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Was Ross Perot Right?

Posted on Nov 22, 2007

By David Sirota

Editor’s Note: Truthdig welcomes David Sirota to our lineup of regular columnists. Look for him every week, right here.

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“Ross Perot was fiercely against NAFTA. Knowing what we know now, was Ross Perot right?”

      That’s what CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Hillary Clinton at last week’s Democratic presidential debate. It was a straightforward query about a Clinton administration trade policy that polls show the public now hates, and it was appropriately directed to a candidate who has previously praised NAFTA.

      In response, Clinton stumbled. First she laughed at Perot, then she joked that “all I can remember from that is a bunch of charts,” and then she claimed the whole NAFTA debate “is a vague memory.” The behavior showed how politically tone-deaf some Democratic leaders are.

      To refresh Clinton’s “vague memory,” let’s recall that Perot’s anti-NAFTA presidential campaign in 1992 won 19 percent of the presidential vote—the highest total for any third-party candidate since Teddy Roosevelt. That included huge tallies in closely divided regions like the Rocky Mountain West, which Democrats say they need to win in the upcoming election.


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      A Democrat laughing at Perot on national television is a big mistake. Simply put, it risks alienating the roughly 20 million people who cast their votes for the Texas businessman.

      But Clinton’s flippant comments and feigned memory lapse about NAFTA were the bigger mistakes in that they insulted the millions of Americans (Perot voters or otherwise) harmed by the trade pact. These are people who have seen their jobs outsourced and paychecks slashed thanks to a trade policy forcing them into a wage-cutting war with oppressed foreign workers.

      Why is Clinton desperate to avoid discussing NAFTA? Because she and other congressional Democrats are currently pushing a Peru Free Trade Agreement at the behest of their corporate campaign contributors—an agreement expanding the unpopular NAFTA model. When pressed, Clinton claims she is for a “timeout” from such trade deals—but, as her husband might say, it depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is, since she simultaneously supports the NAFTA expansion.

      Of course, this deviousness is precisely why it is worth asking about Perot’s predictions: to make sure America has an informed and honest discussion about impending new trade policies before they are enacted.

      And so without further ado, let’s answer the question Clinton ducked: Was Ross Perot right?

      In 1993, the Clinton White House and an army of corporate lobbyists were selling NAFTA as a way to aid Mexican and American workers. Perot, on the other hand, was predicting that because the deal included no basic labor standards, it would preserve a huge “wage differential between the United States and Mexico” that would result in “the giant sucking sound” of American jobs heading south of the border. Corporations, he said, would “close the factories in the U.S. [and] move the factories to Mexico [to] take advantage of the cheap labor.”

      The historical record is clear. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace reports, “Real wages for most Mexicans today are lower than when NAFTA took effect.” Post-NAFTA, companies looking to exploit those low wages relocated factories to Mexico. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the net effect of NAFTA was the elimination of 1 million American jobs.

      Score one for Perot.

      What about immigration? In 1993, the Clinton administration pitched NAFTA as “the best hope for reducing illegal immigration.” Perot, by contrast, said that after NAFTA depressed Mexican wages, many Mexicans “out of economic necessity” would “consider illegally immigrating into the U.S.”

      “In short,” he wrote, “NAFTA has the potential to increase illegal immigration, not decrease it.”

      Again, the historical record tells the story. As NAFTA helped drive millions of Mexicans into poverty, The New York Times reports that “Mexican migration to the United States has risen to 500,000 a year from less than 400,000 in the early 1990s, before NAFTA,” with a huge chunk of that increase coming from illegal immigration.

      Score another one for Perot.

      Clinton may continue to laugh at Perot and plead amnesia when asked about trade policy. And sure, she and her fellow Democrats in Washington can expand NAFTA and ignore the public’s desire for reform. But these politicians shouldn’t be surprised if that one other Perot prediction comes true again—the one accurately predicting that Democrats would lose the next national election if they sold America out and passed NAFTA.

      Foreshadowing that historic Democratic loss in 1994, he warned, “We’ll remember in November.”

      Yes, indeed, Ross. America probably will.
David Sirota is the bestselling author of “Hostile Takeover” (Crown, 2006). He is a senior fellow at the Campaign for America’s Future and a board member of the Progressive States Network—both nonpartisan research organizations. His daily blog can be found at

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By montgomery paul, March 3, 2010 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Appears some peoples seem to forgot how far ahead in the polls and everything else was for ross perot back in 92, I haven’t forgotton ! Then Ross droped out. saying his family was threaten which by the way seem to never have been gotton to the bottom of. Then at the last minuite gets back in the election! jsut enough to pull the votes away from bush sr so to get clinton elected. My beliefs were and still are that Ross perot never intended to be president and he did exsacly what he set out to do and that was to get clinton elected which reseulted in turning the sell out of the labor of americans knob wide open. Its been set on high every since , not to say it wasnt set on medieum before.
  My personal believe is the civil war was faught over less than what has happen to the real americans out there , maybe over the past 30 years. Its time to take America back my fellow citizins

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By Froggy, April 26, 2008 at 8:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yup Yup

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By PaulMagillSmith, December 3, 2007 at 2:47 am Link to this comment

Carson & rhbee,

This is more than a conspiracy; it’s a policy coming to fruition:

The Haig-Kissinger
Depopulation Policy
By Lonnie Wolfe


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By Carson, December 2, 2007 at 11:07 pm Link to this comment

rhbee and Conservative Yankee,

I grew up in California. The school system was on us in our sixth grade sex education classes with the message our children were unwanted for reasons that I stated before. By the time I was married RU-486 pills were coming into the country from France, illegally.

It wasn’t uncommon for them to be used without both spouses in a marriage aware.

Now they have become another legal way to terminate a pregnancy. Death does result in its use.

Here is a link to a case where a man used the pill to abort his child with out telling his mate.

The court feels a death did occur enough to charge its first person that I have heard of.

It makes no sense to annihilate our own children if it only serves the Revolutionaries in the government making room for their illegal aliens coming in.  Many in the government are no longer loyal to, “We the People”, but serve the criminals in business.

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By rhbee, December 2, 2007 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

Carson I have to agree with CY here.  I was a college student in the 60’s and a teacher from ‘67 on.  No one was offering sex ed back then.  Individual teachers were.  Whether you were born here in the US or somewhere else less fortunate is still a matter of happenstance.  No matter what your plan, hope, or scheme, every birth is just the coincidental meeting of sperm and egg that happens to work out.  We are all, except for those born in outer space, born on the earth that we all have to learn how to share.  That was the decision that many of us made during the 60’s.  To try and reach a zero population growth so that there would be enough earth for us all to share.  Populating like bunnies is not a plan nor a suitable survival strategy.

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By Conservative Yankee, December 2, 2007 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment
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117364 by Carson on 12/01 at 10:06 am

“Some of it may have been a “conscientious decision”. Then again many of us had little to say.

The Unacknowledged Holocaust

Back in the 60’s the Federal Government came into the public schools and brainwashed us as little children with the message that the children we were about to have were unwanted because the population was rising so fast. They launched a program called, “Zero Population Growth”. They pushed Family Planning and birth control pills. Now they call the same programs, “Safe Sex” but the results are the same. I think you and I both know that you only have to trick people for their few child bearing years and there is no going back.”

It can’t be a Holocaust if no one died.

No body cane to my school (during the 60’s) to talk about sex in ANY fashion.

You only have to “trick” (your word) the Woman as a man’s ability to produce children remains from 11 or so till death. (politically correct language can only “trick” (my word) for a few short years.

The world IS overpopulated, That is not a “trick” this country has doubled its population (not including illegals) in my lifetime.

ANYONE who can’t see that this is a prescription for disaster is spending to much time contemplating their naval!

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By Carson, December 1, 2007 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

Conservative Yankee,

Some of it may have been a “conscientious decision”. Then again many of us had little to say.

The Unacknowledged Holocaust

Back in the 60’s the Federal Government came into the public schools and brainwashed us as little children with the message that the children we were about to have were unwanted because the population was rising so fast. They launched a program called, “Zero Population Growth”. They pushed Family Planning and birth control pills. Now they call the same programs, “Safe Sex” but the results are the same. I think you and I both know that you only have to trick people for their few child bearing years and there is no going back.

Many of us never had a say in the future of our unborn.

I am the result of two living cells. One from each of my parents. They are the result of two living cells, one from each of their parents. I wasn’t just born. I am a continuation of life. I am a living thing that reaches back into time perhaps 400 million years and the result of billions of joining of pairs of cells. It is possible that if you were to follow my cells back to my parent’s cells and beyond that my family tree touches every living thing here on earth. That is if we limit ourselves to believing life was created here on earth. If it rained down from the immensity of the universe it could reach back into that immensity of time and space, and who knows what relationships and who knows what species.

My family line succeeded, at least until I came up against the Federal Government and their plan to control the population.

I have seen the Federal Government do little else to control the population.

The open border, United States laws only apply to some, is a serious slap in the face. No, not a slap in the face, it reaches well beyond that. Maybe back to the beginning of time and stretch to the bounds of the universe.

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By Conservative Yankee, December 1, 2007 at 6:57 am Link to this comment
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“The true source of the “immigration problem” is to be found in the obscene wealth disparity created by neoliberal capitalism both at home and abroad.”

While what you say may be true, the source of our problem is not as important as finding a SHORT TERM solution. 

AS you have noted on these pages, “capitalism” is our enconomic system, and many (maybe even the majority) see this system as linked to our freedom and “Americanism” I don’t see a change from capitalism in a period of time soon enough to forstall the crisis over water in the South West.

