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NAFTA Revisited : Swingers Discussion 99673
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TOPIC: NAFTA Revisited
Created by: Lucky2haveU
Original Starting post for this thread:
Lets see if we can keep race out of this one. Who thinks Nafta has benefited the US or just our neighbors? By Sherrod Brown USA today If NAFTA were really a free trade agreement, it would contain just a page or two on eliminating tariffs. Instead, NAFTA is an 824-page tome packed with rules to protect drug companies, banks and Wall Street investors. Safeguards for workers, the environment or food quality don't merit even a footnote. Supporters of NAFTA made three major promises to the American people: NAFTA would bring hundreds of thousands of new jobs to America; NAFTA would raise wages for American workers; and NAFTA would empower Mexico to flourish and prosper, staunching the flow of undocumented workers into the USA. Fourteen years later, we have lost millions of manufacturing jobs in our country. In Ohio, 200,000 manufacturing jobs have disappeared. Wages for the great majority of Americans have stagnated or, worse, declined. And for Mexico? Some 19 million more Mexicans live below the poverty line since NAFTA became law in 1994. Not coincidentally, at least 10 million undocumented Mexicans now live in the USA, up from less than 3 million before NAFTA. NAFTA, coupled with its dysfunctional cousin Most Favored Nation Trade with China and other wrongheaded trade policies, have seen a trade deficit of $38 billion in 1992 explode to more than $800 billion in 2007. The first Bush administration told us that a $1 billion trade deficit translates into a loss of 13,000 jobs. Do the math. We want more trade — but under a very different set of rules. All trade agreements should require enforceable environmental and labor standards at least as strong as International Labor Organization rules. The agreements should conform to an international standard of food and product safety that is at least as high as U.S. standards. They should include measurable benchmarks for job creation, property rights and press freedom. And they should guarantee national sovereignty to protect each country's democratically adopted public health and safety laws. Tuesday night in Cleveland, the two Democratic candidates acknowledged the devastating results of NAFTA. Each vowed to renegotiate NAFTA and similar trade deals. Finally, we can learn from our mistakes. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is the author of Myths of Free Trade and an uncommitted Democratic "super delegate."

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call bill and hitlary...lol December 8, 1993

NAFTA signed into law The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Clinton said he hoped the agreement would encourage other nations to work toward a broader world-trade pact.

NAFTA, a trade pact between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, eliminated virtually all tariffs and trade restrictions between the three nations. The passage of NAFTA was one of Clinton's first major victories as the first Democratic president in 12 years--though the movement for free trade in North America had begun as a Republican initiative.

Destin FL
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USA today Here they go at each other in Ohio, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama seem to be suggesting that the North American Free Trade Agreement has been a disaster. Both Democrats have vowed to renegotiate the agreement with Mexico and Canada or pull out of it altogether. NAFTA opponents point to the 2.4 million U.S. manufacturing jobs that have disappeared since NAFTA took effect in 1994, a drop of about 14%. In Ohio, site of Tuesday's hotly contested primary, manufacturing jobs are down by nearly 200,000, or 20%, during the same time. NAFTA supporters — this page among them — usually respond by pointing out that 39 million jobs outside of manufacturing have been created in that time in the USA. Even Ohio has seen a net gain of 900,000 jobs, including 60,000 in finance, 80,000 in professional services and almost 190,000 in health care. The reality is that NAFTA has relatively little to do with either the overall job losses or job gains. China is a far larger factor. But the number that best displays the nonsensical nature of the debate is 66% — the increase in the manufacturing output of American industry since 1993. It's impossible to look at an economy that has increased its manufacturing output so dramatically while simultaneously cutting its manufacturing workforce and not see a much larger force at work than NAFTA. That force has been the unprecedented and sweeping gains in worker productivity that have allowed U.S. companies to churn out more goods with fewer people. Some of this has come from outsourcing the most labor-intensive parts of manufacturing, particularly to Asia. But much of it is from the use of more automated systems for assembly lines and high-tech inventory management. Put another way, the main job killer of the past 14 years has not been the "giant sucking sound" of jobs going to Mexico, as enunciated by Ross Perot. Rather it has been that giant humming sound of machines replacing humans. Overall, this increased productivity has led to rising living standards and made the American economy more competitive. It has also left some people behind at a cost of considerable personal pain. But to make NAFTA a centerpiece of the debate over the manufacturing economy is cheap pandering. Modifying or scrapping NAFTA wouldn't create jobs or more skilled workers. The idea raises false hope and seeks to scapegoat Mexico and Canada. The only real answer to the problem of declining employment in manufacturing lies in educating younger workers and retraining older ones. This is, to be sure, a big challenge and a tough sell politically. American schools continue to underperform, particularly in technical knowledge. And most federal retraining programs have failed. Any other answer, however, is simply not responsive to the problem — a workforce with too many people lacking the skills to prosper in a global economy and climb into the middle class. Fixing this is both essential for the economy and vital to U.S. democracy. For these reasons, it would be nice to hear more from senators Clinton and Obama about creating a more educated workforce — and less about why they hate NAFTA. In 2004, before they were trying to win the Ohio primary, Clinton said "on balance NAFTA has been good" and Obama said the USA "benefits enormously from exports" under NAFTA. They had it right the

Imperial MO
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I am really interested in how JNM and sapp feel about this Issue since Obama wants to get rid of this treaty.

Imperial MO
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The jobs will never return to the rust belt, the unions killed the auto or heavy industry...they need different industries, greener, non union and who wants the cold ass weather?? lol

NAFTA just needs revision not deletion.

Destin FL
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Nafta has been attack by Obama and Clinton in Ohio but in Texas it is not mentioned. They both say they will end it.

