The debate over the political future of Puerto Rico is entering a new phase, as the island’s present status as a commonwealth of the U.S. faces a growing rejection by international bodies and the people of Puerto Rico.

In August 1979, the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization declared that at present, the island must be considered a U.S. colony. It demanded a change in the relationship between the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and labeled statement an unacceptable alternative. Both in Washington and San Juan, political leaders are calling for a plebiscite to decide the island’s fate. Governor Carlos Romero-Barcelo hopes to implement a referendum on statehood some time next year, and President Carter has voiced support for self-determination for the island’s people.

The crucial element in the U.S. relationship with Puerto Rico is the activities of U.S. multinationals on the island. With a financial stake of $18 billion, U.S. corporations and banks are seen by Puerto Rico’s present leadership as key to the island’s economic development.

Other Puerto Ricans view U.S. corporations in a different light. Dr. Neftali Garcia, a chemist and prominent activist associated with Industrial Mission, a church-sponsored environmental group based in Hato Rey, sees large-scale penetration by multinationals as responsible for the economic deterioration and environmental destruction on the island.

Since 1968, the Industrial Mission has conducted research on the environmental impact of corporate activity in Puerto Rico. The organization has led opposition to a number of projects propose3d by mainland firms, including Kennecott’s plans to develop copper mines in Central Puerto Rico, and General Electric’s proposal to build a nuclear power plant in Aracebo.

The following interview with Dr. Garcia was conducted in several sessions during November, before the increased political turmoil occasioned by the ambush of U.S. navy personnel near San Juan.

MULTINATIONAL MONITOR: The United States’ economic relationship with Puerto Rico has been a long and oftentimes controversial oone. In recent years we have witnessed increased investment by U.S. multinationals in heavy industries producing pollution but few jobs. Historically, what has been the pattern of American economic involvement on the island?

DR. NEFTALI GARCIA: The investment of U.S. capital in Puerto Rico has gone through three phases. The first phase included investment in sugar cane, tobacco, and the production of citrus fruits. It had a time span of 50 years during this century after the U.S. invasion. But the commercialization of agricultural production for export brought a contradiction: It destroyed the subsistence agriculture of the island and made it necessary for Puerto Rico to import food for consumption. The prices demanded for imported staple foods and other products were too high for the low wages paid to the workers. So there was a contradiction that had to be solved in one of two ways. Either the companies had to go from Puerto Rico to areas with viable local agriculture capable of meeting food needs at lower prices, or else they had to mechanize their operations in Puerto Rico. What they did was to go to Hawaii, the Dominican Republic and Cuba. What they did was kill the sugar industry in Puerto Rico, which had been labor-intensive.

Between 1950 and 1965, investment took place in light industries, with low investment in machinery and buildings, and high investment in total wages paid to the large number of workers employed. This pattern fell into a similar malaise, a similar contradiction. The corporations wanted to pay low salaries, but already by the middle of the sixties Puerto Rico was controlled by the agricultural monopolies of the U.S. for its food supply. Either the companies had to subsidize the industries, mechanize them, or get out. They went to Taiwan and the Dominican Republic.

Since 1965 investment has taken place increasingly in the areas of pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals and refineries, highly mechanized industries which use a lot of water, electricity and land, are heavy polluters, and generate few jobs. For example, with an investment of $1.6 billion, the petrochemical plants and refineries have created only 8,000 jobs. And 2,000 of them have been lost since 1974 when the economic crisis began in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. So after an investment of $1.6 billion, 6,000 jobs are left. In the case of pharmaceuticals, corporations have invested $750 million and created only 8,000 jobs. We have witnessed a tendency to increase the amount of capital used for machinery, raw materials and auxiliary materials and a relative reduction in the total capital going to wages. And all this on an island with a population density of 1,000 persons per square mile.

MONITOR: Can you provide details on U.S. investment in the oil, petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries in Puerto Rico?

GARCIA: As I said, investment in refineries and petrochemical companies is approximately $1.6 billion. The investments in this area have been made mainly by Commonwealth Oil Refining Company (CORCO), which also has petrochemical plants, and by Union Carbide. Union Carbide has $500 million in Puerto Rico in petrochemicals and also in a plant producing graphite electrodes, and one that produces plastic covers for sausages. Other companies with investments include Phillips, Sun Oil, and Gulf. But those are minor investments compared to Commonwealth and Union Carbide.

The island accounts for 15 percent of all the benzene produced in the U.S., and more than 15 percent of the ethylene glycol. In general, more than 15 percent of many other chemicals that present health hazards during the production process are made in Puerto Rico.

MONITOR: What are the conditions in the plants for the workers?

GARCIA: The problems are many. On the basis of interviews the Industrial Mission recently conducted in the plants, we have found a high correlation between leukemia and employment in the petro chemical plants, particularly in the aromatic plants, those producing benzene and xylens. Also, 90 percent of the workers employed by CORCO, and a majority of workers in the Union Carbide factories, are suffering from hearing losses apparently linked to working conditions.

MONITOR: What has been the environmental and health impact of these plant: on the surrounding communities?

