TRIPS: The Story of How Intellectual Property Became Linked to Trade, Part 2

This is the second part of a seven-part series with Peter Drahos, a Professor in the RegNet School of Regulation and Global Governance at the Australian National University. He holds a Chair in Intellectual Property at Queen Mary, University of London and is a member of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. In 2004 he and his co-author Professor John Braithwaite won the Grawemeyer Award in Ideas Improving World Order for their book Global Business Regulation. Prof. Drahos is interviewed by Lynn Fries, producer at The Real News Network. Find the whole series here. Full text below the break. LYNN FRIES: Welcome to TRN, I?m Lynn Fries in Geneva …

Prospects for the Spanish Left, Part 2

William Saas, Jorge Amar, David Glotzer, and Scott Ferguson This is the second part of a three-part series on Spain’s economic crisis, the program of the new leftist political party Podemos, and both the limitations and potential of the Spanish left today. This installment focuses on the relevance of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) in transcending conventional balanced-budget thinking. Part 1 is available here. William O. Saas is an assistant professor of rhetoric at Louisiana State University. His work has appeared in symplok? and Rhetoric & Public Affairs. Jorge Amar is a Spanish economist, president of Asociación por el Pleno Empleo y la Estabilidad de Precios, or Full Employment and Price…

Act on Air Pollution, the Silent Killer

Martin Khor What causes as many or more deaths in Malaysia as road accidents but has not been known to be such a dangerous killer? Air pollution. This “killer” is not as dramatic or visible as car crashes, but is even more dangerous as it penetrates and contaminates our vital organs, leading to serious diseases and thousands of death. Outdoor air pollution caused 6,251 deaths in Malaysia in 2012, according to a recent report by the World Health Organisation. The deaths were due to heart disease (3,630), stroke (1773), lung cancer (670), pulmonary disease (148) and lower respiratory disease (29). In 2013, road accidents killed 7,129 people in Malaysia, slightly more than the…

Cheaper, Quicker, Safer: Green Transportation for All

Liz Stanton Getting ourselves, our kids, and all of the material goods of our economy from point A to point B resulted in 1.9 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere in 2015. That’s 35 percent of all U.S. carbon pollution and 6 percent of global carbon emissions—just from U.S. transportation. Worldwide, transportation is responsible for one-seventh of all greenhouse gas emissions. To keep global temperature rise below 2°C (or even below 3 or 4°C) we’ll need a vast, all-encompassing transformation. Incremental changes—a little bit better gas mileage, a few more people taking public transit—aren’t going to cut it. Staying below 2…

The Future of Fish Antibiotics in Survival?

Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta splendens) As the first physician to write, years ago, about aquarium and avian antibiotics as a survival tool, I’ve long realized their utility in preventing unnecessary deaths in true survival scenarios (in normal times, seek modern and standard medical care). Lately, I’ve received a lot of mail asking about the upcoming FDA Veterinary Feed Directive. Does it mean the end of the availability of fish and bird meds for placement in disaster medical storage? To understand what the Veterinary Feed Directive is and what it means for the preparedness community, we should first describe the problem that the Directive aims to correct: Antibiotic resistance. There is an epidemic of antibiotic resistance in this country, and it exists, not because of pet bird or …

TRIPS: The Story of How Intellectual Property Became Linked to Trade

This is the first part of a seven-part series with Peter Drahos, a Professor in the RegNet School of Regulation and Global Governance at the Australian National University. He holds a Chair in Intellectual Property at Queen Mary, University of London and is a member of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. In 2004 he and his co-author Professor John Braithwaite won the Grawemeyer Award in Ideas Improving World Order for their book Global Business Regulation. Prof. Drahos is interviewed by Lynn Fries, producer at The Real News Network. Full text below the break. PETER DRAHOS: Think for a moment about …

Prospects for the Spanish Left

William Saas, Jorge Amar, David Glotzer, and Scott Ferguson This is the first part of a three-part series on Spain’s economic crisis, the program of the new leftist political party Podemos, and both the limitations and potential of the Spanish left today. The authors point to the importance of employment policy (and especially a job guarantee) for pulling Spain out of the crisis, the necessity of a “left exit” (lexit) from the euro, and the relevance of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) in transcending conventional balanced-budget thinking. William O. Saas is an assistant professor of rhetoric at Louisiana State University. His work has…

Too Many Years of Living Dangerously: The UNCTAD Trade and Development Report 2016

Jayati Ghosh For many years now, the Trade and Development Reports produced by UNCTAD have been providing a voice of sanity in a global discourse on the world economy that has often appeared to be dominated by denial and irrelevance. The Report has also often proved to be remarkably prescient, for example by anticipating as early as 2006 the likely collapse of financial markets that occurred in 2008, or by pointing in the past few years to the futility of excessive reliance on monetary policies alone to lift economic growth, which policy makers are only beginning to come to grips with at present. This year’s Report provides a similarly insightful assessment of current economic trends, which captures the …

