Home | About | Donate

"Free" Trade? Fraud Alert


"Free" Trade? Fraud Alert

David Korten

It is rare these days to hear the words "market" and "trade" without the word "free" attached—especially on corporate media. I even hear colleagues who are pursuing a more localized economy use these terms without realizing that by so doing they are subtly and unintentionally promoting a political agenda they oppose.

Words have power, and corporate spin doctors choose them carefully to develop positive emotional associations with their agenda.


Ever since Sanders made TPP and TTIP issues in the 2016 campaign a year ago, corporations, their MSM and politicians HAVE frequently used the term "trade" (sans "free") when advocating for CETA, TPP, TTIP and TISA. They dumb the discussion down to the point of characterizing proponents as pro-trade and opponents as anti-trade, never mentioning ANY of the regulatory capture the deals enable.

Within the context of "trade deals", the term "trade" is no less bogus than "free trade" when you consider that all of these "deals" are mostly regulatory capture with trade added only as icing. For example, 24 chapters of TPP launch regulatory capture, including ISDS, while only 6 chapters address trade issues.


Hi raydelcamino. Just to be clear on our definitions....When you say "regulatory capture" do you mean that corporations could challenge national regulations in international courts because they reduce profits? Or is it more than that?


How can we fight the corporate state when it owns most of our politicians?

Corporations can easily buy 500 politicians, but can they buy 300 million of us?

The people make the best decisions by consensus. So why do we need politicians?

Direct Democracy NOW!


Political parties exist to consolidate corporate money and distribute favors to the donating corporations. Why do we need political parties ?


Another CD poster initiated the term "regulatory capture" which I believe sums up the defacto transfer of legislative power and actual transfer of judicial power out of the hands of gubmit and into the hands or corporations that the "trade deals" enable.


I used to call these "So Called Free Deals." My adult son pointed out that by doing that I was still using the false label and thus letting the corporate plutocrats frame the debate and thus win it from the get go.

So from then I began calling them "Unfair Trade Deals." Everyone instantly knows what I'm talking about and I get to frame them.


Interesting video. Sounds like Nature Boy (the agitated guy in the forest) doesn't want to pay his payroll tax. And the well-Fed Republican woman in the fancy house fails to include the disabled or dark natives on her two island mono-log. She seems O.K. with untrained mobs brandishing weapons and taking the law into their own hands on Anarchy Island. I don't want to live on either of those two islands.

Why people have to only consider extremes has always been beyond me. Most of us want to live in the center somewhere. Me? I don't want zero government, since vigilante and extrajudicial justice will be carried out by crazies with guns. But I think societies with weak central governments are best. They are more Democratic also. The founding fathers knew that democracy only worked well in small Greek City-States and small Swiss Cantons. The Big "American Experiment" where we tried to do it over vast areas is a failure. Just like United Greece and the Roman Empire freedom evaporates.

I always liked this chart:


The "more than that" is that challenges to regulations won't even be necessary because no regulatory initiatives will be attempted by government. Why bother, when the ISDS will just pronounce them secondary or contrary to the law of profit Korten so succinctly laid out. Government becomes mere window-dressing. Gwynne Dyer just argued that democracy is dead in Turkey; we are witnessing the death struggle of democracy worldwide. No more need to read books and watch movies about dystopian futures, we're all about to live one.

edit: just read, after posting this, the article by Karen Hansen-Kuhn. What she said.


Quite correct. The apologists for the TPP also have the gall to state this corporate giveaway was negotiated in secret so that the provisions would be even better. Uh huh. It will be very interesting to see that, if the Red Queen actually achieves her long held dream of ruling from the Oval Office, just how long before she decides that the TPP is a good deal after all (we all know that her current opposition is political pandering) and signs it into law after the compliant underlings in the Congress vote for it. All three of my "Democratic" representatives here in Washington State are in favor of it. I called Sen. Murrays's office and her aide told me that the TPP would "bring more jobs to Washington". I replied "You mean, the same way that NAFTA did?" I also informed her office recently that I will not be voting for Murray again this November. I will chose the Green Party candidate instead. Gore Vidal was right. This duopoly we now have are just two wings of the "Property Party" in what he came to call the "United States of Amnesia".


Is any member of the Washington Congressional delegation not promoting TPP ? Perhaps Jim McDermott has remained neutral only because he is retiring at the end of 2016 ?

Being a top two primary state, the August 2 primary is likely to be the only opportunity that progressive Washingtonians have to influence any November outcomes.

Although there are no Green Party candidates competing with Murray in the primary (hence there will be none on the November ballot) progressive Democrat Philip Cornell IS competing with Murray in the primary. All Washington State progressives,even Clinton supporters need to vote for Cornell in an effort to land he and Murray, and NO GOP candidate on the November ballot.

Seeing how the other top two primary state, California put two Democrats and NO GOP candidate on the November ballot to fill Barbara Boxer's US Senate seat, Washington can do the same.

Although there are no Green Party candidates running for any other Washington statewide offices, the one Green Party candidate Tyler Myles Vega that I am aware of, is running for Derek Kilmer's seat in the US House of Representatives.


"Free trade" agreements are not really about trade or freedom. They are designed to give business increased power over the state, and thus undermine democracy. I call them "business-supremacy treaties".

See http://stallman.org/business-supremacy-treaties.html for more explanation and substantiation of this point.



I think your ideas are correct. I can't join the Libertarian Party since they don't believe in Unions and don't value a social safety net. I'm more of a Left-Libertarian (left from the center Libertarian position). This chart here is pretty good. It's a modified Nolan Chart:

Hopefully, you can hover over it with your mouse and click on the <-> symbol to expand it to a legible size. I identify with Ralph Nader, FDR, ALCU and Thomas Jefferson but also want Unions and Social Security. So that puts me right at the word "Progressive" I think!