THE STATUS QUO
As concerned citizens strive to understand the larger economic forces at play, they learn that the changes in the global economy are primarily driven by the efforts of multinational corporations to maximize profits by dominating local markets. At the same time, the corporations are in competition with each other to attract and serve shareholders interests. This results in "downsizing" -- the replacement of local human labor with technological innovation. This creates greater efficiency and earns the companies untold billions of dollars which go to their stockholders. Occassionally this may mean you and me, if we own stock or our pension fund is invested in stocks. Yet, the cost that we must bear in terms of social and environmental destruction far outweigh the small income we receive. This is borne out in the statistics concerning the health, security and well-being of people, as well as the condition of our ecological systems. It is also borne out in the statistics that show the transfer of wealth to the top 1% of the population, who now own 40% of all wealth in the country. As the multinational corporations continue their relentless drive to consolidate power over local economies, costs rise, while our purchasing capacity diminishes.

The following sites explore the dynamics inherent in the market economy. While the sites listed here predominately reflect developments in the United States, the centralization of capital results in the same developments everywhere.
 
Impact of Globalization
The Face of Poverty 
The Method of Globalization
Implements of Destruction 
The Ruling Elite: Operating Behind the Scenes
Research on Corporations: Mainstream 
Research on Corporations: The People’s Case


The Impact of Globalization

Growth With Inequality: Is There Another Way?
http://www.cme.org/rothstei/ro960912.html
“Economic growth has combined greater returns to capital with lesser returns to labor; wages and family incomes of those at the bottom of the income distribution have declined.”

The Public Cost of Private Corporations
http://www.american.edu/academic.depts/kogod/estes/corpcost.htm
Corporations speak loudly through advertising campaigns about how they benefit society, but they do not often speak of the damage they do. This site contains an article on the total public cost of private corporations.

Towards a Better Future: The Works of Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solbaram.org/
This site contains many thoughtful articles on how multinational corporations diminish local communities. Articles include: Exporting and Importing of Employment and Unemployment • Multinational Operations: Transfer Pricing and Taxation • The Right to Strike • Ownership and Limited Liability • Creating, Patenting and Marketing of New Forms of Life • Community and Public Ownership.

Who Is Downsizing the American Dream
http://www.access.digex.net/~cnp/obey1.html
Some people have a vested interest in maintaining the dysfunctional conditions that drain resources and capital from local communities . This site contains a valuable article by Congressman Obey, Chair of the House Democratic Policy Committee that explains who those people are and how they do it. There are two parts to the article. This site contains the first part and points to the second.

Downsizing America
http://www.silcom.com/~timber/downsizing.html
The article at this site sees downsizing in political terms -- as a byproduct of the weakening ability of governments everywhere to tax those with political and economic power, and to regulate relations between capital and labor in multinational corporations. It cautions that the agenda of Republicans isn't really one of decentralization. Republicans actually aim to shift power away from the national "liberal" elite to narrower, more parochial and conservative power holders and their lobbyists in the states -- not to the public as a whole.

The Mayas and The Global Market
http://garnet.berkeley.edu:3333/.mags/.cross/.41/.41chi/.mayash.html
This site shows how globalization affects people throughout Mexico and Central America. “The global economy threatens the Maya and any other community rooted in a collective, social model of land exploitation with an irreversible separation from their lands.”


The Face of Poverty

Urban Poverty - The Global Phenomenon of Poverty and Social Marginalization in our Cities: Facts and Strategies
http://www.picced.org/advocacy/poverty.htm
"Efforts to improve all aspects of the living environment must be focused on urban areas as that is where most of the people will live and work, where most economic activity will take place and where the most pollution will be generated and most natural resources consumed. Sustainable urban development will, therefore, be the most pressing challenge facing humanity in the twenty-first century."

Project on Environment, Population and Security
http://utl1.library.utoronto.ca/www/pcs/eps.htm
Contains papers that examine the relationship of population, resources, violence and migration. See "Urban Growth and Violence: Will the Future Resemble the Past" for a look at the impact of globalization on third world cities.

