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The middle class HAS been sacrificing since the inception of NAFTA.

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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:41 PM
Original message
The middle class HAS been sacrificing since the inception of NAFTA.
If our jobs havent been taken away & shifted overseas, weve experienced our salaries cut -- &/or hours cut -- & our benefits slashed to the point that insurance is too expensive or we have to choose carefully which medical procedures we can afford.

Plus, every expense seems to continue rising -- except the paycheck. The yearly 8- to 10-percent cost-of-living raises received by employees in the 70s (pre-Reagan era) have been reduced to nothing. If youre lucky, you may get a 1.5 cost-of-living raise.

Instead of being viewed as valuable cogs in the wheel that make the companies successful, employees are generally not valued. The general attitude of employers is, you can be replaced if youre not happy with the scraps we give you.

Obama & Joe Biden have said it repeatedly: theyve heard how were hurting & they are going to help us. Im going to take them at their word. These "sacrifices" that Obama is talking about, I hope, are aimed at the top 1% of Americans with money to burn. I mean, literally, money to burn. Ever watch Bravos Real Housewives of (Orange County or Atlanta)? Check just one episode out. These families know nothing about real sacrifice. The expense of just a few of their birthday parties would help the national treasury.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. No, since 1970 when income started to stagnate.
It's not NAFTA's fault.

It's immigration. It's China. It's Indonesia. It's 'right to work' states. It's corporate welfare. It's a lot of things more than NAFTA.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. It goes back to the 1970s, actually. Out-sourcing began in earnest in this decade.
It began accelerating in the 1980s, along with the spread of the idea of neoliberalism or the notion that tariffs that favor American manufacturing should be loosened or junked altogether. NAFTA was simply another step in a long line of steps that were pushed by parasitic lobbyists working for big business looking to slash labor costs to boost profits.
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
3. Has Obama actually said what he means by 'sacrifice?'
:shrug:
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.... callchet .... Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #3
17. I heard what he said
and my impression was that he is going to go slower than we want him to. Just my take. But here is what I said awhile back about sacrifice.



Posted by callchet in Economy
Mon Jan 12th 2009, 12:56 AM
Obama tells Stephanopoulos everybody is going to have to sacrifice something. There are those that are always sacrificing and those that will never

have to sacrifice. I thought that change was supposed to stop that. To spread the wealth. I don't want to hear about how the lower income is going

to have to sacrifice anything. In order to sacrifice you have to have something to give up. They don't have anything. Then to top it off I saw Newt

Gingrinch smiling about the comment that there are more republicans happy about Obama's plans than democrats
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. When Gingrich smiles it means a kitten has died somewhere
There are those that are always sacrificing and those that will never have to sacrifice.

True enough.
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
21. It chilled my blood to hear Chris Matthews talking about cutting benefits
Did anybody else catch that? At some point yesterday, Matthews was cheerfully suggesting that Obama's statement that everybody would have to sacrifice meant there were certainly going to be cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits.

Plunging those who already have nothing further into poverty and disease doesn't match my idea of sacrifice. Sacrifice is inextricably bound up with the idea of charity -- which has always meant those who have sharing with those who don't.

It wasn't just the fact that Matthews suggested it that bothered me so much -- it was how happy he sounded about the idea. Does this man have a generous or empathetic bone in his body?

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.... callchet .... Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #21
26. It never cease to astonish me to what extremes some people disregard
other people. And feel justified because it takes the threat of a tax increase off their minds. I would like to ask Matthews if he would agree to a 90% tax bracket on taxable income over $1,000,000 to save the USA. Mind that it would not change his standard of living at all.
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #21
30. No, I didn't hear that! Unbelievable.
I sure hope he's blowing air on that one.

If you want to get your blood boiling, watch just one episode of "Real Housewives" on Bravo. Those are the people to whom Obama should introduce the word "sacrifices".
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antigop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
4. Obama's campaign promises
http://www.barackobama.com/issues/economy/#trade


Obama and Biden believe that trade with foreign nations should strengthen the American economy and create more American jobs. He will stand firm against agreements that undermine our economic security.

