domingo, 25 de outubro de 2015

Aristocracy aren’t Satisfied; They Demand More


A new analysis of the Obama-proposed TTIP ‘trade’ treaty, which the U.S.
would have with Europe, finds that it was initiated and shaped by large
international corporations, which will, also according to the only
independent economic analysis that has thus far been done of TTIP
(Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), be the only
beneficiaries of the proposed Treaty — all at the expense of the publics
in each one of the participating countries.

This new study is titled «Public Services Under Attack», but it’s about
more than just the proposed treaty’s impacts upon replacing «Public
Services» by private services.

Corporate Europe headlined about this study on October 12th, «Public
services under attack through TTIP and CETA», and listed 15 of what they
consider to be the report’s highlights. The following will instead quote
extensively from the study itself, so that this summary will come mainly
from the report itself:

The study is »Published by Association Internationale de Techniciens,
Experts et Chercheurs (AITEC), Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO),
European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU), Instytut Globalnej
Odpowiedzialności (IGO), Transnational Institute (TNI), Vienna Chamber of
Labour (AK Vienna), and War on Want». So: it reflects a concern for
workers, and for the poor, not mainly for corporate owners — the latter
being the proposed Treaty’s sole sponsors and beneficiaries.

This new study opens by defining (page 8) «Public Service»: «Public
services are those provided by a government to its population, usually
based around the social consensus that certain services should be
available to all regardless of income». Another way of stating this is
that a «public service» is one provided to citizens as a right, available
to all equally, instead of as a privilege, available only upon the basis
of ability-to-pay. The «social consensus that certain services should be
available to all regardless of income» is repudiated in treaties like
this, because they reflect instead a «libertarian» (to use the U.S. term)
or «liberal» (to use the European term) viewpoint, that a person’s wealth
reflects that person’s contribution to society, so that no poor person
possesses any rights at all. (Supporting this viewpoint, Adam Smith, in
his 1762 Glasgow Lectures on Jurisprudence, said: «Till there be property
there can be no government, the very end of which is to secure wealth, and
to defend the rich from the poor».

He wrote this in a society and age in which virtually all wealth – or else
poverty – was inherited from one’s parents, not earned. He portrayed the
poor as being the enemies. Their rights were no more than their wealth, in
his view. He retained that aristocratic view throughout his life.) This
viewpoint is also often referred to as being «conservatism», because it
conserves the existing power-structure, with the richest (the aristocracy)
being the most powerful in the future, as they have been in the past.
Consequently, in the West at least, the ideological polarity is between
«liberalism» versus «conservatism», both of which are fundamentally the
same. Progressivism hardly even has a name, as of yet. (In other words:
the ideological ‘debate’ is bogus, and is shaped on ‘both’ sides by the

Therefore, proponents of Obama’s proposed ‘trade’ treaties call
themselves, variously, «liberals», «libertarians», and «conservatives»;
but only the terminology varies, because the reality does not.

The same section of the study says: «With free trade treaties like CETA
and TTIP, governments will lose policy space to organise public services
according to societies’ preferences by locking in liberalisation and
privatisation. This is raising great concerns about whether profit will
distort the ability of these services to be run in the public interest.
Moreover, government attempts to regulate them could be deemed ‘barriers
to trade’ and overturned».

The report’s Table of Contents is also something of a summary of the

Executive summary...3

1. Introduction…6

2. Dangerous liaisons: business, services, and trade…9

2.1 A brief history of services lobbying: the birth of GATS and ESF...10

2.2 Brothers in arms: the EU negotiators soliciting corporate

2.3 Systemic collusion: DG Trade’s calls for support...12

3. Business wish-list for Europe‘s public services...14

3.1 Public services: everything must go!...15

3.2 Dismantling public health...16

3.3 Competitive tendering: bidding for health contracts...17

3.4 Financial industry: a major player in services liberalisation...19

3.5 Procurement: attack on public utilities...20

3.6 Public Private Partnerships: profiting from austerity…20

3.7 Post: eroding universal service...21

3.8 Hollywood: fighting the cultural exception...22

3.9 Future proofing TTIP: digital trade in public services...23

3.10 Locking in privatisation...24

3.11 Protecting investment – endangering welfare...24

4. Rolling out the red carpet: how the EU bows to corporate demands...26

4.1 An ESF win: privatising everything but the kitchen sink?...27

4.2 Pleasing BusinessEurope: negotiating PPPs...30

4.3 Standstill: no backtracking from postal services liberalisation...31

4.4 Water utilities unprotected…32

4.5 Energy services: blocking policy space...33

4.6 On the rise: privately funded services...33

4.7 TNCs and the commodification of education...34

4.8 NHS: the sell-off of public health...37

4.9 Audiovisual services: nixing an exemption...39

4.10 Cashing in: the financialisation of social services...40

4.11 ISDS: defending a corporate privilege...42

4.12 Private tribunals adjudicating on public services...43

5. Conclusion: democracy and social justice, not trade deals threatening
public services...45

Here is the opening of:

3.1 Public services: everything must go

To ensure maximum coverage of services in TTIP, the powerhouse lobby
groups on both sides of the Atlantic, ESF and CSI, recommended a
particular negotiation strategy known as a ‘negative list’ which means
that all public services are subject to liberalisation unless an explicit
exception is made.

