Globalization: The New World Order. A Martin J. Ryan VIEWPOINT.
What lies beyond the thrust of this Free Trade article is the inevitable growth of robotic automation replacing human labor in the not too distant future, which may result in an escalation in social upheaval. The phrase I have coined: Business Has No Flag, highlights the fact that business moves on-auto to the lowest common denominators in cost, which at the moment are disastrous free trade agreements, like the upcoming TPP. At the end of the following text I’ve included relevant quotes, and an URL, from Foreign Affairs Magazine, which headlined their comments, “The New World Order.” The magazine is published by The Council on Foreign Relations. I mention this to ward off notions of conspiracy craziness.
Before one contemplates the looming TPP trade agreement, one must review NAFTA and FTA to grasp recent, current, and future damage to labor and social upheaval in the United States, as well as workers in free trade countries.
While you were Sleeping:
NAFTA: The North American Free Trade Agreement, begun on January 1, 1994.
This nifty trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, was promoted by President Bush and your friends and neighbors at our major corporations, sanctioned by stupid, or paid-off, politicians who never read it in the first place; guys who then watched it signed into life by a not-so-ignorant President Bill Clinton (who also signed the repeal of Glass Steagall). All of whom promised their somnambulant American constituents that they would enjoy substantially raised living standards, through the magical creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs with a significant increase in wages.
More colorfully put: these snake oil salesmen implied that this was the new Free Trade world in which we would become the Promised Land somewhere over the rainbow. Here the music? And get this: Mexico would become our wealthy trading partner—a worker’s paradise, mind you–buying all the products that would be made in America.
Are you laughing or crying?
Trouble is, in direct contradiction to our fading democratic principles, the three countries had to adhere to externally enforced domestic laws cleverly embedded in the agreement. In plain English, these laws did not require taking into account the wishes of each country’s freely elected stupid, or paid-off, legislators and the ignorant people (us) who voted them into office.
This is some of what NAFTA gave us:
1–Higher prices for medicines.
2–Limits on zoning in regard to industry spewing toxic pollutants.
3–A curb on our tax dollars spent on local food and U.S. products.
4–Allowing foreign oligarchic investors to have a say in off-shoring our factories to countries paying workers 50-60 cents per hour.
5–Privatizing or deregulating services essential to our welfare, such as health, water and energy.
6–Mexican wages in the toilet, still.
7–More American Companies have moved to Mexico.
8–In the past 10 years America lost 3million jobs.
9–About 300,000 farms in America have folded.
As you can see, this was not a trade agreement to benefit American workers. NAFTA was, and remains, an agreement made between corporate investors for corporate investors—only. Before NAFTA we had a trade surplus with Mexico. Since NAFTA, we have a trade deficit with Mexico to the tune of $91 Billion. Would a manufacturer want to produce anything in the United States when they can do it for pennies elsewhere, while selling it back to us without tariffs at a fantastic profit? Of course not. You see how this shifts wealth from us to CEOs and investors.
No? Okay, It’s really simple. First you send our jobs elsewhere, leaving us with fewer jobs and/or low pay. Now, let’s go back to grade school:
You, the CEO, make a product paying someone 60 cents an hour. 60X7hours=$4.20 per day=$25.20 per 6-day week. Plus, you don’t pay benefits. You calculate the difference between this cost, and the cost of making it in the U.S. for $15.00 per hour. You then siphon off a good portion of this enormous gross profit and put it in your pocket. Then wherever you can you offshore your taxes. Get it? This not-so-sneaky transfer of wealth?
Okay, so you say Mexicans are getting $3.00 per hour. That’s a big $126.00 compared to an American making $525.00, plus benefits, for 5 days, not 6, at $15.00 per hour. That is, if the American has the job that went to Mexico, which he doesn’t.
I won’t blather on about the well paying hi-tech jobs sent overseas, tossing highly educated Americans with big college debt, under the bus. You get the picture.
So that’s what over the rainbow NAFTA gave us.
Ever hear of FTA?
Wake up sleepyheads.
FTA is the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. This is the same kind of snake oil sold to us by the Clinton trade policy wonks that gave us NAFTA, with the same results: A major reduction in U.S. exports to Korea, and a major increase in imports from Korea.
This is free trade? This is robbery: An outflow of tens of thousands of U.S. jobs, with an inflow of cash into the pockets of corporate oligarchs. Now these same fraudster salesmen are part of President Obama’s trade policy team, pushing the same oil in a new bottle, spouting the identical glowing predictions for the next miracle, TPP, as they did with NAFTA and FTA.
Okay, this should wake you.
TPP: The Trans-Pacific Partnership, created in secret by our blood-sucking oligarchic friends and neighbors, is more of the same, but worse. Much worse, because it more deeply challenges our sovereignty–parliamentary and judicial, without being held to account. And TPP parties (negotiating member countries) intend to further inflate the global power of their corporations to enormous proportions.
