Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Grim and Foreboding....

...Like so much else happening in our country these days. People who have read this blog for a while may recall seeing a couple of  posts here about about the TPP, or the Trans Pacific Partnership. I passed along what I had read, about the concerns of those who had been getting bits and pieces of this *trade* agreement - but it was hard to say conclusively what was actually being negotiated, due to the intense secrecy that has characterized the entire process.

Well, now part of a TPP document has been leaked, and forgive me for using such a trite phrase, but it really reeks of new world order. You can dismiss these concerns as "conspiracy theory" if you want to (which is really just a simpleton's way of avoiding thinking about scary and unpleasant things), but this isn't going away. Ignoring it will not help any of us, nor will it lead to a future we want to inhabit - unless of course you happen to be in the elite investor class.

Please take the time to read the nine pages (a PDF doc), courtesy of Public Citizen HERE. Not only does it give transnational corporations unprecedented power and authority that supersedes the authority of governments, it actually represents a guarantee that citizens will be left holding the bag financially for poor investments made by corporate entities. Public Citizen says "it reveals that negotiators already have agreed to many radical terms granting expansive new rights and privileges for foreign investors and their private corporate enforcement through extra-judicial 'investor state' tribunals." What's been leaked is way beyond constitutional. It represents an agreement that would render many of our own constitutional rights null and void. And Obama is one of its primary cheerleaders.

What's also scary is that the provisions being negotiated are so secret that even lawmakers have been denied access to the contents! Public Citizen says that, "While 600 official U.S. corporate advisors have access to TPP texts and have a special role in advising U.S. negotiators, for the public, press and policymakers, this leak provides the first access to one of the proposed agreement’s most controversial chapters. In May, Sen. Ron Wyden, the Chair of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Trade, the U.S. congressional committee with jurisdiction over TPP, submitted legislation requiring that access be provided to members of Congress and their staff after he and his staff were denied access to even the U.S. TPP text proposals submitted during negotiations." 

WTF?!  Democratic Underground does a nice job of summarizing this travesty. Here are some of their points:

 The writer summarizes the main goal of TPP as ensuring that global investments will always pay out, either via the investment itself, or by getting reimbursed if it's unable to proceed.

The bag holders for "the investment" are the taxpayers of each nation. The "investor" receives a guarantee against loss, but the nation and its citizens don't.

The writer says the document is more than a simple trade agreement.
It's the "constitution of a new world order" and represents a restructured set of relationships between people, governments, and 'investors,' both corporate and individual rich investors.

Unlike the old constitutional order, "This is a constitution that is coming prepackaged with the rules and regulations already written....It has power because those writing it already agree to follow it."

Individual citizens, however, aren't even recognized as parties in this new constitution, just nations and investors. Ordinary human beings are "only mentioned as a consequence of potential harm to the 'parties' in the form of financial loss."

Even though our constitutional ideals are not always honored in real life, the writer says, they influence us as ideals, but they're not the ideals of structure envisioned by the writers of the TPP. The TPP is presenting a new ideal of social order, and for the writer, it represents "the worst of humanity".

1. In the provision that all investors party to the agreement must be given the same treatment that a domestic investor would be, it breaks down national, regional, state and local sovereignty..... More here.

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