Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Who writes the rules?

I see that Common Cause has brought a relevant question to the fore relating to the Trans Pacific Partnership. They would like to know (among other things):
Full disclosure of the names and affiliations of all “expert” advisors to and participants in the negotiation with access to drafts of the agreement
If the negotiations are in secret, then there must be something in there that a large majority of the populations of the affected countries would object to. It would seem fitting then, for the people affected, to know who has influence and access to the negotiations. Common Cause, along with a few other organizations, are gathering signatures calling upon our leaders to reveal the entities that have access and influence on the negotiations. It is a fact that in these negotiations, Middle Class America is not considered a stakeholder in the TPP.

Curiously, and with nearly perfect timing, The Roosevelt Institute has released a new report, "Rewrite The Rules". A team of economists and policy wonks headed up by Joseph Stiglitz, have assessed the problem of inequality honestly, squarely and in great, elaborate and documented detail. The summary? When you have power, the temptation for self-dealing is hard to resist.

From trade deals to international corporations, to anti-union laws and voter suppression, there is a concerted effort to create a captive audience of consumers who cannot afford to buy what they need unless they buy it on time.

For the past few years in America, 95% of the growth in the economy, all the new income created through gains in productivity, have gone to the top 1%. This is a policy choice, whether we know who writes the rules or not. One thing we can be sure of is that 99% of us have zero influence on the rules.

We need to know who writes the rules and tell them to rewrite the rules. It's that simple, but probably not that easy. People with power do not give it up so easily.
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