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What Happens When “the Divine Right of Profit” — Conflicts With the Inalienable Right of Middle Class Americans to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness?

By Robert Sexton — Barack Obama drew the contrasts between the two choices in a stump speech in Ohio on Thursday this week.   It is a choice between two visions of economic progress, capitalism, the role of government, and the position and role of profit-making in a modern day, so-called free market economies.

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Do you believe in the “Divine Right of Profit” — at any cost — and to the potential detriment of every other sacred and hallowed American right and tradition?  Or do you believe in the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans — and that the prerogatives of business, capitalism, and profit must be adjudicated in the context of  the economic welfare and social and physical well-being of  middle class,  working Americans?  And for my money, if you put the “divine right to profit” ahead of the well-being of my countrymen — I have no use for you — or your free market capitalist system.  Consider yourself fore-warned!

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Wealthy individuals and corporations have done a very good job of selling the idea around the world that there is no higher form of human endeavor than making a profit — and they have even managed to get that idea incorporated into the Gatt Treaty (General Agreement on Tarriffs and Trade), such that when it comes down to the final decision about the highest and best use of resources, the local, state, and national government bodies of the signatory countries to the GATT Treaty must surrender the rights to the minerals and other resources to whatever international body lays claim to it, which they can do by providing evidence that they, the corporations,  can make the most potential profit from the successful predatory exploitation of a country’s sovereign resources.   Indigenous peoples all over the world are being striken of their sovereign rights to land, food, clean water, and clean air by corporations invoking the Gatt Treaty to gain control of sovereign resources.  It is a little bit like the international community creating a treaty that said that native Americans, by virtue of living in America — must by law turn over all their indigenous lands to corporations, trading companies, and land-speculators as a pre-condition to being allowed to continue to live in America.   And the ones who wouldn’t agree, of course, therefore  –were summarily executed — victims of predatory economic practices — and  genocide!