive (or, if highly-skilled, they could get a federal job with work-from-home or an adjusted work schedule to minimize commute time).

  • Sevo||

    "We are here today to tell the people of Berryville, and the working people of America: Someone has your back,"

    And your wallet and your ass.

  • DesigNate||

    So they're proposing to run on...the same platform that Donald Trump ran on? Except they'll replace the idiotic "dey took ar jerbs" with "Quiero tu voto". I'm not sure that's a winning strategy, especially if they don't drop the identity politics.

    On the plus side, it will be fucking hilarious to see Tony and shriek twist themselves into knots trying to avoid agreeing with the Orange one.

  • MWG||

    This.

  • BYODB||

    Well, since Donald Trump is a Democrat they're going to be hard pressed to figure out how to campaign on something that doesn't at least resemble Donny's platform if they want those States back. I still don't think they've quite figured this out yet, somehow, but it should be amusing.

  • Calidissident||

    I'm not surprised. Trump's stance on trade issues, as bad as they are, were a major factor in his victory. Anyone who thought that Trump's victory would incentivize the Democrats to become more libertarian was dreaming.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    His stance on trade issues is to make a better deal for the US. Since international trade isn't 'free', why is it 'bad' to try and level the playing field a little with other countries that need us more than we need them anyway?

    it seems like most of you think it's amusing to see other Americans lose their livelihood and businesses they worked hard to build ('dey too our jerbs'). If any of you reading this feel that way, then fuck you. You're as bad as the progtards and deserve the same miserable fate. Trump is wrong about a number of things, but he gets this right and libertarians don't. No wonder it's still a fringe party.

  • Rebel Scum||

    "a strong, bold economic agenda to working Americans so that their hope for the future might return again."

    You could do that. Or you could leave people the fuck alone.

  • Rhywun||

    Schumer and pals' "bold economic agenda" for my state has included tax cuts for cronies who create jobs at something like a million dollars a pop plus continued a--f-----g for everyone else. And America is supposed to look at this success and say "yes, please?" LOL. The only thing holding the state together is the fantastic wealth in NYC that they're constantly trying to destroy.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Everyone loves lifestyles of the rich and famous. What's good for George Clooney is good for America.

  • Red Twilight||

    But the poorly educated prefer the Drumpfs

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    The people that support Trump are infinitely better educated than your dumb ass.

  • dantheserene||

    If Schumer is for it, it must be a bad idea.

  • KerryW||

    As someone (I believe around here) said:

    "A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future" is really just "More taxes, more regulations, more free shit"

  • Red Twilight||

    which beats huge borroiwing, wars and racism
    .

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You just described eight years under your chocolate overlord Obama.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    in November, those Democrats were hoping to demonstrate their commitment to the blue collar, rural voters who have received so much attention since Donald Trump's stunning victory last year.

    Look, we even took our ties off to show you how down-to-earth and relatable we are. WHAT MORE DO YOU UNEDUCATED, BLUE COLLAR, WRENCH-TURNING MIDDLE CLASS RUBES WANT FROM US????!

  • John B. Egan||

    The proposal, "A Better Deal," remains a bit sketchy.

    Hmm.. It's only a couple of weeks in the making, but so far:

    **A plan to create 10 million jobs through a mixture of tax credits for employers who hire at high wages, and a national infrastructure program similar to the one Hillary Clinton proposed in the presidential campaign.

    ** A sweeping suite of plans aimed at curtailing the skyrocketing costs of American prescription drugs, including a new regulatory agency and broad new oversight powers.

    ** Facing rising corporate inequality and markets increasingly dominated by a tiny handful of firms, Democrats will propose a new federal office and federal guidelines that would aim to make it more difficult for companies to merge and easier for federal regulators to call attention to their "anticompetitive" behavior.

    In contrast, we have the Republican plan..... Ummmm.. Trickle down! You can't be serious. Who controls Congress? Aside from 8 years of heel dragging and anti-Obama rhetoric, they have nothing. Yet the author expects a full blown program from the Democrats in 2 weeks? Absurd.

  • MarkLastname||

    Did you even read the article? Nothing would be a step up for the Democrats.

  • Mark22||

    That plan is so stupid, it might actually be genuine.

  • Mark22||

    "We are here today to tell the people of Berryville, and the working people of America: Someone has your back," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

    ... and we're going to bend you over and f*ck you really hard. And you're going to like it!

    It's how Democrats operate.

  • swampwiz||

    The major problem confronting the country in the near future will be how to deal with the End of Work. Trump executed a hostile takeover of the Republican Party by campaigning about how he will bring jobs back; the Democrats seem to be campaigning on not having those jobs leave in the first place - which one is more pure? Since the economy is past the point in its development where the Working Class can get a decent slice of the pie, some type of government interference is going to have to happen. My preferred method is to just get the redistribution out of the way early on via Guaranteed Income, as the conservative economists like Milton Friedman & Charles Murray have advocated.

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