GARCIA: We have concentrated most of our research in this area on respiratory functions. In a controlled study of ten communities, we found that the rate of obstructive diseases, I mean a reduction in the capacity to breathe, ranges from ten to 25 times higher in communities affected by pollution than in communities not affected by pollution.

MONITOR: How does the frequency of respiratory diseases in Puerto Rico compare with the rate in the mainland United” States?

GARCIA: According to U.S. government statistics, between 0.3 and 0.4 percent of the mainland population suffer from obstructive diseases. We have located Puerto Rican communities where up to 5 percent of the people-over ten times the U.S. average-are afflicted with respiratory ailments. For example, in Yabucoa, where Union Carbide Graphito is located, we have found that 3.5 percent of the population suffers from obstructive diseases. In Catano, near San Juan, where there are oil-fired thermo-electric plants and a refinery, 5 percent of the people are diagnosed as having respiratory ailments. We have also found ten cases of throat and nose cancer in Ingenio, a barrio of 2,000 people in Yabucoa. A clear pattern emerges from our work in these communities.

MONITOR: U.S. industrial health and safety regulations apply to corporations in Puerto Rico. The Industrial Mission is on record as criticizing lax enforcement of these standards. How has the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the federal agency responsible for enforcement of these laws, failed in policing working conditions on the island?

GARCIA: OSHA has never taken a company to court for health and safety violations in Puerto Rico. The agency employs a total of 11 people for all of Puerto Rico, of which about half are inspectors. This manpower level compares quite unfavorably with the situation on the mainland.

Not only is there a shortage of personnel: the agency’s enforcement priorities are misdirected. Workers complain that the OSHA inspectors worry only about whether a factory has enough fire extinguishers and properly covered machines. Now, in a petrochemical plant those are dangers, but they’re not the main dangers. OSHA doesn’t spend enough time investigating the impact of exposure to chemicals on workers’ health.

MONITOR: Critics of U.S. health and safety policy maintain that OSHA has always been strapped by a manpower shortage, even on the mainland, which limits their ability to enforce regulations….

GARCIA: Yes, this is true, but the situation on the island is still far worse than anything on the mainland. OSHA has failed to act on even the most flagrant abuses of worker health and safety regulations, and workers have lost all faith in OSHA’s desire to enforce the laws. OSHA seems to look the other way. They have an unwritten agreement with the companies not to push them too much. It’s a general code of conduct.

MONITOR: Can you give us any examples of this lack of concern?

GARCIA: Yes. OSHA took no action against Becton-Dickinson, even though 33 workers were poisoned by mercury at the plant. The plant. produced thermometers. Thirty-three were poisoned, and five died. The records of the causes of death of these five disappeared from the hospital. OSHA did nothing. The workers-many of the surviving ones had by now been fired by the company-tiled a suit against Becton-Dickinson. Eventually, the two parties reached an out-of-court settlement. The company paid them $2.5 million.

The Becton-Dickinson episode took place in the early seventies. More recently, a plant owned by Westinghouse has been producing fluorescent lamps in Cayey. In July of 1979, after only nine months of operation, workers developed high levels of mercury in their blood and urine. We got the data and held a press conference. OSHA didn’t know anything. We filed a complaint, and as far as we know the agency has not done anything.

MONITOR: Have workers themselves taken similar initiatives?

GARCIA: Workers fear for their jobs, and have no faith that OSHA will support them if they do come forward. For example, in December 1978 ten workers from a chloroalkaline plant owned by PPG Industries [formerly Pittsburgh Plate Glass] held a press conference to announce they had mercury poisoning, but only after the company had notified the workers that it was closing the plant and laying them off. During the press conference the workers indicated that they didn’t go to OSHA simply because their experience, and the experience of other Puerto Rican workers, is that if you do go to OSHA, you can get fired and still get no results.

MONITOR: You referred earlier to the small number of jobs created by U.S. corporations and the consequently high level of unemployment, because of the capital intensity of their investments. At the same time, many Americans view Puerto Rico as a haven for welfare and food stamp recipients. What role do these welfare programs now play in the Puerto Rican economy?

GARCIA: First, we should consider the political role. The period between .1968 and 1974 was characterized by a high number of strikes, more militant strikes, and student activity on campus. If one had to characterize the period, it would be called a time of social turmoil on the island. The economic crisis of 1974-75 made social problems even more acute. Food stamps were introduced in 1975. Since then, we have seen a smaller number of strikes, fewer hours per worker lost due to strikes, and a’ lower level of militancy.

Most Puerto Ricans are taught how much we receive from the US., but few learn about the capital the corporations are taking out. Each year, US. companies repatriate $2 billion from Puerto Rico. American taxpayers are putting in almost as much each year. Through food stamps, and other social service programs, American taxpayers are subsidizing the presence of U.S. companies on the island and allowing them to reap greater profits. Food stamps enable the corporations to keep wages low, by defusing the pressures for better wages to meet the needs of families which often have one or more who is unemployed. The food stamps and other programs dampen the contradiction between the highly mechanized, capital–intensive industries that provide few jobs, and the high levels of relative overpopulation.

