Tag Archives: TPP

The Trans Pacific Partnership & Why It’s Nothing But A Corporate Takeover

By Andrew Martin
July 3, 2015
Collective Evolution

 

tppA Great Example of Free Trade

On the 9th of May 2000, Bill Clinton in his presidential speech was selling the merits of allowing China to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) to the American people.

“If you believe in a future of greater openness and freedom for the people of China, you ought to be for this agreement. If you believe in a future of greater prosperity for the American people you certainly should be for this agreement, if you believe in security and peace for Asia and the world you should be for this agreement. This is the right thing to do, it is a historic opportunity and a profound American responsibility.” Clinton went on to suggest the entry of China into the WTO would offer “a brighter future for American workers and American manufacturers. Economically this agreement is the equivalent of a one way street, it requires China to open its markets with a fifth of the world’s population, potentially the biggest markets in the world. For the first time China will agree to play by the open trading rules we do. It has never happened before, for the first time our companies will be able to sell and distribute products in China made by workers here in America.” (1)

If we look back at Clinton’s speech it becomes obvious who really benefited. The failure of governments to foresee any negative impacts of offshoring manufacturing and industry has resulted in a decimation of the middle and working class in many nations. While China has benefited significantly (economically) at least in the short term, other nations have seen their economies stripped of any meaningful industry. While most governments race to promote ‘free trade’ and the opening of foreign trade and investment, few understand the consequence this has on local economies.. or do they?

Hiding What is Really Going On

The “official unemployment rate” in the United States, as outlined by “Unemployment USA,” is promoted to the public between 5 and 6%. John Williams, an economic consultant who publishes “Shadow Statistics,” examines the data many mainstream media outlets fail to update or question. In a 2013 interview, Williams outlined that “the numbers are a matter of definition. If you interviewed those who are unemployed you would get a much higher rate than what the government puts out as its definition.” The headline unemployment figure is calculated by examining the civilian labor force and includes only people who are working or have looked for a job in the previous four weeks. “So if you have given up looking for a job because there is no longer any point then you are not included in the headline unemployment figures. Given the way the government’s headline unemployment rate is calculated, it can never reach 14%. This is because when the economy gets really bad (like now), unemployed workers get discouraged and give up looking for jobs. This causes the civilian labor force to decline, faster than total employment.” Williams points out that back in 1994 discouraged workers were counted. If you hadn’t looked for work in the last two years but you were still ready and able to take a job the government counted you, but it doesn’t now. Williams estimates that if the calculation was the same or similar to what it was back in 1994, the unemployment rate would be more in line with 23%. (2)

The Trans Pacific Partnership – A Corporate Takeover

There is currently plenty of talk about the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement secretly being negotiated. Firstly, if this is such as good deal for everyone, why isn’t there transparency and open debate, and why is this deal being done in private? Doesn’t seem that democratic, does it? Yet it seems the words liberty, democracy, and freedom are overused as catch cries from our political masters, who simply mouth these words to appease the masses. Secondly, I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word “fast track” it conjures up thoughts of missing a few steps or doing things a bit half arsed…

The current “Trans Pacific Partnership” deal, which is being negotiated secretively between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam, may well be another effort to decimate the workforce in favour of multinational profits. The “Public Citizen” organization certainly thinks so. It believes the latest TPP is an effort to offshore American jobs and increase income inequality, increase the cost of medicines, sneak in SOPA-like threats to internet freedom, empower corporations to attack our environmental and health safeguards, expose the U.S. to unsafe food and products, and roll back Wall Street reforms. Sounds like one massive corporate bail out doesn’t it!

To take it one step further, the TPP would even elevate individual foreign firms to equal status with sovereign nations. This would empower them to privately enforce new rights and privileges, provided by the pact, by dragging governments to foreign tribunals to challenge public interest policies that they claim frustrate their expectations. The tribunals would be authorized to order taxpayer compensation to the foreign corporations for the “expected future profits” they surmise would be inhibited by the challenged policies. (3)

Stacking The Deck

Generally free trade agreements such as this have little to do with trade, they are about changing and stacking the deck in favour of those who will benefit. From the information available it appears that the TPP will give more power to corporations to attack and litigate against foreign nations. The late Albert Allen Bartlett, the well-respected Professor of physics at the University of Colorado (Boulder) who spoke extensively about the energy sector, suggested that “one of the principle motivations behind the U.S support for these trade agreements is to allow the U.S get their hands on resources before these resources get developed and countries want to use them for themselves.” (4) He may well be right!

The Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) section of the TPP would effectively give special rights to foreign investors included in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). This would open up the flood gates from which foreign investors (large multinationals) could potentially sue governments if their investments were deemed to be affected by a change in a law or policy. National regulations in areas such as food labelling, workers rights, safety and environmental protection would be at risk of violation. To illustrate, I will use an example of a large multinational mining company who wants to explore and drill for oil and gas in a certain environmentally sensitive area in your country. Under the TPP agreement any restrictions which may be placed upon the company in regard to exploration and drilling may be cause for potential litigation if the “interests of the conglomerate” could be affected. The national government of the particular country would have to either fight the litigation (tax payer funded of course) or simply give in to the company and let them do whatever they like! In effect, any TPP deal would jeopardize national sovereignty and potentially wreak havoc on the environment.

Bring in Your Own Lawyers

These disputes would be heard by an international investment tribunal (more deck stacking) with no independent judges. There would be no precedents or appeals, so decisions could be inconsistent, yet could have the ability to undermine national laws. Some argue that The TPP is being driven by the U.S in an effort to further the interests of American corporations and American workers after seeing its industry and economy decimated by Chinese dominance over the last decades. It might be a way of embedding trade between these countries to ensure China does not become more economically dominant throughout the Pacific and Asia. However, I can’t help but be reminded of the words of the prominent economist and professor at the School of Public Policy, Herman Daly, who argues that “globalisation has been a policy choice of the elites, not of the average citizen.” The mantra of “we live in a globalised economy and have no choice but to compete in the global growth race” has misled countries into supporting free capital mobility and global integration. “Globalisation” (national disintegration) was an actively pursued policy, not an inertial force of nature. It was done to increase the power and growth of transnational corporations by moving them out from under the authority of nation states and into a non-existent “global community.” (5)

Regardless of the agendas being pushed, there are three important factors at play when it comes to this deal, all of which further undermine society. These are holding us back from true progress, not the kind multinationals seek in the exploitation of resources, people and the environment, these are the erosion of democracy, integrity, and national sovereignty. These are up for grabs… not just some dodgy agreement…

Article compiled by Andrew Martin, editor of onenesspublishing  and author of One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future…  and Rethink…Your world, Your future.

RethinkcoverCE2Source: excerpts from Rethink…Your world, Your future.

(1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pg_Jr_DCyq8

(2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gk8saiBYXIc

(3) http://www.citizen.org/TPP

(4) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHx4N1ujfH4

(5) http://steadystate.org/eight-fallacies-about-growth/

US criminal economics: TPP secret treaty = ‘constitutional republic,’ debt = ‘money’, 500 million+ dead from poverty = ‘necessary.’ Had enough to demand arrests?

By Carl Herman
June 23, 2015
Washington’s Blog

 

Obama evilhat tip: Ellen Brown, Web of Debt Blog

“Psychopaths are unable to form emotional attachments or feel real empathy with others, although they often have disarming or even charming personalities. Psychopaths are very manipulative and can easily gain people’s trust. They learn to mimic emotions, despite their inability to actually feel them, and will appear normal to unsuspecting people… When committing crimes, psychopaths carefully plan out every detail in advance and often have contingency plans in place. Unlike their sociopathic counterparts, psychopathic criminals are cool, calm, and meticulous.” – Psychology Today

The .01% psychopathic oligarch “leaders” (and here) in US government, banking/finance, and corporate media wage war upon the 99.99% in ~100 crucial areas. Aside from lie-began overt unlawful military Wars of Aggression connected to economic domination with the US starting over 200 such armed attacks since WW2 and war-murdering ~30 million people (with these crimes “covered” by corporate media, let’s consider three central economic policies:

Attempting to pass TPP (so-called, “Trans-Pacific Partnership”) to remain a classified “secret treaty” for four years if passed, and without the US Constitutional requirement of 2/3 Senate approval. This is clear to anyone with a high school US government class as illegal and the Orwellian opposite of limited government under a representative constitutional republic. This is unlimited government with “rules” dictated as they go.
Claiming that US escalating total debt is a “money” supply, despite the fact that creating what we use as money as debt is the same as adding negative numbers forever, and clear to anyone with a middle school mathematics education that such mechanics can only increase the total debt and interest totals forever. This “debt supply” guarantees increasing and unpayable debt to the big banks who create the debt out of nothing, and is fundamental fraud with harm in annual trillions of dollars to claim debt rather than debt-free money is “good for us” (full documentation). Government leaders have legal fiduciary responsibility to best represent the American public.
Claiming that ~ one million children dying every month in gruesomely slow and painful deaths from poverty is an economic necessity because we don’t have “enough money,” despite the facts that money is paper, the investment is less than 1% of income (which developed nations continuously promise and then fail to deliver), this reduces population growth rates in every historical case, and the CIA claims this is the best way to end global terrorism. The total number of deaths from preventable poverty since just 1975 is ~500 million; more than all deaths from all wars and acts of violence in all recorded human history (full documentation of all poverty claims). These are Crimes against Humanity for the systemic mass-murders of millions while supporting policies such as TPP as a “race to the bottom” to further animalize human labor.

The above three bullet points summarize, with the links providing complete and professional documentation. Those of us working for reforms are unaware of even any attempts to refute our factual claims; our experience is as attributed to Gandhi:

“First they ignore you.

Then they laugh at you.

Then they fight you.

And then you win.”

