"Trade" "agreements" are a global power grab that's stealing democracy and our policy space.

Everything is replaced by its own simulacrum “It is no longer a question of imitation, nor duplication, nor even parody. It is a question of substituting the signs of the real for the real” This is how we are being manipulated.

I call it a global power grab, a preemptive strike to wrest all economically valuable policy space from we the people and lock it in the hands of a global corporatist class.

This is not a unique idea, many have been telling us this is happening for decades. But its at a key point, where it is consolidating its power. And its a very wrong and evil thing.

This is what's reaally happening in he US,the two political parties that waste peoples time, are a dioversion, to hide the ugly truth. The two parties are controlled by people who are actually colluding with one another to hide the theft of real democracy, and how GATS and its progeny have so stolen policy space that nothing of any real economic significance can be done (except things that make the situation worse, which then can not be reversed) .

It is a global takeover, but to win, the ultra rich have to successfully divide the United States, especially..

A lot of the drama we see is overcompensating for the real things that are missing.

A deliberate distraction to hide the key fact that trade agreements paralyze policy, and represent the throwing of all the unfortunate people of the US under the bus,because we have the misfortune to have been born occupying the space that the oligarchs covet. Indigenous people, are increasingly all being treated the same globally. Poor is the new Black.

Trade "agreements" that nobody would agree with between oligarchs are the real government now. They limit what Presidents and Congress can do to only what they permit.

They also hasve committed jobs away, leaving people in a bad position, as theuir jobs will be pulled out from under them. You see, old chap, your expectations are just too high for us now. You'll never understand, so we think we just will put you all out to pasture.

What's left of the previous world is being destroyed including everything that gives almost all of our people people any economic security. Thats just too expensive!

To hide this ALL politicians now are telling people what they think they want to hear, but we should recognize the fact that they can't and wont provide it (as its forbidden to them to do so, and that part is easy to pro0ve if you know where to look, which this site can help you do)

A dead giveaway that this is being done is shown by the fact that every thing they pretend is good will only take away more of our rights.

Locking in a predatory corporatism that has no mercy as its basically a machine.

The sooner people realize that the better.  We need to recognize these agreements are a theft of the country, planet and all of our futures that will spare nobody, , and get out of them, or our own and our children's future may not even happen.

The two main parties are likely colluding in this. It's time we in the US woke up to what's being done.

Everybody has a stake in restoring representative democracy. Which we have not had in a long time.

Because we most certainly don't have it now. Neither party is what they claim to be. If they were, they would likely be wiped out by whoever is really running this brutal theft of the planet. 

Its all a fake. This is easy to show and in my opinion, all of the evidence is here that this is going on. We're just failing to recognize it because the politicians (both parties) and the captured corporate media are doing everything they can to hide it.

This is a huge failure and it shows how lacking authenticity most of the US media is today. Its refusing to even go near the issues they need to be discussing. By sophisticated techniques, "sound alike" but irrelevant issues every issue we need to treat in an adult manner has systematically been made toxic.

Just look at the election coverage and events.

This is a well coordinated psycholiical and theatrical performance, not democracy.

They are also stealing once quality  public education.

"When these systems are privatized, that is, when they are turned over to private investors, who then “own” them, the provision of health and education is undertaken in order to generate profits for these investors. As such if one can pay for healthcare or education—purchase it on the market—then these things are provided; otherwise they are not accessible. So the issue is not about one’s right to basic needs, it is about who can afford it and about their ownership. Thus, healthcare and education become market commodities". -William I. Robinson. (speaking about whats being done to two essentials higher education and healthcare, globally. This push to privatize once public services, is being led by us, the US.)

GATS-LongTerm Strategy For The Commodification Of Education
cover from 2005 paper warning about GATS and commodification of education.

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And this has been going on for a long time but now its coming to a head because a big transition that turns over lots of rights and jobs to multinational corporations seems to be in a critical stage, its clear.

Trade deals steal democracy "by mutual agreement", of the world's oligarchs. They attempt to do this irreversibly.  (Also, see this note on "autonomous liberalization" a policy ratchet. These kinds of aspects of FTAs clash directl with democracy leaving overnments stripped of the power to change anything that has economic aspects to it, except in ways that feather the nests of transnational corporations, and strip the people of essentials. This will eventually lead to a defacto genocide of the poor as there will be no breathing space for those without the wealth to buy essentials, for ever increasing prices. In an increasingly job-sparse world this is exactly the opposite of what we should be doing. 