Parasitic Worms

parasitic worm It’s important to realize that there are infections not commonly seen today in developed countries that may become major issues if a disaster throws you off the grid. Knowing which disease-causing organisms exist in your area, even if they are not major problems today, will be important to keep your loved ones healthy. The word “parasite” comes from the Greek word Parastos, meaning “someone that eats at someone else’s table”. When we think of para- sites, none give us the creeps more than having worms. Parasites like ticks, fleas, mites, and lice live on our skin or just beneath; these are called ectoparasites. Worms, also known as helminths, are endoparasites. They live deep in our…

Trump, Clinton, Obama and the TPP

Jomo Kwame Sundaram The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement between the US and eleven other Pacific Rim countries was under negotiation for the first seven years of the Obama presidency. For the first four years, Hilary Clinton was the Secretary of State, directly supervising the negotiations. Even after she quit her cabinet position to launch for her second presidential bid, she continued to tout it in superlative terms. Yet, by early 2016, most presidential aspirants, including Mrs. Clinton, had disowned the TPP. No new information about the TPP had come to light to prompt this volte face. Nor had the then …

Prepping for Your Dog

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Video: An Alternative to Epi-Pen

bee stings can cause severe allergic reactions In this video, Joe Alton, MD, aka Dr. Bones, discusses the recent scandal where Mylan corporation, the company that markets the life-saving autoinjector “Epi-Pen“, raised prices on a pack of two from $100 in 2007 to $600 today. Although the company has given out some savings cards for up to $300, only a certain few are eligible and definitely not if you’re on Medicaid. Indeed, now it appears that Mylan had been gouging the federal government as well, and is being investigated. Guess that’s proof that all publicity isn’…

Social Democracy, the “Third Way,” and the Crisis of Europe, Part 3

Alejandro Reuss Historian and economist Alejandro Reuss is co-editor of Triple Crisis blog and Dollars & Sense magazine. This is the final part of a three-part series on the historical trajectory of European social democracy towards the so-called “Third Way”—a turn away from class-struggle politics and a compromise with neoliberal capitalism—and its role in the shaping of the Economic and Monetary Union of the EU. (See Part 1 and Part 2.) It is a continuation of his earlier series “The Eurozone Crisis: Monetary Union and Fiscal Disunion” (Part 1 and Part 2). His related article “An Historical Perspective on Brexit: Capitalist Internationalism, Reactionary Nationalism, and Socialist Internationalism” is available here. Social Democratic Revivalism? A deep crisis of global capitalism, its …

The CETA Trade Pact Will Add to the Groundswell of Discontent

Why We Need More Informed Decision-Making Servaas Storm and Pierre Kohler Guest bloggers Servaas Storm and Pierre Kohler wrote the following analysis of the Canada-EU trade agreement for Naked Capitalism, based on their modeling study, ” CETA Without Blinders: How Cutting ‘Trade Costs and More’ Will Cause Unemployment, Inequality and Welfare Losses, ” which was published by the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE) as part of its ongoing work modeling trade policy. The study follows earlier modeling on the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Things have changed. Until just a few weeks ago it was easy for economists and trade policymakers to discard the massive waves of protest across European countries against two controversial transatlantic free trade …

Video: Hurricane Tips (With Winds in the Background)

Hurricane Safety Tips In this companion video to a recent article, Joe Alton, MD goes into his own backyard while Hurricane Matthew’s winds start coming in, and describes 28 different safety tips regarding food, water, shelter, evacuation, and much more for any major storm. One of Dr. Alton’s most comprehensive videos on storm preparedness so far. To watch, click below: Wishing you the best of health in good times or bad, Joe and Amy Alton

Leaders Pledge Action to Control Superbugs

Martin Khor AT the opening of the Summit of the United Nations General Assembly on Sept 20, it sounded much like the swan song of two of the regular stalwarts of this annual affair. It is the last General Assembly to be attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and United States President Barack Obama. Both made interesting speeches. Ban listed all the woes afflicting the world, especially terrorism, while praising the Paris agreement and the sustainable development goals as big achievements of his eight years as the UN leader. Obama, sounding like a professor, gave a lengthy analysis of the state of the world and the role of the United…

Pensions for All

Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Rob Vos October 1st is the International Day of Older Persons. Just another day? Perhaps, but it should remind us that the world’s population is ageing, brought about by the combined effects of declining mortality and fertility rates and longer longevity. By mid-century, one out of five people will be over 65 compared to over one in ten now. This is dramatic enough. What is equally compelling is that eighty per cent of older persons in the world will be living in developing countries by then – within two generations. This ageing of the world’s population is one of humanity’s major achievements. Yet, significant challenges are keeping in step…