Explaining Gandhi’s statement of unchallenged facts, MIT’s Simon Johnson (and former Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund) describes our big banks being led by gambling oligarchs who have captured government as in “banana republics” (his words). He concludes fraud is the heart of Wall Street. His immediate best-selling book, 13 Bankers: The Wall Street takeover and the next financial meltdown, was discussed with President Johnson’s Press Secretary and journalist with over 30 Emmy Awards, Bill Moyers, to explain the US banking system, loss of trillions of American taxpayer dollars to oligarchs’ manipulation as a matter of definitive fact, the looting of America being protected by partners with political muscle, and all rational consideration of the facts proving massive financial crimes:

SIMON JOHNSON: The American democracy was not given to us on a platter. It is not ours for all time, irrespective of our efforts. Either people organize and they find political leadership to take this on, or we are going to be in big trouble, okay?… That’s absolutely the heart of the problem. I would also say and tell you, and emphasize, these people will not come out and debate with us. The heads of these companies or their representatives, they will not come out. They’re afraid. They don’t have the substance. They don’t have the arguments. We have the evidence. They have the lobbyists. And that’s all they have.

BILL MOYERS: They’ve got the power, the muscle, the money.

SIMON JOHNSON: They have money.

BILL MOYERS: You just have the arguments. You just have the facts. On your side.

SIMON JOHNSON: Absolutely. That’s exactly what it comes down to.

The punchline of these .01% crimes is to ask you:

Are you demanding arrests of .01% criminal leaders for obvious crimes annually killing millions, harming billions, and looting trillions?

You can also rely upon your basic history education from middle and high school to remind you that such crimes are usual on Earth, from the Roman Empire to US treaty-violations to steal land in “expansions” for “self-defense.”

Let’s look at the reasoning to support a “yes” or “no” answer for demanding lawful arrests (arrests would be to stop apparently obvious crimes; more on refusing orders for obvious crimes).

Yes, I’m demanding arrests: Confirming the facts about this article’s three topics, and/or the ~100 other crucial areas of lies and crimes, along with consideration that the .01% propaganda you hear from “leaders” and corporate media are exactly the non-responses described by Gandhi and Simon Johnson, your demand for arrests of obvious .01% “leaders” is simple responsible citizenship to stop what any prudent observer would conclude are obvious crimes. This is exactly the response the US Founding Generation demanded of Americans in order to keep a constitutional republic.

“It is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power… Our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no further, our confidence may go… In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” – Thomas Jefferson, Draft Kentucky Resolution (1798. ME 17:388)

No, I’m not demanding arrests: My questions to you:

Explain to us how this article’s three topics are lawful, including the US ongoing Wars of Aggression.
If you conclude these are crimes, explain how failure to demand lawful arrests to stop these crimes is responsible citizenship.

Really, if you’re not demanding arrests and have answers to the above two questions, please respond at this article at Washington’s Blog. Those of us working for reforms have yet to find reasonable explanation that US policies centering in war and what is used for money are lawful.

**

Note: I make all factual assertions as a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History, with all economics factual claims receiving zero refutation since I began writing in 2008 among Advanced Placement Macroeconomics teachers on our discussion board, public audiences of these articles, and international conferences. I invite readers to empower their civic voices with the strongest comprehensive facts most important to building a brighter future. I challenge professionals, academics, and citizens to add their voices for the benefit of all Earth’s inhabitants.

**

Carl Herman is a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History; also credentialed in Mathematics. He worked with both US political parties over 18 years and two UN Summits with the citizen’s lobby, RESULTS, for US domestic and foreign policy to end poverty. He can be reached at Carl_Herman@post.harvard.edu

Note: Examiner.com has blocked public access to my articles on their site (and from other whistleblowers), so some links in my previous work are blocked. If you’d like to search for those articles other sites may have republished, use words from the article title within the blocked link. Or, go to http://archive.org/web/, paste the expired link into the box, click “Browse history,” then click onto the screenshots of that page for each time it was screen-shot and uploaded to webarchive. I’ll update as “hobby time” allows; including my earliest work from 2009 to 2011 (blocked author pages: here, here).

Democrats’ Cave-In on TPP and TTIP. Good-Bye Democracy.

by Eric Zuesse
May 14, 2015
Washington’s Blog

 

On Wednesday afternoon, May 13th, a catastrophic failure became clear to the few honest Democrats who were determined to stop Obama’s disastrous ’trade deals’ which are actually going to transfer regulatory sovereignty away from elected government officials as at present (who are answerable to voters), and instead move these powers into the hands of international corporate cartels, which will have the final say over the safety of our air, water, automobiles, and other products, and of the environment, and of workers’ rights (and which regulations will become answerable instead to the controlling stockholders in those mega-corporations). Mega-corporations will set international standards, which none of the signatory nations within the TPP and TTIP will be legally able to exceed without paying heavy penalties to those corporations for violating those corporations’ ‘rights’ under these trade-deals. The current ability of individual nations to establish their own standards will disappear, except to the extent that international corporations allow.

Senators Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Harry Reid, and others that wanted to block Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority for these deals — Senators who were against this loss of democratic sovereignty and introduction of international fascism — counted the votes of their Democratic colleagues, and found that, whereas just a day earlier on May 12th the President was 8 votes short of what he needed in order to win this battle for the mega-corporations, that seeming progressive victory was fleeting; it was mostly just for show to the voters, to convince voters that their Senator had tried his or her best and won whatever concessions from the President and the conservatives, that remained possible, so that displaced American workers might receive some compensation for their lost jobs that will result from these international-trade treaties. In other words: a crumb might yet be won for what still remains of America’s labor unions. But product-safety, and the environment, will now be virtual free-fire zones for the large international corporations. 

On May 5th, The Hill had published the list of Senators who were for and against and swayable on this. It was headlined, “The Hill’s Whip List.” From what they reported, it seems that the only Senators who were definitely opposed to these bills, as of that time, were probably the following:

Republicans:

Richard Burr, NC

Rand Paul, KY

Democrats:

Tammy Baldwin, WI

Richard Blumenthal, CT

Sherrod Brown, OH

Bob Casey, PA

Al Franken, MN

Kirsten Gillibrand, NY

Martin Heinrich, NM

Patrick Leahy, VT

Joe Manchin, WV

Ed Markey, MA

Robert Menendez, NJ

Jeff Merkey, OR

Harry Reid, NV

Bernie Sanders, VT (Independent)

Brian Schatz, HI

Charles Schumer, NY

Debbie Stabenow, MI

Tom Udall, NM

Elizabeth Warren, MA

Sheldon Whitehouse, RI

That’s 22 of the 100 Senators. All the others are already either publicly committed to the large international corporations, or else are still bargaining with them, in one way or another, regarding how much financial support their re-election campaigns will be receiving. (And maybe even a few of these 22 will yet turn out to be for sale.) 

This is probably the reason why Senator Sherrod Brown was quoted in Huffington Post on May 13th as saying, “I can read votes. I also think that nobody saw us being successful yesterday three days out.” In other words: The token concession to labor unions that Harry Reid was able to swing from Mitch McConnell was the best deal that can be arranged, under the circumstances. 

This outcome was predicted by me on several occasions during the latter half of last year. I summed up on November 4th by noting that: 

For several months now, I have predicted that if no House Democrat would introduce a bill of impeachment against President Barack Obama (for whom I voted, incidentally), then Republicans on November 4th would elect not just one but both houses of Congress, and the closeted conservative Obama would be having a field day during his final two years signing into law lots of pro-big-business, anti-worker, anti-consumer, anti-environmental, legislation, which Democrats in both the House but especially the Senate have thus far been blocking. And, now, on Election Eve, this nightmare seems finally to be coming true. …

It didn’t happen; and so we’ll get an all-conservative Government: Obama’s final two years in office will be spent signing conservative bills into laws that the majority of Democrats in both the House and Senate have, heretofore, blocked: laws reducing the cost-of-living adjustment in the Social Security formula, and approving the TTIP and TPP international trade deals that grant international corporations the power to control the regulations regarding the environment, consumer protection, drug safety, food safety, and virtually all regulatory matters. Republicans and Obama have wanted to transfer those national regulatory powers over to international corporations, but House and Senate Democrats did not; and, now, because there wasn’t a single House Democrat who had the courage to introduce a bill of impeachment against Obama, we will have a Government that is Republican in the House, Republican in the Senate, and Republican in the White House except on women’s issues, where Obama actually has been a Democrat. He hasn’t been lying about that one.

That statement was accompanied by a detailed analysis of the public polling on the question of impeaching Obama.

The only thing that stood even a chance of retaining the Senate for the Democrats was for a Democrat in the House to introduce a bill of impeachment against Obama. Not a single House Democrat stepped forward. That failure, of all House Democrats, was effectively the end of the chances to retain a vestige of democracy in America — and even throughout the other TPP and TTIP countries. It could possibly have prevented TPP and TTIP.

———-

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of  Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.

Ultra-Secrecy Surrounds Barack Obama’s New Global Economic Treaty

By Michael Snyder
May 7, 2015
Washington’s Blog

 

Obama SelfieBarack Obama is secretly negotiating a global economic treaty which would destroy thousands of American businesses and millions of good paying American jobs.  In other words, it would be the final nail in the coffin for America’s economic infrastructure.  Obama knows that if the American people actually knew what was in this treaty that they would be screaming mad, so the negotiations are being done in secret.  The only people that are allowed to look at the treaty are members of Congress, and even they are being banned from saying anything to the public.  American workers are about to be brutally stabbed in the back, and thanks to all of this secrecy and paranoia they won’t even see it coming.

The name of this new treaty is “the Trans-Pacific Partnership”, and it is being touted as perhaps the most important trade agreement in history.  But very few people in this country are talking about it, because none of us are allowed to see it.  An article that was just released by Politico detailed the extreme secrecy that is surrounding this trade agreement…

If you want to hear the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal the Obama administration is hoping to pass, you’ve got to be a member of Congress, and you’ve got to go to classified briefings and leave your staff and cellphone at the door.

