Bush's Corporate Cronies Ship Jobs Overseas

"With the full support of the Bush Administration, US corporations are picking up the pace in shifting well-paid technology jobs to India, China and other low-cost centres, but they are keeping quiet for fear of a backlash, industry professionals said."

The Virtual Parliament of Investors and Lenders

Noam Chomsky writes: "Keynes pointed out 70 years ago that if you have financial liberalization and free flow of capital, it will undermine the possibility of democracy for a very simple reason: it creates what economists call a virtual senate. A virtual parliament of investors and lenders who carry out a moment by moment referendum on government policies. If they don't like them they destroy the economy by capital flight, by attacking the currency. Again technical economics talk about governments facing what they call a dual constituency - the voters, if they're democratic and the virtual parliament. Of course the virtual parliament always wins. Since the new rules were established, there has been a very striking attack on democracy, exactly as you'd expect. There's been a decline of social economic policies all over the industrial world because you just can't carry them out against these pressures and in the third world's it's a disaster."

US Ranks Second to Last on 'Commitment to Development' Index

Foreign Policy Magazine: "The CGD/FP Commitment to Development Index ranks 21 of the world's richest countries according to how much their policies help or hinder the economic and social development of poor nations. The index examines six policy categories: foreign aid, openness to international trade, investment in developing countries, openness to legal immigration, contributions to peacekeeping operations, and responsible environmental practices." Comment for US: "Like Japan, an economic titan with little measured commitment to development. Tops on trade, but last on aid and environment, and surprisingly low on migration."

Corporatization of the Planet Leaves One Billion Children in Abject Poverty

"International targets to reduce child poverty are going to be missed because globalised trade and cuts to aid budgets are creating an ever-greater chasm between the richest and poorest countries. More than one billion young people in the developing world are now living in conditions of severe deprivation, according to a report for UNICEF. More than half of all children living in the developing world are living in severe deprivation, while 674 million are in absolute poverty. A third of all children in the survey lived in a dwelling with more than five people to a room, or with only a mud floor. A similar proportion had no kind of toilet facility and one in five had no access to safe drinking water. More than one in ten children aged seven to eighteen had never been to school, and one in seven was severely malnourished." -Independent

Economic Globalization: Empire, Wealth and Terrorism

"The Democracy Revitalization Project (DRP) is a ten-year conference series aimed at identifying the major forces eroding democracy and reversing them. This year, the U.S. economy is flirting with deflation and the threat of terrorism remains. According to most economists an economic recovery requires aggressive deficit spending in the form of new jobs programs and/or tax breaks for the middle-class. The Bush administration has no problem with deficit spending, but aims its expenditures on tax breaks for the wealthy and questionable military activities. These activities have only increased the global hostility aimed in our direction and have done little to prevent terrorism, but they have proven to be an effective privitization mechanism for the globalization crowd... The long-term outcome of the DRP promises to be a coordinated effort by all involved to mitigate the dangers of excessive corporate influence, and to strengthen the democratic process. "

G8 Protests: Carnival Turns to Confrontation

The UK Guardian reports: "Chaos last night threatened to overshadow what had been a carnival atmosphere among anti-globalisation protesters as police in Geneva and Lausanne fought with groups of anarchists and anti-capitalists. The worst fears of the Swiss authorities were being realised: while France enjoyed the glory of hosting the leaders of the world's richest nations, sealed off by a 10-mile security cordon enforced by 25,000 police and troops, Switzerland was left to mop up the debris. It had started off so well: more than 75,000 anti-globalisation activists from around the world marching peacefully to the French-Swiss border in a gesture of defiance to the G8 leaders tucked away behind a ring of steel 25 miles up the road in the spa resort of Evian. For a few hours yesterday afternoon, as the marchers in the main rally partied and chanted their way through Annemasse and Geneva, it looked as if the dire warnings of the event descending into violence were going to be confounded."

