Who traded who what in the GATS?

Its clear to me that neither Americans nor Britons have even the foggiest idea of what the GATS is or even that it exists. But it does and its one of the main reasons why everything is so broken.

What is the GATS? Its a global agreement5 on trade in services, i.e. jobs. Broadly, its a deal by oligarchs everywhere (typically the people who run countries are controlled by those countries "oligarchs". "Oligarch, a member of an oligarchy, a power structure where control resides in a small number of people".

Obviously, when you're on top, your main goal is to stay there.

Think back to the feudal system. (In some countries, you still are in them, technically)

Oligarchs stay in power by funneling benefits to those who keep them in power.

Trade agreements generally make that easier for them by various sneaky ways.  

In a large number of countries, countries are ruled by a small number of people and they are basically patronage systems where the in group very skillfully manages to capture all the means of generating wealth for themselves.

But growth is reversing because jobs are being automated. (or in many cases offshored/outsourced, as a bridge to automation.)

The corporate world sees that as requiring even more job shedding, especially in high wage countries. It wants cheap labor thats also quite limited in its opportunities. Not quite slaves, but too close for comfort.

But those jobs are not long for this world, as in a few years, there wont be much of a need for the many workers there are today in most industries. Even overseas.This is going to cause a economic disaster unless countries invest in their own people in order to keep up. They know that. But they are not doing it, instead they are trying to discourage all but the wealthy from going to college. They are afraid of the armies of young people buried in debt who will be priced out of their own labor market by guest workers, or displaced by automation. (GATS prohibits their being given any help.) Proposals for a "Green New Deal" are going to run into FTAs too, because they involve government procurement.

Why aren't the governments investing in more education? Some European countries are. But not the ones (it seems especially English speaking countries, South and East Asia) who are most  ideologically wedded to the GATS ideology.

The biggest reason they are not investing is GATS.

Healthcare? GATS.

Because GATS basically prevents it. Instead, all roads lead to outsourcing and eventually offshoring. GATS and TISA strongly encourages countries (soon it will be forcing them) to turn everything into commodities that are traded internationally, like onions or oil.

The oligarchs are forming an alliance to keep one another on top, at the expense of everybody else. And covering it up with noise. Static.

Under GATS, everything is trade-able. Trade those jobs and services, maybe even patients, - using them as a "balancing factor" in trade. Basically, they become poker chips. Nothing can get in the way, least of all professionalism.

By making those commitments, many countries decided that they were going to phase out the social safety net programs, moving the responsibility for healthcare, education, and housing, for example, onto their consumers.  They are counting on foreign corporations and their ultra cheap workforces (wages and benefits are expected to fall as jobs get scarcer, another key point. Thats why the WTO meets every two years to push countries to privatize more and more, a process that is led by the Quad countries.)

GATS, and its progeny TISA, frame government provisions of services as a trade barrier, reducing investment and devaluing their profitability.

Kind of like a theft or a taking. They have very skillfully concealed this large scale change that's been going on for well over 25 years! One of the ways they have been able to do it is by pretending to the citizens of these countries that nothing has changed at all, when it really has changed, a lot.

These agreements are just one aspect of a scheme that's literally taking over the world behind its people's back, creating a ruling system that's totally undemocratic.

The "inner party" (To use Orwell's term, and imply his framing, which is very appropriate) ruling each of these countries all must have endorsed this and any politician who pretends that this is not happening is not being truthful at the very minimum.

Many are clearly part of a colossal big lie.

In order to get our policy space back we are likely going to need to go through a process much like a divorce where countries will be asked to compensate either countries (under WTO style agreements like the GATS) or corporations (US style agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA, TISA, etc) for the expected lost profits of the sector, either in jobs (WTO style) or in cash. (US style) for backing out of the deal.

Nobody has shown any signs of telling the truth.

The closest a very few politicians have gotten to explaining it has been obvious "cover your ass behavior" i.e. so pathetically vague that its guaranteed to not only not work. It makes people angry.

Politicians are going to have to tell people they have had a good chunk of their lives stolen at some point, soon, to head off an even worse disaster. To say that it remains to be seen if any will do it, ever just is inadequate to get across the absolutely unprecedented nature of the impending calamity.. 

But it has to be done because under the current system things can only get worse when anything is changed never better!

In many cases a "standstill" and "ratchet" apply, preventing any reversal of the privatization and deregulation- Also all deregulation locks in in covered areas, but nothing even remotely like that applies in the other direction)  This means that all the progressive parties are making promises they know they cant keep without triggering a storm of protest and trade law suits from so called injured parties who consider themselves as entitled to something they see being taken away.  Thet may be behind the scenes or it may suddenly emerge into the public but its unlikely to be understood, nor are politicians likely to explain whats going on because it incriminates them.

Its a core principle that one a country agrees to this trap they cant be allowed to escape without paying a heavily punitive price, or the whole system's discipline falls apart.

It doesn't matter if lots of poor people are dying, because the rigid ideology that's embedded makes it clear that poor people die and that's the natural state to this system of control. (See Foucault: Society Must Be Defended)

This "free trade" system was designed to allow a return to that kind of environment (by playing all the workers in the world off against one another to lower wages and increase profits)

People in both the UK and US are so far off track as far as their understanding of things that I don't even know where to start.

Thank God I watch literally NO TV and read very little mainstream media or I might be that way too.

Even many people who fancy themselves to be trade activists are quite misinformed as to certain aspects of the trade agenda. They just have little to no grasp of how dishonest some people can be and are when they see their privilege threatened by the winds of change.