The TPP agreement on line

#1

The body of the TPP agreement, searchable:

openmedia.org/blog/washington-p … searchable

#2

What we’re not being told about the tpp:

#3

A bit late for that, eh?

#4

ISIS and global warming will render the TPP obsolete pretty soon…

#5

Looks like the TPP is dead after President Trump…what a bummer

#6

Why? Taiwan wasn’t even part of the agreement, arguably it’s existence was to marginalize China with whom Taiwan is joined at the hip when it comes to signing treaties. All of asia entering a trade agreement leaving out Taiwan and China would effect Taiwan very negatively.

Or lets say they did join, pharmaceutical companies make more money, patents and copyright claims get tightened, IPS have more oversight of the users, governments cede more power to corporations that challenge Governments who enter and compete, as governments like Taiwans do in so many areas such as water, electricity, transportation, communications government subsidized health care.

What was there about this trade deal you liked so much? Doesn’t seem to me it would have been helpful to the average citizen, quite the opposite. I suppose an argument can be made that large corporations would have thrived, generating even larger profits and taxes from those profits would be useful to the population. But lets be clear, this was a treaty that gave more power, both in the form of money and influence to corporations, at the expense of the general population and undermining sovereign states authority to make decisions for themselves.

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#7

[quote=“Mick, post:6, topic:88371, full:true”]
governments cede more power to corporations[/quote]

This is the only part I don’t understand. Why is the American “right” so hostile to something that empowers the private sector? I know there are other reasons to oppose the TPP like you’ve just stated, but if you worship anarcho-capitalists like a certain friend of ours does (though I realize not all Republican voters/sympathizers do), isn’t empowering corporations a good thing?

#8

[quote=“yyy, post:7, topic:88371, full:true”]

You ask a very interesting question yyy. The short of it, is the devil is in the details.

Imagine if you will, companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter (and this is one of many examples) who profit perhaps to the tune of hundreds of billions over something as simple and off the radar to most people as where data can be stored, what rules or laws permit them to sell user data, who owns uploaded information.

Perhaps, and this is the concern, Facebook, Twitter, Google, CNN, all start skewing their reporting and searches towards what is profitable to them.

edit/ I should add, I didn’t even address your power issue, that is a much more involved conversation which frankly I don’t even know where to start with.

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#9

I understand what you’re saying, but I can imagine a response like it’s called the free market, honey! Those companies are only powerful because they’re run by smart, hard-working people. You do what you want, so you get what you want. If you don’t like them, don’t give them your business. You are free!

I think I need a Randian analysis (paging @Rowland!), a Salernian analysis (paging @Jotham!), and a self-described public school twit analysis (paging @Finley!). I don’t intend to argue with any of these analyses, as long as they stay true to their Randian, Salernian & twittian values respectively. :slight_smile:

#10

There was a lot of talk about how companies will be suing the governments more too. Plus the ruling would be done by an international tribunal rather than their own court system. Companies Will Be Able to Sue Governments For Breaking TPP Copyright Rules

A lot of these rules are being made up as we go along and it should be obvious to anyone paying attention special favours and deals are being made. For example just a few days ago there was much outrage at the Republicans getting rid of a planned law prohibiting ISP’s to sell user data. On the surface that would have people scratching their heads, after all protecting peoples data is a good thing.

Until you start to see the shenanigans behind the scenes, such as up until last year the ISP’s were under FTC regulation, then for whatever reason they were moved to FCC control and this rule brought in which affected them but not the worst violators such as Google, Twitter and Facebook. Better to move them back to FTC control where they have always been and have comprehensive regulations that cover everyone and not just some companies and exempting companies that support you politically.

Serious laws need to be put in place and the lawmakers a way behind the technology. A couple of weeks ago while eating in a certain mall the wife got a call to ask her if we would like to try the health club (in the mall we were in). How did they know we were in the mall? How did they know her telephone number? I suspect the answer lies in Apps like Facebook and Google which can track a phones position and I’m guessing (not sure what they did was legal even, certainly shouldn’t be) were able to derive enough information to work out her name and telephone number too.

What I am describing I don’t think falls under “free market” at all, it’s an intrusion into peoples privacy and should be prohibited by law.

