~ Archive for Globalization ~

The Fruits of NAFTA

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by Patrick J. Buchanan, March 10, 2006

… U.S.-Mexico
trade calls to mind the trade relationship between Betsy Ross’ America
and the England of the Industrial Revolution, with Mexico in the role
of England. Our exports to Mexico read like a ship’s manifest from
Bangladesh.

The
American people were had. NAFTA was never a trade deal. NAFTA was
always an enabling act – to enable U.S. corporations to dump their
American workers and move their factories to Mexico…

When
one considers who finances the Republican Party, funds its candidates,
and hires its former congressmen, senators and Cabinet officers at six-
and seven-figure retainers to lobby, it is understandable that the GOP
went into the tank. But
why did the liberals, who paid the price of mandating all those
benefits for American workers and imposing all those regulations on
U.S. corporations, go along? That’s the mystery. About NAFTA there is
no mystery. There never really was.

Data on Job Growth

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By Paul Craig Roberts

On February 20 Forbes.com

told its readers with a straight face
that “the
American job-generation machine rolls on. The economy
will create 19 million new payroll jobs in the decade to
2014.”
Forbes took its information from the 10-year
jobs projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US
Department of Labor, released last December.

If the job growth of the past
half-decade is a guide, the forecast of 19 million new
jobs is optimistic, to say the least. According to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics payroll jobs data, from
January 2001-January 2006 the US economy created
1,054,000 net new private sector jobs and 1,039,000 net
new government jobs for a total five-year figure of
2,093,000. How does the US Department of Labor get from
2 million jobs in five years to 19 million in ten years? …

Oracle,  … which has been
handing out thousands of pink slips, has recently
announced two thousand more jobs being moved to India.
How is Oracle’s move of US jobs to India creating jobs
in the US for waitresses and bartenders, hospital
orderlies, state and local government and credit
agencies, the only areas of job growth? …

Our hollow prosperity

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Posted: February 15, 2006, 1:00 a.m. Eastern, By Patrick J. Buchanan


Now that the U.S. trade deficit for 2005 has come in at $726 billion, the fourth straight all-time record, a question arises. What constitutes failure for a free-trade policy? Or is there no such thing? Is free trade simply right no matter the results? Last
year, the United States ran a $202 billion trade deficit with China,
the largest ever between two nations. We ran all-time record trade
deficits with OPEC, the European Union, Japan, Canada and Latin
America. The $50 billion deficit with Mexico was the largest since
NAFTA passed and also the largest in history.

When
NAFTA was up for a vote in 1993, the Clintonites and their GOP
fellow-travelers said it would grow our trade surplus, raise Mexico’s
standard of living and reduce illegal immigration. None
of this happened. Indeed, the opposite occurred. Mexico’s standard of
living is lower than it was in 1993, the U.S. trade surplus has
vanished, and America is being invaded. Mexico is now the primary
source of narcotics entering the United States….

The Bushites point proudly to 4.6 million jobs created since May 2003, a 4.7 percent unemployment rate and low inflation….The
entire job increase since 2001 has been in the service sector – credit
intermediation, health care, social assistance, waiters, waitresses,
bartenders, etc. – and state and local government. But,
from January 2001 to January 2006, the United States lost 2.9 million
manufacturing jobs, 17 percent of all we had. Over the past five years,
we have suffered a net loss in goods-producing jobs. “The
decline in some manufacturing sectors has more in common with a country
undergoing saturation bombing than with a super-economy that is ‘the
envy of the world,'” writes Roberts.

… Non-Hispanic
whites, over 70 percent of the labor force, saw only a 1 percent
employment increase in 2005. Hispanics, half of whom are foreign born,
saw a 4.7 percent increase. As Hispanics will work for less in
hospitals and hospices, and as waiters and waitresses, they are getting
the new jobs. But
are not wages rising? Nope. When inflation is factored in, the Economic
Policy Institute reports, “real wages fell by 0.5 percent over the last
12 months after falling 0.7 percent the previous 12 months.” …

The
affluent free-traders, whose wealth resides in stocks in global
companies, are enriching themselves at the expense of their fellow
citizens and sacrificing the American worker on the altar of the Global
Economy. None dare call it economic treason.

Merry Christmas from Santa’s Elves

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from: China Reform Monitor No. 611, January 2, 2006 American Foreign Policy Council
Police in northwest China have carried out Christmas raids on
“underground” churches, arresting 12 parish leaders and deliberately
disrupting celebrations, the Agence France Presse reports. On Christmas
Eve, six police officers in Korla city, in the central part of Xinjiang
Province, interrupted a church meeting and ordered 100 worshippers to
go to a government-sanctioned church service instead. At another
church, police declared Christmas mass to be an “illegal religious
gathering” before arresting church leaders and confiscating private
property.

