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  •  truth on NAFTA (none)
    Here is Joseph Stiglitz blasting NAFTA.  

    Please realize that Stiglitz is one of Clinton's economic advisors from 1993-1997, was a chief economist at the World Bank and also won a Nobel Prize.

    Suffice to say I think a Clinton economic advisor that blasts one of the very policies he was probably involved in crafting is really saying something about how international trade policies are not working.

    •  that's great (none)
      there are great criticisms of NAFTA.

      maybe it should make it impossible for governments to give tax breaks to companies that send jobs overseas.  maybe it doesn't do enough in some areas.   and does too much and others.

      point is, it's a framework.  repug legislation can fit in that framework and fuck over workers.

      dem legislation can still fit in that framework to protect workers.

      •  Repuks are the one's who crafted NAFTA (none)
        Clinton switched and pushed it, but it was formulated by Bush I.

        Sorry, but it's true and the worst trade agreement of them all is the China PNTR.  It's just a complete giveaway of the United States to China...and why?  Because multinational corporations wanted access to that mythical 1.3B consumer market that still does not exist and because they wanted cheap labor.  China is now 1/5th of a trade deficit that is now approaching 6% of overall US GDP.

        The facts are in and Clinton screwed us on trade.  I'm a liberal and wish it wasn't so, but the empirical evidence is astounding.

        Of course Bush corporation is purchased by multinational corporation interests and seemingly even have an agenda to dismantle the United States and put in it's place a feudal kingdom of corporations.

        International trade as well as the theory is now incredibly complex because it's multivariate (to the point there is no complete mathematical model!), but Kerry's advisors were working on policy modifications on existing trade agreements that would have improved the situation for the middle class (on a global scale).  I read every one, they had some fairly wise people working on it and were making policy adjustments that would have an immediate effect, yet would not "lurch" the economy due to their transitional methodology.

        Unlike China with their red herring 2.1% "re-evaluation" of the Yuan with no plans for a true re-evalution when it's about 30% undervalued, Kerry's economic advisors were taking baby steps to modify existing trade policy.

        This is what I want to see, strategic trade versus trade designed by multinational corporations for their short term agenda which is not in the national interest and we believe not in even multinational's interests long term (The US economy goes down, they all go down).

        •  seems to me we essentially agree (none)
          NAFTA, good or bad, and we can agree there's a lot of bad, but NAFTA does not call for, it does not DEMAND that american workers be screwed over.

          baby steps.  steps taken.  whatever.  it's an important distinction wether folks want to say workers would be less fucked if kerry was in office or if people want to say workers would be protected, the crux of the matter for me is:

          NAFTA is more like a gun.  NAFTA doesn't fuck over workers.  People (e.g. republicans) fuck over workers.

          •  let me add (none)
            the fact that NAFTA doesn't prohibit american workers from getting screwed is a legit criticism.

            i don't mind saying, it probably should.

            just to tie this back into the diary....  i'm responding to this kind of logic:  DLC supports NAFTA, ergo DLC supports screwing over workers.

            i don't think this is valid logic precisely because NAFTA could still exist WITHOUT screwing over american workers..  

            •  Do not agree, read NAFTA itself (none)
              a contract is a contract, an policy is a policy and the analysis (there are many before NAFTA was signed) that showed it would be disasterous for the American worker as well as the Mexican worker has been bore out in empircal evidence.  Part of the current illegal immigration problem can be attributed to the growing poverty in Mexico that started as a result of this trade agreement.

              NAFTA is much more than elimination of tariffs between Mexico, CAN and US.

              Here are some elements in this trade agreement:

              1.  Multinational corporations are protected from any government policy per nation-state that might interfere with "profits".
              2.  Gives multinational corporations the right to force privatization of public services.
              3.  Supercedes national law by demanding legal disputes are settled through a "secret" tribunal...which is made up of representatives of multinational corporations (not elected or appointed judges of the nation-state).
              4.  Excludes any worker protections, worker rights, right to unionize.
              5.  Zero environmental standards.

              Whether a "Democrat" or a Republican is in the administration, this agreement screws workers on both sides of the border.

              Ross Perot tried to warn people and Clinton lied during the campaign and said he would not support NAFTA and turned around and supported it late in the campaign.

