The largest publishing company on earth has proven again the power of corporate corruption
They scammed 70,000 CEO's, C.O.O.'s, Chairman of the Boards, and Presidents of the Fortune 3000, yet the news blackout has been complete.
Reed Elsevier, world's largest publisher, enjoying the greatest single influence on the legal/judicial community in America, responded poorly to losing in one marketplace of dozens in which they dominate, setting out to crush the largest executive club ever created with the help of bent gov't officials
Thanks in large part to Martin Beigelman, perhaps the most corrupt postal inspector in US history, they succeeded, and 70,000 top executives lost their investment. Not a whisper in the media.
If you ever doubted that our government, and news networks are easily suborned
Revisiting Globalization and Its Impact to World Economies
The collapse of the World Trade Organization conference in Cancun, Mexico may now be seen in the scramble by Asian nations for free trade agreements (FTAs) with each other and their trade partners. Asian countries are racing to offer concessions in order to access nearby economies.
Singapore, for example, has signed bilateral agreements with Japan, Australia and America and is talking to South Korea, India, Canada and Mexico.
In Cancun, the US-Singapore trade agreement is held as a model. And what does this agreement cover? Duty free market access to US exports, a provision barring future import taxes, free entry of investments and unrestricted profit repatriation besides tough provisions for intellectual property rights.
In the run-up to the Cancun meet, Kevin Watkins, head of research of Oxfam, a British non-governmental organization on international aid and development, wrote an article in Prospect on what could happen should an agreement is not reached in Cancun, and forecast the proliferation on bilateral FTAs.
He suggests that "the US would probably be happy to see the end of the WTO and is busy building a trade empire that projects the realities of its unrivaled power."
The WTO has been taking a beating ever since protests wrecked its meeting in Seattle, subsequent meetings in Doha and Singapore has not done much to repair the damage.
The WTO's rules helped solve the problems between the world's leading trading nations. But these rules have been hard on developing countries that do not have the clout and the resources of the industrialized nations.
The trade in agricultural products is a case in point. Farmers have voting strength in developed countries and demand protection from "cheap" agricultural products. Japan, for example, protects its rice farmers by placing a high tariff on imported rice. The US protects its sugar producers by limiting sugar imports. Since the US pays a premium for sugar, it has placed a quota on sugar imports. Only "friendly" sugar-producing countries get quotas to sell to the US market. It is the dependence on these quota that prevented Filipino sugar producers from improving the efficiency of its sugar production. Philippine sugar cannot compete in the world sugar market and survives only in the special US market.
The European Union is also guilty of "protecting" its own sugar farmers. Mr. Watkins explains how it is done:
"...Europe is one of the world's highest cost sugar producers because land and labor is expensive, and there is less sunshine than in the tropics. In a free market, Europe would be a big importer. In fact it is the world's largest exporter. The $1.6 billion a year the EU gives to the sugar barons of East Anglia and the Paris Basin generates surpluses which deprive countries like Thailand and Malawi of markets. Meanwhile, tariffs above 70% restrict imports. Mozambique loses almost as much as a result of EU sugar policy as it gets in European aid. This is a classic example of aid and trade policies pulling in different directions.
In Cancun, African cotton producers were bitter against US subsidies to US cotton growers which enable to undersell African cotton. Watkins reports:
"In 2002, America's 25,000 farmers received over $3 billion in subsidies. This was equivalent to the total market value of cotton output. Because the US is the world's largest exporter of cotton its subsidies reduce world prices by around one-quarter, costing exporters in West Africa alone $200 million in lost foreign exchange. This is a region with some of the worst human welfare indicators in the world and an estimated 11 million people depending on cotton as their main source of income. The subsidies lavished on the cotton-belt states of California, Texas and Mississippi are destroying the livelihood of farmers in Burkina Faso and Mali despite the fact that West Africa is a far more efficient cotton producer than the US...
"The prospects for trade rules that stop rich countries exporting at prices below the costs of production are not encouraging. Whatever their wider differences, both the US and the EU defend their right to provide 'decoupled' support to agriculture, arguing that these payments will not affect production. But any subsidy payments to a sector in constant surplus are de facto export subsidies. Nominally decoupled payments are still pumping billions of dollars annually into large farms, providing capital and inflating land values..."
