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March's Lowdown

March 1999, Volume 1, Number 3

Edited by Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer


but it's not guys in black helicopters, it's GLOBAL CORPORATIONS

There's a plan for one world government

Last year in Paris a bunch of guys in suits met secretly to draft a document they called 'the constitution of a single global economy.' We called it 'NAFTA on steroids'-a stealth, ONE WORLD, WDI plan for a rogue world government. Their scheme was so butt- ugly that it couldn't stand the light of day, and thanks to grass- roots exposure and agitation, the suits have had to back away from any direct presentation of their 11 global constitution,' which they called the Multilateral Agreement on Investments (MAI).

But this doesn't mean the MAI has gone away-it's just gone undercover. The new scheme by the global go-getters is to try slipping every single provision of the MAI into other trade agreements, using the World Trade Organization as their crowbar.

Who's doing this to us? The Clinton Administration for one, with the full backing of the GOP congressional leadership. With trade officials from the 28 other wealthiest nations on the globe, the U.S. Trade Representative negotiated for two years on this stinker. They were so secretive that U.S. Senators were completely in the dark until listeners to my Chat & Chew radio show got @radio-active' on the issue early last year and began calling them. The media was equally clueless. But the trade negotiators were not alone in Paris. With them in the drafting sessions were Exxon, Nestl6, GM, Chase Manhattan, Credit Suisse, ADM, Nippon, Goldman Sachs, BP and the other global' giants that now proudly call themselves "transnational."

These corporations believe that nation-states are out of date—that global investors should reign supreme, meaning whoever has access to lots of money, ought to be freed from pesky government rules and regulations. The MAI is their idea, they were the force behind the surreptitious negotiations in Paris ... and they continue to push it today in their new shell game of "hide the MAI."

Okay, so what's it mean to us? One example: they want to ban any government anywhere from making investment rules that protect the economic, environmental and social needs of people. (See box at right.)

Here's how things will look in the Brave New World these big businessmen are creating:

[bullet] No city or state could give priority to buying it's products from local suppliers or buying only Made-in-The USA goods, since foreign corporations could challenge such action as an infringement on their "free trade' rights.

[bullet] No government can ban beef injected with hormones, grain produced with genetically-altered seed, veggies sprayed with pesticides-no matter what local consumers prefer.

[bullet] No government will be able to ban the importation of a product because of how it was made even if it's carpets woven by children, toys made in China by prisoners in slave labor conditions, tuna caught with nets that entrap dolphins or lumber gathered by clearcutting rainforests.

[bullet] And if slave labor is OK, forge about protecting unions or workers' rights! That's just another plot to inhibit "free trade!"

[bullet] There will be no political restrictions allowed on investments, such as the bans on investing in South Africa which helped to dismantle apartheid there.

[bullet] When a government decides' privatize a public enterprise, foreign-owned corporations will have unrestricted "rights" to buy the assets. No priority can be given national buyers and no "special share arrangements" can be offered to local workers and communities to help them buy the company.

Perhaps the ugliest provision being pushed is the process for resolving disputes between the global corporation and "We the People." Any cases brought by the corporations will not go to our courts, but to specially-designated tribunals of trade bureaucrats who will meet who-knows-where:

[bullet] Corporations will be able to bring these challenges, directly against our local, state, and national governments-yet our state and local governments will not be able to sue the corporations in these tribunals.

[bullet] The tribunals are elected by no one; they will meet, deliberate, and vote in secret; no record of their proceedings will be published; and there is no appeal.

[bullet] One of the courts authorized to hear these cases is the Inter- national Chamber of Commerce! These MAI provisions would rep- resent an astonishing corporate coup, giving completely undemocratic, private entities greater powers than our own elected bodies. It's almost incomprehensible that our political leaders would allow this . . . but they are.

WHAT ABOUT BILL?

The Clinton Administration thought about demanding side- bar agreements to the MAI on labor and the environment. But the U.S. Council for International Business told Bill to forget that idea. "The MAI is an agreement by governments to protect inter- national investors and their investments and to liberalize investment regimes," said the USCIB President (notice how they like that word " "liberalize" when it means giving them the right to do whatever they want). "We will oppose any and all measures to create or even imply binding obligations for governments or business related to environment or labor."

All this, they say, will produce enough wealth to soften the hearts of dictators, make capitalists of child laborers, create a world of consumers all exporting to each other and give all of us pie in the sky when we die. Hey, I was born at night but it wasn't last night; how about you? This is nothing but Ronald Reagan's 'trickle-down' nonsense gone global. It's George Bush's gibberish about a New World Order. Then came Bill Clinton, who is to a real Democrat what near beer is to beer. He has led the Democratic Party-once the proud political home of working folks-into an unholy alliance with Republicans and Wall Street lobbyists to embrace NAFTA, GATR, V,ITO, AFTA, CBI, MAI and other initials that spell 'gotcha' in all the Romance languages. They sell these deals by using the high- minded rhetoric of Free Trade! Jobs! Exports! Growth! Prosperity! and other come-ons.

But every one of these trade agreements and structures rips more economic and political power out of our hands and conveys it on a silver platter to the elite club of international speculators, powerhouse bankers, corporate jefes, and other hustlers—men with smiling lips and squinting hearts.

