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Al Gore on NAFTA, circa 1993: "This deal is good for America"

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Rage for Order Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 08:31 PM
Original message
Al Gore on NAFTA, circa 1993: "This deal is good for America"
I watched some of the debate between Al Gore and Ross Perot, and it's a damn shame that Ross Perot wasn't better at getting his message across because he was right about the long term consequences, and the points he made apply to our international trade agreements to this day, particularly those in low-wage Asian-Pacific countries. Ross Perot was fond of saying "People who don't make anything can't buy anything". Incredibly simple logic that's right on the money, but unfortunately it's been ignored by those who chase the almighty dollar at the expense of everything else.



NAFTA: Ross Perot and Al Gore Debate 1993 (1/8)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yww5Z3PJIs&feature=rela...

NAFTA: Ross Perot and Al Gore Debate 1993 (2/8)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1tHV_fztR4&feature=rela...

NAFTA: Ross Perot and Al Gore Debate 1993 (3/8)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYsK0fKjiPY&feature=rela...

NAFTA: Ross Perot and Al Gore Debate 1993 (4/8)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpCnkj1XDg0&feature=rela...

NAFTA: Ross Perot and Al Gore Debate 1993 (5/8)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZB8TuQ3ITo&feature=rela...

NAFTA: Ross Perot and Al Gore Debate 1993 (6/8)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yATk48Ep5G4&feature=rela...

NAFTA: Ross Perot and Al Gore Debate 1993 (7/8)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O55PyNtnETQ&feature=rela...

NAFTA: Ross Perot and Al Gore Debate 1993 (8/8)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiZY94VKoyk&feature=rela...
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
1. apparently Perot's sentiments were not passed to his son
his son is a big offshore whore
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DefenseLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. You blame the guy for taking advantage of the system we have?
Those companies don't have to think it's good for the country, but if we are stupid enough to allow companies move offshore for cheap labor without repercussions, those companies would be stupid not to. I think the tax cuts are terrible policy, but I'm not going to pay extra this year in "protest", are you?
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. no
I blame him for being a greedy treasonous piece of SHIT
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DefenseLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. So how much extra are you paying in taxes?
I mean I don't want to call you a greedy piece of shit, but I mean if you are taking advantage of the Bush tax cuts, well...
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 01:05 AM
Response to Reply #18
38. I'm a single gal who pays WAY more than my fair share of taxes
so don't EVEN go there
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newtothegame Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #38
46. Holy angry Batman. nt
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 08:35 PM
Response to Original message
2. You expected Gore to go against Clinton's policy?
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Very_Boring_Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
34. I think Gore has enough integrity that he would have stood up to Clinton had he truly thought it was
a bad idea.
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notesdev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 08:42 PM
Response to Original message
3. It was fixed
notice how both Gore and King interrupt Perot over and over and over but nobody interrupts Gore. Gore's debate technique is to interfere with the other side making its case.
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
4. I really thought Perot made a LOT of sense. At the time I was thinking that we
needed someone to pull the rug out from under the country and start rebuilding. I was willing to give that job to Perot.
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. You were smarter than I was
Not that that's all that hard.
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notesdev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
5. Here's some post facto numbers
NAFTA was instituted in January 1994.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Free_Trade_...


The highest ever US trade balance with Mexico was +$5B, in 1992, the year before this debate.
http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c2010.html#...

Look at what happens to the trade balance in 1995. From a positive figure we go deep into the red, -$15B, a figure which has grown to the -$50B range today.




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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Thanks for posting. Once again, ideology still triumphs over facts.
Same with "the private sector can do things more efficiently."

No, they do things with more private profit sucked off of taxpayer expenditures.
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DefenseLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. Trade imbalance?
How about a stat for "manufacturing jobs"? Do you have that handy?
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Rage for Order Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. Here you go
http://www.epi.org/pages/briefingpapers_nafta01_impacts... /

The U.S. manufacturing sector lost 544,750 jobs (72% of all jobs lost) between 1993 and 2000, due to growth in the net export deficit between the U.S. and Canada (see the methodology section and the accompanying table). One of the hardest-hit sectors within manufacturing is electrical electronic machinery (108,773 jobs lost), which includes home audio and video equipment (28,995 jobs), communications equipment such as telephones and cell phones (33,254 jobs), and appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines (data not available for this sub-sector). Other hard-hit industries in the U.S. included motor vehicles and equipment (83,643 jobs lost), textiles and apparel (83,258 jobs, combined), and lumber and wood products (48,306 jobs). The service sector also lost 112,499 jobs as an indirect result of the loss of markets to foreign producers of traded goods. This includes legal, accounting, and data processing services that are used as inputs to traded goods production, and also temporary workers that are contracted out to the manufacturing sector.

