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Dean and NAFTA....I see the issue is coming up again though he is not running.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-30-07 10:17 PM
Original message
Dean and NAFTA....I see the issue is coming up again though he is not running.
I also see someone asked which candidate this time was most like Howard Dean. My answer is no one at all, and the comparison should not be made. He was unique, and I think anyone trying to tap into what he did will most likely fail. They need to run as their own persons.

I see someone is misquoting his stances on NAFTA, and I want to correct them. It's not fair to post things that are not true about anyone.

From my research:
Dean on NAFTA and Robert Rubin.

This article is by Chris Suellentrop in 2003

But one thing bothers me about Dean, and I raise it with him. He wants to renegotiate NAFTA to include labor and environmental standardshis lone departure from Clinton-style Rubinomics. Dean even says: "I actually had this argument with Bob Rubin, who totally disagrees with me, of course. But I think it's because Bob is fighting the last war. He said they use those arguments to try to undo NAFTA. I said, I know they use them to undo NAFTA, but now you've got NAFTA, and you're going to have NAFTA, now think about what this problem is. He said, you're right about the problem. Your analysis is right. I just don't have the solution. I'll get back to you when I do. I haven't heard back yet." (Dean's theory in a nutshell: The structure of wealth in the United States before labor unions resembled that in Third World countries today, so in order to create middle classes in the developing world, we need to bring labor unions to them.)

Won't Dean's plan make the price of goods go up? "Yeah," he says quietly. "But so what?" My 25 minutes are up. We've arrived in Osceola, the site of Dean's next talk, and I'm being ushered out of McFun by Dean's staff. But I think Dean realizes he's ended the interview on the wrong note because he quickly adds: "Because in return for making the price of goods go up, you've fixed the illegal immigration problem, you've fixed the drain of jobs problem, you've created a middle class that can buy American exports. There's a lot you get for that." Now it really is time for me to go. "I've got to make a phone call," Dean says as I step outside."

Rubin told Dean he would have trouble getting money from the financial community if he continued wanting changes in NAFTA. Dean argued he was right, and Rubin never got back to him on it.

Here is more from On the Issues about his stances.

We ought to change NAFTA- globalization only halfway done

Q: What do you make of NAFTA?

A: We ought to change NAFTA. We've only done half the job with globalization. You've globalized the rights of big corporations to do business anywhere in the country, but what we now need to do is globalize the rights of workers, labor unions, environmentalists and human rights. If you do that, you raise the standard of living in other countries. And what happens is our jobs stop going away because the cost of production goes up.

Source: Democratic 2004 primary Debate in Greenville SC Jan 29, 2004

Enforceable & enforced labor and environmental standards

Q: Should the US seek more free or liberalized trade agreements?

A: I want strong, enforceable trade agreements and a trade system bound by clear, continually improving rules. I will push for solid, enforceable labor and environmental standards in all existing and future trade agreements. I will vigorously enforce the agreements we enter into and defend U.S. trade laws when our competitors challenge them.

Source: Associated Press policy Q&A, "Trade" Jan 25, 2004

We've globalized corporations; now globalize worker rights

Q: America's farmers need open markets for their crops around the world, but other American workers want a level playing field. How would you balance those interests?

DEAN: There's no reason we can't do both. NAFTA and the WTO only globalized the rights of multinational corporations, but they did not globalize the rights of workers. They are not going to globalize human rights, environmental rights, the right to organize. That needs to happen. And if it doesn't happen, NAFTA and the WTO simply aren't going to work. Right now, we're exporting jobs.

We need to have a level playing field. We need to have the same kinds of environmental protections, labor protections, human rights protections and worker protections if we're going to have open borders. That will not disadvantage exports.

Source: Democratic 2004 Presidential Primary Debate in Iowa Jan 4, 2004

Let this year's candidates be who they are. Let's not compare them to each other or to those in 2004. And let's be honest about their stances.
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illinoisprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-30-07 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
1. I love the part about each being his own person. Dean is Dean and no one
is like him. Nor should be. Each person has their own self and personalities to bring and should be judged for themselves alone. Not compared to someone else be it FDR or Bush or Dean or anyone else.
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Contrite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-30-07 10:32 PM
Response to Original message
2. Who is mischaracterizing him on this?
I always thought his position was clear--and correct.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-31-07 01:11 AM
Response to Reply #2
9. Well, I wasn't going to link to it...but hey why not.
It's getting ugly again just like 2003....the poor guy is not even running and the lies and innuendo are starting again.