In addition the Mexican Government has found value in exporting their poverty to the USA.

My question remains;

What is your proposal (or anyone’s proposal for that matter) to avoid a crisis when the resources of the region are pushed to a point where they can no longer support life?

If someone had decided that it was a poor idea to build a city 9 feet below sea level in a Hurricane zone, there would have been no Katrina effect.

Do we always have to wait till the last minute to stem disaster?

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By cann4ing, November 30, 2007 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

CY:  I don’t disagree that the massive northward migration has created and will continue to create enormous problems for our infrastructure, ecology, economy, etc..  Nowhere did I seek to defend the status quo.  But instead of turning to the erection of an apartheid wall along the border, instead of scapegoating these brown-skinned, economic refugees, I have sought to direct attention to the root cause of the massive northward migration, which lies in the neoliberal economics of empire presently embodied in NAFTA & the WTO.  Real immigration “reform” requires repeal of those measures and their replacement with bilateral trade agreements where we insist on protecting the rights of workers, decent wages and the environment both north and south of the Rio Grande. 

The true source of the “immigration problem” is to be found in the obscene wealth disparity created by neoliberal capitalism both at home and abroad.

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By Conservative Yankee, November 30, 2007 at 7:58 am Link to this comment
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“If humanity is to survive, let alone flourish in a greener environment, nothing less than fundamental change will be required.”

“... the preservation of you and your family is placed at risk if you buy into the divide and conquer strategies of the ruling elite.  That preservation will be assured only when the working and middle classes north and south see that their interests are aligned.”

Phoenix, LasVegas, and many smaller towns in the South West will be OUT of water in ten years if population continues to grow as it has for the last ten years.

Los Angles will become inviable as a city if it can not find a new source of water or LIMIT ITS POPULATION! 

The majority of population growth is due to immigration NOT native births.

The social implications of all these FACTS are large enough to dwarf the relocation out of New Orleans.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s people of my age made a conscientious decision NOT to produce another “babyboom. The thought of a stagnant period of population growth or even a negative growth rate frightened those businessmen you vilified above, so they went to the government (that we both know is bought and paid for) and demanded an increase in immigration designed to keep sales and finance at at least 3% increase per year. The result being since my birth, instead of limiting the number of folks in country, we increased it by double! 

Snyders need LOTS of room to range. I walked across the USA in 1971, and there were vast areas of open space. The four corners area was EMPTY, and the little surveyor’s emblem at the point where Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado meet was on a vast open uninhabited plain.

We’re losing OUR country, my solution is to close the door a bit.

what exactly is your solution? 

I’m now listening…. hum?

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By Perk23, November 30, 2007 at 1:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

NAFTA was just a foreshadowing of a recent agreement between Bush and the heads of Mexico and Canada to form the North American Union, which could eventually lead to the Amero. It seems that this is not a Democrat or Republican issue, but a financially independent versus financially dependent issue.

If you are upset about Hillary Clinton and NAFTA from a Republican versus Democrat issue, then you need to look at what president Bush and Cheney are doing. Just do some web searches and look at YouTube for footage on the issue of SSA ( This is not a partisan issue. This is an economic issue that has ramifications for people in Mexico, US, and Canada. I’m not arguing whether those ramifications are positive or negative, but I do think it’s more important than pinning it on one party or another. I think the knee-jerk hatred between the followers of these parties conveniently allows for a lot of smoke and mirrors.

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By cann4ing, November 29, 2007 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment

CY, I regard Howard Zinn as a brilliant historian and a voice for the voiceless.  As to self-preservation, I would submit that it lies in seeing an end to the corrupt imperial “new world order” that produces so much obscene wealth for a select few at the top and poverty for most of the rest.  When the combined wealth of just three individuals, Bill Gates, Paul Allen & Warren Buffet, had, by 1999 exceeded the GDP of the world’s 41 poorest nations and their 550 million people, we should have reached the conclusion that something is drastically amiss.

As revealed both ecologically and economically, the current system of rule by corporation is not merely undemocratic but not sustainable.  If humanity is to survive, let alone flourish in a greener environment, nothing less than fundamental change will be required.

In my opinion, CY, the preservation of you and your family is placed at risk if you buy into the divide and conquer strategies of the ruling elite.  That preservation will be assured only when the working and middle classes north and south see that their interests are aligned.

Anyway, thanks for the comparison to Howard Zinn. While I don’t personally think I could begin to measure up to that intellectual giant, it was truly nice of you to say it.

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By Conservative Yankee, November 29, 2007 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment
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Do you know Howard Zinn?  I went to school with his son back when he was doing weekly columns for the BOSTON GLOBE… Not the mealy mouthed NYT owned and peppered boston globe of today, but the real thing back when they were (IMHO) the best independent paper in the Nation.

I used to write Zinn (mostly in disagreement) and he would always write back.  He was a great conversationalist, thinker, and a powerful writer.

You sound (something) like him.

Myself. I can’t afford “the high road” just self (and family) preservation. That means we can’t afford a half billion poor South Americans.

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By cann4ing, November 29, 2007 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

Why would I not like it, CY?  Spain along with all of the other European powers took part in plundering the “New World” as part of a genocidal campaign against its indigenous peoples.  Spain also took place in the slave trade and the horror that was Middle Passage.  What we are still experiencing today is a product of a 500 year old imperial conquest.  In the case of the Anglo-Americans, it entailed a genocidal campaign by these “legal immigrants” against the Native Americans who were here when they arrived—a genocide carried out under the racist doctrine of Manifest Destiny.

Where I live, California, was once a part of Mexico, and before that, a Spanish territory, and before that—well there are very few Native Californians who survived. 

How ironic, the descendants of these Anglos who acquired rights by conquest and genocide can now look down on these brown-skinned descendants of the people who once roamed the Americas sans the “legal” barriers the conquerers had erected.  Might makes right, I suppose George W. Bush and Adolf Hitler would say.

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By Conservative Yankee, November 29, 2007 at 7:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

116752 by Ernest Canning on 11/28 at 11:35 pm

See we’re different I love a verbal brawl with a WORTHY opponent. I don’t like the battles (which I regulate between my preschoolers) 
“You’re a pee pee face”
“So are you”

which I’ve seen duplicated on this site by people old enough (assumedly) to go on the net by themselves.

As to my comment on racism, as I said, I meant it as an “observation” not a endorsement, BUT I guess when you get right down to it, as much as we would like to deny it, every Caucasian person on this planet is guilty of some form of racism, for we as a race have been elevated economically by the colonialism of our ancestors.  BUT, and I know you won’t like this, I include the Spanish, who at one point controlled a higher percentage of the known world than even the British.


I can’t change the past but while I draw a single breath I will resist “by any means necessary” sharing the fate of the folks south of our current border, or the native folk here.

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By cann4ing, November 29, 2007 at 12:35 am Link to this comment

CY—I really don’t want to get into a verbal brawl with someone I admire.  So let me just list the passage from your earlier post that led me to conclude that you were defending racism as necessary to economic survival.  Specifically, you said, “racism has always been about ‘economic survival’ for those at the bottom of the ladder.”

If you had something other than a defense of racism as being necessary to economic survival in mind, I am certainly prepared to accept that, though I hope you can understand how I would have interpreted what you said as I did.

I am reminded of a line from “The Last Emperor.” 

“A gentleman may not always say what he means, but he always means what he says.”

Finally, with respect to the vast gap between rich and poor that you observed, if you haven’t done so, I would strongly urge that you read John Perkins “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” which will go a long way to explain the true source of what you observed first hand.

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By rhbee, November 28, 2007 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment

Conservative Yankee,

I don’t know why you are listed as an Unregistered commenter on your posts but for whatever the reason is please register now.  You post is not only erudite but also clearly well thought out.  As a long time resident of San Diego County, I can only concur with your assessment of the torrent of people who pass through here on the way to somewhere else.  And only agree that there is no one way to define who or what they are in any one definition.  Maybe if we thought of our solutions through some other filter than the one that is called WAR, we might actually get somewhere. 

BTW have you seen the ad for the committee raising money to Save Ellis Island?

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By Conservative Yankee, November 28, 2007 at 6:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


“While I know it is difficult for someone to comprehend after a lifetime of being told how wonderful we are relative to everyone else, these brown skinned people whom you refer to as “ignorant Mexicans” would actually prefer tilling their own soil to cleaning Gringo toilets during the day and hiding in fear of I.C.E. at night.”

Oh jeez. we take ourselves so seriously these days.  You used my “...ignorant Mexicans” out of context twice, failing to place the “...” meaning incomplete sentence or thought.  I don’t care, but my joke had a punch line, your re-telling of it does not.


How far south of the border have you traveled?  Been to Cuba? Guatemala, Venezuela?  watched (before NAFTA was in diapers) “peasants” (your word) paw through the big dumps outside Caracas looking for food, fuel, and occasionally shelter?

Have you driven through the wall-lined boulevards where the rich hide behind concrete barricades, and hire security to go shopping?

Have you checked into hotels in Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Columbia and had to pass guards heavily armed with U.S. supplied weapons?

Brazil is a beautiful country. Long beaches, dense forest (when I was there 25 years ago) and just jammed full of US and European tourists. I don’t know how the government treats homeless children today, but back in the early eighties, foreigners were “encouraged” to stay in their hotels until after 8AM so the police could clean up the bodies of young boys that they had killed to make Rio a “safer” environment for touristias

No, Mr Canning, from the time my father first brought me South I have not considered the USA to be the “best” at much of anything. Say “United Fruit!”

