Newsletter - Lift The Veil; See Reality, Take Action

Vermont worker protest Now is The Time

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. It is graduation time and our youth are inheriting a dysfunctional economy while they are saddled with the highest debt ever. This situation creates a downward spiral in which new graduates delay meaningful participation in the economy, such as buying a house or starting a new business, while they try to pay off their debt. Chuck Collins advocates for one solution: higher taxes on the wealthy that are used to reduce the cost of education. This is being done in Washington State. The reality for most youth today is a very different situation than that experienced by the older generation; it is one of intergenerational injustice that must be confronted and corrected or the negative impacts will last a long time. Many people no longer believe the lies we are told to keep us from demanding solutions. A veil is being lifted as people understand how the system is rigged against them and how they need to work together to fight for a better future.

Report Indicates TPP Will Produce Almost No Benefits

"This report validates that the TPP is not worth passing," said United Steelworkers (USW) International president Leo W. Gerard. (Photo: SumOfUs/cc/flickr)

By Deirdre Fulton for Common Dreams – The government’s own assessment of the toxic Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) shows that the controversial trade deal will produce negligible economic benefits while damaging most Americans’ jobs and wages. The U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) report (pdf), issued Wednesday, shows that the TPP “would likely have only a small positive effect on U.S. growth,” Reuters reported. “This may be the most damning government report ever submitted for a trade agreement.” Leo W. Gerard, United Steelworkers

The People Against The TPP

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By Eleanor for Art Killing Apathy – Today, Flush the TPP organized a rally and street theater condemning the United States International Trade Commission’s (USITC) report on the TPP. Just as the USITC reported with NAFTA and the Free Trade Agreement with Korea, their analysis of what TPP will do to and for our country is grossly off point. To counter their continued corporatized findings, activists acted out an example of how the TPP will affect climate change and environmental legislation.

Trade Deals And The Environmental Crisis

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By Rob Urie for Counter Punch – With the release of leaked documents from the TTIP (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) ‘trade’ deal Greenpeace framed its conclusions more diplomatically than I will: the actions of the U.S. political leadership undertaken at the behest of American corporate ‘leaders’ and their masters in the capitalist class make it among the most profoundly destructive forces in human history. At a time when environmental milestones pointing to irreversible global warming are being reached on a daily basis…

Newsletter: Living In A Post-2011 World

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers. The 2016 election has deepened the understanding of how out of step the establishment political parties are with the people of the United States. The parties have reinforced the rationale for the Occupy uprising, and the uprisings on racism, inequality, poverty wages, mistreatment of students and more that have occurred since 2011; and they have increased national consensus on the dysfunction and corruption of government, the unfairness and inequity of the economy and the lack of concern for the environment and climate change.Don’t Represent US In order to understand the election’s relationship to the movement for economic, racial and environmental justice, we need to understand that the roots of this election come from the uprising of 2011. As Paolo Gerbaudo wrote in ROAR Magazine: “The 2011 protest wave will forever be associated with the slogan ‘they don’t represent us’ — a clear indictment of the present form of representative politics and the existing political class.”

Top Five Reasons Obama Is Wrong On TPP

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By Paola Masman for Coalition for A Prosperous America – President Barack Obama penned a Washington Post op-ed yesterday outlining a flimsy case for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal. The TPP is currently on life support due to a voter revolt against trade and global governance deals. Presidents Clinton and Bush also pushed similar trade and global governance agreements with similar arguments. We now have trade deals with 20 countries, we have data, and we don’t have to rely only on projections. The data are not kind to Obama’s optimistic arguments.

Barack Obama Readies For Final TPP Push

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By Ned Resnikoff for IBT – President Barack Obama last week renewed his push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, suggesting that it will be easier to pass the deal after the elections are over. The idea is that lawmakers will then be more insulated from political influence. Yet Obama has his own potential incentives to push for the TPP: His presidential foundation has been relying on support from industries that could profit from the agreement.

TPP & TTIP Are Bad Enough, But TISA Is Catastrophic

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By Kevin for IT Security – The United States dominates the world not because of the strength of its economy but because the US Dollar is the world’s reserve currency, used in almost all major international transactions. This position is primarily maintained by the world’s practice of buying and selling oil in dollars. It means that the US economy doesn’t have to earn its wealth, it can simply print more money knowing the almost every other country in the world will buy those dollars so that they in turn can buy oil.

