Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Breaking: WTO vs. Poor People---->Poor People WIN!!

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (Through 2005) Donate to DU
 
Dob Bole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:26 PM
Original message
Breaking: WTO vs. Poor People---->Poor People WIN!!
http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/americas/09/14/wto.talks....

Developing countries called this collapse a victory, saying that they'll no longer be dictated to by developed countries.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
FatbackSlim Donating Member (82 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. Er...
Neither will they get the benefits of expanded trade; they will simply remain poor. A defeat for both us and them.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Dob Bole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. ?
Supposing that free trade agreements would be good for all of these countries...the problem with such agreements is that they usually dictate what kind of government that they should have. The US usually only trades with rightist governments-if you're not one, they'll make you one. (Ex. Latin America, 1980s)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
FatbackSlim Donating Member (82 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Hmmm
I don't think the WTO rules define what kind of government you have to be in order to trade with the US...so if governmental structure is going to be a problem, it's a problem with or without enhanced trade rules. Besides, we have trade relations with places as far-left as China and Vietnam, so I'm not sure the Latin America analogy holds anymore.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Dirk39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. What the hell is "far-left" about China or Vietnam...
The second Vietnam war, the one of the WTO, the IMF and the worldbank has been won. And China is a totalitarian fashist dictatorship with a capitalistic economy. Just the kind of government favored by the big corporations and their government in the USA. The kind of governemt, they wanted to install in Venezuela last year. Just analyse, what these organisations call "good governance" and how it is linked to privatisation and the attempt to destroy the infrastructure and the social insurrance systems like healthcare.
Greetings from Germany,
Dirk
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. Greetings to Germany
Dump your agricultural subsidies, and millions of people will be able to trade on world markets and survive.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Dirk39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. I'd be the first to agree. Germany is even worse than the USA...
in agricultural subsidies. Our farmers are the most expensive unemployed people in the world. We even make them believe, they would have a job (that's the expensive part). If we would just pay them 3000 a month for NOT working anymore. But they are influential mostly right-wing voters.
Hello!,
Dirk
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. Yes, and France is a major problem
as well.

As you say, it would be easier and cheaper in the long run to just pay them unemployment benefits or ag-welfare, instead of this elaborate shell game they're all involved in.

But, votes internally are the problem.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
no name no slogan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Trade is not "all or nothing" game
Just because these countries don't support the methods and tactics of the WTO doesn't mean that they'll automatically stopp ALL foreign trade.

On the contrary, this may be an impetus for many of the smaller (less-rich) nations to forge an alternative to the WTO which will allow them fairer trade than what they've been able to do within the WTO framework. It may also prevent them from getting overly dependent on trade with industrialized countries, and therefore having greater control over their own economic destiny.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
FatbackSlim Donating Member (82 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Indeed
Of course they won't. However, there were also things on the table such as rules for foreign investment that would have helped the situation in poor countries. As it stands now, there will be little progress on that front, and there will be less growth in investment than there could have been.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 04:14 AM
Response to Reply #6
43. You are absolutely wrong
about "rules for foreign investment" helping poor countries. It's the opposite. I think your view is paternalistic, don't the poor nations know what is best for them? And they said loud and clear NO! to corporate pampering people screwing investment rules. No deal is better than bad deal.

Yes, this is the first battle the thirld world won and US and EU lost, poor nations organized and tough and won a defensive victory, but the war is not over, it is time to take initiative and attack, and all the progressive people in West should support their fight and tell our leaders what we want.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
loudnclear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #1
26. Industrialized" or "rich" countries have always wanted something from
underdeveloped or poor countries: their resources! Maybe they will just be able to trade bilaterally and make deals on their own. Believe me, there is a capitalist standing in line to turn a deal and make a dollar.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Iris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #1
50. ever hear the term "poor but happy"
Maybe these people don't have much but if don't want to trade farming and family life for a 1.5 hour commute to a job where you are less than nothing, that's their business.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #50
59. And all it is, is a term
and a particularly dumb one at that.

Poor people aren't happy...starvation leads to death.

Ain't nobody happy with that.

Romantic old sayings notwithstanding.

Sheesh!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #59
62. Materialistic people ain't happy either, Maple...
Here in the US, where we supposedly have the highest standard of living in the world, at least one in four adults suffers from clinical depression. We live our lives told that the free market is the ultimate arbiter, and that our economy will flourish by everyone acting in their own self interest.

But something is lost in the process. Through the cynicism that is certain to develop by viewing everything through the lens of self-interest, we lose our sense of connection to others. We lose community. And as social animals whose best moments are displayed through our capacity for cooperation in times of great crisis, we are left wanting more.

Of course, the modern world tells us that happiness is only a new car away, or a new set of clothes, or a new plastic surgery. We work and work and work to consume and consume and consume, with the maximization of profit the only thing that is valued by society as a whole. Professions that are centered around improving the "social" economy -- health care workers, child care workers, teachers, firemen, EMT's, etc. -- are not as widely respected for their contributions as free-wheeling CEO's and speculative financiers.

The fact that is implicit in the statement "poor but happy" is that the poor often have something that we don't -- a real sense of community, in which people genuinely care about others, and cooperate during hardship. While their social arrangements are far from perfect -- often exhibiting narrowmindedness and patriarchal control -- they still offer that sense of community that we need, ALL of us.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dmkinsey Donating Member (789 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #1
83. Trade is a one-way street
People in developing countries will remain poor with trade or without. The only groups that benefit from WTO trade are global capitalists and western consumers. WTO enables corpoations to roam the world in search of cheap labor to exploit. As soon as the workers realise they're not getting a fair deal the corporation flies off to a new more easily exploited labor pool.
And of course we get to buy really cheap clothes,TV's and shoes. If we still have a job.
DaveK
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Room101 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:31 PM
Response to Original message
2. GREAT News !!!!
"civil disobedience. . . is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that numbers of people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war,and millions have been killed because of this obedience. . . Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem." Howard Zinn
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
7. This is a disaster for poor countries
They made their point...but at tremendous cost to themselves...and none of it needed to happen if the western countries had cut agricultural subsidies.

Utterly stupid...now the whole process has to begin again in order to fix it.