So taxpayers are subsidizing the presence of U.S. companies on the island. And this hasn’t done any good for Puerto Rico or the Puerto Ricans. We would prefer to be working, to be in control of our natural resources, protecting our health and generating jobs for Puerto Ricans under Puerto Rican control. Welfare doesn’t solve the problem-unemployment and underemployment stand at 50 percent, food stamps are used by over 50 percent of all Puerto Ricans, crime is very high, and social problems are immense. Who is benefiting from this? The corporations. And who is paying? Workers from the U.S.. and Puerto Rico.

MONITOR: So what you are saying is that the corporations, rather than the people of Puerto Rico, are the prime beneficiaries of the transfer payments?

GARCIA: Exactly. And the subsidies to the U.S. corporations work at a second level: It is food from the U.S. mainland that the Puerto Ricans buy with their food stamps.

The main system used by U.S. companies such as Grand Union and Pueblo Supermarkets to destroy Puerto Rico’s economic structure has been dumping, that is, selling food from the U.S. to Puerto Rico that is in surplus. This has taken place in ‘the areas of chicken and eggs. Over the last 20 years, Puerto Ricans developed relatively modem egg and chicken production, and they developed a market for such products. During the last ten years, eggs and chickens in increasing amounts have been brought into Puerto Rico from Florida and other places in the south. The products have usually been lower in quality-type C poultry for example-but they are sold temporarily at a low price. After companies have captured a large part ‘of the market, they then start raising the prices to monopoly levels.

The companies push out those Puerto Rican industries at a lower level of technological development, and only those with a high level of technology or government subsidies can survive. For example, chicken production has disappeared from central Puerto Rico over the last few years.

Furthermore, agriculture has been wiped out. We no longer produce much rice and beans, the staples of the Puerto Rican diet.

MONITOR: From your remarks thus far, it seems clear that you believe U.S. involvement in’ the Puerto Rican economy has eroded the quality of life for most of the people on the island. Recently, there have been discoveries of important mineral deposits, as well as potentially large offshore petroleum reserves. Do these resources perhaps hold the key to a brighter economic future for the island’s, population?

GARCIA: Yes, but only if the discoveries lead to independence for Puerto Rico. There is a turmoil, both political and social. The present colonial status is under fire from all quarters, even from those that defended it completely in the past, The pro-statehood and pro-independence forces have been growing in the last ten years. Traditionally, the discovery of oil has had the effect of moving an area closer to statehood. That was the case with Alaska. I would say that the discovery of oil, together with, the fact that we have copper and nickel, cobalt, gold and other metals, will favor statehood or independence.

Why independence? Because after all, we have been told that we are a country without natural resources. The colonized peoples are always told they don’t have resources. The discovery of oil and minerals will help to start decolonizing the people, help them to outgrow the mentality that we can’t become self-sufficient. On the other hand, the pro-statehood forces now say that our resources will provide us with the economic base to pay U.S. taxes.

MONITOR: So political change is clearly coming to Puerto Rico. Who is going to win out?

GARCIA: I’ would say that the U.S. will have to move in the direction of solving the Puerto Rican problem in an international forum. The U.S. will try to secure its control over our non-renewable resources, and its $18 billion in investments on the island.

The move towards independence would be a long and difficult process after 500 years of being a colony, first of Spain and then of the U.S. But in the minds of the people, the Commonwealth status is doomed, and I would say that the statehood forces have lost ground in the past two years.. The cultural reaction, the political reaction, the economic reaction in Puerto Rico by Puerto Ricans and by U.S. companies has not been completely favorable towards a fast pace towards statehood. Puerto Ricans fear that what has been going on in terms of pollution and economic destruction would continue under statehood.

It is difficult to predict what the outcome will be. One thing is certain: political conflict on the island is heightening. There is a span of four or five years for Puerto Rico to decide where we are going, and for the U.S. to react. I expect that the pro-independence forces will grow in the next few years, when people see that independence is the only concrete solution to Puerto Rico’s problems.

In an apparent attempt to win the maximum possible compensation settlement from Tanzania for assets it seized -17 months ago, Great Britain’s Lonrho Corporation has launched a campaign to discredit the financially-troubled East African nation in the eyes of its major public governmental and bank lenders.

Tanzania expropriated the 19 Lonrho-held companies, most of them tea estates and trading firms dealing in automotive and agricultural products, citing the multinational’s continued “meddling” in the politics of Southern Africa. Since the September 1978 expropriation, Lonrho and Tanzania have engaged in acrimonious negotiations over what constitutes fair compensation for the assets. The two sides are reportedly far from a settlement, with Lonrho demanding some $40 million-about eight times what Tanzania is offering.

In recent months, the often-controversial multinational, which earns 70 percent of its profits in Africa, has called out the heavy artillery against Tanzania. It has fired off cables and letters to the World Bank and the British government, as well` as to a host of other major multilateral and bilateral lenders, claiming that Tanzania does not intend to provide compensation for the seized assets, and urging these institutions to withhold funds from Tanzania as a result. “

Lonrho has focused its campaign on the World Bank, which in recent years has become Tanzania’s largest public source of aid, extending over $100 million in new loans annually. In a November cable to World Bank President Robert S. McNamara, Lonrho deputy chairman George Bolton -asserted that “Tanzania has no intention of compensating us in full, fair and prompt fashion” and asked for McNamara’s “full cooperation in denying Tanzania any aid.” Additionally, Lonrho officials have attempted to convince the British Government, one of Tanzania’s major sources of bilateral aid, to end its financial support of the country. In particular, Lonrho called on its home government to cancel loans recently extended for a major new Tanzanian road project.

