Discussion

What is this site about?

This site is about a theft of our entire planet and future, by means of fraudulent "trade agreements" that try to trade away what should not be traded away, (such as trading jobs or concessions which block important areas of policy, like the right to regulate). They steal policy space which countries need to be able to change in order to adapt to the changes in the world, in other words, the core function of democracy. They use trade as a pretext in what amount to sham contracts between different groups of oligarchs. For example, to lower wages, globally, and prevent competition between ideas, they use trade agreements to take a great many ideas, indeed, most of the ideas that could help, off the table.

What is "Services Liberalization", and what does it mean for our way of life?

Bluntly, as they describe it, the high cost of labor in the developed countries is acting like a huge weight around corporations necks, forcing capital to invest in developing countries, not in us. What is really happening is the system has become less and less dependent on any one workforce. Increased profits are motivated by both greed and increased competition for jobs.

What is 'genelining'?

Genelining is the practice of using genetic information in health insurance underwriting, in other words, deciding who to offer health insurance, and for what price based on the results or genetic screening tests or family history. Other means of assessing risk may be geographically based, information thats getting very easy to access due to the widespread practice of including GPS chips in cell phones. .

COVID-19 and Defenses in the Law of State Responsibility

As it stands today, International law obligations in the GATS block most of the things we urgently need to do to prevent an additional potentially large number of deaths from the COVID-19 - These two documents on international law discuss "Force Majure" - a legal strategy to get out of contractual obligations when a situation changes in fundamental ways.

Discussion of the ongoing war on the poor and middle class.

The important thing to understand is that our government (in the US) is pursuing an absolutely separate, often contradictory policy via the almost unknown means of trade deals and trade policy and that that agenda is often diametrically oposed to what they are claiming to be for and against in the political theatre they show us. In many ways, what we end up ends up showing that in fact we are being held hostage by the real policy. For example, on this site I often say that "we have to get the worst deal of all" on drug prices and many other policies. This is because in the WTO we may be pushing for other countries to pay the highest, most advantages prices on drugs, or we may be trying to use our trade might to comel them to gut their public services, and buy them from us instead. As a sort of crumb to them we might give them the right to replace our own workers in many situations, pay their own workers almost nothing and pocket the difference. Why? I think the goal is to make them dependent on those jobs. So we had more leverage against them in other areas, because we hope they are addicted to the income.

Fake "Public Option" scheme trotted out every four years to hide the GATS lock-in for another four years.

What they call in Europe "services of general economic interest". Why can't it work here? Because the EU services were pre-existing to GATS, so are grandfathered in. If they made any changes, like Brexit, they would break too. Just ike the UK's have been gradually being privatized. And like us, they are not allowed to create any new ones unless they modify their GATS commitments, and if they had committed healthcare they likely have to pay a high price for doing so.