Unilateralism

By Pejman Yousefzadeh Posted in | | | | | | Comments (5) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

Let's see how fare those promises of garnering international respect and affection for the United States once George W. Bush is out of office:

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday the United States should not reopen talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement as the two U.S. Democratic presidential hopefuls have proposed.

Harper warned that renewed talks would give Canada the chance to renegotiate the pact so that it is more favorable to his country.

"If any American government chose to make the mistake of reopening that we would have some things we would want to talk about as well," Harper said.

Trade minister David Emerson said Wednesday it would be unwise for the U.S. to renegotiate NAFTA because the it has a good deal when it comes to access to Canada's oil.

Emerson noted that Canada is the largest energy supplier to the U.S.

Read on . . .

And how fares the reality-based community on the facts?

[Barack Obama's] campaign claims a million jobs have vanished because of the deal. That sounds devastating, but over the last 14 years, the American economy has added a net total of 25 million jobs--some of them, incidentally, attributable to expanded trade with Mexico. When NAFTA took effect in 1994, the unemployment rate was 6.7 percent. Today it's 4.9 percent.

But maybe all the jobs we lost were good ones and all the new ones are minimum-wage positions sweeping out abandoned factories? Actually, no. According to data compiled by Harvard economist Robert Z. Lawrence, the average blue-collar worker's wages and benefits, adjusted for inflation, have risen by 11 percent under NAFTA. Instead of driving pay scales down, it appears to have pulled them up.

Manufacturing employment has declined, but not because we're producing less: Manufacturing output has not only expanded, but has expanded far faster than it did in the decade before NAFTA. The problem is that as productivity rises, we can make more stuff with fewer people. That's not a bad thing. In fact, it's essentially the definition of economic progress.

We're not the only country facing that phenomenon. China makes everything these days, right? But between 1995 and 2002, it lost 15 million manufacturing jobs.

Behold the Audacity of Hype. And after the hype dies down, what happens to our trade policy? Does it continue to get sacrificed to the need to garner votes?

By the way, this post is dedicated to Byron Dorgan.

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Unilateralism 5 Comments (0 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

are going to break from our allies - Israel, Canada, Britain, Australia - and have sleepovers with Iran, Syria, North Korea, and no-state entities like AQ and Hammas.
With friends like these...

To Mr Yousefzadeh
If things are so wonderful, how come i can't get a job doing engineering like i have been doing for the last 40 years? Part of it is good old fashioned age discrimination. But i blame NAFTA and GATT and outsourcing for my plight. 20 years ago, the Chicago Tribune used to have 2 to 4 pages of ads for engineers. Now, it is 2 to 4 columns. I got 2 interviews in oct., but none since. I have sent out lots of resumes to no avail. I also live next to the BNSF rail road. I used to see lots of industrial raw material and finished goods being hauled around. As our manufacturing base has been hollowed out, i no longer see this. Instead, i see coal for electricity, corn sweeteners, flour, and lots of containers from Asia, but no finished goods except cars from Asia. I will end up retiring and drawing SS, not because i want to, but because there is nothing out there. My former employer, when he advertised for a job, would get 100 - 300 resumes in return. There is lots more like me out there.

...but have you contemplated that possibly, just possibly, your employment problems may spring from a perhaps not perfect command of written English?

And before you make the claim that your writing is much improved when you make the effort, consider this: if you won't even make the minimum effort here, why should we believe you when you say that you do elsewhere?

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

Newspapers have outlived there usefulness, including job seeking. Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, Jobs.com, Indeed.com, and there are many others.
If I may add, after 40 years, you probably will find it difficult to find full-time employment. Think about contract work, or even teaching or tutoring in your field.

I'm sure you know this, but it's the companies responsibility to find you a job. You have to do the leg work yourself.

Constructive criticism is always welcome. Feel free to elaborate.

The most disappointing thing about your post was the lack of response. Perhaps Redstaters all have jobs or have pockets deep enough that they don't need jobs. It is never a recession until you are the one that is unemployed. Incidentally, my longest periods of unemployment came under Republican administrations. I was out for 5 months in 1975 (Nixon). I was out for 8 months in 1982 (Reagan). My dad was out the entire year of 1958 (Ike).

 
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