Prophetic U.S. Senate Speech Circa 1994

Discussion in 'Economics' started by Tauvros, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. Tauvros


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    Interested In peoples thoughts, well worth the half's a taste (correctly predicted the mess we currently find ourselves in)

    Remarkable Senate Speech On Global ‘Free’ Trade And The Destruction Of Society *
    By Alan Watt

    James Goldsmith and his speech at the United States Senate, concerning the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. This was on November the 15th, 1994, where he came up in front of the senators to give the negative points of the GATT treaty, after Felix, a well known banker, had pushed the positive side for corporations to do with this treaty.

    Now I don’t know if people realize, I think this was the eighth signing of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade that happened in 1994. The first one was in Marrakesh in 1947, set up at the conclusion of World War II with the United Nations in charge of it.

    He [Sir James Goldsmith] does put in eloquent terms all the negative aspects of this General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Now this is all to do with most-favoured nation status, etc., to do with the dropping eventually of import taxes for most-favoured nation status countries, but it’s only for the big international corporations. The GATT set up a star chamber of judges to decide all their internal disputes, it’s not a democratic institution, and these judges hold their meetings in secret and whatever their decisions are, are binding; there’s no recourse, no redress from any complainant or anyone who disagrees with their decisions.


    “Sir James Goldsmith: Mr. Chairman, thank you for inviting me back. First I want to make clear, like I think you know, Mr. Chairman, that I was in business, I believe in free markets, I believe in free enterprise and I believe the purpose of the economy is not just to improve indices but to improve the state of the nation–yours, mine. So I’m not an anti-free-market man nor an anti-free-enterprise man; quite the contrary. Felix, as you saw, is an old friend of mine, in fact he’s been my banker on-and-off for the past twenty years or more, but I’m in total disagreement with him. What you’ve heard today is the view from big business, of which I was part. And I believe the view from society in general is totally different. I believe it so different that I came out of retirement to start a political party in Europe , to become chairman of one of the nine parliamentary groups in the European Parliament, to fight against what I believe to be one of the most destructive issues, proposals, ever put before your assembly or any other assembly .

    “Now I’d like, if I may, to comment on some of the points that my friend Felix made when talking about the loss of manufacturing jobs, all the figures you gave, he put that down largely to productivity. But in the last few months we’ve seen Boeing, IBM, Advanced Microsystems as well as joining all the other companies like Hewlett-Packard going offshore to get cheap labour. That’s nothing to do with productivity , Mr. Chairman; that’s moving to get the cheap labour forty times cheaper . And please don’t think this is unskilled jobs; these are skilled jobs; these are high-tech jobs going there . Of course there are also the unskilled jobs, but the skilled ones are going to highly skilled people and they are moving offshore; and if you think that’s productivity, then I think you would be wrong. Of course there’s an increase in productivity and of course that puts pressure on the job market; but why accentuate that pressure manifold at the very time when you’ve got the pressure by encouraging, by creating a system that forces people to go offshore?

    “Then there was the question of foreign investment. There was the question of the words we used, attracting foreign investment in the United States , this apparent in-flow of foreign investment. Well, as business men and you as policy makers, obviously have to take both sides of the equation into account . There’s a massive foreign out-flow of investment–net. Take foreign in-flow, take foreign out-flow, the balance is negative.

    “And then we heard Felix’s testimony on the trillions of dollars, his words, that now move around in the global economy. He rightly said the global financial marketplace was totally integrated. In his testimony he talks about 500 billion dollars to be invested in China . We can’t afford a haemorrhage; we can’t increase our rates of savings just to invest them elsewhere and where we bleed to death in terms of capital and we bleed to death in terms of jobs.

    “The trans-national corporations, Mr. Chairman, I’ve just brought some figures that came out recently, they now have 4.8 trillion dollars per annum in sales; they account for one-third of global output; the largest one-hundred account for one-third of all foreign direct investment. Now where do you think the bulk of that investment it’s going? It’s going where it earns the most; it’s no other way it can go . What chief executive can invest otherwise, Mr. Chairman?

    “So, if as you’ve heard today, you have freedom of movement of capital, freedom of movement of technology, and you can employ people for forty or fifty times cheaper who are skilled, and you can import their products back anywhere in the world–that’s the basis of global free trade –how can those investments, how can these trans-national companies who have 4.8 trillion dollars of sales invest anywhere other than where it’s cheapest and where their return is greatest? Because if they don’t the system that you and your colleagues would be voting for, if you pass it, forces them to do it; otherwise they go bankrupt .

    “So we have a system for the moment being proposed–you here, we in Europe . It’s the same system with the same effects on us , which will result in massive unemployment, massive haemorrhaging, rate of jobs and capital, but which will increase corporate profits. And it is believed by economists that you can measure the health of an economy by the size of corporate profits. Now I am for corporate profits. All my business life I’ve worked to increase our profitability; but I believe that when you get to a system whereby so as to get the best corporate profits you have to leave your own country, you have to say to your own sales force, good-bye, we can’t use you anymore, you’re too expensive, you’ve got unions, you want holidays, you want protection, so we’re going offshore; and you destroy your own nation–I think that’s short-term thinking, that’s the real short-term investment because that is like making a profit on the deck of the Titanic, playing cards, and as clever as opposed to a wise way.