You additionally claim that I “... defend racism as necessary to economic survival”  No, I never defended it, and I challenge you to post a passage that suggests I did. I do however recognize that racism exists as a tool of the elite to divide (and successfully conquer) the working classes.

Economic racism (the type traditionally practiced in the USA) has NO relationship to color or ethnic diversity, as it can be observed in the clash between the two separate waves of Italians who entered the US in the late 19th century, and the middle 20th century, and the resident African American hatred for the Haitians…(not spoken, just practiced)

From my point of view the most virulent “racism” (the US variety now) is practiced by folks who advocate for illegal alien citizenship, as the people who are most injured by this course are recent legal immigrants, and those who share the bottom rungs (for whatever reasons) on our economic ladder. Whom do you think illegals are replacing, Donald Trump?

Different views of the way things are that’s all!

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By LWM, November 27, 2007 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

Almost the same post I made on the Liberty Dollar thread.


The links you provide are straight out of tin foil hat land.  I’m done with you Pauliacs and can’t wait for the primaries to start so you disappear after Iowa.

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By ender, November 27, 2007 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

I took part in the 2004 FTAA protest in Miami.  While the Miami Metro and Dade county police trained for 3 months, brought in 5000 KRB armed stormtroopers, and spent a reported $5,000,000 preparing to break up a legal protest event, the protest did have an impact.  The police used undercover cops to spread disinformation about where to enter the park grounds, and staged a fight which they used as an excuse to admit about 5000 people into the event.  More than one quarter of the march took place in between the lined phalanxes of armed rentagoons, and at one point during the staged fight I was on the ground covering my daughter while a young Miami officer pointed a gun at my head.

I looked up and ask him if he was proud of this, and he couldn’t look me in the eye, and backed off.

Even though I had never thought the anarchist kids were anything but that, kids just out raisin’ a little hell, they managed to crash the hotel party and shout at attendies to look outside at the protest march, where 20,000 folk still made the march past the hotel.

FTAA was not ratified by any of the South American attendees.  The Brazilian ambassodor to the meeting publicly ridiculed the US for stifling free speach during the march.  BTW, Brazil’s economy is flourishing, and after the recent oil discoveries, may soon have on of the worlds top economies.

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By cann4ing, November 26, 2007 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

CY, with all due respect, my friend, your use of the phrase “ignorant Mexicans” and your attempt to actually defend racism as necessary to economic survival of those at the bottom rungs of society reflects an emotionally tinged irrationality that prevents you from seeing the forest for the trees—a point underscored by your own recognition that it is the “corporate bosses” and not the working class which is racism’s principal beneficiaries.

Immigrant bashing has the Northern peasants fighting with the Southern peasants over the rights to the crumbs while the ruling class, North & South, has control of the banquet.  That is what NAFTA & the WTO are all about.

If you go back and re-read my post #115720 carefully, you will see that I was “not” advocating a continuation of the status quo.  What I am addressing is the driving force behind the massive northward migration, which lies in economics, not racism.  The Northern and Southern peasants must stop bickering over the crumbs and unite to drive the wealthy elites away from the banquet table.  That can be accomplished by repealing NAFTA & the WTO, by restoring our own manufacturing base, albeit with greener industries than those which NAFTA & the WTO permitted the ruling class to cart away, and by ending the dumping of heavily subsidized American agriculture into Mexico, thereby restoring the critical livelihood that the elites had stolen from the Mexican peasantry.

While I know it is difficult for someone to comprehend after a lifetime of being told how wonderful we are relative to everyone else, these brown skinned people whom you refer to as “ignorant Mexicans” would actually prefer tilling their own soil to cleaning Gringo toilets during the day and hiding in fear of I.C.E. at night.

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By Conservative Yankee, November 26, 2007 at 7:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

115859 by cyrena on 11/25 at 11:52 pm

“It’s always been about racism, but they will never, ever, ever, admit it.”

I admit it, it has ALWAYS (since the dawn of recorded history) been about “racism”  BUT

(follow carefully here)


Racism has always been about “economic survival” for those at the bottom of the ladder.

Here in Maine we once had the largest contingent of KKK’ers North of the Mason Dixon line. at the time we may have had 3 people who were not white, blond, and blue-eyed. The KKK was here for the French Catholics who were moving to Maine from economically depressed Quebec Provence. The KKK marched in Milo, Old Town and even Bangor. My grandfather (who lived in Rangely in the summer) called Maine “Mississippi with snow!”

Racism is a tool of corporate bosses and ineffective government. set people against each other, and sure enough they will be confused as to where their problems originate.

BUT none of this mitigates the truth that “immigrants” are only accepted (anywhere except Israel) as employees are needed. and in case you haven’t noticed we aren’t awash in jobs.

Here in Maine again, the school-aged children used to pick the blueberries. They used the money to buy school clothing, and other stuff.

Now the folks here from South of the border pick blueberries for half what the children used to get. they are not paid until the season is over, which allows them to collect “local aid” (what passes for welfare here) during the picking season. Because our Governor is a sanctuary stater, it is illegal to ask applicants for local aid their citizenship status. 

So the growers are happy, but the property taxpayers in Washington County (where the average income is $16,000 per year) pick up the tab, in effect subsidizing the price out-of-stater’s pay for their store bought berries. 

Additionally, we (these United States) allows 2 million people a year to immigrate annually, legally. 

No one has answered this question so far, and I have asked it often, but I’ll put it to you again:

How many people of the 4.5 billion who would like a better life, should we accept here?  Do your children, grandchildren etc deserve a view of the wide open spaces we were allowed to roam in our youth?

At what point do cities like LA, Phoenix, LasVages, and Flagstaff become non-viable due to lack of water?

There is an old African tale about boaters finding a child in the river, then another then another. after saving about five, the oarsman in the front begins to pass floating children. The stern man asks “why are you passing these children?  The oarsman says so I can get upstream and find the fool who is throwing them in the river.

At some point this boat is going down under the weight. What’s your solution?

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By cyrena, November 26, 2007 at 12:52 am Link to this comment

#115720 by Ernest Canning on 11/25 at 10:10 am

Mr. Canning, I say to you AMEN, AMEN!! (appropriate enough in this case, even for an agnostic) Ah yes…this post of yours…it is a BEAUTIFUL thing!!! I read a piece in the Law & Society Review not long ago, (an old piece actually, from way back in 1987) that says pretty much the same thing, but not NEARLY AS WELL!!

So, I thank you for this. I’m going to suggest that CY doesn’t get it, and not necessarily because he can’t, but because he doesn’t want to. Then again, maybe one day. Unfortunately, he’s not alone in his mentality. It’s always been about racism, but they will never, ever, ever, admit it. Even people of color, (African-Americans) are racist against immigrants and each other. More times than not, it’s a matter of ignorance, and with many, we can explain, (as you have so superbly) just exactly how this has all come about, and they will in fact understand. Without that knowledge or explanation, it simply looks to them like, “well, these people are taking our jobs”. That is particularly true of older Americans (of any color) who remember things and times differently. (like say my dad). When I have pointed out to him, that as a native Californian, (and he is) I find it hard to understand what seems to be a new animosity toward immigrants, because the simple enough fact of the matter is that “Mexicans” have ALWAYS been in California, seeing as how THEY were here before the rest of us. (historical amnesia). Now granted, this Mexican identity that we give all of those in California isn’t correct, since they are in fact Native Americans before they were Mexicans. Still, you get my point, and so does he, once things are broken down.

But, it doesn’t work for all. I still hear stupid stuff from other people of color like, “well, they don’t pay any taxes”. Needless to say, they have things all mixed up, and it took me forever to figure out what this one moron was claiming. He was talking about the Native American Tribes that don’t pay state income tax as a result of their limited sovereignty, and even then, it’s only those who have been federally recognized as such, (not all) and it doesn’t exempt them from FEDERAL income tax. The irony is that the ones making the complaints don’t pay either, (state or federal) and never have. (at least not the ones I’m referring to). And, that’s the thing I have little patience for, when I come across that mentality from ANYONE here in my own state. I’m like, they’ve ALWAYS been here. How do you think we got all of these Hispanic sounding names of all of the streets and cities and everything else? The Spaniards conquered this part of the nation when the Euros first came over here, and divided everything up amongst themselves. And, it was a result of racism then, just like it is now. Non-whites were either enslaved or genocided.

The only answer I get from the real ignoramuses is, “Well, there’re are just so many MORE of them now.”  And, your excellent post explains exactly why that is. Now CY has already made the accusation that the Government of Mexico INTENTIONALLY ‘sends’ them here, which is why this very excellent explanation will probably be lost on him. But, I find it very valuable, and so I intend to share it as part of one of my many information campaigns.

So, thanks.

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By PaulMagillSmith, November 25, 2007 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment

Yes, Ernest & antispin, I also smell a rat.
(W)ithout a
posts links that are suspect.

