Tag Archives | Corporations

TPP vs. Democracy: Leaked Draft of Secretive Trade Deal Spells Out Plan for Corporate Power Grab

"With the veil of secrecy ripped back, finally everyone can see for themselves that the TPP would give multinational corporations extraordinary new powers that undermine our sovereignty," said Lori Wallach of Public Citizen. (Photo courtesy of Wikileaks)

“With the veil of secrecy ripped back, finally everyone can see for themselves that the TPP would give multinational corporations extraordinary new powers that undermine our sovereignty,” said Lori Wallach of Public Citizen. (Photo courtesy of Wikileaks)

This post was originally published on Common Dreams.

Newly leaked classified documents show that the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, if it goes through as written, will dramatically expand the power of corporations to use closed-door tribunals to challenge—and supersede—domestic laws, including environmental, labor, and public health, and other protections.

The tribunals, made infamous under NAFTA, were exposed in the “Investment Chapter” from the TPP negotiations, which was released to the public by WikiLeaks on Wednesday.

“The TPP has developed in secret an unaccountable supranational court for multinationals to sue states,” said Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor. “This system is a challenge to parliamentary and judicial sovereignty. Similar tribunals have already been shown to chill the adoption of sane environmental protection, public health and public transport policies.”

Responding to the leak, Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, declared: “With the veil of secrecy ripped back, finally everyone can see for themselves that the TPP would give multinational corporations extraordinary new powers that undermine our sovereignty, expose U.S.

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Unlike Other Tech Giants, Amazon Doubles Down on Coal

Zhao !  (CC BY 2.0)

Zhao ! (CC BY 2.0)

via Cleantechnica:

“Use the Web? Congrats! You’re an environmentalist.” So said a headline in the Washington Post last week, and with good reason: some of the biggest names behind the internet are powering their data centers with wind and solar power.

That’s important because the internet uses a lot of electricity. If the internet were a country, its electricity demand would rank as the sixth largest in the world.

The Washington Post story focused on search engines, and indeed Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft are increasingly powering their data centers with wind power in places like Iowa, Oklahoma, and Texas. But it’s not just search: Apple is powering its data centers, replete with all of our iTunes, with 100% renewable energy from wind, solar, geothermal, and microhydro power. Facebook is aiming for the same goal, and is purchasing massive quantities of wind power in Iowa to power our likes and shares in its data center there.

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Ireland to close corporate tax loophole used by Google and others

Google_logo

Well now isn’t that special.

Via the LA Times:

Bowing to pressure from U.S. and European officials, Ireland will phase out a notorious loophole that helps multinational corporations legally dodge billions of dollars in taxes in their homelands.

A tax maneuver known as the Double Irish has allowed major U.S. technology companies such as Google Inc. to funnel income through subsidiaries in Ireland to slash their tax bills at home.

The decision to close that loophole won’t affect Ireland’s low corporate tax rate or other special tax breaks that have lured the likes of tech giants Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Oracle, all of which have set up Irish subsidiaries to help them shelter foreign profits from U.S. taxes.

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This should be interesting…

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Growing global conflict a bonanza for arms makers

Hellfire missile maker Lockheed-Martin has been among the defence companies to experience share price gains. Photo: US Air Force

Hellfire missile maker Lockheed-Martin has been among the defence companies to experience share price gains. Photo: US Air Force

via The Sydney Morning Herald:

Geopolitical instability has left many global corporations jittery.

But the world’s biggest arms producers are doing well, with shares of the top 12 publicly listed firms – based on a list by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute – rising by almost 30 per cent on average in the last year.

Stock price data on the 12 companies reveal most have benefitted in a year in which the number of conflict zones in Europe, the Middle East and Africa has risen.

While some companies have under-performed during the period, many have risen by more than 50 per cent.

The average share rise of 30 per cent compares to a 9.3 per cent gain by the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The top 12 listed arms producers include companies such as Boeing, which makes commercial aircraft as well as defence and missile systems.

