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Neoliberalism is a species of fascism

by Manuela Cadelli, President of the Magistrates’ Union of Belgium, via Defend Democracy "The time for rhetorical reservations is over. Things have to be called by their name to make it possible for a co-ordinated democratic reaction to be initiated, above all in the public services. Liberalism was a doctrine derived from the philosophy of Enlightenment, at once political and economic, which aimed at imposing on the state the necessary distance for ensuring respect for liberties and the coming of democratic emancipation. It was the motor for the arrival, and the continuing progress, of Western democracies. Neoliberalism is a form of economism in our day that strikes at every moment at every sector of our community. It is a form of extremism. Fascism may be defined as the subordination of every part of the State to a totalitarian and nihilistic ideology. I argue that neoliberalism is a species of fascism because the economy has brought under subjection not only the government of democratic countries but also every aspect of our thought. The state is now at the disposal of the economy and of finance, which treat it as a subordinate and lord over it to an extent that puts the common good in jeopardy. The austerity that is demanded by the financial milieu has become a supreme value, replacing politics. Saving money precludes pursuing any other public objective. It is reaching the point where claims are being made that the principle of budgetary orthodoxy should be included in state constitutions. A mockery is being made of the notion of public service."

India Takes First Step Toward Challenging U.S. Visa Policy At WTO (March 10, 2016)

"India is also claiming that commitments made by the U.S. in its free trade agreements with Singapore and Chile to provide a certain number of H-1B visas to those countries violates the United States' commitment under GATS to annually provide 65,000 H-1Bs worldwide. However, the U.S. GATS schedule specifically states that it will offer "up to" 65,000 H-1B visas for persons annually on a worldwide basis. It also committed in its GATS schedule to allow entry for an unlimited number of qualifying L-1 visa holders."

The Critical Resource Theory of Fiduciary Duty

"Fiduciary law is messy. Courts routinely impose fiduciary duties in myriad relationships, including trustee-beneficiary, employee-employer, director-shareholder, attorney-client, and physician-patient. In each of these relationships, courts require fiduciaries to adhere to a general obligation of loyalty, 1 but countless variations on that theme tailor the general obligation to the specific context. In addition, courts regularly impose fiduciary obligations ad hoc in relationships where one person trusts another and becomes vulnerable to harm as a result. 2 Surveying this landscape, one of the leading commentators on the law of fiduciary obligation concluded that it is "atomistic," 3 and despite attempts to articulate a principled description of fiduciary relationships, 4 the prevailing view remains that fiduciary law is "elusive." 5 The purpose of this Article is to craft a unified theory of fiduciary duty."

Security of Property Rights for Whom? (Terra Lawson-Remer)

Property insecurity of non-elites can be compatible with or even enhance economic growth, but it also encourages conflict—which can undermine long-term growth and economic development. Using a new set of indicators which measure the property insecurity of marginalized ethno-cultural minority groups, this article demonstrates that the severity of property insecurity for the worst-off group in a country is strongly associated with the onset of armed conflict, and—once civil war is controlled for—property insecurity for marginalized minorities corresponds with higher growth rates. Economic growth can occur when the property rights of elites are secure but marginalized minorities face a high risk of expropriation, as land may be reallocated into the hands of investors with skills and access to capital. However, the potentially growth-enhancing effect of forced displacement and resettlement is reduced, because the property insecurity of minorities also increases the likelihood of armed conflict. 1. Introduction---------- ----------------------------------------------------------------- Perhaps you have heard of us. We are Mexican, mostly indigenous, and we took up arms on January 1, 1994 demanding a voice, a face and a name for the forgotten of the earth. Since then, the Mexican government has made war on us, pursues and harasses us seeking our death, our disappearance and our absolute silence. The reason? These lands are rich with oil, uranium and precious lumber. The government wants them for the great transnational companies. We want them for all Mexicans. The government sees our lands as a business. We see our history written in these lands. In order to defend our right (and that of all Mexicans) to live with liberty, democracy, justice and dignity we became an army and took on a name, a voice and face. (Subcomandante Marcos, Juana Ponce de León, April 1999, Letter to Mumia Abu Jamal)

Job Loss and Health in the U.S. Labor Market

While U.S. unemployment rates remain low, rates of job loss are high and rising. Job loss is also becoming increasingly common in more advantaged, white-collar occupations. This article is concerned with how these patterns impact the health of U.S. workers. Drawing on recent data from the U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics, I find that job loss harms health, beyond sicker people being more likely to lose their jobs. Respondents who lost jobs but were reemployed at the survey faced an increased risk of developing new health conditions; they were not, however, more likely to describe their health in negative terms. This suggests that recent job “churning” within the United States (i.e., high rates of job loss but low unemployment) may impact certain health outcomes but not others. I find no evidence that the health consequences of job loss differ across white- and blue-collar occupations, although health-related selection out of jobs appears stronger within the blue-collar category.