* Overall, the states with the most job losses are: California (82,354 jobs lost), Michigan (46,817 jobs), New York (46,210 jobs), Texas (41,067 jobs), and Ohio (37,694 jobs). Many other states have lost tens of thousands of jobs, as shown in the attached table.

* Within the states, job losses by industry reflect the geographic distribution of major industries in the United States. For example, employment in motor vehicles and equipment has been particularly hard hit by NAFTA in Michigan (25,912 jobs lost), Ohio (9,826), Indiana (7,119), Tennessee (3,658), Illinois (3,468), and California (3,002).

* The electronic equipment sector has also suffered, with large losses in California (14,332 jobs lost), Indiana (9,721), Illinois (8,316), New York (6,288), Texas (6,170), and Pennsylvania (5,042).

* The textiles and apparel industry is concentrated in Los Angeles, New York City, and the South, with major job losses in North Carolina (10,781 jobs lost), California (10,756), New York (7,901), Alabama (5,126), Tennessee (4,982), Georgia (4,900), Pennsylvania (4,869), and Texas (4,733).

* The lumber and wood products sectors have lost jobs in the Northwest and Southern states (some of the latter are hard hit by job losses in furniture production). Hard-hit states in this industry include Oregon (3,427 jobs lost), California (3,337), North Carolina (2,592), Texas (2,376), Washington (2,324), and Alabama (1,991).

Overall, the eastern portion of the U.S. has experienced heavy job loss (over 10,000 jobs lost per state). A review of NAFTA at its seven-year mark shows that the results are mixed and the agreement's benefits somewhat dubious. A large and growing body of research has shown that NAFTA has also contributed to rising income inequality, suppressed real wages for production workers, weakened collective bargaining powers and ability to organize unions, and reduced fringe benefits. Trade was expected to increase the wages of the workers producing exports, but growing trade deficits have meant that the number of workers hurt by imports has exceeded the number who have benefited through increased exports.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 01:55 AM
Response to Reply #19
39. ? Looks like most of them were lost 2000-2010.
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Rage for Order Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #39
48. All manufactured goods are not durable goods
Durable goods refer to items that are bigger ticket purchases that are expected to last for at least 5 years (I think that's the cut off, but maybe it's 10 years) such as refrigerators, automobiles, washer/dryer, air conditioners, etc. The EPI study I linked to includes textiles, electronics, lumber & wood products, etc.
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UTUSN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
6. I brought your Recs down from 4 to 3. n/t
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emilyg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Up to 7.
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Rage for Order Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. Oh no! Whatever will I do??? It's a travesty!
:eyes:
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Edweird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #6
29. I brought it up to +22 for you. You're welcome.
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 09:03 PM
Response to Original message
8. {in a nasal voice} "YOU"RE NOT LISTENING!
I can still hear Dana Carvey doing Ross Perot!
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 09:18 PM
Response to Original message
9. Perot. Right. Party over principle deafened many. Rec'd. n/t
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toddaa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
11. A qualified rec
Perot was right about NAFTA, but he's basically from the same paleoconservative ultra nationalist camp as Pat Buchanan.
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
15. Europe has more "NAFTA's" than we do, yet is much more progressive.
Their countries are more progressive than ours due to how they protect their people with effective national health care, progressive taxation, strong unions, a good social safety net, good public education and more effective market and financial industry regulation.

Good lives for a countries citizens is not based on how high tariffs are (Europe trades more and has more "free trade" than the US does) but in how we chose to structure of society to take care of each other.

Only in the US (among developed countries anyway) is it common to hear "If we have economic problems, it must be the fault of foreigners. Let's go after them and raise our tariffs."

Perhaps that is easier than battling our own elites to win progressive taxation, true national health care, an better safety net and public education, stronger unions, and better market regulation, like Europe, Canada, Australia and other have done. Heck, the repub base and tea baggers like to blame trade and foreigners for our problems, too, but they will resist battling our own elites, so maybe it's easier to go after the foreigners after all.
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Hydra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. The Problem isn't in the theory
The problem in in the practice. The Milton Friedman school thinks it's hunky-dory to ship out jobs out because we can just print money and buy everything we need from the stupid people.