Lonrho’s broadsides have yielded the giant conglomerate no concrete results to date. Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere has not responded to the attack, stating that his country still stands ready to negotiate a compensation settlement. Neither the World Bank nor the British Govern ment have expressed sympathy for Lonrho’s view of the dispute.

Nevertheless, the corporate campaign comes at a time when Tanzania can ill afford to fall into disfavor with its major creditors. Countries throughout Africa have been hard hit by the combination of skyrocketing petroleum prices and falling revenues from exported agricultural commodities. Tanzania’s economic problems have been compounded by last year’s military campaign to overthrow Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. The British government estimates the war effort cost an estimated $250 million, the majority of it in precious foreign exchange. Since last spring, Tanzania has hovered near the brink of economic collapse.

The recent public posturing of Lonrho over the compensation dispute would be considered extraordinary for most major multinationals, but it represents far from surprising behavior on the part of Lonrhoformerly the London and Rhodesia Mining and Land Company-and its chairman, Rowland “Tiny” Rowland.

In the early sixties, Rowland gained control of Lonrho at a time when the company was still a minor cattle-ranching and mining enterprise based almost exclusively in Rhodesia.

Today, Lonrho has operations in more than 40 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, and profits that topped $200 million in 1978. Its assets include newspapers, shipping lines, platinum, gold and copper mines, millions of acres of ranch and farm land, and hundreds of wholesale and retail trading firms.

Two principles have predominated in Rowland’s strategy for financial success. First, he has been a gambler, willing to take great financial risks for potentially greater gains. Rowland first started Lonrho’s march to financial power in the wake of decolonization in Africa, when jittery colonial businessmen fled the continent, offering their assets for sale at low prices. More often than not, Lonrho stood first in line to buy such assets. Its bargain-rate acquisitions range from the Ashanti Gold fields in Ghana to the Fast African Standard, Kenya’s leading daily newspaper.

The second characteristic of the Lonrho modus operandi-and one for which the company has come under criticism from many quarters-is it penchant for interfering in the politics of African states. During the 1974-75 civil war in Angola, for instance, Lonrho actively backed the forces of Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA faction, using company jets to transport UNITA leaders to assorted meetings. According to New African, through its subsidiary Armitage Industrial Holdings, Lonrho also airlifted mercenaries and arms to UNITA forces. Often, Lonrho has sought to win political favor through personal contacts, with members of the families of leading politicians. Among those who have served on Lonrho’s board of directors are Gil Olympio, son of Togo’s first president, and Udi Gecaga, son-in-law of the recently deceased President Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya.

At the heart of Lonrho’s questionable business practices, however, lie their operations in Rhodesia, now undergoing a transition to majority rule under British supervision. For years, critics charged that Lonrho’s Rhodesian subsidiaries violated the economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations against the white-ruled rebel colony. Lonrho claimed its Rhodesian companies met the sanctions guidelines by being “independent”– with all control in the hands of the local Rhodesian board and no money passing between the parent company and its Rhodesian subsidiaries. In 1976, however, British government investigations revealed. Lonrho’s close cooperation with its Rhodesian interests, including the financing of two major new Rhodesian mining operations.

Further, in the political sphere, Rowland for many years attempted to undermine the alliance of the Patriotic Front, whose two member organizations fought against the white minority government from separate bases in Mozambique and Zambia. According to British press reports, in September 1977, Rowland orchestrated a secret meeting between Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith and Patriotic Front co-leader Joshua Nkomo, in an attempt to break up the Front and draw Nkomo into a separate peace with the white minority. In justifying his government’s expropriation, Nyerere specifically cited Lonrho’s sanction busting and the company’s “meddling in the affairs of Southern Africa.” particularly in Rhodesia.

The current conflict with Tanzania remains far from resolution; no compensation negoti ations have been held since the recent cables and the World Bank and the British Government seem intent on continuing to ignore Lonrho appeals for punitive actions.

A dispute over what Lonrho has presented as a basic fact of its case has substantially undermined the company’s claims. Lonrho claimed that Tanzania has prevented Coopers and Lybrand, the accounting firm conducting an independent valuation of the seized assets, from releasing the results of its audit to Lonrho. Spokesmen for the accounting firm have indignantly labeled this assertion untrue, stating that they have yet to complete the audit.

The company’s. reputation in the United Kingdom has no doubt damaged its credibility with the British Government. Lonrho’s critics in London have been numerous, especially since a 1973 boardroom dispute over Rowland’s continued leadership of the company revealed Lonrho’s extensive use of tax havens to pay addition fees to some of its directors. These revelations prompted Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath to label the company, “the unpleasant and unacceptable face of capitalism.” In a conflict of interest not unusual in the Lonrho network, the company’s overtures to the British government in the current dispute were made by Edward Du Cann, a Lonrho director who also serves as a Conservative Member of Parliament. In late November, ‘the government rejected Du Cann’s call for an aid cutoff.