If you’re a member who wants to read the text, you’ve got to go to a room in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center and be handed it one section at a time, watched over as you read, and forced to hand over any notes you make before leaving.

And no matter what, you can’t discuss the details of what you’ve read.

This treaty is going to affect the lives of every man, woman and child living in this nation, and yet it is deemed so “important” that none of us can know what is in it?

Are you sure that we still live in a Republic?

This treaty will cover 40 percent of the global economy, and U.S. officials hope that the EU, China and India will become members eventually as well

Right now, there are 12 countries that are part of the negotiations: the United States, Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.  These nations have a combined population of 792 million people and account for an astounding 40 percent of the global economy.  And it is hoped that the EU, China and India will eventually join as well.  This is potentially the most dangerous economic treaty of our lifetimes, and yet there is very little political debate about it in this country.

If the EU, China and India did eventually join the treaty, that would essentially make it a trade agreement for the entire planet.

This is a really big deal, and it should be openly debated by the American people.  But instead, Barack Obama has chosen to shroud the entire process with as much secrecy as possible.  Not only that, he also wants Congress to give him fast track negotiating authority.  If Congress does that, they would essentially be saying that they blindly trust Obama to negotiate a good treaty for us.  At the end of the process, Congress would be able to vote the treaty up or down, but would not be able to amend it.

That sounds insane, right?  Well, if you can believe it, Republicans in the Senate are quite eager to give Barack Obama this authority.

And this is not just an economic treaty.  The following is an excerpt from one of my previous articles

It is basically a gigantic end run around Congress.  Thanks to leaks, we have learned that so many of the things that Obama has deeply wanted for years are in this treaty.  If adopted, this treaty will fundamentally change our laws regarding Internet freedom, healthcare, copyright and patent protection, food safety, environmental standards, civil liberties and so much more.  This treaty includes many of the rules that alarmed Internet activists so much when SOPA was being debated, it would essentially ban all “Buy American” laws, it would give Wall Street banks much more freedom to trade risky derivatives and it would force even more domestic manufacturing offshore.

We can’t consume our way to prosperity, and we can’t borrow and spend our way to prosperity.  In order to be prosperous as a nation, we have got to create at least as much wealth as we consume.  But instead, we are doing just the opposite.  We are consuming wealth like mad even while our economic infrastructure is being absolutely gutted.  We have lost thousands of businesses and millions of jobs already, and this new treaty will make things much worse.

And of course eventually even the ultra-cheap labor on the other side of the planet will be replaced.  This is something that is already happening in China.  Just today there was a news story about a new manufacturing facility in China that will use only robots

Construction work has begun on the first factory in China’s manufacturing hub of Dongguan to use only robots for production, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

A total of 1,000 robots would be introduced at the factory initially, run by Shenzhen Evenwin Precision Technology Co, with the aim of reducing the current workforce of 1,800 by 90 percent to only about 200, Chen Xingqi, the chairman of the company’s board, was quoted as saying in the report.

The company did not give a figure for the investment in the factory, but said its production capacity could reach a value of 2 billion yuan (US$322 million) annually.

All of this is very bad news for American workers.  Whether it is ultra-cheap labor on the other side of the globe or new technology, big corporations are constantly looking for ways to produce things less expensively.

But in order to have a middle class, we have got to have middle class jobs.  The middle class in the United States is steadily disappearing, and neither political party seems very concerned about this at all.

Even without this new trade treaty, our trade deficit with the rest of the planet continues to grow even larger.  We just learned that the monthly U.S. trade deficit for March rose to $51.4 billion.  That was the largest monthly trade deficit since October 2008.  If you will remember, in October 2008 we were experiencing the worst financial crisis since the days of the Great Depression.

And if you take oil out of the number, our trade deficit for the month of March would be the worst ever recorded.

Thank you Barack Obama.  Your trade policies are really “working”.

Because the trade deficit was much worse than expected, that is going to push the GDP number for the first quarter into negative territory

Greg Daco of Oxford Economics says he expects the wider than expected trade deficit to prompt the government to revise its estimate of 0.2% growth in U.S. gross domestic product for the first quarter to a 0.5% contraction.

That means that if we have another contraction in the second quarter, we will officially be in a recession.

In fact, we could be in a recession right now (according to the official government definition) and not even know it yet.

One of the biggest reasons why the U.S. economy has been struggling so much in recent years is due to our trade policies.  If we had balanced trade with other nations, our cumulative economic growth since mid-2009 would have been nearly 20 percent higher

Since rising trade balances subtract from economic growth, the increase in this real non-oil goods deficit has now cut cumulative U.S. economic growth after inflation by a stunning 19.49 percent since the recovery technically began in mid-2009.

Are you starting to see why I get so fired up about trade?

But instead of encouraging big corporations to do what is right for the American people, our system greatly rewards companies like Apple that proudly send jobs offshore.  The following is an excerpt from an outstanding article by Andrew Zatlin

Nine years, a trillion dollars in sales, and almost no taxes paid. That’s just the starting point for wondering about Apple’s actual contribution to the US economy.

Apple’s success drags down the US GDP.  The behemoth that is Apple sold almost 200M phones last year, none of which were made in the US or used components made here. Instead of exporting $100B in iPhones, the US imported $50B. That $150B swing matters in terms of balance of trade, GDP and jobs. If you wanted to improve the US economy, there’s no better place to start than with Apple and smartphones.

Apple undermines the US manufacturing base. Assembly matters and manufacturing matters more. There was a time when Apple could have assembled phones and tablets in the US, but that would mean spending an extra $5 per phone since that’s approximately the extra labor cost to build that $700 phone here instead of in Vietnam or China. Assembly may not be a competitive, value-add step but it does employ a lot of people.

Unfortunately, it would also cut Apple’s profits by $1B, shrinking the company’s annual net income from $45B to $44B. Apple wouldn’t notice a drop in profits of $1B because it’s not putting its cash to use: Apple has $200B in cash conveniently parked outside of the US, not doing anything. On the other hand, assembling in the US would employ tens of thousands of people.

You can read the rest of that great article right here.

Our trade policies matter.  Decades of incredibly foolish decisions have ripped our economic infrastructure to shreds, and we are slowly but steadily committing national economic suicide.

Now, Barack Obama is absolutely determined to deliver the finishing blow, and it is all being done in secret.

When are you going to wake up and start getting angry America?

UN Lawyer Calls TTP & TTIP ‘a dystopian future in which corporations and not democratically elected governments call the shots’

By Eric Zuesse
May 6, 2015
Washington’s Blog

 

The Obama-proposed international-trade deals, if passed into law, will lead to “a dystopian future in which corporations and not democratically elected governments call the shots,” says Alfred De Zayas, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order.

These two mammoth trade-pacts, one (TTIP) for Atlantic nations, and the other (TPP) for Pacific nations excluding China (since Obama is against China), would transfer regulations of corporations to corporations themselves, and away from democratically elected governments. Regulation of working conditions and of the environment, as well as of product-safety including toxic foods and poisonous air and other consumer issues, would be placed into the hands of panels whose members will be appointed by large international corporations. Their decisions will remove the power of democratically elected governments to control these things. “Red tape” that’s imposed by elected national governments would be eliminated — replaced by the international mega-corporate version.

De Zayas was quoted in Britain’s Guardian on May 4th as saying also that, “The bottom line is that these agreements must be revised, modified or terminated,” because they would vastly harm publics everywhere, even though they would enormously benefit the top executives of corporations by giving them control as a sort of corporate-imposed world government, answerable to the people who control those corporations.

Obama is pushing for international cartels to replace important functions of today’s national governments, and De Zayas is saying that, “We don’t want an international order akin to post-democracy or post-law.” 

De Zayas told the Guardian that the panels that are proposed to be at the very center of these trade-pacts “constitute an attempt to escape the jurisdiction of national courts and bypass the obligation of all states to ensure that all legal cases are tried before independent tribunals that are public, transparent, accountable and appealable.”

That is, in fact, the motivation behind these deals. Costs get transferred from corporations onto consumers, workers, and the environment, while profits are increased for the corporation’s investors, and CEO pay will soar. In fact, the EU’s own study of the economic impact of the TTIP with America, calculated “economic gains as a whole for the EU (€119 billion a year) and US (€95 billion a year). This translates to an extra €545 in disposable income each year for a family of 4 in the EU, on average, and €655 per family in the US. … Income gains are a result of increased trade. EU exports to the US would go up by 28%, equivalent to an additional €187 billion worth of exports of EU goods and services. Overall, total exports would increase 6% in the EU and 8% in the US.” According to the analysis, no one would lose anything. For example, tariffs would be reduced but income taxes and other taxes that the public pays wouldn’t be increased in order to make up for that loss of income to the state from reduced tariffs. Not at all. Instead: “As much as 80% of the total potential gains come from cutting costs imposed by bureaucracy and regulations, as well as from liberalising trade in services and public procurement.” 

In other words: government regulations of product-safety and the environment and workers’ rights are a terrible waste, which would be eliminated and handled more efficiently by letting international corporations themselves handle those things, according to the EU’s study. And “liberalising trade in services and public procurement” would cut “red tape” that has prevented government officials who are the purchasers in “public procurement” from getting high-paid corporate directorships, etc. under the existing regulatory structures in democratic nations where the public, the voters, can hold their own government accountable for such corruption. If these functions become the domain of the international corporations themselves, then existing regulations and the government employees who enforce them can be eliminated. Accountability, in other words, is such a waste, for the inside investors in large corporations. They don’t need it; they fight against it. They are fighting against it. They don’t even want accountability to their own outside investors, who might want them removed from corporate management.

