Category Archives: Globalization

Joe Firestone: The New York Times Soft-Pedals the Dangers of the TPP

While the New York Times did a public service by joining Wikileaks in publishing a draft chapter of the TPP, the accompanying article is quite another matter. Joe Firestone has taken it upon himself toshred analyze it. The sad reality is that the Times is never going to oppose neoliberalism in a serious way.

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Gaius Publius: Astroturf “Progressive” Support for the TPP – Meet “270 Solutions”

It’s become routine to expose some of the supposedly organic proposals that come out of the Tea Party as actually sponsored by the Koch Brothers and other big corporate interests. We didn’t want to leave Democrats out in the cold in the astroturfing game. Gaius Publius discusses one ecosystem: a consulting firm, “270 Strategies” and one of its phony creations, the Progressive Coalition for American Jobs.

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Did Ireland’s 12.5 Percent Corporate Tax Rate Create the Celtic Tiger?

Offshore banking and tax haven expert Nicholas Shaxson has launched a new blog, Fools’ Gold, to look at issues of ‘competitiveness’ and so-called ‘competition’ between nations. We’ve often taken issue with that policy goal, since it gives precedence to crushing labor as a way of lowering product prices to stoke exports. This approach is dubious for anything other than small economies, since all countries cannot be net exporters. Undue focus on exports as a driver of growth results in increasing international friction, such as the currency wars that are underway now. Moreover, as we have discussed separately, trade liberalization has gone hand in hand with liberalization of capital flows, in no small measure due to US efforts to make the world safe for what were then US investment banks. Yet Carmen Reinhardt and Ken Rogoff pointed out in their study of financial crises, higher levels of international capital flows are associated with more frequent and severe financial crises.

In addition, lowering wage rates reduces domestic demand. In countries like the US, where the domestic economy is much larger than the export sector, lowering internal demand to stoke exports is misguided.

Here we look at a first case study, the real reasons behind the growth and meltdown of the famed Celtic tiger, Ireland.

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Nurses Unite to Stop TransPacific Partnership Fast Track

In case you haven’t noticed, nurses unions have emerged as a particularly powerful and credible labor/lobbying group. So it’s encouraging to see them use their bully pulpit to rally voters to contact their Congresscritters and voice opposition to the upcoming vote on so-called fast track authority for the TransPacific Partnership. I’m heartened to see, in the Real News Network video below, that the nurses’ representative puts forward compact, factually sound arguments as to why this misnamed “trade deal” is a sop to major corporations at the expense of citizens.

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Mathew D. Rose: Greece – Dead Man Walking

Rose focuses on an issue that reader Swedish Lex and other have pointed out: the heavy-handed actions of Germany in the tempestuous negotiations between the Eurozone and Greece have wound up being a major own goal.

But the bigger issue that Rose raises is that last week’s ugly negotiations, in combination with the fiasco in Ukraine, is exposing Germany as a lousy hegemon, which he argues is producing a political crisis in Germany and fracture lines in Europe.

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Gaius Publius: Tobacco Deaths, TPP and the “Trade” Courts

Obama’s pending trade deals, the TransPacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, have few fans at Naked Capitalism. But we are always looking for ways for like-minded readers to to alert friends and colleagues to the dangers of the proposed pacts and hopefully take action against them. This post gives concrete, accessible examples of some of the uses made of investor-state dispute settlement panels, which Gaius calls trade courts (even though they are actually secret arbitration panels) by Big Tobacco.

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