The World Bank chose to acknowledge the Lonrho cable, but has remained distant from the substance of the dispute. Jochem Kraske, director of the World Bank’s East Africa division, says that World Bank-Tanrania relations continue to be good. “We do not see in the present circumstances that any drastic action is called for. Tanzania has acknowledged that there is some liability and seems prepared to negotiate.”

Some World Bank officials who have followed the dispute privately suggest that Lonrho’s broadside against Tanzania may not make financial ‘ sense for the company. Tanzania’s President Nyerere is well known for his willingness to sacrifice foreign aid when he believes principles are at stake. In November, Nyerere rejected an aid program proposed by the International Monetary Fund that included conditions he believed would place intolerable hardships on his country’s peasant majority. “People who think that Tanzania will change her cherished policies of socialism and self-reliance because of the current economic difficulties are wasting their time,” Nyerere said.

The same dynamics may be at work in the Lonrho dispute. “(t would seem to me that private negotiations are in order,” said one Bank observer. “Instead of sending cables all around the world, Lonrho should be trying to quietly negotiate. I think Rowland may be making a mistake here, by underestimating Nyerere’s resolve to withstand strongarm tactics.”

To date, the Tanzanians have maintained their equanimity in the dispute. “We promised we would negotiate fairly,” says Felix Mrema, the economics officer in Taniania’s United States embassy who serves as his country’s lion at the World Bank. “We are in the process of negotiating. These Lonrho cables are just a way of pressuring us to accept their figure.”

Increasingly, global resource systems are being managed by multinational corporations. The mining, melting, refining, and mixing of animal, vegetable, mineral and human resources into products for sale is an integrated operation on a planetary scale. Viewed from space, the Global Factory suggests a human organism. The brain is housed in steel and glass slabs located in or near a few crowded cities: New York, London, Frankfurt, Zurich, and Tokyo.’ The blood is capital, and it is pumped through the system by global banks assisted by a few governments. The financial centers, New York, London, Frankfurt, Tokyo and their fictional extensions in such tax havens as Panama and the Bahamas function as the heart. The hands are steadily moving to the outer rim of civilization. More and more goods are now made in the poor countries of the southern periphery under direction from the headquarters in the north, and most are destined to be consumed in the industrial countries.

Global corporations exploit their superior bargaining power in weak, disorganized societies to carry out a series of activities which can offer exceptionally high profits for the worldwide enterprise but which often promote economic and social backwardness, in poor countries. The manipulation of transfer prices (administered prices for transactions between foreign subsidiaries and the headquarters of a multinational corporation) rob the countries of foreign exchange and reasonable earnings from exports. The technology transferred by multinationals, which is usually designed for the home market in a developed society, is inappropriate to the needs of poor countries. It often displaces jobs and is overpriced. The products manufactured in poor countries are beyond the reach of a majority of the people who lack the money to buy them. Such products – automobiles, household appliances, expensive packaged foods – are consumed by local elites in enclaves of affluence or they are exported. The export-led model of development of which the multinational corporation has been the principal engine has meant crippling debt and increasing dependence upon the rich countries, their private banks and the international lending agencies which they control. Because of their superior control over capital, technology, and marketing, global corporations can dominate local economies and preempt the power to plan for the society.

The development model that emerges by default when the global corporation assumes control of the commanding heights of the economy is a highly inequitable one. The gap between the rich and poor increases and the bottom 20 percent of the society appears to be worse off in terms of having its basic needs met than before the development process began. Multinational corporations exert political influence in favor of rightist regimes which are committed to social and economic relationships that preserve inequalities. The political power of multinational corporations is firmly committed against redistributive experiments as in Salvador Allende’s Chile or in Michael Manley’s Jamaica. This power is now exercised principally through banks and international lending agencies. The huge debt owed by Third World countries to public and private banks provides effective leverage to discourage redistributive strategies that, from the viewpoint of the multinationals, threaten financial or political stability.

Multinationals thus bring their own model of development with them. This model conflicts with a strategy to meet the basic needs of the poor majority. A basic needs strategy involves shifting resources to people without money, to clean the water in rural areas where it is a necessity of life but not a commodity. Such investments are not in the economic interest of multinational corporations. From the point of view of the corporation, the priority public investments are roads, harbors, subsidies for high technology, and other expenditures to develop the infrastructure to support profitable, private investment. Money should be spent on the productive enclaves of the society and not wasted on the rest. Spending money on those who do not produce, according to most economic theory, is a recipe for ruinous inflation.

The multinational corporations are of course interested in Third World markets, but even for relatively low-cost items, the market is limited. The corporations have no interest in producing goods suitable for the consumption or use of the poorest 60 percent of the population. They are not in the business of producing low-cost housing, cheap and nutritious food, or village medical care. J-he technology they transfer to Third World economies, such as nuclear power plants, computers and gas-guzzling harvesters-tends to -be inappropriate. Like any other profit-making institution, the multinational operates .under a narrow set of goals-profit maximization, long-term stability, and growth. Its purpose is obviously not productive to meet the basic needs for which there is no immediate, high-profit market.

