The recipient of today's Charles Mudede controversial post goes to...
Josh Feit for his public support of WTO on the Slog!
The WTO has been one of the only groups that have openly gone against the interests of the USA and the EU. Not so much can be said for IMF and WB.....the real cause of many economic problems.
The WTO is flawed, but if they can stop some the old world "colony" trading practices of of Europe, for the betterment of third world counties, they are good in my book.
Apples and oranges. The EPA is a government program and therefore ostensibly answers to the will of the people at least indirectly -- if voters don't like how it's operating they can address their grievances through their elected representatives.
The WTO does not have any similarly democratic mechanisms governing its operations. Treaties like the WTO take power away from democratic governments by allowing corporations to file suit for lost profits if some signatory country passes a law they don't like. If the WTO is to have the sort of regulatory authority one would expect from an international government then it needs rule with the consent of the governed. However, since the very idea of allowing public input to dictate how multinational corporations do business is antithetical to the entire current structure of the WTO, I'm not holding my breath.
During the riots I made a "WTO Yes!" sign and hung it in my office.
How can you hate the WTO and support the UN -- a similar "unelected" body -- in resolving international conflicts? The irony of seeing trade representatives from Third World countries seeking a voice in international trade agreements being physically assaulted by pinhead anarchists was tragic. Seeing huge crowds of shirtless young men advancing on and throwing bottles at police was infuriating.
FUCK the WTO The USA don't need resources from other countries. WE're a gluttonous, greedy adolescent who believes altruism gets payback.
I'm not usually a visionary, so I have to treasure my prescient moments when I get them.
I remember being at a sales and catering department meeting at the Sheraton, when they announed the WTO contract had been signed. Everyone except for me was crowing about what a boon it would be to the city, and how much money it would bring in.
I stated that this would be a huge mistake for the city, and would be prone with strife due to the controversial nature of the WTO itself, and the strong labor tradition in the NW. They all laughed at me and told me that I was old-fashioned and that people didn't care about things like that anymore (hotel people aren't generally the most politically astute of people. I don't think a lot of them even vote)
By the time the WTO came to town, I was out of the industry. But when the tear gas started to spread through the downtown office towers, and people couldn't leave the hotel, I called the Sheraton and said "HA! I told you so!"
It was one of my proudest moments.
I was there, but not so much protesting the WTO as its current policies. Trade should be regulated at an international level, but that regulation should favor workers and the environment to prevent a race to the bottom. Ideally elements of democracy would be incorporated, but this can be difficult in an international body. Globalization is happing/happened, and we need to accept that. However we can work to make it fair. I would take the model of the transition the US went though form the end of the civil war to the post WW@ reality. A rocky start for sure with a strong neo-federalist court, but in the end most people wound up better off in the end. 40 hour work week and labor laws for instance.
FANRF: I actually had a nice conversation with an observer from Nepal. He was stuck down with us as he could not get to the meeting. He wanted to be part of the WTO so he could advocate for Nepal's interests and seemed supportive of fair trade. Unfortunately KIRO should up and some jackass protester started shouting slogans at the man. Oh well. Just wanted to let you know that not all of were roughing people up or being jackasses.
Catalina... have we met?
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