We are likely to have a “constitutional emergency” in the US Congress this month, and Americans need to speak up!
Many know corporations – statutory, “artificial” entities – have been granted constitutional rights, only intended for people, by the US Supreme Court, gradually, over nearly 200 years. It is a massive wrong that can only be ended with an amendment to the Constitution.
Meanwhile, right now, while we work to make an amendment happen – a terrible product of the doctrine of “corporations as people” is upon us. It is the outrageous, “Trans-Pacific Partnership” trade agreement – the TPP – a secret, massive international extension of sovereign rights to corporations, giving them the ability to re-write our laws – effectively, global corporate governance.
I’m not exaggerating. Because the Supreme Court has granted 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 14th Amendment rights, as well as Commerce and Contracts clause rights to corporations, they use courts to escape legal accountability and avoid regulation. Corporations deny the will of people, communities, states, and, with “free trade” agreements like WTO and NAFTA, they can overrule national policies and laws.
TPP would consolidate corporate power even more. Often called “NAFTA on steroids,” TPP incorporates and expands on the rights and powers corporations have gained, at our expense.
The corporations I speak of are not small or medium or even large ones. They are huge mega-corporations – multinationals that have no national loyalties. They make billions of dollars and their only loyalties are the cheapest possible labor costs and working conditions, no environmental or financial regulations, lowest taxes and maximum “incentives” and profits.
Most would agree that business and profits are economically necessary but they should not be sacrosanct. Mega-corporations are sociopathic operations, having no concern for impacts on everyday people or the planet.
Mega-corporations have brought us to the brink of multiple global crises, including global warming, wars they alone profit from, environmental degradation, financial abuse, racial, sexual and cultural exploitation, dysfunctional governments. They deny and defy democracy and must be stopped.
TPP must also be stopped. Obama has requested “fast track” authorization from Congress for it. Under fast track, the Congress gives up their constitutional authority over trade agreements, delegating it to the executive. Rather than any real public consideration, Congress can only rubber-stamp the TPP agreement, or they can deny fast track legislation. expected to be introduced this month.
While Americans know it will take years to get a constitutional amendment to end corporate constitutional rights, we must act to stop TPP from becoming reality – NOW!
Salem Weekly readers – please join me. We need to stop fast track in Congress this month to stop the TPP. Contact Senators Merkley and Wyden and Representative Schrader. Urge them to oppose fast track.
Kirk Leonard lives in Salem and is a member and supporter of Citizens Trade Campaign, Marion Polk Move to Amend, and Oregon Fair Trade Campaign. Leonard says a net search on any keywords here will help you understand why stopping fast track and the TPP is so critical.