My Cautionary Tale about Free Trade Agreements, Healthcare, Presidents, Parties and Lying. Is Everything We've Been Told, Wrong?
[Stickying this because it's important! --lambert]
I'm going to try to write a short piece about a really horrible disconnection that has occurred between the politicians who run the country and its people. The conflict of interest between free trade agreements and the special interests and politicians that enable them, and affordable healthcare. It threatens our country's future and democracy.
Over the last week in several comment threads I've pointed folks to the Nick Skala paper "The potential impact of the World Trade Organization's General Agreement on Trade in Services on health system reform and regulation in the United States" which I think explains a lot that needs to be known in the US about the goals and amoral value system of the so called "free trade agreements". Read below the fold...
(This is the first of two posts regarding an extremely dangerous free trade treaty, known as the Transpacific Partnership, that is being negotiated in total secret – and a new treaty, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, that China and some ASEAN nations are promoting)
The quality of reporting on fracking in large outlets has been of varying quality. Day-to-day coverage of the latest developments is usually pretty good, but bigger picture trend pieces have a tendency to be positively fawning towards the industry. A couple of recent articles in the New York Times have been particularly bad, and one of them also foreshadowed an additional development.
The first was a credulous look at how great fracking is for the communities it occurs in. We are told how fat fracking checks are "swelling the bank accounts of some working-class families" in "amounts the recipients say are a bit disorienting." Even better: "More is probably on the way, potentially much more." So these struggling families have suddenly had their financial anxieties erased, their future incomes assured. I'm sure the ombudsman would say that the hazards of fracking were beyond the scope of the article, but wow does it read like a love letter.1 Read below the fold...