ELECTION AND THE ‘VICIOUS CIRCLES’ OF POVERTY
by CYRIL GARE
The ‘light house’ is crumbling
Where the COVENANT OF MAN was sealed. A Government OF, BY, and FOR people was born. Our "knowns" from 42 years on as a nation state is a tapestry of good, bad and the ugly. Ahead, are more of the “unknowns” that provides anxiety and perplexity that which make life a worthy mysterious thoroughfare.
I do not believe that hosting an election every one five years is in itself a means to a good end. Because we simply keep voting in ‘vicious circles’ of poverty. For instance, because of poverty we choose to elect politicians who promise the ‘wished-for-millennium’ that cargo will come from outside or simply change will happen. After he gets in, he entwines in the Waigani ‘web’ where the amphetamines of power, money and lavish lifestyles are rife. He becomes ‘politik-ally wise’ (as in ‘street wise’ in sociology) but only ends up as being corrupt. His promises unfulfilled. The wished-for-millennium is in the air. People unserved and poverty remains. See diagram of a generic Vicious Circle (of development).
This has been the inherent fixture of our wished-for-millennium development trend since the first Parliament in 1964. For nearly 11 lives of Parliament, the ‘vicious circles’ of poverty have become a companion with the strive for better life.
The idea of development is like a towering light house. It has been guiding oriented emerging nations like sailors towards the coast – post war era since January, 1949 – The ‘Age of Development’. Whether it was democracy or dictatorship, the countries of the South proclaimed development as their primary aspiration, after they have been forced from the colonial subordination of the North.
For nearly seven decades on, governments and citizens alike have their eyes fixed on the light flashing as far as ever. Every effort and sacrifice is justified in reaching the beacon but the light keeps receding into the dark. Today, the lighthouse show cracks and is starting to crumble.
The idea of development stands like a ruin in the intellectual landscape. Delusion and disappointment, failures and crime have been the steady companions of development and they tell of a common story – it did not work but a fallacy. And we are recycled in the ‘vicious circle’ of poverty once again.
Many Papua New Guineans today are not experts but do understand the basics of micro and macro-economics and its applications and implications.
We are aware that our country is striving against tough financial time all kowtow to the dictates by world commodity pricing or unfair pricing. Therefore, there is nothing we can do, so our Government keeps telling us.
Though, we are owners of some of earth’s most priced resources such as logs, tuna, oil, gas, petroleum, gold and copper little are we empowered to price it hence, undervalued and paid less. They tell us, this is the job of WTO (World Trade Organisation).
For example, we grow cocoa and coffee fresh from our organic soil and sweat labour. The road side buyers pay at fixed price set by WTO at around one kina per kilogram. We did not choose the pricing. After it is exported, processed milo and coffee are sold back to us at exorbitant prices around K11 per 250 grams packets. The irony, we sell more –in raw form - in kilograms but get less – in processed form – for very high price. With the little money at hand, about 50 per cent goes to paying off debts and almost nothing left to service the recurrent and development budgets. Back, we return to the ‘vicious circle of poverty’.
We understand that Papua New Guinea became a member of World Trade Organisation since 9 June 1996 and a member of GATT since 16 December 1994. The WTO deals with the global rules of trade between 153 nations. Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.
The WTO is the body responsible for overseeing the rules of international trade or global capitalism. Its duties include monitoring trade agreements, settling disputes, and facilitating trade talks. Established in 1995 and based in Geneva, Switzerland, the WTO is the successor to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), a twenty-three–member organization founded in 1948 whose rules provided the principal foundation for international trade in goods.
Who runs the WTO?
The organization is headed by Director-General Roberto Azevêdo (of Brazil, since 1 September 2013), and its daily operations are overseen by a General Council, elected at biennial conferences of member-state representatives but with great influence from the Bilderberg Group (BG) who has influence over the Trilateral Commission of the United States Government and the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR). The General Council then elects a director-general. WTO ministerial conferences also serve as a forum to negotiate agreements that set the legal ground rules for international commerce. Decisions are binding and made by consensus. Member nations enforce WTO rules by imposing trade sanctions on states that break them.
Who benefits from the WTO?
Nations that rely heavily upon trade are the most likely to benefit. Papua New Guinea is the 89th largest export economy in the world out of 221 countries. In 2015, Papua New Guinea exported $9.1 billion and imported $4.54 billion, resulting in a positive trade balance of $4.52 billion.
The WTO establishes rules and structure for international trade, providing stability for these nations' commerce. The rules are intended to make trade as free and fair as possible. Free-trade advocates say freer, fairer trade can lower the cost of living while providing consumers with more choices. It can also stimulate growth, fuelling development and making people more prosperous.
Opponents of the WTO say that negotiations conducted without public scrutiny end up benefiting wealthy nations. They say the organization infringes on the sovereignty of member states and trade deals don't consider the impact on the environment. Developing countries, which often have uncompetitive industries that rely on government support, can be hurt by opening up to global trade as their companies struggle against more efficient foreign rivals. Many economists view this dislocation as a temporary setback that reverses developing countries like PNG into global control using tough competition.
