The Common Good
May 2007

There Are None So Blind...

by Elizabeth Palmberg | May 2007

Three factors that are invisible to market fundamentalists.

Three factors that are invisible to market fundamentalists.

• Your mother. Actually, parenting of any kind—plus all the other unpaid labor family members, mostly women, do in order to raise children, care for the sick, or haul clean water. When trade or aid agreements pressure or force governments to privatize essential services such as water, women's jobs get harder.

• Diseases of the poor. Activists forced the WTO to recognize poor countries' right to generic medicines in public health emergencies such as the AIDS epidemic. The U.S., in the pocket of Big Pharma, then started pushing direct and backdoor prohibitions on generic medicines into other trade agreements.

• The protectionism double standard. The economists, journalists, lawyers, and doctors that decry "protectionism" for lower-wage workers are themselves protected from substantial foreign competition by U.S. immigration and professional licensing laws.

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