This is amazing. It must be they consider him a threat or think??

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tnlefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-30-07 10:34 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yes, I K & R this.
FAIR trade and I truly believe we'd be much better off if the Congress hadn't abdicated it's responsibility and given the Worst pResident fast track approval on trade agreements.

I'm waiting, watching and listening and for me it is still too early to determine who I prefer in the primaries. I intend to send some money to Dennis, but it really is too early for me.

I have a friend who is still hoping that out of the blue Dean will decide to run again. My response has been to not bank on that and to listen to what those who have declared are saying/doing.
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Idioteque Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-30-07 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
4. It's a shame that free trade Democrats surrendor their values when they run for president.
Dean is an example of this as is Kerry, going off about "Benedict Arnold companies" outsourcing job.

From Woodrow Wilson to FDR, from Kennedy to Clinton, the Democratic party has always supported free trade. There is nothing more progressive, in my opinion, than globalization.

In the late 70s/ early 80s, however, industries like the auto makers started hurting from foreign competition and their workers started pushing Democrats into taking protectionist positions.

The economic debate about free trade is over. There is no reason for responsible politicians to argue it any more.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-30-07 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. You remind me of my neighbor.
We were discussing some issues after CAFTA passed. I said it concerned me, he said it was the best thing for our country. I believe his words were good old free trade.

He had just been laid off from a company in Tampa, one of thousands with the jobs going overseas.

I said, I am no economist, but how do you feel about so many jobs heading to other countries.

He said..oh, that well I don't like that at all.

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Idioteque Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-31-07 12:08 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Hey Tampa! I'm from St. Pete (but I'm a student at UCF right now.)
CAFTA was a bad bill and I probably would have opposed it. In order to pass it, the Bush admin had to include protections for sugar, textiles, and other industries.

Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez (and Mark Foley) weren't going to vote for it until they got assurances that big sugar would be protected.

Free trade benefits the country as a whole but certain sections are hit hard. Take sugar for example. We can all benefit from cheaper sugar but if you are a sugarcane farmer in South FL or sugarbeat farmer in North Dakota, you obviously aren't going to benefit from imported sugar. In fact you could probably see your livelihood destroyed.

So the question is do we put the good of the few ahead of the good of the many. Those who are hurt by free trade complain because they are being hit hard. You don't see huge public support for free trade because the benefits come in little bits. A couple bucks off your sneakers, $5 off your jeans.

Basically what has to happen is the government has to bribe those who are hurt by trade. My economics professor was telling me that, for example, instead of putting quotas on Japanese cars a few decades ago, the country would have benefited more by lifting the quotas and paying American autoworkers not to work. I feel so bad for those who are hurt by trade but not bad enough to endorse an inefficient policy.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-31-07 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. "the good of a few"....
which few.

I taught school, but I do not even pretend to understand economics 101. I post about what I know.

But I wonder which few are getting the good of all the free trade programs.

I have been getting extremely poor quality clothing from places I got real high quality before. I got one piece of clothing which was so bad that the seams were unfinished, and even dug into the skin. The material was faulty, and the fit was terrible. Yet I had gotten high quality for years.

I never got real answers, though I wrote and called. I even talked to a supervisor who is part of the family who owns the company. She told me that they were just not able to get the quality they got before because of new trade agreements. Something about even if they get a product made here, the material could come from anywhere. She was not happy, but said there was little choice now.

I have a family member laid off from the job which was excellent pay, good benefits, good hours. He could not find anything at all equal. He finally took a job at half his previous pay, no benefits, and hours at the discretion of the employer.

I wonder if professors in many universities are teaching only the good sides to "free" trade. It is so I suspect, as one lives in our neighborhood, and he says we all in in fine shape...just be patient.

If that is true, then it is like going to war with Iran or staying in Iraq. The people really are not educated on the subject as it affects them personally.
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davidwparker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-30-07 10:45 PM
Response to Original message
5. K&R
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