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View Diary: BREAKING: Obama Backs Peru FTA / NAFTA Extension, Peruvian Farmers to Starve (175 comments)

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  •  I hear you (3+ / 0-)

    I wonder why so many here can't understand the human suffering this will bring to the poor farmers in Peru. About two years ago I hosted a representative of the Zapatista here in South Dakota. He brought films of the devastation caused by NAFTA including starvation and forced relocations. Farmers who had lived on their lands since before 1492 had the choice of either drifting into the huge slums of Mexico City or braving the hostile and dangerous journey to the Rio Grande, where an Army tried to keep them from working for the gringos waving money at them from across the river. It takes desperation to make the trip these people make and that desperation is being caused by the ignorance of FTAs that are inhumane in their assault on the poorest of the nations poor. Your diary explains it nicely, thanks for writing it.

    •  Enclosure. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jacob Freeze

      google it.

      My novel is full of sex, drink, incest, suicides, dope, horseracing, murder, scandalous legal procedure and ends with a good public hanging--attended by 30,000

      by Salo on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 05:59:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  thanks (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      docangel, Jacob Freeze

      There will be a conference on NAFTA's effects, particularly on farmers, later this month in Minneapolis.

      Farmers from mexico, canada and the US will all be there to discuss how we build food sovereignty, in the midst of free trade ideology.

      none of the ideologues backing this FTA have seen fit to address the problem of the farm sector.

      •  NAFTA helped Mexico (0+ / 0-)

        I am a Democrat.  And I know that free trade, properly executed, works.

        I've spent quite a bit of time in Mexico (worked as an I-Banker in Mexico City for many years, and my parents hail from Nuevo Leon).

        Mexico would be MUCH worse off today, had it not been for NAFTA.

        The problem lies in the execution by RightWing Mexican governments that make Bush seem reasonable.

        Back in 93, the Mexican government knew it had a problem, given the productivity differentials between the US and Mexico.  For example, a US acre yields 4x as much corn as an acre in Mexico.  Mexico knew this back in 93.

        What should they have done about it?

        Investment.  Invest in dams, in irrigation systems, in agricultural education.

        Yet, it did nothing.

        And please don't come back telling me that the RightWing government lacked funds.  The PRI and PAN governments have insisted on maintaining the capital gains tax where it is today: 0%.

        Moreover, the top marginal income tax rate is 28%, down from 35% when Fox took the helm, in 2000.

        Mexico's farmers have been negatively impacted by NAFTA b/c they can't compete.  And they can't compete b/c the RightWing govt. chose not to assist them.

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

        by PatriciaVa on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 06:15:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  wrong, they can compete (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jacob Freeze

          If the U.S. stopped the gigantic farm subsidies they could compete.

          •  they don't want to compete! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            farmers in the US and Mexico do not want to compete with each other in a "race to the bottom." that only benefits grain traders seekign access to cheap corn (which goes into HFCS and into feed for factory farms). they want to produce food for their families and communities. they don't need to "export" or want to get bigger and bigger and use more GMOs and pesticides.

        •  but of course (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          docangel, Chaoslillith, Jacob Freeze

          MExican farmers should just be like the US! have tons of industrial monoculture GMO corn instead of the genetic diversity they used to have as maize is revered in Mexico.

          now they've sacrificed their food sovereignty, are reliant on imports and getting screwed since corn prices are up and their tortilla sector has been monopolized by one corporation in bed with ADM.

          i'm sure the NAFTA was good for i-bankers and corporate executives. for the farmers in both countries, it's been less good times. Not that the Hamilton Project would ever acknowledge such a thing...

          •  10% vs 33% vs 50% (0+ / 0-)

            What it have hurt the Mexican government to invest in agriculture?  Would it have hurt it to deploy forty to fifty billion dollars in the construction of several dams, which would have sig. helped bridge the productivity gap?

            Of course not.

            But that would have meant that the affluent would have to pay their fair share in taxes.

            Do you know how much the Mexican treasury receives in tax receipts: 10% of GDP.  In the US, it's about 33% (federal+state+city).  In Western Europe, it's as high as 50%.

            The Mexican farmer has been negatively due to the Mexican government's criminal negligence, not NAFTA.

            Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

            by PatriciaVa on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 06:36:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  "NAFTA helped Mexico"... Harharharhar!!! (4+ / 0-)

          Tell that fable to 2,000,000 immigrants in LA County.

          Arguing that NAFTA would have worked if only Mexico had an entirely different government is ludicrous, but promising for a certain kind of comic theatre of cruelty.

          The A-bomb dropped on Hiroshima wouldn't have hurt anybody, if only all the inhabitants had moved to Chicago in 1942.

          Global warming won't be a problem, if only a race of superior beings from another galaxy reverses climate change tomorrow.

          Wishful thinking won't save the small farmers in Peru, any more than it saved the small farmers in Mexico.

          Kill me before I have to think again!

          by Jacob Freeze on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 06:32:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Mexican Govt at Fault, not NAFTA (0+ / 0-)

            Jacob, had Mexico begun to raise taxes on its wealthy back in 93, it could be a very prosperous nation today.

            Mexico needs investment, and the RightWing Mexican government will not ask the oligarchs to pay their fair share.

            Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

            by PatriciaVa on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 06:38:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I'll try to come (0+ / 0-)

        I'll also be attending an "Indigenous Border Summit" on the reservation south of Tucson this November. I hope I did the link correctly.


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