(Dis)placing trust: The long-term effects of job displacement on generalised trust over the adult lifecourse

Highlights • Experiencing job displacement leads to a decline in generalised trust over the adult lifecourse. • The effect of displacement scars adult trust, persisting even after re-employment occurs. • Displacement’s effect is observable at least nine years after the event occurred. • Individuals who attach greater value to employment experience a stronger negative effect of displacement. • A range of mediators drawn from the literature do not account for displacement’s effect.

Liberalisation Of Trade in Services Corporate Power at Work (GATSWatch/TNI/CEO)

The United Kingdom is home to a particularly influential services industry lobby, which operates through an organisation called International Financial Services, London (IFSL). Two IFSL working groups, the Liberalisation of Trade in Services (LOTIS) Committee and the High-Level LOTIS Group, constitute a veritable corporate-state alliance.

Local content in the oil and gas sector (World Bank)

"A number of countries have recently discovered and are developing oil and gas reserves. Policy makers in such countries are anxious to obtain the greatest benefits for their economies from the extraction of these exhaustible resources by designing appropriate policies to achieve desired goals. One important theme of such policies is the so-called local content created by the sector- the extent to which the output of the extractive industry sector generates further benefits to the economy beyond the direct contribution of its value-added, through its links to other sectors. Local Content Policies (LCPs) were first introduced in the North sea in the early 1970s and ranged from restrictions on imports to direct state intervention in the oil sector. While LCPs have the potential to stimulate broad-based economic development, which is necessary to alleviate poverty and achieve the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), their application in petroleum-rich countries has achieved mixed results. This paper serves to introduce the topic by describing policies and practices meant to foster the development of economic links from the petroleum sector, as adopted by a number of petroleum-producing countries both in and outside the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The paper is organized as follows: chapter one defines local content and briefly illustrates the links between the petroleum sector and other economic sectors (where policies may be able to increase the economic benefits of the petroleum sector). An attempt is made to measure local content levels in a wide sample of petroleum-producing countries including net importers and net exporters, and countries at different stages of economic development to put LCPs in context and to consider if the structure of an economy is a key driver of local content levels. Chapter two discusses the arguments that have been used in favor and against the use of productive development policies in general and LCPs in particular. Chapter three provides an outline of the tools and types of LCPs that have been used by petroleum producing countries, and present their strengths and weaknesses. Chapter four focuses on issues related to the measurement and monitoring of LCPs, and discusses the limitations of alternative metrics. Chapter five provides a description of LCP objectives, implementation tools, and reporting metrics used in a selected sample of oil-producing countries including Angola, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Trinidad and Tobago and draw initial lessons that may be relevant to other countries"

"The Future is Public: Towards Democratic Ownership of Public Services" (book)

Cities are fighting back against privatization globally, by remunicipalization (or remunicipalisation) bringing public services back under local control, in defiance of trade agreements that attempt to privatize them. This is a free resource on this important subject. This is hard to find info about in the US because it counters the idea that privatization/outsourcing, etc. is some irreversible force of nature.

US—India Visa Fee Controversy before the WTO: A Migration-Mobility Nexus for the WTO?

Marion Panizzon Trumping over the US election campaign is also a visa dispute at the WTO. On trial stands a bill by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services to double application fees for H1-B visa. India brought its complaint before the WTO on March 2016, alleging that the US had breached its legally binding market access commitments. The US-India dispute could set a precedent if it were to confirm the WTO’s judicial competence over visa – traditionally considered a national prerogative.

Special and Differential Treatment under the GATS

Unclassified TD/TC/WP(2005)24/FINAL Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 26-Jan-2006 Working Party of the Trade Committee SPECIAL AND DIFFERENTIAL TREATMENT UNDER THE GATS OECD Trade Policy Working Paper No. 26 by the Trade Policy Linkages Division of the OECD Trade Directorate

Uncovering Offshore Financial Centers: Conduits and Sinks in the Global Corporate Ownership Network

"Multinational corporations use highly complex structures of parents and subsidiaries to organize their operations and ownership. Offshore Financial Centers (OFCs) facilitate these structures through low taxation and lenient regulation, but are increasingly under scrutiny, for instance for enabling tax avoidance. Therefore, the identification of OFC jurisdictions has become a politicized and contested issue. We introduce a novel data-driven approach for identifying OFCs based on the global corporate ownership network, in which over 98 million firms (nodes) are connected through 71 million ownership relations. This granular firm-level network data uniquely allows identifying both sink-OFCs and conduit-OFCs. Sink-OFCs attract and retain foreign capital while conduit-OFCs are attractive intermediate destinations in the routing of international investments and enable the transfer of capital without taxation. We identify 24 sink-OFCs. In addition, a small set of five countries – the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Singapore and Switzerland – canalize the majority of corporate offshore investment as conduit-OFCs. Each conduit jurisdiction is specialized in a geographical area and there is significant specialization based on industrial sectors. Against the idea of OFCs as exotic small islands that cannot be regulated, we show that many sink and conduit-OFCs are highly developed countries."

