A Bias for Global Corporations

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Wall Street interests have been particularly active over the past thirty years in redefining global rules and institutions to favor the narrow interests of global corporations over the rights and protection of people, communities, and the environment. Mechanisms to secure the rights of people and the integrity of the biosphere have been systematically weakened while corporate rights and protections have been strengthened in nearly every international arena.  Global trade rules allow laws developed through a democratic process to be challenged as “unfair barriers to trade.”   U.S. trade and investment agreements allow corporations to sue governments over actions -- including health, environmental and other public interest regulations -- that diminish the value of their investments.

International financial institutions have relentlessly promoted a deregulatory agenda that favors money over life and the private interests of the few over the public interests of the many and limited the authority of decision makers at all levels to pursue alternative economic paths. [See: Rules that Favor Equitable Living Earth Communities]

The current global rules and institutions were put in place by Wall Street interests to facilitate a consolidation of economic decision power in global corporations and financial markets delinked from accountability to human or natural interests. These rules and institutions create a privatized system of centralized economic planning that seeks unlimited growth without regard for the consequences.

Existing rules not only prohibit people and their governments from protecting themselves and their economies from intrusions by global financiers and global corporations, they require governments to secure the liberty of these firms and shield them from responsibility for the social and environmental consequences of their actions. Under these rules, global corporations are at liberty to use their enormous economic and political power to suppress wages, expropriate resources, freely externalize the cost of their production onto the community, and engage in monopoly practices in violation of the human interest and basic market principles. A modest trickle down effect during times of rapid economic growth creates an illusion of increasing general prosperity, masking the reality that while a few people prosper, sometimes extravagantly, the substantial majority struggle in increasingly desperate circumstances to survive. 



The idea that everyone benefits from rules that open borders to allow unrestricted corporate access to local markets and resources while stripping place-based communities of the right to manage their boundaries to secure their economies against predatory intrusions is flawed logically and morally. Appropriate global rules secure the right and ability of democratically elected governments to protect the living interests of people, communities, and natural systems and establish a global commitment to preventing one nation from using military and economic power to dominate the markets and resources of another. The presumed rights of private corporations never legitimately trump the rights of real people and the governments they elect. [See: New Global Rules and Institutions]