85% of the world lives below the poverty line.
The economic gap between rich and poor is growing.
The US's largest employer "Wal-Mart", owned by the Walton Family one of the richest families in the US, does not let employees organize and thus does not pay them for overtime, gouges the living wage people need, and allows many terminations without just cause.
The WTO and IMF continue their rampage through developing countries. Every developing country in history has used nationalization of industry and protectionism of infant industry to foster growth. This is sometimes called "Import Substitution Industrialization". This model of International Political economy does not have good long term benefits, it will end up creating industry that is not competitive internationally, but it can help build infrastructure in a less developed country. What the WTO or IMF do is offer billions (or trillions if you remember the IMF's loan to Russia back in the day that Trillions of dollars just well........disappeard!!! AND WAS FOUND LATER BEING LAUNDERED THROUGH THE BANK OF NEW YORK!!!!) to a nation's "leaders", these elites that run these countries that have much wider economic gaps than developed countries, and convince the middle class it is in their benefit to borrow large sums of money. So there is a ton of money all of a sudden in the government and it follows with massive foreign direct investment from as Friedman calls them "The electronic herd". This is good right? Won't this will help nations that are largely un-industrialized and not prepared to be competitive in the world market?
The problem is these underdeveloped countries CANNOT compete with the world market so they sink when "free trade" is instituted. OK lets concede for a few paragraphs that what the WTO and IMF push on people is truly free trade and lets discuss the effects.
A country that does not have competitive goods will fail in a free market economy, if a country is young with infant industry then they have no chance competing with the North Atlantic countries.
So how do they sell their products?
There is a term that is used that can refer to federalism or a monopolized free market: a race to the bottom. The argument here is that if the United States(worlds largest consumer[the customer you want to have really really badly]) asks for some bauxite or copper or rubber now lets say there are 5 developing countries that sell these three different raw materials. Country A offers Bauxite for (I apologize for making numbers up but I do not know current market value of these materials) lets say 20 dollars a unit. The US then goes to country B and says "We got country A over here offerin' us 20 dollars a unit." So country B says 19 dollars per unit. By the time we get to country E its 16 dollars a unit, so the US goes back to Country A tells them who Country E offers at 16 and they offer at 15. This is because all developing countries desperately want the US for instance to buy their materials, because we are such a massive consumer of said materials. So to lose the US as a partner would be catastrophic for your country(even worse than selling your raw materials for half of what they are worth).
So we are left with underdeveloped countries, which are underdeveloped, because of the "race to the bottom" North Atlantic countries create to benefit themselves. So the monopoly here is in the hands of the consumer between the US, Britain, Germany, France, and maybe a few smaller world powers like Brazil, Japan, and China.
WAIT THATS NOT A MONOPOLY YOU JUST LISTED MANY DIFFERENT COUNTRIES!
Remember the WTO? thats the organization these countries created a large forum in which all the countries of the organization automatically give new nations "Most Favored Nation" trading status(a status that means you are entitled to the minimum amount of protectionism as defined by whatever nation you trade with which has the least trade barriers).
So we cannot really call a monopoly of consumers that intend to create a race to the bottom as free trade. Its like we had a huge head start and now we force all developing nations instead of adoping the ISI model from above, and instead adopt the Export Led Industrialization(ELI) strategy. The ELI's biggest downfall is the race to the bottom which I explained above. So the United States of America through the WTO is essentially forcing countries to become based on a "cash crop" type system, to avoid a race to the bottom a country must find their own "niche" and only produce that one product or material. This way we end up forcing countries to mine all their own raw materials and natural resources AND GIVE IT TO US FOR LESS THAN MARKET VALUE!!!! Soon these underdeveloped countries will run out of raw resources and they will have no infrastructure of industry or agriculture to fall back on. These countries will only put a drag on the world economy hurting our children in the future.
Whats the alternative you say?
An international trade agreement based on human rights. Countries like Saudi Arabia that behead individuals in public squares will have trade barriers placed upon them. Countries like China that have had above ground nuclear tests after the test ban treaty will be punished through tariffs. We can also discourage foreign direct investment(FDI) through governmental taxes on certain regimes: If you wanna invest in Pinochet it will cost you more, if you want to invest in Milosevic you have to pay a higher tax, or if you want to support Saudi royals it will cost you extra. This would not be hard, in fact it would be much easier than it is now, but we as Americans would have to be prepared to pay a few extra pennies for our consumption, because the price of raw materials will return to its real market price after the consumer monopoly is deconstructed.
1. Countries that engage in Genocidal actions will have trade barriers making it more expensive for them to sell to the US and making it more expensive for people within our country to buy these products. .
2. Countries that engage in pre-emptive warfare(This is in a world where the US has not lost its mind because of the murders on 9/11, I see this kind of world in my generations future) will face protectionist barriers.
3. Countries that participate in the proliferation of WMD, any testing of WMD(this is in a world where the US signed the CTBT, again something that we may do sometime in the future), or the use of WMD will face trade sanctions.
4. Countries that engage in blatant violations in human rights. Organizations such as Red Cross, Amnesty international, and the UN will keep us informed about this actions.
The US could use its' status as the worlds largest consumer to the benefit of hard working underdeveloped countries and to the detriment of countries that scoff at human rights. For the benefit of all humanity.
These previous arguments remember are based on a concession of the point that WTO is free trade, but as I will elaborate further here this is far from the truth.
The IMF which is another of the three organizations(are they NGO's(non-governmental organziatinons) or IGO's(inter-governmental organization? You tell me) that make up the World Bank.
