Friday, February 29, 2008

Free Trade, Obama and The fall of Communism and the North American Free Trade Agreement

Barack Obama has come out against "free trucking"' which is the practice started under NAFTA (No American Factories Taking Applications) of allowing Mexican truck drivers to drive their freight straight to their destination in the U.S. , instead of the previous practice of transferring the cargo to American trucks. As a result of this practice, goods are driven on American highways at standards below those required of U.S. truckers.Additionally, their wages are far below those of American truck drivers.Mr. Obama has expressed concern during stops in blue collar areas over the loss of jobs under NAFTA.
This has been cited as a dangerous shift to the left by the Financial Times. This would be interesting to Patrick Buchanan, a conservative of long standing renown, whose opposition to NAFTA long predates the current election.
The drain of skilled American jobs south of the border and overseas has been greatly speeded up by NAFTA, with a ripple effect across the American economy.Additionally, the erosion of our national sovereignty through signing international treaties is a danger long cited by conservatives in our country. In my opinion, Obama has lent the prestige of his surging poll numbers to this topic long in need of discussion. The erosion of America's industrial base can no longer be swept under the carpet.
There remains an issue that prevents me from jumping on the Obama bandwagon, and that is national security. New York's recent political history provides a lesson in microcosm to the American electorate. When Rudolph Giuliani became mayor in 1994, he inherited a murder rate from his predecessors of over 2000 in a city of seven million. His administration started with quality of life crimes and kept the pressure on more serious crimes. The murder rate plummeted. The friendlier tax climate created during the Giuliani administration was only partly responsible for New York's economic resurgence. When the physical safety of New Yorkers became less of an issue, it attracted business to New York, to the point that we are now competitive with London as a financial centre. People do not want fear for their lives to be a factor in their business calculations.
The lesson for America from New York City is clear. You can not separate the issue of security from the goal of prosperity. Whether your adversary is a common thug or an international terrorist, the message you send to America's enemies is heard by big business.
I am glad that Obama has half of the picture. But it is still only half the picture.
Coppyright 2008 by Magdeburger Joe

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