Try to imagine a supranational court. A court that allows foreign multinational corporations to sue one of our states. Choose a state. Let’s pick Utah. Say Utah doesn’t want to allow a foreign multinational (a TPP member country) to establish or expand an industry that threatens to increase toxic pollution. This member nation multinational can sue Utah in this unaccountable court. What happened to sovereignty? Utah’s? Ours? Gone.
These settlements will be executed via a kind of “tribunal” that totally overrides our national court systems. Settlements that actually compel our government (or Utah) to pay the foreign multinational if the state’s protective laws cause a loss of the multinational’s future profits. And where does the state get the money to pay the multinational plaintive: From the sovereign state’s taxpayer money, that’s where. Additionally, these tribunals are to be conducted in secret with no appeals, while overriding American court systems, public welfare considerations, and established human rights.
The negotiating of this supranational system has progressed in secret for about 5 years. Correct me if I’ve left one out: The negotiating members are: The United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand, and Brunei. Brunei?
I checked: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brunei
Forbes also ranks Brunei as the fifth-richest nation out of 182, `based on its petroleum and natural gas fields. Okay, super rich. Makes sense now.
Trouble is, Brunei’s Sharia Law encourages the stoning to death of lesbian women and homosexual men. President Obama just shook hands with their dictator and called him a friend. Anyway, this economic oligarchic coup, TPP, is the largest scam of its kind in history, representing at least 40% of the global GDP. And the man I voted for twice, President Obama, says he will resort to his executive fast tracking powers to push it through. In fact on “May 15, 2015 The Obama administration arm-twisted senators into ** another Trans-Pacific partnership vote.
The bill passed a procedural hurdle this time and will face a final vote. **click the URL to see a pharma rip-off in depth: http://www.uncommonwisdomdaily.com/paying-for-tpp-with-higher-drug-prices-20522
The “New World Order” designation, for me, has always been a conglomeration of conspiracy theories from a variety of thinkers, some of them bonkers. But now I see the phrase has having substantial gravitas. It is the new direction. The sometimes too close relationship of business and government has always existed; has had to be resisted in order to maintain democracy. But our government is now almost totally dominated by corporate business and money, is so entwined with it that it is virtually impossible to differentiate between the two; thereby reducing democracy to little more than a word. And now, joining with conservatives, our Democratic leaders have made their Faustian pacts with the world’s power elite (see my Pro Quo Pro article), and free trade globalization, and the newest TPP, further threatens our precious sovereignty as American democracy recedes, a shadow of its former self.
Did I wake you?
There is more, of course. Ever hear of TTIP? You will if you keep paying attention. It’s almost amusing—but not really–when you think of Europeans being afraid of being more like the U.S., so lacking in regulation.
Quotes from the UK: “Public services, especially the National Health Service, are in the firing line. One of the main aims of TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) is to open up Europe’s public health, education and water services to US companies. This could essentially mean the privatization of the National Health Service.
“The TTIP is a series of trade negotiations being carried out mostly in secret between the EU and US. As a bi-lateral trade agreement, TTIP is about reducing the regulatory barriers to trade for big business, things like food safety law, environmental legislation, banking regulations and the sovereign powers of individual nations.” And on and on.
Check it out here: TTIP scary stuff.
As I suggested in my Viewpoint article: “Quid Pro Quo,” the support of corporate domination of government, and the abandonment of the middle class and labor, crosses political borders; thereby rendering a paper-thin difference between parties. While in service to the moneyed elite, our so-called legislators executed a three-card-monty by squabbling about abortion and same sex marriage and how many angels on the head of a pin; hoping to turn the attention of their uninformed constituents away from the advance of the mobilization of transnational corporations into the cooperative entity known as “free trade.” Trade that will line the pockets of the few and ultimately destroy the democracy, however imperfect, that we have held so dear. President Obama, who wowed us with his eloquence in 2008, has quietly sold himself to the corporate devil and drifted a political and social world away from Progressive ideals; a drift that has manifested itself in his incomprehensible drive to establish TPP. Or maybe he didn’t drift. Maybe he was a corporate shill, considering all of the Wall Street people he surrounded himself with when he came into office. President Bush said we increased democracy by invading Iraq and killing thousands; and President Obama says we increase democracy by off-shoring jobs.
It’s a crazy world.
Next are my excerpts from the Foreign Affairs article:
New World Order Labor, Capital, and Ideas in the Power Law Economy
By Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee, and Michael Spence
Download Article: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2014-06-04/new-world-order
EXCERPTS : “Turn over your iPhone and you can read an eight-word business plan that has served Apple well: “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China.”
“The growing capabilities of automation threaten one of the most reliable strategies that poor countries have used to attract outside investment: offering low wages to compensate for low productivity and skill levels…. In more and more domains, the most cost-effective source of “labor” is becoming intelligent and flexible machines as opposed to low-wage humans in other countries.”
“Globalization and technological change may increase the wealth and economic efficiency of nations and the world at large, but they will not work to everybody’s advantage”
“Unequal incomes can lead to unequal opportunities, depriving nations of access to talent and undermining the social contract. Political power, meanwhile, often follows economic power, in this case undermining democracy.”
Bye ‘til next time.