The EU simply doesn’t mention the downsides. And they also don’t mention that, “Obama’s TTIP Trade Deal w. Europe Would Be Disastrous for Europe, Says the First Independent Study.” That study wasn’t paid for by the EU, so they just ignore it. (They even ignore that it found that America’s international corporations would benefit even more from the deal than would Europe’s international corporations, which is the exact opposite result than the EU’s own study calculated. President Obama performs brilliantly for America’s billionaires, even though most of them are Republicans.) The economist who did that study wasn’t paid by anybody to do it. Occasionally, a study like that is performed by an economist. However, paid-for studies get far more publicity, because the findings are then heavily promoted by the sponsoring organization — after all, it’s propaganda.

On 23 January 2015, Britain’s Financial Times bannered, “Davos 2015: Businesses rally support for transatlantic trade deal.” Attendees there would pop the champagne corks if these deals pass.

David Korten at YES! magazine, headlined on 15 April 2015, “A Trade Rule that Makes It Illegal to Favor Local Business? Newest Leak Shows TPP Would Do That And More.” He stated, in common language, a recently-leaked (from wikileaks) chapter of the TPP, the treaty’s Investment chapter. Key provisions of it are:

Favoring local ownership is prohibited. …

Corporations must be paid to stop polluting. [Yes: Obama demands that corporations possess an actual right to pollute! It’s in the contract!! Ignore his mere rhetoric.]

Three [corporate] lawyers will decide who’s right in secret tribunals. …

Speculative money must remain free [of governmental regulation]

Corporate interests come before national ones. …

Then, there’s a sixth basic provision: to “prohibit governments from requiring that a foreign investor be under any obligation to serve the host country’s people or national interest.”

And that’s just one chapter of the proposed document. No wonder, then, why the billionaires at Davos are eager for Obama to ram this secret treaty through Congress. (Their people were in on the drafting of this proposed treaty, so Davosians didn’t need Julian Assange’s organization for them to know what the treaty contains. Only we do. And so now we understand why Obama wants to imprison or execute Assange.)

In the United States, congressional Republicans are almost unanimously in support of Obama’s trade-deals, but most congressional Democrats are opposed to these deals. President Obama doesn’t even enforce the workers’ rights provisions in the existing NAFTA and other existing trade-deals. Murders of labor union officials are prohibited under NAFTA but the Obama Administration ignores them. On April 22nd, Huffington Post bannered, “AFL-CIO’s Trumka: USTR Told Us Murder Isn’t A Violation Under U.S. Trade Deals” and quoted an AFL-CIO official, “‘The question is whether USTR [Obama’s U.S. Trade Representative, the same man who is negotiating both the TPP and the TTIP] considers murder to be a violation of the labor chapter. That is the question,’ she said. ‘The point is that USTR has informed us that labor-related violence does not constitute an actionable violation of the labor provisions [of NAFTA]’.” Obama relies almost entirely upon congressional Republicans for support of his proposed trade-deals, and of his existing trade-policies (such as non-enforcement of NAFTA). The only real question is whether congressional Democrats will be able to block his deals. When American voters in 2014 elected Republicans to majorities in both houses, the result was to ease the way for passage of Obama’s proposed international-trade deals. Harry Reid controlled the Senate and blocked them, but he was now replaced by the Republican Mitch McConnell, who is trying to win Senate approval for the TTIP. Reid, now as the Minority Leader, is still doing the best he can to block that; he just doesn’t have the power he did when he was Majority Leader.

Within the general American public, however, there seems to be more support for the TTIP among Democrats than among Republicans. On 9 April 2014, Pew Research Center issued a poll that was sponsored by the pro-deal Bertlelsmann Foundation, headlined “Support in Principle for U.S.-EU Trade Pact,” and the poll’s key question was: “Q3 As you may know, the U.S. and the EU are negotiating a free trade agreement called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP. Do you think this trade agreement will be a good thing for our country or a bad thing?” In the United States, 53% of respondents marked “Good thing,” 20% marked “Bad thing,” and 14% marked “Haven’t heard enough.” (Most of the others marked “Don’t know.”) Whereas 53% of all respondents said “Good thing,” 60% of Democratic respondents did, but only 44% of Republican ones did. That’s a 16% difference — substantial. Thus, apparently, at least as of a year ago, when a member of the public heard “TTIP,” the person mainly thought that it came from Obama (which it does), and that Obama is a Democrat (which he isn’t, except in rhetoric, but members of Congress are different; they know that he’s not, even if the public don’t); and, so, Republican voters were far less supportive of TTIP than were Democratic voters. The general public judged the deal by the nominal party of the person who initiated and is negotiating it. This is why, whereas in Congress, Republicans almost unanimously want TTIP to pass, and most Democrats want it to fail, the situation among the voting public is in the exact opposite direction: overwhelmingly favorable to the deal among Democrats, but only slightly favorable to the deal among Republicans. On the other hand, all Republican U.S. Presidential candidates support Obama’s trade-deals in principle and they only want him to speed up his getting other nations’ leaders to sign onto to them — as if he even has the power to do that.

If the TTIP and the TPP pass and become law, then historians will almost certainly remember Obama far more for those international trade-deals than for Obamacare or anything else, because of the enormous global political change they will bring. And Obama will then probably be generally regarded as the worst President in U.S. history, because he will then have done more to bring back dictatorship as the global norm and ended democracy, than any other nation’s leader, in all of history, ever did.

The evidence strongly supports Alfred De Zayas’s statement, that these trade-deals would produce “a dystopian future in which corporations and not democratically elected governments call the shots.” His statement was alarming, but not at all alarmist.

De Zayas is the chief UN official responsible for “reporting” on proposed international-trade treaties. As the likelihood of Obama’s proposed treaties passing has increased, he has become increasingly vocal about what their implications would be, for the UN’s founding vision of gradual evolution toward a democratic world-government — something comprehensive like what is now being suddenly rammed through, but democratic instead of fascist, and thus more the opposite of Obama’s vision instead of similar to it. On April 23rd, Reuters headlined, “U.N. expert says secret trade deals threaten human rights,” and De Zayas spoke in far more measured terms, not nearly so direct. He said:

“I am concerned about the secrecy surrounding negotiations for trade treaties, which have excluded key stakeholder groups from the process, including labour unions, environmental protection groups, food-safety movements and health professionals”

———-

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.

Obama Fights to Spread GMO Foods Throughout Europe

Eric Zuesse
April 28, 2015
Washington’s Blog

 

5a57a-obama-the-warmongerOne of the major barriers blocking U.S. President Barack Obama’s campaign for his mammoth international trade deals — the TTIP with Europe, and the TPP with Asia — is: other countries want the freedom to make up their own minds about the safety or dangerousness of the foods they allow to be sold within their borders. 

The Obama Administration is insisting that no nation have that freedom. In fact, all participating nations would be removed from that responsibility and authority. The Obama trade deals propose to replace that national authority, and basic national sovereignty on these important matters, by decisions that would instead be made by international panels, whose members will be appointed by international corporations, which have their own profits at stake in these matters. Consumers and others will be ignored: they will not be represented in the proposed panels. Nor will any government be represented there. That soverignty will instead be transferred to the billionaire families who control and derive their income from these corporations.

On Friday, April 24th, Agence France Presse headlined “US Stresses Opposition to EU Opt-Out for GMO Imports,” and reported that, “The United States underscored Friday its opposition to a new European Union plan to allow member states to block genetically engineered imports after bilateral talks on a transatlantic free-trade pact.” 

President Obama’s Trade Representative, Michael Froman, who is a Wall Street banker and a longtime close personal friend of the President, said on April 22nd that he was “very disappointed” that the EU wants to allow individual EU nations to “opt out” of automatic approval of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) that the international panels will approve to be marketed everywhere. Furthermore, Froman’s assistant said that the U.S. rejects “a proposal to allow EU member states to ban products deemed safe by Europe’s own scientists.” He was referring there to the half of scientific papers that find GMO foods to be safe. However, those papers were produced by companies that manufacture and market GMOs. The other half of the scientific papers on GMOs, the half that were produced independently of the GMO industry, have not found GMO foods to be safe — to the exact contrary. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative ignores those papers.

On 8 July 2009, Agence France Presse headlined “Scientists Warn of Hazards of GMOs,” and reported that an article in the International Journal of Biological Science co-authored by world-leading scientists, reported that, “Agricultural GM companies and evaluation committees systematically overlook the side effects of GMOs and pesticides.” An accompanying study, “How Subchronic and Chronic Health Effects Can Be Neglected for GMOs, Pesticides or Chemicals,” found “a significant underestimation of the initial signs of diseases like cancer and diseases of the hormonal, immune, nervous and reproductive systems.”

The United States does not regulate GMO foods, because the patents are owned mostly by U.S. companies, and the U.S. Government doesn’t want to get in the way of their selling their patented products. Consequently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration takes any given GMO manufacturer’s word for the safety of its GMO products. U.S. President Obama wants to promote U.S. trade by convincing all other countries to sell GMO foods. His TTIP and TPP are supported by the GMO industry, which has approved their GMO foods and allowed their product-labels to not mention that some or all of the ingredients are genetically modified crops.

One of the major advantages of GMO crops is that they can survive the use of herbicides — weed-killers — that kill natural crops. (The GMO-seed manufacturer also markets the pesticide or herbicide; these are chemical companies, and GMOs are a complementary or synergistic product-line for them. For example, the leading herbicide “Roundup” is from Monsanto which produces the GMO seeds that tolerate it.) Another advantage is that the foods can stay longer as looking and smelling fresh, which also lowers the cost of production, and yet the consumer doesn’t even know that the food is actually stale — the food is competing against costlier-to-produce non-GMO foods and so driving them off the market by the lower price, which leaves more and more food-production dependent upon GMO makers such as Monsanto, DuPont, and Dow Chemical. The lower price is obvious; the lower quality is hidden. It’s race-to-the-bottom international ‘competition,’ in which the aristocracy reap all the winnings; the public get the losses.

