[Marxism] Guardian: How the Thai fishing industry traffics, imprisons and enslaves

ehrbar at marx.economics.utah.edu ehrbar at marx.economics.utah.edu
Mon Jul 20 10:35:37 MDT 2015


According to the Guardian article for which Shalva just sent the link

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/jul/20/thai-fishing-industry-implicated-enslavement-deaths-rohingya

"decades of overfishing and ecological destruction that has pushed fish
stocks to the brink" is one of the reasons why boat owners resort to
human trafficking.  Fishing no longer allows them to make a living.



The lawlessness of the oceans is vividly illustrated in a NYT article
exposing the criminal misdeeds of a Greek-owned ship in its trips around
Africa:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/19/world/stowaway-crime-scofflaw-ship.html



Rogue capitalists and criminals are not the only beneficiaries of the
international gaps of law enforcement, and ocean shipping is not the
only industry taking advantage of it.  International tax evasion is a
matter of course for all big corporations operating internationally.
The non-system which allows tax havens and puts ocean ships under the
jurisdiction of nations which have no interest in enforcing laws and
regulations, is being reformed right now---not because of proletarian
resistance or international solidarity, but because this non-system,
besides benefitting the corporations, has become the conduit for
financing terrorism and because it prevents a rational response to
climate change, ocean degradation, and species extinction.
Possibilities of better international governance were discussed in the
conference on financing for development in Addis Ababa last week, and
there will be an important UN summit about sustainable development in
September in New York City

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/summit

I am not sure if these negotiations are addressing the lawlessness on
the oceans, but apparently they are discussing the creation of an
international tax system and the elimination of tax havens.  Tax evasion
by companies and tax competition between sovereign nations deprives the
poor countries of the funds to provide their populations with
electricity and clean water, health care and education.  These tax
losses are much bigger than the current flow (trickle) of international
development aid.  A Guardian podcast in preparation of the Addis Ababa
conference gives a good idea of the issues involved:

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/jul/03/financing-the-sustainable-development-goals-podcast-transcript

Our discussions around Grexit and how to tax the Greek shipping tycoons
are only special cases of the wider issues discussed in these
conferences.  Marxists should enter these wider discussions, in order to
prevent corporate sabotage of the necessary reforms.

Hans G Ehrbar



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