#11

Mick (and possibly @yyy), this is exactly why I don’t use twitter and facebook, and have a google/gmail account only as a backup. A lot of people don’t realise that if you have a mobile device, google tracks where you go using the GPS or dead-reckoning features. You can actually call up a map showing where you went at what time; and because Google has descriptions registered for many locations, Google can see exactly what you’ve done with your day, in intimate detail. It’s pretty freaky. You can switch it off, but it’s hidden behind layers of Google’s godawful UI.

Who knows what google do with that. Interestingly, it’s perfectly legal for them to do this (as long as you fail to opt out) but it would be illegal if it were a government or private investigator doing it. I’m not sure how that happens.

You could argue that this sort of thing needs to be fixed with legislation. Personally I think it needs to be fixed with PR, of the “do you know what Google are up to?” kind. If you don’t want shadowy companies fucking around with your personal data, don’t use those companies. I suppose the problem is that technology has now far outstripped the competence of the average person to understand it, but you can’t legislate intelligence, common sense, or technical aptitude.

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#12

Yes, same here, when Edward Snowden did a service in getting the ball rolling revealing this stuff, I was freaked. I have a Facebook account, but I never put my life on there or accept friends, very inactive, and try to stay logged out of these things as much as possible. On my “mood,” I always kept a quote that said, “Finally we have a President who listens to every American.”

And now we’re seeing that Obama has been abusing his privilege and access to classified information by spying on Trump and his aides via surveillance of foreign actors, and having Susan Rice identify the Trump-related Americans that were incidentally swept up in that surveillance. It’s difficult to convey the significance of this to average people, but it’s downright sneaky and precisely the reason why there needs to be more vigilance in this area.

#13

Is Rowland Randian? Actually, I’m thinking that about Winston Smith, at least the anti-military part, but he seldom pipes up about economics, which to me is the real treasure of the Austrian school. For what it’s worth, Paul Rand comes from the same clique as Salerno.

I think we’ve had this discussion before, or at least I remember broaching it before somewhere. You’re confusing cronyism with capitalism. They are opposite. When government helps businesses, especially at the expense of other businesses, that is interference in the free market, especially when it is at the expense of consumers.

If you want to know if something is free market or not, don’t focus on the benefits of businesses, rather the benefits of consumers, and that should serve you as a more-or-less accurate compass of what constitutes a free market.

As for TPP, what I’ve come to understand is that Trump wants to take this generic trade agreement made with many nations, and replace it with special deals that addresses specific needs and situations with each and every country included in this deal. He’s just redoing it better.

#14

I’m not sure if this is really true, since businesses are, after all, also consumers. As are the people who make up those businesses. The problem with mainstream economics, IMO, is that it fails to recognise that real economies are like those M.C.Escher paintings.

If you replace ‘consumer’ with ‘man in the street’, we’re probably in agreement. When governments interfere with markets - which you can’t stop them doing - they should be looking for the win-win scenario. There usually is one.

#15

Well, yes, but the raw materials that businesses employ in the process of making their final product is a whole different economic concept and vocabulary, and is part of the free market as well if not interfered with. I do mean the man on the street, however, who buys the end products.

When governments interfere, they should understand and cooperate with the market to be effective. When they don’t, stuff happens that they never expected or planned for. But it’s best when government interference doesn’t favor one industry or company in an industry over another, just as it shouldn’t favor one class of customers over another, which is all distortions of the private market.

For instance, when the government bailed out failing banks, they punished their competitors who were doing the right things who should have gotten the new disgruntled customers, and could have served them better. Moreover, they prevented more successful banks from rising up to take up the slack and replacing them with better business knack.

#16

Don’t take my word for it.

Comrade Smith recently described himself as an “ideological whore”. I guess the Miniluv has given up on him, the poor lost lamb. :idunno:

You’re confusing cronyism with capitalism. They are opposite.

So you’re a Milkerian? If you think about it, this position can be reduced to American capitalism is not true capitalism, a parallel of Soviet (or whichever kind of) communism was not true communism. Or in this case, the treaty that certain American capitalist interests were supporting would not have been true capitalism, yet the political messiah emerged from the private sector just in time and saved the world, but then you still have certain so-called capitalists who need to be sent to re-education camp because they’re ideologically impure. Is that a fair assessment?