These deals also gradually trade more and more public jobs away to whomever can do them the cheapest, bringing a system that many have compared to virtual slavery into ever growing use.

They are not about trade, trade is just a pretext. They represent an economic war on the people of the planet, against democracy. And they have been going on for a very long time.

For more than 25 years now, one particularly toxic deal, GATS, has been hidden behind s stealth gutting of the social contract, and it's already caused three major disasters. And huge job losses are likely ahead.

How could we all be so gullible? Because we didn't know about it.  We never got the memo.

What happened? It goes back to the 1980s, and this is what I know. They met in Punta Del Este, Uruguay September 15-20 1986, in a meeting where they decided to add "services" to the already existing GATT to form a new "Multilateral Trade Organization" which the US later insisted at the last minute be changed to World Trade Organization.

the GATT>WTO negotiations went on for years, and were quite divisive, or so many say, and the process eventually produced an interim agreement, the Marrakesh Agreement, and a great many individual WTO 'Agreements". the General Agreement on Trade in Services, or "GATS" is the one on services.

There are several others as well. The WTO is in effect a new tier of global economic governance above our own, that runs "trade" very broadly defined. Trade in goods is under GATT 1947, and services is under "GATS".

Often described as "everything you cannot drop on your foot" it's jurisdiction is incredibly wide.

That and some other basics are explained well here in this short course from the UN's UNCTAD..

In my opinion, the GATS is an unseen hand behind the US's and many other countries policy, one that is diametrically opposed to the interests of "we the people". It is stealing all um-enumerated rights and commonly owned policy space and officially giving it to countries and corporations, corporations, and this overbearing agenda is having the effect of forcing governments to accept this. We are so closely identified with large chunks of it that countries privately argue that they literally have to accept it if they want admission to0 the WTO, which is needed if they want to trade, especially if they want to trade with the US. But, it seems to me that some of that argument is questionable, whats really happening is a scheme by oligarchs, enabled by the US and some others, to dismantle democracy now when its most needed, as we make a key, long awaited transition to a work-sparse future.

Organizations such as the WTO do not represent the wishes of the world's people. Nor I suspect most of the world's corporations, either, Just a very few bad apples. But we're all being forced to surrender our rights to it.

GATS especially, has crossed a great many lines capturing more and more essential services, with the intent of privatizing them globally.

This makes it so a committed government cannot provide like services, (likeness largely being defined by if a government allowed or enabled service can substitute for a commercial one. This is sheer insanity.) So for example, if for profit insurance firms would suffer any hit because of something a government did, unless whatever it was doing had existed before the GATS had, it would be forbidden. The same applies to banking, and great many other services. Because they are framed as financial services, also, expanding safety nets beyond ones that both pre-existed GATS (existed before 1995-1998) and remain officially exempt from the scope of GATS is forbidden, unless we modify or leave these commitments, but that information has been largely denied us.

Politicians now lie about this because telling the truth would be more than embarrassing.

For example, promises to create jobs - if those jobs involve subsidies of any kind, are likely to fail because of the gradually increasing procurement and non-discrimination provisions of trade in services and international investment agreements. Existing jobs are also likely to be lost. The agreements also set up gradual one way privatization of existing programs of all kinds, including ones thought safe, like Social Security and Medicare.

This is what happens when your government has been captured by transnational corporations and the global oligarchy that owns them.

FTAs put us on a one way street, literally, preventing any change that does not lead to more lock-in and privatization.

They either do that or hand out money head over fist to private firms, money which must be paid back in the future by citizens who undoubtedly will have little or no incomes to pay it out of, their jobs having been outsourced, offshored or in the case of public jobs, privatized out to international firms who more often than not, refuse to hire locals.

Why would they when they are so much more expensive?

The scope of these changes could be astronomical.

Such kinds of changes often make people physically very ill. What about healthcare? US healthcare has been captured and paralyzed by GATS since the early 1990s or earlier. The signing of the URAA in 1994 made it official.

