By Dylan R.N. Crabb
Free trade is an economic concept involving a lack of government regulation over business imports and exports in to a particular country or countries. This lack of regulation is exemplified in the European Union/European Economic Area and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Free trade policies are often championed by individuals and groups who are more sympathetic towards business interests, portraying free trade as the pinnacle of what a free nation should stand for and promote internationally. This is true to some extent, but only in terms of short-term growth for a limited number of organizations.
The notion of free trade is a part of a libertarian ideology that depicts all forms of government as tyrannical and unethical without acknowledging the positive aspects of a democratic-republican government with functional policies for certain business practices. A business has one bottom line: to make money, which is fine but should not be allowed at the expense of the well-being of the general population. A business should not be able to poison the land that people live on or the people that support that land. A government should also make sure that there is a healthy diversity in the marketplace so new businesses have a chance to compete against more established businesses. The purpose of a government is to create a better life for a particular society, an improvement from the chaotic state of nature (Thomas Hobbes). A democratic-republican government is designed for transparency, accountability, and liberty by granting a set of inalienable rights to its populace and creating a social contract from which each individual benefits (John Locke). However; recent trade deals like NAFTA have undermined the ability of the United States government to fulfill that basic goal. The current Trans-Pacific Partnership in the works is another trade deal that would undermine the US government by giving the corporations involved in the TPP the ability to sue the US government via private tribunals. If you thought “corporate personhood” was bad, the TPP would implement “corporate nationhood.”
Trade deals that triumph the libertarian concept of free trade represent a corporate take-over of governments. The TPP would make the US government subservient to its corporate sector and transform America into even more of an oligarchy. Americans all over their country need to communicate to their elected officials and demand that President Barack Obama not sign the fast track legislation for the TPP. President Obama needs to know that the TPP is not in the best interests of the American people and should at least release it to the public so a proper analysis and debate of the document can be had (if President Obama can even release it himself).
A business is not a person, a labor union is not a person, a non-profit organization is not a person; a human being is a person. A business is run my people, but the collective entity of the business is not a person and should not have the same rights of the individuals that run it.
Support a repeal of “Citizens United v. FEC (2010)” and a ban on corporate donations to political campaigns. Support Wolf-PAC.