Skip to main content

View Diary: NAFTA & GORE: An Inconsistent Truth? (36 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  You omitted the other part (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mia Dolan

    and gave no link. That ain't cool.

    Link

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    GORE: The best way to eliminate our influence down there is to defeat NAFTA. The best way to preserve it is to enter into this bargain, continue the lowering of the barriers. We've got a commitment that they're going to raise their minimum wage with productivity. We've got an agreement for the first time in history to use trade sanctions to compel the enforcement of their environmental standards. As they begin to develop and locate better jobs farther south, we cut down on illegal immigration.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    KING: Has that happened?

    GORE: Well, it's hard to say that illegal immigration got any better. It obviously got a lot worse. But it might have been worse still without the effort to try to boost the economy in Mexico.

    You know, during the Clinton-Gore administration, we faced a couple of big challenges on that front. There was a financial crisis in Mexico and we took the bold step of shoring them up. And then when it came to this agreement to try to strengthen their economy and get more good jobs down there to slow down the flow of immigration, I think we did the right thing.

    I think other developments in the aftermath of those years, principally the rise of China and the movement of jobs from Mexico to China and to other Asian countries, made the situation worse than it would have otherwise been. But without the agreement that was made and without the shoring up of their economy back then, it could have been much worse still.

    KING: Was that night fun for you?

    GORE: The debate? Well, it was like a prize fight or something in the debating arena. And thank you for hosting it. And of course, he had -- Ross Perot had been on your show so many times. I called you up out of the blue, and everybody was against it in the White House except for me and Bill Clinton. Everybody else said, oh, it was a terrible mistake.

    •  I am only talking eco, here (0+ / 0-)

      and as I show in the diary - the eco-sanctions either are not enforced or have no teeth.

      •  Response + What is Mexico went Bankrupt? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mia Dolan
        But the question was generic. In that context, mentioning the critical factor of Mexico's financial crisis and potential immigration exodus was important.

        Now, let me ask you this.

        What if Mexico went bankrupt. (which it probably would have, without the bailout and maybe later NAFTA).

        Wouldn't there have been enormous chaos and suffering in Mexico?

        Wouldn't there have been catastrophic human/environmental costs?

        Wouldn't some 50 million people have tried to cross the US border then, causing chaos on our side of the border?

        •  REPEAT: I'm am only talking Eco here (0+ / 0-)

          Read the post, read the linked info, these are documents by respected eco-organizations. See if you can find non-govt research that refutes it. I did my homework, now its your turn.

          •  REPEAT: What if Mexico went bankrupt (0+ / 0-)

            You can't restrict the debate to "eco" issues only as per you choosing. Gore clearly said that worries about Mexico's financial crisis were important (probably pivotal) in their (Clinton and Gore, not Gore alone) decision. And the questioner asked a general question ("when did Al Gore last say he supports") not an "eco" question.

            Even if you want to talk only "eco" issues, should Mexico have gone bankrupt, that would surely have  had some grave environmental (and more importantly human) consequenses. Refugee camps, massive border crossings, squalor, disease, etc.

            "I did my homework, now its your turn."

            Homework will come later. But you are expected to answer questions after posting a diary.

            So, back to my question. Wouldn't things have been signficantly worse, had Mecixo's economy gone under?

            •  What if I put up a straw man and we pummeled it? (0+ / 0-)
              First, the writer CAN restrict his debate about ecological effects.

              Second, "what if Mexico went bankrupt" is a straw man -- yes, it would have been bad if Mexico went bankrupt, but there are other methods to prevent that than implementing NAFTA. To ask the writer to respond to a hypothetical is just engaging in noise - there is no homework here, just idle speculation.

              Feloneous

              •  All I was looking for was an acknowledgement (0+ / 0-)

                of the Mexican fiscal crisis by the author (meaningful since Gore said it played a key role), who was ready to blame Gore (as he/she has done repeatedly earlier as well).

                •  Difference between... (0+ / 0-)
                  ...acknowledging a fiscal crisis and posing a "what if" question.

                  Feloneous

                  •  BTW, Mexican fiscal crisis was NOT ''what if' (0+ / 0-)

                    IIRC, it was on the verge of bankruptcy when the 20 billion bailout was appropriated.

                    So "fiscal crisis" existed.

                    Bankruptcy was imminent.

                    •  You miss the point... (0+ / 0-)
                      Acknowledging a fiscal crisis is not the same as "what if Mexico went bankrupt".

