11.26.07

Good Reads From Last Week & Today

Posted in Around The Nation, Around The State, Commentary at 1:31 pm by wcnews

Sirota on Perot, Hillary and NAFTA, Was Ross Perot Right?

And so without further ado, let’s answer the question Clinton ducked: Was Ross Perot right?

In 1993, the Clinton White House and an army of corporate lobbyists were selling NAFTA as a way to aid Mexican and American workers. Perot, on the other hand, was predicting that because the deal included no basic labor standards, it would preserve a huge “wage differential between the United States and Mexico” that would result in “the giant sucking sound” of American jobs heading south of the border. Corporations, he said, would “close the factories in the U.S. [and] move the factories to Mexico [to] take advantage of the cheap labor.”

The historical record is clear. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace reports, “Real wages for most Mexicans today are lower than when NAFTA took effect.” Post-NAFTA, companies looking to exploit those low wages relocated factories to Mexico. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the net effect of NAFTA was the elimination of 1 million American jobs.

Score one for Perot.

What about immigration? In 1993, the Clinton administration pitched NAFTA as “the best hope for reducing illegal immigration.” Perot, by contrast, said that after NAFTA depressed Mexican wages, many Mexicans “out of economic necessity” would “consider illegally immigrating into the U.S.”

“In short,” he wrote, “NAFTA has the potential to increase illegal immigration, not decrease it.”

Again, the historical record tells the story. As NAFTA helped drive millions of Mexicans into poverty, The New York Times reports that “Mexican migration to the United States has risen to 500,000 a year from less than 400,000 in the early 1990s, before NAFTA,” with a huge chunk of that increase coming from illegal immigration.

Score another one for Perot.

Clinton may continue to laugh at Perot and plead amnesia when asked about trade policy. And sure, she and her fellow Democrats in Washington can expand NAFTA and ignore the public’s desire for reform. But these politicians shouldn’t be surprised if that one other Perot prediction comes true again — the one accurately predicting that Democrats would lose the next national election if they sold America out and passed NAFTA.

Foreshadowing that historic Democratic loss in 1994, he warned, “We’ll remember in November.”

Yes, indeed, Ross. America probably will.

The AAS Editorial Board thinks Chris Bell’s lawsuit has merit and eviscerates Perry and the RGA, No ducking truth behind Perry’s gift.

Now the governor is saying that concealing Bob Perry’s name was an oversight, a clerical error. And the Republican Governors Association is saying it isn’t a political committee, so it didn’t have to disclose the donors. Sorry, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.

This year-old episode not only quacks, it stinks. And Travis County Attorney David Escamilla is reviewing the circumstances of the two $500,000 contributions dumped into Perry’s treasury in the final two weeks of the campaign.

Texas GOP and corporations still go together like white on rice, and Rep. John Carter (R-Exxon-Mobil) is number 5 on the list ($31,000 so far), Texas’ top corporations stay loyal to GOP.

Bucking a national trend, Texas-based corporations have remained loyal to Republican congressional candidates in the 2008 campaign.

And finally Waco Tribune columnist John Young, Sociallzed medicine saved my life; yours, too?

I had no idea at the time that I was being a pawn in a plot to undermine our American way of life.

I had no idea that I was being fed socialism in a sugar cube.

I thought the sugar cube contained serum to thwart polio. Little did I know. I was in third grade. How could I?

Yes, we all lined up on that day and took the polio vaccine in those little cubes. Then we hopped and skipped off to class, and never had to worry about a killer that had crippled hundreds of thousands.

Socialized medicine, it was.

You see, everyone in my class got the sugar cube. That included people, like me, whose families could afford inoculations, and others in my class who couldn’t. They got one, too. I didn’t realize it then, but that was wrong, wrong, wrong.

No one has a right to be inoculated against polio. No one has the right to health care.

Just the highlights, they’re all great reads.

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