The following is a KSCO commentary. Here is Kay Zwerling:
I wrote this commentary in July 2007. Now, 3½ years later, it is even more relevant. It is in my book, in Part 3, The World.
Finally, we are experiencing an economic recovery, a jobless one. Millions of U.S. jobs no longer exist, and the people are using the fact as a campaign issue to blame President Bush, now Obama, and they demand that he create new jobs.
So, let’s go back to about halfway through the first Clinton term. Clinton convinced by corporate advisors and lobbyists, urged Congress to create the North American Free Trade Agreement, known as NAFTA.
That plan was to make trade a level playing field for all nations, even the poor ones. NAFTA did become law, but over the vigorous protests of many Americans and labor unions who saw that our Country would not benefit from these agreements.
I felt that way, too.
One year later GAT (the global form of NAFTA) also became law. That low swooshing sound at first was thousands of U.S. companies sending pink slips to millions of longtime employees after which those companies set up operations in other countries where labor was much cheaper.
It took time before the full impact of NAFTA and GAT was felt. Foreign trading partners and American companies in foreign countries have benefited at the expense of the U.S. economy.
To add to the NAFTA and GAT fiascos, shortly after our government voted China “Most Favored Nation” status, certain well-placed politicians stood to gain big-time by the China move.
The results of those two trade treaties are now obvious. A large part of the U.S. manufacturing industry died. Untold amounts of U.S. jobs are gone – forever.
Now, China and other countries produce most of our clothing, and most of everything else. Many high tech companies have left our shores for greener and cheaper pastures, as did other industries.
Furthermore, our trade agreements are lopsided. We buy much more from China and elsewhere than they choose to buy from us, and I think that is crazy, and that is the way things are right now. Trade only makes sense if it is balanced. Otherwise, it is a joke.
This brings to mind another short-sighted disaster created by that one-time Democratic President Jimmy Carter, a prime example of the disconnected Left.
He gave away the Panama Canal, which we built and completed in 1914. Guess who controls that now – China does. And, that liberal move will haunt us for a long time to come.
In 1992, Bill Clinton won the election with the frequent use of the quote “It’s the economy, stupid.” And now, in 2004, George Bush will win if he remembers to remind the electorate again and again what really happened to the evaporation of U.S. jobs – “It’s NAFTA and GAT, stupid.”
For KSCO, this is Kay Zwerling.
© copyright 2010
The preceding commentary originally aired in July of 2007.