here is an ex-corporate raider, Sir James Goldsmith, horrified by the GATT treaty.
I started out wanting to take a few teaser quotes out of this interview but ended up making an extensive transcript. It was just too good to stop. Keep in mind that Goldsmith was a corporate raider who has looked into the abyss of GATT and concluded that it will lead to the destruction of society.
“What is the good of having an economy which grows by 80% if your unemployment – people excluded from active economic life – goes from 420,000 to 5.1million?”
“You go and you create a corporation in China. And you build a factory in China. And what do you want to sell, mugs? You sell mugs in China. And you conquer part of the Chinese market by competing fair and square in China. That’s life. That’s adding to the activity of China. You’re a corporate citizen over there, you’re working over there.”
“But if you move a factory from the States and take that to China, not so as to conquer the chinese market but so as to re-import the goods into the States, so as to get cheap labor, what are you doing? What you are doing is you are saying to your employees here, ‘You’re too expensive, folks. You want money. You want protection. You want unions. You want holidays. Forget it! We can employ 47 people over there (for each one of you) who want nothing.’”
“So, don’t confuse 2 issues. One is going out to participate in their growing economies by building there and conquering part of the market. The other is merely killing off employment in your own country, getting rid of your own labor force – transferring it over there and importing it back – purely so as to increase your profit margins.”
“Now, the average company has about 25% of it’s costs in labor costs, including the social costs, the welfare costs around it, 25%. When you move – 25% of volume, that is – you, all of a sudden, can save over 25%, so your profits go leaping up. But you’re destroying – totally destroying – not only the number of people who’ve got jobs but also their salaries.”
“Now, you realize that salaries in the States – earnings, weekly earnings, hourly earnings over the last 20 years – have already dropped about 19% in real dollars. It’s already been a massive decline and that is why the so called recovery – which is a recovery of economic indexes – hasn’t got the feel good factor because people’s salaries have gone down. They’re gonna go down much more. It’s only beginning and the reason is very straightforward.”
“When you manufacture something, anything – this table – you have a value added. The value added is when you take the raw materials and you manufacture a product. Value you add is known as value added. And that is shared between capital and labor. And the whole division – the sharing of that – has been the subject of massive debates for generations. How much should go to capital? How much should go to labor? You’ve had strikes, you’ve had lockouts, you’ve had political debates.”
“All of a sudden, by creating a global marketplace for labor, by creating circumstances where people are making the same product with the same technology for the same capital and the only variant is cost of labor, you are shattering that – shattering the way you share the value added and that means that you are destroying the basis on which we’ve been able to create an equilibrium and have a stable society.”
“I am entirely for free enterprise. I am for free markets. I’m not for the destruction of one’s society.”
“The economy is there to serve the fundamental needs of society, which are prosperity, which are stability, and which are contentment. That is the basis of my thinking. And what I’m saying at this stage is that if, purely for an economic doctrine, you have a situation whereby the economy grows but you create poverty, unemployment, and you destabilize the society, you’re in trouble.”
“Look what’s happened in the last 50 years. You see, people are not willing to look at fundamentals. When I was a boy we were taught that irreversibly we were moving towards progress. That material wealth, material prosperity would solve our problems, would improve our way of life, and improve our civilization. We were taught that. And we achieved the creation of material prosperity in a way which we would never have dreamt of. We made the economy grow 400%. Incredible! And what have we done? We destabilized our society. We’ve increased unemployment massively. We’ve totally destabilized our cities. We’ve uprooted our countryside. We’ve increased crime. Every single viable criteria for a stable society has become negative. Therefore, something must be wrong. And what has become wrong is that instead of the economy being there to serve us, we are there adoring, serving economic indexes.”
“The facts are that people who benefit are big major corporations. There is a divorce between the interests of major corporations and of society. When one used to say and believe – and probably rightly – what is good for General Motors is good for the United States. That is no longer true. Today the transnational corporations have annual sales of $4.8trillion. They account for 1/3 of all – the top alone account for 1/3 of – direct investment. Now how do they operate? They’re no longer linked to the United States, the american ones, or to France or to Britain. They operate by farming out their production to whatever company produces the cheapest labor, wherever they can get the biggest return on capital, and pay the lowest part to labor.”
“Firstly, it started with the textile industries, and the shoes, and those industries were decimated. We lost millions of employment, of people employed. Secondly, it was followed by the high tech industries. And as I say in the last few months we’ve had those. Thirdly, the service industries – these are facts – the service industries, they’ve been moving offshore. There are satellites up there. If you take Swiss Air. Swiss Air has moved part of its back office into Bombay. Why? Because they can communicate through the satellites and reduce their costs by 95%.”
The debate with Laura D’Andrea Tyson (GATT apologist, working under Clinton) follows.
Seeing that we’ve had 14 years to digest the consequences of GATT, who do you think won the debate? IMO Miss Tyson gets annihilated.