Let’s get one thing straight to begin with. Trade is good. We do it all the time. Trade has been pretty much part of recorded human history and evidence reveals prehistorical trade routes in many parts of the world. It becomes a little bit trickier when we look at large-scale international trade agreements. The question as to whether foreign trade promotes peace and development or destructive conflict has been debated for a long time. One of the most current controversies on free trade agreements evolves around the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Some fine insights in this article.
However, in relation to this quote:
"We have to ask ourselves if our current economic systems and trade policies achieve those principles or if it is in our interest to maintain and create new trade frameworks which consist of grabbing natural resources of others and using the military to protect what we took."
WE can ask and look all WE want. As the Piketty Study exposes, wealth of massive proportions has been DELIBERATELY engineered towards the top of the fiscal pyramid.
As Naomi Klein explained in "The Shock Doctrine," devotees of The Chicago School have used disasters to change things around for their own benefit. The crash of 2007-2008--which itself was a predictable reaction to the easement of regulations wisely put into place after the Great Depression to prevent banks from speculating wildly on Wall Street--profited the banks and hustlers who created the crisis!
Nothing has been done to stop that.
Little is done to prevent corporations from hiding their profits via offshore accounts and such.
Austerity is the fancy word for screwing the poor and workers. At its core, its goal is to eradicate the Middle Class since it's the Middle Class that seeks to educate its children and thereby send up a generation smart enough to challenge the status quo that's always allowed a small segment of well-heeled persons to run it for the rest of us.
If WE had power in the current system, there would not be Austerity, a Shock Doctrine, or the particulars of the Piketty Study so blatantly in place.
This is powerful and fundamentally true:
"When we look at conflicts, we look at why they happen to begin with – the root causes. A simple way is to look what our basic human needs are. We know air, water, food, clothing and shelter are needed for survival. Beyond those we can look at security, identity, well-being and self-determination. If those are not met, it is argued, then people engage in conflict. As currently practiced and implemented, free trade agreements contribute to structural violence – the violence where social structures and institutions prevent people from meeting their basic needs. The agreements protect the interests of elites over the vast majority of people and the planet; consequently, the potential for conflict is increased. Now it becomes a little clearer that the debated provisions of TPP can be linked directly to social conflict, unrest and instability: resource exploitation, labor rights and income inequality, agriculture, environmental issues and national, regional and local community democratic decision-making powers."
Once again, the architects of foreign (and for many lands, domestic) policy are obliged to ignore and deny these basic truths because their paying sponsors make a fiscal killing on war.
How could there be an economy based so thoroughly on the manufacture and use of (as in "moving inventory") weapons and committed to war if the leaders were willing to honor the basic precepts that preclude the need for conflict?
The U.S experienced a coup. Its government HAS been taken over by elements of the Military Industrial Media complex and the bankers that play nation against nation the way U.S. elites play one party against the other.
The (1%) "house" always wins.
Money that's aggregated by a relative few always distorts the metrics of Democracy. And that $ has become so compressed in so few hands that it has sought to choke Democratic principles.
All over the world "the natives" are rising and/or restless.
Small wonder that the U.S. MIC arms the dictators of so many lands so that they'll have the martial tools to keep their populations quiescent.
THAT is the problem. Arms and corrupt power in so many places... still, The People rise. So far, the result has led to more merciless martial crackdowns. It's no accident that Egypt ended up with the military in charge after the citizens showed up for so many impassioned protests, or that U.S. elites--under the guise of fighting terrorism and making citizens safe--are violating the Posse Comitatus Act by militarizing its massive domestic police departments.
Eventually, the Truth will set us free... meanwhile, suggesting that WE do thus and so is an idealized, ultimately delusional version of how Power operates.
You meant straight. You said:
"Let's get one thing strait to begin with."
That strait is a water body between land bodies.
And trade IS good if you're a carpenter who can't plant who lives near a farmer who can't fix the tools he needs for planting.
Trade goes back to antiquity.