Here’s an example of other info about what he claims:

He says: “Facts: Kennedy wrote E.O. 11,110 to phase out silver certificate currency, not to issue more of it. Records show Kennedy and the Federal Reserve were almost always in agreement on policy matters. He even signed legislation to give the Fed more authority to issue currency. “

A quick Google search reveals actual wording of E.O. #11110:


From The Final Call, Vol. 15, No.6, On January 17, 1996
“On June 4, 1963, a little known attempt was made to strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the government at interest. On that day President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order No. 11110 that returned to the U.S. government the power to issue currency, without going through the Federal Reserve. Mr. Kennedy’s order gave the Treasury the power “to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury.” This meant that for every ounce of silver in the U.S. Treasury’s vault, the government could introduce new money into circulation. In all, Kennedy brought nearly $4.3 billion in U.S. notes into circulation. The ramifications of this bill are enormous.
With the stroke of a pen, Mr. Kennedy was on his way to putting the Federal Reserve Bank of New York out of business. If enough of these silver certificats were to come into circulation they would have eliminated the demand for Federal Reserve notes. This is because the silver certificates are backed by silver and the Federal Reserve notes are not backed by anything. Executive Order 11110 could have prevented the national debt from reaching its current level, because it would have given the gevernment the ability to repay its debt without going to the Federal Reserve and being charged interest in order to create the new money. Executive Order 11110 gave the U.S. the ability to create its own money backed by silver.
Mr. Kennedy challenged the government of money by challenging the two most successful vehicles that have ever been used to drive up debt - war and the creation of money by a privately-owned central bank. His efforts to have all troops out of Vietnam by 1965 and Executive Order 11110 would have severely cut into the profits and control of the New York banking establishment.”

Executive Order 11110 AMENDMENT OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 10289
By virtue of the authority vested in me by section 301 of title 3 of the United States Code, it is ordered as follows:
Section 1. Executive Order No. 10289 of September 19, 1951, as amended, is hereby further amended-
By adding at the end of paragraph 1 thereof the following subparagraph (j):

(j) The authority vested in the President by paragraph (b) of section 43 of the Act of May 12,1933, as amended (31 U.S.C.821(b)), to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury not then held for redemption of any outstanding silver certificates, to prescribe the denomination of such silver certificates, and to coin standard silver dollars and subsidiary silver currency for their redemption
John F. Kennedy The White House, June 4, 1963.

Of course, the fact that both JFK and Lincoln met the same end over basically the same issue is a mere coincidence.

Say, LWM, you wouldn’t happen to be from Texas, would you?

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By LWM, November 25, 2007 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment

Wow…Scaife and the Clintons, in love again.  Which is the tail and which is the dog?  Is this all dog and no tail? Arkansas is a strange tale all unto its own, it seems.

It is just now dawning on you that Bill Clinton was the best Republican president since Eisenhower? Or did you actually believe he was a liberal Democrat? I suppose it’s best to agree with the Paulistas. It’s better than the Neo-Nazis having the money.

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By cann4ing, November 25, 2007 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment

Wow, indeed, antispin!  Next to Ruppert Murdoch, Richard Mellon Scaife and his billions has thoroughly corrupted the information environment.  This principal funder of the Federalist Society is also a principal threat to the very survival of American democracy and the middle class aspirations of working people everywhere.  This recent alignment with Bill & Hillary “never met a free trade agreement they didn’t like” Clinton can only mean that the Clintons are prepared to further sell out the Democratic base, locking the US into a permanent two-tiered, feudal-like society that will be ruled by and for doctrinaire billionaires like Scaife.

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By antispin, November 25, 2007 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

Wow…Scaife and the Clintons, in love again.  Which is the tail and which is the dog?  Is this all dog and no tail? Arkansas is a strange tale all unto its own, it seems.

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By LWM, November 25, 2007 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

Gee, antispin.

Maybe you can find the grand unifying conspiracy theory in there if you look for it. There must be “Joo Bankers” in the woodpile someplace.

Let’s see what Hutton Gibson has to say:

Your choice. A Ph.D. in economics at a respected university ot this freaking wingnut:

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By Nitro, November 25, 2007 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

C Cole 115657- I’ll 2nd your comment.

Mary 115491 - How did things get so bad so fast? American Sheeple asleep at the wheel and too luxurized and conveinenced w/our Freedoms & Liberties that 99% of this country take for granted. The Globalization & 1 World Order Agenda, are simply a stage for the over taking of our country. Which I might add, after last weeks meeting in Alberta, Can. seems to be right on track for the Corporate Fascists that run this country now, to be able to do just that.
NAFTA - Not A Fine Thing for America. Ross Perot was right and so is Ron Paul and Lou Dobbs. I can’t imagine why Ms. Nazi Clinton can’t remember anything but the sucking sounds… I’m sure that will stay stuck in her mind till hell freezes over.
If the American People haven’t learned yet, that the King Bushit administration has only 1 thing on it’s mind, to be the 1 World Govt. Leader-Dick-Tater, and how the Corporate Fascists that pull their strings are only USING the American People to pursue their endeavor to become the 1 World Leaders, and that the NAFTA agreement hasn’t done anything but to not only destroy US, but the Mexican People as well, we’ll never learn. What would it take to WAKE UP AMERICA ?
Maybe someone should contact Dick-Tater Cheney and tell him to manifest another “National Emergency” for us like he did on 9/11, since that one evidently didn’t WAKE US UP…
Since the House just passed into law last week the authorization for Mexican trucks to come up here, un-inspected, un-insured, and full access to our Transportation Industry, [not just bringing their goods up here like some say], that didn’t get anyone risen.
Since Prince Shrub has been videoed 17 times saying this country would be better off being a dictatorship, & him being Supreme Dick Tater, that didn’t get a rise or a wake up call going.
Since 12 incidents now of business’ & even a U.S. Post Office in May Wood, Ca. flying a Mexican flag,& even over Old Glory, that didn’t wake US up yet.
Since the enactment of NAFTA, that was supposed to HELP the Mexican People, and has only done just the opposite, and unless you are a C.E.O. of an elite alleged American Company,if our wages haven’t gone through the bottom of the bucket, and all our benefits, that hasn’t set off the alarm clock yet….
Someone please tell me then… WHAT WILL ?
Maybe when the Federal Banking System, you know, the ones our Fore Fathers warned us about, when your house is Fore Closed on and sold to the “Undocumented Illegal Tourists” that their alleged Visas simply ran out, of coarse at a lesser % interest rate, maybe then eh ?
Unless the American Sheeple want this New One World Order Government, and want our wages and benefits to keep being given to those who will work for free, then it’s all ready way past time to surround the White House, that is turning into more of a Brown House everyday, and tell them to take their 1 World Order and Fascism over to China, or Iraq, or India… Anywhere but here, EVERYTHING, will only keep getting worse.
Maybe it is time for that 1 Million Man Long Rifle March around the Big Brown House, and order them out of the country or line Pennsylvania Ave. w/ropes w/our ELECTED OFFICIALS necks in them.

To A Better Day America >>>>

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By Conservative Yankee, November 25, 2007 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

115720 by Ernest Canning on 11/25 at 10:10 am

” believe that much of 21st Century immigrant bashing is grounded in racism.  When is the last time you heard someone complain about illegal immigrants from Canada?  Bechtel is raking in billions to build a wall on our Southern border.  Has anyone so much as hinted at the need for a wall on our Northern border?”

No Mr. Canning, again this is intellectually dishonest.

There are not hordes of Canadians washing across the border taking jobs, destroying the environment, and ignoring another country’s sovereignty. You have identified your self as a person who knows the ins and outs of the legal system.  AND I will agree there is no ABSOLUTE law in these United States, BUT by any standard the law has been broken. if we choose to look the other way, ignore our own laws, allow corporate pigs to profit on the mess they and their lackys have created, then so be it, the population of the USA always gets what the majority deserves, but please don’t treat me like an ignorant Mexican. We have no need for a wall across our northern border, WHEN THE NEED FOR SUCH A WALL ARISES, I will be the first out with my bricks. When Canadians stomp over private property, dump tons of litter accept wages below minimum, steal the identities of others, putting their lives askew, then we need a wall up here, As of right now, the Canadians come for one reason… to patronize our stores, and buy cheap stuff. we like that! Incidentally without Canadians there would be NO economy in this part of Maine.

AND that doesn’t imply a lack of respect, I’m just not buying what you are selling!

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By antispin, November 25, 2007 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

LWM:  I’m treading on uncertain ground here, but I think I can smell “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” in a statement from one of your “fed myths” links:

“In addition, nearly all the interest the Federal Reserve collects on government bonds is rebated to the Treasury each year, so the government does not pay any net interest to the Fed.”

Something tells me that this is not the whole story.  Why “nearly?”  Why not all?  I suspect that when the government goes into debt it pays banks a whole lot of interest to service that debt.  Why would banks loan to the government if there was no money in it?

The qualifier “government bonds” does not sit well.  The CRS (Congressional Research Service) publishes an annual report ( which is supposed to be reassuring somehow, I gather - but who’s got time to sift through all that?

The anti-democratic wisdom of the Fed is that if elected officials had power to print money, they would abuse it.  As if the Fed hasn’t?  Who are these bankers?  Why, when there was the threat of surplus, did we get war, war, war instead of a peace dividend? Who profits on the debt of war?

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By cann4ing, November 25, 2007 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

After reading a number of his moronic posts, I have finally figured out the meaning of LWM.

L ost
W ithout a
M ind

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By LWM, November 25, 2007 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

Oh, Jeebus.

I should have read more of the thread. Please don’t feed the beast spamming the wingnut conspiracy theories. I have much funnier and better ones than those if you want a good laugh. “Jew Bankers” is so pre-9/11.

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By LWM, November 25, 2007 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

Like many other would be presidents and politicians, populists can be right at least once or twice a day. Even broken clocks can do that. Perot was not ready for prime time. You don’t have to be a full bore Perotista just because you opposed NAFTA and trade policies that screw Americans and foreign workers over for the benefit of corporate interests. Ron Paul may give lip service to the anti-corporatist populist streak in America but his trade policies would be no better. He’s opposed to any regulation of trade whatsoever. Trade restrictions and regulations benefitting American workers would not be allowed.