Studies on "excess deaths amenable to improved access to healthcare" paint a chilling tale of the health of poorer Americans during that time.

More than a million people likely have died because of the GATS capture of healthcare for 26 years, probably much more. In other words, if they admit the truth, that they have created lock in to a system that they have no intent of ever fixing, they are guilty of the most serious crime.

Its a crime against humanity because as long as we stay in these deals, which are ruled by a rigid, cult-like ideology, huge market failures cannot and won't be fixed.

Won't somebody break the cycle of despair?

I think the US's government's quasi governmental organizations, the two parties,  certainly realized this was likely to be seen by most people as criminal,   or they would not have gone to such lengths to hide the change.

They seem to view our trust as a commodity they can keep spending until they use it all up. Lying more and more all the time. "Everybody else does it".  They healthcare issue is a case in point, is anybody really surprised though to see that they have been working hard to lock down the future for corporate profiteering in every way. Talk is less than cheap, its been totally misleading, giving people the impression that positive change is right around the corner when in fact nothing could be further from the truth unless we shake ourselves free of this dishonest set of corporate trade deals. They are literally trying to use them steal everything as fast as they can, everywhere, in a giant, well coordinated global grab.

Look at what has been happening with drugs and COVID-19.

In additions to the ones below, see the links on the left on GATS' history and the WTO's and GATS lack of  legitimacy - under democratic deficit and democracy deficit.

GATS (and its progeny, TISA which was "put in the refrigerator" by the Obama-Biden Administration before the end of its second term) had both become very controversial in the rest of the world.especially the US's so called next generation trade agreements and their negative listing which act as a standstill on policy. Halting progress..)

But here in the US we know next to nothing, as shown by the issues being discussed in the current Presidential race. Services include 80% of the world's economy and most jobs in developed countries like the US, and losing a large number of those jobs would be a disaster. People don't realize that they and all policy that involves them, are on the line. 

Here is a good document from the UNCTAD that lays out the very wide scope of the GATS generally.

Here is a good description of NAFTA and ISDS from the early 90s that also shows how trade deals steal democracy. It still is like this today with no major changes in the things described.

But both US parties have been deceiving us all about this, and hiding the truth. This alone can and does explain a huge amount of our nation's current malaise. 

And our shared ignorance poses imminent danger to our country's people and especially our existing safety nets because we've been literally taken over by an extremist cult.

One that most people don't even know is there. Yes, neoliberalism is a cult, in every sense of the word. One that sees itself as entitled and above the law and the will of the people.

Its goal is locking down an unpredictable future, for the rich. Trapping us all in a predatory, oppressively triumphalist, life and soul-stealing model that our world's people would NEVER in a million years have voted for!

And that the rest of the world is increasingly rejecting, thanks to us and our failure to rein in our so called representatives who are doing their best to divest, we the people of power, permanently.

Why is it stealing our country, future and planet?

My personal opinion, its totally because of greed. The frequent assertions that GATS helps the poor are bullshit.

It blocks all kinds of progressive policy in countries like the US, including improvements in our healthcare system, banking, insurance, water and dozens of other important services. are being in all practical terms, irreversibly privatized.

It only props up and enriches the oligarchs who are in fact the reasons why many developing countries remain in such grinding poverty. We're using GATS and hope to use TISA to make that situation worse, not better and lock it in for multinationals. And it will make us like that too if we allow it. Because its so undemocratic.

What are these deals doing?

One key issue is healthcare. One can get a picture of the situation in 2009, by reading the late Nicholas Skala's informative paper.

Its really essential reading. An understanding of the healthcare mess can also be gotten by reading the top few links in our links directory, which are geared towards healthcare;  Other key issues are the environment, higher education and adult education, water, basically GATS purports to regulate governments in their treatment of "everything you cannot drop on your foot". Particularly endangered are all public services.

Articles on GATS' governmental authority exclusion, are the key to understanding how subsidized "services of general interest" are treated by the GATS, and the threats to our current safety net programs. Nothing is as it seems because, due to the rigid ideology the cult who runs this country subscribes to,  only a tiny number are allowed to be subsidized, and sustainable and remain "public" the others are - especially here in the US, because of extensive commitments made during the 1990s, are on a fast track to privatization and globalization. (In many cases this will include outsourcing and offshoring a great many jobs as well.)