"The average cow in Europe earns more per day in subsidies (around $2) than the total daily income of the average cattle owner in West Africa. America's 25,000 cotton farmers received over $3 billion in subsidies last year, and can therefore undersell the 11 million people in West Africa who depend on cotton for their main source of income. Why is it farming, rather than mining or manufacturing, say, that makes the governments of the rich countries go into ultra-protectionist mode and spend money like crazy?"

http://www.gwynne-dyer.com/
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #7
22.  US Nobel laureate asks poor nations to stay firm at WTO

US Nobel laureate asks poor nations to stay firm at WTO meet in Cancun
Friday, 15-Aug-2003 4:02AM PDT

Story from AFP
Copyright 2003 by Agence France-Presse (via ClariNet)


"Bangladesh should stay firm" at the talks in Cancun, Mexico in September and highlight what is best for LDCs despite pressure from the developed nations on trade liberalisation and open economies, Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz said at a lecture in Dhaka on Thursday.

"No trade agreement is better than a bad agreement," he said at a meeting with Bangladesh's top economics, bureaucrats and policy makers organised by The Independent newspaper and Channel-I television station.

"I am not sure what will be the outcome of the Cancun meeting, but am sure it is not going to be a smooth one...," he added.

more...
http://quickstart.clari.net/qs_se/webnews/wed/ch/Qbangl...

see also...


Renowned U.S. Economists Denounce Corporate-Led Globalization



A recent interview with Joseph Stiglitz, however " the ultimate World Bank/IMF insider " sheds new light on what many have long suspected: documents and testimony on secret industry- governmental meetings, the behind the scenes agenda-setting of transnational corporate interests, and the apparent hidden agenda of the WB/IMF.


...

Having acquired a handful of World Bank documents from undisclosed sources marked "confidential," "restricted," and "not otherwise (to be) disclosed without World Bank authorization," Stiglitz began to document the real effects and aims of the World Bank's four step, one-size-fits-all, economic restructuring package imposed on less industrialized countries.

The first step, according to Stiglitz, is the promotion of state-level corruption as the facilitator of the "privatization" requirement which often also serves U.S. political goals " a process that Stiglitz says would more be accurately called "briberization." This is followed by step two, "Capital Market Liberalization" which sets up predictable cycles of "hot money" speculation in non-productive assets that ultimately leaves the national economy hemorrhaging from loss of controls on capital.

Step three is "'Market-Based Pricing', a fancy term for raising prices on food, water and cooking gas. This leads, predictably, to Step-Three-and-a-Half: what Stiglitz calls, 'The IMF riot.'" An outraged populace predictably reacts to the fact that they can no longer afford to feed themselves. According to the documents obtained from the WB, these "IMF riots" are predicted and documented, stating that the resulting "social unrest" and civil strife has to met with "political resolve." Yet, as Gregory Palast points out, this process has one positive outcome "for foreign corporations, who can then pick off remaining assets, such as the odd mining concession or port, at fire sale prices." Step four is not far behind: the "poverty reduction strategy" called "Free Trade."

Stiglitz, however, is careful to point out that the World Bank and the IMF are not the heartless "free market" ideologues they might seem. Although the WB/IMF work devoutly to remove the uneconomic subsidies placed on food and other items essential to the poor, they are not necessarily against state interventions in markets " as Stiglitz makes clear, "when the banks need a bail- out, intervention (in the market) is welcome." For example, as Palast points out, "the IMF scrounged up tens of billions of dollars to save Indonesia's financiers and, by extension, the US and European banks from which they had borrowed" in its enlightened redistribution of subsidies.

more...
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Globalization/Stiglit...

peace

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #22
28. He wants them to fight
for a better deal, and I'm all for that.

They are a major part of the WTO, and have enough clout if they want to use it.

The rich countries have to give up agricultural subsidies.

It's time someone helped break the deadlock on this nonsense, and helped level the field.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. "No trade agreement is better than a bad agreement" - he said
sounds like they are fighting back :bounce:

peace
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. Well those are nice words
but no deal can also mean starvation.

They have to know when to push....and when to compromise...as they are the ones with the most to lose.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-03 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #31
98. aren't they always...
the ones with the most to lose...

peace
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
8. Excellent
Without guarantees on national sovereignty, agreements that include environmental considerations and respect for fair labor laws, these "fair trade" proposals are basically licenses to rape and exploit, without making sure that the robber barons keep any of the riches in the countries that produce them.

It's time and past time for the capital to be held responsible and accountable.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. You think it's funny to condemn thousands to starve?
You see that as a victory?

I thot this was a Democratic board...not a rightwing protectionist trade group.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Oh, and thousands don't starve under NAFTA?
I'd invite you to join me next time I'm in a delegation to Chiapas, and you can meet the farmers and workers face to face who can tell you a thing or two about neoliberal economic practices.

And where in the world did you get the asinine idea that I thought starvation is "funny"?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. No they don't
I work with NAFTA everyday, (which is not the WTO btw) and it has been a blessing to all 3 countries producing prosperity and expansion.

You are simply a protectionist....and you don't care who starves because of it.

If you think this is any kind of victory for the poor, you are able to find starvation funny.

US first hmmm?

Globalization when it works for us, self-interest when it doesn't.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
FatbackSlim Donating Member (82 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Who's starving?
Nobody's going hungry because of trade rules. Hunger is a separate problem more to do with economic systems and conflict than free trade.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Nonsense
Get out of your office, then. Because the people I men in Chiapas have been displaced from their homes because it's more profitable to simply take their land. Chiapas provides about 90% of the hydroelectric power generated in Mexico, and it all goes to the north and Mexico City. The people whose land has been drowned (without compensation) out from under them don't even have street lights, let alone wired homes.

In addition, native plants and herbs that have been used in the area by indigenous people for centuries for their medicinal properties have been stolen by large pharmaceutical concerns, who patent the remedies and then drive local herbalists out of business for infringing on their patents, exclusive to them through NAFTA. Strangely enough, people without a means to support themselves, or who have been driven off the land have an inconvenient tendency to die. But if your statistics don't say "starvation," apparently it was from other causes. True enough, as many of them die from lead poisoning (a bullet) for asserting their rights.

I don't recall discussing this with you before, and your irresponsible, shotgun accusations seem to be directed at someone else, not me. Try discussing this again some time when you can make an ounce of sense, and check your hostility.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. I don't think you
understand the first thing about the WTO.

The purpose of it is to provide FAIR trade by setting up a framework of rules that EVERYONE follows.

So there is no dumping, no arbitrary high tariffs, no subsidies and no protectionism.

And the WTO is meant to take the place of all these side deals...NAFTA is a side deal because the WTO process is so slow.

The problem with side deals is that they can lead to trade wars...something that devastates everybody.

What the Mexican govt does within Mexico is hardly the fault of the WTO.

And stop confusing the WTO with NAFTA. They are two different things.

Perhaps when you actually understand what they are, and what they do...without the ideology, you'll understand this walkout has just condemned millions to starvation.