Geneva Protesters to be Kept 30 Miles Away

The UK Independent reports: "More than 50,000 anti-globalisation protesters are expected to demonstrate on the first day of the summit but they will not be allowed within 30 miles of Evian, on the south shore of Lake Geneva, where the world leaders are meeting. Two protest marches are planned tomorrow - one starting from Geneva and the other from the French town of Annemasse on the Franco-Swiss border. The two processions will unite for a joint demonstration at a frontier post, half-way between the two starting points. The organisers - a loose collection of anti-globalisers, anti-capitalists, anti-Americans and Third World activists joined by elements of the French left - say they are not expecting the kind of violent scenes that have occurred at other G8 and trade summits in recent years."

Confronting Empire

Arundhati Roy writes, "When we speak of confronting 'Empire,' we need to identify what 'Empire' means. Does it mean the U.S. government (and its European satellites), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organisation, and multinational corporations? Or is it more than that? In many countries, Empire has sprouted other subsidiary heads, some dangerous byproducts - nationalism, religious bigotry, fascism and, of course, terrorism. All these march arm in arm with the project of corporate globalisation."

Social Forum Movement is Changing the World

Mark Engler writes, "The social [forum] movement continues to grow and mature. In addition to current events in Porto Alegre and Davos, the past four months alone have witnessed large-scale mobilizations in Hyderabad, India; in Quito, Ecuador; in Sydney, Australia and in Florence, Italy. What have the demonstrations accomplished?" A ban on user fees for loans aimed at basic health care and education... Debt relief, the idea that wealthy nations should forgive the developing countries their obligation to make crushing loan payments... accountability and transparency amongst trade negotiators... Starbucks agreed to offer "fair trade" coffee...generic AIDS drugs for Africa. "They won the verbal and policy battle," said Gary Hufbauer, a "pro-globalization" economist at the Institute for International Economics, in a recent Los Angeles Times interview about the protests. "They did shift policy." Not bad for a young movement!

A Tale of Two Coups

Greg Palast brilliantly compares the failed CIA-oil company coup in Venezeula with the successful IMF coup in Argentina, where the nation has been decimated and Enronesque privatization has ensured that the poor no longer have clean water to drink.

Free Trade Incumbent Upset in Ohio Primary, Sending a Powerful Message to Democratic Leaders

Greg Giroux writes in the Washington Post, "In the biggest upset so far this primary season, Democratic Rep. Tom Sawyer was defeated for re-nomination Tuesday in Ohio's 17th District. Sawyer lost decisively to 28-year-old state Sen. Tim Ryan in a race in which redistricting and Sawyer's past support for free-trade pacts led to his political downfall... Ryan exploited Sawyer's biggest weakness in a heavily Democratic district with a large organized labor constituency: the incumbent's occasional votes in favor of trade pacts such as [NAFTA]... Many unions declined to support Sawyer even though his lifetime record of voting with AFL-CIO positions is very high." Are you listening, Senator Daschle? Americans are fed up with so-called "Free Trade" sellouts -- it's time to kill Fast Track Authority.

Billionaire George Soros' New Book is a Powerful and Constructive Critique of Globalization

"One might have thought that money would flow from rich countries to the poor countries; but year after year, exactly the opposite occurs. One might have thought that the rich countries, being far more capable of bearing the risks of volatility in interest rates and exchange rates, would largely bear those risks when they lend money to the poor nations. Yet the poor are left to bear the burdens... George Soros has written a brilliant, powerful book, On Globalization, which goes beyond just describing the failures of the current international arrangements. He proposes concrete, practical reforms. Soros, having made his fortune on the international capital markets, should know something about them. But what makes this book so impressive is that he combines these insights with a humanity that comes through in every subject he touches on." So writes Joseph Stiglitz in the New York Review of Books.