Trump’s Hypocrisy on NAFTA

Timothy A. Wise PAUL JAY, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I?m Paul Jay in Baltimore.The NAFTA, free trade agreement, between the US and Canada and Mexico, was sold to the peoples of North America as something that would strengthen the middle class of all three countries. Instead, it helped create squalid, low-wage industrial zones in Mexico and devastated much of the manufacturing sector in states like Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York. It made US companies rich, taking advantage of the lower wages both in Mexico and the pressure those low wages put on American wages. It cost jobs in the US and failed to raise…

Social Democracy, the “Third Way,” and the Crisis of Europe, Part 2

Alejandro Reuss Historian and economist Alejandro Reuss is co-editor of Triple Crisis blog and Dollars & Sense magazine. This is the second part of a three-part series on the historical trajectory of European social democracy towards the so-called “Third Way”—a turn away from class-struggle politics and a compromise with neoliberal capitalism—and its role in the shaping of the Economic and Monetary Union of the EU. (See Part 1.) It is a continuation of his earlier series “The Eurozone Crisis: Monetary Union and Fiscal Disunion” (Part 1 and Part 2). His related article “An Historical Perspective on Brexit: Capitalist Internationalism, …

Battling Apple and the Giants

C.P. Chandrasekhar On the 30th of August European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager dropped a bombshell at the tax doors of the world’s leading multinational corporations. After a lengthy investigation she ruled that Ireland must recover from the local Apple subsidiary up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in unpaid past taxes, adding on interest on delayed payments, which could take the total to as much as 19 billion euros ($21 billion).The ruling was based on a decision that tax benefits provided to Apple’s subsidiaries in Ireland through two tax rulings amounted to ‘state aid’ that was illegal under EU rules. The penalty, though huge by past standards, is not the issue here. With as much as $230 billion of cash and liquid securities (which can be easily…

Social Democracy, the “Third Way,” and the Crisis of Europe, Part 1

Alejandro Reuss Historian and economist Alejandro Reuss is co-editor of Triple Crisis blog and Dollars & Sense magazine. This is the first part of a three-part series on the historical trajectory of European social democracy towards the so-called “Third Way”—a turn away from class-struggle politics and a compromise with neoliberal capitalism—and its role in the shaping of the Economic and Monetary Union of the EU. It is a continuation of his earlier series “The Eurozone Crisis: Monetary Union and Fiscal Disunion” (Part 1 and Part 2). His related article “An Historical Perspective on Brexit: Capitalist Internationalism, Reactionary Nationalism…

The End of U.S.-Led Economic Globalisation?

Jayati Ghosh There is much angst in the Northern financial media about how the era of globalisation led actively by the United States may well be coming to an end. This is said to be exemplified in the changed political attitudes to mega regional trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) that was signed (but has not yet been ratified) by the US and 11 other countries in Latin America, Asia and Oceania; and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP) still being negotiated by the US and the European Union. President Obama has been a fervent supporter of both these deals, with the explicit aim of enhancing and securing US power. “We have to make sure America writes the rules of …

The Clean Power Plan’s Day in Court

Elizabeth A. Stanton In one week, the D.C. Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals will begin hearing oral arguments regarding the Clean Power Plan—that’s the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule limiting carbon emissions from existing power plants that the Supreme Court put on hold in February. In staying the rule, the Supreme Court flagged concerns that EPA had failed to take the rule’s economic impacts into account. The 27 states challenging the rule have focused their arguments instead on its legal niceties claiming that the federal government is overstepping its authority. Of the 27 states suing the EPA, 21 have already achieved their 2024 emission reduction targets and 18 have enacted policies …

The Wrong Side of a Long, Long History of Resource Extraction

Elizabeth A. Stanton Elizabeth A. Stanton, PhD, is an independent consultant with more than 15 years of professional experience as an environmental economist, and has authored more than 80 reports, policy studies, white papers, journal articles, and book chapters on topics related to energy, the economy, and the environment. Thanks to abundant coverage by social media, the nation watched this week as activists protesting the construction of a pipeline to transport oil through the Dakotas, Iowa and Illinois put their own safety at risk to protect a Native American cultural site. A Pinkterton-esque goon squad used pepper spray and attack dogs to clear the site for unscheduled excavation, resulting in injuries, hospitalizations, and an outraged public. Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company—the…

The New Extreme Reality of Floods

Sunita Narain Bihar chief minister, Nitish Kumar, whose state is submerged under water reportedly told the prime minister that he wants to cry. We should add our tears to his. This year’s floods not only have the imprint of our gross and near criminal mismanagement, but also mark the beginning of the world risked because of climate change. This should worry us. In fact, scare us. We need to realise that we do not have the luxury of delayed action and petty party politics. In this climate-risked world, where we are hit by a double whammy, we need to ensure that not only do we get development right, but we also need to do this at a scale and…