Lose of jobs in the North and Jobs gains in the south...If Nafta is over turned how would the effect southern states on the border and would it bring jobs back to the Northern states?

Imperial MO
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Not only in Mexico...

At tax time, lots of money under table From gambling to painting to child care, not all income gets shared with the IRS.

By Ron Scherer

NEW YORK – Danielle L. teaches private swim lessons on Long Island. The $30 per 30 minutes she charges is just "a little extra" on the side. Bryan M. likes to play poker, and so far this year the student has made about $8,000. And painter Jack K. charges $600 in cash to brighten a room. It's more, however, if he gets paid by check. What all three have in common is that none of them declares these earnings to the IRS. And they are not unusual As of midnight Friday, when most Americans will have filed their taxes, the IRS estimates there is a "tax gap" of over $300 billion a year, about 15 percent of total tax revenues - money that should be paid but is not finding its way to the US Treasury. That's a lot of cash under the table, golf fees written off as expenses, and inflated charitable gifts. It's equal to 75 percent of the annual budget deficit, two-thirds of Defense Department spending, or what the US spends on Medicare in a year.

"The tax gap has two implications. First, the billions that don't come in that should come in further increase the nation's indebtedness and burdens future generations," Mark Everson, the IRS commissioner, says in an interview. "Secondly, you discourage compliance when someone else is getting away with it and breaking the law."

Tuesdsay, using new IRS data, the Economic Policy Institute released a study of tax cheating, or what it termed "Do-it yourself tax cuts." The Washington, D.C., group called the compliance problem "a crisis in US tax enforcement," and said closing the gap "is one of the best bargains available in economic policy."

The problem may only get worse, as an increasing number of Americans become subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Some projections suggest that 35 million people will be paying the AMT by 2010, according to Nina Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate.

The AMT "discourages compliance," says Mr. Everson, "in the sense that people go through a calculation of their tax and at the end we say ... 'just kidding, you really owe $2,200 more.' "

The IRS "tax gap" estimates comes from a three year study called the National Research Program for tax year 2001. The tax agency audited 46,000 individual returns and then extrapolated how much money was not paid, on a national basis, for all 131 million Americans who file. In 2001, all taxpayers paid $1.767 trillion on time - or between 83.4 to 85 percent of the amount the IRS estimates was due. The tax gap, the IRS estimated, is between $312 billion and $353 billion

The IRS numbers show the bulk of the gap coming from underreporting of income, such as people working off the books, or taking too many deductions. A smaller portion was due to non-filing and underpayment. The tax most often underreported is the individual income tax.

The study was a wake-up call for the agency, which increased its spending on enforcement after a period of lower funding for IRS agents. Since 2001, it doubled its audits of those earning $100,000 or more and increased its overall audits 37 percent over 2001. And the audits have been successful: The IRS estimates that enforcement activities, plus late payments, recovered about $55 billion of the tax gap.

Destin FL
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A good friend of the family was an old family name in Mexico originally from Spain and Portugal, part of the PRI and had a construction company. He developed resorts all over Mexico for Hilton, Raddison, and others. It was just common practice for him to over bill the materials so he came out with a new hacienda after every job on top of his contracted pay...the culture of Mordida, hand under the table, pay off.

Luis Alfonso Sánchez Contreras searched the capital´s trendy Condesa neighborhood for two years to find the right spot for a pasta restaurant. He registered his business with tax authorities. He got permits to remodel his restaurant´s interior. He asked permission to set up sidewalk tables. He won approval to install a tank of natural gas.

"I wanted to do everything by the book," said Sánchez, 44, a former bank manager.

So when local officials solicited an under-the-table payment of US$1,350 to speed approval of his business operating license, he balked.

More than five months later, authorities still haven´t granted him permission to open. Sánchez´s bills are mounting. But he refuses to pony up.

"It just perpetuates this rotten system," said Sánchez, who has sunk US$70,000 into the venture. "They are public servants. Their job is to serve the people, not to enrich themselves."

Officials in the permit office of Sánchez´s precinct of Cuauhtémoc declined several requests for an interview.

Corruption remains a huge obstacle to Mexico´s advancement. It is a hidden tax that stifles job creation, retards economic growth, erodes respect for law and order, and poisons citizens´ trust in their institutions.

To be sure, corruption is a global phenomenon plaguing rich nations as well as poor ones. Witness the billions in waste and fraud that have accompanied U.S. government payouts from Hurricane Katrina.

But in Mexico, it is an ongoing disaster. Mexican officials have estimated that as much as 9 percent of Mexico´s gross domestic product is siphoned off annually to corruption. In 2005 that would have amounted to US$69 billion, or more than the nation spends on education and defense combined.

Destin FL
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I love Mexico period and I miss going there very much. What a great place and people. My sister inlaw if from south of Mexico City and we went to a family reunion there a few years back we had a wonderful time.

Imperial MO
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That is not correct. The passport thing has been postponed several times. I don't think it will ever be implemented. Day tourism would die and the border towns would evaporate...

Went to Tijuana last week TBR was asked for a passport and was told "my next trip to Mexico would require one". US customs.

I know what I was told TBR I can only go by that.

And how was I being unreasonable? I mean really?

Imperial MO
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The current regulations are a birth certificate and a picture ID. That regulation went into effect last month, so they are letting people get used to it and not enforcing fully yet. We just went on a cruise to Cabo and La Paz two weeks ago and didn't need a passport.

They have been talking about requiring a passport for years, and it is currently due to be implemented this summer. I don't think it will happen. It has been postponed (I think) at least three times. And will probably be postponed again.

The economies of the border towns would die. Very few people are going to spend the money for a passport to go across the border for a couple of hours...

Lakeside CA
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TOPIC: NAFTA Revisited