And created more hatred for the US.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #16
25. I didn't think starvation was an issue here
The third world countries negotiating for better terms for agricultural export obviously are growing enough food. If they weren't, they should be selling crops to their own people rather than exporting them. If they are selling non food cash crops, they sell those well as before.
The third world countries walked out because they were going to get a bad deal. A bad deal would be bad in the long run even if it brought short term relief.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #25
30. You can't sell crops
to others in your own country if they have no money to buy it with.

And if you get no money for your crops...you can't grow any more.

And if you can't sell your crops on the world market, make money, grow more crops and hire people....and then have businesses build up around that....you starve.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 04:27 AM
Response to Reply #16
44. Who do you blame?
It was actually the poor African countries that walked out first, seeing that West was not ready to give in and do the right thing. Are you really blaming the poor countries for walking out?

I blame US and EU for ugly greed and lack of basic human decensy.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #44
60. Blame?
I blame the rich western countries for not dealing with a serious situation as it stands.

However, I personally would have handled it differently.

Waiting for the last day of the talks and then walking out means any solution has been put off...and in the meantime poor people suffer.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #60
82. OK
Your posts had me confused for a while.

So how would you have handled it?

I think they did great. Clear message: We take no shit no more!
Only way to make sure the rich guys understand they are serious and start taking them seriously and present something that CAN be negotiated, not the same old bullshit.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-03 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #60
101. so you are blaming the victim?
don't they always suffer anyways?

maybe they are willing to suffer some more till the west changes it's ways?

maybe they'll never notice the difference...

peace
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
el_gato Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #9
48. maple has no interest in serious discussion

right here maple you are jumping into inflamatory ideological rhetoric.

"condemn thousands to starve" that's nothing but a bunch of bull.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #48
61. You think so eh?
Well just because you are unaware of the seriousness of the situation on the ground in other countries, don't assume everyone is.

'condemn thousands to starve' is not rhetoric...it's reality.

Perhaps in your comfortable life that reality doesn't mean much, but it doesn't change the situation.

But hey, change the channel...watching starvation is soooo unpleasant.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #48
84. Starvation is not bull
but I agree maple could improve her communication skills. Bacause we need her expertise and opinions.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
StandWatie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #9
69. you have seriously been sold a bill of goods on this
No one is eating more because the WTO, as a matter of fact they are eating less. That's what these last "trade talks" were over. They wanted them to quit subsidizing domestic food crops. The WTO is a huge check-kiting scheme and it's purposely made difficult to understand through it's variety of alphabet soup agencies with humanitarian sounding names.

Do you seriously think the people who push WTO would be pushing it if it was actually good for people?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
15. There are problems with WTO
Bascially, WTO rules tend to favor larget international corporations. They often limit a nation state from making laws that regulate business. These are bad things. We should not assume that foreign investment is always good. Hundreds of years ago, this used to be called Colonialism. Ideally, developing countries in hospitable environments would grow food crops to adequately feed their population, grow exportable crops, and develop their own industry. Why should we think that citizens of developing countries are unable to this on their own on their terms? If the majority of workers are forced to work long hours by large international corporations just to avoid starvation, how is this helping them?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Corporations
have nothing to do with it.

The WTO is made up of 146 COUNTRIES.

The western countries subsidize their farmers....and poor countries cannot compete with that. They cannot sell their products on an uneven playing field.

They can't trade with each other...as they all have much the same products. They need to trade agriculture for computers and move forward.

They are being kept out of world markets because of western protectionism.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
FatbackSlim Donating Member (82 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. Exactly
Western farm lobbies are extremely powerful. The U.S. is bad, and Europe even worse.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #17
33. The U.S. grows the same products as well
Isn't that the issue here? We aren't talking about bananas because that our farmers don't grow them here. Some third world countires have additional resources as well as agricultural ones. Perhaps, for example, they might choose to have their own protectionist policies on their mineral resources. Which policy do you think would be changed first? Maybe, there are native citizens who would like to start their own computer company, why shouldn't their government be allowed to help the local industry?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. Each round
of WTO talks solves a different problem. And since there are a lot of countries there are a lot of problems and it takes time.

And since no country is self-sufficient, trade helps everyone.

You can make computers far more cheaply than Ethiopia can.

Ethiopia can do some things far more cheaply than you can.

The trouble starts when one country wants to be all things to all people.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Resistance Is Futile Donating Member (693 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #17
37. The myth of national representation
The WTO is made up of 146 COUNTRIES.

That's a nice theory. Unfortunately for your argument, many of these 'countries' are little more than hollow shells that argue exclusively for corporate interests. America is a prime example: when the American trade representative speaks to the WTO, he's not speaking for anyone other than whichever multinational happened to give the largest bribe to the party in power. There can be no such thing as free or fair trade when the rules are written for the exclusive benefit of only one class of players.

It's only in this round of talks that the remaining non-corrupted national governments have had the resolve to tell spit in the face of the representative of business and demand a fair deal. We will all be better off as a result.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. Oh do be serious
Honestly, go read up on these countries.

That's taking ideological claptrap waaaaaay over the limit.

I hope you like seeing famine victims, and being hated...because that's what it's done.

Now the WTO has to start over to try and straighten out the politicians counting votes, and get rid of those damned subsidies.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 04:44 AM
Response to Reply #17
45. Corporations
have all to do with investment rules, privatization, patents, GATS, etc., all that shit that EU and US distorted South to accept for very minor diminishing of agrisubsidies.

By not agreeing to these the South is actually helping the working people and poor in the North by protecting public services also here, and we should be gratefull. We are obliged to pay back and force our governements to simply accept the demands of the G23, without unfair price tags.

Go Lula! Go Mbeki! Global revolution does not happen in a day, but the forces of good are starting to fight and the people of Earth will win!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #17
49. It's the corporations who control the governments, Maple...
Modern-day governments have shifted from a role of representing the public interest to blatant cheerleading on behalf of big business. That is one of the most major failings of the international trade system as it currently stands. Hell, many of the US delegates to the WTO are quite often corporate executives and senior officials in the Chamber of Commerce!

So, while you are technically correct in stating that the WTO is made up of 146 countries, the fact is that it is the corporate interests who call many of the shots. This is why there was such staunch insistence on the part of the US and EU that developing nations liberalize their financial markets (a surefire method to starvation, as even the IMF loan shark consortium has begun to acknowledge) despite the fact that they have not budged one iota on agricultural subsidies or generic drug patents.

