Ideally free trade can lead to healthy competition, but all parties involved must respect human rights and the environment, in order for all to benefit. Previous US free trade agreements have not respected human rights or the environment, and many countries are dropping out of trade agreements with US because of this disrespect. So the US negotiates new trade agreements and attempts (probably with the help of NSA surveillance), an even slicker deal.
One of these, the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) is now being written behind closed doors. The US and 11 Asian and Latin American countries supervised by 600 campaign-contributing corporation representatives are hashing out the details. If quid pro quo, bribery, and blackmail are involved we won’t know, because the people and the press are not allowed even to observe, much less have input.
Some of the odious policies the US is pushing will:
1) give corporations the right to sue for compensation when they are required to respect human rights and the environment,
2) increase medical costs for everyone, making millions unable to afford life-saving medicines,
3) endanger access to information, technology, and knowledge,
4) criminalize minor download infractions, such as single downloads between friends, and
turn internet service providers (ISPs) into cops acting without due process.
In the 1960s radio stations would play newly-released albums in total, which you could record on a 25 cent tape, if you didn’t have the $1.99 for the superior vinyl copy. But the new rich are like addicts who cannot control their cravings, will never get enough, and if we do not stand up to them, they will suck US dry.
The arts, like nutritious food, clean water, shelter and a safe, unpolluted environment, fair and equitable wages, health care, education and knowledge, justice and liberty are essential in building a strong, healthy, creative society. To have this society, we must replace or rehabilitate the sick part of our government and get back to representing all the people. If we don’t, they will turn US into zombie-drones who do as we’re told, or throw US in jail if we don’t. Our society, our experiment in democracy will fail. Eventually the plutocrats will defeat themselves, but not before crippling the citizens of a democracy too complacent to participate.
Fight the POWER!
Tweets with links to details of the TPP and other trade agreements can be found at https://twitter.com/polysensory along with other news mainstream media fails to report.