Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Quick, Get Me an Economist

These free trade agreements confuse me. Do you guys think CAFTA is a good thing?

It seems to me that nothing good came from NAFTA. I mean, I agree with the idea, government out of the way for business, but being in manufacturing I see jobs slipping away while the rest of the economy in the US is adding jobs.

I understand it is supposed to decrease the haves vs the havenots, but it looks like it just makes it easier to cash in on the havenots.

Maybe it's a good thing and it's time for the US to get out of the making things business, but doing it as the expense of some sweatshop worker who can't match our quality (believe me they can't) doesn't seem the right way to do it.

Also, the claim is that this will bolster democracy seems empty. We have a pretty good trade deal going with China...


Blogger Major John said...

I wonder where we could find an economist? If the Running Dog comes forth I suspect he will disagree with you, mostly.
Nothing good has come of NAFTA? I beg to differ - we buy an awful lot from Mexico and Canada, and they buy an awful lot from us too. Do you think the farmers of the US want tarriff walls to spring up all over the place again? Artificial barriers to the sale of medical equipment and medicines a good thing? Blockading yourself into a latifundia type economy is no way to thrive. In fact, the North Koreans have a name for such - Juche. Ask them how well isolation, barriers and lack of trade have worked out...I am just tossing out a few thoughts - Running Dog can do a better job, to be sure.

8:20 AM  
Anonymous heidelberger88 said...

I have a degree in econ, but I wouldn't call myself an economist. Here's my take--we are a capitalist/consumer nation. Almost every town has a Walmart. Walmart buys at the cheapest price (in some run down south american country) so they can sell at the cheapest price. Your dollar goes farther if you are shopping at Walmart. You are helping to fuel our economy by spending money. It's all about demand in my book. I'm sure the eggheads in DC could give you a much more in depth analysis of the hows and whys, but that is the way I see it.

10:11 AM  
Blogger Mighty Quinn said...

I have it on good authority that Running Dog will be out of contact for the next week or so and unlikely to respond.

I hesitate to offer an opinion myself. With all the political spinning from both parties I'm left dizzy and confused.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Inner Prop said...

Dizzy and confused yes. And yet this is a topic almost as important as the war (certainly more important than kebabs (souvlaki) and comfy shirts).

I think we need to discuss this some more.

7:02 PM  
Blogger RTO Trainer said...

Amatuer Economist here:

NAFTA benefits--

Since 1993, agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have risen by $9.3 billion. Canada's imporation of US agriculture has doubled.

Our NAFTA partners purchase more U.S. exports than all of Europe and purchase about 36% of total U.S. exports.

In the past ten years since NAFTA, the number of medium sized export businesses has tripled.

In this first decade, U.S. manufacturing output soared, up 44% in real terms.

U.S. employment grew by over 20 million from 1993 to 2000, and U.S. manufacturing wages more than doubled the rate of increase over the previous decade. (These, of course, cannot be attributed solely to NAFTA, but clearly it isn't hurting.)

It's not just us that benefits. Mexico's per capita GNP has nearly doubled in the last decade.

Free trade cannot hurt the US, but abuse of free trade can. These formal frameworks are essential to prevent abuses (like government owned companies trying to buy US corporations re: China or government subsidized companies competing with US corporations re: Airbus). The part that's really bebeficial to the US, though is teh benefit to our trading partners. Recommended reading on that point: The Pentagon's New Map by Thomas P.M. Barnett.

12:09 AM  

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