One of the best books I read on this subject is The Silent Takeover by Dr. Noreena Hertz. Perhaps the best thing about the book is the way in which it explores all sides of this issue, without presenting a clear intellectual bias like a Naomi Klein or Thomas Friedman. While you may work on these issues as a consultant, it would be wise of you to remember that there are many of us out here who dedicate a great deal of time as activists on this issue -- and while we may not have the formal education, we do make every attempt to educate ourselves as to how these issues are truly affecting the people on the ground. And you might just realize that some of us can offer up some insights into the realities of "free trade" that you can easily miss while viewing it from the think tanks, boardrooms and law offices.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #49
63. Ah yes, it's always a conspiracy
by those big bad corporations....without which you'd be on a street corner with a tin cup.

Of course corporations get a say in govt...as do farmers, unions, civil rights groups and everyone else.

Politicians go by votes, and corporations are not autonomous entities....they are made up of thousands of people who may all vote quite differently than any company would want them to. The 'corporation' not being a person...doesn't vote.

Politicians will go for any 'group' who can deliver votes. Donated money might be nice in big chunks, but it can be raised in other ways.

However, votes count any way you look at it.

The only time politicians favor corporations is if they promise jobs....because then they look good to ....the voters.

People vote based on their pocketbooks...and most people don't much care who else gets hurt as long as they're alright.

So if farmers as a group demand subsidies...they tend to get them.

Corporations as such would be far better off with expanded trade, not less of it.

If you are selling a farm product...then you want more farmers around the world, and doing well enough to be able to buy them, not just a few in the west...and certainly not just a few being paid NOT to farm....because then they don't need your product.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #63
68. Reducto ad absurdum -- same old, same old from Maple
Ah yes, it's always a conspiracy by those big bad corporations....without which you'd be on a street corner with a tin cup.

What I am talking about here, Maple, is not the "inherent evil" or "conspiracy" of corporations. What I am talking about is the undue influence they have on government policy here in the US, led first and foremost by the manner in which political campaigns are financed. It's nothing less than legalized bribery, in which those with the most money get the most access.

As for your argument regarding other groups being given a place at the table, it doesn't hold up. I've done work with the Clean Elections campaign here in NY, and we discovered that corporate interests donate ten times as much money to political candidates as organized labor does. When it comes to some of the other groups -- environmentalists, civil rights groups, etc. -- the ratio is even more staggering. Yet, we are supposed to believe that these groups are given the same access as those who directly fund the politicos' campaigns? :eyes:

While grassroots organizing can win seats here and there, it simply cannot compete with the current system. And until the current system changes, you are deluding yourself if you choose to ignore the links between campaign finance and corporate influence on government. As it stands now, much of government is little more than a cheerleader for corporate interests than an entity dedicated to protecting the greater public interest.

As for the issue of votes, the political scene is filled with an attitude of cynicism, which helps explain declining voter participation coupled with a significant RISE in non-electoral related activism. This climate of cynicism only helps those who are committed to preserving the status quo -- namely, those with the most capital. Of course, they have to get people to buy into what they're selling in order to succeed.

Some of us just ain't buyin'....
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-03 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #63
96. or how bout a concerted effort by a certain group?
Edited on Tue Sep-16-03 01:22 PM by bpilgrim
that can be eassily identified by examining the policies comming out as well as looking at the people who produce the policy and understanding their interest.

the obvious conclusion is corporations after studying the facts.

and you are right it is a conspiracy but no longer a therory as it has now been WELL documented.

the real question is how do we put the peoples interest ahead of the corporations since in the end it is harmfall to ALL our health since corporation have as their guiding principal PROFIT over EVERYTHING including PEOPLE - and has this has not only been demonstrated by studying historical results but also taught in our best universities and trumpeted proudy across countless numbers of company press releases - which is what makes this issue so very serious.

now if these 'strains' in the system are allowed to take it's historic course - in a broad sense of course - we can only be certain of looming disators for all of us.

now i am certainly glad to hear your heart is in the right place - wanting to help people over corporations, etc - please take the time to understand how this issue is seen by your 'critics' in order to better serve your own goals since often times your 'critics' have certainly the same 'agenda'

peace

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #49
87. Events prove you wrong
You are claiming that corporations control the WTO just after a group of poor countries bring trade talks to a grinding halt? LOL! The fact that the poor countries of the world were able to band together and put an end to their exploitation is proof that you are wrong. Corporations do not control the WTO, the group works by consensus. I would think a person of your political leanings would favor that...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #87
90. Dammit, Nederland -- stop dealing in half-truths!
Edited on Mon Sep-15-03 02:08 PM by IrateCitizen
Implicit in my argument is that I am referring to RICH countries, not poor ones. Here in the US, we have a system of legalized bribery made to seem harmless under the label "campaign financing". What this has led to is the government moving from being at least moderately concerned with the public interest, to becoming an outright cheerleader for commercial interests over all.

And the fact that none of these issues have yet been worked out -- especially considering how many times the US and EU have reneged on promises to address agricultural subsidies, while instead insisting that poor countries liberalize their financial markets -- and that the developing world has not been able to levy serious sanctions against the US and EU, proves the extent to which the industrialized world has controlled the process. Of course, with the ascension of the G-23, led by Brazil, this does seem to be changing somewhat.

Corporations do not control the WTO, the group works by consensus. I would think a person of your political leanings would favor that...

It is quite apparent by your post that you don't know the first thing about my political leanings. What is apparent is your portrayal that all of these events occur in a vacuum, that there has never been EXTREME leverage placed on the developing nations by the US, in the threat of cutting aid packages, nor that it may just be possible that corporate interests buy influence within our government through legalized bribery. Instead, all of these events are to be compartmentalized, with none having any bearing on the other.... :eyes:

ON EDIT: See post #88 below for the reason why this organization is NOT truly democratic, as you so loudly proclaim.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #90
91. No half truths
Just simple truth.

Fact: The poorer countries of the world brought the trade talks to a halt.

This is a fact, Chris. Not a half truth. A fact.

This fact demonstrates that it is not true that the "industrialized world has controlled the process" as you maintained in post #90.

This fact demonstrates that is not true that there is a "lack of bargaining power for the poor countries" as you maintain in post #88.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #91
92. What was then is now different
It is true that industrialized world HAS controlled the process.
It is true that poor countries HAVE lacked bargaining power.

That means in the PAST. Now it seems that things maybe changing.
This, my friends, is the whole truth... now, please try argue about something more meaningfull. ;)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
cprise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-03 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #91
94. yes, they gave the WTO its chance
...and now they're dumping it because the power brokers at the WTO will not make appropriate concessions for poor nations.

Dumping the WTO is their last resort after having suffered unfair trade practices. Whether the rules seem fair but serve only as good PR for unfair practices, or the rules are being written to stack the odds against the poor, the WTO is not cutting the mustard.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-03 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #90
100. some can not admit to any of our wrongs no matter how obvious, extreme
or how much evidence may exist... just look at the a-bomb threads.

