Trans Pacific Partnership and it’s impact on the poor

The Trans-Pacific Partnership would increase poverty

June 19, 2013
Rev. Bruce Wright, President’s Commission on Ending Homelessness
The much touted, at least by multinational corporations and some governments, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, has grave consequences for the so-called poor of the world, including those in the United States. This agreement, clouded in secrecy, has been characterized as something akin to “NAFTA on steroids!” But, what exactly does it mean for the poor and working class of the United States?
Recent statistics released by the Census Bureau of the Federal Government indicate that half of the United States population is now living at or below the poverty line. This is a very serious and startling statement. At no time in the history of the United States has this been true. Add to that the fact that the gap between the rich and poor is also the widest in U.S. history, and that makes this one of the most serious situations of poverty in the so-called “developed nations”.
Compounding this serious situation is growing homelessness. We have the highest rate of homelessness or people without homes since the Depression. Our rate of homelessness is the highest in the “developed” world and even higher than in some “developing” nations. In my state, Florida, we have the 2nd highest rate of homelessness in the U.S.. In the Tampa Bay area, where I live, we have 25,000 homeless individuals and families. This is the highest rate per capita in the country! Florida also ranks among the highest in real unemployment and foreclosures, as well as in low wages.
So what has all this got to do with the TPP? The so-called Trans-Pacific ‘Partnership’ is a trade agreement being brokered by twelve Asian and Pacific Nations. The intent is to remove all ‘trade barriers’ between nations so that multinational corporations can move goods, services, and ‘commodities’ between countries more easily. Major multinational corporations such as big drug companies, WalMart, Nike, Chevron, and others support the TPP because these ‘trade barriers’ prevent them from making the highest profit possible on their goods and services.
Trade barriers include environmental safeguards, fair labor practices, inexpensive and generic drugs, safety regulations, indigenous sovereignty, national borders, regulations on GMO’s, and input from the public. If the TPP were passed, it would deeply impact the poor of the United States and the world.
The TPP’s implications on the poor and working class of the United States are grave and serious. From information gathered thus far it is known that the TPP would drive down wages even further, would further eliminate safety regulations and would ship more jobs overseas, including those in the service industry which employs many working-class and poor people in electronically-driven and telephone-oriented work. The TPP would also make it difficult to get necessary medications at affordable prices. Particularly, it would diminish significantly the use of generic drugs, which are the most affordable to those with low incomes.
The TPP would make foreign investment in domestic real estate easier which would drive prices up, making affordable housing more difficult to find. In the end, the result of all of this would be a continued and potentially dramatic increase in poverty, unemployment, and homelessness due to decreasing wages, further joblessness, and increased health costs. This may not only be true domestically, but internationally as well. The TPP would accelerate the ‘race to the bottom!’
With these very serious issues in mind, we must resist passage of the TPP at all levels! We must be involved in campaigns of resistance! We must inform each other and the general public of the dangers of this agreement. And we must be willing to resist with our voice and actions, including disruption and direct action.
As a member of the Green Shadow Cabinet, I, as with the rest of the cabinet, am committed to a campaign of resistance. To allow the TPP to pass would strengthen the greed and avarice of multinational corporations and wealthy elites. It opens the doors to a TransAtlantic Trade agreement of the same nature.
We must and can resist this evil! We can and will resist this horrific trade agreement.
~ Rev. Bruce Wright serves as chair of the President’s Commission on Ending Homelessness in the General Welfare Branch of the Green Shadow Cabinet. This statement is one of over a dozen issued in support of the Green Shadow Cabinet’s June 17th call for action against the TPP.


Catholic Worker House in St. Petersburg

New Monastic Society devoted to the service of Christ in the poor and unemployed.
Our Purpose…. To engage in intentional ministry of outreach, social change, art, and Christ-consciousness in the Name of God. We are committed to a life of contemplation and action, for to exclude either is to miss the fullness of the spirituality to which we are called.

Our Rule… To do no harm. We embrace the way of peace, non-violence, and reconciliation. We preach and practice the unconditional acceptance of all people as children of One God.

Our Spiritual Practices… We encounter the risen Christ in may ways but none more significantly than in the community celebration of the Holy Eucharist. We are pledged to live a life or prayer and service that includes our making daily conscious contact with God.

