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Mon May 18, 2015, 05:47 AM

 

The Trojan Horse President [View all]


"....Or is he what many of us have feared he is for a while now: a Trojan Horse president, presented at the gates as a progressive gift? Once let in, however, an army of Third-Way "Democrats," multinational corporations, insurance companies, banks and Wall Street masters-of-the-universe were unleashed to wreak havoc, again...."



By William Rivers Pitt

I am not an economist, not even close, but Joseph Stiglitz is. Stiglitz is actually a Nobel Prize winning economist, former Chair of President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers, and former chief economist for the World Bank. Joseph Stiglitz is positively terrified of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal being pushed rabidly by President Obama. Because he is, I am also frightened by what this "deal" portends.

Joseph Stiglitz

Fundamental to America's system of government is an impartial public judiciary, with legal standards built up over the decades, based on principles of transparency, precedent, and the opportunity to appeal unfavorable decisions. All of this is being set aside, as the new agreements call for private, non-transparent, and very expensive arbitration. Moreover, this arrangement is often rife with conflicts of interest; for example, arbitrators may be a "judge" in one case and an advocate in a related case.

If there ever was a one-sided dispute-resolution mechanism that violates basic principles, this is it. That is why I joined leading U.S. legal experts, including from Harvard, Yale, and Berkeley, in writing a letter to President Barack Obama explaining how damaging to our system of justice these agreements are.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-secret-corporate-takeover-hidden-in-the-tpp-2015-05-13?page=2


At the core of this Nobel Laureate's argument against the TPP deal is the simple fact that legal authority - basic, bedrock legal authority - would be transferred from the sovereign courts of the United States to multinational corporations if this "deal" comes to pass. Note well, also, this statement from Stiglitz: "Though corporations can bring suit, others cannot. If there is a violation of other commitments - on labor and environmental standards, for example - citizens, unions, and civil-society groups have no recourse."

That is utterly intolerable, and it's what the president wants.

~snip~

The funny part came when President Obama dismissed Sen. Warren as just another politician as a means of defusing her criticism. Richard Nixon said, "I am not a crook" while staring into a camera. He was in fact a crook, and President Obama is in fact a politician. A consummate one, if truth be told. Of course Sen. Warren is a politician, but she is endeavoring to do what the president is not: represent the people. The president, for his part, is actively representing the corporations that actually are allowed to read the details of this deal, while the rest of us are not.

~snip~

Stiglitz, Warren, Sanders ... and they are not alone. A very interesting left-right coalition is coalescing around opposition to this mysterious, dangerous, perilous trade deal. The real mystery, however, is why President Obama - in his final years in office - would staple himself to such a divisive and damaging initiative. He has the opportunity to focus on infrastructure repair, an example made vivid by the recent rail calamity in Philadelphia. He could lean into pushing the ACA in Red states that still resist it. Hell, he could go wild and push for what they've done with solar power in Germany, panels right down the sides of the highways, free and open space to do all that green stuff he's been yapping about while approving oil drilling in the Arctic and the Atlantic Ocean.

But no, it's this terrible thing he has chosen for his "legacy."




cont'

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/30815-the-trojan-horse-president

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