That link is from this guy.

A real nutbar.

Please. Please get you head out of there. What little air there is quite malodorous. You’re likely to suffocate. 

Myths about the Federal Reserve

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By cann4ing, November 25, 2007 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

CY:  I have read enough of your posts to come to respect your intellectual integrity even when we disagree.  Your last post suggests that respect may not be a mutual as I had thought.

Let’s examine your hard-and-fast rule that “people who break the law are illegal” within the framework of a different point of view from that which you have provided—one in which breaking a law can be seen as the only appropriate and moral choice.

Let’s take the issue of looting.  As a general rule I think you and I can agree that looting is reprehensible, whether engaged in on an individual basis, e.g., people breaking into stores to steal TV sets during a civil disturbance or by corporations swooping in to steal the assets of a nation whose people had been numbed by Rumsfeld’s “shock and awe” campaign.  But consider the plight of a young, otherwise law-abinding African-American male whose family was stranded after Katrina on the roof of a home with no other source of food or water than that which is sitting in an abandoned convenience store.  In that instance, I, for one, would consider it morally reprehensible if that young man failed to steal the food and water.

NAFTA was the product of the political clout of a tiny wealthy elite in three nations—the U.S., Canada & Mexico.  It supposedly provided a “legal” means for U.S. corporate agribusiness to economically invade Mexico, dumping heavily subsidized U.S. food products (your tax dollars at work) into the Mexican marketplace at below the cost of production, which drove millions of Mexican peasants off their farms and into overcrowded cities where an overabundance of labor then drove down the cost of labor for U.S. corporations which had relocated the U.S. manufacturing base South of the Border—to the detriment of the working class in both nations.  In short, NAFTA provided a supposedly “legal” means to rob Mexican peasants and workers of their livelihood even as the livelihood of American workers was stolen by the corporations who abandoned them in search of cheap labor.

Many of these same workers and peasants find themselves facing the same moral dilemma as the African American male outside the convenience store—break the law on documentation or watch your family starve.  It is relatively easy for someone sitting on a lofty New England perch who has not and probably never will face such a Hobson’s choice to condemn such individuals as “illegal immigrants,” but I question whether it is moral to do so.

Additionally, I believe that much of 21st Century immigrant bashing is grounded in racism.  When is the last time you heard someone complain about illegal immigrants from Canada?  Bechtel is raking in billions to build a wall on our Southern border.  Has anyone so much as hinted at the need for a wall on our Northern border?

Just as the perceived threat of a “yellow peril”  gave rise to the racist Chinese Exclusion Act, much of the current anti-immigrant movement is driven by racism—witness the Minute Men vigilante movement which is separated from the KKK only by the absence of white sheets. Racism has traditionally been used by America’s economic elites as part of a divide-and-conquer strategy against the working classes of this nation.

Don’t get me wrong.  I believe that all nations must have sensible (non-racist) regulations governing the flow of immigration, but the point of my earlier post is that you cannot deal with the issue by only addressing the symptom (a massive influx of northward bound economic refugees) without addressing the root cause—the wholesale theft of the Mexican economy by our economic elites.  That is the whole point of replacing “free trade” with “fair trade.”  It is in engendering an understanding of the common interest of the working class of both nations in opposing the neoliberal agenda embodied in NAFTA & the WTO.  And this is what makes Mr. Kucinich the only true Democrat running for President.

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By PaulMagillSmith, November 25, 2007 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

Thanks for your appropriate post, Cyrena, and always good to see what you have written. You said a lot in what you posted here, for instance:

“Dictator and control freaks come to mind from all over the state of Texas.”

From all the psychotic people who we have gotten from Texas I’m surprised the book wasn’t titled “What’s the Matter with Texas?” (instead of Kansas). It’s too bad Molly Ivins died because that was a Texas native who had her head screwed on correctly. I’m sure there are some good Texans, but it’s time they stood up and shouted down all the others who have degraded the reputation of their home state. 

After listening to, and reading about, Ron Paul I think he has a few things right, but more of them wrong. It might be interesting to see him and Dennis donning gloves in the oval room, AS LONG AS DK WAS THE PRES.

Dan Campbell (reason), you also made a number of good points. When you said, “...TOO EMPATHETIC OR, TOO IGNORANT OF THE ISSUES TO MAKE INFORMED VOTING DECISIONS”, that was a mouthful. I place much of the blame on religious fundamentalism, the MSM, and the neo-CON Zionist plan, since they realized long ago it is easier to bamboozle a population that knows nothing except what they are told to believe. It takes more strength to be a free thinker than to be a lemming. Why do you think part of the neo-CON agenda includes the No Child Left Behind and cutting of loans & grants for secondary education?

Lou Dobbs also got my attention, but my first choice among news personalities (without any doubt) goes with Keith Olberman to run. Bill Maher might be good on the ticket, too. We’ve had an actor and a cowboy so why not try a comedian? Come to think of it the clown we now have is kind of comedic acting out a tragedy, which doesn’t quite fly. Sponge Bob probably couldn’t have done any worse, and a lot easier to erase from memory.

It really doesn’t matter too much who the figurehead is if we don’t get at who is pulling the strings. Take time to read this link and the problem is evident:

It does us no good to cut the limbs if we don’t attack the roots.

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By reason, November 25, 2007 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

Ross Perot was right, whatever his reasons for being against NAFTA. Hilary Clinton wants to promote the continuation of NAFTA for the same reasons many politicians (both democrat and republican) want. NAFTA is designed to improve profits for corporations and the elite wealthy without requiring them to share anything with middle class or the poor (is it a surprise that many if not most of the candidates running for president can be described as part of the very wealthy elite or bought and paid for by them?). I am disappointed that people of this country would take her seriously enough to consider her an acceptable nominee for president.
It is difficult to agree with any candidate completely but this issue is very basic to the economic conditions most of us will face in our day to day lives.
  The debates I have seen on television do not touch on the tough issues that would reveal any candidate’s real plans or allegiances. I am a fan of Lou Dobbs and, I support his efforts to ask the HARD questions and try to reveal the corruption so prevalent of the career politicians of this country.
  Lou Dobbs has stated he has no plan to run for political office (disappointing) but if he did he would not be a “Ross Perot”. Republicans and democrats need to be reminded that they serve at the pleasure of the people and that priviledge is not a right that allows them to ignore the will of the majority of the citizens they swear to represent upon taking office.
  I do not have the right to tell anyone who to vote for but, I do feel I have the right to expect others to inform themselves to the best of their ability and vote their consciences!

              Dan Campbell

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By Conservative Yankee, November 25, 2007 at 6:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

115498 by Ernest Canning on 11/24 at 10:05 am

\“resulting in an influx of economic refugees whom the hard-right then demonizes as “illegal immigrants”-”

No Mr. Canning. This statement is as “intellectually dishonest” as Hill-the-business-shill’s quip.

Like it or not, people who break the (even a reprehensible) law. are “illegal”

Despite the changes over the last 44 years, I still have a Loitering/disturbing the peace conviction on my record.  My father (who never got so much as a parking ticket elsewhere) had a similar citation. The charges resulted from a mass arrest during a civil-rights protest in Birmingham (known as bombingham in those days) 

In Alabama, I’m an ex-con having served four days in jail (time served) after being found guilty.

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By cyrena, November 25, 2007 at 1:46 am Link to this comment

#115312 by Inherit The Wind

#115312 by Inherit The Wind
•  Beware of idolizing Ross Perot.  The man is a natural dictator and control freak. Talk to anyone who worked for EDS.  The stunts he pulled on his employees to a) keep them underpaid for the industry and b) FORCE them to keep working for him at reduced rates were atrocious.

I didn’t want to reproduce ALL of your post, just for the sake of time and space. So, this seemed the most important to make the point. I too, was aware of how Ross Perot ran his company, and how he treated his employees. As far as I know, it’s still the same…maybe worse.

It was atrocious, and he wasn’t the only one. Same with Texas Instruments, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and a few airlines to remain unmentioned. He may have been right about NAFTA, but as someone else has already mentioned…for the wrong reasons. Or, if you’re a multi-billion dollar business person, for the right reasons. No doubt NAFTA wasn’t good for HIS business. He wasn’t worried about anybody else.

I point this out for the same reason that folks should beware of idolizing Ron Paul. What you hear is NOT necessarily what you get. Dictator and control freaks come to mind from all over the state of Texas.

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By C Cole, November 25, 2007 at 12:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Was Ross Perot right?
Of course he was.
Is Ron Paul Right?
Of course he is!!

What Hillary should have said was “the only Giant Sucking Sound I remember were the one’s coming out of the oval office”  hahahaha

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Carson's avatar

By Carson, November 24, 2007 at 10:39 pm Link to this comment


I liked the first on better.

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By antispin, November 24, 2007 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment

ok, I reworked by diddy a bit, see if you like it any better.

The laughta about NAFTA was Hillary-ous,
The plundering applause, nefarious.
Except on the top shelf,
Where regard for oneself
Is so terribly laudable,
It was practically inaudible.
Still they reap extra-meritable fare-ness.

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By Archie1954, November 24, 2007 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The part of NAFTA no one seems to talk about concerns petroleum. Did you know that NAFTA requires Canada (a net exporter of petroleum products) to share any deficiency in oil supply with the U.S.? In other words if sufficiency of supply falters in the U.S. Canada must accept some curtailment of its own uses to provide the U.S. with petroleum. That is definitely to the benefit of the U.S.