* Fight for Fair Trade: Obama and Biden will fight for a trade policy that opens up foreign markets to support good American jobs. They will use trade agreements to spread good labor and environmental standards around the world and stand firm against agreements like the Central American Free Trade Agreement that fail to live up to those important benchmarks. Obama and Biden will also pressure the World Trade Organization to enforce trade agreements and stop countries from continuing unfair government subsidies to foreign exporters and nontariff barriers on U.S. exports.
* Amend the North American Free Trade Agreement: Obama and Biden believe that NAFTA and its potential were oversold to the American people. They will work with the leaders of Canada and Mexico to fix NAFTA so that it works for American workers.
* Improve Transition Assistance: To help all workers adapt to a rapidly changing economy, Obama and Biden will update the existing system of Trade Adjustment Assistance by extending it to service industries, creating flexible education accounts to help workers retrain, and providing retraining assistance for workers in sectors of the economy vulnerable to dislocation before they lose their jobs.
* End Tax Breaks for Companies that Send Jobs Overseas: Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe that companies should not get billions of dollars in tax deductions for moving their operations overseas. Obama and Biden will also fight to ensure that public contracts are awarded to companies that are committed to American workers.
* Reward Companies that Support American Workers: Barack Obama introduced the Patriot Employer Act of 2007 with Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to reward companies that create good jobs with good benefits for American workers. The legislation would provide a tax credit to companies that maintain or increase the number of full-time workers in America relative to those outside the US; maintain their corporate headquarters in America if it has ever been in America; pay decent wages; prepare workers for retirement; provide health insurance; and support employees who serve in the military.


Unless a stimulus bill includes the above, we ain't gonna stimulate the economy.
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SidDithers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Amend NAFTA?...
I suspect that those two oil exporters might have something to say about that.

Sid
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.... callchet .... Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
5. You have just pointed out a block to recovery.
Those programs like Housewives, rich and Famous, all point to our trend of Hero worship. Once we understand that we deserve to live also, then the reckoning can begin.
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. we've lowered the bar so far on *heroes* in this country
That someone would be considered a hero if they refrained from cutting a fart in a crowded room.

BUSH was a perfect example -- a drunken fratboy that set up his own little reality ranch in a one-horse town, in order to prove to America he was *one of them*. And the vast majority lapped it up like gravy.
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. I just want to point out that it was by accident that I saw one of these episodes.
It's the channel the tv was on when I woke up from a nap. A dress designer had brought a dress he designed for one of these expensive birthday parties to a gas station (something about saving time because of being in a rush), she was thrilled at the over-$1,000 dress, & she had her friend hold a coat to hide her while she changed into it.

She gave her own child a birthday party that cost, I think, over $10,000, at which the mom gave the daughter a very expensive designer purse (I believe that was over $5,000).

It was a turn off seeing how lightly they spend money in times like these, when people are hurting.
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.... callchet .... Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. Look, I watch everything, Housewives, O'reilly, Hannity,
Sweet Sixteen. Everything. If you are not an addict, you are made stronger by your knowledge of the drug. Don't succumb to not seeing what the enemy is doing. That knowledge is the greatest weapon you can have.
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #16
31. When I want comedy, I watch Comedy Central. When I want news, I stay away from tv & come here.
I want to do without high-blood pressure medication as long as I can, so I stay away from Faux News. Having to hear them dish it out without being able to correct them would probably give me a stroke. :)
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.... callchet .... Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:51 PM
Response to Original message
6. There is nothing wrong with everybody in the world living comfortably.
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 06:24 PM by callchet
It is possible, we just have to recognize that the obstruction is not other workers. It is the bosses of the workers. Poor people don't have to fight and hate other poor people. Workers hating workers clouds the issue. Just demand human rights. All people over the world should demand life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The basics.
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. That basic right, human rights, would take care of so many problems. ITA.
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:52 PM
Response to Original message
7. Let me add one more problem with Nafta. What they can't
farm out, they bring in. IE.foreign nurses,docs. etc...Anything to keep from paying wages that normally the fat cats would scream-market dictates-blah, blah, blah....
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
10. Yes, I think it's time for those who have profited from all the thefts
of the Bush administration, making it to the top 1% need to start sacrificing first.
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. Damn straight.
What gets me is how the boy king maneuvered a no-auditing stipulation for all the funds he received in the name of "the war on terror". And how Congress let him get away with it. Kind of puts a damper on "follow the money trail".
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
12. We have been sacrificing since... well ..for a LONG LONG time
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 06:01 PM by SoCalDem
Technically the ONLY "group" who got the full-measure of any largesse or fairness, was the group who were born between 1923 and about 1934. Why?

They were children during the worst of the depression years, and were somewhat impervious to the hardships, since everyone they KNEW was exactly like them. Shared hardship is not as difficult, and parents always try to do the best they can for their kids...even in the worst of times.

