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goodhue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-20-03 08:17 AM
Original message
Kucinich on The FTAA Ministerial Meeting In Miami
http://www.kucinich.us /

11/18/03
Kucinich on The FTAA Ministerial Meeting In Miami

"The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) is wrong-headed, and it will be harmful.

"It will impose a single set of terms and conditions for trade in the western hemisphere that will resemble NAFTA.

"That is cause for alarm, since NAFTA caused a reversal of the United States's trade balance with Mexico. Before NAFTA, the US exported more to Mexico than it imported from Mexico. After NAFTA, US companies shuttered their manufacturing plants in the US and then relocated to Mexico, where they manufactured for export to the US. As a result, many Americans lost their jobs, and many more were threatened with the loss of their jobs unless they agreed to wage and benefit reductions.

"FTAA will also put limits on the ability of elected representatives to legislate consumer and other protections. The current draft establishes a bias against regulations in the public interest, such as safety, equity, and environmental quality.

"FTAA will also have a chilling effect on essential public services, such as drinking water. FTAA would establish a bias in favor of privatizing essential public services. Experience with privatization has demonstrated that costs rise for consumers. This has an especially hard impact on people with low incomes.

"These results are, of course, deeply unpopular. The FTAA negotiations are largely closed to members of the public or representatives of popular organizations. Corporations and their attorneys, on the other hand, have ample access to the negotiators. As a result, non-violent protests and teach-ins are the only mechanism for people to express their dissatisfaction with the FTAA. I stand on their side."

http://www.kucinich.us/
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Desertrose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-20-03 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
1. I truly hope people will "hear" what Dennis is saying..
he can certainly make some valuable changes to help all the people on this planet.

It is beyond time to get corporate greed out of our lives....
free trade...sigh...I wish....

Peace
DR
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cosmicdot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-20-03 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. It is beyond time to get corporate greed out of our lives ...
amen to that ... it's poisoning our lives and society ... literally, killing us and destroying the human element ...

... some people seem willing to accept candidates who only go but so far in addressing the issue of corporatism ... candidate messages being sent now and in the past ... come across something like being 60-40 or 70-30 or 80-20 ... whilst, I put DK as 100% change ... addressing corporatism head and full-on ...

... under current good ol'boy pseudo-leadership, corporate america is a cancer within our system ... part of the problem ... and offers no true progress for our people ...

it's now or never

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no name no slogan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-20-03 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
3. I had a job once that got NAFTAd
doing manufacturing of computer components. We had a plant in MN, one in CA, and another in Mexico. The MN plant produced the most components at the cheapest rate with the lowest defect rate for two years running. Our pay was higher than Mexico's, but much lower than CA's.

Once NAFTA hit the fan, our plant stopped making these components, and the production shifted to CA and Mexico. Eventually it ALL went to Mexico. Now I've recently heard that they've dropped production in Mexico in favor of China, which is even cheaper and has even less worker protections.

It's even starting to hit the "highly-skilled" tech workforce, too. We once thought we had "safe" jobs-- now even those are being outsourced to China and India, where it's supposedly "cheaper" to hire programmers and developers.

If this keeps up, we'll all end up flipping each other's burgers somewhere a little north of El Paso, stuck in a feudal economy.
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JohnKleeb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-20-03 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Sorry about your experience
Having held only one job in my 16 years I wouldnt know personally, what it does but I have seen it, my grandparents' hometown of Johnstown, PA once a thriving center of steel mills and coal mines, the town doesnt have those anymore, I have no idea what the people do for a living but the mines and steel mills that my great grandfathers and uncles worked out are no more.
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jiacinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-20-03 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I hate to break it to people
But the manufacturing industry is gone--and it's not coming back. Now you can all fight to the death for jobs that are going to be gone or you all can retrain. I know that that is not what you want to hear, but the future generations won't be working in steel factories any more. And I think that maybe we need to focus now on retraining these folks for non-steel related careers.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-20-03 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. That's simply unacceptable
Manufacturing is imperative to the security of our country. If we don't have any manufacturing base, we're at the mercy of corporations. Our government, our people, will be at the mercy of multinationals with no loyalty other than to the bottom line.

You say to retrain... for what? Burger flipping? What jobs do you think people should get? Working as cashiers or in other retail jobs? What do you think will happen to retail markets as the effects of FTAA set in?

Steel is vital to our national interest. We simply cannot afford to pretend like all nations are linked by common cause. We're not. It is mandatory that we maintain SOME base of steel manufacture here in the US. If we don't, it WILL come back to haunt us.
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Desertrose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-20-03 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. where do you live.. .??
I mean really...what planet do you live on, Carlos?

I just can't imagine such a narrow world view....and I wonder what will it take to change you?? I am not slamming you...I am concerned for you.....

Seriously...what if everyone is retrained for the same few jobs left?? we need diversity...and we need to bring back maufacturing and make this country more balanced and less corporatized among many other things.....Dennis has the right idea and right plans...and I know you disagree with all this....but only time will tell who is "right" about all this Carlos.

Peace
DR
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no name no slogan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-20-03 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. There's STILL a lot of manufacturing in this country
but most of it is of the "light" variety and not the "smokestack" type of industries that we had in the past.

And Carlos, I HAVE retrained-- TWICE. I now work in IT, programming and networking computers together, and building applications that run on the web. I also create web graphics and user interfaces, which many folk will tell you is a completely separate discipline from programing.

But guess what? NOW I'm in danger of my job being "outsourced" to India and/or China! What happens then if my NEW job goes overseas? Do I go through YET ANOTHER RETRAINING for a job that has no gaurantees of existing in this country in five years?

That's the whole point. You can "retrain" workers all you want, but if there are not jobs for them, you're flushing money down the drain.

You'll end up with a country full of computer programmers who work at McDonalds flipping burgers for the corporate oligarchs who order them.

THAT is not the America I want to live in, nor leave to my children.
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NuckinFutz Donating Member (852 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-20-03 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. From what I've witnessed
the last several years, Johnstown hasn't recovered all that well. There are a few factories there, five or so, but I don't see how they keep that economy going. Even adding in the offshoot of University of Pittsburgh there, it's a pretty depressed town.

My husband's family is from there. His mother still lives there. His grandfather worked for Sanitary Dairy for his whole life, and that got sold to Dean foods and shut down shortly thereafter.
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no name no slogan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-20-03 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. Yeah, it was pretty rank
And I got a nice case of very painful tendonitis from it, but I got off alright because I had a college degree. Most of the folks I worked with only had a HS diploma or maybe (if they were lucky) a two-year technical degree in electronics. THEY were the ones who were truly screwed when the jobs moved-- during the LAST Bush recession in 1991--1993 :).
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-20-03 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
4. We need Dennis
in the WH, but we also need a slew of Dk's on the Hill in order to get anything much done.

But first things first, getting Dennis elected.
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diamondsoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-20-03 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. If we elect Dennis-
the others will follow on his coat-tails. People are starving for real leadership for the people not for corporations.
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