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Ending Corporate Impunity Is at the Heart of a Sustainable Post-Pandemic Global Recovery

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/10/19/ending-corporate-impunity-heart-sustainable-post-pandemic-global-recovery

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This is the kind of work that should dominate our political processes and campaigns, and should be among regular lead stories in media reporting on the economy:

  • Who is at risk?
  • Who has say?
  • Who is accountable?
  • Who is liable?

The need to rein in corporate rule, and to put in place systems of accountability for abuses of human rights (and abuses of ecological integrity as well!) could not be more stark.

i had never heard of these negotiations or these agreements at the United Nations level, for global accountability for supply chains and business operations. Props to the people engaged in these usually thankless efforts, and props to CD for publishing this report.

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Point well taken–the global economy does work beyond the rule of law, and corporate impunity must be ended. Let us grant, too, that the attempts to bend commerce to law are at some level commendable, at least as social or intellectual exercises, though they have little opportunity to accomplish anything approaching a functional federation any time soon.

What does that leave us with? A paired traffic in pharmaceuticals called prescription and illegal based on a protection racket at he borders, a thriving market in forced labor and body parts, general conditions of indenture based on what are called wages and salary involving a debt peonage based on the loaning of fiat (read non-existent) funds, very existent though bizarrely ritualized 24/7 and 365 day per year war.

And all of this is supported by the various mechanisms of government, though certainly not in all instances by law. We need to start building an alternate system.

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By now THE COMMONS invaluable WTO\Global Free Trade Agreement\ISDS\International Contract Law & Treaty specialist Zed should be weighing in. Zed deserves a special box parallel to any report on such upcoming inter-nation negotiations. Remember, there are more nations than mapped nation-states recognized by the country club known as the UNITED NATIONS.

If the rapidly disappearing Working Muddle Class of U.S. had adequate representation and access to Corporate Caliphate-captured broadcast media and cyber platforms the concentration of wealth correlated to the birth of the Neo-Liberal E-CONomic Revolution that Cannot Be Televised here in the U.S. would not have become so vast as the Feudal Age, before any such records of hoarded and accumulated wealth could be calculated and audited.
~https://gabriel-zucman.eu/files/SaezZucman2014.pdf

Even as the early 1970’s Revolution That Could Not Be Televised (again, apologies to Gil Scott Heron who composed and recorded that anthem numerous times and worth a pledge of allegiance via the performances posted to U. of Tube) within the once AMERICA FIRST Paleo-Conservative dominated GOP could not have been so fully embraced by the victors of that intra-party war won by the Neo-Conservatives (dba Neo-Cons aka DADDY WARBUCKS).

Moreover, the corporate-captured Duopoly, since at least the LEWIS POWELL MEMO TO THE NATIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE and elevation by Nixon of Lewis Powell to the Supreme Court (with Democratic Congressional approval).
Sound like Deja Vu?

This despite Lewis Powell’s lack of any judicial experience at any level! Justice for Life Lewis Powell had spent his entire professional career lobbying on behalf of Big Bid-Net. Our Duopoly’s treason of the Neo-Liberal E-CONomic doctrines and dogmas codified in the so-called Free Trade Agreements and World Trade Organization (regime) could not have prevailed with an informed electorate.

No news organization took the time and spent the resources to make even a half-hearted effort to deepen the electorate’s understanding of these trade deals.

Hence the crucial need to prevent Trade Deal Score Boards from clearly identifying the winners\losers as the by-now quantified greatest concentration of wealth in recorded human history was amassed and off-shored in often idling accounts. Austerity policies globally prevent the value of these hoarded reserve currency capital off-shored from suffering the natural devaluation via INFLATION. Or, the effects of monetarized and financialized creation of electronic money (which would send U.S. into a DEFLATIONARY DEATH SPIRAL if that were printed money that we prevented from circulating as we suffered during the bank runs and unregulated WALL STREET Bank runs of the Panic of 1929 and a la Japan’s DEFLATIONARY SPIRAL for the last 3 decades in slo-mo due to their planning for a post-industrial economy).

