Owl: TPP A Coup, 23-Count Indictment of TPP as High Crimes and Misdemeanors, UnConstitutional, What’s Not to Like?

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TPP: A Bloodless Coup Imposing Tyranny May be Near Upon Us [2015]

Richard Martin, an Internet financial radio pundit, sent the text below, written by Joe Firestone, to those on his email list. Note Martin’s key take-away comment on this text:

The governing functions of the TPP regime would not be exercised with the consent of the governed. The combination of the vague definition of “investment,” the ISDS criminogenic tribunals, and the elevation of the principle of “expectation of profits” above the principles of “public purpose,” “consent of the governed,” and “separation of powers,” is tantamount to the overthrow of democracy, preserving its form in national level elections, but emptying its elections of meaningful content in mandating change and conferring legitimacy on national authorities. And, further, the ISDS tribunals if in operation, would not exercise just powers, but only illegitimate power derived from the TPP agreement itself, negotiated in secret, passed without benefit of open debate based on the secret text of the TPP, and intended to remain secret for years after the TPP is signed. That makes TPP decision making, performed without the consent of the governed, tyranny, and makes those who want to pass the TPP guilty of conspiracy to create tyrannical rule of the few over the people of the United States and other TPP member nations.”

The 23-Count Indictment Of The TPP [2012]

By Joe Firestone, Ph.D., Managing Director, CEO of the Knowledge Management Consortium International (KMCI), and Director of KMCI’s CKIM Certificate program. He taught political science as the graduate and undergraduate level and blogs regularly at Corrente, Firedoglake and New Economic Perspectives. Originally published at New Economic Perspectives

To really appreciate what a travesty the TPP is, and the scandal of the failure of our Congress to reject it, and the “Fast Track Authority“ sought for it, out of hand, I’m going to list 23 negative consequences that would likely follow from it. Any one of these, would, by itself be sufficient for any representative of the people, Senator or Congressperson, to vote to kill it. I’ll offer this list in the form of stanzas appropriate for a chant, except for the starting point in the list.

The tune of the chant that might be used is the tune used for Dayenu, the passover seder chant in which Dayenu means “It would have been sufficient,” where the reference is to all the things the almighty is purported to have done for the Israelites on their way out of Egypt and during their wanderings in the Sinai. I’m sure the President is familiar with this chant since he has had seders at the White House more than once. I’m also sure that he never envisioned using Dayenu to highlight the horrors of one of his favorite projects, the passage of “Fast Track Authority,” the TPP, and other “free trade” agreements such as the TTIP, and the TISA, all of which would get “Fast Track Authority” if the present bill passes.

