Pam Barker | Director of TLB Europe Reloaded Project
This is a remarkable set of 3 short videos forming an interview tycoon and member of the European Parliament Sir James Goldsmith did with Establishment shill Charlie Rose back in 1994. Goldsmith (who died in 1997) was arguing back then against unbridled free trade, that it would ultimately destroy our societies by creating mass unemployment and instability. How prophetic. This is what we are witnessing now with the Yellow Vest movement in France and the Brexit vote in Britain. Unemployment is high as is job precarity, and a large swath of working people are very poor. A recent UN report by Philip Alston found that 20% of the UK population are living below the poverty line.
At the time of this interview, NAFTA had been recently implemented under Bill Clinton; GATT had been in place for many years undergoing various ’rounds’. Here’s a brief summary of the first video and 4 minutes into the second. Notice that he’s arguing for ordinary people in our countries having a decent life, that there is such a thing as ‘society’ (remember what Margaret Thatcher said?), that there is such a thing as a nation, that – ultimately – employers have responsibilities to their own people. Remarkable.
If you ever liked Charlie Rose before the MeToo crowd found him out, then you shouldn’t have. I made that mistake. If you ever liked Bill Clinton for being ‘left’ and superficially charming (pictured with globalist pal Tony Blair), and you didn’t like Thatcher for being hard-nosed and ‘right’, for hating ordinary people, disabuse yourself – they were batting for exactly the same team of global corporatists. The same people who (for hidden economic reasons) now tell us that mass immigration is a virtue, that we no longer have nation-states and cultures, and that we’re all nasty little racists (more on that below). The Left-Right Divide is ultimately fake, a form of distraction to give us the illusion of choice while a certain elite agenda gets implemented no matter what.
GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trades, signed in 1947), with its aim to reduce tariffs and protectionism (notice how Charlie Rose defends this), covers a huge area of the globe (India, China, etc. comprising 4 billion people back in 1994). It suddenly placed these non-western countries, with all manner of particular history and government regimes, within the global free market. Goldsmith makes the critical point about these countries that, in 1994, they had massive unemployment, fast-growing populations who earned very little by comparison to Western populations. So you could employ 47 people in Vietnam for 1 American, for instance. Under globalised free trade, the idea is that technology and capital can be moved anywhere in the world to create products that can then be sold anywhere in the world – without tariffs, without any form of trade protectionism and other barriers to profit-making. But it’s the cost of labour that reduces profits, and which critically depends on location. The aim is to reduce labour costs as much as possible.
So free trade creates massive unemployment in our countries. France is a case in point: free trade began there after 1973, when the Treaty of Rome was altered. The economy grew substantially by 80% but unemployment rose from around 420,000 to 5.1 million. The same happened in Britain, too.
‘What is the good of having an economy that grows by 80% if your unemployment – people excluded from economic life – goes from 420,000 to 5.1 million?’
He paints 2 scenarios: the entrepreneur who lives in China, builds a factory and sells goods within China fairly and squarely, adding to the economic life there. Versus one who simply moves a factory to China to produce goods cheaply and then sells them back to more expensive countries, including his own. In the first scenario, the entrepreneur participates in the home economy; in the second, he simply sells out his employees to avoid paying their costs. A company has about 25% of its costs in labour costs and related items. So you can save more than 20% of that 25% if you manufacture in dirt-cheap countries, hence your profits rise considerably.
And for the United States in 1994 (ER: which I’m sure is the case for all western countries), salaries had already gone down by 19% over the previous 20 years. So free trade agreements on top of that created a massive economic decline for ordinary working people.
The concept of added value: value is added to raw materials during the production process to create a product that people want to buy. This value is shared to whatever degree by capital (bosses) and workers. The value going to workers has been thoroughly shattered, however, by making the labour pool global. And the basis on which we can create a stable society and maintain equilibrium has been destroyed.
‘I’m not for the destruction of one’s society.’
What is the purpose of the economy? To serve the fundamental needs of society – to create prosperity and stability, or what? Notice how Rose gives the ‘right’ answer, while defending a position which goes against it.
Today, says Goldsmith (1994), there is a divorce between the interests of the transnational corporations and society. And there still is, never more so.
What Goldsmith doesn’t talk about, which may not have been such a major phenomenon back in 1994, is of course forced mass migration, which has destroyed the value of labour in our countries even more, within those industries and services that cannot be shipped elsewhere in the world. Immigrants (usually low-skilled) who can find work drive labour costs down even more among the existing low-skilled classes. The working class has thus been whacked for a second time by transnational corporate interests. The Yellow Vests in France have figured all this out, including the fact that the political class has joined the transnational owners and the media/academic class in selling them out.
Working people now have to devise their own solutions.
How Free Trade Is (Still) Killing America
When the Trilateral Commission set about to create a New international Economic Order in 1973, so-called Free Trade blossomed as nations dropped their external tariffs to allow multi-directional trade.
Before 1973, there were no trade deficits (ER: a trade deficit means a nation has to import/buy more than it can export/sell abroad, so it is spending more and earning less), as evidenced by the chart below. Starting in 1976, the deficits started and grew to historic levels of over $50 billion per month. The cumulative deficit from 1976 through 2018 is $13.1 trillion. This represents the loss of national wealth.
The 1994 videos presented are hosted by Trilateral Commission member Charlie Rose, as he argues in favor of Free Trade, NAFTA and GATT. He interviews Sir James Goldsmith, who properly schooled Rose on the outcomes of Trilateral policy.
In the 25 years since this interview, the working class of America has been economically gutted, just as he correctly predicted. Wealth has been transferred to global corporations who have no national boundaries or loyalties.
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