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March 27, 2014

We do not seem to realize that a fundamental shift of loyalties has taken place before our very eyes in this country. It used to be that you negotiated trade treaties with a view toward what was good for America, but now, with the trade takeover by Wall Street and its handmaiden international corporate network, there is loyalty to nothing but profit and more of it for those involved in the takeover. What may be in the interest of America is an afterthought. The rich and investment class (via its congressional lackeys) negotiates the agreements and writes the implementing rules and regulations interpreting such trade treaties in ways that make money for the traders, and as for America (aka the public interest)? So America and its non-investment component population (you and me) suffer when jobs and capital that were amassed here are exported to cheap labor venues? So what? Show me the money, or as one such Wall Streeter (from his stance) correctly observed: “We are not in business to babysit America; we are in business to make money.”
Such an attitude points up the great need for public regulation of those in charge of trade practices, especially when jobs and capital are involved on such a massive scale with the advent of NAFTA, WTO and the now-proposed TPP. Someone has to represent the public interest because campaign contributions from the rich and investment class have effectively wiped out congressional oversight of trade treaties and their enforcement of the treaties’ protocols and agreements (which is left to international trade tribunals and foreigners). If these realities were played out on the international stage in isolated context with little if any impact on our domestic priorities, I would join in the current laissez faire treatment of our trade problems as urged by Wall Street and its minions. However, with millions unemployed here and hundreds of billions if not trillions in capital exported from our economy (where it was amassed or leveraged) to that of low wage venues as a direct result of under regulation and surrender of our trade policies and capital export to a narrow slice of Wall Street, it must be clear to thoughtful citizens that domestic priorities have been shattered by our disregard of what we used to call “the public interest” for the enrichment of the few. Someone tell me how and why such an ongoing travesty is good for America and its people.
There is good reason why we the people through our government have to regulate these Merchants of Venice. There is a public interest to be served in these matters; one stoutly resisted by Wall Street, of course, in the name of “free enterprise.” (Freedom for them – economic servitude for the rest of us). These money changers want all the advantages of an American corporation (military protection, patent and other intellectual property protection enforceable in court etc.), but they don’t want the gummint to interfere with their “free market” exercises around the world and they feel no apparent obligation to share the burden of taxation in payment for what protection the country provides them. You and I are to pay such costs in another example of corporate welfare. This is bad enough, but let’s not be fooled. When trade agreements provide for the rights of foreign corporations to sue state and local governments of the United States before aliens on some trade board sitting as judges, guess what? Let’s not be beguiled by the serpent; there’s a reason why. The reason Wall Street wants that provision in the TPP is so that they will have the reciprocal rights to sue governments of foreign countries if their laws and ordinances are construed as inimical to profit making by American corporations in such foreign countries. Thus Wall Street would give our sovereignty away in order to gain an advantage for their operations in foreign countries. I say this is wrong; that the tail is wagging the dog, and that government has to put Wall Street in its place (a tall order since they have bought the Republican party – and now have Citizens United handy to bulwark their gifts to the right wing so as to keep the status quo in place while propagandizing those of us in the howling masses about the wonders of “free enterprise” and “free trade.”)
Government is not bad; it’s the people in it who stink up the joint. It is high time we have Democrats and thoughtful Republicans who cannot be bought and who would dedicate themselves to ending this ownership of the many by the few via something resembling an update of the New Deal of FDR and/or the Fair Deal of a Harry S. Truman in a new era in which lucre is secondary to people. GERALD E

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