I’ve talked to Barack a lot about his Patriot Corporation Act, which is not trade per se, but it’s certainly part of the economic package around globalization. The Patriot Corporation Act has not gotten the attention that I would hope it would. But, basically it says that if you play by the rules, if you pay decent wages, health benefits, pension; do your production here; don’t resist unionization on neutral card check, then you will be designated a “Patriot Corporation” and you will get tax advantages and some [preference] on government contracts.
There is so much here that’s profoundly objectionable. On card check, it’s “patriotic” to support the elimination of the secret ballot in the workplace? It’s “patriotic” to pay an employee $14 an hour, but not $13.83? Play by the rules? What does that mean?
The most striking offense here is the idea that the federal government would be defining patriotism, company by company. And if the federal government defines a company as a patriot, than it will be defining — if only by omission — the companies that are not patriots.
A terrible, terrible idea.
UPDATE (1:50 p.m.): Welcome, Instapundit and Jonah Goldberg readers, and thanks to them both. The bill Sen. Brown is talking about is S. 1945, introduced last August by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), with Brown and Obama as cosponsors. Sen. Durbin’s office issued a news release at the time.
BTW, Sen. Brown is the keynote speaker tomorrow at a manufacturing-oriented event sponsored by the labor-backed Economic Policy Institute, “An Agenda for Shared Prosperity” forum. Does shared prosperity demand shared patriotism?
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