Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

The corporate state extends its reach

Posted by Charles II on June 14, 2012

Two developments:

First, CISPA is not dead. To review, CISPA would permit corporations to treat your communications as public and, under totally arbitrary criteria, forward them to law enforcement. If somebody at Earthlink hates hollyhocks, he can read through your e-mails to discover you discussing sending the offending botanical to your Mom, and can forward it to the Department of Homeland Security with the subject line: Terrorist seeks to detonate floral fashion bomb. You find out and want to sue, too bad.

Sure, it’s unlikely to happen, but laws should be written well enough that they don’t permit outrageous behavior or, if it happens, they provide a remedy through prosecution or civil litigation. Contact your Senator and demand that the legislation be written tightly enough to prevent egregious bad behavior.

Second, a new piece of apparently poorly-written legislation called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being negotiated in secret. Although it’s called trade legislation, it has wide-ranging effects that would make national laws unenforceable, provide ridiculous protections to foreign firms, and allow corporations to loot the US Treasury without even the nicety of a court hearing.

As far as I can tell from the text of one chapter that has been leaked and the analysis by Public Citizen, the positive feature of the legislation are that it would prevent national governments from providing sweetheart deals to its own companies. This is something the Chinese are notorious for, it does promote corruption, and it’s fine to eliminate it in general. The negative features are that it would create a corporate supercourt, above even the ridiculously lax standards of the corporate-loving American courts, and would allow corporations to extract money for acts of legitimate national self-protection like, say, banning triply-leveraged options on penny stocks–things that have no legitimate financial function, but are a boon to speculators, stock manipulators, and outright criminals.

Maybe decent legislation can be salvaged out of this. But as long as Ron Wyden, who holds a security clearance, cannot even see the draft text, something is wrong. It sounds like an attempt to hustle things through and we should all take a moment to just say no.

2 Responses to “The corporate state extends its reach”

  1. jo6pac said

    After reading the TPP more than once the workers of this nation are doomed. The dorm rooms of China are the fema hospitality suites here in the Amerika. The main thing I get from this is corp. is no longer responsible for their actions not they have been in the past but this makes it impossible to stop them. It also puts small/medium business out of business. Corp. Amerika will do fine under this rule do to they’re global and can place foreign part of the business in the US. The other part where the corp. can sue the host nation and the money comes out of the Treasury, amazing. Then there’s the part were 0 doesn’t have to come to congress to start this, not that congress would stand in the way of this. I would say we as a nation have past the point of having a govt. for the people by the people. Its potus and then congresscritters if the prez wants to include them, serving their elite masters. I guess the final straw to break Main Street after this will be going after SS and Medi-Care. I’ll be voting Green because no matter whom you vote for between the big 2 they will do this.

    The first part about spying on us little people goes with this. They weren’t looking for bad guys that might hurt Amerika they’re only looking at who disagrees with them so they can be silenced.

    • Charles II said

      Only one chapter of the TPP is out. As an indication of how poorly written the document is, this chapter says that if anything in the chapter contradicts another chapter, then the other chapter prevails. So, I wouldn’t read too much into it yet.

      A lot of the bad parts of this bill actually are part of GATT and the WTO. China and Europe/US have been filing complaints in the WTO against one another. The WTO has supported or overruled tariffs and imposed anti-dumping penalties. The WTO argues that its rules are voted on by national parliaments. Considering how poor congressional oversight is, that’s little comfort.

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