A recent news report from independent food scientists was bannered “FDA Product Safety Declaration Misleads Nation—Again” and it contains references to many recent scientific papers that find GMO foods to be dangerous, and harmful to human health.

An international analysis, “A Comparative Evaluation of the Regulation of GM Crops” was published in 2013 in the scientific journal Environment International, and it concluded by saying that, “Regulatory bodies are not adequately assessing the risks of dsRNA-producing GM products. As a result, we recommend a process to properly assess the safety of dsRNA-producing GM organisms before they are released or commercialized.” The Obama Administration is trying to prevent that from happening; and their proposed TTIP and TPP international-trade treaties are crucial components of achieving this objective. In the United States, GMO-producers are granted the right to self-regulate, and this practice will become the standard worldwide practice if the TPP and TTIP become passed into law.

The U.S. Government is doing everything it can to spread to other nations the same deregulatory policies that American companies rely upon to market their products inside the United States. On Friday, April 25th, a key U.S. Senate Committee approved a “Trade Promotion Authority” bill to help rush through the U.S. Senate the approval of Mr. Froman’s TPP trade deal with Asian countries. For a summary of the regulatory practices around the world regarding GMO crops, see here. A discussion of the votes in the U.S. Senate on the measure that was proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders to allow individual states to establish their own regulations requiring the labeling or indication of whether or not particular food ingredients are GMOs (since the federal Government refuses to consider such a proposal), is here, and it shows that even some allegedly progressive U.S. Senators voted the GMO industry’s way on that bill to regulate it, which failed, on a vote of 71 to 27. One might call this the Monsanto Congress, because the U.S. House is even more conservative than the Senate. Of the 27 U.S. Senators who voted for the Sanders bill, 24 were Democrats, 2 were Independents, and 1 was Republican. 43 Republicans, and 28 Democrats voted against it. The Obama Administration had lobbied against the bill, in order to continue the GMO industry’s free reign over America’s food-supply.

When Barack Obama campaigned for the Presidency in 2008, he said, “Let folks know when their food is genetically modified, because Americans have a right to know what they’re buying.” But as soon as he won the Presidency “The new president filled key posts with Monsanto people, in federal agencies that wield tremendous force in food issues, the USDA and the FDA.” And whereas Republican news-organizations such as Fox ‘News’ criticized him as being a Muslim Marxist, he was actually implementing policies that continued those of the Republican George W. Bush Administration on this and on many other issues. Yet, no matter how far to the right Mr. Obama actually was, he was portrayed as a ‘leftist’ in Republican ’news’ media. And yet, still, even today, the vast majority of Democratic voters approve of his actions as President. They still believe his rhetoric, even though he has lied to them constantly and even filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that lying in politics must continue to remain unrestricted not only at the national level but also in each and every one of the states. Consequently, in the United States, there is no effective political opposition to the large international U.S. corporations. (And, under the Republican Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, corporations now have virtually unlimited freedom to use stockholders’ money to purchase politicians.)

Hillary Clinton is a big supporter of the GMO industry, and the response of liberals to that is to ask her to give them rhetoric they like on the matter, just as Obama had done when he was running for President in 2008. In other words: they will campaign for her to become President if she will only lie to them as Obama did to them. What liberals are demanding is rhetoric; but if they get it from her, then the industries that are funding her Presidential campaign won’t be worried, because she has a solid record of doing what her financial backers want her to do. As long as Americans don’t care when a politician has lied to them, lying to them will continue to be the way to win public office — especially considering that America’s international corporations now have been granted by the Republican U.S. Supreme Court a ‘free speech’ right to purchase the U.S. Government. And now that the Supreme Court has also ruled that political lies are a Constitutionally proected form of speech, those ads don’t even need to be true. If the American people don’t care about honesty, then they won’t have an honest government, because America’s corporations can then buy any U.S. Government they want — they’ll have total impunity if the U.S. public don’t even care about honesty in their government. There are no legal penalties for political lying; so, if there are also no political penalties for it, then the U.S. can only be ruled by lies and their liars. Should that be called “fascism”?

According to the generally progressive Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio (who, along with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders is one of the Senate’s three leading opponents of Mr. Obama’s proposed international-trade treaties), President Obama has been lobbying Senators more insistently and more intensely on getting them to grant him “Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority” to ram these treaties through, than on any other single issue since Obama first became President in 2009. No issue, not even Obamacare nor any other, has been as important to Obama as is his getting signed into law the TPP and TTIP. It would certainly be the culmination of his Presidency if he succeeds. It would be his crowning achievement. He and his heirs will be amply rewarded if he succeeds; and that’s apparently what he really cares about. He has shown it by his actions as the President, not by his rhetoric to voters. After all: Americans, it seems, don’t really care about honesty. All they really care about is rhetoric that pleases them. They merely want to be told what they want to hear.

Perhaps this is the reason why no progressive has entered the Democratic Presidential contest against Hillary Clinton. If the only realistic possibilities to become the next President are her and her Republican opponent (whomever he will turn out to be), then America will continue to be a de facto one-party State, and this will be the U.S. international-corporate party, in both of its factions or nominal varieties, controlling the U.S. Government. The only comprehensive scientific study that has yet been done finds that the U.S. has, in fact, already been ruled in this way for some time. (The history of how it came to be this way, starting gradually after the end of World War II, is the subject of my latest book.) Obama is merely implementing it more; he didn’t start it. He is implementing it more than even Republicans were able to do.

Obama wouldn’t have been able to do this if he didn’t come bearing the label ‘Democrat.’ And Hillary Clinton’s husband Bill was the key person to subordinate that Party to Wall Street. Hillary and Obama are following in his footsteps. Obama’s “Change” occured actually when Bill Clinton became President in 1993. It simply hasn’t been much recognized until now. Today’s Democratic Party started when Bill became President. That’s when the one-party State, with the national Democrats playing the role of the ‘Good Cop’ to the national and local Republicans’ role of the ‘Bad Cop,’ in the eyes of the Democratic Party’s electoral base of deceived liberals, actually began to take over the U.S. Government, for the benefit of, and service to, America’s aristocracy.

This is why both Obama and Clinton are big supporters of essentially unregulated GMOs. It’s sort of like unregulated Wall Street: the profits get privatized, while the losses (poor health etc.) get socialized.

———-

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.

Be Very Afraid: “We the People” of the United States and it’s United Kingdom lapdog

By Felicity Arbuthnot and Prof Michel Chossudovsky
April 28, 2015
Global Research

 

Mauvaise lecture de la loi sur la détention militaire: Le régime Obama n’a aucuns scrupules constitutionnelsFor those who thought it was only nations “far away of which we know nothing” which the Obama, Clinton and Bush regimes, Tony Blair in Britain and his declared “heir” David Cameron destroyed – in the guise of bringing them the now dreaded “freedom, liberation and democracy” – this political cartoon is a wake up call for “We the people” of the United States and it’s United Kingdom lapdog.

Be very afraid.

(Felicity Arbuthnot)

The ultimate objective is to subdue the citizens, totally depoliticize social life in America, prevent people from thinking and conceptualizing, from analyzing facts and challenging the legitimacy of the inquisitorial social order which rules America.

The Big Lie becomes the Truth. Realities are turned upside down.

War becomes peace, a worthwhile “humanitarian undertaking”,

Peaceful dissent becomes heresy.

Acceptance of poverty, social inequality and the police state for “the good of mankind” is the consensus. “The American people have spoken”.

The objective is to create an atmosphere of fear and insecurity, with a view to upholding the New World Order.

And that is only beginning.

What happens under the Trade Pacific Partnership (TPP) and The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)?

(Michel Chossudovsky)

What Is Obama Up To, With His TPP and TTIP? What Will Remain of Local National Governments?

By Eric Zuesse
April 26, 2015
Global Research

 

TPP-secretThe motivation behind U.S. President Barack Obama’s trans-Pacific trade-deal TPP, and his trans-Atlantic trade-deal TTIP — the motivation behind both of these enormous international trade-deals — is the same, and Democratic U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown are correct: it is not at all progressive. It is instead to transfer political power away from the public in a democracy, and for that power to go instead to the international aristocracy (i.e., to go as far away from any national democracy as is even possible to go).

This is to be done by switching the most fundamental thing of all: the global power-base itself. Instead of that power-base being democratic votes of the national publics, who elect their political representatives who determine the laws and regulations, that national democratic political system becomes instead the exact opposite: the global aristocratic stockholder votes of the international aristocracy who elect the corporate directors of international companies, who will, in their turn, then be selecting the members to the international-trade-panels which, in TPP and TTIP, will, in their turn, be determining the rules and enforcements regarding especially workers’ rights, product-safety, and the environment. 

The international aristocracy’s weakening of these national rules will enable lowering wages of the public, who are the people who don’t control international corporations but who control only their own personal labor, which goes down in value to the lowest hourly wage in the entire international trading-area. This new system will also enable minimizing regulation of the safety of foods and other products and thus maximizing the ability of international corporations to avoid any expenses that companies would otherwise need to devote to raising the safety of their products. Those expenses (the liabilities of dangerous products) will thus be increasingly borne only by the products’ consumers. Risks to investors (which is the thing that aristocrats seek most to avoid) are consequently reduced — shifted more onto the public. It will also enable environmental harms to become virtually free to international corporations that perpetrate them, and to become likewise costs that are borne only by the general public, in toxic air, water, etc. Thus, yet another category of risks to investors will be gone. This will increase profit-margins, which go only to the stockholders — not to the public.

Profits will thus become increasingly concentrated in international corporations and the families that control them, and losses will become increasingly socialized among consumers and workers — and just generally to livers and breathers: the public. ‘Government’ will increasingly be merely the spreader and enforcer of risks and penalties to the public; and, this, in turn, will enhance yet further the ‘free-market’ ideal of there being less and less, or ’smaller,’ government; i.e., of there being less and less of ‘democratic’ government. That’s what the aristocracy’s ’small government’ jag has really been all about: it’s about cost-shifting, from aristocrats, to the public.