Not to mention the 2 QUANTITATIVE EASING electronic mass forgiveness of bad paper on the commercial banks’ books by Obama-Biden.
The lenders were forgiven by the U.S. Treasury and Mint; NOT THE BORROWERS WHO WERE BAILED OUT. THAT COULD BE JUSTIFIED IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST AS WE THE NATION WOULD’VE ADDED TO THE SAGGING AGGREGATE DEMAND OF OUR CONSUMER-BASED and INFRASTRUCTURE STARVED WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER ECONOMY.
We’ve been EVICTED AND FORECLOSED UPON and NOW DISPLACED.

Again, never even half-heartedly explained on the plethora of U.S. business bid-net news programming. Essentially money calculated electronically into the economy by structuring the commercial lending exposure as “assets” rather than “liabilities” or “properly collateralized risks.”

As the French say so much more piquantly in their tongue: Anyone not seated at the table for negotiations is on the menu!

~https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/modern-american-history/article/supplyside-liberalism-fiscal-crisis-postindustrial-policy-and-the-rise-of-the-new-democrats/CE0D1A846AD06E3A73F5B5C846975095/core-reader

Since our U.S. News and Public Affairs broadcasts present Sports Score Boards but never Trade Deal and WTO or Concentration of Global Wealth Score Boards clearly identifying the Winners\Losers of this GLOBAL NEW WORLD ORDER de-facto decreed by the intellectual authors of the bi-partisan doctrine and dogma, give a listen to how some rare local public radio time in the birth-town of these doctrines and dogmas rammed down the world’s working class throats have worked out for the 99.9% of U.S. and our international workers of the world.

About those policy outcomes there’s never enough broadcast time between commercials and think tank Robber Baron underwriting announcements to analyze much less discuss with a body politic that has been properly informed of these often congressionally by-passed Free Trade Agreements:
~https://radioopensource.org/welcome-neoliberal-world/#

~http://www.faireconomy.org/the_politics_of_privatization

Mitch Ritter\Paradigm Sifters, Code Shifters and Song Chasers
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa
Media Discussion List and Looksee

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"Not for the first time, workers have learned the hard way that our global economy is not governed by the rule of law. "
And…“We need to start building an alternate system.”… true…

We are in a predicament:
We are " governed by laws of the rulers" instead of the “Rule of Law”; it has been like this for all of history. But even “the Rule of Law” is flawed when the Rulers create or set the laws…Kind of like in elections when you think you have a choice, but actually your choices are given to you…This is most true in our current election between this or that, Repub or Dem, …The last time we had a choice was when the POTUS elections seemed to offer 3rd party ballot choices,Greens, Libertarians, so forth… come to think of it, we have the Rule of Money…those with Money set the Rules…Light or Dark Money…all the same for the manifestations cannot be hidden…the smoking gun is that we have only Repubs or Dems on the ballot… a good reset is underway, only this will change the system, too brittle to change… too many obligations to pay…a house of cards…Furthermore, even if Biden is elected, the system will have remained in place and will continue onward with the same outcomes…The system is too powerful for people within it to change it…only outer change forced upon it will change it…and that Change cannot be stopped…

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Excellent article! We know most of the huge monopolistic international conglomerates reside in The United States of America. How many of those are on board? They won’t give up a $$ of their billions… I guess we can hope.

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Oh dear jujudahl, we can do so very much more than hope! Once Trump is out of office let the IRS begin in earnest and a necessarily reinvigorated Justice Department. We in the democracy-bringing U.S. have never criminally prosecuted a member of the Executive branch of government. We have seen what that kind of sense of security has done to opportunists going back even further than Nixon’s high crimes and impeachment avoiding administration.

It is time we start doing like some of our closest allies in South Korea and Israel and criminally prosecute not only heads of state (in office or out), also their collaborators in the Corporate Caliphate. These recent stories were down-played in U.S. News coverage. Stop and think of how intimate our National Security and Economic ties are to both South Korea and Israel. Yet the open, public criminal prosecution of their recent heads of state and their corporate corrupters was not deemed news-worthy. That is all you need to know about the phrase common in U.S. Journalism schools coast to coast since at least the 1970’s: The News Media Reservation. If any reporter wanders off the reservation investigating institutional corruption, they’ve chosen to nip their own career path in the bud.
~https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southkorea-politics-park/south-korean-court-raises-ex-president-parks-jail-term-to-25-years-idUSKCN1L905P
~https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/06/former-south-korea-president-park-geun-hye-guilty-of-corruption
~https://www.haaretz.com/olmert-gets-6-years-in-prison-1.5248097
~https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Israeli_public_officials_convicted_of_crimes_or_misdemeanors
~https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_D%C3%AEner_de_Cons_(film)