The Stanzas of the Anti-TPP Chant

  1. The TPP makes it easier to offshore more jobs now performed in the United States.
  2. If the TPP just made it easier to offshore more jobs and did not also generate increasing downward pressure on wages, it would still be sufficient to vote to kill it!
  3. If the TPP just generated increasing downward pressure on wages and did not also empower another 25,000 foreign corporations to use Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) tribunals to gut our net neutrality, environmental, health, labor and safety laws and regulations, it would still be sufficient to vote to kill it!
  4. If the TPP just empowered another 25,000 foreign corporations to use investor state tribunals to gut our net neutrality, environmental, health, labor and safety laws and regulations and did not also give big pharma new monopoly patent rights, it would still be sufficient to vote to kill it!
  5. If the TPP just gave big pharma new monopoly patent rights, and did not also provide for rolling back financial regulations put in place after the crash of 2008, it would still be sufficient to vote to kill it!
  6. If the TPP just rolled back financial regulations and did not also provide for banning buy local and buy domestic policies, it would still be sufficient to vote to kill it!
  7. If the TPP just provided for banning buy local and buy domestic policies and did not also undermine climate change and energy policies by constraining the permissible policies governments can use to implement them, it would still be sufficient to vote to kill it!
  8. If the TPP just undermined climate change and energy policies by constraining the permissible policies governments can use to implement them and did not also use an anti-democratic fast track process that gives Representatives and Senators no space to represent the range of people they represent, it would still be sufficient to vote to kill it!
  9. If the TPP did not just use an anti-democratic fast track process that gives Representatives and Senators no space to represent the range of people they represent, and did not also potentially prevent the Treasury from replacing the practice of issuing Treasury debt to fund deficit spending with alternative funding methods, it would still be sufficient to vote to kill it!
  10. If the TPP did not just potentially prevent the Treasury from replacing the practice of issuing Treasury debt to fund deficit spending with alternative funding methods, and did not also potentially prevent the Fed from using negative interest rate policies if it chooses to do so, it would still be sufficient to vote to kill it!
  11. If the TPP did not just potentially prevent the Fed from using negative interest rate policies if it chooses to do so, and did not also potentially force the US to bail out insolvent banks through ISDS settlements, it would still be sufficient to vote to kill it!
  12. If the TPP did not just potentially force the US to bail out insolvent banks through ISDS settlements, and did not also constitute ISDS tribunals as criminogenic environments with corporate advocates who play the roles of both judges and corporate attorneys at different times and who have substantial incentives to both drag out and sustain corporate suits against governments at all levels, it would still be sufficient to kill it!
  13. If the TPP did not just constitute ISDS tribunals as criminogenic environments with corporate advocates who play the roles of both judges and corporate attorneys at different times and who have substantial incentives to both drag out and sustain corporate suits against governments at all levels, and did not also turn over the legislative power of the Federal government to the investor state dispute settlement courts and the corporations buying their loyalty, it would still be sufficient to kill it!
  14. If the TPP just turned over the legislative power of the Federal government to the investor state dispute settlement courts and the corporations buying their loyalty, and did not also paralyze action by future Congresses that might reduce corporate “expectations of profits,” it would still be sufficient to kill it!
  15. If the TPP just paralyzed action by future Congresses that might reduce corporate “expectations of profits,” and did not also create a permanent political fight over repealing the horror of the TPP while the US economy declines year after year, it would still be sufficient to kill it!
  16. If the TPP just created a permanent political fight over repealing the horror of the TPP while the US economy declines year after year, and did not also create an unconstrained and unconstitutional trade agreement fusing judicial and legislative authority whose overnight judicial undoing would create international instability, it would still be sufficient to kill it!
  17. If the TPP just created an unconstrained and unconstitutional trade agreement fusing judicial and legislative authority whose overnight national judicial undoing would create international instability, and did not also demand that the American public ought to ensure them against the business risks they take abroad, it would still be sufficient to kill it!
  18. If the TPP just demanded that the American public ought to ensure them against the business risks they take abroad, and did not also insist on classification of the TPP drafts, hiding them from the public and making it an impossible burden for Congresspeople to evaluate them, and then on keeping the proposed or actual agreement secret so that the American people can’t even know what the law is that may result in international levies of many billions of dollars upon them, for four years after the TPP is either passed or defeated, it would still be sufficient to kill it!
  19. If the TPP just insisted on classification of the TPP drafts, hiding them the public and making it an impossible burden for Congresspeople to evaluate them, and then on keeping the proposed or actual agreement secret so that the American people could not even know what the law was that might result in international levies of many billions of dollars upon them for four years after the TPP is either passed or defeated, and did not also create the possibility that one ISDS case, decided by a biased three-judge panel dominated by attorneys who primarily work for corporate clients could deliver a financial crisis to an American State or local government, it would still be sufficient to kill it!
  20. If the TPP just created the possibility that one ISDS case, decided by a biased three-judge panel dominated by attorneys who primarily work for corporate clients could deliver a financial crisis to an American State or local government, and did not also provide multinationals protections against risk that would not be accorded to domestic corporations, it would still be sufficient to kill it!
  21. If the TPP just provided multinationals protections against risk that would not be accorded to domestic corporations, and did not also define “investment” so broadly that it applies to any asset that is either owned or controlled and therefore to any new regulation that may be passed by any democratic government placing chains on all of them and defeating the requirement of the consent of the governed, it would still be sufficient to kill it!
  22. If the TPP just defined “investment” so broadly that it applies to any asset that is either owned or controlled and therefore to any new regulation that may be passed by any democratic government placing chains on all of them and defeating the requirement of the consent of the governed,, and did not also prohibit “Buy American” laws and regulations, it would still be sufficient to kill it!
  23. If the TPP just prohibited “Buy American” laws and regulations, and did not also fail to provide a clear legal provision allowing regulating investments for public purpose through laws and regulations that would not be subject to the interpretations of ISDS tribunals dominated by representatives of corporations making decisions in accord with the principle that national level rule making must not interfere with the “expectations of profits” held by multinational private corporations, or to any other tribunals not subject to the consent of the governed, it would still be sufficient to kill it!

And finally, if it only fails to provide a clear legal provision allowing regulating investments for public purpose through laws and regulations that would not be subject to the interpretations of ISDS tribunals dominated by representatives of corporations making decisions in accord with the principle that national level rule making must not interfere with the “expectations of profits” held by multinational private corporations, or to any other tribunals not subject to the consent of the governed, then that alone would still be sufficient to kill it!

Conclusion

The governing functions of the TPP regime would not be exercised with the consent of the governed. The combination of the vague definition of “investment,” the ISDS criminogenic tribunals, and the elevation of the principle of “expectation of profits” above the principles of “public purpose,” “consent of the governed,” and “separation of powers,” is tantamount to the overthrow of democracy, preserving its form in national level elections, but emptying its elections of meaningful content in mandating change and conferring legitimacy on national authorities.

And, further, the ISDS tribunals if in operation, would not exercise just powers, but only illegitimate power derived from the TPP agreement itself, negotiated in secret, passed without benefit of open debate based on the secret text of the TPP, and intended to remain secret for years after the TPP is signed. That makes TPP decision making, performed without the consent of the governed, tyranny, and makes those who want to pass the TPP guilty of conspiracy to create tyrannical rule of the few over the people of the United States and other TPP member nations.

Right now, those who want to pass Fast Track Authority and the TPP, in the face of the 23 reasons, recorded in the 23 stanzas, for killing these things, any one of which is reason enough to vote to kill them, apparently number the President of the United States, most of the corporate media, a majority of the Senate, though perhaps not a majority of its Democratic members, a large number of Representatives in the House, mostly Republican, but including some Democrats, who may or may not reach a majority of the House with the help of a full court press corporate and billionaire-funded media campaign that we will see intensify in the coming days and weeks. So, these are the forces arrayed against democracy and for tyranny. These are the forces in back of the attempt of the elite to engineer a bloodless coup, that they hope will replace national popular sovereignty with globalizing corporate rule.

Will we counter them in the coming days and weeks and block Fast Track Authority and the TPP? The fate of democracy depends on how we respond to this question and on whether our loud public outcry can counter them successfully, and persuade some in the House and the Senate that it is dangerous for them to oppose the popular will. Let us not fail this test!

Regards,

Richard