:hi:

peace
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-03 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #87
99. that poor countries are only left with walking away from the talks show
clearly who is in control of the WTO.

only the corporations are in favor of maintaining the double standards it would appear to most.

though those biased towards the corporations of course will see/spin it another way.

peace
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
21. "One size can't fit all"
Commerce and society are too damn complicated to boil it all down to single global formulas. Hopefully this is the beginning of a recognition of that.

These treaties shouold be negotiated bilaterally between nations, or regional blocks, instead of a cabal of unelected bureaucrats meeting in secret with big business dictating the terms to the whole world.





Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. Yes, one can
it won't be a completely level playing field for some time, as you have to solve each problem in turn. But eventually it will happen.

Bilateral trade agreements are problems because then everyone has different trade rules.

You would trade differently under NAFTA than you would with the EU for example....because the deals would be different.

We need to standardize it everywhere.

And please stop with all this nonsense about unelected bureaucrats meeting in secret .....you elected the govt...and the govt sends professional people...people who understand trade...to the meetings.

You don't send Fred from down the street because he's a nice guy, and travelled to Acapulco once.

And none of it gets passed until the govts pass it....no matter what the trade delegates put forward.

And since it involves 146 countries....no one is 'dictating to the whole world'

It IS the world
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. Different countries have different laws
For example, the U.S. has a law that requires businesses to pay time and a half to employees for hours worked over 40 hours per week. Some other countries do not have this law. Wouldn't we be all outraged if the WTO made rules that stated that overtime pay was an inpediment to trade? This is the sort of thing that many third world countries are facing. They are being forced to change their laws that benefit their people in the name of fair trade.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #27
32. And that's the whole point
Standardization on trade throughout the world.

Level playing field.

And the idea is to harmonize laws...and harmonize them UP.

It simply takes time.

With 146 countries involved, and all their laws, it can't be done overnight. It takes years to do it. And it both helps and hurts everyone while it's all being changed over.

And at the moment their huge labor forces that work more cheaply than here are all those countries have going for them.

You use your advantages...so they will naturally use theirs.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. How do we know they'll be harmonized up?
I know that you believe differntly, but I believe that the WTO helps large corporations the most. You have to admit that they at least benefit. As they develop more power throughout the world, don't you think that they might influence people so things even go more their way. The people who they send for negociations are not elected officials, they are members of the elite who may have their own business intersts as well. You may trust their intentions. I do not.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. Because that's the framework originally set out
When there are two standards...you pick the best practice, and move to that.

Between Canada and the US it's minor moves by both of us.

Between us (the US and Canada) and Mexico...it's a major step for them, so it can be uneven movement.But that's the direction

And the large corporations would benefit from world trade, not be hurt by it. The more trade there is, the better off they are.

Trade specialists are a distinct profession...they are not CEOs

Most govts send the people from their trade depts...ministers of trade and the dept employees.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Resistance Is Futile Donating Member (693 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #24
38. Dictating to the world
And since it involves 146 countries....no one is 'dictating to the whole world'

What else would you call it when the representative for Monsanto--err, representative for America--demands that the biotech industry must have the legal right to engage in biopiracy (that is, patenting traditional medicines and suing pre-existing users for patent infringement) on pain of the world's largest economy walking out of the process and rendering the entire round meaningless?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. I think you've rendered yourself
right out of the conversation if you can't be bothered to be more informed than that.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Resistance Is Futile Donating Member (693 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. Answer the question
What do you call it other than 'dictating to the world' when the representative for business threatens to pull the United States out of the process unless the rest of the world agrees to economically unsound concessions that benefit business at everyone else's expense?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #40
42. A valid point was made
That sort of thing does happen. The agriculture talks failed because some third world countries stood up for themselves. You are saying that they should have accepted the bullying of the industrialized countries and accpeted the agreement which was clearly not in their best intersts. Every country has their problems, which are best dealt with on their own if possible. If they need help from other countries, they should not be forced to accept other problems for help with one.
I know that you have bought into the whole idea that WTO is a benevolent organization that genuinly wants to help all the poor people of the world. I believe, however, that the WTO seeks to benefit large corporations at the expense of third world citizens. In time, we will see which one of us is right. Human civilization has existed for thousands of years before WTO. I don't think its disappearance would be as dramatic to most third world citizens as you claim.
I need to go to work early tomarrow so this is what I will leave the thread with tonight.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 05:25 AM
Response to Reply #42
46. The whole thing is HUGE
I don't think anyone is saying WTO is a benevolent organization, up till now it's been exploited by corporate interests of rich North and.

Some, like you, are saying better to get rid of WTO. I think you are wrong.

What happened, what is happening, is that people and the most uncorrupted governements of South are demanding truly fair trade and global equality, and they are now taking over WTO. WTO works on one vote/country system, so let's dare our EU and US to put things up to vote and let the majority win. From this point on there are three possibilities:

1. Divide et impera. US and EU bribe and distort poor countries on bilateral basis and succeed to break the G23. They tried this also now, but did not succeed, hopefully South remains tough and not easily corrupted. This is the worst scenario.

2. WTO is irrelevant. EU or US or both abandon WTO for good and consentrate on bilateral trade. Hard to know what will happen in that case, but there is possibility that WTO goes on without them in some form or other and US and EU end up more isolated.

3. I have a dream! EU and US accept the demands of the majority and WTO is transformed to represent the whole world instead of corporate interests. Global social justice and fair trade are being promoted.

Now is the time to challenge Democratic presidential candidates on their WTO policy, inform them and demand answer. Nothing will happen if the progressive people in US and EU don't activate and demand change to their leaders WTO-policies. There's no better time than pre-election time.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #42
64. I said nothing of the sort
I said I personally would have handled it differently.

I wouldn't have waited until the last day of the conference and then walked out....that just postpones any solution and in the meantime people suffer.

2/3 of the WTO is made up of developing countries...so no, they aren't keen on helping corporations at the expense of poor countries.

You should be more familiar with the organization before you go attributing motives to them.

Human civilization has lived from hand to mouth for most of it's existence....and had famine and wars.

The idea is to end that cycle and create the most prosperity for the most people.

Hence the WTO.

Since your country is being asked to give up subsidies in this round, it's easy for you to talk about eliminating organizations working to equalize things.

Developing countries don't have populations able to go off to work today.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #40
51. When you deal in pithy one-liners, Maple, expect responses in kind...
You have said numerous times that you work as a consultant in trade matters. If you truly do, then your insight into these matters would be more than welcome.