Important Note Many jobs will likely be taken by foreign subcontractors- with the WTO ultimately doing an end run around US wishes and laws. this is to be decided by a pending WTO dispute case.

An article attempts to collect many sources of info Basically, GATS, put potentially tens of millions of jobs in grave danger.

Way back in the 1990s in the Uruguay round, they claim, we promised foreign firms that qualified a potentially unlimited number of jobs.

But as it is not obvious from the US publications on them, one must understand the core issues.

The US middle class's future could change overnight if we lose this case. Also, its quite possible, even likely that the Biden (or Trump) Administrations will revive a number of trade deals that were extremely unpopular (or sign new ones) that would make the situation much worse.

This is because, in the final analysis, many of the most powerful US corporations and their lobbying groups are pushing very hard for the ability to import their cheapest employees at will, without worrying about a limited number of visas. In a bizarre parody of the US civil rights movement, thanks to GATS they are claiming our laws discriminate against them, and that these jobs, if they can do them cheaper, which we know they can, are an entitlement. Really. I could not make this up.

A total disaster is extremely likely if people remain uninformed about these deals and the underlying ideology that drives them.

In fact, its clear that a massive disinformation is underway that is attempting to use Trump to make a large number of issues toxic that need to be discussed, by using Trump as a diversion.

So bringing up these issues takes a lot of courage. One has to point out that the system they are trying to bring in is literally often compared to modern slavery, and is opposed by liberal stalwart groups like the American Friends Service Committee, to get them to listen. But the mainstream media gets a free pass to not cover it, because Trump.

These kinds of things are why I have become convinced that both parties leadership are actually colluding in order to sneak this hge global change steal our future, knowing intimately how the system works. I don't know what to do, or if there is any way out of their trap, but at the least, to get out of this mess, we all need to be talking about this.

So I have attempted to provide material that helps people understand them.  This is a huge, imminent threat because of our ignorance and the cooperation both parties have exhibited in hiding them. It does not portend well for us all.

Remarkably these deals would likely be rejected by the entire country. They would never survive a vote. In fact this issue would unify the nation. But its clear that sock puppets are doing their best to divide all of us, so we don't put our heads together to solve our problems in a way thats acceptable to all.

However the two parties leaderships would not fare well. Because they have all lied so shamelessly and hidden this scheme against all of our security.

Also a huge number of poor people have died while our healthcare has literally been rigged so it could not be fixed (at least that is my opinion) All Americans are dying. Not just Democrats or Republicans. Basically, its the poor and struggling, that are dying in the highest numbers.  That's pure evil.

Our country has been greatly deceived on everything connected to this- why? To get us to vote for what? We cant be held responsible for what they have hidden from us, can we?

But yes we can, as an investigation into GATS and TISA will show you.

Yes, we can. Dozens of services were committed - in the 1990s, they already promised them away, binding our policy space in them, without telling us 20 years ago!

Literally, everything we know is wrong!

Note: If you live in the US disregard the statements of a recent political candidate implying that these commitments we made in the past to the WTO did not exist.

They do. and I am not sure he meant well. he has important questions to answer.

You'll see notes to that effect here on this site. For the most part I am leaving them for now although I likely will clean the site of this in the future. They are these for now to show how we're all being fooled, shamelessly by the people who rule us.

Because these deals attempt to trade away our jobs and future policy space in a way we cant reverse. I don't know what can be done besides get a national hive mind going on it. I am just a private citizen who quite frankly would rather be doing other things. 

Which brings me to something important. Help me out and read the few articles I've linked here.  get people talking about these issues. This is what they want to prevent, in order so we just fall for this theft, hook line and sinker. The longer we wait the more expensive it will get. We cant wait until after the election. We need to get the candidates to dump these deals, which will require a lifting of the rock and showing what lies beneath. It isn't pretty.

Only them will they stop infantilizing and dividing us. and  only them will they stop lying to us.

That's the intent.. Our own government within a government set this up, to trap us. Its a pretext, as shown by the situation with (a UK company) several years ago where they were paying people to sit in a warehouse and do nothing.