                      So, yes, "what if Mexico went bankrupt" was a "what if".

                      a) Mexico DIDN'T go bankrupt
                      b) Being on the verge of going over a cliff is not the same as going over a cliff

                      Feloneous

                      •  Let me cast the argument in cliff terms (0+ / 0-)

                        20 billion bailout helped Mexico stave off Bankruptcy. NAFTA most likely helped Mexico sustain and recover to a functional economy.

                        •  Closer to agreement... (0+ / 0-)
                          1. Most definitely the bailout of Mexico helped their currency. This is not even debatable.

                          2. Whether NAFTA did or didn't help is speculation. There seems to be more evidence indicating that it DIDN'T help (and may have been partially responsible for the fall of the peso). BUT, and I want to stress that, it is PURE SPECULATION on my part as it is on yours.

                          3. Whether Mexico would have gone "bankrupt" or not falls in the idle speculation. That is why I was calling it a straw man.

                          Feloneous

                  •  Gore an OK strawman? (0+ / 0-)

                    Here is the deal

                    1. Mexico was about to go under
                    1. unless you're an isolationist, trading, if done carefully can be mutually beneficial

                    if the terms of NAFTA as written were not great, fine. Improve them.

                    But a case for outright trashing has not been made.

                    I think that larger issue at hand is simply this: capital will flow into newer markets and production enviornments (there is nothing anyone can do to stop it).

                    Global growth is something that will happen (and should happen in the interests of people developing nations, and once they pick up, in the interests of continued global economic growth, hopefully in a sustainable fashion).

                    In my view, the key problem (economically) stems from the widely varying wage rates and standards of living. Global growth will tend to even out those differences. The only thing we should try to accomplish is the the transient period is not too painful for parties at both ends.

                    Banging up on Gore is not the proper stage for such consideration. In that sense, Gore is being made the strawman here (which you seem to have no problem with).

                    •  No, the argument about bankruptcy was a straw man (0+ / 0-)
                      Here is the deal

                      Mexico was about to go under
                      unless you're an isolationist, trading, if done carefully can be mutually beneficial

                      if the terms of NAFTA as written were not great, fine. Improve them.

                      No, HERE is the deal:

                      * Mexico DIDN'T go bankrupt
                      * The terms of NAFTA were horrible and we are reaping it today

                      The ONLY straw man was "what if Mexico went bankrupt". It didn't, therefore any answer would have been speculation.

                      In my view, the key problem (economically) stems from the widely varying wage rates and standards of living. Global growth will tend to even out those differences. The only thing we should try to accomplish is the the transient period is not too painful for parties at both ends.

                      Actually, varying wage rates and standards of living CAN actually give a people (or an area) a better standard of living.

                      That was not the purpose of NAFTA.

                      NAFTA's sole purpose was to ensure that trade from the big guns would not be impeded by silly laws intended to protect a country, the environment, or culture.

                      I believe that Gore's belief in NAFTA as it was implemented to be wrong. However, neither he, nor NAFTA had anything to do with what I considered to be the straw man.

                      The ONLY straw man was "what if Mexico went bankrupt" - it would be just as ludicrous to ask "what if Gore had powers of space and time". They mean nothing, because neither are true.

                      GORE: You know, during the Clinton-Gore administration, we faced a couple of big challenges on that front. There was a financial crisis in Mexico and we took the bold step of shoring them up. And then when it came to this agreement to try to strengthen their economy and get more good jobs down there to slow down the flow of immigration, I think we did the right thing.

                      Note, Gore at no point even mentions "bankrupt". It is important to also note that we HAD to help shore up their monetary system or it would have wreaked havoc in the U.S.

                      However, NAFTA has done nothing to help. In fact, it is cheaper to buy American corn in Mexico than Mexican corn. You think that helps Mexico? Worse, via NAFTA we are contaminating Mexican corn crops.

                      I'm sorry you do not like the fact that I feel Gore is wrong on NAFTA. But note that my disagreement is by no means "banging him up". Nor in no way does it imply that he is "the straw man", either in my views or previous postings.

                      You posted:

                      What if Mexico went bankrupt. (which it probably would have, without the bailout and maybe later NAFTA).

                      Which is a straw man. Mexico didn't go bankrupt and it wasn't NAFTA that saved it. The fiscal crisis was in the fall of 1994 and NAFTA was ratified in October of 1993 and went into effect January 1st, 1994.

                      So, I would argue, NAFTA didn't make a damn bit of difference.

                      Feloneous

      •  And because the eco-sanctions either are (0+ / 0-)

        not enforced or have no teeth -- whatever that means
        precisely -- therefore NAFTA doesn't make sense??

        How stupid is that. This is again "the everything or nothing" sentiment that turned enviros against Gore in 2000. Dumbasses. NAFTA is not perfect. But it's better than no NAFTA at all.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site