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By GW=MCHammered, November 24, 2007 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Global Economy ... True Democratic Rule:
I vote GOP, DEMS and NORWAY be on the ballot in ‘08!

Norway’s Oil Fund Swells to $158 Billion in Third Quarter

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg)—Norway’s Petroleum Fund, set up to pay future health and pension expenses in Europe’s second-richest country, grew 4.9 percent in the third quarter as the government added money from selling oil and bond investments rose in value.

The assets rose to 988.1 billion kroner ($157.6 billion), or more than half the size of the nation’s economy, at the end of September from 942.4 billion kroner on June 30, according to a statement handed out at a presentation in Oslo today.

Norway, the world’s third-largest oil exporter, first put money in the fund in 1996 and its size may exceed the country’s $240 billion economy by 2007. That compares with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the largest U.S. pension fund whose assets total $178 billion, and Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP of the Netherlands, which has about $210 billion.

more at:

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By P. T., November 24, 2007 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

The elite thinks that the U.S. working class is overpaid.

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By cann4ing, November 24, 2007 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

Sirota lightly touches upon what was a major Hillary faux pas.  She stated that she had a vague recollection of Perot saying something during a 1992 vice-presidential debate.  In fact it occurred during a three-way debate between her husband, Geo. H.W. Bush and Ross Perot, where Perot stated:  “You hear that?  It’s a giant sucking sound of jobs headed south.”

This so-called “vague recollection” only serves to underscore Hillary’s intellectual dishonesty.  It was a scant four years ago, in 2003, when Hillary’s memoirs, “A Living History” was published.  In it, she wrote, “By late August, Bentsen, Secretary of State Warren Christopher and economic advisor Bob Rubin were adamant about postpoining health care referm and moving forward with NAFTA.  They believed the free trade agreement was also critical to the nation’s economic recovery and NAFTA warranted immediate action.  Creating a free trade zone in North America would expand U.S. exports, create jobs, and ensure that our economy was reaping the benefits, not the burdens, of globalization.”

In truth, NAFTA was the opening round of a betrayal of the base of the democratic party by the DLC-led corporatists.  The Clintons joined forces with Reagan and Bush in ramming these neoliberal, so-called “free-trade” agreements (NAFTA & the WTO) on the fast track.  These agreements have become the bane of middle class aspirations of working men and women all over the planet.  They are the vehicles through which America’s corporate elites have outsourced our entire manufacturing base in search of the $2/day laborer.  Rather than “create jobs” they have destroyed decent paying jobs, and created pressures on once powerful unions to surrender hard fought gains even as their memberships are depleted, accellerating the gap between the wealthiest one percent and everyone else.  They represent imperialism coming home to roost.

NAFTA also opened the door to the wholesale dumping of heavily subsidized, corporate produced American agriculture into Mexico at below the local cost of production, driving millions of peasants off the land and into overcrowded cities, providing an overabundance of cheap labor for the manufacturing plants which were relocated from the U.S. to Mexico, resulting in an influx of economic refugees whom the hard-right then demonizes as “illegal immigrants”—these victims of NAFTA.

What Sirota also neglects to mention is that there is only one presidential candidate who is calling for a repeal of NAFTA & the WTO and a return to bilateral trade agreements that respect workers’ rights and the environment—Dennis Kucinich!

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By Douglas Chalmers, November 24, 2007 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

#115491 by mary on 11/24 at 9:51 am: “Sen. Clinton should have been more honest with her answer, but I am not surprised.  Globalization is and interesting movement….”

More company at the top for women in power, May. Australia’s federal election has just produced a landslide to their Democrats equivalent (Labor) and a 46 year-old woman in the second spot as deputy prime minister (vice pres. equivalent).

#115491 by mary: “Corp. America no longer needs the American consumer.  THey know the Chinese and the Indian consumer will soon out-consume Americans.  Soon we will have the economy of Mexico, rich men at the top and very poor families at the bottom, no middle class….”

This is what they have wanted for a long time, Mary. Ironically, the USA is focussed on the 1700’s or thereabouts just as Israel is focussed on 1930’s Europe. Both are being reproduced in the worst way possible. Israel by doing to Palestine more or less what the Nazis did to them - and the USA by reversion to a semi-monarchist status, just as you said.

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By mary, November 24, 2007 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

Sen. Clinton should have been more honest with her answer, but I am not surprised.  Globalization is and interesting movement.  I can’t help but think we can’t do much to control globalization, but we should require companies who claim to be American Corporations to actually produce their goods in America. If not, they are not American Corp and should be heavily regulated as all foriegn owned Corps should be.  Large Manufacturing companies like Mattell and Fisher Price are no longer manufacturers of anything, they are large distributors of Chinese made goods.  Distributors of non-American made goods need to be regulated and taxed like any other foriegn business.  It seems Corp. America no longer needs the American consumer.  THey know the Chinese and the Indian consumer will soon out-consume Americans.  Soon we will have the economy of Mexico, rich men at the top and very poor families at the bottom, no middle class.  It’s time to take away the protections and benefits fought and died for by Americans, and force these Corp. out.

Christmas this year could be the last time the American consumer has the power to hurt.  Let’s see if anyone is paying attention.  It’s not easy going from greedy, want everything in sight to “do I really need this purchase” or better yet, share dinner and a toast with family and friends, not department store gifts.  If $100/barrel oil doesn’t get our attention, what will.  How did things get this bad so fast…....

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By Conservative Yankee, November 24, 2007 at 10:29 am Link to this comment
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115443 by Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD on 11/24 at 6:42 am

“Because we live in a free country…” 

Who the hell ever believed that? The country in which we live is Damn expensive!

“ which there is virtually no free exchange of ideas, citizen-government dialogue,”

Actually here in Maine there IS some “free exchange” with out politicians who come to little towns and converse with “just folk” BUT folks still vote in a manner which is opposed to their “best interest.”

“...or debate on any subject which affects working class citizens and a free country in which the administration and congress have the power to operate unbridled in their own self interests,”

Only if we sit back and allow this! Have you watched Lou Dobbs lately? Listened to Dennis Kucinich? sat at a local restaurant and joined in the general conversation?  There’s a debate at the fringes, BUT the general populous must stoke the fires, or we are up-shit-creek for another four years.  Unfortunately, in a representative republic, we all get what the majority deserves.

“... had NAFTA not passed, there would soon have been some other legislation favoring the interests of big business and against working class people to take the place of a failed NAFTA.”

Maybe as things are now this is true. The toxic toys, the gas prices, nor the arrogant way producers are acting this year could halt the mad rush of consummers on “black Friday”

All 33.3% of consumers would have to do is STOP taking the drug, and dump commercial xmas but there is no such sentiment in the US for a boycott, general strike, or even consumer action (like buy US only)
People have the power. did you see the failure of the “Immigration reform act?” The failure of the “Dream act?” These pieces of legislation went down because of citizens phoning, writing, and demonstrating their displeasure.

“That’s the way it works in America:  DC, 1; Workers, 0.” 

If the workers don’t step up to the plate (to continue your sports analogy) they can’t score.

Whining without action is pathetic.  I’m disgusted with my peers.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, November 24, 2007 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

Because we live in a free country in which there is virtually no free exchange of ideas, citizen-government dialogue, or debate on any subject which affects working class citizens and a free country in which the administration and congress have the power to operate unbridled in their own self interests, had NAFTA not passed, there would soon have been some other legislation favoring the interests of big business and against working class people to take the place of a failed NAFTA. 

That’s the way it works in America:  DC, 1;  Workers, 0.  Let them eat hot dogs (but not the expensive, Kosher kind.)

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By Conservative Yankee, November 24, 2007 at 7:11 am Link to this comment
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115293 by MAR on 11/23 at 11:35 am

“The focus of the article and the posts is ridiculously on US and Mexico. Canada is the other member and is the US’s biggest trade partner - not Mexico, Japan or Germany or China.”

It is hard to understand;

China is building factories in Mexico, subsidized by the Mexican government. When China sells from China they are subject to a tariff, BUT when they are in a joint business with Mexico on Mexican soil they pay no tariff.

Mexican wages with no environmental regulations, and a subsidy from the Mexican government push the price for a widget so low that No US firm (which must comply with US labor laws, and meet US environmental standards)can compete AND we are seeing the results… Poison food and medications, toxic toys and clothing, and a stagnant wage among our middle class workers.

115344 by G.Anderson on 11/23 at 2:59 pm

“.. Witness GM’s desperate attempts to compete with foreign car makers.”

Hard to buy since GM’s products are selling well in the rest of the world, just not domestically. GM builds cars in Germany,Switzerland, Shanghai, and China among other places.

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By candidates' purpose unclear, November 24, 2007 at 1:56 am Link to this comment
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Mr. Sirota is sensing a lack of clarity in the thinking of most of those (candidates) offering themselves up to be our mouthpiece to the world. He uses Senator Clinton as his example but the problem is more pandemic. If Hillary along
with every existing politician and agency head moved en-masse to a commune in the Sierra foothills, never to be heard from again, the issue would remain unresolved. Ross Perot found broad support despite the ridicule thrown his way by opposing interests and by our extremely weak news services. Perot’s appeal for me was/is that he perceived that any greatness the US might develop centered on our becoming, in essence, another Switzerland. Strict financial integrity coupled with directness of purpose: behave as a trusted business partner to the rest of humanity.

