Earth Doctor / Climate Troubadour

Fast Track Blues

Good things take a long time, long time don’t you know?
Trouble can come on fast, but good things happen slow.
Get off that fast track,  mmm-mmm

Big train is a comin’, called the TPP,
Trans-Pacific Partnership, and baby, it ain’t free.
Get off of that Fast Track,  no TPP.

Corporations and Senators, standing at the switch;
Good people of America can’t tell which is which.
Get off that fast track, no TPP.

It’s goodbye constitution, goodbye democracy.
It’s gonna haul your job away with no apology.
Get off that fast track,  no TPP.

TPP is only free for the one per cent.
You talk about your freedom, but that ain’t what they meant.
Get off that fast track, no TPP.

TPP ain’t even, even about trade.
It’s all about just taking down the progress we have made.
We’re racing to the bottom,  digging our own graves,
We’re back to child labor, man, we’re slipping back to slaves.

They’ll come to get you, middle of the night.
Once they get it going, we’ll never put it right.
Get off that fast track, no TPP.

Good things take a long time, long time don’t you know?
Trouble can come on fast, but good things  happen slow.
Get off that fast track, no TPP.

Words & music ©Doug Hendren, Nancy Beall 2015 With special thanks to Dave Pruett for editorial suggestions.

What’s it about? The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a sweeping trade “agreement” granting unrestricted rights to global corporations.  Designed in secret, it will place private corporate interests above the rule of any national law, higher than U.S. law, and outside of any democratic oversight. The provisions in the TPP have relatively little to do with trade, but a great deal to do with expanding corporate power, and limiting the power of ordinary citizens and their elected governments to make important policies to protect families, justice, communities or protect our environment. With the TPP, all that matters is money flowing to the 1% at the top of the pyramid. Joseph Stiglitz (below) sums it up: “The real intent of these provisions is to impede health, environmental, safety, and, yes, even financial regulations meant to protect America’s own economy and citizens. Companies can sue governments for full compensation for any reduction in their future expected profits resulting from regulatory changes.” The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) resulted in the loss of approximately 3.5 million US manufacturing jobs, which were moved to Mexico to take advantage of lower wages. The result, more inequality and higher unemployment at home. The TPP has been described as “NAFTA on steroids”. The U.S. Constitution places the responsibility for negotiating trade agreements squarely on the shoulders of Congress; this power does not belong to the President. Ordinary Congressional process would require full disclosure of all aspects, vigorous examination and debate, and opportunity for public input. The profoundly undemocratic TPP, however, would never survive such examination. Knowing this, TPP proponents are seeking to do an end run around the Constitution by using a strategy called “Fast Track”, which essentially allows the President to sign it into law with very limited input from Congress. Fast Track succeeds, we will all suffer.

Some consequences of the TPP: Cripples the Constitution;  Undermines democracy;  Higher than U.S. law; Eclipses U.S. courts;  Offshores U.S. jobs;               Degrades work dignity; Lowers U.S. wages; Hastens climate disaster; Redistributes wealth upward; Worsens inequality.

 For More Information: Dave Pruett, Huffington Post: A Multinational Trojan Horse: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Joseph Stiglitz, RSN: How Trade Agreements Amount to a Secret Corporate Takeover Naomi Klein: The TPP is a Grave Threat to Climate Action Stop Calling the TPP a Trade Agreement – It Isn’t Public Citizen: TPP: Job Loss, Lower Wages and Higher Drug Prices Expose the TPP “The 10 biggest lies you’ve been told about the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” “TPP: Corporate ‘Tribunals’ Bad for People, Environment & Climate Justice,” DailyKos — this is a detailed explanation of all the ways the TPP threatens our climate.

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