Thus, the maximum percentage of the costs — for product-safety, workers’ rights, and the environment — become borne by the public, and the minimum percentage of costs become borne by the stockholders in international corporations. In turn, aristocrats will be able to pass along to their designated heirs their thus ever-increasing dominance and control over the general public. Thus, the concentration of wealth will become more and more concentrated in fewer and fewer families, a gradually smaller hyper-aristocracy. This is what’s happening, and it will happen now a lot more if TPP and TTIP pass. (According to the most detailed study of the matter, as of 2012, the “World’s Richest 0.7% Own 13.67 Times as Much as World’s Poorest 68.7%.” So: the world is already extremely unequal in its wealth-distribution. TPP and TTIP are designed to increase that inequality.)

Furthermore, President Obama and the Republican Party in Congress (which support him on this, and on all other matters that are of highest concern to America’s aristocracy, such as the defeat of Russia, China and the other BRICS nations — for example, by Obama’s yanking Ukraine away from Russia’s aristocracy and into control instead by America’s aristocracy) are ensuring that America’s aristocracy will be increasingly on top internationally, and these trade-deals are additionally taking advantage of America’s being the top power across both of this planet’s two major oceans: the Atlantic, and the Pacific.

In other words: the United States, with the TPP & TTIP, will be in the extraordinary position of basically locking in, perhaps for the next century, the U.S. aristocracy’s participation in both of the two major international-trade compacts. This commercial lock-in will retain the American aristocracy’s control over the national aristocracies of almost all of the other major industrial nations — encompassing virtually all of the northern hemisphere, which is where most of this planet’s land-mass is located.

Consequently: not only will the global aristocracy control the global public, but the U.S. aristocracy will also control the other aristocracies in ways that will increase their collective power against any non-member national aristocracy; and, so, America’s Empire will be increasingly the biggest global Empire that the world has ever known, by exploiting the publics everywhere, and not only within merely one country.

Obama told graduating West Point cadets, on 28 May 2014: “China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, and governments seek a greater say in global forums.” In other words: part of these future military officers’ jobs will be to help make sure that the BRICS, and other countries that have lower per-capita wealth than in America, stay poor, so that America’s aristocrats can send jobs there instead of pay America’s own workers to do it — in other words: get America’s workers competing against ones in poor countries, rather than get America’s investors competing against ones in poor countries. He’s telling America’s military that they are soldiers in this international class-war, paid by the public, but working actually for America’s aristocracy and not for the public, but against America’s public — to drive down their wages, food-safety, etc.

This is the way toward a certain type of world government by the super-rich for the super-rich, keeping them and their appointed heirs in control over the assets of the entire globe — both its natural and its human resources — and using as the local agents throughout the world the local aristocrats, who will be the people who will keep their local publics in line and working for the ever-increasing intensification of the planet’s wealth, in the hands of, first, the global aristocracy, and, second, America’s aristocracy as being the globally dominant aristocracy.

What will remain of local national governments will then become mere shells.

Benito Mussolini, who was inspired by Vilfredo Pareto (whom Mussolini called “the Karl Marx of fascism”), who was also the founder of modern economic theory and especially of its Welfare Criterion, which shapes so much of the rest of economics and especially all cost-benefit analyses (such as of proposed means to restrain global warming), explained as follows the “corporationism” that he held to constitute fascism:

The corporation plays on the economic terrain just as the Grand Council and the militia play on the political terrain. Corporationism is disciplined economy, and from that comes control, because one cannot imagine a discipline without a director. Corporationism is above socialism and above liberalism. A new synthesis is created.

Following below this article will be Mussolini’s essay on that issue, in which he sets forth what he claims is a post-capitalist, post-socialist, ideology, and which the also self-described post-capitalist post-socialist Barack Obama (as an agent for the global aristocracy) is increasingly putting into actual practice — especially via TPP & TTIP.

Regarding specifically international-trade deals, Mussolini’s master, Pareto, said that the free market should reign supreme and untrammeled by the State in all regards, not only within nations, but also, and even especially, between nations. As I noted in this regard, in my recent book on the historical development of fascism, up to and including our own time:

“Pareto was consistently a free-market purist, since at least 1896. For example, in his 1 September 1897 ’The New Theories of Economics’ in the Journal of Political Economy, he stated: ‘Were I of the opinion that a certain book would contribute more than any other to establish free trade in the world at large I would not hesitate an instant to give myself up heart and soul to the study of this particular work, putting aside for the time all study of pure science.’ He also said there: ‘We have been able vigorously to prove that the coefficients of production are determined by the entrepreneurs in a régime of free competition precisely in the same way as a socialist government would have to fix them if it wanted to realize a maximum of ophelimity [his invented term for ‘welfare’ in order to obscure the actual value-base so as to enable economists to pretend to be value-free even as they ranked things in benefit/cost analyses that are, in fact, applying his pro-aristocratic or ‘fascist’ theory] for its subjects.” [And notice there Pareto’s slip-up, referring to the government as having not ‘citizens’ but instead ‘subjects’ — the  underlying aristocratic assumpion, that the public are ‘subjects’ instead of real ‘citizens’.] Pareto always challenged whether a socialist government would be able to achieve that, but he was here saying that the free market would do it naturally, just like the physiocrats had said that ‘natural law’ should reign instead of any tampering with it.

Pareto set Adam Smithian economics, and the economics of the French physiocrats who had laid the foundation for Smith’s economic theory, upon a basis that subequent economists could then develop mathematically in a way that would hide the theory’s essential fascism — the modernized (i.e., post-agrarian) form of feudalism.

Barack Obama and congressional Republicans are simply carrying this fascist operation to the next level. As for congressional Democrats, they are split on it, because (at least until the new economic theory that I put forth in my new book) no one yet has formulated an economic theory for a democracy; current economic theory has been designed instead specifically for a fascism — an aristocratically controlled State. Consequently, the few progressive Democrats that still remain in Congress are experiencing difficulty to communicate easily and readily to the public what the real political and economic stakes are in Obama’s proposed TPP and TTIP: the transfer of national democratic sovereignty over to an international fascist aristocracy, which will be dominated by American aristocrats. Without that transfer, of democratic national sovereignty to international fascist bodies that represent global corporate management, these deals would be nothing.

This transfer is called Investor-State Dispute Settlement, or ISDS. It is really an emerging, and distictively fascistic, world government. It is not at all democratic, and it is a creeping form of international government which, to the extent that it becomes imposed, reduces national sovereignty. The prior, progressive, type of world-government proposal, which had been fashionable after World War II in order to make a WW III less likely, was based instead upon the idea of an international federation ofindependent democracies. ISDS has nothing in common with that, the original vision for world government. It is instead pure fascism, on an international scale.

In the first decades after World War II, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s vision of an ultimately emerging democratic world government predominated, aiming for an emerging democratic United Nations, which would evolve to encompass in an increasingly equalitarian way more and more of the world; but, after Republican control started becoming restored in the U.S. with Dwight Eisenhower and his installation of the Dulles brothers to control and shape future U.S. international policies, things moved increasingly in the direction of a U.S.-aristocracy-based control over the world (especially with the Allen Dulles CIA coup in 1953 Iran); and Barack Obama is thoroughly in that fascist, overwhelmingly Republican, tradition, even though he is nominally a ‘Democrat.’ Some analysts even consider Obama to be a CIA operative from early in his life. (The CIA, when Eisenhower came into office, placed the CIA’s pro-Nazis into control; and, afterward, this control has only become more deeply entrenched there.) The British journalist Robert Fitch seems to have figured Obama out even as far back as 14 November 2008, right after Obama was elected to become President. Basically, Fitch described Obama as a fascist who had determined to rise to power by fooling progressives into thinking he was one of them. He was portraying Obama as a Manchurian-candidate, Trojan-Horse, Republican-in-Democratic-rhetorical-clothes, conservative operative. He had Obama right, even that early.

As regards not what economic theory but instead empirical economic studies indicate would likely be the result from both the TPP and the TTIP: one independent economic analysis has been done for each of these two international-trade deals, and both of them come up with the same conclusion: the publics everywhere will lose wealth because of them, but aristocrats, especially in the United States, will gain wealth because of them. They’ll probably do what they were designed to do.

As regards what some of Obama’s defenders say about his trade-deals, namely that Investor-State Dispute Settlement is merely a detail and the overall deal is good: that’s like saying that a person’s health is good but the brain or the heart needs to be fixed or maybe even replaced. These people know it’s a bad deal; that’s why they support it. They’re being paid by the aristocracy.

Would Hillary Clinton Be Any Better?

What, then, about Obama’s intended successor? Would she be any different? Here’s the record concerning that:

On 23 February 2008, Hillary Clinton stood before microphones and cameras, and harangued in angry tones, “Shame on you, Barack Obama!” alleging that two of his campaign’s flyers lied about her positions.

One of the flyers said that her proposed health-insurance mandate would penalize Americans who didn’t buy health insurance. It was true but she tried to deny it. (Only after Obama was elected did he copy her plan by merely adding the individual mandate to his own.) The other flyer which Hillary was complaining about, quoted Newsday’s characterization of Hillary’s NAFTA view in 2006: “Clinton thinks NAFTA has been a boon to the economy.” Hillary now was also claiming that this was a lie. Many in the press blindly supported her accusation against Obama here, because “a boon” was Newsday’s phrase, not hers. However, again, it was she, and not Obama, who was lying. Her 2003 Living History (p. 182) actually did brag about her husband’s having passed NAFTA, and she said: “Creating a free trade zone in North America — the largest free trade zone in the world — would expand U.S. exports, create jobs and ensure that our country was reaping the benefits, not the burdens, of globalization.” This was one of, supposedly, her proudest achievements, which were (p. 231) “Bill’s successes on the budget, the Brady bill and NAFTA.” But Hillary was now demanding that Obama apologize for his flyer’s having said: “Only Barack Obama fought NAFTA and other bad trade deals.” That statement was just a fact, notwithstanding what Hillary, and many of the major U.S. “news” media, were now alleging. (Obama was saving his worst to be delivered to the nation only after he would become President — and, especially, after he would be re-elected and then he could be free to go far-right, which was his genuine inclination even at the start, though he couldn’t achieve the goal if he didn’t first deceive about what his goal actually is, so that he could maybe get into position to achieve it.)