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By PaulMagillSmith, November 23, 2007 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

I’ve been researching quite a bit and finally found an article that fully explains the predicament we are facing and how we got there. Numerous articles I’ve read paint part of the picture, but this one lays it out in all the gory details about where we are headed unless we become aware of, and act to correct, ‘their’ plan:

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By Carson, November 23, 2007 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment
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It could be that the descendants of the men that bribed the Federal Reserve into being have continued bribing to have suckers spend to do their bidding and borrow from them to get it done.

Why would they spend their own money?

At a 4% interest rate we have turned over to them $360,000,000,000 this year alone just for the interest on a $9,000,000,000,000 dollar debt.

That is a lot of money leaving our economy. The sort of money it would take to create a New World Order.

Have you ever wondered just why the Revolutionaries in the government do some of the things they do and spend the way they do?

Here is a link for more on this topic.

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By P. T., November 23, 2007 at 4:40 pm Link to this comment

“Let me see…we export jobs to Mexico and the Mexican economy goes down?  If that happened, it surely wasn’t due to NAFTA.”

Actually, is was, but not NAFTA alone (neo-liberal economic policies as well).  NAFTA wiped out large numbers of Mexican small farmers.  Many of those who couldn’t find jobs in Mexico’s cities headed across the U.S. border.

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By johnny hempseed, November 23, 2007 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment
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Nafta+Cafta =shafta for all involved!
No one benifited,except the usual corporate bunch.Workers,farmers.we lost.Sweat shop and Macieiadora (Sp?)managers maybe made short term gains.
Even Henrey Ford realised that if his workers couldn’t afford his cars. his assembly line was bankrupt!
That giant sucking sound of job leaving America can still hear the whoosh of depressed wages!

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G.Anderson's avatar

By G.Anderson, November 23, 2007 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

I’ve always wondered why coroporate America likes free trade.. because clearly they aren’t able to compete in a free trade enviornment.

As the last of our production slides into oblivion, hold outs like GM will soon go the way of the rest of our corporate dinosaurs.

Foreign corporations will be the ones that benefit from free trade, because American corporations will go under. Witness GM’s desperate attempts to compete with foreign car makers. They still believe they can win their market share back by changing their designs, a failed stategy that stopped working decades ago.

For too long politicians and corporate America have plundered America’s resources including it’s working people, as if they are an inexhaustable resource, that they can feed on when ever they need money or votes. One that they can use and abuse and mistreat without any repercussions. Those days are gone, because we just don’t have it any more.

NAFTA, and CAFTA are the reasons that Bill Clinton feels comfortable playing Golf with Papa Bush, and it’s the reason why Hillary has been selected as the corporate candidate for 2008. Maybe that’s why she laughed at Perot.

Because of our brilliant corporate leaders, we’re close to paying $4.00 a gallon gas, and the dollar is being dumped as the worlds currency.

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By PaulMagillSmith, November 23, 2007 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

My bad. It was Executive Order #11110, NOT a presidential directve.

Here is a link to numerous articles about the nasty insidious Federal Reserve System:

As a further note of historical interest, and related to the issue, let’s go back to the days of President Andrew Jackson. Jackson drove the British from New Orleans in 1814, with the loss of only 12 men compared to the enemy losses of thousands. When asked on his death bed the greatest triumph of his presidency his answer was not about his overwhelming defeat of British forces during the War of 1812. Instead, it was his return of control of US monetary policy, by forcing private international bankers out of our money supply.

Woodrow Wilson also admitted the greatest mistake of his presidency was not entry into WWI, but letting the Federal Reserve get started.

Isn’t it interesting that 4 presidents mentioned would consider control of our own money such a high priority?

Recently I saw an article stating the private bankers who own the ‘Federal’ Reserve (it’s private, NOT Federal at all) make $150 billion PER YEAR by loaning us back our own money. Couldn’t we find better uses for this money rather than unnecessarily placing it in greedy private hands?

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By thomas Billis, November 23, 2007 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

John Edwards says in a debate that the system is corrupt and rigged and that Hillary is leading the parade on the democratic side she answers that it is mudslinging and the mainstream media like the lapdogs they are do not follow up.NAFTA is just another example of corruption and rigging and John Edwards is the only who sees the problem.

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By BobZ, November 23, 2007 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

NAFTA is a national disgrace; it represents one of the largest sellouts of the working classes of the U.S. and Mexico by Congress, both political parties, and the Mexican government. NAFTA was for corporations and developed by corporations. The so called “sidebar” agreements whereby Mexico would raise their mainimum wage to a living wage never happened. The U.S. also proceeded to dump American farm products on the Mexican economy which undercut the Mexican farmers and forced millions to leave the land and head for the U.S. Large multinational corporations have been the only beneficiaries of this agreement, and they have pocketed the profits, without sharing any of it with American workers who lost jobs in the millions. Ross Perot was 100% right about NAFTA. No wonder Hillary tried to sluff it off, which is one reason I don’t trust her and her husband. What they are counting on is winning through voting for the lesser of two evils process again.

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By PaulMagillSmith, November 23, 2007 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

We don’t need ‘free’ trade; we need ‘fair’ trade, and NAFTA, CAFTA, etc aren’t it. Our biggest step toward reclaiming our country would be to de-privatize our monetary system by returning the Federal Reserve system to control by our government rather than private banking interests. Sadly, the last two presidents who attempted to do this (Lincoln & Kennedy) were assassinated…any connection there do you think?

Shortly before going to Dallas Kennedy signed presidential directive #11110, which would have the US gain back control of our monetary policy, but before Air Force One even got his dead body back to DC Johnson rescinded the order IN FLIGHT. Does anyone see the classic conditions of ‘means, motive, & opportunity’ evident here?

All I can say is that if anyone talks of doing away with the Fed, or CAFTA/NAFTA/et al for that matter, they had better watch their backside. Corporate greed will trump the will of the people on these matters, and we have seen ‘the ends justifies the means’ alive & well in corporate boardrooms while opposition gets killed & buried…literally.

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By Enemy of State, November 23, 2007 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

No. Freerer trade is always a good thing. Of course you need social/government policy to redistribute some of the benefits from the winners to the losers. In Europe where they aren’t afraid to do the redistribution, freerer trade is popular. The problem is not globaliztion. The problem is that we have government by the rich for the rich, instead of one by the people for the people.

  NAFTA, would have helped the economies to our south, the effects hadn’t been overwhelmed by the hyper-competitiveness of China.

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By Carson, November 23, 2007 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Inherit The Wind,

Imagine if Ross Perot would have treated the federal employees like that!

I could have lived with it.

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By Inherit The Wind, November 23, 2007 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

Let me see…we export jobs to Mexico and the Mexican economy goes down?

If that happened, it surely wasn’t due to NAFTA. The exodus of jobs began under Ronald Reagan, when he signed into law a tax incentive for US corporations to develop foreign subsidiaries: Export high-paying jobs to countries with low-paying jobs.  This would be a) Reducing the cost basis of each unit so that the profit margin is far greater. b) Therefore they would give even MORE $$$ to the GOP c) It would break the backs of the unions, especially the ILGWU, “Look for the Union label…”

Beware of idolizing Ross Perot.  The man is a natural dictator and control freak. Talk to anyone who worked for EDS.  The stunts he pulled on his employees to a) keep them underpaid for the industry and b) FORCE them to keep working for him at reduced rates were atrocious.

One favorite stunt of his at EDS was to always delay annual reviews 2-3 months.  Then the raise you got was NEVER retroactive. After 5 or 6 years you were fully a year behind where your salary would have been if the annual reviews were annual.

Another was to insist ALL new hires were required “special” EDS training.  The trainee was required to sign a promissory note for the cost of the training (which would be thousands of dollars) so that if they left the company for any reason within a set period of time (like 5 years) they owed the FULL amount back to EDS.  I knew people who were paying those notes off…

If it ever was discovered you had discussed your salary with another employee doing the same job you were immediately dismissed.  Criticize EDS, even on your own time and the same happened.

So when people complained in his party that there were these directives from central HQ and they never listened to the regional needs, and people thought Ross didn’t know, they were kidding themselves. It had exactly the same organization as his companies.  An inner circle runs EVERYTHING, communication is one-way, loyalty is expected to be absolute even though it flows only in one direction—up, and even the slightest breach results in expulsion.

That’s H. Ross Perot.

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By antispin, November 23, 2007 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

The lafta about nafta was hillary-ous. 
The plundering applause was nefarious,
Practically inaudible,
except on the top shelf,
where high regard oneself,
is terribly laudable,
they reap extra meritable fare-ness.

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By P. T., November 23, 2007 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

The Clinton administration knew perfectly well what the results of NAFTA would be.  Their economist Alan Blinder has admitted that.  It didn’t take a crystal ball to see what would happen.

Democratic Party leaders are caught between ruling class interests, with which the leaders identify and which finance their campaigns, and the Democratic base that votes for the party and that the leaders despise as riffraff.

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By MAR, November 23, 2007 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The focus of the article and the posts is ridiculously on US and Mexico. Canada is the other member and is the US’s biggest trade partner - not Mexico, Japan or Germany or China.

The jobs (both US and Canadian)  went to China and other cheap labor shops in the Far East and have nothing to do with NAFTA. As far as Canadian producers are concerned, Mexico does not have a sufficiently skilled work force to attract job movement, which is to the Far East.  The real problem is that the US is trillions in debt and China is in a position to effectively call that debt by selling US dollars. Hence the sinking US dollar.  Canadians think their dollar is rising but it is the US dollar that is sinking with respect to other world currencies.