The process of industrialization in the Third World is taking place almost automatically. The pace differs greatly from country to country, but the basic social effects are much the same. The subsistence economy in which money was rarely used-small peasants bartered their cotton for a little wheat, or some rice for the rare luxury of a pair of shoes from the village cobbler-is being sucked into the international money market. By the magic of modern fertilizer, miserable grazing land suddenly becomes valuable. The high-technology agriculture of the “Green Revolution” has driven hundreds of thousands of peasants off the land. When agribusiness moves in, their labor is no longer needed.

The industrialization of the Third World via the multinational has destroyed jobs in the countryside without creating anything approaching equivalent opportunities inside the factory. The pressures on the corporations are to extend the useful life of capital-intensive technology developed in their home countries and to keep their Third World payrolls down.

In an industrializing world in which the principle activity is getting and spending, more and more people are thus becoming irrelevant to the productive process, either as producers or consumers. More than a billion people cannot find enough work at wages adequate to provide food for their families. Every sign suggests that the number will increase dramatically. It is the monumental social problem of the planet, the cause of mass starvation, repression, and crime, petty and cosmic.

In the state of California, provisional license holders will have restrictions for the first year. During the first year, teen drivers are not allowed to: 

•    Drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
•    Allow passengers under the age of 20 in the car with them

If driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. is necessary or if passengers under the age of 20 are present in the car, the driver must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, a licensed driver over the age of 25, or a licensed driving instructor. 
The California Department of Motor Vehicles lists the exceptions to these restrictions below, when reasonable transportation is not available. In addition, the teen driver must carry a note at all times, which explains the necessity and the date when the necessity will end. This rule does not apply to emancipated minors.

•    Medical necessity when reasonable transportation alternatives are unavailable. The note must be signed by the physician containing the diagnosis and probable date of recovery
•    Schooling or school-authorized activity. The note must be signed by your school principal, dean, or his/her designee
•    Employment necessity and the need to operate a vehicle as part of your employment. The note must be signed by your employer verifying employment.
•    Your necessity or the necessity of an immediate family member. The note must be signed by your parent or legal guardian
•    If you are an emancipated minor. No documentation is needed. However, you must have already declared yourself emancipated and provided DMV with
•    Proof of Financial Responsibility (SR 1P) in lieu of the parent’s or guarantors’ signatures

The California DMV monitors all minor drivers closely. If you:

•    Get a traffic ticket and fail to appear in court, your driving privileges will be suspended until you appear in court
•    Get a traffic ticket and neglect to pay the fine, your driving privileges will be suspended until you pay the fine or get in an Orlando car accident
•    Have one “at fault” accident or conviction within 1 year, you will receive a warning letter from the DMV
•    Have a second “at fault” accident or conviction (or combination of both) within 1 year, your driving privileges will be suspended for 30 days. You will be allowed to drive with a parent or other licensed adult (25 years or older) during the 30-day period
•    Have a third “at fault” accident or conviction (or any combination) within 1 year, your driving privileges will be suspended for 6 months and you will be placed on probation for a minimum of 1 year
•    Have additional “at fault” accidents or point count convictions while on probation, your driving privileges will be suspended again

•    All teen traffic violations are reported to the DMV and will remain on your record for a period of time to be determined by the courts. In some cases, these violations can become a part of your permanent record

More than 5,000 teens die in car accidents each year across the U.S. Of the 5,000 teen fatalities each year, the state of California accounts for 400. Based on these figures, the state of California has one of the highest teen accident fatality rates in the country for teen’s ages 16-17. In response to these disturbing figures, California pioneered the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program when it passed its first law in 1997. With higher standards and stricter requirements, California’s Graduated Driver Licensing is like no other. Continue reading to learn more about California’s innovative teen driving laws and the serious consequences for violating them. 

California Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) and Driver License Requirements

Under California’s Graduated Driver Licensing, teens ages 15 ½ to 17 ½ teens must:

•    Apply for and carry a provisional learner’s permit for 6 months
•    Complete 6 hours of professional driver training
•    Complete an approved driver education class
•    Complete 50 practice driving hours with a parent or guardian or an individual that is 25 years of age or older
•    Apply for a provisional driver’s license

Once the teen has completed the steps above, he will receive an interim license. The interim license is good for 60 days. Within the 60 days, if your provisional application is approved (meaning you have passed all tests and met all requirements), you will receive a provisional license in the mail. The provisional license has several restrictions that expire on the driver’s 18th birthday if he has maintained a clean driving record. Please continue to the next section to read about provisional license restrictions. 

To apply for a permits and licenses in the state of California, you must provide the following to Davidovich Law Firm

•    If under the age of 18, the parent or guardian must give written consent
•    Social Security card or proof of Social Security number 
•    Photo ID 
•    Birth certificate
•    Proof of legal residence
•    Application fee of $28 (check, cash, money order, ATM/debit card)

In the state of California, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense. All DUI penalties in California include interlock and the assessments, fees, and fines could cost you thousands of dollars. California also has a zero tolerance law for DUI as a teen. Even if a police officer smells alcohol on your breath, you will be charged with a DUI. 

