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View Diary: How beer explains 20 years of NAFTA’s devastating effects on Mexico (48 comments)

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  •  Because it was bad for workers in all three (8+ / 0-)

    countries. It certainly supported the rich and powerful, the rest of us not so much.

    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

    by AoT on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 04:03:07 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Oh come on. How many times have we (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey

      lamented the American jobs that were lost to Mexico, and now we lament how much worse off Mexico is. Globalization and technology have been tough on all First World workers, and people here like to blame NAFTA instead of the fact that with lower communications and technology barriers, it was inevitable that people mired in Third World poverty (in Latin America and Asia) would take away many of our jobs.

      •  Again, workers everywhere can be worse (7+ / 0-)

        off.The advances in labor and other rights has nothing to do with NAFTA. The jobs went elsewhere because of money, not communications and technology barriers.

        Good to know the neoliberals are still running around here spreading the gospel of rising boats and all that. It's bullshit and it always has been.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 04:17:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  most of the jobs that went from the US to Mexico (9+ / 0-)

        shortly afterwards went from Mexico to China.

        Much of the Mexican maquiladora sector is now an empty ghost town.

        Ironically, the jobs that went to China are NOW in the process of moving to Indonesia, the next low-wage haven.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 04:21:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Um..."most"? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey, VClib

          I traveled to Monterrey multiple times last year, and saw operating plants for:

          * Whirlpool
          * Mary Kay
          * Calloway Golf
          * Siemens
          * Sumitomo
          * LG

          ...and those are just the ones I remember off the top of my head.  If memory serves, Monterrey is home to roughly 25% of Mexico's manufacturing output--so I probably saw the best manufacturing environment in the country--but your statement doesn't match my observations.

          I also saw Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery, which is now owned by Heineken...

          The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

          by wesmorgan1 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:11:51 PM PST

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          •  yes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Chi

            For instance, from Wiki:

            Since globalization and physical restructuring[citation needed] have contributed to the competition and advent of low-cost offshore assembly in places such as China, and countries in Central America, maquiladoras in Mexico have been on the decline since 2000: According to federal sources, approximately 529 maquiladoras shut down and investment in assembly plants decreased by 8.2 percent in 2002

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:20:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, quote the REST of that page... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib, Kentucky Kid

              You're quoting references to 2002, but maquiladora were still significant after those losses:

              Although the maquiladora industry suffered due to the early 2000s recession, maquiladoras constituted 54% of the US-Mexico trade in 2004, and by 2005, the maquiladora exports accounted for half of Mexico's exports.
              There's also this:
              Despite the decline, there still exist over 3,000 maquiladoras along the 2,000 mile-long United States–Mexico border, providing employment for approximately one million workers, and importing more than $51 billion in supplies into Mexico. Research indicates that maquiladoras' post-NAFTA growth is connected to changes in Mexican wages relative to those in Asia and in the United States, and to fluctuations in U.S. industrial production. As of 2006, maquiladoras still account for 45 percent of Mexico’s exports. Maquiladoras, in general, are best represented among operations that are particularly assembly intensive.
              Also, from the wikipedia article for "Economy of Mexico", there's this:
              This sector has benefited from NAFTA, in that real income in the maquiladora sector has increased 15.5% since 1994, though from the non-maquiladora sector has grown much faster.

              The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

              by wesmorgan1 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 08:59:18 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Confirmed (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Chi, Azazello
          Much of the Mexican maquiladora sector is now an empty ghost town.
          Yep. I was in Ciudad Juarez earlier this week, and my taxi driver pointed out to me where the maquiladoras used to be. It's just a bunch of empty buildings now.
          •  one of the reasons why the drug-smuggling trade (0+ / 0-)

            is so numerous in northern Mexico is because so many of the legit jobs are now gone, and it's the only way people have to make a living.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 06:05:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Production moving to central Mexico. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib

            Segment on NPR a few days ago about VW expanding production in central Mexico, and a huge new Audi plant about to open there. The Fiat 500 sold in the USA is also Mexican-built. Plenty of others.

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 06:57:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  the stuff remaining in Mexico is the stuff (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HeyMikey

              intended for the US and Canadian market.

              The stuff moving to China and now Indonesia is the stuff intended for markets in China, India and Russia.

              GM and Ford, for instance, now make around half of their total car production in China--most of which is also sold in China.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 07:58:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Possible impact of greenhouse tax? (0+ / 0-)

                If we had a greenhouse tax or cap-and-trade, that would favor producing manufactured products (like cars) close to the raw materials. Cheaper to ship the 2-ton car than the umpteen tuns of raw ore that went into making it.  

                I suspect that would be a net advantage to US auto manufacturing for the US market, but that's just a guess.

                Of course we could also tax imports based on the greenhouse emissions that went into making the products. That would penalize coal-heavy countries like China.

                "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                by HeyMikey on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 08:04:21 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Doesn't it make sense to make cars in the country (0+ / 0-)

                that they will be used to reduce the shipping?

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 10:18:18 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Depends. (0+ / 0-)

                  Two things.

                  1:

                  Cheaper to ship the 2-ton car than the umpteen tuns of raw ore that went into making it.
                  2: Some companies ship cars to multiple places in the assembly process, sometimes to the same place more than once. I don't see how that could make sense with a high enough greenhouse tax (or low enough cap).

                  "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                  by HeyMikey on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 04:52:06 AM PST

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        •  Even if all that were true, it would not (0+ / 0-)

          be because of NAFTA. It's about time that Democrats embrace this very successful DEMOCRATIC initiative,

      •  What is the point of globalization? If it is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chi

        'tough on workers' (citizens), why would anyone do it?  Why give up your good life so you can better 'compete'?  What are you 'competing' for?

        And we love to wear a badge, a uniform / And we love to fly a flag But I won't...let others live in hell / As we divide against each other And we fight amongst ourselves

        by ban48 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 05:46:03 PM PST

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        •  Sales (0+ / 0-)

          We are competing for sales. We want to export product to other countries because in this economy, selling only to the US makes a business crumble.

          So we want to sell more stuff to other countries, and other countries want to sell more stuff than us, and every country is in a race to see who can out-export the other countries.

          FTAs are supposed to make this a friendly, more competitive practice, but in reality they don't do a whole lot on that front. They just make it easier to import product.

          P.S. I am not a crackpot.

          by BoiseBlue on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 06:05:18 PM PST

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        •  Um, while we doing well in (0+ / 0-)

          the 50s and 60s people in the 3rd World starved. They are taking our jobs now because technology has allowed them to. Governments can slow down or speed up such monumental trends, but they cannot stop them.

          •  If they were starving, then they needed food, (0+ / 0-)

            not ipads or jobs in manufacturing.  And, how much of the starvation was caused by civil war over control of resources for export?  How many of the wars in the middle east and africa are fights over of diamond mines, gold mines, and oil reserves?  How much of the turmoil on the african north-east coast (Ethiopia especially) is due to depletion of fishing stocks for the export business (or outright theft)?

            If we have more 'stuff' due to globalization and 'more stuff' = better, then gloablization has been a good thing.  If we aren't better off, then it is a bad thing.  It can't be both.  And yes, governments can stop such trends with restrictions on trade.

            And we love to wear a badge, a uniform / And we love to fly a flag But I won't...let others live in hell / As we divide against each other And we fight amongst ourselves

            by ban48 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 07:45:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  PS - You didn't answer the question: What are (0+ / 0-)

            we 'competing' for?

            And we love to wear a badge, a uniform / And we love to fly a flag But I won't...let others live in hell / As we divide against each other And we fight amongst ourselves

            by ban48 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 at 07:46:38 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

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