(That act likely has major GATS implications for our policy space on healthcare. As it most likely locks us into using international firms, in this case a huge global firm that has stirred up a lot of controversy for the running of prisons and asylum seekers detention facilities. The Obama Administration must have done this intentionally.)

Yes, our government have been trying to lock future Administrations in to the worst kinds of policies. Even once we the people are fed up, they still want to control us by dooming democracy to being taken over, by corporations.

As it stands right now things couldn't be worse. Using trade deals, (treaties) particularly those on services,  corporations have taken over this country's and the planet's future and gutted democracy, and we're completely naive and ignorant and are being deceived by the shallowest and most obvious of tricks.

Both parties are totally unlike what they claim. Its likely many of the House are varying degrees of ignorant, some very dangerously so.

Maybe they mean well (I can't be very confident. ) and they are being used, to trap us in things that because they are already captured by FTAs and we don't know, wont work out even remotely like they say because of these horrible FTAs.

Our jobs have already been traded away, we just don't know it yet. So the safety net dismantlement is the absolute worst thing. lets also not forget US healthcare has been rigged for more than 25 years. So it could not be fixed in a sustainable manner without leaving GATS. A hell of a lot of time has been wasted and lives lost because of this trick.

NGOs have been captured too, to the degree that they admit they're not doing their jobs, even the core reasons they exist, They cant cover certain issues because they "would lose their corporate funding".  Is this how democracy dies? Apparently so.

Soon, if we don't exit these deals, which requires our leadership to be unmasked as who they really are, which they wont like and will do anything to prevent, , we wont be able to get any of this policy space back because other countries will demand compensation.

That's how it works as you will see. See our links, and also on every page you'll find a lot of keywords on the side. See our Recommendations and glossary also. There is a lot here.  You can also browse a highly relevant semi random collection of documents, including a downloadable nicely formatted, searchable copy of the GATS that Taiwan's government made to use for reference.  Note that the Annex on Financial Services, first paragraph has a trap for Medicare and Social Security thats a huge danger. Also the Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services effective date is February 26, 1998. Financial Services regulation seems to me to be required to revert to a ceiling of that date.

What about the ACA? I don't know but I suspect it is an "emergency" measure, that's time limited. If so, likely to ten years.  That's a question for experts which I am decidedly not. But one thing is clear, we all have been lied to an awful lot. And not in a way that we should allow. I know rich people treat the truth differently than the rest of us.

This is GATS is perhaps the best example of that.

There is an easy way to verify that there's a big problem at the top.

Promises to expand Medicare as I understand them, are extremely ill advised because they will break Medicare's ability to be Medicare as we know it.

Please see this recent article which is very much a work in progress.

Put yourself in my position. I am really stressed, and I think its best to admit it. Because I am trying to make people aware of this, and I'm hitting a brick wall, and I am burning out.

I've left out a lot in this article to keep it manageable. But there is a huge amount on this site, and let me level with you. The entire world is being taken over.With a cheap lawyers trick.

If you want to read more about healthcare look at the Links directory which right now is sorted to put healthcare related papers on top. Also read the "Recently added" page to see whats been added recently, otherwise you have to look at the last pages in the search results for links, for example.

There are three different ways to search, and each return different results. Because they search different bodies of information.

Particularly useful to understanding many articles is a section at the bottom of most pages of Related Pages. I have been trying to update them. they often go off site. Often there is a lot more information at those links than what I have written here. I am a better author when I am not talking about such a huge theft.

Because it makes me angry. this is literally the theft of the century. Its also related to a huge crime, involving drugs and lack of drug affordability that was and is entirely avoidable. See our links on the TRIPS WTO agreement and you'll find a lot here on this site on that. GATS already has caused three major disasters.

GATS isnt about drug prices, another WTO FTA, TRIPS is. That deal has arguably killed many millions of poor people.

So I particularly recommend you also see the full film, "Fire in the Blood" which is on streaming sites to understand that issue. You'll get an idea of the WTO's involvement. It won a film award in 2013.

Basically our jobs and future policy space are being traded for high drug prices among other things. Its a really sordid situation. 

For an update on the situation, as it exists now, also check out the ip-health mailing list, at KEIonline.org

Please also explore the tags (at the bottom) for all these pages which change. Links also have tags which you can explore via the keywords on the left. You may have to scroll up to see the search results on some browsers.