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Why America and the world need free trade
The Prometheus Institute ^ | 8/2/2006 | M. Harrison

Posted on 08/02/2006 8:41:11 AM PDT by tang0r

Forget the politicking on the news about tariffs and subsidies. The true advantages of free trade, toward which small political steps as the Doha trade round are vital, are to the long-term financial and social benefit of America and the world. Were free trade effectively implemented, instead of being torpedoed by the demagogic posturing of reactionary Leftists, the progress and development it inspired would improve the lives of millions of people.

(Excerpt) Read more at prometheusinstitute.net ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: competition; doha; freetrade; globalism; libertarian; thirdworld; trade
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1 posted on 08/02/2006 8:41:12 AM PDT by tang0r
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To: tang0r

If you must have a multi-hundred page book outlining the agreement, then it ain't really Free Trade, is it?


2 posted on 08/02/2006 8:48:21 AM PDT by wolfpat (To connect the dots, you have to collect the dots.)
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To: tang0r

Not at the sacrifice of soverignty and our security (our borders) as our fine Washington-ites would have it. All at OUR cost -- never to them of course.


3 posted on 08/02/2006 8:48:39 AM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: tang0r

Yeah! Free trade my ancient mare. Free means free, like in equal. How come under NAFTA Mexican trucks and drivers that do not come close to our standards of safety and training are clogging our highways with obviously overloaded trucks and we cannot haul into precious Mexico?

How come a liter of vanilla extract costs $2.50 in Tecate, Mexico and $23.00 in El Cajon, CA? There are piles more...

No more "Free Trade" until American interests are represented by real Americans and not Liberal traitors.


4 posted on 08/02/2006 8:56:59 AM PDT by Medicine Warrior (There are a thousand hacking at the branches of Evil, to one who is striking at the root)
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To: wolfpat
...then it ain't really Free Trade, is it?

If these agreements increase personal freedom by lowering government interference, is that a good thing? Are lower prices good? Is increased trade good for our economy? Jobs? Wealth? If not, why not?

5 posted on 08/02/2006 9:03:52 AM PDT by Mase
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To: tang0r; Toddsterpatriot; 1rudeboy; expat_panama; Reagan Man
Leftists deride globalization for being, among other things, obsessed with sacrificing human interest in the pursuit of lowering prices. They what they strangely don't realize, however, is how much low prices are a human interest.

The author might be surprised to learn just how many "conservatives" on FR agree with these leftists.

6 posted on 08/02/2006 9:06:20 AM PDT by Mase
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To: tang0r
We need free trade so we can ship our jobs to Mexico and pay workers $1 per day. We also need it so eventually we can become the North American Union. "Prometheus Institute" should do a blog on that. You could call it, "Sovereignty or Cheap Crap? Cheap Crap!"
7 posted on 08/02/2006 9:09:57 AM PDT by mysterio
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To: Mase

Do they lower government interference, or do they just change the face of the government interference? I'm all for free trade, but free means free. How much needs to be specified other than, "I won't stop your sellers, and you won't stop mine. All other laws apply."


8 posted on 08/02/2006 9:11:56 AM PDT by wolfpat (To connect the dots, you have to collect the dots.)
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To: wolfpat
Do they lower government interference, or do they just change the face of the government interference?

Tariffs are taxes that exert more government control over the economy. Same with quotas. Removing them or lowering them reduces government control of trade and the economy. The more economic freedom a country practices the more wealth they will accumulate. There is also a solid correlation between the amount of personal liberty people enjoy and the amount of economic freedom a country practices. Since WWII we have significantly reduced barriers to trade and our economy and wealth have increased dramatically.

9 posted on 08/02/2006 9:20:30 AM PDT by Mase
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To: mysterio
We need free trade so we can ship our jobs to Mexico and pay workers $1 per day.

We're doing a poor job of shipping our jobs to Mexico.

Skip Navigation Links   Latest Numbers
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 www.bls.gov  Search | A-Z Index
Change Output Options: From:   To:     
include graphs NEW!
Data extracted on: August 2, 2006 (12:19:00 PM)
Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

Series Id:           LNS12000000
Seasonal Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Employment Level
Labor force status:  Employed
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
1993 119075 119275 119542 119474 120115 120290 120467 120856 120554 120823 121169 121464  
1994 121966 122086 121930 122290 122864 122634 122706 123342 123687 124112 124516 124721  
1995 124663 124928 124955 124945 124421 124522 124816 124852 125133 125388 125188 125088  
1996 125125 125639 125862 125994 126244 126602 126947 127172 127536 127890 127771 127860  
1997 128298 128298 128891 129143 129464 129412 129822 130010 130019 130179 130653 130679  
1998 130726 130807 130814 131209 131325 131244 131329 131390 131986 131999 132280 132602  
1999 133027 132856 132947 132955 133311 133378 133414 133591 133707 133993 134309 134523  
2000 136559(1) 136598 136701 137270 136630 136940 136531 136662 136893 137088 137322 137614  
2001 137778(1) 137612 137783 137299 137092 136873 137071 136241 136846 136392 136238 136047  
2002 135698(1) 136442 136195 136136 136546 136415 136410 136695 137305 137001 136517 136400  
2003 137424(1) 137472 137461 137637 137547 137784 137478 137525 137601 137986 138453 138400  
2004 138472(1) 138495 138452 138659 138843 139181 139591 139558 139495 139768 140276 140133  
2005 140234(1) 140285 140601 141196 141571 141750 142111 142425 142435 142625 142611 142779  
2006 143074 143257 143641 143688 143976 144363              
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls in January 2000, January 2003, January 2004, January 2005, and January 2006.

 

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Postal Square Building
2 Massachusetts Ave., NE
Washington, DC 20212-0001

Phone: (202) 691-5200
Fax-on-demand: (202) 691-6325
Data questions: blsdata_staff@bls.gov
Technical (web) questions: webmaster@bls.gov
Other comments: feedback@bls.gov

As you can see, since NAFTA passed in November 1993, we have added 23.2 million jobs.

We also need it so eventually we can become the North American Union.

Stop smoking that weed, it's bad for your lungs and your logic.

10 posted on 08/02/2006 9:22:09 AM PDT by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: wolfpat

Agreed. Much of what is claimed to be "free trade" is just a bunch of slogans. The truth lies in the small print, hundreds of pages of it.


11 posted on 08/02/2006 9:22:34 AM PDT by Malesherbes
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To: Mase

I don't think you understand my point.


12 posted on 08/02/2006 9:25:14 AM PDT by wolfpat (To connect the dots, you have to collect the dots.)
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To: Malesherbes

Thank you. I was afraid I wasn't being clear.


13 posted on 08/02/2006 9:26:00 AM PDT by wolfpat (To connect the dots, you have to collect the dots.)
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To: wolfpat

Then call it freer trade.


14 posted on 08/02/2006 9:27:43 AM PDT by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Mase
I love low prices. I also would like lower taxes and a limited federal government that would spend less of the people's money on liberal welfare state programs that don't work and only undermine our Constitutional Republic. When it comes to trade, I agree with President Reagan:

"We hope that through these negotiations we will be able to convince our trading partners to stop their unfair trading practices and open those markets that are now closed to American exports. We will take countermeasures only as a last resort, but our trading partners should not doubt our determination to see international trade conducted fairly with the same rules applicable to all. I'm committed to and will continue to fight for fair trade. American exporters and American workers deserve a fair shake abroad, and we intend to see they get it. Our objective will always be to make world trading partnerships freer and fairer for all."

The USA was a unique creation by a group of men who fostered individual freedom, as much as individual responsibility. When individual states deal with each other, they're dealing within our Constitutional system of free and fair trade. This is not the case when the US deals with nations of the world. No one is suggesting we isolate ourselves or create strong protectionist trade barriers with other nations. But its critical that the Feds promote a conservative policy agenda on the issue of trade, that advances US sovereignty, US interests abroad, while it respects the right of individual Americans.

15 posted on 08/02/2006 9:34:00 AM PDT by Reagan Man (Conservatives don't support amnesty and conservatives don't vote for liberals!)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

Okay. That's a little more accurate.


16 posted on 08/02/2006 9:38:35 AM PDT by wolfpat (To connect the dots, you have to collect the dots.)
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To: Mase
how many "conservatives" on FR agree with these leftists.

Only on the FR; the rest of the country sees import tax hikes as a Democrat plank along with gay rights and abortion.  Last week I was fussing with Hedge over a import tax cut that just passed the Senate, and even I was surprised at how partisan it's become.

Let's face it; it's the liberal Democrats that love big government welfare import taxes and it's the Republicans that want tax-cuts and smaller government.

OK, its 90%+ of the Republicans that want import tax-cuts.

17 posted on 08/02/2006 9:44:28 AM PDT by expat_panama
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To: wolfpat
So are you in favor of freer trade? Do we benefit when tariffs and barriers are lowered?
18 posted on 08/02/2006 9:45:23 AM PDT by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

I'm in favor of FREE trade.


19 posted on 08/02/2006 9:50:36 AM PDT by wolfpat (To connect the dots, you have to collect the dots.)
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To: wolfpat
I'm in favor of FREE trade.

A proposal to cut tariffs by 50% is no good, because it's not a 100% cut?

20 posted on 08/02/2006 9:51:41 AM PDT by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Mase
"Since WWII we have significantly reduced barriers to trade and our economy and wealth have increased dramatically."

We have significantly reduced borders, I'll agree.


21 posted on 08/02/2006 9:51:42 AM PDT by Eastbound
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To: tang0r

Somebody might ask what Free Trade might be.


22 posted on 08/02/2006 9:52:50 AM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

How do you get that out of what I've said?

I just want to stop calling something it's not.


23 posted on 08/02/2006 9:53:15 AM PDT by wolfpat (To connect the dots, you have to collect the dots.)
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To: wolfpat
How do you get that out of what I've said?

Because you didn't agree that freer trade is better than trade which is less free.

24 posted on 08/02/2006 9:55:04 AM PDT by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

No. I just agreed that "freer trade" is a better name for the thing this thread is about. My argument is entirely semantics. Free trade is free trade or it's not. There's no such thing as "sort of" pregnant.


25 posted on 08/02/2006 9:58:39 AM PDT by wolfpat (To connect the dots, you have to collect the dots.)
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To: wolfpat
I just agreed that "freer trade" is a better name for the thing this thread is about.

Great, now that we've agreed about the semantics, let's talk about the real world.

Do you prefer the current levels of tariffs and barriers or would you like them to be lowered? Even if they can't be lowered to zero.

26 posted on 08/02/2006 10:00:43 AM PDT by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Reagan Man
"When it comes to trade, I agree with President Reagan."

So do I.   Nice talk requires specifics.

"I came to Washington to spare the American people the protectionist legislation that destroys prosperity."

  Ronald Reagan initiated talks with Canada and Mexico on establishing a North American free trade zone and inaugurated another multilateral trade negotiation known as the Uruguay Round.  (from here)

I like Reagan's specifics too.

27 posted on 08/02/2006 10:01:40 AM PDT by expat_panama
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To: Toddsterpatriot

I'm all for anything that gets us closer to free trade. Just don't call it "free trade" when it isn't.


28 posted on 08/02/2006 10:02:16 AM PDT by wolfpat (To connect the dots, you have to collect the dots.)
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To: wolfpat
I'm all for anything that gets us closer to free trade.

Excellent!

Just don't call it "free trade" when it isn't.

Just add an "r" to the end of free, in your head.

It should help you unclench.

29 posted on 08/02/2006 10:04:21 AM PDT by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: expat_panama
>>>>>Nice talk requires specifics.

I thought one quote from Reagan would be enough for you liberal trade merchants to understand that Reagan placed American interests first and foremost when it came to trade issues. Here's two radio speeches President Reagan gave to the nation on the issue of free and fair trade, and the need for the US to remain ever vigilant against unfair trade practices by unfriendly nations. Reagan in his own words are the best specifics I know of. Enjoy.

President Reagan, Radio Address to the Nation on Free and Fair Trade, September 7th, 1985

President Reagan, Radio Address to the Nation on Free and Fair Trade April 25th, 1987

30 posted on 08/02/2006 10:25:53 AM PDT by Reagan Man (Conservatives don't support amnesty and conservatives don't vote for liberals!)
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To: wolfpat

You said that whacks better than me!


31 posted on 08/02/2006 10:28:08 AM PDT by Medicine Warrior (There are a thousand hacking at the branches of Evil, to one who is striking at the root)
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To: wolfpat
I'm all for anything that gets us closer to free trade.

Usually these discussions revolve around specific Republican introduced import tax-cuts that the liberals hate.  I can name a lot of them.  Are you able to name one specific import tax-cut that you liked, or can you name one import tax hike that you've ever hated?

32 posted on 08/02/2006 10:29:52 AM PDT by expat_panama
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To: Mase

Yeah but we notice you kinda skip over the freedom part. I lived through it and can tell you for certain that if 1944 folks saw what 2006 would be like there would have been one hell of a revolution.


33 posted on 08/02/2006 10:31:53 AM PDT by Medicine Warrior (There are a thousand hacking at the branches of Evil, to one who is striking at the root)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

Well, I hope these doha round trade talks are sunk deeper than you know what. There is nothing free about this mess.

I really prefer subsidizing American farmers more than subsidizing foreign corporations who claim to be using their own money to build private toll roads for all this "free trade". What a joke on the American people.


34 posted on 08/02/2006 10:44:40 AM PDT by texastoo ("trash the treaties")
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To: texastoo
There is nothing free about this mess.

And we know that higher tariffs and barriers are better than lower tariffs and barriers. Wouldn't want to have too much trade.

35 posted on 08/02/2006 10:55:05 AM PDT by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Toddsterpatriot

"And we know that higher tariffs and barriers are better than lower tariffs and barriers. Wouldn't want to have too much trade."

http://www.beekeeping.com/articles/us/honey_laundering.htm

"The honey may have been contaminated with chloramphenicol (CAP), which AQIS says causes the disease aplastic anaemia in some susceptible individuals. AQIS could not confirm the number of shipments that have been transited through Australia."

Just go right ahead and eat your honey from China as we wouldn't want the Chinese to suffer. It is good and cheap honey right up your alley. I, myself, prefer American grown food.


36 posted on 08/02/2006 11:18:29 AM PDT by texastoo ("trash the treaties")
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To: texastoo
Wow, bad Chinese honey means we should stop all trade. How could I have been so blind?

Or maybe we could just test imported honey?

37 posted on 08/02/2006 11:28:49 AM PDT by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: Reagan Man
Aw hey no, I never had any problem with his talk --I especially liked the way never called me one of those liberal whatever-it-was-things either in person to me or behind my back.  It's just that I always liked his actions too.  

Lot's of people like to stay with Reagan's talk and forget about his actions.  I guess I was never much good at that all-talk-no-action stuff, a kind of a short coming on my part.  You're free to take on any style you choose with my blessing.

38 posted on 08/02/2006 11:48:05 AM PDT by expat_panama
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To: Toddsterpatriot
Or maybe we could just test imported honey?

Why should we? Are you accusing our trading partners of avoiding the rules and not playing fair? According to the doha rounds, we just need to cut the subsidies to our farmers and let our trading partners do whatever they want to do to our food.

39 posted on 08/02/2006 12:34:38 PM PDT by texastoo ("trash the treaties")
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To: expat_panama
>>>>It's just that I always liked his actions too.

Me too. Especially his actions in regard to unfair trade practices. While Reagan wasn't a strict protectionist, economists over the years have pointed out his administrations occasional protectionist policy action. Reagan signed off on special trade protection for Harley-Davidson, imposed quotas on steel imports, pressured Japan to restrict vehicle shipments to the United States, tightened limits on foreign textiles, accepted new barriers to imported sugar, raised duties on Canadian shakes and shingles. All in the name of fair trade.

Reagan was right: "I'm committed to and will continue to fight for fair trade. American exporters and American workers deserve a fair shake abroad, and we intend to see they get it." Actions speak louder then words and Reagan's actions to fight for fair trade practices is an historic fact.

40 posted on 08/02/2006 12:48:37 PM PDT by Reagan Man (Conservatives don't support amnesty and conservatives don't vote for liberals!)
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To: texastoo
According to the doha rounds, we just need to cut the subsidies to our farmers

I think cutting subsidies is a great idea. Sorry to hear that you agree with massive and wasteful government spending and interference

and let our trading partners do whatever they want to do to our food.

Maybe you have a link to the part of the agreement that says "let our trading partners do whatever they want to do to our food"?

Or is that just your feelings again?

41 posted on 08/02/2006 12:58:26 PM PDT by Toddsterpatriot (Why are protectionists so bad at math?)
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To: wolfpat
I don't think you understand my point.

Of course I do. If all those pages you complain about end up reducing barriers to trade, and they do, then the increased trade will benefit all involved. Not to mention the increased personal freedom that conservatives are supposed to advocate. Just because we have to negotiate what we're agreeing to doesn't mean that free(r) trade shouldn't be vigorously pursued. What's your alternative to what we have now? If what we're doing now is so bad where is the negative impact on our economy?

You need to look at our GDP growth, employment growth and the increases in our personal wealth since we embraced free(r) trade after WWII. Your feelings may tell you one thing however, the facts tell us all something very different.

42 posted on 08/02/2006 1:12:44 PM PDT by Mase
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To: Mase

And you just proved you don't understand my point.


43 posted on 08/02/2006 1:13:52 PM PDT by wolfpat (To connect the dots, you have to collect the dots.)
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To: Eastbound
We have significantly reduced borders, I'll agree.

Illegal immigration didn't exist prior to NAFTA? You must be very young or never studied history in school. But thanks for your post that has nothing to do with the thread.

44 posted on 08/02/2006 1:18:48 PM PDT by Mase
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To: wolfpat
And you just proved you don't understand my point.

Naw, I just choose to live in the real world. I find it hard to work with folks who are immutable when it comes to their idealism. They also tend to be constipated a lot.

45 posted on 08/02/2006 1:28:14 PM PDT by Mase
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To: Medicine Warrior
Yeah but we notice you kinda skip over the freedom part

Not sure what you're talking about here.

I know lots of 1944 people who are thrilled that their children and grandchildren have much better lives today than they did back then.

46 posted on 08/02/2006 1:33:28 PM PDT by Mase
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To: Reagan Man
Reagan's actions to fight for fair trade practices is an historic fact.

I'm trying to agree with you but you don't seem to want any part of it --just what part of "yes" don't you understand?  

I'm telling you, I just love "fair trade" -- especially when we're saying it means "talks with Canada and Mexico on establishing a North American free trade zone and inaugurated another multilateral trade negotiation known as the Uruguay Round".

47 posted on 08/02/2006 1:41:44 PM PDT by expat_panama
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To: expat_panama
I was fussing with Hedge over a import tax cut that just passed the Senate

Didn't you also show that lowering import taxes actually lead to greater economic activity and increased tax revenue? I remember seeing that information posted on FR and I believe you were the one who did the research. IIRC, it also threw the protectionists a curve they couldn't hit - if they bothered to respond at all.

48 posted on 08/02/2006 1:58:07 PM PDT by Mase
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To: Mase
"You must be very young or never studied history in school."

'No' on both counts. I've lived under 13 presidents. Y'sef?

"But thanks for your post that has nothing to do with the thread."

I think when your children or grandchildren grow up they'll understand my post perfectly -- and perhaps with a smile of 'knowingness' on their faces and a little anger in their hearts.

NAFTA? Oh, Yeah! Wasn't that the old 'bait 'n switch' routine that failed and caused the 'migration' to the north because the jobs are going to China instead?

But, hey, not to worry. Plenty of truck driver jobs for 'em. You know, just doing the jobs Americans won't do once we shut down the unions.
_______________________________

'Made in China' - 'Made in China' - 'Made in China' - Made in China' - Made in China' - 'Made in China' - 'Made in China' - 'Made in China' - 'Made in Mexico' - 'Made in . . . . hold on a sec, Jose! Shut down the line! Got some old inventory to clear out here.'

___________________________________

49 posted on 08/02/2006 2:57:06 PM PDT by Eastbound
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To: Eastbound
'No' on both counts. I've lived under 13 presidents.

In all those years you should have learned that trade has nothing to do with illegal immigration. You should have also learned that the vast majority of people in favor of free(r) markets are also in favor of strict enforcement of our immigration laws.

Since you seem to be focused on NAFTA maybe you can show us how NAFTA caused jobs to go to China. Mexico benefited a great deal from NAFTA. Unfortunately, they chose to maintain their statist economy instead of adopting reforms like they should have. Maybe you can show us how illegal immigration wouldn't be so bad today if NAFTA hadn't passed.

Just as an aside, I think my children will undoubtedly benefit if the unions are ever shut down. I believe they'd thank my generation for helping that along should it ever come to pass.

50 posted on 08/02/2006 3:15:20 PM PDT by Mase
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