The Global Elite's Pure Greed

Boston Globe columnist Derrick Z. Jackson writes, "Beneath the soft veneer [of the World Economic Forum] was hard, unvarnished greed. US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said not to even bother asking the US to pull out its wallet to help out the world's poor, even though the US gives out less foreign aid per capita than any developed nation in the world. O'Neill said: 'Over the last 50 years, the developed world has spent trillions of dollars in the name of aid, and I would submit that we have precious little to show for it. How much money we spend is not the right issue. How fast we raise every human being's standard to our own, that's the question.' O'Neill's argument is laughable on the face of it, since the American standard of living is possible only because our 5 or 6% of the world's population consumes about a quarter of the world's energy."

The Globalizer Who Came In From the Cold

Writes Greg Palast: "The World Bank's former Chief Economist's accusations are eye-popping - including how the IMF and US Treasury fixed the Russian elections. 'It has condemned people to death,' the former apparatchik told me... Each nation's economy is individually analyzed, then, says Stiglitz, the Bank hands every minister the same exact four-step program... Most sickening for Stiglitz is that the US-backed oligarchs stripped Russia's industrial assets, so corruption cut national output nearly in half - causing depression and starvation. Ultimately, what drove him to put his job on the line was the failure of the banks and US Treasury to change course when confronted with the crises - failures and suffering perpetrated by their four-step monetarist mambo. Every time their free market solutions failed, the IMF simply demanded more free market policies."

While Cops Kill Protesters, the Corporate Media Spits on their Graves

Referring to murdered G8 protester Carlo Giuliani, Time says "you reap what you sow." The Houston Chronicle says "he was asking for it, and he got it." The Wall Street Journal mentioned the brutal school house raid by police, but detached the blood stains from the police violence that caused it. With the corporate media aggressively cheerleading for brutal cops, we must turn to progressive web sites like www.indymedia.org and www.zmag.org for the truth.

International Unions Declare Global Day of Action on November 9

At the G8 summit in Genoa, union leaders announced a Global Unions' Day of Action on November 9, the start of the next WTO Ministerial Conference in Qatar. (Qatar is a monarchy - not a democracy - thus a PERFECT place to suppress all democratic protests.) The goals are: Protections of basic workers' rights from the exploitation that results from world trade; Reforming the world trading system to benefit the poor in developing countries; The right to quality universal public education and health services, free from WTO rules; Cheap and affordable medicines to fight diseases like HIV/AIDS; and Opening up the WTO system to consultation with trade unions and other democratic representatives of civil society. The Day of Action will be co-ordinated at global level and delivered at a local level, taking the form of diverse actions to be determined in individual countries ranging from stoppages and demonstrations to workplace discussions, public meetings and high-profile media activities.

Reuters Reporter Present When Demonstrator was Killed

According to the Indymedia, a Reuters reporter was on the scene when the demonstrator protesting the G8 summit was killed. Apparently the activist was shot in the head at relatively close range by police twice, then was run over when a police jeep backed over his fallen body. The Reuters report linked here was filed at 8:49 pm EST. The bottom line is, we believe, that if the G8 leaders would listen to the people they represent instead of forcing their policies on them without adequate public input (just as Bush is doing here), then these protests would not be taking place. Yet Blair and Bush, especially act as if these huge demonstrations are some annoying inconvenience unrelated to their actions.

AFL-CIO Declares July 17 National 'Stop Fast Track' Call-In Day

Shrubmeister and his corporate cronies want to pass a "special" bill that will allow them to ram trade agreements down America's throat without any input from Congress, let alone the American people. This bill would give Shrub UNLIMITED authority to negotiate deals (can you imagine anything scarier than that?), bypassing any debate over potential harm such deals might cause to workers or the environment. This is the same sort of setup Hitler arranged for himself in his early months (he strove at the same time to dismantle workers' unions). Don't let history repeat itself! Let's support our unions and fight this evil proposition!

IMF's Four Steps to Damnation

When he's not exposing Florida's stolen election, Greg Palast exposes the forces behind globalization. In an interview with Joseph Stiglitz, former chief economist of the World Bank, Palast explains the four step program of fatal economic "bloodletting" administered by the International Monetary Fund.