              Clinton claimed he wanted side agreements for labor and the environment.  Behind the scenes negotiations were done to not enforce those side agreements. They became token symbols of broken promises, they were put in and at the same time a deal was struck to never enforce them.  100M dollars was spent in lobbying for NAFTA by multinational corporate interests.

              •  case in point (none)
                Excludes any worker protections, worker rights, right to unionize.

                like i just said.  maybe it should include those things.

                but it doesn't prohibit a nation, or an administration from providing these things either.

                •  lock, stock, fixed system (none)
                  by pulling administration to special interests from the nation-state makes it more difficult to actually enforce anything that is not approved by multinational corporate interests.

                  This is the criticism of the WTO, the WTO is run/controlled/administrated by a secret select group, meetings are closed, there is no control or responsibility to the nation-states or the people.

                  These organizations are superceding nation-state authority.  

                  But, that said, this is what Kerry was talking about was attempting to modify existing trade agreements, to add these provisions and get them enforced.  They were working on it.  He also promised if it didn't work to consider "scaping" them and renegotiating.  So he was promising if he could not get around the multinational corporate power, he would take action.

                  Unfortunately this topic is not covered by corporate media and few probably even knew what he was talking about.

                  I thought Kerry was doing good strategy...although it wasn't enough for many because workers had previously been given the shaft, hype and false promises so some want to see truly dramatic action.  Dramatic action (withdrawal from the WTO,
                  cancel NAFTA absolute, go to bi-lateral trade agreements) is something I suspect would "jerk" the economy to potentially a deep recession...
                  and I have not seen an analysis economically on what the consequences would be by any economist...
                  that's my guess.

                  Bernie Sanders proposed this action periodically and he maybe correct.  I think I'll email him and ask if he has a study on the economic effects.

                •  sophistry: (none)
                  "a deliberately invalid argument displaying ingenuity in reasoning in the hope of deceiving someone"

                  To carry your argument to an extreme that shows how invalid it is:  "Slavery didn't prohibit anyone from freeing their slaves and providing them with an honest wage."

                  Of course, maybe your argument isn't sophistry at all, but rather poor reasoning.  I'll watch and see how determined you are to cling to it.

                  The chips are down. Find your outrage.

                  by sj on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 02:09:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  nope (none)
                    you figured it out and see right through it.  my argument doesn't work in the extreme.   and the law of conservation of matter seems to break down in a quantum singularity, too.

                    i guess that means rhe law of conservation of matter is invalid too.

                    hint:  you're an idiot.

                    (second hint:  i can be condescending too.)

                    •  I see (none)
                      You're determined to cling to it.  Just so I know.  

                      Hint:  the "you're an idiot" statement says more about your reasoning than mine.  And I was already well aware of your ability to be condescending.  Thank you, however, for informing all other readers.

                      The chips are down. Find your outrage.

                      by sj on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 02:51:24 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  clinging to the truth (none)
                        is indeed one of my many weaknesses.

                        but i guess it's better than clinging to falsehood.

                        calling you an idiot says nothing about my reasoning.

                        you being an idiot requires no logic to grasp, ... asking how or why you're an idiot would detract too much from it's majesty.  it's just there.

                      •  here i'll try a different approach (none)
                        what?  i'm supposed to stop clinging to my opinion and change my opinion on something just cause you say i won't change my opinion?

                        right.  

                        and just so you know.

                        you're not really an idiot.

        •  William Grieder (none)
          writes in the NYT in an op-ed piece about strategic trade development versus multinational short term trade activity.  He addresses that concept as the core problem of why our labor is getting clobbered.  This guy writes for Nation.

          Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

          by hairspray on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 02:02:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  NAFTA (none)
        Robert Reich wrote a great piece on globalization and the engines of wealth creation in the US.  Essentially he said that excessive legislation stunts the progress and we should be very careful about that.  On the other hand, the government's role is to smooth out the spots that get undercut in these advances.  He went on about worker protection, education, providing health care and other supports that would make it possible for workers to live on less without their quality of life being affected.  In the welfare reform bill Clinton and Co wanted to provide child care supports, education and a host of help to those moving out of the system. A very systems approach to solving problems. It was the typical linear thinking  Republican who cried "let them eat cake"

        Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

        by hairspray on Fri Jul 22, 2005 at 01:49:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes (none)
          NAFTA does not find fault with a government that provides real safety nets.

          and excessive legislation at the market level does stunt progress.

          add in the fact that bush is more protectionist than clinton.  i guess that means bush is a better prez.

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