One of the US’s main problems is that the big three auto producers continue to produce unsellable crap compared to the excellent Japanese products (Toyota, Honda)  which are also made in the USA as well as Canada and Japan.

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By Norman Cressy, November 23, 2007 at 10:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I forgot to mention that I saw the answer Hillary Clinton gave. It was not as flimsy as Mr. Sirota relates. She commented specifically about how NAFTA was hoped to go and made some other remarks I cannot detail

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By Jack, November 23, 2007 at 9:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In additiion to the manufacturing problem, one of the biggest effects of NAFTA was flooding Mexico with cheap taxpayer subsidized corn by giant US agribusiness firms. This drove literally hundreds of thousands of Mexican campasinos off the land and into forced migration to the US.  Now, we and they are being victimized again by the latest Demopublican transfer of your money to the giant firms through the great corn-ethanol fraud. Not only is this the most energy inefficient way to produce ethanol, it also requires great taxpayer subsidies, raises the price of all food from corn itself to meat and once again displaces Mexicans since it raises the price of their basic food staple. Yes, Ross Perot was right and the prospect of another Cliniton-big business administration scares the hell out of me and should scare all reasonable Americans.

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By Norman Cressy, November 23, 2007 at 9:50 am Link to this comment
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Mr. Sirota’s portrayal of Ross Perot’s predictions puzzles me. If jobs went to Mexico—which they did in the region just south of the US border—then, presumably, those Mexican workers would be making more than if they came here as illegal immigrants. (With their added buying power, they would also have more money to buy American made goods,thus recreating in other American businesses, some of the jobs lost in the USA, even if the wages were lower than those of the jobs lost.)
If it is also true that illegal immigration still went up, that would imply that Mexico was in a (deep?) depression, and that more people in Mexico would have come over our border if those new Mexican factories had not been hiring.
It should also be pointed out that the Mexican workers in those factories were eventually sold out by corporations taking the factories to the Far East—China, vietnam, etc. This suggests that American workers were really vulnerable in the long run without NAFTA.

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By Ron in OH, November 23, 2007 at 9:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes Mr. Perot was right. The question is why didn’t more people simply stop to listen to him ? Why did they instead believe the corporate media and those who intended to take jobs away and throw this country into poverty ?  Why aren’t more getting it about DLC control of the Dem Party ?  The Clintons, Lieberman, Emmanuel, Hoyer, etc. . . have, and continue to, sold out the Dem base and the country to their corporate whoremasters. These Republicans-in-disguise who hide behind the word ‘centrist’ are a far more immediate and urgent problem than even Bush, for they sabotage and weaken tha party from within, preventing it from dealing with the Repugs or winning enough seats to begin undoing the damage of almost 30 years of Repug, and Repug-lite, rule. Who the hell is Al From anyway and who elected him to anything ? How is it he can decide what the DLC Dems who run Congress can do and what they must not do ?

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By DennisD, November 23, 2007 at 9:45 am Link to this comment
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“all I can remember from that is a bunch of charts,” and then she claimed the whole NAFTA debate “is a vague memory.”

Yes - Hillarious - those simple bunch of charts that made it easy enough for even the dumbest voter to grasp what was happening or about to happen to them. We wouldn’t want an informed voting public, now would we.

For those if any of you that think these “free” trade policies were good for this country just ask yourself - with a recession and a strong possibility of a depression coming up next year - are you better off now than you were 14 or even 20 years ago.

NAFTA set us on the road to losing millions of jobs in this country, first to Mexico, then countries where labor was even cheaper and eventually to slave labor countries like China. Try competing with that to keep your job in the name of “free trade” or “globalization” both of which are euphemisms for corporate greed.

Perot was right then - that’s why I voted for him. Unfortunately he didn’t win and look where we are now.

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By Conservative Yankee, November 23, 2007 at 9:23 am Link to this comment
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115224 by Carlos on 11/22 at 11:50 pm

sooooooooooo that means Nev ada was right - TWICE - about Perot for Pres

Ross never won a single electoral vote. No state was “right” (al la McGovern/Massachusetts, ‘72.)

BUT Ross was right.  The “free traders” have it all wrong. there is no “free trade” anywhere.

“Free trade” would mean an end to ANY government subsidy to ANY business. It would require “market” fees for oil companies drilling on common ground land, cattle grazing on public rangeland, and water extracted from public sources. This would make Cities like Phoenix, LasVegas, and L.A. non-viable. Californian farmers and ranchers using public water to irrigate lands which are actually desert would be out-of-business.

Currently China is building an Automobile factory in Mexico. They are building a car called Cherry which is designed to compete directly with Ford. The Mexican Government has “given” the land, and promised a “tax free” environment for ten years. A car company paying Mexican wages but no taxes, and with huge subsidies from China’s government using the unbalance trade-surplus monies we (including Ford) pays China for goods.

Every time we shop at Walmart, sell debt to China, and buy cheap rather than domestic we sell out our neighbors. 

I hate the Clintons, BUT this is a larger problem than just government stupidity. it is citizens lack of concern and focus.

Hope the US population wakes up pretty soon!

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By Douglas Chalmers, November 23, 2007 at 7:35 am Link to this comment

#Quote: “Corporations, he said, would “close the factories in the U.S. [and] move the factories to Mexico [to] take advantage of the cheap labor.”...”

This is economics, not politics. Politics is imposing protectionist tariffs and then being unable to afford to cost in imports of goods that you are no longer producing, uhh.

But how much was the “the elimination of 1 million American jobs” a result of NAFTA, really? Wasn’t there an overall trend to globalization - defined as US and EU corporations investing in China , etc - and the resultant transfer of wealth and consequently, jobs?

But, how did NAFTA “drive millions of Mexicans into poverty”, then? Obviously, something else is also happening. There is still a sufficient income imbalance to justify people wanting to move (“illegal” immigration) and employers wanting to pay lower wages in the USA, or, just to be able to hire (“free enterprise” exploitation, uhh).

Everbody is still indulging in being precious about this and T’Dig writer David Sirota isn’t even being honest about addressing the full range of issues.  So much easier these day to just bag Hillary Clinton. Sorry, it won’t all just go away by attacking her.

Neither will the fact that the USA can’t do without either NAFTA or Mexico (or Canada) and the forthcoming economic crisis is about to prove that. As it is, the $US is worth little or nothing….... so be prepared for a new N. American version of the Euro as well!

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By Patricia Nelson, November 23, 2007 at 6:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was working in Mexico as a business & finance editor and columnist at The (Mexico City)News when President George H.W. Bush first suggested NAFTA to Mexican President Salinas de Gortari (l988-1994). In fact, Bush “envisioned” a virtual trade bloc from Alaska and Northern Canada down to Tierra del Fuego, the Southern tip of Chile. This was to be his answer to the ever-more successful European Community (EC). Salinas took up the cause, even though Mexico was already speeding up its steps for joining the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade). Many of us Gringos in Mexico were surprised when Clinton asked for “fast track” acceptance of the NAFTA and (via a special English radio station transmission)we listened with mounting dread to the vote in the U.S. Congress.
When the first phase of NAFTA went into effect Jan. 1, 1994, the rebellion in the State of Chiapas began.
Yes, Clinton pushed the NAFTA through the U.S. Congress, but it was Bush-41’s idea and pet project.

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By rhbee, November 23, 2007 at 6:08 am Link to this comment

I can’t help but notice that the ads that accompany this post our for the repugnant party.  I can’t help but wonder why?  If this post is really about the truth of the matter under consideration then why give it a twist that points away from the fact the whichever the party, Demonstracant or Repugnacant, there still is the stench of corporate lobbying tainting their stance. And oh yeah, don’t forget the thousands of little guy-wanna-be-millionaire-investors that are the real voters in this neoliberal world we have now become.

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By Deborah, November 23, 2007 at 4:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow. I’d forgotten about Perot. Don’t see how I could have except that in 1992 I was so damn young. I had just had a baby (she’s now 15) and I was about to vote in only the 2nd election I was eligible for.

And if memory serves me correctly, I abandoned the sax playing Clinton I had voted for in the first election and voted for Perot.

I’m not sure why, only that I did. Despite his “you people” phrase, he just seemed like he knew what he was doing. It’s nice to know that my judgement back then, may not have been too far off after all.

Of course, I’ve voted all Dem since. But youthful, hopeful me, voted for Perot.

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By Marjorie L. Swanson, November 23, 2007 at 4:06 am Link to this comment

Glad to see the always information and relevant David Sirota here. I never miss his articles and find him a never ending source of information on trade. He spells things out in a way that I can understand which helps me make better decisions based on better information.

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By Thomas, November 23, 2007 at 3:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We don’t need NAFTA and Perot opposed it for the wrong reason. 

We need true free trade, not pretend free trade.  NAFTA is too involved to be be free.  Ron Paul calls it managed trade.  True free trade does not need an agreement.  We can do our part with a policy. 

As far as job consequences of trade, those are really caused by federal deficit spending.  What good are dollars outside of the US?  Only to buy things from the US.  They would go to buying products if the US did not sell bonds. 

Even so, I don’t think the job analysis shows the full picture.

No to NAFTA.  Yes to a free trade policy.

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By Carson, November 23, 2007 at 12:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One of these days the country is going to wise up and see that groups like the Federal Reserve may be pulling the stings that control the Main Stream Media and many of our weaker politicians.

It may be to late for Ross Perot but we still have time for the Ron Paul rEVOLution. It is time to legalize the Constitution.

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By Carlos, November 23, 2007 at 12:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

sooooooooooo that means Nev ada was right - TWICE - about Perot for Pres

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