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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/27/2014 (2 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Treaty will profit the 1 percent, but the rest will be left holding the bill.

The great problem with our American Republic is that it has been hijacked by the super-wealthy. Following the Citizens United ruling, major corporations and the wealthy, have managed to pour over a billion dollars into our political process, in a not-so-subtle effort to shape public opinion and manipulate the outcomes of elections.

Protests are ongoing, but the media remains silent.

Protests are ongoing, but the media remains silent.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/27/2014 (2 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Obama, Trans-Pacific Partnership, jobs, United States, disparity, Catholic, social teaching, Catholic Team Global


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The people are no longer in power. Instead, power follows the money and in a world where just 300 people that control the same wealth as three billion, it is absurd to think that our republic still serves the people.

Now that the sale appears all but final, these same wealthy elites are steering the nation into the "Trans-Pacific Partnership," a deal that would eliminate trade barriers between the United  States and several countries, primarily in Asia. It would also subject the United States to international laws that would take precedence over national law.

There's a better way to do everything.

President Obama is behind the passage of the agreement, although many in his own party are opposed to it. It is widely acknowledged that the United States would see an influx of money from the agreement, but nearly all of the $78 billion of the projected windfall would go to the top ten percent of earners in America, while most of the rest of the nation will see a depressing impact on their wages.

A study by Alan Blinder, a former vice chair of the Federal Reserve and a Princeton Economist, says that American workers with a college degree and incomes over $75,000 per year are most vulnerable to losing their jobs to overseas competition.

Skilled jobs would move overseas where corporations could hire the same skills for less, and low-wage service jobs would replace those positions here. This means that people with decent careers in the U.S. will suddenly be at risk of losing their jobs and being forced to work in the service industry for a lot less money.

This is easy to understand once trade barriers are eroded; there's no need to build it here in America, when you can cut the cost significantly and import it without a tariff.

This isn't the worst of the potential deal.

Other provisions include the extension of laws that prevent manufacturers from creating generic versions of popular drugs. This will keep effective medicines expensive longer.

Food laws would change, permitting the broad distribution of GMO crops. Now, the GMO crops will cross pollinate with the non-GMOs and farmers will see hybrids. Worse, they will all be forced to buy new seeds each year, of the GMO crops. That's great for industries like Monsanto, which controls the vast majority of the world's seed supply, but bad news for everybody else. Monsato could eventually control the world's food supply and would be paid each season as farmers plant, all backed by international law.

Other nations will also be able to challenge our domestic laws, in particular our health and safety laws under the treaty, which subordinates U.S. law to the treaty.

The reason you have not heard about this agreement is that its negotiations have been conducted in secret, which is standard practice for such agreements.

Of course, the other problem is our own government. According to the Constitution, the Senate and President ratify the treaty. These individuals should be looking after our own interests, that of the people, but often they're not really at the service of the people.

Ultimately, our nation has not had a transparent discussion of the treaty, and it doesn't look like we will do so prior to any votes.

Worse, Obama is asking for permission to "fast track" the treaty, which would neutralize any significant debate on the treaty. It would permit Obama to enter into the treaty without public debate. This is what the elites want. They'll decide what's best for them and you can worry about the consequences. It's your fault for not becoming a CEO of an international corporation. You should have thought about this when you started college.

For us as Catholics, this should be alarming. A treaty is likely to be signed which favors the wealthy, at the expense of our poor and our middle class. A president who claims to be progressive and who wants to raise the minimum wage, happens to be inexplicably enthusiastic about a treaty that would put high-wage earners out of work.

We are in trouble, because nowhere is heard the Social Doctrine, the moral words of the Church. The wealthy simply wish to acquire more wealth, no matter if you become unemployed, or must accept less for your living. The poor will not benefit, only the wealthy, and somehow that's okay. It's your fault for being poor, it's your fault for being middle class. It's your fault for not being in the top 1 percent. By soaking you with guilt, they divert discussion from the skewed nature of the system, which is being tilted further as we speak.

Our Republic has been hijacked by the wealthy who are infected with the sickness of greed. In cahoots with our government, the wealthy have manipulated the system in such a way as to undermine democracy and set the conditions of trade to their personal advantage.

Around the world, there seems to be just one voice that's peaks with moral authority, numbers, and ubiquity. This is the voice of the 1.2 billion strong Roman Catholic Church, as spoken through Pope Francis himself.

Pope Francis has warned us.

We have forgotten solidarity, we have forgotten faith. The world needs to be reminded that people need to live. They deserve food, medicine, an opportunity to learn and work, a fair wage for their labor, and leisure time in which to attend church, meditate and pray, and grow in communion with God. They need time to rest, to raise and educate their children. Markets are made to serve man, not man to serve the market.

Right now, humans are just another commodity. This view of humanity makes every form of abuse possible, including abortion of our unborn children and euthanasia of the elderly. We must reverse this trend, and only the Catholic Church has the numbers and the moral authority to effectively resist.

Will you lend your voice to the chorus of the resistance? Will you fight back? Or are you so afraid of losing your place as a cog in the machine that you will remain forever silent?

Say NO! to this backroom deal - Catholic Online invites you to Join Now!

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Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



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