This ‘list it or lose it’ approach dramatically expands the scope of a
trade agreement as governments make commitments in areas they might not
even be aware of, such as new services emerging in the future (see box 7
on page 28). It marks a departure from the positive lists used so far in
EU trade agreements containing only those services which governments have
agreed to liberalising.

At the same time, transatlantic lobby groups are trying to prevent
negotiators from exempting any public services from the trade agreement.
Their alarm bells started to ring in February 2015 when the European
Parliament’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) drafted a TTIP
resolution asking for «an adequate carve-out of sensitive services such as
public services and public utilities (including water, health, social
security systems, and education) allowing national and local authorities
enough room for manoeuvre to legislate in the public interest».21 ...

Then, there is:

3.2 Dismantling public health

The public health sector is one of the main targets of business lobbyists
advocating for TTIP, hoping to capitalize on increasing health expenditure
driven by aging populations in both the EU and the US, while public health
sectors continue to suffer from fiscal pressures and harsh austerity
measures. For instance, the powerful Washington-based Alliance for
Healthcare Competitiveness (AHC) assembles companies and associations
representing service providers, hospital operators, insurers, producers of
pharmaceuticals and medical devices, as well as IT and logistics companies
(including Abbott, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, UPS, Intel, United Health
Group, CSI, PhRMA, and USCIB). It prides itself on being «the only
coalition advocating for the freer flow of health goods and services at
the healthcare sector level». 26

AHC complains that «today’s world of health care services is highly
restricted and fragmented», but an «open trading world for these services
would create a large new flow of revenue into the United States [to
executives and major stockholders of those companies]». …

Then, there is:

3.10 Locking in privatisation

Beyond prising open services markets, one of the central features of free
trade agreements such as TTIP and CETA is their capacity to effectively
lock in previous and future liberalisations and privatisations –
regardless of any government that gets voted in or what its mandate or
policies might be.

Apart from ‘standstill’ clauses irreversibly binding existing policies,
business groups further demand the inclusion of a so-called ‘ratchet’
provision which would effectively lock in future deregulations. ...

Then, there is:

3.11 Protecting investment – endangering welfare

Business lobbyists are united in their call to have a broad investment
protection chapter in TTIP, including the highly controversial
Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism (ISDS), granting foreign
investors the exclusive right to bypass international tribunals. One of
the overarching corporate aims is to prevent governments from any
regulatory changes limiting private profits.

Then, there is:

4.1 An ESF win: privatising everything but the kitchen sink?

Heeding the demands of the business lobby, CETA and TTIP apply to
virtually all public services … at best excluding some core sovereign
functions such as law enforcement, the judiciary, or the services of a
central bank.84 [In common parlance, as Grover Norquist has phrased the
matter, «reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and
drown it in the bathtub.»]

Then, there are sections indicating that postal services and also the
water utility are to be privatized so as to be available only only on a
for-profit basis: excluding or else prohibitively charging regions where
those services are unprofitable:

4.3 Standstill: no backtracking from postal services liberalisation

4.4 Water utilities unprotected

Education gets treated similarly. Then, there is:

4.8 NHS: the sell-off of public health

TTIP and CETA will allow investors domiciled in North America to exploit
liberalisations already undertaken in Europe’s public health sectors to
force through further market openings and to lock in past privatisations.
The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is an important case in point. ...

Then, there are several sections devoted to such things as:

Regulatory changes, such as new laws or taxes diminishing private profits,
may be seen as breaches of an investor’s «legitimate expectations»
justifying multi-billion euro payouts in compensation [to companies that
have been prohibited from activities by regulations, or even to the
violating companies that have been fined].


Thus, «indirect expropriation» lends itself to an extremely broad range of
interpretation. For example, tribunals have already denounced many public
interest regulations as measures «tantamount» or «equivalent» to
expropriation – and ordered states to pay multimillions of euros in


A major failing of this study is that it ignores such things as: Locking
in food, drug, automobile-safety, and other existing regulations, so that,
for example, when new scientific studies or else newly developed
technologies indicate that an updating of a regulation would save lives or
otherwise help the public, the regulation under TTIP and similar treaties
cannot be updated (except by subjecting the government to potentially
crippling lawsuits), which crippling of government will produce
ever-increasing numbers of diseases and deaths as government is frozen
even while science and technology continue to advance.

This is feudal. Fascism is to the industrial age what feudalism was to the
agrarian age; and this is fascism, but on an international or imperial
scope, perhaps even an emerging fascist world government — the exact
opposite of what the United Nations was founded in order to promote.

U.S. President Barack Obama was elected to office in 2008 with the promise
and public expectation that he opposed anti-democratic, pro-aristocratic,
initiatives such as this. The fact that he now goes even far beyond the
extremists Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in them, is virtual proof
that the United States is no longer a democracy. (At least those
candidates were honest about their conservatism.) Is the EU at all a
democracy? Or will they accept Obama’s global-aristocratic monstrosity,
and push for the aristocracy against the public, like the U.S. government
does? The hypocrisy is mind-boggling.

Anyone who wants to know the mechanisms by which Obama’s mega ‘trade’
treaties — TTIP, TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), and TiSA (Trade in
Services Agreement) — will operate, can find that machinery (the means to
enslave the public to the aristocrats) described here.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of
They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records,
1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created


Nenhum comentário:

Postar um comentário