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Ralph Nader: How Corporate Espionage on Nonprofit Watchdogs Goes Unpunished

Ralph_Nader_in_Waterbury_12,_October_4,_2008

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader speaking at a campaign event in Waterbury, CT at 195 Grand St. By Sage Ross via Wikimedia Commons.

Just thought the Disinfo crowd might find this piece interesting. It was posted originally on AlterNet, so click through the link to read the entire thing.

via AlterNet:

Here’s a dirty little secret you won’t see in the daily papers: corporations conduct espionage against US nonprofit organizations without fear of being brought to justice.

Yes, that means using a great array of spycraft and snoopery, including planned electronic surveillance, wiretapping, information warfare, infiltration, dumpster diving and so much more.

The evidence abounds.

For example, six years ago, based on extensive documentary evidence, James Ridgeway reported in Mother Jones on a major corporate espionage scheme by Dow Chemical focused on Greenpeace and other environmental and food activists.

Greenpeace was running a potent campaign against Dow’s use of chlorine to manufacture paper and plastics.

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[Poll] The Poll of Polls

coverThis week, I’m pushing my work off onto you, dear Disinfonauts. Help me come up with new weekly poll topics. I’ve listed five that I thought of, but feel free to send in ideas or leave ‘em in the comment section.

The Poll of Polls

Which poll topic would you like to see?

• Favorite political cartoonist
• Most effective torture device
• Favorite paradox
• Least effective president of the last 20 years
• Favorite conspiracy theory

Most hated company?

So, Monsanto won by a landslide, with Walmart in second and Koch Industries in third. I thought Monsanto might win as it’s the corporation in the news as of late, but I didn’t expect this big of a blowout. I also didn’t expect Disinformation to beat out Amazon!

Monsanto (40%, 430 Votes)
Walmart (13%, 138 Votes)
Koch Industries (10%, 108 Votes)
JP Morgan Chase (5%, 59 Votes)
Comcast (5%, 51 Votes)
Facebook (5%, 49 Votes)
McDonald’s (4%, 41 Votes)
BP (3%, 35 Votes)
21st Century Fox (3%, 34 Votes)
Apple (3%, 31 Votes)
Google (2%, 26 Votes)
Pfizer (1%, 15 Votes)
Disinformation (1%, 13 Votes)
Verizon (1%, 10 Votes)
Microsoft (1%, 10 Votes)
Amazon (1%, 9 Votes)
General Motors (1%, 8 Votes)
Syngenta (0%, 5 Votes)
Novartis (0%, 3 Votes)
Merck (0%, 3 Votes)
Johnson & Johnson (0%, 2 Votes)
Glaxo (1%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,082

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[Poll] Most Hated Company

OUTFOXED-foxattacks_frontThis week, I thought we’d focus on corporations and the deep resentments many of us harbor for them. Most of the ones I’ve listed are US companies (I am, after all, most familiar with them as I live here). But, as always, feel free to lament missing companies in the comments.

Most Hated Company

21st Century Fox
Amazon
Apple
BP
Comcast
Disinformation
Facebook
General Motors
Glaxo
Google
Johnson & Johnson
JP Morgan Chase
Koch Industries
McDonald’s
Merck
Microsoft
Monsanto
Novartis
Pfizer
Syngenta
Verizon
Walmart


Last week’s poll was actually way more popular than I expected. I assumed that “War Pigs” would win and it did by a pretty significant margin.

Favorite Vietnam Protest Song (from the ones listed)?

  • “War Pigs” – Black Sabbath (1971) (19%, 124 Votes)
  • “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag” – Country Joe and the Fish (1967) (12%, 82 Votes)
  • “Gimme Shelter” – The Rolling Stones (1969) (12%, 78 Votes)
  • “Ohio” – Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (1970) (7%, 47 Votes)
  • “What’s Going On” – Marvin Gaye (1971) (7%, 43 Votes)
  • “Eve of Destruction” – Barry McGuire and P.F.
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