By Paul Feldman;Corinna Lotz

Feldman P., et al. a global to win.. a coarse consultant to destiny with no international capitalism (Lupus Books, 2004)(ISBN 0952345412)

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The Dutch achieved a ratio of one man per ten tons by the end of the Renaissance. The Northern Italian city-states made dramatic improvements in shipbuilding technology. Using assembly lines and interchangeable parts, they could build large ships in a matter of days. With the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, England became the supreme maritime power and with the subsequent defeat of the Dutch, was in a position to protect her merchant trade. The resulting growth in international trade meant that in the 17th century the London-based East India Trading Company already operated on a transnational scale.

The British Medical Journal reported that “employees who had experienced major downsizing were also twice as likely to die from cardiovascular disease, particularly during the first four years after the job cuts”. Not only “restructuring” and “downsizing” but the way that new technologies are introduced and the lack of privacy rights at work seriously affect workers’ health. The TUC-backed Hazards magazine, which monitors workplace health, drew on a US study showing that closely monitored staff suffered more work dissatisfaction, depression, extreme anxiety, exhaustion, strain injuries and neck problems than unmonitored workers.

Panels of unelected experts have the power to adjudicate claims of alleged violations of these rules and to hand out punishments. The losing country has three choices: change its law to conform to the WTO ruling; face harsh, permanent economic sanctions; or pay permanent compensation to the winning country. The only task is to judge whether or not a country’s policy is a “barrier to trade”. The vast majority of WTO tribunal rulings have favoured the interests of corporations over objections by governments or social and environmental standards.

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