The IMF provides loans on a massive scale to "stabilize currency" this is to help balance the world economy. These are very admirable ends, but the means are devious.
If you have seen the movie "The Corporation" you are familiar with the privatization of water in Honduras. The government because it was beholden to corporate interests by taking the large IMF loan was required to follow some of the stipulations in the loan.
Now think for a second how much a leader of this country cares that he borrowed a trillion dollars and has no idea how his country is going to pay it back. If worse comes to worse, he gets on a plane and meets up with his friends who he helped fuck his own country(large business leaders). So the elites in this country take their graft off the top of the loan and then disburse it to the various agencies and organizations that the Stipulations within the contract tell you to. Borrowing for these leaders means a few extra million in YOUR OWN POCKET. Borrowing for the citizens means indentured servitude to the economic elite which takes the form of the WTO consumer monopoly. As we have seen in the past the real pets of FDI are not people who truly represent the people like Lula or Chavez, they are people like Pinochet and the Shah, or Islam Karimov in Uzbekistan. These are the people who the US financiers give money to.
The most important obvious violation of political values is the loss of sovereignty. Ever hear those seperatists/confederates/militiamentypes/hate-taxes-more-than-death-of-family-member crowd talking about how the UN violates their sovereignty? Well whatever argument they have I can't even articulate, because the UN causes absolutely NO loss of sovereignty for the US we just ignore the UN when it asks us to do things that we don't want, same thing with the international criminal court.
In these situations though, the developing nation is forced to enact economic policies as they are laid out in the loan. So for instance Honduras had to privatize water AND MAKE RAIN WATER ILLEGAL!!! This is so a United States corporation could then sell them their water at a profit, this ended up costing a third of a day's work for these people JUST TO HAVE WATER FOR THEIR FAMILY IN THE 21ST CENTURY!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a direct violation of sovereignty which was okayed by the political elite of said country. This is the situation which makes me recall the way Zach DeLaRocha always refers to these elites and corporations as vultures stealing change from already impoverished people. It is a disgusting inhumane act privatizing water in an underdeveloped country. CERTAIN GOODS NEED TO BE NATIONALIZED BECAUSE THEY ARE HARD TO EARN PROFITS WITH BUT PROVIDE A GOOD TO THE PUBLIC, WHY THE HELL ELSE WOULD WE PAY TAXES!!!!!!!!
For instance people call this operating "at a loss" I just wanted to apply this to one industry and one industry only, because no one ever does. (I'm kind of proud of this thought process haha, go ahead make fun of the guy who is skeptical about all the money we pay on the military) THe military industrial complex has been operating at a loss since 1776. We only tolerate this, because it keeps our country safe, WHY CAN'T WE DO THE SAME THING WITH HEALTH CARE???!!! Keep it around because there are MILLIONS without health care RIGHT NOW!!! Also we can stop privatizing prisons, this is disgusting that these stocks are wall street pets, the real money is not in caging and dehumanizing people for long periods of time the profit comes on the market, because all these people know the Prison Industrial Complex will only grow(because these individuals support the drug war and mandatory minimum/sentencing guildines, these policies will continue to drive incarceration rates higher and higher until there are more black men in prison than college.....wait....this is already true.......and there are 2 million prisoners now???) Especially at a time when an individual who still believes in Reagonomics and even a supports a more radical version comes in to power and the economy goes to shit like right now, the incarceration rate will climb faster under these conditions.
Poverty will always be with us, it will always be the second worst scourge of humanity behind war(if you evaluate war close enough you will find that war is genocide and genocide war, only people usually surrender in war, genocide remove the possibility of surrender for a certain population and thus war continues until an entire demographic/part of the gene pool lays dead). I am not advocating socialism, communism, Marxism, or income redistribution. I do know that widening the economic gap is bad for us and bad for our children as well as immoral. I do also know that lessening the economic gap is humane and ethical; and will have great long term benefits. So when you see a policy that prima facie supports the cause of widening the economic gap as a moral end in and of itself you will not be confused by the pundits and you will reject evil on face. Examples: The abolishment of the estate tax(a tax that was encouraged by Jefferson to stop the advent of an aristocratic society). The lowering or abolishment of capital gains tax. The lowering or abolishment of Dividend taxes. The lowering or abolishment of the upper classes tax percentage by substantial amounts while throwing the middle class a bone of a few decimal percentage points. Abolishment of higher education subsidies at state and federal levels. flat taxes or regressive taxation systems. Most efforts at privitzation only benefit one group and that is the 1% that owns 50% of the stocks, NEVER forget that there is a small minority with most of the money. No I don't want to take it and redistribute it I just don't want to see their majority share grow so large it paralyzes the other 95% of the population with poverty.
Ask yourself: Has our country done anything you can recall in the past 20 years FOR the working poor of this country?
All I see is the opposite and if you said "welfare" you're wrong, policies have centered around "welfare reform", which is hill-speak for abolishment.
1% OF THE UNITED STATES OWNS 50% OF THE STOCK.
And if you're that guy who says that type of shit, NO I am not a Marxist or an advocate of revolution, I just disagree with the United State's view that widening the economic gap is a moral good.
-Jimothy J. Jones
With this mic device I spit nonfiction
Who got tha power
This be my question
Tha mass or the few In this torn nation?
Tha priest tha book or tha congregation?
Tha politricks who rob and hold down your zone?
Or those who give tha thieves tha key to their homes?
Tha pig who's free to murder one Shucklak
Or survivors who make a move and murder one back?
-Rage Against the Machine "Mic Check"