But, unfortunately, all I ever see from you on this subject is a series of short, pithy statements given with an air of slight condescension for anyone who might have the audacity to question what the "experts" are doing. To be quite honest, if I wanted someone to talk to me on these issues as if I'm the village idiot who can't be expected to grasp such a complex subject and instead should just repeat the mantra, "Free trade creates jobs," over and over again -- I could just read Thomas Friedman's mind-numbing editorials on the subject in the NYT.

But I'd rather work to understand this phenomenon a little bit better, and that's one of the reasons I read on it as much as possible -- and engage in discussions here.

In short, instead of talking down to those who disagree with you, a strategy that is guaranteed to prevent them from listening to you, why not address the substance of the argument in hopes that ALL parties might learn a little something? Perhaps, then, we can work together to address the many failings and shortcomings of the current system, and truly work to impress greater egalitarianism throughout the world. :shrug:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #51
65. Sometimes one-liners
are the only response possible.

When people announce over and over again that evil corporations rule the world, and that global organizations like the WTO should be disbanded because of that....because they are unaware, or ignore the fact that 2/3 of the WTO is made up of developing countries....in spite of all the articles posted on it....what else can be said?

You can't reason with ideology.

So after awhile, I don't even try. I simply repeat the basics.

Eventually some of the posters will get over the sixties, and the love of ancient protests and start dealing with the problems of the 21st century.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #65
71. Hello, pot... may I introduce you to kettle???
Eventually some of the posters will get over the sixties, and the love of ancient protests and start dealing with the problems of the 21st century.

As one of the posters who is not a big fan of "free" trade but, nevertheless, recognizes the absolute necessity of an organization like the WTO, it amazes me that you are completely unable to respond to something I write without some sort of condescension. I reply to you, asking for constructive engagement -- and this is what you give in return. :eyes:

By doing so, no matter how much insight you may have into these matters, you have made yourself someone whose opinion has absolutely no meaning to me. You said above, "You can't reason with ideology."

Pot, meet kettle.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Cheswick2.0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #40
55. Maple you just lost the debate
Edited on Mon Sep-15-03 11:08 AM by Cheswick
calling someone uninformed and not bothering to back up your opinion that the person is uninformed makes you the loser.

WTO is a Corporatist tool, simple yet true.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #55
67. Nah I didn't
And if after reading the thread, and all the other ones posting factual information, you can still rant that ridiculous mantra 'the WTO is a corporatist tool' then you are willfully and deliberately uninformed.

Your problem, not mine.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #67
77. Maple you argue your case like a 10 year old kid.
Edited on Mon Sep-15-03 12:11 PM by JohnyCanuck
Not even a high schooler.

Edited subject line to remove misleading n/t (no text) reference.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 06:41 AM
Response to Original message
47. Activists shouldn't rejoice at Cancun's failure.
Patrick Nicholson of the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development warns against gloating, for the faliure of Cancun will have bad effects for the third world.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3108690.stm

A deal at Cancun that reflected the concerns of developing countries could have lifted millions of people out of poverty. The World Bank estimated that 144 million people in the Third World would benefit from the new round of trade talks.

A fair deal for the poor would have had to involve the EU and US accepting some painful concessions. Their system of supporting their farmers with $300bn per year is a scandal.

With the rich countries turning more and more to bilateral deals, developing countries will be in even weaker positions to get fair trade rules.

The WTO must not be allowed to fade into irrelevance.



Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
el_gato Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #47
52. as if we are supposed to believe World Bank propagnada

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #52
58. But el_gato, that still doesn't reject the underlying premise...
... that we, as activists, should NOT rejoice at the overall failure of the meeting. In fact, this is playing right into the hands of US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick.

Zoellick would much prefer if the WTO were scrapped, because then he would be free to really "divide and conquer" developing nations through strictly bilateral trade deals -- something far more destructive than the current process.

While the WTO is extremely broken, it's all we've got right now. So the aim should be to shift its focus rather than simply saying we're against it. George Monbiot has written a lot on this lately, and I tend to agree with much of what he says on the issue.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #52
70. No I'm sure
old dippy-hippy propaganda is ever so much more informed. Hah!

Apparently you think that buzz words and outdated ideology will defeat factual knowledge every time. Not so I'm afraid.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
el_gato Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #70
73. again with the name calling from maple

your not helping your cause maple

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SeattleRob Donating Member (893 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #47
53. WTO, NAFTA, et al
When you look at these various trade agreements, it is apparent that they were written BY corporate interests FOR the benefit of corporate interests. Environmental standards and workers rights are not part of the picutre. These trade agreements are a race to the bottom - corporations seek the cheapest labor and the least amount of environmental regulation.

The WTO, with it's secret tribunals, sovereignty issues, and undemocratic practices needs to be reformed or scrapped. In November of 1999, people in my city, after months of teach ins and education marched in the streets and helped shut down the WTO.

Unfortunately, the corporate media does not discuss these issues in detail. Like most issues, the voice and interests of everyday ordinary people are left in the dust.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #53
56. BBC
has done good job at reporting on WTO, presenting views from all sides, and raising people's awareness.

What happened in Seattle was great, but direct action is no more very helpfull as tactic to reform WTO. The fronline is now Social Forums, engaging politicians and economists in constructive dialogue and supporting developing countries takeover of WTO.

Word
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SeattleRob Donating Member (893 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #56
57. Direct Action
In our system of Democracy, when our elected representatives fail to listen to the people, then Direct Action is our only means. Look at the Iraq War, millions of people around the world marched on the streets against it.

In this country we had huge rallies. The people had to take to the streets because our congress gave Bush a rubber stamp for war and the media (for the most part) was too busy waving the flag to ask any critical questions.

That is why people here in Seattle were compelled to take direct action against the WTO. This action, despite the awful coverage by the corporarte media, resulted in more people asking questions about
the WTO.



Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #57
81. I agree
Like I said, Seatle started the whole thing and it was wonderfull.

What I'm saying is that in current situation violent direct action is not the _best tactic_ regarding WTO. It gives media opportunity to talk only violence, lable the WTO critics as violent anarchists and not touch the important issues. It is simply not good PR. Developing countries said in Cancun that direct action is not helping at the moment, maybe we should listen to them?

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #53
72. If you believe all that nonsense
then you have no idea what's going on.

And it's that kind of silly protest in the streets that holds up help to the poor of the world.

