Skip to comments.NAFTA has hurt living standards, think-tank says (Economic Policy Institute)
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.
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.
"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.
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.
for some background on EPI
one of the co-founders, Robert Reich
The Economic Policy Institute is a socialist/unionist group.
They want a "Living Wage," too.
Pfffft. What is unemployment 4.7%, 4.8%? I thought under 5% is considered full employment.
Yeah, who's got the Captain Obvious tag?
And a "Prevailing Wages," and a higher minimum wage.
It's VERY socialist.
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.
Since when did the findings of left-wing thinktanks become "news"?
What kind of metric is that? More people are off the dole so NAFTA's no good? I'll say it again. Pffft.
Since RotoRooters wanted to continue the "negative economy" drumbeat.
"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 Clintons National Economic Council from 1996 to 2000. Both have just published new books. Fauxs book is titled The Global Class War: How Americas Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Futureand What It Will Take to Win It Back. Sperlings book is titled The Pro-Growth Progressive: An Economic Strategy for Shared Prosperity.
The two books provide a marvelous window on todays 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 Americas elite, drawn from both Republicans and Democrats, has abandoned America and joined a new global political partythe 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 everywherenot just in the United States."
Pre-NAFTA, it was considered to be 6.5%.
nothing more than a pack of Progressives, it seems, Thanks!
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.
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.
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.
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