U.S. Immigration Policy on the Table at the WTO

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By Sarah Anderson, Institute for Policy Studies, November 30, 2005

How did immigration wind up on the table at the WTO? Under the global
trade body’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), governments
can regulate the supply of services performed by foreigners. The
technical term for this type of service trade is Mode 4. Thus far, the
types of visas being discussed are those for executives and highly
skilled professionals, such as Indian software engineers who have come
to work in the Silicon Valley and other high-tech hubs in the United
States . Some developing countries are pushing for the Mode 4 talks to
cover less-skilled workers as well.

The wrangling over visas is just one more example of the WTO’s mission
creep. Global trade rules are no longer aimed merely at eliminating
tariffs on goods that cross borders. The ultimate goal of GATS, for
example, is to lift barriers to all manner of services by curbing
national and local government controls on the entry of global banks,
insurance companies, and other service providers into each country’s
markets. Other WTO rules limit government efforts to offer affordable
generic medicines or to protect native plants and traditional
handicrafts from being patented for profit by global businesses. And
any domestic law, including public interest regulations, can be
challenged under WTO rules as “an unfair barrier to trade.”

Ex-Treasury Secretary Rubin warns over deficits

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Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin said Tuesday that the U.S. may
experience serious financial problems if it continues running current account
deficits over a long period of time. The U.S. would risk a “sharp decline in the
dollar and a very substantial increase in interest rates” if foreign buyers
reconsider their demand for U.S. assets, Rubin said in a panel discussion at the
Concord Coalition’s 12th Annual Economic Patriots Dinner. Rubin said he fears
the more time that passes before deficits are reined in, the greater the risk of
a financial markets jolt and the greater the “magnitude” of the impact. Rubin
added that “this can’t go on,” referring to the deficits. He said that if the
deficits do continue, the U.S. may risk the kind of economic shock most
Americans alive today have never experienced.

Chinese goods need tariffs

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By Charlie Reese, The Sanford Herald

Manufacturing jobs are the gateway to the middle class. Losing them is lowering
our standard of living. Losing them because the federal government does nothing
to stop the loss is poisoning Americans’ belief in their own government.
Eventually, America’s defense needs will become dependent on foreign imports.
Allowing that to happen is treason by fools. Washington can negotiate with China
until Gabriel blows his horn, but the Chinese will not change their system. They
are doing exactly what they want to do, strengthening themselves at our
expense….

Penn Kemble: Converging Views of Conscience and Reason

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We knew him–wish we had known him for years. Here are two tributes to him from publications that are at least … different. (This is not a moment for arguments.)

(From The New Republic)

HAIL AND FAREWELL

Penn Kemble died of brain cancer on Sunday at age 64. He was a hero of American liberalism, even if many American liberals mistook him for something else. In 1972, after George McGovern led the Democratic Party to catastrophe, Kemble, a former activist in the Young People’s Socialist League, launched the Coalition for a Democratic Majority, which fought to repudiate the isolationism of McGovern’s followers. In the 1980s, he organized Democrats who wanted to oppose communism in Central America more forcefully, and, in the ’90s, he helped run the U.S. Information Agency. Kemble’s ideological trajectory paralleled that of many neoconservatives, but he never became one himself, remaining a social democrat to the end. Indeed, while he was already sick, he worked to prepare a conference paying tribute to the legacy of Sidney Hook. His ulterior motive, as all the participants understood, was to revive the social democratic spirit. As news of his illness spread, the event–which drew liberal academics, activists, and leaders–turned into a tribute to Kemble, one he richly deserved. He was a contributor to these pages during some of their most disputatious days, and he was a kind and smart and important man. We will miss him.