Any population as beaten down by institutional corruption that goes without full throttle criminal investigation, or if the Public Servant perpetrator is not openly and fairly criminally tried and if evidence merits hard time meted out, then the criminal sentencing and serving of time by the corrupted public official becomes necessary for the body politic to regain their impulse for participatory democracy.

Or else, as we’ve seen under the previous and current Justice Department Top Cops in William Barr of the Trump-Pence admin and Eric “Too big to fail\jail” Holder of the Obama-Biden admin, the spirit of democracy in representational republics reverts to the dynamics of the Age of Feudalism and Feudal Lords. Supine and submissive is not the role of a body politic in any system with appropriate institutional Checks & Balances.

For this reason, fellow democratic participator jujudahl, we will need to go where the hypocritical leaders of our nation have never gone. Into actually bringing our leaders before a court of law in fair, public and open trials. This has nothing to do with one or another of our Duopoly political parties or with any Identity Politics.

There are no doubt as many crooked conservative Public Servants as liberal Public Servants (and I don’t even accept those labels, since most of us individually are made up of a mix of these characteristics which are mostly needed and bred into us for survival). Anyone tries to bluster a criminal prosecution of a seated official away on partisan political grounds, know they are not in the issue for the correct reasons of Checks and Balances.

While I love making fun of French culture (as much as I love making fun of myself and my own U.S. Anglo culture and Hebe culture), one comedy that played in U.S. theaters in the late 1990’s sub-titled into English from French cracked me up, but also made a light bulb turn on over my head. What was so unique about the script and laughs in this movie, loosely translated for English language movie marquees as The Idiot Comes to Dinner?
~https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_D%C3%AEner_de_Cons_(film)

It took awhile and many wonderful nights with some francophone friends from Lebanon and Syria who also laughed along with me about what was so unique about the premise of this satire. Then we figured it out. We’d all been Americanized into believing the Government Tax Collector is the BAD GUY! Always! In this French movie the BAD GUY is the oligarch kleptocratic tax cheat, and the simple government bureaucrat who is the butt of the movie’s jokes winds up the swash-buckling hero by repossessing for Public Auction to benefit the government’s social services a palace and yacht marina full of expensive status symbols from the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous (and snooty)…

This is the script we’ll need to follow to restore the tax code with enforcement to the levels it needs to be at, nothing as radical as the French tax code which breeds a different sort of institutional corruption, more like worked for U.S. under the last responsible Republican Conservative President, namely the tax code and rates under President Eisenhower:
~https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/07/trump-tax-cuts-health-care-democrats-redistribution

By December the criminal case against seated Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu will again be before the courts and coverage will resume in what is left of a Public Interest News Media in Israel or anywhere after the further media consolidation of now profit center News\Views Media Orgs that feed off spectacle rather than deepening the understanding of any attentive body politic. Yet the charges against Bibi that should interest all News Hounds the most are the ones that hurt me the most since as a Hebrew reader and news hound I’ve always been partial to YEDIOTH ACHRONOTH’s hard-boiled blue collar reporting and diverse inclusion of a wide array of opinion columnists and political analysts. Yet its owner is up for trial with Bibi on bribery charges with the currency of their transaction allegedly being favorable coverage on offer from the owner of YEDIOTH (for English translation web site see under Y-net news) in exchange for:
~https://www.timesofisrael.com/pre-indictment-hearing-begins-for-publisher-accused-of-conspiring-with-netanyahu/

Mitch Ritter\Paradigm Sifters, Code Shifters and Song Chasers
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa
Media Discussion List

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A global workers rights document?
This ensures all workers have the same (reasonable?) expectations in the workplace.