Liberalisation of Financial Services - by Stephen Woolcock

"Negotiations on a permanent agreement on financial services in the GATS are scheduled to be completed by mid December 1997. The prospects of success this year are better than in previous attempts in 1993 and 1995, but there is still much to do in a short time and still much work to be done. The current negotiations are shaped by compromises made during the Uruguay Round negotiations in order to get both developing country and US support for the approach adopted in the GATS. These compromises mean that there is no internal, liberalising dynamic in the negotiations. For the negotiations to succeed it is therefore necessary for all the key participants, which in the case of financial services effectively means some 30 WTO Members, to show the political will needed. "

"Next Generation" Trade and Investment Agreements: Upcoming Challenges for Public Services

This is an excellent recent presentation by a EU public services group about the attacks on public services in the EU by the trade agreements of countries like the US ('next generation' trade deals refers to US style negative list agreements which are particularly aggressive in privatizing and capturing public services, permanently (example, the US capture of healthcare around the globe by transnational corporations) ending public ownership and voter control over irreplaceable services and resources.. It shows the strategies which this global scheme, uses. Very much worth reading.

Human Trafficking and Slavery: Towards a New Framework for Prevention and Responsibility

By Dana S. Hathaway "Human trafficking and slavery are horrific crimes that require strict penalties for perpetrators and effective protections for survivors, but these crimes are in part facilitated by a system of laws and norms that effectively marginalize certain populations—the “unskilled” migrant. In this thesis I aim to reexamine and reinterpret the problem of human trafficking and slavery in a way that highlights the background conditions to the problem. - - - I argue that the framework used as a conceptual foundation for addressing the problem limits the scope of responsibility. Specifically, the framework fails to acknowledge structural contributing factors I show to be relevant: law, policy, and norms impacting immigration and migrant labor. I assert that the limited scope of responsibility, which focuses heavily on direct perpetrators of the crime, leaves largely unexamined the role of social-structural processes in contributing to the problem. I use the United States as a case study in order to provide a targeted analysis of social-structural processes that contribute to the problem. In this examination of the United States, I focus on agricultural and domestic slavery."

The COVID-19 situation illustrates why trade agreements should never have been used to hijack the peoples wishes to lock in bad policy on healthcare and drugs, trapping politicians in big lies.

Most Americans mistakenly believe we can just vote to fix these things, and solve them. Unfortunately, its not so easy. We've been misled by the people in high places, and the media. The fact is the government now has intentionally created a system to TIE ITS OWN HANDS, locking out all progressive change, it hopes, forever. Showing how Its so very confident of its ability to pull the wool over our eyes, indefinitely.

Declassified: Chinese official said at least 10,000 civilians died in 1989 Tiananmen massacre, documents show

A member of the Chinese State Council estimated that at least 10,000 civilians were killed in the Tiananmen massacre of June 4, 1989, declassified files reveal. Alan Donald, Britain’s ambassador when the Chinese government sent tanks into Tiananmen square to quell the student-led protests, sent telegrams to the foreign office on June 5, a day after the massacre. He said a person – whose name was redacted from the document – passed along the information from an unnamed member of the State Council. The documents from the UK National Archives in London were declassified in October and obtained by news site HK01.

GATS and Financial Services: Redefining Borders

"The First Annex brings financial services into the GATS definition of trade in services. Services conducted by a governmental authority, including central bank functions, statutory schemes for social security and retirement funds, and other government activities are excluded from the definition of services provided that such government does not permit private sector competition in the relevant area.' Members are permitted to retain a "prudential carve-out." That is, measures created for prudential reasons such as the protection of either depositors or financial system integrity are permitted so long as such measures are not designed to defeat the commitments under GATS. As with NAFTA, the prudential carve-out may have important implications: it will be the basis to defend virtually all actions in the financial services sector that are the subject of a dispute."

FDI and the right to regulate: Lessons from trade law

The problem of domestic regulation versus international trade and international investment. Note: This is part of a larger PDF - THE DEVELOPMENT DIMENSION OF FDI: POLICY AND RULE MAKING PERSPECTIVES Proceedings of the Expert Meeting held in Geneva from 6 to 8 November 2002

Global capitalism, the anti-globalisation movement and the Third World

There are some interesting insights in this paper, deconstructing the whole scheme from several different direstions. I like his observation that this outcome is not inevitable. We have agency, we just need to take back our right to regulate by dumping the corrupt politicians and their trade deals and neoliberal dogma. Thats all! *sigh*

Fresh air for sale

It started as a joke, but now people spend a fortune on bottled fresh air. Alex Moshakis reveals how global pollution is fuelling this fad

Food security as a global public good

For too long, agricultural, energy and development policies have lost sight of the need for food security. Yet, as a global public good, food security should be a structural objective of global governance. But reform of the latter is not sufficient and we should be fully aware of the role to be played by national policies, and of the growing importance of private stakeholders.

Thousands of National Guardsmen activated for COVID-19 will be one day short of qualifying for federal benefits

It sure looks like thousands of National Guardsmen who are helping states cope with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are about to get screwed out of federal benefits. Politico reporter Alice Miranda Ollstein first revealed that federal orders for roughly 40,000 Guardsmen are set to expire on June 24 – putting guardsmen just one day shy of being able to qualify for early retirement and education benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. A Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesperson confirmed to Task & Purpose that the federal government plans to stop funding the ongoing National Guard deployment on June 24.