Posted on May 31, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
“The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and alter their constitutions of government.”
– GEORGE WASHINGTON (1732-1799) 1st President of the United States
If it weren’t for that doggone elephant-in-the-room Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) thing…
For men and women around the Earth opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) the verdict is unanimous: ISDS really, really sucks.
One need not have earned a degree in international relations/law, economics, or political science to understand that. First, governments (you know, elected representatives of the people) will be sued by corporations and their owners for any changes made/laws passed by those elected representatives which have become determined by corporate attorneys as having a negative effect on any particular corporation’s (owner’s) profits, potential or actual.
Imagine when the science catches up on Roundup and its dangerous consequences for the human body, then Monsanto suing a small nation signatory of either TPP or TTIP when, because the science is proven, that small nation bans the use of Roundup by passing a law with a final vote of, say, 126-3 (the only three left those who took Monsanto bribes). Now, this is just one possible scenario among an endless and seemingly infinite number of similar scenarios where a corporation and its owners would pull the ISDS trigger.
How about we attempt to nail down the real reasons for the Investor-State Dispute Settlement thing in TPP and TTIP?
There are a number of reasons, but perhaps the first and most relevant is that the world’s people are becoming extremely well-informed after turning off their televisions on a massive scale around the Earth. This is the reality which has compelled corporation owners to include the legalese-fine print of Investor-State Disputes in TPP and TTIP. Men and women know for certain that ISDS is one of the major topics in many discussions going on now at this year’s Bilderberg meeting in the Netherlands.
Looking at this in the broadest sense, humanity, at least the 99.9% who are not owners of negative-consequences corporations, has turned to the internet for truthful information – and away from television media corporations whose Boards of Directors include owners of negative-consequences firms, in what the author of “Media Monopoly” Ben Bagdikian termed “interlocking directorates.” These television news firms will not report on the negative consequences of any activities by firm(s) represented on its Board of Directors or who advertise and, because the world’s people are now completely aware of this and moving away from corporate news in droves, their credibility continues to drop like a rock.
What has occurred – and continues to increase in intensity and numbers – is what can safely be described as a world-changing phenomenon: humanity has become aware of what is really happening on the ground both for and against people’s health and well-being physically, economically, spiritually, and psychologically. Because of this world-changing truthful information revolution/evolution, people everywhere – in every nation on Earth – are demanding nothing less than complete transparency in actions which have a real effect on their lives.
As the phenomenon of greater awareness of the world’s people has progressed from its beginning, more and more actions which resulted in negative, deleterious effects for people, animals, and the environment have become identified. Once identified, men and women have joined together across national boundaries and over vast regions, and with that combined “people power” have taken action that addresses the negative results. When considering the broad implications of ISDS language in TPP and TTIP, the corporations and owners involved in negative-consequences corporate activities are the ones who pushed for the language.
Bottom line for TPP/TTIP debate(s) is the battle to successfully deal with negative-consequences business activities on Earth. Although attorneys, economists, political scientists/politicians, business CEOs, and others may offer complex and academic arguments in TPP/TTIP debates and discussions, the back and forth between pro and anti TPP/TTIP advocates boils down to simple philosophical tenets. The basic and most relevant point of ISDS language is that pro-ISDS language people want to continue their negative-consequences business activities without penalty, and anti-ISDS people want to prevent or stop business activities that negatively affect the health and well-being of people, animals, and the environment.
The debate is all about choices resulting in varying levels of good and bad outcomes for humanity – now and into the future. Being a person who believes that states in America should establish their own banks following the highly successful publically-owned Bank of North Dakota model, would the private owners of banks transacting business with the State of California, if TTIP ISDS language remains in a potentially passed agreement, have the right to sue the State of California for “loss of profits” because California’s elected officials decided to create and run a public bank – a Bank of California?
If ISDS legalese is not removed from a potentially passed either TPP or TTIP trade agreement, the number of lawsuits against governments from – one can visualize – virtually every sector/market/product niche or monopoly status business group would be eligible to sue elected, representative governments who take actions small and large effecting business. Would a book-publishing company have grounds to sue a small city or country which took action to improve their citizens’ broadband access to the internet because the sale of real books would fall – resulting in “lost profits” for the publisher?
What about a signatory nation to TPP or TTIP when its government decides to significantly reduce spending on weapons, guns, bombs, military uniforms, or ammunition? Do the firms which previously supplied that nation with those items now have the right to sue for “lost profits” because the elected representatives of the nation agreed to redirect financial resources from military to, say, solar energy projects or university education for all or better agriculture sciences?
Then, would there be a tremendous increase in the number of Investor-State Dispute Settlement cases when a nation or nations belonging to TPP or TTIP make successful efforts at recovering taxes evaded by large transnational corporations and their owners stashed in one or more of the world’s more than 70 tax havens? Such successful efforts would decrease profits, right?
How would private-prison corporations react if a nation decided to nationalize their prison system after corrections experts came to conclude that private-prisons have been a failure? How would privately owned, giant health insurance companies react if a nation’s people voted for a national health care plan? Lost profits… Private drinking water companies would react how after the people’s elected government made water a God-given right for all people?
And on and on and on and on and on and on it goes…
Investor-State Dispute Settlement clauses in TPP and TTIP – if not completely removed – will surely place a straight-jacket on one magnificent human invention-idea called representative democracy and – most importantly – effectively place a roadblock in the way of humanity’s moral and ethical positive advancement, beneficial development, and evolutionary peaceful path.
(Thank you to CEOwebtv @ YouTube)