What is the blood alcohol concentration level (BAC) limit in the state of California?

In the state of California, it is a crime to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration level (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Sentence enhancements exist for cases involving a BAC of 0.15% or higher. 

In the state of California what is the administrative license suspension period for a first offense?

In the state of California, if you get arrested for DUI, the administrative license suspension time for a first offense is 4 months. Under administrative license suspension, the drivers’ license will be taken before conviction when he either fails or refuses to be tested for alcohol or drugs. During the 4 month revocation period, the driver may obtain a limited license, according to Bratton Law

In the state of California, what are the penalties for a first DUI offense? Second offense?


In the state of California, all penalties include interlock. For a first DUI offense, you will spend four hours in jail and 4 months without a license. You will have to do 2 days community service, take a 15 week DUI class, spend 3 years on probation, and 7 years with two points on your driving record. Assessments, fees, and fines will total $5,300. For a second DUI offense, you will have mandatory jail time of 10 days to one year on jail along with an 18-month license suspension. You will have to enroll in a 18-30 month alcohol/drug program, you will spend 48 hours to one year in jail. You will have to drive on a work restricted license for the length of the alcohol/drug program. An interlocking device will be installed on your vehicle for 18 months. 

For a third offense, your license will be suspended for 3 years and you will have to enroll in an 18-month alcohol/drug program — if you have not taken one before. A third offense also carries a mandatory jail sentence of 120 days to a year. Sentence enhancement laws will apply if you were driving 20 mph over the speed limit, if a child under 14 was in the car at the time of the offense, if you refuse to submit to chemical testing, and if you had a prior conviction within the last 10 years.

Figuring out how to stay away from probate can spare beneficiaries’ time and cash, anticipate family question, and permit simple exchange of legacy property upon death. Numerous individuals are not in any case comfortable with probate not to mention how to keep it from happening. Probate is required inside all conditions of the U.S. to guarantee decedent bequests are settled by legacy laws. It is a tedious procedure that can take a while to finish.

Getting to be taught about how to maintain a strategic distance from probate is as basic as leading exploration on the Internet or counseling with a family law lawyer or bequest organizer. Numerous banks, credit associations, and monetary guides offer domain arranging administrations for an ostensible expense.

The best way to totally keep away from the probate procedure is to move resources into a trust. Be that as it may, trusts are commonly saved for people with resources esteemed over $100,000. People with littler domains can take measures to shield certain benefits from experiencing the probate procedure.

A standout amongst the most critical parts of domain arranging is executing a last will and confirmation, alongside human services mandates and assigning Power of Attorney rights. POA enables a man to settle on choices for your sake in the event that you are weakened and unfit to settle on imperative choices. Intensity of lawyer rights additionally enable people to pay bills from your financial records, exchange titled property, and settle on lawful choices. Hence, the individual allowed these forces ought to be somebody whom can be trusted to settle on choices dependent on your best advantages.

Medicinal services orders enable you to state what sort of restorative consideration you do or don’t need. These can incorporate being put in a coma, accepting wholesome help, organ gift, and don’t rescesitate orders.

The Will is utilized to assign a bequest overseer to deal with all aspects of home administration. Required obligations shift contingent upon bequest esteem, legacy property, and relational intricacies. Little probated domains can settle in three to a half year. On the off chance that beneficiaries challenge the Will, bequest settlement can be drawn out until stepp and Sullivan divorce lawyers can work out worthy understandings. Legitimate charges from challenged Wills regularly bankrupt homes and leave nothing for beneficiaries to acquire.

On the off chance that individuals bite the dust without executing a legitimate will, the probate procedure takes longer. A bequest manager must be delegated through the court and extra work is required to find beneficiaries, stock property, and different subtleties which are typically incorporated into the last will.

People who hold ledgers, retirement accounts, money related portfolios, and extra security strategies can dole out recipients to get continues upon death. Recipient structures can be acquired through the monetary foundation where the record is held. Record holders can relegate numerous recipients and express the level of assets they will get.

Recipients must comply with each budgetary foundation’s approach in regards to circulation of legacy reserves. Most states expect recipients to submit date-of-death esteem structures to the region charge assessor’s office. For whatever length of time that decedents are present with expenses, the Assessor’s off will stamp the shape so continues can be conveyed.

Titled property can be kept out of probate by building up joint proprietorship. At the point when land or engine vehicles have joint titles, the property naturally exchanges to the co-proprietor. At the point when joint possession is with a man other than your life partner, you may need to set up Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship.

A lesser realized approach to maintain a strategic distance from probate is through gifting legacy property while you’re as yet alive. The Internal Revenue Service permits gifting up to $12,000 per individual or $20,000 per wedded couple every year. On the off chance that gifting limits surpass greatest dimension, beneficiaries are required to record a government blessing assessment form and cover fitting legacy regulatory expenses.

Actualizing methodologies to maintain a strategic distance from probate is extraordinary compared to other blessings you can leave friends and family. Despite how little or the amount you claim, it is critical to put your undertakings all together and execute a last will. Probate is certainly not a fun procedure, so take measures to secure legacy property and limit the time required to settle your domain. For all things related to elder law, speak with a medicaid planning attorney.