See any problems with that? You basically pointed out that in countries where "free" trade works, it's because it has socialism providing the backbone. We're busy dismantling that backbone while trying to float off of worthless paper.
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #20
25. Indeed trade works when there is a "socialist" backbone in a society.
The US used to have just such a "backbone" with strong unions, progressive taxation, etc. Europe still has such a "backbone" and the health of their society reflects that.

The progressives in Europe that successfully fought for that "backbone" also fought to eliminate tariffs and immigration controls to an extent Americans can only wonder about. Tariffs don't make for a healthy society; a "backbone" does. Pursuing tariffs because it is "easier" to go after foreigners (particularly poor ones) than to battle our own elites to recreate our own societal "backbone" doesn't make it right or even the right direction to head in given Europe's experience.
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Rage for Order Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #15
22. The countries of the EU have similar standards
Living standards, environmental standards, wage scales, costs of living, etc, so the comparison is a bit different. It costs roughly the same amount to manufacture a product in France as it does in Spain, England, or Germany, so a company does not profit by shipping jobs out of France and into Germany. However, if one were to bring Bangalore into the equation then all of a sudden the cost factors change dramatically, and what once did not make sense now makes extra millions in profits for the companies that export their production facilities.
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. No they don't. Romania and Bulgaria were poorer when they joined the EU than Mexico is.
Much of the rest of Eastern Europe is just slightly better off than Mexico.

What you say is true of most of Western Europe but, of course, the EU includes 27 countries not just France, Germany and England. It is also actively supporting even poorer countries in southeast Europe in their efforts to join the EU in the next few years.
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #15
24. For the umpteen brazillionth time, pampango.
The regulatory framework and social safety nets need to be in place BEFORE you enter the trade deals and ship jobs out. They weren't and these trade deals have been a DISASTER for us.

FFS, step away from the koolaid for a minute.
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. What has been a disaster for us is massive tax cuts for the rich, deregulation of financial markets,
the weakening of labor unions, etc. Those were all actions taken by Americans (the elite) harming other Americans (workers and the middle class).

If you are contending that restoring our regulatory framework and safety nets and labor unions, and progressive taxation, etc. will not correct the problem, then we disagree. If we have a similar set of regulations, safety nets, etc as Europe does, trade will benefit us as much as it does them. If we continue to provide none of these progressive policies for our citizens, it won't matter how high our tariffs are.

Step away from the "blame the foreigners" koolaid, please. Americans inflicted this problem on ourselves and will only correct it when we confront those who did it, not go after the easy targets who may not look like us and talk "funny".
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. I find your constant playing of the xenophobia card offensive and have told you so repeatedly
You have no basis for accusations of racism against me yet you keep making them. Kindly desist.
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 06:29 AM
Response to Reply #27
42. I find your constant blaming of our economic problems on trade with and immigration by foreigners
quite offensive. Our problems are caused by a regressive tax structure, weak/nonexistent market regulation, a porous safety net, weakened unions, terrible national health care, etc. - all things we have done to ourselves. Europe (and every other developed country) has effectively dealt with these problems producing countries that trade more than we do and are much more progressive in how they empower their citizens.

If one can look around the world and see that trade and progressive societies go hand-in-hand, how do you explain the mindset of people who still blame trade for our societal problems? What is it about a Bolivian or a Kenyan or a Chinese or a Romanian that makes them the cause of our problems when Europeans, Canadians, Australians, etc. don't find the same fault with them?
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #42
43. You are wrong on several counts and still engaging in your offensive rhetoric.
I've never said trade and immigration were the sole cause of our problems. They are, however, used by greedy multinational corporations to keep labor costs down and avoid safety and environmental regulations. Also, I don't know where you get the idea that people in other developed nations are sanguine about immigration and trade and that there are no objections or protests going on. A few seconds of googling easily dispels that notion.

And, really, since you've told me that you are okay with the existence of sweatshops, you don't have much of a high horse to get on about respecting people in poor countries. I can't think of many worse ways to treat people than to work them like slaves in unsafe conditions for poverty wages.
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Edweird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #15
28. The relationship between France and Belgium is equivalent
to the relationship between Tennessee and Mississippi and NOT the relationship between the US and Mexico or China. Your attempts to portray it as so are incredibly dishonest.
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 06:17 AM
Response to Reply #28
41. And the relationship between Germany and Poland is equivalent to that of the US and Mexico.
You are right that some European countries (and US states) are quite similar in terms of their prosperity (France/Belgium and Tennessee/Mississippi), but there is also a significant disparity between other European countries as with our states (Germany/Romania and Mississippi/New York).

