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140630 Sarah "Globalisation, who is it good for"

Page history last edited by Peter Verity 6 years, 3 months ago

 

Date  30/6/14 Presenter Sarah Mirza
Time    Secretaries Peter Verity
Location  Quaker Meeting House  Type of meeting Meet-up

Attendees

(add yourself if missing)

17 attendees

 

 

Globalisation - who is it good for?

presenter: Sarah Mirza

 

Q: How many classically-trained economists does it take to change a light bulb?

A: None - if the light bulb needed changing, market forces would have already done it.

 

Sarah gave a well-researched presentation describing many of the forces which constitue our global economy. It is evident that there are many players including world trade blocks and multi-national corporations which, together, allow the more economically developed countries to further their own economic growth at the expense of less-developed countries. Increasing inequality is the inevitable result.

 

Sarah also described some of the trends and movements which are attempting to limit the damage, such as 'global civil society organisations" (GCSOs) including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth etc. (and including the monetary reform movement).

 

Sarah's presentation slides can be downloaded here > 140630 Globalisation - who is it good for.pptx

 

Discussion

There followed an interesting discussion - I have tried to capture some of main points below.

 

Will banks give up their power to create money so easily?

No! But someone suggested that, if the system is not reformed, it will collapse anyway.

 

The debts of the less-developed countries can never be repaid, so why not just cancel the debts?

This was done in the Jubilee 2000 campaign which wrote off $100bn of debt. That was a success, but it is actually a tiny amount and the debts have grown back again.

 

Free-trade vs. protectionism. Is free trade good or bad?

It can be good or bad! However, Sarah suggested that some degree if protectionism is necessary to allow the less-developed countries to break out of the shackles.

 

If countries could create their own money, would that help?

Yes. They would be less dependent on Foreign Direct Investment, would be better able to develop local economies, and would be freed from the debt cycle.

 

Is Bitcoin a solution?

Some people were not familiar with how Bitcoin works - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoin and lots of other online articles

It cuts out the middle man [banks] which is a good thing, but there are concerns about whether it really works as a form of money (see the discussion on our forum here > http://posmonshef.proboards.com/thread/16/bitcoin )

 

Limiting the amount of money in circulation would limit growth. Is that a good thing?

Is the Positive Money solution a form of encroaching communism?

We cannot sustain a growth economy forever - the planet is finite.

You cannot have a zero growth economy with debt-based money.

 

TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership)

There was a lengthy discussion on this, few people present knew much about it though it has the potential to become a major threat to democracy.

 

The details only became public through leaks, but it is (according to Wikipedia) "a proposed free-trade agreement between the European Union and the United States" which aims to "liberalise one-third of global trade".

 

There has been very little in the media about it. See the following

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transatlantic_Trade_and_Investment_Partnership

There is an excellent briefing on the WDM site here http://www.wdm.org.uk/sites/default/files/TTIP%20briefing.pdf

 

ISDS (Investor-state dispute settlement)

This is part of the TTIP, and gives trans-national corporations the right to sue national governments if they make decisions which reduce the corporation's profits.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investor-state_dispute_settlement

 

What happens if a government is sued by a TNC?

If they pay up, the burden will fall on taxpayers, or savings will be confiscated, or there will be greater 'austerity' measures

If they refuse to pay, the international currency markets would be closed, leaving the country in default and unable to continue trading

The most likely result is that the government would give in to the TNC's demands (this has already happened in Argentina and Australia - see WDM briefing paper above)

 

TISA (Trade in Services Agreement)

This was also presented as a threat, which will further deregulate financial services.

See http://wikileaks.org/tisa-financial/

 

 

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