Those "kids" grew up and did fight in WWII and Korea, BUT, while the men were gone, women were able to step in and earn money, and when the men came home, the GI Bill and the abundance of union jobs (with pensions and benefits) kicked those families right into
middle class"...

That one group also retired with pensions and social security, and were the first beneficiaries of medicare when it was new and all-encompasing. Granted, the healthcare was not as sophisticated as we have now, but it was fine for its time.

the children of that group paid though the nose, for our whole lives, because we ended up being the "biggest: generation. We were the cash-cow, when it came to beefing up SS for our elders, and for the higher taxes we paid our whole working lives, and we also were the first to feel the blunt instrument of government, when it came to eliminating benefits that we could expect (in this case..NOT expect).

There were just so darned many of us, we were sort of interchangeable..(kid of like how immigrant labor is these days).. We worked for lower wages, because there was always someone else who would take that job if we didn't want it..

It did not take bosses or politicians long to figure out that they had us right where they wanted us.. We were young in the 70's & 80's, and had no real clout, so it was easy to saddle us with the extra SS taxation...of course it was sold to us as a good thing to do to help Mom/Dad/Grandma...and the extra would PREPAY for ourselves.

By the time Reagan left, it was a given that there would be nothing left for us or our children.

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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. It's time for a new "New Deal".
Obama said they're going to look at the things that work & those that haven't worked, then re-vamp or cut out those that need it.

I'm hopeful, but I don't see how much more the middle class could sacrifice.
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.... callchet .... Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. Okay Guys, here is the biggest block to recovery.
The environmental laws. Unless all the world plays with the same rule book, the USA can't compete. Can't compete. That is one of the main reason so many jobs left the USA. Something has to be done with universal compliance to environmental laws. This is a world problem now not a USA problem. It is not worker against worker, it is worker against oppression.
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.... callchet .... Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
18. It has been a lynch mob
mentality and the poor have been the victims. Steal from the poor and make yourself rich. Spit on, stamp on.look down on and blame them for who they are. It is easy to use the poor to measure how well off you are.
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Urban Prairie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:32 PM
Response to Original message
19. Vicious Circle
I really do not know how President Obama and Congress can impose trade restrictions on our largest foreign debt-holders like China and Japan, since the US will need to continue to borrow to float our economy on an ocean of red debt. It seems that the largest US exported "products" now is our jobs and raw materials. India is eyeing buying some of our coal mines to provide energy for their industries.

Both China and India are poised to enter the US vehicle market in the next decade, and if so, both the domestic and the Japanese/Korean/German automakers will be competing against hundreds of millions of potential peasant auto labor that can produce very inexpensive vehicles, which may be the only ones that will be affordable for an ever-growing portion of the US population.

The capitalists' golden goose was and still is the US middle-class, but we aren't laying many golden eggs for them as before. A CEO's wet dream is to sell their product and/or service in the US with as little physical presence here as inhumanly possible.

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.... callchet .... Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #19
25. The problem is bigger than trade restrictions.
It has to be equal pay for equal work. The environmental laws are going to have to be agreed uponm Universally for us to compete. It is a world problem, a world economy and it requires a world solution.
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1776Forever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:03 PM
Response to Original message
23. Way back in 1993 NAFTA and U.S. Jobs Pat Choate, "U.S. Jobs at Risk" Report
IS PAT CHOATE PLAYING FAST AND LOOSE WITH NAFTA?
BusinessWeek

http://www.businessweek.com/archives/1993/b333727.arc.h...

(snip)

He asserts, for instance, that the pact places 5.9 million U.S. jobs "at risk" of being moved to Mexico by U.S. companies seeking lower wage costs. Hufbauer says Choate merely identified from Census Bureau data U.S. industries where wages account for more than 20% of the value of output, and then declared these industries to be all "at risk.

UNAPOLOGETIC. That list includes high-skill industries such as aerospace and telecommunications, sectors where even the most pessimistic studies predict that NAFTA will actually produce more U.S. jobs. Says Thea Lee of the labor-backed Economic Policy Institute, a NAFTA foe: "We project 500,000 jobs will be lost"--far fewer than in Choate's estimate.

Choate is unapologetic. "I don't care what their economic models predict," he says. "It will happen." As head of economic development for the low-wage states of Oklahoma and Tennessee, Choate claims that he routinely lured companies from states such as Massachusetts and Michigan, using similar strategies.

