?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Ok. I get these Kucinich updates every day, and I don't share them… - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

Dec. 13th, 2003

04:13 pm

Previous Entry Share Next Entry

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:mathuaerknedam
Date:December 14th, 2003 01:49 am (UTC)
(Link)
On the subject of NAFTA, I've heard one person (historian/sociologist/anthropologist) say that NAFTA (and it's ilk) is good because is is working to repair a lot of the economic damage that US policy has inflicted on the rest of the western hemisphere. Is this not true?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:December 14th, 2003 10:19 am (UTC)
(Link)
This is not true. This is the mythology of NAFTA and it is not born out in reality.

The reality is that NAFTA (and the FTAA which would expand NAFTA to the western hemisphere if adopted) take advantage of all the economic damage that US policy has inflicted upon the rest of the world. NAFTA allows for the free movement of capital without allowing for the free movement of labor. So if there's work that American companies need done it is easier under NAFTA to move the factory to the underpaid workers than to allow the workers to move to where the work is. This perpetuates an incentive by companies and governments to keep wages in developing nations low through anti-union activity.

Before NAFTA, Mexico had a fairly progressive land reform system that gave common ownership of a lot of land to the peasants who farmed that land. This meant that a lot of communities had a pretty self-sufficient subsistence farming economy. NAFTA forced the governments to privatize and sell off that land to private interests, thus forcing the formerly self-sufficient peasants to accept below-poverty level jobs with the private companies that bought their land from the government.

NAFTA has allowed US corporations to sue the Mexican government for having laws restricting the importation of toxic chemicals. A US company was able to force a mexican community to become a toxic waste dump against it's will.

NAFTA has allowed global corporations to get rid of US laws that they find unfavorable by having their Mexican or Canadians subsidiaries sue the US government under NAFTA. NAFTA gives corporations veto power over many democratic policies.

There have been some problems between US and Canada with NAFTA but because immigration is looser with Canada and because our economy is on a similar level with Canada we're more equal partners so there's less room for abuses. (Canadian labor isn't any cheaper than US labor, for instance). Free trade among equal partners with free movement of labor isn't such a bad thing. This is why the EU is not really a bad thing. The problem is when you have a really advanced "bully" country and a bunch of puny developing nations that are easily exploited.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:December 14th, 2003 10:29 am (UTC)
(Link)
The Chicago Tribune has an article that just came out about the last 10 years of NAFTA. You can use "anonymous/anonymous" as the login and password to read the article without registering.

Here's Public Citizen's critique of NAFTA.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)