Fallacy of Wealth Creation
All of us who inhabit the earth share in the common fact that our very existence depends on the shared availability of the natural resources. But the global economy has been engineered only to create an illusion that it is creating wealth - fallacy of wealth creation. In fact, it is not but concentrating the declining pool of wealth into fewer and fewer hands.
World governments are serving the interest of a few rich and powerful class of International ‘Banksters’ who are “looting the resources” of the world through control and influence of world trade.
Who really are these international banksters? Among hundreds of secret societies and shadowy global governments is the Bilderberg Group (BG). It was founded by former Nazi, Prince Bernard of Holland. In France in 1991, David Rockefeller, a member of the BG, defined the new World Order (WO) – the system of world governments serving the international banking elites. David Rockefeller also founded the Trilateral Commission of the United States Government which was dominant since the Carter administration.
BG is intricately kowtow to the TC with primary intention to be “the vehicle for multinational consolidation of commercial and banking interest by ceasing interests of the political government of the United States. It represents a skill full coordinated effort to cease control and consolidate the four (4) centers of power; political, monetary, intellect, and ecclesiastical,” said Author and Historian, Webster Tarphley, adding that in this way, “they create a worldwide economic power, superior than political governments of nation states, it involved managers and creators of the system that will rule the future”.
BG issues executive decisions and prime directives to its sub directors. TC executes through round table groups throughout Europe, Asia and the United States.
“It is a polycentric oligarchic system, you’ve got to get them out”, Tarphley lamented.
Author and Economist, George Humphrey believed “they have created a power elite. We’re not talking about a millionaire down the street, you can’t even become a member of their club, unless you’re a multi billionaire. This is about rich versus the poor, this is about a very, very small handful of the worst criminal elements in this planet”.
Within hours after his inauguration, President Donald Tump made sweeping changes and new appointments to key strategic positions of his administration. Most of these positions comprised members of the BG, TC and the CFR, affirming the suspicion of not just the American people but the world to new heights.
CFR also has several levels of corporate membership among them are ExxonMobil Corporation, Chevron Corporation, Shell Corporation, BP plc, Barclays plc, and Coca Cola Company who operates multi- million businesses in PNG.
The real estate billionaire Trump himself fits in perfectly well in the team following his January, 2017 inauguration.
In an interview with BBC News’ Bill Hayton in Brussels in 2005, BG Chairman, Viscount Etienne Davignon blatantly stated: "It is unavoidable and it doesn't matter," he says. "There will always be people who believe in conspiracies but things happen in a much more incoherent fashion" when responding to allegations that Bilderberg is a global conspiracy secretly ruling the world. "I don't think (we are) a global ruling class because I don't think a global ruling class exists. I simply think its people who have influence interested to speak to other people who have influence.
"Bilderberg does not try to reach conclusions - it does not try to say 'what we should do'. Everyone goes away with their own feeling and that allows the debate to be completely open, quite frank - and to see what the differences are.
"Business influences society and politics influences society - that's purely common sense. It's not that business contests the right of democratically-elected leaders to lead," Viscount Davignon said.
An Assertive Global Economy
Mal distribution of wealth therefore provides the leeway for a build-up of economic power which is increasingly concentrated not with governments but with global corporations such as the Bilderberg Group. Corporate executives wield unprecedented power over societies. They form part of a newly-dominant and assertive global institutions, state bureaucracies and inter government agencies. These Multinational Corporations (MNCs) are among the key agents in the process of globalization. They embody the emerging logic of global accumulation as they mark our new physical culture and economic frontier for global capitalism.
Capitalism, in the form of all transnational corporations has monopolized the production of manufactured goods using high tech machineries and equipment, commerce and marketing, banking and information. It is maintained that they use not only their enormous economic but also corruption and unfair or immoral practices to eliminate competition and preserve their dominance.
Third world countries including Papua New Guinea are therefore forcefully made dependent on developed countries for capital, technology and markets. These rich countries using WTO as shield set interest rates, terms of trade, the tariffs and import barriers generally, through their economic power and drain off surpluses in the poor countries. In the making, the world is polarized into the rich and powerful ‘haves’ and the poor and dependent ‘have nots’.
In great pessimism to development I remain a third world observer, free in mind but with little energy and power to change this evil that is shrouding our planet. I am spirited but a sitting duck.
Come April 20, 2017, the nominations will open for one week for candidates – some 2, 821 of them will vie for the Waigani ‘web’. By cognitive impulse, any one candidate should ask him or herself; am I true for this job? Am I conscious of the extent and magnitude of this fight in the waiting or am I in for reasons that are trivial and other than fighting the ‘vicious circles’ of poverty that is decaying the very fundamental for survival of our country and others in the third world order?