by Jerry Alatalo
enator Barbara Boxer of California describes how she went to read the TransPacific Partnership, was instructed she must turn over her electronics to the guard there, that she couldn’t take notes – or if she did take notes, she’d have to give them to the guard before leaving, while aware telling her constituents about the deal was a crime. Just to make certain people understand the full meaning and importance of the previous sentence: Barbara Boxer is a long-serving United States Senator from California. Who, exactly, is responsible for making it illegal for United States Senators and members of the United States House of Representatives to tell their constituents – the American people – details of the largest trade deal in the history of the United States?
Seriously, whose idea was behind making it illegal for the people’s elected representatives to tell the American people (can anyone remember “We the People?”) about two multi-nation, binding trade deals that will directly affect their and their family’s lives? While we’re getting to the bottom of things, who originated the concept called “fast track”, which pushes completely over the cliff members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives’ obligation/duty to thoroughly debate trade deals with other nations, especially when talking about the massive TransPacific Partnership and TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership?
Seriously, who thought up the idea of fast track, and why? Why has the Barack Obama administration not answered to millions of citizens’ concerns about TPP and TTIP, namely by giving an explanation for the deals’ creation in secret, unable to become viewed and studied (with notes) by every American, and illegal for elected officials to discuss in public? The Obama administration has failed as well in giving an adequate explanation for Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions in TPP and TTIP, where corporate-agenda, non-governmental panels – not already established legal institutions and courts – decide who wins and who loses: investors or states.
In the years and decades since wealth inequality started growing to today where wealth inequality on Earth has set a historical record, those at the top of wealth accumulation, billionaires, have invested large amounts of excess, accumulated wealth for more profit-making. In a vicious investment cycle resulting in ever more concentration of wealth in fewer hands, the negative consequences for more and more of the great majority of average people has led to an increasingly powerful pushback and intensified demands for an end to increasing wealth concentration/inequality. This pushback has led to average citizens rising up for economic justice, elected representatives (sometimes) hearing their citizens’ demands and acting by creating laws to slow or halt further concentration of wealth, and what some describe as haircuts or constraints for billionaire investors.
What TPP and TTIP have been engineered to accomplish is putting an end to stronger pushback by average citizens against corporate actions which result in declining standards of living in the areas of employment, finance, food safety, economics, health, education etc., and fighting for an equal voice in how their governments carry out their majority ideas on the range of issues affecting their lives – commonly called democracy.
The manner in which the TransPacific Partnership and TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership have been written by corporate lawyers in secret, with virtual zero transparency, and, most disturbingly, making it illegal for United States Senators to give the people they represent the details – can only be described as actions of a type absolutely the furthest distance possible from the idea of “We the People”: democratic. The entire process has been scandalously deceptive and dishonorable – a repugnant disgrace.
(Thank you to TheBigPictureRT at YouTube)