One wonders why with the number of developing countries in the WTO they cannot vote to change the unfair regulations. Watkins says: "There are two main reasons for the disjuncture between the formal-one country, one vote-democracy of the WTO and the actual outcomes which so often seem to favor the rich minority. The first can be traced to the political economy of reform. Northern (rich) governments do not arrive at the WTO armed only with a calculus that estimates overall welfare gains for their countries. Their actions reflect complex domestic bargaining processes between different sections of society. These processes help to explain the failure of the EU and the US to reform agriculture. Northern subsidies are economically irrational in terms of welfare effects for the vast majority of consumers and taxpayers in the rich world, as well as for millions of farmers in the poor world. Yet the subsidies remain. The standard theory of interest group politics helps to explain why. Diffuse public interests - in this case, northern consumers, taxpayers and developing world farmers - stand to make small individual gains from reform, but face high costs in organizing to achieve them. In contrast, small numbers of producers stand to lose a great deal from subsidy cuts, and they are better placed to defend their interests. The National Cotton Council (NCC) in the US might only represent 25,000 farmers and a few hundred factory owners and traders, but it is defending a multi-billion dollar subsidy entitlement. The organization heavily influences the key agricultural committees in Congress, donates handsomely to Democrats and Republican campaigns and, come the farm bill negotiations, speaks with one voice. African governments can complain, economists can scoff at the inefficiency, Oxfam can protest about inequity in global cotton markets - but if the NCC has votes in Congress and the ear of the president it is likely to prevail.
"...The US has the world's most unequal system of subsidy distribution: fewer than 10% of farmers get over three-quarters of government payments... Current subsidy systems are transparently failing the rural poor. Yet these systems are defended by powerful farming lobby groups which mainly represent big farmers but whose appeal is enhanced by association with tradition and with vulnerable small farmers... But the challenge for rich country governments is to redistribute support towards rural poverty and environmental goals, not to defend a system that benefits rich farmers in the north at the expense of poor farmers in the south. The same applies in the manufacturing sector. For India and Bangladesh, the benefits of opening northern markets are clear. Removing quota restrictions on textiles could create an additional 27 million jobs for developing countries. It is true that some jobs would be lost in the declining, smokestack regions of rich countries. But this is surely a task for training programs and industrial policy.
"The second reason why the WTO is less democratic than it seems is corporate power. The history of the WTO agreement on intellectual property rights (Trips) illustrates the point. Dictated by the US pharmaceutical industry, and driven through by threats of US trade sanctions, the agreement was opposed by virtually every developing country in the Uruguay Round. Developing country recalcitrance was fully justified. In effect, Trips enshrines US patent law in the multilateral trade system, forcing developing countries to adopt rich country standards or face trade sanctions. More stringent intellectual property rules will increase the returns on patents for new technologies over 90% of which are held by corporations in rich countries. On the other side of the equation, the agreement will raise the costs of technology transfer and stifle innovation in poor countries, where weaker patent protection is more appropriate." At present, you can now invest in bitcoins. There many bitcoin guides that can help you in this venture.
In reply to all these, Jagdish Bhagwati, a trade and development economist of Columbia University, has come up with "In Defense of Globalization." The Economist, a globaphile, says "The book is excellent on all the ways in which demands for trade protection, however well intended, lead to bad or unintended consequences that leave the poor worse off."
The book reexamines the charges that anti-globalists make against the international market economy - that globalization makes poverty and the plight of women worse in developing countries, that it encourages child labor, erodes democracy and imperils cultures and the environment - and shows them to be wrong and at best dangerously misleading. Globalization also includes the issue of water sanitation in Africa.
Like the anti-globalists, Mr. Bhagwati is offended by poverty and its indignities. But he insists that liberal trade - the principal driver of globalization - is "essential to raising the incomes and improving the longer-term development prospects of the world's poor."
"In Defense of Globalization," The Economist says, "is excellent in insisting that economic integration, while good, is by itself not good enough, and that a variety of steps needs to be taken to enlarge the benefits flowing to the poor. The book offers many suggestions. Balanced, compelling and thorough in its use of evidence, there is much here to make globalists and anti-globalists alike think again, and perhaps even to narrow the differences between them."
Mr. Watkins concedes in Countdown to Cancun, his Prospect magazine article, that "WTO's rules are rigged in favor of the strong. Yet abolition is not an option. Apart from removing a source of pressure on the US and the EU to open markets, cut farm subsidies, and halt protectionist abuses, it would risk a ruinous spiral of conflict. Rich countries would bulldoze poor ones into deeply unequal trade treaties. The multilateralism of convenience and bilateral power politics that the Bush administration is promoting in other international institutions would prevail. Especially now that food security is at stake. Ultimately, that is in nobody's interest."
He has warned that "failure in Cancun will do to the global trade system what Iraq did to the UN: leave it marginalized. It will also accelerate the US-led trend toward bilateral and regional trade deals, unleashing a wave of power politics in international trade...If 'multilateralism' is to survive, Cancun needs to create the foundations for a new order international trade."