While that sounds harsh, it has the ring of truth. The Times progressive social stances mask serious rot at the paper on important substantive issues such as foreign policy, torture, domestic spying, trade, labor and wealth inequality. It's a well-written paper. But it is not a liberal paper.
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The result is likely to be a deal where corporations will use the trade agreement to block restrictions on their behavior that might otherwise be imposed by democratically elected governments. For example, the financial industry might use the deal to prohibit Dodd-Frank type restrictions that prevent the sort of abuses that led to the financial crisis. The oil and gas industries might use the deal to prohibit environmental restrictions on fracking. And the pharmaceutical industry might push for stronger patent-type protections. These will raise the price of drugs (like a tax) and slow economic growth. Bizarrely, the NYT editorialized in favor of the the TPP, concluding its piece: "A good agreement would lower duties and trade barriers on most products and services, strengthen labor and environmental protections, limit the ability of governments to tilt the playing field in favor of state-owned firms and balance the interests of consumers and creators of intellectual property. Such a deal will not only help individual countries but set an example for global trade talks." Yes, boys and girls, Goldman Sachs, Exxon-Mobil and Pfizer will put together a deal that does all these things. This is serious?