~https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/latest-news/big-business-makes-joint-call-for-legal-duty-of-care-for-human-rights-and-the-environment/
26 companies, business associations, and initiatives have signed a joint statement calling for EU legislation which requires companies to conduct human rights and environmental due diligence [snip]
Mandatory legislation can contribute to a competitive level-playing field, increase legal certainty about the standards expected from companies to respect human rights and the environment, clarify legal consequences for when responsibilities are not met, promote engagement and impactful actions between supply chain partners and, above all, trigger and incentivise impactful and effective actions on the ground.

The Resource Centre’s Executive Director, Phil Bloomer said:
“This statement demonstrates welcome leadership from major European and international companies to make markets work for shared prosperity and climate security. This legislation will change the calculation of risk in board rooms regarding abuse of workers, harm to communities and pollution. With worsening inequality and climate breakdown upon us, it is urgent that reckless and irresponsible companies are made to reform and show a duty of care. This company statement will help embolden the European Commission, and the German Government’s European Presidency to move decisively forward.”

Do I read this as, the western businesses want to compete with china and other slave nations with a treaty legislated (level) playing field to be cost competitive?

@zed

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Trade agreements, especially the newer “next generation” deals which come from the US and are called “negative list” or “top down”

…have all sorts of ratchets that keep the race going to the bottom and not trending upward again. Led by the US, but the UK is where this started. All the politicians know this but they would never tell. Are you kidding, ha!

These corporations of course know this to be the case but they also know the value of a good con job. People like to have hope and a realistic assessment of whats being done would be especially damaging to politicians who had spent their entire careers pretending it would never be that way.

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I saw this article on a different website late last night and immediately smelled something fishy. ~https://inequality.org/research/global-corporate-impunity/

Thanks to those like you for digesting and simplifying all this trade deal legalese for us not literate in that manner of speech.
If you had not clarified GATS stuff here I would still be blind. Thanks.

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~https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2020/10/20/double-disruption-covid-19-tech-boom-to-upend-85m-jobs-by-202
COVID, tech advances could disrupt 85 million jobs by 2025: WEF

Global inequality will be exacerbated by the acceleration of technology and the pandemic-induced jobs crisis, the report warned, adding that low-income workers, young people, women and low-skilled workers will be most affected.

It is a short article.

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As far as I can see we the people are being led into a disaster… This is good where are the people in these scam processes? We dont exist in the new corporate state except as consumers, the rights to whom cannot be devalued…

YT video watch
question mark
v=LeHYMsGPx1c

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The club of rome predicted large scale depopulation.

This is in no small part why they want to privatize services (unlesss supplied in the exercise of governmental authority) and begun the process with GATS in 1995, (still negotiating over implementation, but should resolve soon)

People will get to kick back and enjoy their early retirements on all the riches they have amassed.

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Agreed mostly what you said but it did not give me hope. Maybe I am deft and your writing at times was over my head or understanding. Not sure really how this could be accomplished under Biden who I know we have to hold his feet to the fire and be very outspoken about what we want/need but most neoliberals are deaf to these ideas and prosecutions which are dearly needed to right this nation so Law/Order and Justice becomes real. It will take a great deal of time to prosecute all republicans in the administration and congress.

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“Trade agreements allow governments latitude to regulate in ways they allow”.

Seem to be a bit redundant, that wording?

Welcome to my challenge in explaining this to all of you!

It basically worlks like this. Everything thats not compulsory (one way motion towards deregulation) is prohibited.

Governments can do whatever they want with the rest. hats left to them to decide.

anything that complies with their terms that doesnt adversely impact their investment in any way is allowed (to be safe, deregulate everything and never re-regulate except in the very worst emergencies, and then do it the very least amount possible)

Once a country signs a trade deal, it basically freezes the terms between them and corporations in time.

That makes it very simple, politicians can do very little. Almost nothing, except deregulate, get rid of regulations.

In a number of important agreements, to get the ball rolling, we in the US did the functional equivalent of shedding our clothing and jumped into the swimming pool first.

So to please us, deregulate stuff. This makes it so its not the corporations fault, as they just get more and more deregulation, as thats the rules.

Its their job to make the money, ad if that means endangering people, there is something that looks a lot like a medico-legel standard of care in healthcare, such as with HMOs, etc) that allows a lot of irresponsibility as long as they remain in the pack with other corporations, and push the standards down together.

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