On 20 March 2008, the day after Hillary finally released her schedule during her White House years, the Nation’s John Nichols blogged “Clinton Lie Kills Her Credibility on Trade Policy,” and he said: “Now that we know from the 11,000 pages of Clinton White House documents released this week that [the] former First Lady was an ardent advocate for NAFTA; … now that we know she was in the thick of the maneuvering to block the efforts of labor, farm, environmental and human rights groups to get a better agreement; … now that we know from official records of her time as First Lady that Clinton was the featured speaker at a closed-door session where 120 women opinion leaders were hectored to pressure their congressional representatives to approve NAFTA; now that we know from ABC News reporting on the session that ‘her remarks were totally pro-NAFTA’ and that ‘there was no equivocation for her support for NAFTA at the time’; … what should we make of Clinton’s campaign claim that she was never comfortable with the militant free-trade agenda that has cost the United States hundreds of thousands of union jobs?”

The next day, ABC’s Jake Tapper, at his “Political Punch” blog, headlined “From the Fact Check Desk: The Clinton Campaign Misrepresents Clinton NAFTA Meeting,” and he reported: “I have now talked to three former Clinton Administration officials whom I trust who tell me that then-First Lady Hillary Clinton opposed the idea of introducing NAFTA before health care, but expressed no reservations in public or private about the substance of NAFTA. Yet the Clinton campaign continues to propagate this myth that she fought NAFTA.” She continued this lie even after it had been repeatedly and soundly exposed to be a lie.

Consequently: the only real difference between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is that Obama is a vastly more skilled liar. It’s how he has gotten as far as he has. She probably won’t; she’s the same incompetent now that she was back then.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.


Excerpts from George Seldes’s 1935 book about Mussolini, Sawdust Caesar:

APPENDIX 15

Capitalism and the Corporate State 

by Benito Mussolini, November, 1933

Is this crisis which has afflicted us for four years a crisis in the system or of the system? This is a serious question. I answer: The crisis has so deeply penetrated the system that it has become a crisis of the system. It is no longer an ailment; it is a constitutional disease.

Today we are able to say that the method of capitalistic production is vanquished, and with it the theory of economic liberalism which has illustrated and excused it. I want to outline in a general way the history of capitalism in the last century, which may be called the capitalistic century. But first of all, what is capitalism?

Capitalism is … a method of industrial production. To employ the most comprehensive definition: Capitalism is a method of mass production for mass consumption, financed en masse by the emission of private, national and international capital. Capitalism is therefore industrial and has not had in the field of agriculture any manifestation of great bearing.

I would mark in the history of capitalism three periods: the dynamic period, the static period, and the period of decline.

The dynamic period was that from 1830 to 1870. It coincided with the introduction of weaving by machinery and with the appearance of the locomotive. Manufacturing, the typical manifestation of industrial capitalism, expanded. This was the epoch of great expansion and hence of the law of free competition; the struggle of all against all had full play.

In this period there were crises, but they were cyclical crises, neither long nor universal. Capitalism still had such vitality and such power of recovery that it could brilliantly prevail.

There were also wars. They cannot be compared with the World War. They were brief. Even the War of 1870, with its tragic days at Sedan, took no more than a couple of seasons.

During the forty years of the dynamic period the State was watching; it was remote, and the theorists of liberalism could say: ‘You, the State, have a single duty. It is to see to it that your administration does not in the least turn toward the economic sector. The better you govern the less you will occupy yourself with the problems of the economic realm.’ We find, therefore, that economy in all its forms was limited only by the penal and commercial codes.

But after 1870, this epoch underwent a change. There was no longer the struggle for life, free competition, the selection of the strongest. There became manifest the first symptoms of the fatigue and the devolution of the capitalistic method. There began to be agreements, syndicates, corporations, trusts. One may say that there was not a sector of economic life in the countries of Europe and America where these forces which characterize capitalism did not appear.

What was the result? The end of free competition. Restricted as to its borders, capitalistic enterprise found that, rather than fight, it was better to concede, to ally, to unite by dividing the markets and sharing the profits. The very law of demand and supply was now no longer a dogma, because through the combines and the trusts it was possible to control demand and supply.

Finally, this capitalistic economy, unified,’trustified,’ turned toward the State. What inspired it to do so? Tariff protection.

Liberalism, which is nothing but a wider form of the doctrine of economic liberalism, received a death blow. The nation which, from the first, raised almost insurmountable trade barriers was the United States, but today even England has renounced all that seemed traditional in her political, economic and moral life, and has surrendered herself to a constantly increasing protectionism.

After the World War, and because of it, capitalistic enterprise became inflated. Enterprises grew in size from millions to billions. Seen from a distance, this vertical sweep of things appeared as something monstrous, babel-like. Once, the spirit had dominated the material; now it was the material which bent and joined the spirit. Whatever had been physiological was now pathological; all became abnormal.

At this stage, super-capitalism draws its inspiration and its justification from this Utopian theory: the theory of unlimited consumers. The ideal of super-capitalism would be the standardization of the human race from the cradle to the coffin. Super-capitalism would have all men born of the same length, so that all cradles could be standardized; it would have babies divert themselves with the same playthings, men clothed according to the same pattern, all reading the same book and having the same taste for the movies — in other words, it would have everybody desiring a single utilitarian machine. This is in the logic of things, because only in this way can super-capitalism do what it wishes.

When does capitalistic enterprise cease to be an economic factor? When its size compels it to be a social factor. And that, precisely, is the moment when capitalistic enterprise, finding itself in difficulty, throws itself into the very arms of the State; It is the moment when the intervention of the State begins, rendering itself ever more necessary.

We are at this point: that, if in all the nations of Europe the State were to go to sleep for twenty-four hours, such an interval would be sufficient to cause a disaster. Now, there is no economic field in which the State is not called upon to intervene. Were we to surrender — just as a matter of hypothesis — to this capitalism of the eleventh hour, we should arrive at State capitalism, which is nothing but State socialism inverted.

This is the crisis of the capitalist system, taken in its universal significance. …

Last evening I presented an order in which I defined the new corporation system as we understand it and wish to make it.

I should like to fix your attention on what was called the object: the well-being of the Italian people. It is necessary that, at a certain time, these institutions, which we have created, be judged and measured directly by the masses as instruments through which these masses may improve their standard of living. Some day the worker, the tiller of the soil, will say to himself and to others: ‘If today I am better off practically, I owe it to the institutions which the Fascist revolution has created.’

We want the Italian workers, those who are interested in their status as Italians, as workers, as Fascists, to feel that we have not created institutions solely to give form to our doctrinal schemes, but in order, at a certain moment, to give positive, concrete, practical and tangible results.

Our State is not an absolute State. Still less is it an absolutory State, remote from men and armed only with inflexible laws, as laws ought to be. Our State is one organic, human State which wishes to adhere to the realities of life. …

Today we bury economic liberalism. The corporation plays on the economic terrain just as the Grand Council and the militia play on the political terrain. Corporationism is disciplined economy, and from that comes control, because one cannot imagine a discipline without a director.

Corporationism is above socialism and above liberalism. A new synthesis is created. It is a symptomatic fact that the decadence of capitalism coincides with the decadence of socialism. All the Socialist parties of Europe are in fragments.

Evidently the two phenomena — I will not say conditions — present a point of view which is strictly logical: there is between them a historical parallel. Corporative economy arises at the historic moment when both the militant phenomena, capitalism and socialism, have already given all that they could give. From one and from the other we inherit what they have of vitality.

We have rejected the theory of the economic man, the Liberal theory, and we are, at the same time, emancipated from what we have heard said about work being a business. The economic man does not exist; the integral man, who is political, who is economic, who is religious, who is holy, who is combative, does exist.

Today we take again a decisive step on the road of the revolution.

Let us ask a final question: Can corporationism be applied to other countries? We are obliged to ask this question because it will be asked in all countries where people are studying and trying to understand us. There is no doubt that, given the general crisis of capitalism, corporative solutions can be applied anywhere. But in order to make corporationism full and complete, integral, revolutionary, certain conditions are required.

There must be a single party through which, aside from economic discipline, enters into action also political discipline, which shall serve as a chain to bind the opposing factions together, and a common faith.

But this is not enough. There must be the supremacy of the State, so that the State may absorb, transform and embody all the energy, all the interests, all the hopes of a people.

Still, not enough. The third and last and the most important condition is that there must be lived a period of the highest ideal tension.

We are now living in this period of high, ideal tension. It is because step by step we give force and consistency to all our acts; we translate in part all our doctrine. How can we deny that this, our Fascista, is a period of exalted, ideal tension?

No one can deny it. This is the time in which arms are crowned with victory. Institutions are remade, the land is redeemed, cities are founded.

Here are two excerpts from the Seldes book’s APPENDIX 9, “the Labor Charter,” a document that dates from 22 April 1927:

Art. 2. Labor in all forms, intellectual, technical and manual, is a social duty. In this sense, and in this sense only, is it protected by the State. From the national point of view all production is a unit; its objects are unitary and can be defined as the wellbeing of the producers and the development of national strength.