Watch people starve on TV..and know that you helped them do it.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
el_gato Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #72
76. Tell that to the people of Argentina

your delusional maple

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Aries Donating Member (544 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-03 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #72
95. The workers of Mexico have a good idea "what's going on"...
and it's not so good for them:

The impact of NAFTA on wages and incomes in Mexico

"...Between 1991 and 1998, the share of workers in salaried jobs with benefits fell sharply in Mexico. The compensation of the remaining self-employed workers, who include unpaid family workers as well as small business owners, was well above those of the salaried sector in 1991. By 1998, the incomes of salaried workers had fallen 25%, while those of the self-employed had declined 40%. At that point, the average income of the self-employed was substantially lower than that of the salaried labor force. This reflects the growth of low-income employment such as street vending and unpaid family work (for example, in shops and restaurants). After seven years, NAFTA has not delivered the promised benefits to workers in Mexico, and few if any of the agreement's stated goals has been attained...

...Despite a quick recovery from the 1995 peso crisis and a peak 7% gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate in 2000 (Figure 2-A), NAFTA still has failed to help most workers in Mexico.


Although foreign direct investment (FDI) in Mexico has continued to grow, total investment actually declined between 1994 and 1999 (Table 2-1). The only types of investment that have grown since 1994 are the maquiladora industries, reinvested profits, and stock market investments. Speculative flows of financial capital into stock market investments, in particular, increased, but overall investment in Mexico fell between 1994 and 1999. These inflows help explain the rapid-and perhaps unsustainable-growth in prices on the Mexican stock market in the late 1990s...."

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-03 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #72
102. protest seems to be the only thing that has worked in the past...
for making the ruling elite change their policies, look it up.

peace
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #53
86. Confused
The WTO, with it's secret tribunals, sovereignty issues, and undemocratic practices needs to be reformed or scrapped. In November of 1999, people in my city, after months of teach ins and education marched in the streets and helped shut down the WTO.

It was my understanding that the WTO ruled by consensus, and that's why the poorer countries of the world were able to bring the talks to a halt. If the WTO's structure gives poorer countries this power, what exactly do have a problem with? To me, this incident is proof that the organization is very democratic and working just fine.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #86
88. "Green room"
the problem has been lack of bargaining power for the poor countries, so that US and EU have been able to make deal between themselvels in private negotiation and then bully others to accept that.

The lack of bargaining power has been very concrete, the issues are extremely complex and a poor country that can send a delegation of two persons against the hordes of EU economists and other experts is naturally in very weak negotiation position. It is my understanding that in Cancun there has been a move to positive direction, WTO itself has started providing technical assistance and funding for the poorest countries so they can negotiate on more equal basis.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-03 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #86
103. do you have a link to the mettings transscripts?
thanks :toast:

peace
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
chadm Donating Member (480 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
54. Yes!!!
This is a tremendous victory for anybody who cares about social justice. Just take what the WTO has done to farmers in developing countries, for example. These countries are forced to accept US exports, which erode the local market for locally-produced food. Why? US agri-business corporations are subsidized by our government and, therefore, are able to sell for lower prices than un-subsidized farmers. Under WTO policies, developing nations must accept US product without taxing it to help out domestic farmers, who are also not allowed to be subsidized.

Every country ought to have a right to enact import tariffs if its people and leaders want to. This is just one example of how the WTO has been a force of destruction and hopelessness throughout the world.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #54
75. Apparently you are unaware
that this round is trying to eliminate those tariffs that prevent poor countries from selling on the world market.

You know...the kind of trade that would help them prosper?

Of course you want to keep your subsidiztion program and tariffs...to hell with anybody else.

Let em starve eh?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
el_gato Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #75
79. let em starve?

your style of discussion is inflamatory because
you have nothing to contribute

I guess it's okay for these countries to be subjected
to the powers of global corporate piracy as long as they
don't fight back and establish some kind of self-determination.

Local regulations that are intended to help local people are
being destroyed in the name of "free" trade, which is a misnomer
because it comes at a heavy price.

I'm all for fair trade but nothing like that is happening
through the WTO.




Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Liberator_Rev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
66. Jesus' solution: "Let those with TOO MUCH share with . . .
"Let those with TOO MUCH (more shirt than you can ever wear)
share with with those who have TOO LITTLE (no shirts at all)."

It can't all be spelled out here in a post-it box, however. Check it out at

http://www.LiberalsLikeChrist.Org/GODvsGreed .


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #66
74. The Devil in the details
Who gets to decided how much is too much?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #74
78. Oh it's not hard to figure out
..."The average cow in Europe earns more per day in subsidies (around $2) than the total daily income of the average cattle owner in West Africa. America's 25,000 cotton farmers received over $3 billion in subsidies last year, and can therefore undersell the 11 million people in West Africa who depend on cotton for their main source of income. Why is it farming, rather than mining or manufacturing, say, that makes the governments of the rich countries go into ultra-protectionist mode and spend money like crazy? "

...."Going into the Cancun summit, the rival proposals on agriculture from the rich and the poor countries are poles apart. The European Union and the United States, which together spend $370 billion a year on farm and food export subsidies while blocking food imports with tariffs as high as 350 percent, talk of modest cuts in subsidies and tariffs, but refuse to discuss actual figures at all. The developing countries demand deep cuts in rich-country subsidies and tariffs, and do not want to make equal cuts in their own tariffs against agricultural exports from the developed world."

....."Ending all agricultural subsidies in the United States and EU would save the average Western family of four close to $1,000 a year in taxes. Ending import tariffs would let developing countries earn between $30 billion and $100 billion a year by expanding their food exports to the rich countries, while cutting consumer prices in the rich countries."

http://www.gwynne-dyer.com /

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #78
80. Finally! Something to sink my teeth into!
And surprise, surprise -- I actually AGREE with the excerpts you've posted here, even though I'm one of those "hippy dippy" people who prefer simply to tilt at windmills, invoke conspiracy theories of corporate influence, and call for the dismantling of capitalism to only replace it with living in mud huts and a barter economy!

Farm subsidies are a HUGE problem, and one that the US and EU have reneged on several times before. It is a major stumbling block, and one in which the rich nations must agree to eliminate subsidies and open up their markets to poorer countries' agricultural products -- while also making certain that the farmers in these nations will be the ones reaping the benefits, thereby allowing their economies to grow and develop, rather than permitting agribusiness to get their foot in the door (much as Chiquita is trying to undermine Carribean banana farmers).

However, it is just one of an overwhelming multitude of problems -- many of which are caused primarily by the undue influence of corporate campaign contributions in rich countries, with the result being that the elected politicians are beholden to do their bidding. This isn't a conspiracy theory -- it's been proven in states that have passed public campaign financing laws here in the states!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #78
85. You didn't answer the question
Who gets to decide how much is too much?

