Sunday, April 13, 2008

First Stop Pretending Treaties Aren’t Treaties And Go On From There by Anthony McCarthy

Part One of Three

The “three pronged approach” to changing trade policy in this article by David Sirota is better than what we’ve got now but it needs a few changes in light of experience with this kind of “reform” and how the elites make super-highways out of tiny holes. I’m taking them one at a time.

First, a proposal by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) would make new trade agreements harder to pass “unless they are accompanied by a more thorough financial analysis,” as the Washington Post reported. Their bill would end the practice of flying blindly into the free trade abyss by forcing the government to provide estimates of potential job losses with any trade pact. (That’s right Congress currently makes trade policy without even asking what the consequences are.)

Whoa! Who, looking at the ease with which those assigned to come up with these kinds of estimates lie or, at best, skew their numbers to find what those doing the appointing want them to find, would trust the estimates of potential job losses? I’d simply drop that “unless” loophole and just make these treaties harder to pass, period. You know, as if they were real laws because they are. Since the courts and other super-legal structures set up by these treaties have the proven ability to annul laws in the individual countries they should be called treaties and adopted only by the consent of those with the legitimate power to represent The People, those who we have elected. Putting the ability to bypass legislative consideration in the hands of “analysts” , whatever that can be made to mean, is dangerous and irresponsible.

No undebated, unexamined, treaty, not even if you call them “pacts”, “agreements” or any of the other terms invented to ram these deals through with minimal democratic input should be allowed in a democracy. These treaties have the power, through what amount to Super-Supreme Courts, beholden only to the elites who appoint them, to override laws made with the just consent of those governed by them. At least keep that level of democratic control, that we can vote out those who shaft us.