The Sticky Wicket: Poverty's Home Page
http://www2.ari.net/home/poverty/
A very good source of articles about the present market economy and its effects on people who become underemployed or unemployed. “A provocative look at how we treat our poor, followed by a bold and creative vision of self-help that would allow many to rise to the Middle Class.” This site helps us integrate an understanding of poverty into our goals for self-reliance.

American Public’s Support for Helping the World’s Poor
http://www.interaction.org/study.html
This site reports the findings of an American poll by the University of Maryland that suggests that most Americans still are not aware of the sharp reductions in U.S. foreign aid over the past decade during which the US's international affairs budget has been cut in half. The new study also confirms earlier findings that when Americans are asked to set their preferred level of investment in international efforts, the majority usually sets a level the same as or higher than actual levels. This is true, the poll found, even when Americans are required to make trade-offs against domestic spending priorities.


The Methodology of Globalization

OECD

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
http://www.oecd.org/
This is the site of the OECD. Set up by the US and European capitalist countries it provides a forum for governments to “compare their experiences, discuss the problems they share and seek solutions which can then be applied within their own national contexts.” The OECD also acts on behalf of the multinational corporations to arbitrate negotiations of multilateral agreements and establishes legal codes that extend beyond the knowledge or approval of any country’s citizens. The OECD is responsible for developing the MAI.

The Response of People’s Organizations to OECD policies

ACTIONAID Challenges OECD aid programs
http://carryon.oneworld.org/actionaid/news/170696.html
This coalition from all OECD countries reports that “too much aid is being squandered by governments on projects which have more to do with commercial and political advantage than poverty eradication.”

Global Investment Treaty Challenged by International Coalition of NGOs
http://www.lut.ac.uk/departments/gy/gyedb/extra/ped/tncs/tncs1.html
Forty international environment, development and consumer organisations express their outrage over the current status of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI).

WORLD BANK

The World Bank Group
http://www.worldbank.org/
This is the bank that loans developing countries money. “I owe my soul to the company store.”

The Response of People’s Organizations to the World Bank

1992 - Environmental Defense Fund
http://www.edf.org/pubs/NewsReleases/1992/Oct/g_sardar.html
“We don't believe the World Bank can be trusted to use taxpayers money in a responsible manner which helps the poor and the environment in developing countries.”

1994 - Friends of the Earth
http://www.foe.co.uk/pubsinfo/infoteam/pressrel/1996/19960909115504.html
Exposes the World Bank in an African rainforest scandal.

1997 - International Rivers Network
http://www.ran.org/ran/info_center/aa/nambikwara.html
Fighting to save indigenous people from encroachment due to a World Bank project.

1997 - Results, Inc.
http://action.org/novglobal.html
Results, Inc., a large development organization points to the discrepancy in the World Bank’s promises to make loans for health and education in third world countries and its actual performance.


Implements of Destruction

NAFTA

Facts on NAFTA
http://www.itaiep.doc.gov/nafta/menu1.htm
The US Government’s site supporting NAFTA

NAFTA's CASUALTIES Employment Effects on Men, Women, and Minorities
http://epinet.org/ib120.html
The Economic Policy Institute’s analysis of the impact of NAFTA on US workers.

Chilean, North American NGOs Demand: No NAFTA Expansion
http://essential.org/listproc/tw-list/msg00039.html
The people’s organizations have this to say about NAFTA - “Three years of experience under NAFTA has proved it to be an unmitigated failure for most people in Mexico, Canada and the United States.

Factors Blocking the Economic Development of the World
http://www.cgtd.com/global/survey11.html
This article by the US-based, Center for Global Trade Development contains survey results of what 1000 corporate executives from over 100 countries consider to be the greatest problems that inhibit them from bringing local economies under their control. While the Center supports multinational capitalism, it points out a few legitimate problems at the local level that organizers must face -- religious and ideological fundamentalism, racism, lawlessness and mismanagement.

MAI

The Multilateral Agreement on Trade Information Center
http://www.islandnet.com/%7Encfs/maisite/homepage.html
The MAI is the backroom strategy of the multinational bankers to control local economies. The Agreement, drafted by the OECD makes it possible for the banks to sue governments for not letting them in. This Agreement, if passed, would just about outlaw local self-reliance initiatives.

