As a former union worker whose job was outsourced to Mexico, it has been with some interest that I've been watching Clinton, Obama and the rest of the leftist creed rally the mobs in Ohio (and the rest of the midwest states) about the jobs lost due to NAFTA.
To be sure, there have been jobs lost to NAFTA. However, to use NAFTA in this current political debate is nothing more than a red herring...a politically expedient catchall phrase to get the blue collar class in a frenzied tizzy.
What's even worse is that Mexico is not even the place where jobs have been exported to as of late. The fact of the matter is, years ago, Pakistan, India and China have replaced Mexico as the hot spot for jobs to go.
Hell, if blue collar Americans really stopped to think about it, they'd begin to wonder that if Mexico were still the place for jobs to run to, then why are the Mexicans coming here???
So, why all this demagoguery about NAFTA?
Simply put: It's the left-wing politicians and their union handlers scraping the bottom of the barrel of Americans' xenophobia in an effort to stir votes.
As most (some?) may recall from high school history, America was, in essence, founded as a result of foreign trade. Remember the East India Trading Co? How about Columbus and his search for passage to get spices and such? Let's see, I think it was the Pinta, the Santa Maria and...and... (oh well).
And, for those of us who can remember back before NAFTA was signed, we'll recall that the exportation of jobs started long before Bill Clinton ever signed the treaty. In fact, union bosses know this too, they just don't like to admit it.
However, today, in this polticial season, it is far too convenient for left-wing politicians and their union puppet-masters to blame a trade agreement than it is to accept blame for what has really caused the exportation of jobs to begin with--the role that US labor unions have played in causing unionized companies to become uncompetitive in a global economy.
The term maquiladora has been around long before NAFTA, and the outsourcing of jobs to other countries long before that. [For a quick Wikipedia read on the history of maquiladoras click here.]
In fact, as to the outsourcing of the US steel industry, it began as a result of the Great Steel Strike in 1959--well before NAFTA. However, the Steelworkers don't like to admit that.
In the trucking industry, the advent of lost Teamster jobs wasn't NAFTA and the provision of Mexican trucks crossing our borders. Teamsters began losing membership as a result of Jimmy Carter signing the Motor Carrier Act into law in 1980. Yet Jimmy Hoffa Jr. won't admit that his union made hundreds of trucking companies close in the face of open competition.
How about the telephone industry jobs? NAFTA? Nope. That was judge Harold Green ordering the breakup of Ma Bell in 1983--a full 11 years before Clinton signed NAFTA.
How about the auto industry?....Didn't NAFTA destroy those jobs? Nope. Before Nissan today, there was Datsun in the 1970s, and Toyota isn't Spanish for anything (except maybe Toyota). Unfortunately for the UAW bosses, no matter how hard they try, they can't blame the Mexicans for the consequences of competition with the Japanese.
So, you see, by using NAFTA on the stump as they are, Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama are doing nothing more than pandering to get votes out of people who are hurting due to the realities of competition.
In the long run, it is these very people who will again be hurt, as neither Clinton nor Obama will be able to unwind the more-than-50-year-old-clock that is globalization.
Oh, by the way, if you're curious, our union jobs were shipped to Mexico in 1992--about a year and a half before NAFTA was signed.
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