Newsletter - End The Political Charade

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. This week, on Earth Day, representatives from 130 countries gathered at the United Nations in New York City to sign the climate treaty agreed upon in Paris last December. As they smiled for the camera and promised to do their best to hold the temperature down, climate activists posted an open letter stating that it is too late, the climate emergency is already here. Leading up to the signing of the Paris Treaty this week were actions to stop the advance of fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Many events to mark the one year anniversary are taking place this week and the next in Baltimore to remember the uprising. Erica Chenoweth, the author of “How Civil Resistance Works”, writes that elections both locally and globally are being shaped by nonviolent resistance. In the US, no matter who is elected president in the November election, it will be critical for those who have been activated to continue to organize and visibly protest.

Take Action To Stop The TPP This Year

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By Flush the TPP. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an international agreement that was negotiated in secret by the Obama administration with the help of hundreds of corporate lawyers from 2009 to 2015. It was signed by the twelve member countries (Australia, Brunei,Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, Vietnam) on February 4, 2016. It must be ratified by the member countries within two years of signing. Currently, Congress does not have the votes to pass TPP legislation. But, the TPP is a high priority for the Obama administration. White House staff and representatives of Big Business, such as the US Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable and National Association of Manufacturers, are lobbying members of Congress heavily.

Clinton Should Ask Obama To Withdraw The TPP

By Janis Levy.

By Dave Johnson for Campaign For America’s Future – Hillary Clinton has a credibility problem when it comes to our country’s trade policies and the resulting enormous, humongous trade deficits that measure job loss – especially with regard to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But Clinton has a chance to shore up her credibility with Democratic voters on this issue. It comes as President Obama, Wall Street and the multinational corporations are preparing to grease the skids for pushing the TPP through Congress in the post-election “lame duck” session.

From TPP To TTIP: Clues To New Food Trade Rules

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By Karen Hansen-Kuhn for IATP – While civil society groups around the world raise a variety of concerns about the substance of free trade agreements, for the most part their criticisms begin with the lack of transparency. Instead of a robust public debate on the merits of the issues under negotiation, civil society groups are forced to rely on bits of leaked text or the evidence of past trade agreements to guess at what might be under negotiation. In the U.S., members of Trade Advisory Committees (which are heavily dominated by corporate advisors) have greater access, but are sworn to secrecy.

The WTO Gave Environmentalists A New Reason To Oppose The TPP

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By Ben Walsh for The Huffington Post – The World Trade Organization is giving some environmentalists a reason to say “I told you so.” On Wednesday, the WTO, the international body that enforces trade law, said that India’s solar power subsidy violated trade rules. The program — which has helped India’s solar industry get off the ground and become one of the fastest growing in the world — required new projects be built with parts made in India. Despite India’s argument that the local product requirement was crucial to India’s meeting its commitment under the Paris Climate Agreement, the WTO ruled that requirement unfairly discriminated against U.S. solar manufacturers.

New Study Confirms: Private ‘Trade’ Courts Serve Ultra-Wealthy

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By Richard (RJ) Eskow for The Huffington Post – A new study confirms what many activists have suspected for a long time: The private courts set up by international “trade” deals heavily favor billionaires and giant corporations, and they do so at the expense of governments and people. Smaller companies and less-wealthy individuals don’t benefit nearly as much from these private courts as the extremely rich and powerful do. Other interested parties – whether they’re governments, children, working people, or the planet itself – are unable to benefit from these private courts at all.

The Predators Behind The TPP

State Minister of Cabinet Office Shuichi Takatori and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key shake hands after signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement in Auckland on Thursday. | AP

By Karel Van Wolferen for The Japan Times – Misnomers that hide what the strong and rich control — and aspire to control — help promote our world’s numerous political ills. “Spreading democracy” in the Middle East and Africa has been used to excuse much slaughter, ruin and higher risks of wider war for purposes not remotely connected with democracy. The designation “trade” used by politicians and the media when talking about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact and the proposed Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TPIP) agreement is another perfect example of a misnomer thanks to which a new shadow will be cast over the generally more fortunate parts of the world.