The debate doesn't end there. Choate's book cites testimony from former Labor Secretary Lynn M. Martin and a report from the Congressional Budget Office that NAFTA will throw more than 150,000 people out of jobs. Trouble is, both Martin and the CBO contended that these losses would be more than offset by job gains from expanded trade--a point Choate conveniently ignores. He argues that job losses from NAFTA will occur soon after passage, while the new jobs will take longer to create. "That's one or two generations of lives wrecked in the meantime," hecontends.

........

NAFTA along with China and Indian and HB-1 visas - yes they did!

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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #23
27. Thank you for the article. It spurred me to find more information on Pat Choate.
I had forgotten that he was Perot's running mate in '92. Most of the articles I found on google were from around that time period through '96 and I was looking for something more recent.

I found this YouTube segment of Choate speaking at the Economy Awareness Seminar in 2008: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2s6urzstB0&feature=Play...

I haven't watched it yet, but plan to when I get home later this evening.
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1776Forever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #27
35. The Part 4 of this series is good - thanks for the heads-up
I found the hiring of the executives by any government as a WTO rep interesting and true!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2s6urzstB0&feature=Play...
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LaPera Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:27 PM
Response to Original message
24. It started with Reagan's 1st term - NAFTA is the cherry on top for the greedy corporate republicans!
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 07:30 PM by LaPera
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #24
28. Look above in my reply to 1776. Back in the '90s, Pat Choates cited greed as one of the reasons
NAFTA would fail. That's a big "duh" now, isn't it?
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
29. EVEN WORSE: MF TRADE STATUS W CHINA!
Clinton to renew Normal Trade Relations with China



June 2, 1999
Web posted at: 4:51 p.m. EDT (2051 GMT)


WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, June 2) -- President Bill Clinton will notify Congress Thursday that he is renewing China's most-favored-nation (MFN) trading status -- now known as Normal Trade Relations (NTR) -- for another year, CNN has confirmed.

MFN/NTR status offers low tariffs and treats countries as normal trading partners.

The formal notification, required by the Thursday deadline, is expected to trigger a major debate in the House and Senate due to allegations of Chinese espionage against the U.S. and other recent diplomatic tensions, including charges China tried to influence the 1996 presidential election with illegal campaign contributions.

One of the first speak out against Clinton decision, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California), derided the president for making the decision near the 10th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

-snip

http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1999/06/02/china... /





Clinton Proposes Renewing China's Most-Favored Trade Status

Congressional reaction mixed amidst larger China policy issues


WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, June 3) -- President Bill Clinton on Wednesday proposed renewing most-favored-nation (MFN) trade status for China, saying it was "clearly in our nation's interest" as he urged Congress to support the request.

-snip

House Speaker Newt Gingrich welcomed Clinton's recommendation for renewing MFN status for China, and vowed to work in a bipartisan manner to ensure that China receives it from Congress.

Gingrich, joined by Reps. Bill Archer (R-Texas) and Philip Crane (R-Ill.), made his comments in a letter to Clinton.

-snip

House Democratic leader Richard Gephardt issued a statement Wednesday opposing Clinton's plan to extend China's trading status for another year.

http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1998/06/03/china.trade /

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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #29
32. Thank you for that!
I have to leave soon, but I want to check out your links when I get home later.

From what you've cited, Gephardt was one of the good guys fending off a fraternity of corporate worshippers.
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. Gephardt: "America must stand for more than money."
from the article:

Gephardt said China has not significantly improved its human rights record and "America must stand for more than money."

Gephardt has consistently opposed Clinton on China's most-favored-nation status, only to lose when the contentious issues comes to a vote. But Democratic opponents say they have a better shot at defeating the president this year because of new questions about Clinton's China policy.

Strange bedfellows

The anti-MFN coalition encompasses some strange bedfellows: liberal Democrats upset with China's human rights record and Christian conservatives critical of China's lack of religious freedom. This year, even some establishment Republicans who traditionally have supported MFN are threatening to withhold support because of questions about Clinton's technology waivers, and questions about China's role in Pakistan's missile and nuclear programs.
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Ikonoklast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #29
37. Bill's gift to WalMart.
To our eternal dismay.
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DemBones DemBones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. Remember whe Wal-Mart sold only US goods?

How times have changed. L.L. Bean also used to be all American goods.
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robcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
34. NAFTA has been a boon to U.S. employment
It's been the best thing that has happened to our economy, just as the EU has been great for Europe. The march of free trade will continue, I hope. It is the best hope for economic growth and world peace.
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-22-09 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. I'd like to hear your thoughts on whom it has helped -- in the U.S.
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