Your attempts to portray all European countries as identical twins is not particularly honest.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 09:49 PM
Response to Original message
21. "That giant sucking sound" was one of the great lines of modern politics
yet nobody listened.
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 11:06 PM
Response to Original message
30. It wasn't a bad deal, we were just stupid.
Most of what was attributed to NAFTA had been in motion for decades and would have happened with or without it. Without NAFTA Mexico would be worse off, but nothing really would have been different. The US trade policy towards China began on its present course in about 1980 and progressed on its own track independent of other issues.
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Sebass1271 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. when did it begin with China?
and why has no president want to stop that bleeding? Can't they just see how this is affecting us all?
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #32
35. It began with Carter and the early agreements negotiated by Mondale
Edited on Mon Dec-20-10 12:03 AM by Sen. Walter Sobchak
and more or less culminated with Clinton's MFN engagement policy in 1994, the prevailing attitude was the manufacturing lost to China and others wasn't really worth saving - and that isn't entirely unreasonable. The ultimate problem is when the US was faced with the decline of manufacturing we sat on our collective asses and shook our fists at the sky - while Europe built-up their high-tech industries and supported propagating those industries across the continent. That is where we were stupid - in the face of a changing world we did nothing.
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Sebass1271 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 11:17 PM
Response to Original message
31. Republicans LOVE to remind us that Clinton was
the one to sign NAFTA- like it is also another reason to hate him. i was having this argument the other day with a repub. He blames us all Democrats for what is going in the country and brought up Clinton and Hillary with NAFTA. I told accepted the fact that i dislike Clinton for signing nafta but that the bill was created years ago under Reagan and Bush and Clinton felt pressured to sign it cus he wanted to win re-election. Well, the repub laughed at me saying THAT papa bush and reagan had nothing to do with- NAFTA was created by KENNEDY! AND Hillary was working on it since she was young.

I was speechless.
is this true? i don't know what to think anymore. Our jobs are gone with no sign of ever returning because of a Democratic president? one that i used to respect and admire like Clinton?
I dn't care what he did in his private life but knowing he is to blame for all of these loss of jobs is sickening and very sad.
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Sen. Walter Sobchak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #31
36. Reagan, before his mind turned to mush...
was a very articulate advocate for a North American trade zone that would have reached far beyond NAFTA and included labor mobility and reduced or minimal border controls between the US, Canada and Mexico.
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Skip Intro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 11:20 PM
Response to Original message
33. Dems aren't always right. nt
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 12:30 AM
Response to Original message
37. I have a confession...
I voted for Perot solely because of the NAFTA issue. It just felt bad through to my bones and although he was crazy about so many other things, NOBODY else was screaming about how bad this was going to be for the American worker louder than he was at the time. Yes, I knew he wouldn't win but I will always vote for the American worker. I felt betrayed by Clinton when he supported that and have never gotten over it.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 02:04 AM
Response to Original message
40. Al Gore also gave the nod to Clinton to overturn 60 years of Welfare guarantees ....
seems like when we've been voting for the "lesser of evils" we didn't

realize that those evils would take a little while to become clear to us ... ???

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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
44. Democrats s do what Republicans cannot...

in the service of Capital.
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SOS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #44
45. Politics measure the speed of the destruction of the working American
Faster under Republicans, slower under Democrats, but the direction has been consistent for 30 years.
The Repubs go for it - Iraq invasion, attempt to privatize Social Security, ignoring Wall Street malfeasance
Dems do it by bits and pieces in "deals" or "compromises" - NAFTA, DOMA, Glass Steagall repeal, China MFN, welfare "reform", legalizing bucket shops, refusing to regulate derivatives etc.

But the result is utterly predictable in the Potemkin village known as Washington DC.
Those in the Green Zone behind the cut-outs work for capital, against labor, at all times.
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mistertrickster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 07:10 PM
Response to Original message
47. Gore also said in that debate--"if it isn't good, we give 6 mos. notice and we're out of it."
Edited on Mon Dec-20-10 07:11 PM by mistertrickster
We've had 15 years of NAFTA. My feeling is that Perot was basically right--it was a bad deal for the American middle-class.

But it's complicated. We need a blue ribbon panel (i.e., no theological Holy marketeers) to evaluate it and recommend changes.

Or scrap it.
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