There was Newt, then Livingston (almost), now Hastert
MEET THE NEW SPEAKER...BUISNESS AS USUAL

First Newt Gingrich quit. Then Robert Livingston quit before he even got started. This opened the door for Rep. 1. Dennis ("Denny') Hastert to become Speaker, and the media has engaged in an absolute fawn- fest over the 57-year-old, former wrestling coach from suburban Illinois. 'Healer,' they call him- "consensus builder,' "gentle peacemaker,' and so forth. But before we confer sainthood on him let's at least check some of the fine print. said the USCIB President (notice how they like that word " "liberalize" when it means giving them the right to do whatever they want). "We will oppose any and all measures to create or even imply binding obligations for governments or business related to environment or labor."

All this, they say, will produce enough wealth to soften the hearts of dictators, make capitalists of child laborers, create a world of consumers all exporting to each other and give all of us pie in the sky when we die. Hey, I was born at night but it wasn't last night; how about you? This is nothing but Ronald Reagan's 'trickle-down' nonsense gone global. It's George Bush's gibberish about a New World Order. Then came Bill Clinton, who is to a real Democrat what near beer is to beer. He has led the Democratic Party-once the proud political home of working folks-into an unholy alliance with Republicans and Wall Street lobbyists to embrace NAFTA, GATR, V,ITO, AFTA, CBI, MAI and other initials that spell 'gotcha' in all the Romance languages. They sell these deals by using the high- minded rhetoric of Free Trade! Jobs! Exports! Growth! Prosperity! and other come-ons.

But every one of these trade agreements and structures rips more economic and political power out of our hands and conveys it on a silver platter to the elite club of international speculators, powerhouse bankers, corporate jefes, and other hustlers- men with smiling lips and squinting hearts.

[bullet] Hastert has been a goode charge to prevent us patients Dm being able to sue HMOs that ,e guilty of malpractice. And he so was Newt's point man trying kill legislation that would give oms a two-day stay in the aternity ward with their new-born babies, rather than the one in-and-out rule mandated by MO beancounters.

[bullet] Hastert has been a bulwark of e new Globaloney, actively supporting NAFTA in '93, the WTO in 94, Fast Track in '97, and the Caribbean initiative in '97 and 98- all "free trade" giveaways to transnationals.

[bullet] He opposed the miserly 90 !nts-an-hour increase in mini- um wage in 1996, yet he pushed hard that same year to give the Pentagon (and its weapon contractors) $7 Billion more than the generals themselves requested.

[bullet] Hastert positions himself as a strict moralist in keeping with his evangelical Christianity, yet he oppose the restrictions on the liveral flow of corrupt campaign contributions into American politics; he supports letting lobbyists give junkets, gifts, and other freebies) members of Congress; he opposes lobbyist disclosure requirements; and he was eager-as-a-beaver to give himself and his colleagues a pay raise in 1997.

[bullet] He's also supported cutting Medicare by $270 billion in order to pay for Newt's promised tax breaks for the wealthy; allowing oil companies to get away with more pollution of our water; denying small shareholders the right to sue Wall Street firms that bilk them; overturning Roe v. Wade; abolishing Title IX which bans discrimination in educational programs including sports; and repealing the law requiring that food processors not put cancer-causing chemicals into their products.

This guy's no saint-he's Dennis the Menace.

[bullet] At bottom, he's just another lobbyist gofer on the take. Even though he had a non- race for re- election last year, he pocketed more than a million bucks, practically all of it from corporations looking for favors. For example, he chairs a key health subcommittee-and one-out-of-every-five campaign dollars he raised came from health care operators.

[bullet] Hastert has been a goode charge to prevent us patients Dm being able to sue HMOs that ,e guilty of malpractice. And he so was Newt's point man trying kill legislation that would give oms a two-day stay in the aternity ward with their new-born babies, rather than the one in-and-out rule mandated by MO beancounters.

[bullet] Hastert has been a bulwark of e new Globaloney, actively supporting NAFTA in '93, the WTO in 94, Fast Track in '97, and the Caribbean initiative in '97 and 98- all "free trade" giveaways to transnationals.

[bullet] He opposed the miserly 90 !nts-an-hour increase in mini- um wage in 1996, yet he pushed hard that same year to give the Pentagon (and its weapon contractors) $7 Billion more than the generals themselves requested.

[bullet] Hastert positions himself as a strict moralist in keeping with his evangelical Christianity, yet he oppose the restrictions on the liveral flow of corrupt campaign contributions into American politics; he supports letting lobbyists give junkets, gifts, and other freebies) members of Congress; he opposes lobbyist disclosure requirements; and he was eager-as-a-beaver to give himself and his colleagues a pay raise in 1997.

[bullet] He's also supported cutting Medicare by $270 billion in order to pay for Newt's promised tax breaks for the wealthy; allowing oil companies to get away with more pollution of our water; denying small shareholders the right to sue Wall Street firms that bilk them; overturning Roe v. Wade; abolishing Title IX which bans discrimination in educational programs including sports; and repealing the law requiring that food processors not put cancer-causing chemicals into their products.

This guy's no saint-he's Dennis the Menace.



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