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Say No to Financial Ruin

bubble.jpgThe proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership is not only deleterious to our national health and safety, our labor laws, and our justice system: it could also hasten the disappearance of America's middle class.

For starters, the agreement heavily favors Wall Street and expressly bans financial transaction taxes. These are meant to stabilize the often volatile trade in stocks and securities by taxing money exchanged on the stock market and thereby discouraging improvident speculation. A seventeenth-century British innovation first brought over to this country by John Maynard Keynes in the wake of the Great Depression and implemented successfully in forty countries, this strategy has proven itself as a highly effective but not prohibitive way to reduce market crazes and the economic collapses they trigger. Now, even this mild measure is threatened. (Perhaps it might not be such a bad thing if Barack Obama followed in the footsteps of his infamous predecessor just once, to declare under these special circumstances: "I am now a Keynesian.")

Also, even if the Glass-Steagall Act is finally reinstated under a liberal administration, it would have almost no chance of surviving the ISDS. This renowned New Deal measure helped bring down the Money Trust by ordering that there must be some separation between banks and securities firms, before being repealed in 1999. This deregulation and the banks' subsequent spending spree was in large part responsible for the 2008 financial meltdown, but still Congress rejected reviving the law's provisions as part of Dodd-Frank. With the TPP in place, it would be impossible to take care of our citizens by restraining the unlawful power banks derive from our own money: as future Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis memorably put it in his 1914 work Other People's Money, "The fetters that bind the people are forged of the people's own gold."

In short, the Trans-Pacific Partnership would deprive governmental authority of the right to ensure domestic prosperity or at least avoid a remake of the Recession - yet corporations preferring profits to our welfare and even their own have convinced a remarkable number of our elected officials to choose a vicious cycle of bubbles and bailouts over a stable, fair economy.


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