When governments interfere, they should understand and cooperate with the market to be effective. When they don’t, stuff happens that they never expected or planned for. But it’s best when government interference doesn’t favor one industry or company in an industry over another, just as it shouldn’t favor one class of customers over another, which is all distortions of the private market.

But there’s a market for influence… (I won’t finish this paragraph because we would just go around in circles.)

#17

The state can’t force people to be intelligent per se, but it can break up large corporations.

Of course, if it comes to that, the corporations will simply have wanted to be broken up, right?

And if we’re born into a world where privacy is merely a historical concept, it’s because we wanted to be born into such a world, right?

Either way, have fun with your PR campaign. You can ask the anti-Uber crowd for tips. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

The problem with mainstream economics, IMO, is that it fails to recognise that real economies are like those M.C.Escher paintings.

I’ll give you that one.



#18

[quote=“yyy, post:16, topic:88371, full:true”]

Don’t take my word for it.[/quote]
Oooooh, you’re talking about Ayn Rand. Silly me, that’s actually the proper term for her followers, I don’t know why I thought you were referring to Paul Rand. Hm, I think she also adheres to the Austrian School, but not sure about the nihilism part. Alan Greenspan was one of her followers, and yet he irresponsibly lowered interest rates, which brought on the recession of 2007.

Probably most of American history and experience is based on the free market compared to Europe and perhaps even Britain beginning in the 1900s, but there is still much interference and socialism mixed with it. Theodore Roosevelt and Taft and later Nixon were Republicans who interfered heavily in the market, while Grover Cleveland (the most free market president of all) and Kennedy were Democrats and implemented supply-sided economics. I would have voted for Kennedy instead of Nixon. But no, America is not pure capitalism, even if it may be the best model for the world. If Grover Cleveland were president for all time, we may be close to pure free markets. But the experience of world history hasn’t seen pure capitalism except in pockets here and there for a short time. The Victorian Age in Great Britain was pretty good. America’s most free-market presidents were Jefferson, Martin Van Buren, Jackson, Cleveland, Harding, Reagan.

#19

Yes.

I think you still misunderstand (perhaps intentionally) my take on volition. I’m talking about making choices, and of course choices are circumscribed by certain hard realities. Nevertheless, there is usually a right choice and a wrong choice, or at least a bad choice and a slightly-less-bad choice.

A company being threatened by State violence, however well-intentioned (“we had to destroy the company to save it”), really has only two choices. One of those choices is to comply. It probably comes as an enormous surprise to you, but most businessmen are decent people. They want to do The Right Thing.

Since the other choice is to subvert the government - which, given enough money, is perfectly possible - the Right decision is to submit to violence and then pick up the pieces. That’s pretty much the history of humanity in a nutshell, isn’t it?

There is a book documenting the history of AT&T - I’ll look up the title later - which describes the thought processes in upper management under repeated onslaughts by the government. The majority of those men were extremely intelligent people who could see both sides of the argument; ultimately, they decided to comply because they believed they could turn vindictive destruction into creative destruction. Or, conversely, that money spent on fighting would have resulted in a Pyrrhic victory at best: they would damage their reputation and effectively renege on a deal they made with a long-defunct administration.

So are Facebook management just bad people? I don’t think so. I think they’re nerds. Perhaps a bit Asperger’s. They perhaps honestly believe that people don’t mind trading off a little bit of privacy for some great services. And you know what? They’re absolutely right. Something like 80% of the population of the Philippines (who, in the main, aren’t firing on all cylinders) have a Facebook account and make multiple daily posts. Someone wrote a master’s thesis on it. They absolutely love Facebook. They don’t care that Facebook knows everything they do, and can fire targeted advertising at them. They like adverts. They like buying things. Everyone’s happy. You’re not going to stop this unless you can convince Filipinos to set their sights on higher things.

The problem with your view - that the lawyers will save us - is that so far, they never have. The lawyers have always been pottering a few yards behind the history-makers, quills in hand, documenting what real people do.

#20

Ah, Finleyan logic! :slight_smile:

Poor people are poor because they want to be, but corporations are victims of “State violence” because they have no choice.

What’s wrong with “lawyers” (including legislators and activists) is that they want to do The Right Thing. What’s right about most businessmen is that they want to do The Right Thing.

So, if the TPP had succeeded, it would have been because Filipinos wanted it, and because Americans…? That’s the part I’m still not clear on.