Art. 7. The Corporate State considers private initiative in the field of production the most efficacious and most useful instrument in the interest of the nation. Private organization of production being a function of national interest, the organization of the enterprise is responsible to the State for the direction of its production. Reciprocity of the rights and duties is derived from the collaboration of the productive forces. The technician, office employee and worker is an active collaborator in the economic undertaking, the direction of which is the right of the employer, who has the responsibility for it.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Death of the Republic

By WashingtonsBlog
April 25, 2015
Washington’s Blog

 

TPP

The #TPP will establish the ultimate fascist regime: Corporate Control Of Multiple Governments. image from: boudicabpi.wordpress.com

Guest post by Ellen Brown.

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.    — Article IV, Section 4, US Constitution

A republican form of government is one in which power resides in elected officials representing the citizens, and government leaders exercise power according to the rule of law. In The Federalist Papers, James Madison defined a republic as “a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people . . . .”

On April 22, 2015, the Senate Finance Committee approved a bill to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive trade agreement that would override our republican form of government and hand judicial and legislative authority to a foreign three-person panel of corporate lawyers.

The secretive TPP is an agreement with Mexico, Canada, Japan, Singapore and seven other countries that affects 40% of global markets. Fast-track authority could now go to the full Senate for a vote as early as next week. Fast-track means Congress will be prohibited from amending the trade deal, which will be put to a simple up or down majority vote. Negotiating the TPP in secret and fast-tracking it through Congress is considered necessary to secure its passage, since if the public had time to review its onerous provisions, opposition would mount and defeat it.

Abdicating the Judicial Function to Corporate Lawyers

James Madison wrote in The Federalist Papers:

The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, . . . may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. . . . “Were the power of judging joined with the legislative, the life and liberty of the subject would be exposed to arbitrary control, for the judge would then be the legislator. . . .”

And that, from what we now know of the TPP’s secret provisions, will be its dire effect.

The most controversial provision of the TPP is the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) section, which strengthens existing ISDS  procedures. ISDS first appeared in a bilateral trade agreement in 1959. According to The Economist, ISDS gives foreign firms a special right to apply to a secretive tribunal of highly paid corporate lawyers for compensation whenever the government passes a law to do things that hurt corporate profits — such things as discouraging smoking, protecting the environment or preventing a nuclear catastrophe.

Arbitrators are paid $600-700 an hour, giving them little incentive to dismiss cases; and the secretive nature of the arbitration process and the lack of any requirement to consider precedent gives wide scope for creative judgments.

To date, the highest ISDS award has been for $2.3 billion to Occidental Oil Company against the government of Ecuador over its termination of an oil-concession contract, this although the termination was apparently legal. Still in arbitration is a demand by Vattenfall, a Swedish utility that operates two nuclear plants in Germany, for compensation of €3.7 billion ($4.7 billion) under the ISDS clause of a treaty on energy investments, after the German government decided to shut down its nuclear power industry following the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011.

Under the TPP, however, even larger judgments can be anticipated, since the sort of “investment” it protects includes not just “the commitment of capital or other resources” but “the expectation of gain or profit.” That means the rights of corporations in other countries extend not just to their factories and other “capital” but to the profits they expect to receive there.

In an article posted by Yves Smith, Joe Firestone poses some interesting hypotheticals:

Under the TPP, could the US government be sued and be held liable if it decided to stop issuing Treasury debt and financed deficit spending in some other way (perhaps by quantitative easing or by issuing trillion dollar coins)? Why not, since some private companies would lose profits as a result?

Under the TPP or the TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership under negotiation with the European Union), would the Federal Reserve be sued if it failed to bail out banks that were too big to fail?

Firestone notes that under the Netherlands-Czech trade agreement, the Czech Republic was sued in an investor-state dispute for failing to bail out an insolvent bank in which the complainant had an interest. The investor company was awarded $236 million in the dispute settlement. What might the damages be, asks Firestone, if the Fed decided to let the Bank of America fail, and a Saudi-based investment company decided to sue?

Abdicating the Legislative Function to Multinational Corporations

Just the threat of this sort of massive damage award could be enough to block prospective legislation. But the TPP goes further and takes on the legislative function directly, by forbidding specific forms of regulation.

Public Citizen observes that the TPP would provide big banks with a backdoor means of watering down efforts to re-regulate Wall Street, after deregulation triggered the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression:

The TPP would forbid countries from banning particularly risky financial products, such as the toxic derivatives that led to the $183 billion government bailout of AIG. It would prohibit policies to prevent banks from becoming “too big to fail,” and threaten the use of “firewalls” to prevent banks that keep our savings accounts from taking hedge-fund-style bets.

The TPP would also restrict capital controls, an essential policy tool to counter destabilizing flows of speculative money. . . . And the deal would prohibit taxes on Wall Street speculation, such as the proposed Robin Hood Tax that would generate billions of dollars’ worth of revenue for social, health, or environmental causes.

Clauses on dispute settlement in earlier free trade agreements have been invoked to challenge efforts to regulate big business. The fossil fuel industry is seeking to overturn Quebec’s ban on the ecologically destructive practice of fracking. Veolia, the French behemoth known for building a tram network to serve Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem, is contesting increases in Egypt’s minimum wage. The tobacco maker Philip Morris is suing against anti-smoking initiatives in Uruguay and Australia.

The TPP would empower not just foreign manufacturers but foreign financial firms to attack financial policies in foreign tribunals, demanding taxpayer compensation for regulations that they claim frustrate their expectations and inhibit their profits.

Preempting Government Sovereignty

What is the justification for this encroachment on the sovereign rights of government? Allegedly, ISDS is necessary in order to increase foreign investment. But as noted in The Economist, investors can protect themselves by purchasing political-risk insurance. Moreover, Brazil continues to receive sizable foreign investment despite its long-standing refusal to sign any treaty with an ISDS mechanism. Other countries are beginning to follow Brazil’s lead.

In an April 22nd report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research, gains from multilateral trade liberalization were shown to be very small, equal to only about 0.014% of consumption, or about $.43 per person per month. And that assumes that any benefits are distributed uniformly across the economic spectrum. In fact, transnational corporations get the bulk of the benefits, at the expense of most of the world’s population.

Something else besides attracting investment money and encouraging foreign trade seems to be going on. The TPP would destroy our republican form of government under the rule of law, by elevating the rights of investors – also called the rights of “capital” – above the rights of the citizens.

That means that TPP is blatantly unconstitutional. But as Joe Firestone observes, neo-liberalism and corporate contributions seem to have blinded the deal’s proponents so much that they cannot see they are selling out the sovereignty of the United States to foreign and multinational corporations.

For more information and to get involved, visit:

Flush the TPP

The Citizens Trade Campaign

Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch

Eyes on Trade

__________________

Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including the best-selling Web of Debt. Her latest book, The Public Bank Solution, explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her 300+ blog articles are at EllenBrown.com.

A New World Order: A Threat to Sovereign States

By Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad
Global Research, March 11, 2015
Perdana Global Peace Foundation

 

mahathirNew World Order a big threat to sovereign states, speakers at an international conference say.

The anti-war initiative, Perdana Global Peace Foundation, has a single goal of putting an end to war.

Founded by Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the Foundation encourages dialogues between different nations, people and organisations to foster and energise global peace.

Its sister foundation, the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War aims to undertake all necessary measures to criminalise war and energise peace. It also found former US President George Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, among others, guilty of war crimes.

The recent activity by the Perdana Global Peace Foundation was a one-day international conference titled the New World Order, Recipe for War or Peace.

The keynote address was delivered by Dr Mahathir who warned that Malaysia might lose its independence if the government falls prey to the ploys of the US to increase its global hegemony through economic means.

He pointed out that the Transpacific Partnership or TPPA is a New World Order strategy by a powerful pact of people led by the US to dominate the world economy.

Dr Mahathir said globalisation and borderless trade are being used to establish a “one world government”.

Referring to the Free Trade Agreement as a regulated trade deal, he said countries that sign on the deal would be subjected to more rules and regulations than ever before.

Dr Mahathir also pointed out that disputes arising from these trade deals mean corporations could sue sovereign states at investor arbitration tribunals, in secrecy.

The New World Order refers to the emergence of a totalitarian world government.

Other prominent speakers at the conference also said that a secretive power elite led by the United States wants to replace sovereign nation states through regime change.

Prominent academic and author Dr Michel Chossudovsky warned that the so-called war on terrrorism is a front to propagate America’s global hegemony and create a New World Order.

Dr Chossudovsky said terrorism is made in the US and that terrorists are not the product of the Muslim world.

According to him, the US global war on terrorism was used to enact anti-terrorism laws that demonised Muslims in the Western world and created Islamophobia.

Elaborating on his argument, Dr Chossudovsky said that NATO was responsible for recruiting members of the Islamic state while Israel is funding “global jihad elements inside Syria.

Dr Chossudovsky, who is also the founder of the Centre for Research and Globalisation, further emphasised that the global war on terrorism is a fabrication, a big lie and a crime against humanity.

Echoing Dr Chossudovsky’s arguments, Malaysia’s prominent political scientist, Islamic reformist and activist Dr Chandra Muzaffar said that the US has always manipulated religion to further its global hegemony on sovereign states.

For example, he said the Arab spring was brought about by Colonel Muammar Muhammad Gaddafi’s resistance to US dominance.

But Dr Thomas Barnett who has worked in the US national security services since the end of the Cold War refuted the arguments put forth by the conference speakers as mere allegations and that people prefer to believe in conspiracy theories.

Touching on the subject of economic hegemony through free trade agreements, Dr Barnett said that it’s only normal that countries that sign on to international trade deals are subjected to some international treaties and business protocols that they must follow.

He also says that trade partners with the US have accrued many benefits and that the US has gone out of its way over the last 40 years to encourage peaceful development.

Barnett also pointed out that for the first time in Asian history there is an increasingly prosperous and powerful China, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan.

Brushing aside Barnett’s argument, Dr Mahathir in his speech warned governments to be cautious, saying that those who refuse to conform are subjected to economic sanctions.

He also said that the one world government wants to undermine all other governments and would not hesitate to invade and occupy sovereign states to achieve its agenda.