When Nicholas Coble was arrested for drunk driving following a March 2009 car accident, he denied that he had been drinking and refused to submit to a breath test. Under Missouri law, refusing the mandatory test means that the defendant’s driver’s license is automatically revoked. Coble challenged the license revocation in court on the grounds that his arrest was illegal, and a trial court agreed, reinstating his license. However, an appellate court recently reversed the lower court’s decision and re-revoked Coble’s driver’s license.

Coble’s trouble began in 2009, when he drove his car into a ditch on the side of the road after a day of fishing. According to police reports, officers could smell alcohol on Coble’s breath. He was arrested after he allegedly failed multiple field sobriety tests.

During his first trial against the Missouri Department of Revenue, Coble argued that he had been arrested in violation of a Missouri law requiring a DUI arrest to be made within 90 minutes of the violation. The state was unable to present evidence of the time of Coble’s car accident, and therefore could not prove that the arrest had occurred within the 90 minute period. The trial court agreed, ruling that the arrest was illegal, and that his license could therefore not be revoked.

The state appealed, arguing that Missouri law required only that the driver be arrested, and not that the arrest be a legal one. The appellate court agreed with the state, ruling that the law merely requires an arrest based on reasonable suspicion and a subsequent breath test refusal by the driver. Coble’s license was then re-revoked.

This has serious implications for any driver arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Whether or not the arrest occurs legally, the driver must submit to a breath test or face revocation of their driver’s license. It will be interesting to see if this decision is overturned in the future. If you are involved in a situations similar to this, contact Monroe car accident lawyers.

Radley Balko, a senior editor at Reason Magazine, recently wrote an article in which he called for the abolition of DUI laws across the United States. While he notes that the idea “sounds radical at first blush,” the reasons he presents for doing so are undeniably thought provoking. We present them here.

First, the idea behind a precise measurement of drunk behavior – i.e., 0.08 – is arbitrary and illogical. People react differently to alcohol. Moreover, impairment also depends on other variables, such as medications a person is taking, whether he or she is sleep deprived, whether the motorist is agitated or enraged for reasons having nothing to do with alcohol, and so forth.
Second, Balko points to enforcement tools, such as sobriety checkpoints, as being ineffectual. He notes that, interestingly, alcohol-related fatalities across the country actually increased following the nationwide 0.08 standard that took effect in 2000, reversing a 20-year trend. The reason why, he posits, is that because people with a BAC under .10 – the older standard – don’t typically drive erratically enough to be noticed by cops. Police thus began instituting checkpoints – now lawful in 37 states – to catch them. In doing so, police departments commonly commit substantial resources, which brings forth this comment from Balko: “Every cop manning a roadblock … is a cop not on the highways looking for more seriously impaired motorists.”

One DUI expert calls checkpoints “the drunk driving exception to the Constitution,” with an officer’s right to immediately suspend a driver’s license for refusal to take a breath test representing a strong exception to an individual’s 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Third, the focus is simply wrong when it is on the drinking per se and not on impairment. It ignores what numerous studies are now telling us, that other driving behaviors can be just as dangerous as drinking and driving – and sometimes more dangerous. As a motorist, would you rather be driving beside a person who had one drink shortly before or a motorist who is busily engaged in texting? Or shouting at his or her kids in the car? Or playing with a pet?

Balko’s point is this: Punish reckless driving, whether it is caused by talking on a cell phone, eating, changing a CD, having a bad day – or drinking. That will put the focus back on where it belongs – the impairment. It will also “repair some of the civil-liberties damage done by the invasive powers the government says it needs to catch and convict drunk drivers.”

Last, it will add needed consistency to our laws, which Balko says “treat a driver with a BAC of 0.08 much more harshly than a driver distracted by his kids or a cell phone, despite similar levels of impairment.”

If you find yourself at the mercy of an impaired driver, be sure to contact a Tucson car wreck lawyer.

In a recent post, we talked about the tragic bus accident that occurred on the New Jersey Turnpike and killed two people, including the driver, and injured 40 others. This accident came shortly after another “Chinatown bus” crash resulted in the wrongful death of 15 people, causing many to wonder why these crashes have become so frequent.

According to a report from the U.S. Department of Transportation with help from Shreveport semi-truck accident lawyers, Super Luxury Tours, the company whose bus crashed on the Turnpike, has one of the worst safety records in the nation. In fact, the report shows that the company is worse than 99.6 percent of all bus companies in the U.S.

The report showed that the company’s drivers have a history of safety violations and other mishaps that put riders in danger. In the past two years, drivers had six citations for speeding and three for not obeying traffic signals. The report also showed that the company’s 16 drivers were involved in four accidents. Two of those accidents resulted in injuries. The report also stated that some drivers had difficulty understanding some basic English commands.

Despite an extremely poor record, the bus company continues to transport passengers between East Coast cities at budget prices. The company totaled over 2.2 million miles of driving last year.

The New Jersey bus accident and others that have occurred recently show how important it is that bus companies properly maintain their vehicles and train their drivers to be as safe as possible. Each person that rides one of these buses puts his or her life in the hands of the driver, making it extremely important that drivers understand traffic rules and consistently obey them.