Our Activism and Politics… Notes on Christian Protest:

Reference Early Church Fathers

Reference Scriptures: Isaiah 58, Isaiah 10: 1-4, Isaiah 61, Amos, Proverbs, Matthew 25, Matthew 5-7, Luke 6, James 2, among others

Reference the Following Books:
God’s Politics, The Politics of Jesus, Jesus of the Disinherited, Letters From Prison, Letters From a Birmingham Jail, God’s Revolution, Jesus for President, RIch Christians in an Age of Hunger, A Theology of Liberation, Communism in the Bible, Marx and the Bible

Key Points: We must represent Jesus, we must represent Kingdom Values. Our method
is against actions, we cannot judge intent. Nonviolence. We must look at issues and not parties or people. It is not about the constitution but about the Bible, the Church, and the Church Fathers. We come at it as a Eucharistic People, who are united as one, across Racial, Gender, Ethnic, Age, and Class.

Saints that influence us Politically: St. Francis, Theresa of Avila, St. Gemma, Mother Theresa, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King Jr., Sojourner Truth, Daniel Berrigan, Oscar Romero, Deitrich Bonhoffer, John Brown, Fredrick Douglas, John Dear, Jim Wallis, John Perkins, Thomas Merton, Matthew Fox, and others


Poor People’s Campaign Update

Today PPEHRC mobilized members and student interns at a press conference to Save Angel Perez’s home! Please message me if you’re interested in being part of a phone tree in case the sheriff comes to evict Angel. We will send out a link for donations soon, too, but for now please contact me if you can be part of the emergency phone tree.

Angel and his family have lived and taken care of their home on the 3200 block of Shelbourne Street for the last 11 years–and they are now threatened with eviction. Since moving into the house, Angel has fixed the place up–painting it and installing plumbing and electricity. He has also kicked drug crews out of the house and was shot in one of those confrontations. He has also been a contributing member of the community serving as a block captain. The original owner of the house who gave permission for Angel to live there recently passed away, and another landowner is laying claim to the property–threatening Angel with eviction unless he can pay her $13,000. Angel is willing to pay as much as he can, but cannot afford that pricetag.

The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC) is supporting Angel at his request, mobilizing community resources in an effort to both raise $13,000 and help him and his family resist eviction if that goal is not met. Angel has been the caretaker of his home and a valuable asset to his community, and PPEHRC is willing to do everything in its power to ensure that Angel and his family stay in the home that is rightfully theirs.


My Place In Recovery Program

My Place in Recovery Program, My Place in Recovery Thrift Store, and My Drop In Center are outreaches to the poor, the addicted, the homeless.
Please check out our Drop in Center for the homeless, the Addicted, and the disenfranchised, open 7 days a week. Also, Our Thrift store with really low priced furniture, household items, knick knacks, dish ware, men and women’s clothes, tv’s, electronics, records, rare books, etc. We offer clothes to those who struggle with Homelessness and furniture support for Veterans who are moving into permanent housing. Finally, we have addictions recovery transitional housing, case management, support groups, AA/NA, and Church Services/Bible studies, please call for info.
General Information
My Place in Recovery is dedicated to outreach to the addict, the homeless community, the veteran, and anyone in need. We partner with Celebrate Outreach, The Revolutionary Road Radio show, The Catholic Worker of St. Petersburg, The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, and the Refuge. Daily recovery meetings are offered modeled after the Twelve Steps of Recovery. Celebrate Recovery soon to start.

Glenn Wilder Executive Director 727 244 0427

Rev. Bruce Wright Assistant Director 727 278 1547

2 Social Workers on Staff
3 Case managers

1450 1st Ave. North
St. Petersburg, Florida 33705


Member of Celebrate Outreach, Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, Keep St. Pete Local (Business Association), Homeless Service Providers of the Homeless Leadership Network

References: Rev.Dr. Don Thompson 941 739 7103, Rev. GW Rolle 727 424 1088, Dave Shepherd 727 420 5324, Atty Jim Grinaker 727 214 8972, Rev. James Swartz at Christ Methodist 727 822 3343

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