(From the Washington Times)

Role model for Democrats

By R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., October 21, 2005:

What Pat Moynihan once called the Party of Liberty lost one of its most energetic friends last Saturday when Penn Kemble breathed his last after a valiant battle with brain cancer. The Democratic Party, too, lost a friend in Penn.
What kind of man was he? In his college days in 1964, inspired by the causes of civil rights cause and social democracy, he got pictured on Page One of the New York Times, blocking Triborough Bridge traffic in protest of school conditions in Harlem. He and his East River Congress of Racial Equality compatriots were about to be hauled off to the calaboose. His mother, picking up her copy of the Times back home in Lancaster, Pa., was shocked.
She would not be shocked many more times by Penn. Ever the friend of racial equality, labor unions and all elements of democracy, he moved to more peaceful protests, not out of timorousness but commitment to reasoned debate. No one could question his courage, but he was eminently reasonable.
The last time I saw him on his feet was a few months back. He was competing at his favorite sport, handball. To my astonishment, however, he wore a helmet.
Was this one of his jokes? Penn had a puckish sense of humor, but this was not one of his jokes. After an unexpected grand mal seizure, doctors drilled into his skull and removed a tumor. That would not stop him from driving a handball 50 miles an hour on the court against those of us who wanted to beat him. Penn was a very tough guy.
His toughness was behind all the political activities that filled his life, along with his high intelligence. In 1972, he was a founder of the Social Democrats, U.S.A. He became a Scoop Jackson Democrat, campaigning for the pro-defense anticommunist senator’s doomed attempt to wrest the Democratic presidential nomination. Aware the McGovernites were shanghaiing the Democratic Party into a lala land of anti-Americanism and narcissistic utopia, he became executive director of the Coalition for a Democratic Majority (CDM).
Had the CDM taken control of the Democratic Party in the 1970s, it would have remained on the path hewn by Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. It would have remained a vibrant center of American values and avoided much of the foolishness that has led to its decline.
CDM efforts proved futile and liberal Democrats such as Jeane Kirkpatrick and William Bennett drifted to the Republican Party. Penn remained a Democrat to the displeasure of his old friends, who were now called neoconservatives. Doubtless that hurt Penn, but he was committed to the Democratic Party and the trade union movement.
However, like his friend, the philosopher Sydney Hook, being a Democrat did not prevent him from vigorously fighting communism. He was with the Reagan administration heart and soul in advancing democracy in Central America. That offended many of his fellow Democrats, but Penn was his own man. He made neocons uneasy. He angered the Democratic elite. But he followed his conscience and continued to establish organizations opposing tyranny and intolerance worldwide. When the Clinton administration made him deputy director of the United States Information Agency it made a shrewd choice.
In all the years I knew Penn, he kept everything in perspective. In a city, Washington, and a pursuit, politics, where baseness is often the norm and too often the key to power and fame, Penn has been the soul of honor, intelligence and all the virtues of the timeless liberal. He achieved great things for human rights and the dignity of working people but never drew attention to himself or did anything cheap. There was a “tough guy” quality to his speech, which I always relished; for though he really was a tough guy he was always the perfect gent.
We never had a cross word in any disagreement. We had many ironic and amusing words. In sum, I rise to say Penn is one of the finest men I have known. He is one of the guys you would want with you in the foxhole during any battle. There he would get to the business at hand, accomplishing it with a few gruff laughs thrown in.
Once the shrieks and whines of their present leadership is abjured, sensible Democrats will realize Penn Kemble’s life is the blueprint for the Democratic Party’s return to relevance.

Big Box Mart

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This is a fabulously funny animated parody of Wal-Mart. Click on the title, as usual …

America is running out of time

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By Paul Craig Roberts
George W. Bush will go down in
history as the president who fiddled while America lost
its superpower status.

Bush used deceit and hysteria to
lead America into a war that is bleeding the US
economically, militarily, and diplomatically.  The war
is being fought with hundreds of billions of dollars
borrowed from foreigners.  The war is bleeding the
military of troops and commitments.  The war has ended
the US claim to moral leadership and exposed the US as a
reckless and aggressive power.

Focused on a concocted “war on
terrorism,”
the Bush administration

diverted money from the New Orleans levees
to Iraq,
with the consequence that the US now has a $100 billion
rebuild bill on top of the war bill. 

The US is so short of troops that
neoconservatives are

advocating
the use of

foreign mercenaries
paid with US citizenship…..

Compared to US budget and trade
deficits, terrorists are a minor concern. The greatest
danger that the US faces is the dollar’s loss of reserve
currency role.  This would be an impoverishing event,
one from which the US would not recover. 

An intelligent government sincerely
concerned with homeland security would find a way to
halt the global labor arbitrage that is stripping the
American economy of high value-added jobs and
manufacturing capability, thereby causing the US trade
deficit to explode. The loss of tax base that results
when US companies outsource jobs and relocate production
abroad makes it ever more difficult to balance a budget
strained by war, natural disasters, and demographic
impact on Social Security and Medicare.


Global labor arbitrage
is rapidly dismantling the

ladders of upward mobility
and thereby endangering
American political stability.  This threat is far
greater than any Osama bin Laden can mount. …

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