Globalization, Multinational Corporations and Trade Liberalization

 
It’s not surprising that globalization, and the outsourcing offshoring, nearshoring, rightshoring, etc … of multinationals is resulting in explosive economic growth in many third world countries.  Nor is it surprising that many of these corporate behemoths have amassed budgets that rival or exceed many countries.  But what is surprising is that this is being portrayed as a good thing.  In the Olympics and professional sports, barriers enhance the games.  It’s pretty easy to see how things like weight classes, age limits and rules regarding drug use make the games better.  Make competition better.  Is it significantly different in economics?  Is free market competition made better by allowing huge corporations to use their sheer size and sway – rather than innovation – to gain competitive advantage? 
  
When big corporations can no longer compete with new innovation, it seems to me they should lose market share, not maintain or increase it through a concerted effort to kill the competition.  They should not be allowed to retreat offshore to avoid taxes and reasonable wages to make up for the fact that they are no longer competitive.  Fledgling innovators should not have to go out of business because the Walmart next door uses slave labor in foreign countries and has the legislature in its back pocket.  Funny how free markets and competition are touted when they benefit the big fellas, when gigantic transnationals want into other countries rich in natural resources or cheap labor, but not so much when massive government subsidies, no bid contracts, and bailouts are concerned.  Nevermind the tax credits, sanctions and embargoes that ensure the dominance of select corporate activity.  Nevermind the secret meetings that the corporate elite hold to facilitate the entrenching of their business interests into a “globalized” system where nations that won’t play ball and “liberalize” become known as “rogue nations” and protesters are dubbed “anarchists” or even “terrorists”.
    
These developments also echo in the world of high finance, going hand in hand with private investment vehicles such as private equity funds, hedge funds, and derivatives which are designed to be used exclusively by the uber wealthy, characterized by enourmous leverage, astonomical investment minimums and favorable regulatory treatment, allowing the elite to engage in financial activities that are off-limits to everyone else.  And if the banks (casinos) get into trouble, then the central bank just bails them out, passing the tab onto taxpayers.  Such a deal.  

Such a system is partial to long standing traditions and existing wealth rather than merit.   While touting freedom, democracy, capitalism and economic opportunity, it’s designed to do the opposite – to maintain a buffer between the vast majority of humanity, ie; people with a hard work ethic – and the lazy asses who have had dynastic family wealth handed down to them on a silver platter for generations.  It’s pretty easy to see then why a central bank is so important to the corporate elite today.  It’s also very easy to see why our Founding Fathers fought so hard against a central bank, and why good leaders today like Ron Paul want to abolish it.  

But we don’t like the idea of changing the status quo.  Thus the media talking heads had an easy time convincing us that the presidential candidate in 2008 who wanted to abolish the FED was not “electable”.  We like to talk about change.  It makes a nice story line.  But when it comes to actually doing it – when it comes to real change – it’s too frightening.  So instead of real change, the herd fell for pretend change – the smooth talking whippersnapper who promises to spy on Americans and continue chasing after terrorists and who supports the central bank and the bailout legislation.  These things have been working – so they must be good.  Must be.  So as for the guy who has integrity ? Who can speak without a planned speech and who wants big change?  We send him packin’.  Too scary.  No worries mate.

As more corporate behemoths line up in front of the welfare office and international financiers take more control of the United States, Ron Paul still maintains that more of the same (dolling out money we don’t have, ie; using the central bank to counterfeit wealth) will only postpone the inevitable, eventually making the predicament in the United States much worse.  But our leaders, including the presumptive 44th president of the United States, don’t agree.  (As it happens, Peter Schiff, economic advisor to Ron Paul, has made a prediction for our economy under Obama

But many wouldn’t listen to any of this before the election, before the damage was done.   So why would they listen now?  Perhaps they are dazzled watching their overlords rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.  But what will prove to be the cost of this poor judgement?  When will we, finally, address the cause of such poor judgement at its origins?  The crippling feature of our two party system (and the very reason the overclass employs it) is that one side neutralizes the other.  Those on one side always blame those on the other, and vice-versa, in a never ending charade that neutralizes the will of the people and consolidates power elsewhere.  We the people, tethered to our party lines, expend all our energy sniveling over the side shows set forth by the mass media, leaving the real issues unattended and available to the happy hands of the corporate elite.   We have become so obsessed with partisanship that we would rather fuss over minute differences between the two parties than acknowledge their enormous similarities; their crisis/fear centered agendas which always seem to benefit the corporate giants (Hegelian dialectic, anyone?).  No matter what political agenda they advance, one of the two parties (most of it anyway) is going to get behind that agenda – right out of the gate.  It’s easy to see then how a multi- party system would wreak havok here – and why real popular government is the enemy of the overclass.
 
Has anyone noticed that the caliber of our presidential debates is inferior to high school level debates?  It’s not just that we should know better than to participate in any process that is characterized by such divisive claptrap and mudslinging.  It’s that these are the very things that draw us in.  Our corporate overlords know us better than we know ourselves.  They’ve made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.
 
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. … We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. … In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons … who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”                                                  
                                           
Edward Bernays  (from his book, “Propaganda”, where he argues that scientific manipulation of public opinion is necessary to overcome chaos and conflict in society:  Bernays is widely known as the “father of public relations“)
 
All is well in Neverland . . .
 
z
 

 

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