MAI: Potential Effects on State & Local Government
http://www.westgov.org/wga/publicat/maiweb.htm
A Report by the Western Governors' Association (USA). They are quite concerned.

Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch
http://www.citizen.org/pctrade/tradehome.html
This site provides the documents and sounds the call for citizen action.

MAI-Not! Project
http://mai.flora.org/
Canadians state: “Under this agreement governments would be ruled by
corporations, rather than the other way around.”

The Multilateral Agreement on Trade (OECD)
http://www.oecd.org/daf/cmis/mai/mai.htm
This is the site of the OECD the vehicle for developing the MAI.


The Ruling Elite - Operating Behind the Scenes

The Council on Foreign Relations
http://parascope.com/mx/council1.htm
This site looks at the CFR from a citizen’s perspective.

RIE Publishing
http://www.4rie.com/
Site of an international management consultant who couldn’t get any publishers to publish his manuscript “Who’s Who of the Elite” because of the subject matter. He put some information at this site: Bilderbergs; Council on Foreign Relations; Trilateral Commission; Skull & Bones Society; Bohemian Grove and Bohemian Club and other past times of the elite.

CFR/Trilateral Commission Members
http://parascope.com/mx/council6.htm
This site lists the current members of these ruling bodies.


Research on Corporations - Mainstream

New York Public Library: Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL)
http://web.nypl.org:80/research/sibl/hotlist/
Links to EDGAR • Public Companies • Websites of top 1000 companies • Security APL Quote Server • Experimental Stock Market Data • Holt's Stock Market Reports • American Stock Exchange • Economic Bulletin Board • Small Business Administration • GATT • NAFTA • Links to other business resources • Economic reports of the President.

Thomas Register of American Manufacturers
http://www.thomasregister.com:8000/
This site has an option for free membership through which you can access vital information on manufacturing companies in the United States.

Dun and Bradstreet On-line
http://www.dnb.com/
Search for information on 60,000 companies that have web sites. Find information on annual sales, company size, ownership structure, Web & e-mail addresses, and much more. There are also fee-based services available.


Research on Corporations - The People’s Case

The Multinationals Resource Center
http://www.essential.org/clearinghouse/mdc.html
The Multinationals Resource Center (MRC) provides activists, environmental and consumer groups and local journalists with crucial information on the activities of multinational corporations.

Multinational Monitor
http://www.essential.org/monitor/monitor.html
Multinational Monitor is a journal that tracks corporate activity, especially in the Third World, focusing on the export of hazardous substances, worker health and safety, labor union issues and the environment. This site has Multinational Monitor back issues along with leads to other resources on the Internet.

Corporate Watch
http://www.corpwatch.org/home.html
This site is dedicated to helping local organizers monitor the behavior of multinational corporations. Pointers to: Home • Features • Bhopal • Corporate Watch Info • Researching Corporations • Hot Links • Action Alerts • Campaigner's Corner • Greenwash Awards • Archives • Image Gallery • Support Our Work • Internet's Future • Hot News.

Financial Scandals
http://www.ex.ac.uk/~RDavies/arian/scandals/
Is this business as usual? Contents: General Sources on Corruption and Miscellaneous Articles • Barings Bank • Daiwa Bank • Sumitiomo Corp. • Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) • British Official Organizations, Political Parties Companies & Scandals in General • European Union • Whitewater Scandal • US Muncipal Bond Scandals • US Political & Financial Scandals in General • Other Countries • The Mafia and Organised Crime in General • Money Laundering • Bribery • Insider Trading • Insurance Fraud • Fighting Fraud: Forensic Accounting etc. • Finding More Information • Locking the Stable Door After the Horse has Bolted.

Stop Corporate Welfare!
http://www.dreamscape.com/morgana/lysithea.htm
This site contains an article by Ralph Nader. "Not controlling what we own should be a public issue, because if we begin to develop control of what we own, we will marshal vast existing assets that are legally ours for the betterment of our society. That will not happen unless we talk about why people don't control what they own.

 
 

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