Unless of course your answer is "Maple does"...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
89. After reading this entire thread
and the pathetic but brilliantly squashed arguments made in support of the WTO, all I can say is

I am so PROUD of Kucinich for having marched in Seattle, alongside environmental and union activists to protest the WTO in 1999.

I hope more people who care about this issue will look into Kucinich. There is a very detailed, organzied thread you can read if you want to know more.


Peace
---------------

US Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, a Democrat of Ohio, is a dynamic, visionary leader of the Progressive Caucus of the congressional Democrats who combines a powerful activism with a spiritual sense of the essential interconnectedness of all living things. His holistic worldview carries with it a passionate commitment to public service, peace, human rights, workers rights, and the environment. His advocacy of a Department of Peace seeks not only to make nonviolence an organizing principle in our society, but to make war archaic. His is a powerful, ethical voice for nuclear disarmament, preservation of the ABM treaty, banning weapons in outer space, and a halt to the development of a 'Star Wars' - type missile defense technology.

He has been recognized of his advocacy of human rights in Burma, Nigeria and East Timor. Together with the late Rep. Joe Moakley (D-Mass), he has led a concerted effort to close the School of the Americas, which has been an incubator of human rights violations in Central America. On the eve of the World Trade Organization's Seattle conference, Rep. Kucinich organized 114 Democrats to help convince President Clinton to seek human rights, workers rights and environmental quality principles as preconditions in all US trade agreements. Kucinich marched with workers through the streets of Seattle protesting the WTO's policies and with students through the streets of Washington, DC, challenging the structural readjustment policies of the IMF.

Congressman Kucinich acts upon his belief that protection of the global environment is fundamental to preserving the life of all species. He has been honored by Public Citizen, the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth and the League of Conservation Voters as a champion of clean air, clean water and an unspoiled earth. He was an early critic of nuclear power as being risky economically, and environmentally, raising questions about nuclear wasted byproducts. As a state senator he raised so many questions about a planned siting of a nuclear waste dump in Ohio that the idea was eventually scrapped. Early in his first term in Congress he thwarted an effort to repeal a provision of the Clean Air Act. As a congressional representative to the global climate treaty talks, Congressman Kucinich encouraged America to lead the way toward a sustainable, shared stewardship of the planet through carbon reduction, and investment in alternative energy technologies.

He not only believes in sustainability, he practices it. Congressman Kucinich is one of the few vegans in Congress, a dietary decision he credits not only with improving his health, but in deepening his belief in the sacredness of all species. In the 106th Congress, his call for labeling and safety testing of all genetically engineered foods provoked a $50 million advertising campaign by the biotech industry. Kucinich hosted an international parliamentary session, attended by officials of 18 countries, on the social, economic, political and health impact of genetic food technologies. More recently he was one of the principal speakers at an international conference on water rights, where he called for governments to reserve public ownership of water resources.

As chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (which is the largest congressional caucus). Kucinich has promoted a national health care system, preservation of Social Security, increased Unemployment Insurance benefits, and the establishment of wholesales cost-based rates for electricity, natural gas and home heating oil. When the Supreme Court rules that mandatory arbitration could be a condition of employment, Kucinich introduces a bill to reverse the Court's decision.

In his Cleveland, Ohio district, Kucinich has been recognized by the Greater Cleveland AFL-CIO as a tireless advocate for the social and economic interests of his community. He is currently leading a civic crusade to save Cleveland's 90 year-old steel industry and the thousands of jobs and retiree benefits it provides. While hundreds of community hospitals have been closed throughout the country, Kucinich led a powerful citizens' movement which reopened two Cleveland neighborhood hospitals. He was prepared to block a railroad merger at the Surface Transportation Board until he gained an agreement from the nation's largest railroads which improved rail safety while diverting a heavy volume of train traffic away from heavily populated residential areas. His promotion of rail safety improvements gained him the top award from the Ohio PTA in 2000. His efforts on behalf of Cleveland's poor gained the recognition of the National Association of Social Workers. He continues to be a local and national advocate for the homeless.

Kucinich first came to national prominence in 1977 when he was elected mayor of Cleveland at age 31; the youngest person ever elected to lead a major American city. In 1978, Cleveland's banks demanded that he sell the city's 70 year-old municipally-owned electric system to its private competitor (in which the banks had a financial interest) as a precondition of extending credit to city government. Kucinich refused to see Muny Light. In an incident unprecedented in modern American politics, the Cleveland banks plunged the city into default for a mere $15 million. Kucinich lost his re-election bid in 1979. Fifteen years later, Kucinich made his first step toward a political comeback, winning election to the Ohio Senate on the strength of the expansion of the city's light system which provides low-cost power to almost half the residents of Cleveland. In 1998 the Cleveland City Council for honored him, "having the courage and foresight to refuse to sell the city's municipal electric system."

Kucinich was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 8, 1946. He is the eldest of 7 children of Frank and Virginia Kucinich. He and he family lived in twenty-one places, including a couple of cars, by the time Kucinich was 17 years old. "I live each day with a grateful heart and a desire to be of service to humanity," he says

http://www.alliance21.org/forums/d_read/world-parl/part...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
whirlygigspin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-03 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #89
93. Read more about it
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Tinoire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-03 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #93
97. Cool...
Sound like my kind of people. Thanks for that link... I've added it to my growing anti-globalization and WTO links.

Peace
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ButterflyBlood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-03 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
104. I can't believe there are pro-WTO people here!
:wtf:

and yes, great news
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-17-03 02:25 AM
Response to Reply #104
106. Believe it! :)
But why?

Most of the "pro-WTO" have been extremely critical in the past, me included. What has changed our thinking? Why such influential thinkers like George Monbiot and Arundati Roi (sp?) now support the WTO process? The movement critical towards globalization has matured and moved on to getting results instead of just protesting, and in this development the dialogue held at World Social Forums has been extremely important. It is now realized that unlike with IMF and WB, WTO rules offer opportunity for democratic forces, NGO's and governements of developing countries to give a new direction for globalization, opportunity that should not be wasted. If US and EU will not respect the will of majority and choose to use their veto and abandon WTO, there will be other possibilities, but much more difficult, so it's worth to give WTO a try.

I'm certaint the new resolve and cooperation between developing countries that we saw at Cancun will spread to new forums, to new political arenas, and WTO process, no matter what the outcome, is helping to create that resolve. And what is the alternative for WTO? Bilateral trade where might makes right and corrupt US gov. can fully wield it's formidable bargaining power to big capital's advantage and to disadvantage of we the people.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-03 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
105. Cheers for the Poor People of the World! You haven't forgotten yourselves!
Just hang in there.....and stay strong!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Apr 16th 2014, 12:12 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (Through 2005) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC