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NAFTA has hurt living standards, think-tank says (Economic Policy Institute)
Reuters on Yahoo ^ | 9/27/06 | Reuters

Posted on 09/27/2006 2:19:21 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The North American Free Trade Agreement has lowered the standard of living for workers in the United States, Mexico and Canada, according to a new report.

Signed in 1994, the trade deal was touted as a win-win situation for all three signatories. But the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think-tank, said that NAFTA has led to cuts in social spending and prompted wages to stagnate or even fall.

"Twelve years later, it is clear that the costs to workers outweighed the benefits in all three nations," the report said. "Workers' share of the gains from rising productivity fell and the proportion of income and wealth going to those at the very top of the economic pyramid grew."

In the United States, the promise of more jobs proved elusive, the study noted, with NAFTA contributing to the most anemic employment recovery in recent history.

Mexico's benefits from closer commercial ties with the United States also largely failed to materialize, the study found. There was a visible boost in employment, but much of it took place in very low-wage maquiladora industries.

As for Canada, its embrace of the regional free-trade agreement has led to severe cuts in social programs, EPI said, noting that government transfers to individuals had dropped from 11.5 percent of gross domestic product in 1994 to just 7.8 percent currently.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; Mexico; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: economic; hurt; livingstandards; nafta; policy; thinktank
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1 posted on 09/27/2006 2:19:21 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

Wow in all three countries? I guess it was a bad idea. Sorry I have to run to the Post Office and pick up some dividend checks.


2 posted on 09/27/2006 2:20:43 PM PDT by Patrick1
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To: NormsRevenge
Wait a minute signed in 1994 this cannot be true, because it has to be Bush's fault!
3 posted on 09/27/2006 2:22:39 PM PDT by rocksblues (Liberals will stop at nothing.)
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To: rocksblues

"The North American Free Trade Agreement has lowered the standard of living for workers in the United States, Mexico and Canada, according to a new report."

For some segments of the economy, this is a no-duh moment.


4 posted on 09/27/2006 2:26:40 PM PDT by DonaldC
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To: NormsRevenge

I'm reminded that the number one rated cable news show of all time is the Algore/Perot debate back in, I think, 1993. That's when Ross shared with us the "great sucking sound" quote.


5 posted on 09/27/2006 2:27:13 PM PDT by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: NormsRevenge

fyi
for some background on EPI

http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/about

one of the co-founders, Robert Reich


6 posted on 09/27/2006 2:27:20 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......Help the "Pendleton 8' and families -- http://www.freerepublic.com/~normsrevenge/)
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To: NormsRevenge

The Economic Policy Institute is a socialist/unionist group.

They want a "Living Wage," too.


7 posted on 09/27/2006 2:27:30 PM PDT by MonroeDNA
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To: NormsRevenge
In the United States, the promise of more jobs proved elusive, the study noted, with NAFTA contributing to the most anemic employment recovery in recent history.

Pfffft. What is unemployment 4.7%, 4.8%? I thought under 5% is considered full employment.

8 posted on 09/27/2006 2:28:17 PM PDT by rhombus
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To: DonaldC

Yeah, who's got the Captain Obvious tag?


9 posted on 09/27/2006 2:28:31 PM PDT by txhurl
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To: MonroeDNA

And a "Prevailing Wages," and a higher minimum wage.

It's VERY socialist.


10 posted on 09/27/2006 2:28:40 PM PDT by MonroeDNA
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To: MonroeDNA

The Economic Policy Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that seeks to broaden the public debate about strategies to achieve a prosperous and fair economy.

--

nonpartisan? no such critter exists.


11 posted on 09/27/2006 2:28:56 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......Help the "Pendleton 8' and families -- http://www.freerepublic.com/~normsrevenge/)
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To: NormsRevenge

Since when did the findings of left-wing thinktanks become "news"?


12 posted on 09/27/2006 2:29:32 PM PDT by Blackyce (President Jacques Chirac: "As far as I'm concerned, war always means failure.")
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To: NormsRevenge
As for Canada, its embrace of the regional free-trade agreement has led to severe cuts in social programs, EPI said, noting that government transfers to individuals had dropped from 11.5 percent of gross domestic product in 1994 to just 7.8 percent currently.

What kind of metric is that? More people are off the dole so NAFTA's no good? I'll say it again. Pffft.

13 posted on 09/27/2006 2:29:47 PM PDT by rhombus
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To: Blackyce
Since when did the findings of left-wing thinktanks become "news"?

Since RotoRooters wanted to continue the "negative economy" drumbeat.

14 posted on 09/27/2006 2:31:58 PM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: NormsRevenge

http://tinyurl.com/odlf6

"Jeff Faux and Gene Sperling are two titans of Democratic economic policy. Last week, at a forum sponsored by the Campaign for America's Future, they debated the core economic policy differences that define and divide old Democrats from new Democrats (click here for transcript).

Jeff Faux is the founder and former president of the progressive Washington think tank the Economic Policy Institute. Gene Sperling was the head of President Clinton’s National Economic Council from 1996 to 2000. Both have just published new books. Faux’s book is titled The Global Class War: How America’s Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Future—and What It Will Take to Win It Back. Sperling’s book is titled The Pro-Growth Progressive: An Economic Strategy for Shared Prosperity.

The two books provide a marvelous window on today’s Democratic Party. Faux is an old labor Democrat, Sperling a new Democrat. It is striking that two leading Democrats could come up with such fundamentally different accounts of the American economy. This suggests that the Democrats are really two parties when it comes to the all-important economic agenda.

Faux is a political economist, and therefore emphasizes politics in his analysis. Political power lies behind economic policy. His core thesis is that America’s elite, drawn from both Republicans and Democrats, has abandoned America and joined a new global political party—the Party of Davos. Globalization therefore represents a new class war. On one side is a new globalized uber-capitalist class. On the other side are the rest of us, workers everywhere—not just in the United States."


15 posted on 09/27/2006 2:33:22 PM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: rhombus
I thought under 5% is considered full employment.

Pre-NAFTA, it was considered to be 6.5%.

16 posted on 09/27/2006 2:33:53 PM PDT by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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To: Diddle E. Squat

nothing more than a pack of Progressives, it seems, Thanks!


17 posted on 09/27/2006 2:34:25 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......Help the "Pendleton 8' and families -- http://www.freerepublic.com/~normsrevenge/)
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To: NormsRevenge

One thing I never see quantified in such studies is the net gain made to consumers because of lower prices. For those who think the reduced costs aren't passed on through lower prices, just take a look at the income statements for companies involved in NAFTA-type businesses.

I hear the same argument from the steel workers' union that Japan is dumping cheap steel in the US. Well, which would I rather have: 1) cheap steel for several million US cars, construction materials, and other steel products or 2) higher steel prices to keep a couple of thousand steel workers employed in a technologically backward domestic industry? If Japan is truly selling steel in the US at prices below their cost, we should buy all we can and force their losses so high they go out of business. The gains to consumers through lower-priced steel products far outweighs the minute gain a few steel workers make through higher wages.

Sorry, I don't buy this or similarly-flawed studies.


18 posted on 09/27/2006 2:35:21 PM PDT by econjack
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To: NormsRevenge
>> ... government transfers to individuals had dropped from 11.5 percent of gross domestic product in 1994 to just 7.8 percent currently.

Well, hurray! That's about a third less money stolen from the productive and given to the unproductive. If anyone can figure out how to persuade the U.S. government to do the same, happy days will be here again.

19 posted on 09/27/2006 2:35:54 PM PDT by T'wit (It is not possible to "go too far" criticizing liberals. No matter what you say, they're worse.)
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To: NormsRevenge
>> ... NAFTA has led to cuts in social spending...

Hurray again! Show us how to cut more!

>> ...and prompted wages to stagnate or even fall

Now you know they are lying. Government spending destroys jobs. A reduction in social spending = more investment capital in the private sector = higher wages.

20 posted on 09/27/2006 2:41:08 PM PDT by T'wit (It is not possible to "go too far" criticizing liberals. No matter what you say, they're worse.)
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To: txflake
Yeah, who's got the Captain Obvious tag?

Will this do?

Wow! Ya Figured That Out All By Yourself!
Click the Pic

21 posted on 09/27/2006 2:42:11 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (Warning! This Is A Subliminal Tagline! Read it at your own risk!(Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: Toddsterpatriot; 1rudeboy; expat_panama; nopardons

E.P.I. ping.


22 posted on 09/27/2006 2:50:19 PM PDT by Mase
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To: T'wit

">> ... NAFTA has led to cuts in social spending...

>> ...and prompted wages to stagnate or even fall"

These are probably related as with wages are beginning to stagnate and/or fall (this due to offshoring generally, not just nafta) then tax receipts would naturally do the same, thus cuts need to be made. In the 80's, this was not so much of a problem because many who were in manufacturing migrated to higher tech fields like IT and telecom. I am sure there will be some next area people can migrate to, but at the moment I am not sure what that would be. Also, I don't think this applies across the board nationally, but it would make sense that in certain regional areas, this is happening. Many of these same areas are also seeing wages depressed by illegals as well, but that is a topic for another thread, I am sure.


23 posted on 09/27/2006 2:52:46 PM PDT by DonaldC
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To: NormsRevenge
"But the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think-tank, said that NAFTA has led to cuts in social spending and prompted wages to stagnate or even fall."

Communist and socialist think tank. They make stuff up so it supports their socialist agenda. Best to just ignore them.
24 posted on 09/27/2006 3:02:08 PM PDT by monday
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To: NormsRevenge
Here who runs EPI. The people who manufactured this "Study". Freepers really should waste their time posting garbage from Socialist "Progressive" propagandists

EPI was founded by a group of economic policy experts that includes Jeff Faux, EPI's first president; economist Barry Bluestone of Northeastern University; Robert Kuttner, columnist for Business Week and Newsweek and editor of The American Prospect; Ray Marshall, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas-Austin; Robert Reich, former U.S. secretary of labor and professor at Brandeis University; and economist Lester Thurow of the MIT Sloan School of Management.

25 posted on 09/27/2006 3:04:41 PM PDT by MNJohnnie (Say Leftists. How many Nazis did killing Nazis in WW2 create? or Samurai? or Fascists?)
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To: DonaldC
These are probably related as with wages are beginning to stagnate and/or fall

Except the statement is untrue. Wages have neither fallen nor stagnated. It is another one of those made up factoid Economic Isolationists scream over and over that has no base in factual reality.

26 posted on 09/27/2006 3:06:49 PM PDT by MNJohnnie (Say Leftists. How many Nazis did killing Nazis in WW2 create? or Samurai? or Fascists?)
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To: Fiddlstix

More like Master of the made up propaganda.


27 posted on 09/27/2006 3:07:15 PM PDT by MNJohnnie (Say Leftists. How many Nazis did killing Nazis in WW2 create? or Samurai? or Fascists?)
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

Clinton / Bush / Perot debate, right?


28 posted on 09/27/2006 3:07:51 PM PDT by graf008
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To: econjack
I hear the same argument from the steel workers' union that Japan is dumping cheap steel in the US. Well, which would I rather have: 1) cheap steel for several million US cars, construction materials, and other steel products or 2) higher steel prices to keep a couple of thousand steel workers employed in a technologically backward domestic industry?

Don't you know it's unpatriotic to buy any but the most expensive domestic steel?

Willie Green explained to me once that cheap foreign steel was bad for America because it might lead to expensive foreign steel sometime in the future. Maybe. His answer was to make our steel expensive now!

Makes sense to me.

29 posted on 09/27/2006 3:08:23 PM PDT by Toddsterpatriot (Goldbugs, immune to logic and allergic to facts.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Hey, the Economic Policy Institute is more full of sh*t than a portable toilet in front of a Mexican muffin factory. Don't buy it folks. Free trade is good.


30 posted on 09/27/2006 3:10:47 PM PDT by Jaysun (Idiot Muslims. They're just dying to have sex orgies.)
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Progressive Washington think tank the Economic Policy Institute.

Progressive is Pol sci speak for Socialist. Socialists during the 1960s started calling themselves "Progressives" because they knew Americans would not take their dogmas seriously if they knew the real roots of their economic analysis.

31 posted on 09/27/2006 3:11:08 PM PDT by MNJohnnie (Say Leftists. How many Nazis did killing Nazis in WW2 create? or Samurai? or Fascists?)
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To: rhombus
most anemic employment recovery in recent history.

So they add the crime of lying to their obvious propagandizing. Prior to NAFTA we had not achieved "full employment" at all during the 1970s and 1980s. Since NAFTA we achieved full employment for the last 2 years of the Clinton Admin and then after the 0911 recovery we have it NOW. So the authors of this supposed study is knowingly lying about the data. So if they lied to us here, what else are they lying about?

32 posted on 09/27/2006 3:14:10 PM PDT by MNJohnnie (Say Leftists. How many Nazis did killing Nazis in WW2 create? or Samurai? or Fascists?)
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To: MNJohnnie

"Except the statement is untrue. Wages have neither fallen nor stagnated. It is another one of those made up factoid Economic Isolationists scream over and over that has no base in factual reality."

Yes Sir, I believe that looking at it nationally, you are correct. But in certain regions, for example in rural areas of the country where there were a few key manufacturing employers, I believe there is some evidence for this, although I have to admit it is hard to point to one factor, like nafta, as the cause.


33 posted on 09/27/2006 3:15:09 PM PDT by DonaldC
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To: econjack

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has calculated the $ benefit of liberalized trade to U.S. consumers, but I've never used it because I figure it's too easily prone to manipulation.


34 posted on 09/27/2006 3:15:21 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: NormsRevenge
I get such a chuckle when people are fooled into believing that because it has the word free in it, that it is actually free trade. Let no one misunderstand - huge, monolithic, trillion dollar, multinational corporations do not like free trade. They enjoy trading in markets that are regulated by them and their stooges to their advantage. The North American Free Trade Agreement was proposed, backed and written by just such corporations. It was done so that the foolish political whims of the dunce citizens could not longer screw up their business plans. It took the trade decisions out of the hand of congress and gave it to unelected international trade commisions.
35 posted on 09/27/2006 3:15:25 PM PDT by nitzy (Every man needs a credo)
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To: MNJohnnie
I think you are right.
I posted that at the request of another FReeper.
36 posted on 09/27/2006 3:16:37 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (Warning! This Is A Subliminal Tagline! Read it at your own risk!(Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: graf008
Clinton / Bush / Perot debate, right?

I read in USAToday, yesterday, that it was the Algore/Perot debate.

37 posted on 09/27/2006 3:17:12 PM PDT by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

Ah, yes. I stand corrected - the NAFTA debate.

My opinion NAFTA was one of the few things Clinton did right.


38 posted on 09/27/2006 3:18:12 PM PDT by graf008
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To: DonaldC

Generally speaking, there is a historical downward trend (apart from your geographic distinction) of real wages for people with less than a high-school education. What that means in terms of policy-making is almost nothing, other than people should be encouraged to get as much of an education as possible.


39 posted on 09/27/2006 3:18:33 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: NormsRevenge
As for Canada, its embrace of the regional free-trade agreement has led to severe cuts in social programs, EPI said, noting that government transfers to individuals had dropped from 11.5 percent of gross domestic product in 1994 to just 7.8 percent currently.

Spending on social programs goes down for one of two reasons. The benefits are cut, or less people are in need of the programs.

There were cuts in spending, but the article (written by a big government, pro-socialist group) doesn't provide any information about why the spending was reduced, or even provide any evidence that it was related to NAFTA.

They refer to one of the shortest recessions on record as the slowest recovery, yet they ignore the tremendous obstacles, such as the uncertainty in our economy after the 9/11 attacks, and after the multitude of corporate scandals that happened under the accounting rules allowed by the Clinton administration and weren't found discovered until the Bush administration took over.

The economy has done an amazing turnaround considering how many things it has had to overcome.

The article also ignores that what they condiser to be a horribly slow recovery is a faster growing economy than most all socialist countries can claim currently.

This article is very thinly veiled crap.

40 posted on 09/27/2006 3:19:21 PM PDT by untrained skeptic
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To: nitzy

North American Free(r) Trade Agreement is really a distinction without a difference.


41 posted on 09/27/2006 3:20:41 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: NormsRevenge
"NAFTA has hurt living standards, think-tank says (Economic Policy Institute)"

You ain't seen nothin yet, wait till the CFR is finished erasing the borders.

42 posted on 09/27/2006 4:27:00 PM PDT by patriot_wes (Pray for the peace of Jerusalem - may they prosper who love thee...Ps 122:6)
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To: NormsRevenge

NAFTA improved my standard of living...but that's only because I invested heavily in aluminum foil futures.


43 posted on 09/27/2006 4:28:41 PM PDT by CWOJackson
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To: DonaldC
>> ...wages are beginning to stagnate and/or fall (this due to offshoring generally, not just nafta) then tax receipts would naturally do the same, thus cuts need to be made.

This scenario is exactly backwards from what the EPI argues. They say wages are falling -- which I don't believe, btw -- as a result of cuts in social spending. That makes no sense.

44 posted on 09/27/2006 4:28:55 PM PDT by T'wit (It is not possible to "go too far" criticizing liberals. No matter what you say, they're worse.)
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To: nitzy

Trade decision should always be out of the hand of congress and given to unelected (whatever). The alternative is socialism or idiocy, as I like to call it.


45 posted on 09/27/2006 4:33:14 PM PDT by Jaysun (Idiot Muslims. They're just dying to have sex orgies.)
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To: Jaysun
Not according to Jimmy Madison......

Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; To borrow money on the credit of the United States; To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

46 posted on 09/27/2006 4:47:34 PM PDT by nitzy (Every man needs a credo)
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To: NormsRevenge

>>>The North American Free Trade Agreement has lowered the standard of living for workers in the United States, Mexico and Canada, according to a new report.<<<

Duh!


47 posted on 09/27/2006 4:51:43 PM PDT by PhilipFreneau
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To: NormsRevenge

>>>The North American Free Trade Agreement has lowered the standard of living for workers in the United States, Mexico and Canada, according to a new report.<<<

How does the Congress get-around the 2/3rd's super-majority requirement the Constitution specifies for a treaty? Simple. Call the treaty something else, say, an "Agreement". Works every time.


48 posted on 09/27/2006 4:56:20 PM PDT by PhilipFreneau
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To: nitzy
Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; To borrow money on the credit of the United States; To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

Congress has lots of powers. Let them exercise them less or not at all, in some cases. I doubt that Jimmy Madison, or any other founder, was opposed to free trade. You suggested that private control is somehow inferior to government control. I think otherwise.
49 posted on 09/27/2006 5:28:30 PM PDT by Jaysun (Idiot Muslims. They're just dying to have sex orgies.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Paging Pat Buchannan...


50 posted on 09/27/2006 5:29:58 PM PDT by zbigreddogz
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