Sunday, December 12, 2010

There's got to be a morning NAFTA…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 3:21 PM Permalink

…I had an inquiry arrive in my email box (a mythical thing existing only in the minds of unicorns, circus ponies, and Chinese acrobats unless otherwise noted in "The Book of Mythical Things," subtitled "Or Not") regarding NAFTA, yet another creature existing only in the imagination but given a semi-real treatment of its terms since one goofball former president, ghwb, pushed really hard for it, and it was signed into existence by another former president, Bill Clinton, Arkansas' greatest wrestler, seducer of women, and listed in the "Guinness Book of Irrelevant Information" as record holder for long distance spitting out of both sides of his mouth, 396 feet into a gale force wind while standing upright on one of those raging bull bucking machines simultaneously.

The question posed was this: "Why is it that when clinton established NAFTA the goal of simply raising the standard of living for all -- the process got away from us to the point that our economic standing has so drastically declined? Was that always the intention? Or did the process get away from us? Was NAFTA a scam from the beginning?" (and yes, I know that's more than one question, sheesh, I can count to three, too, y'know.)

A brief blurb (ahem, pardon me) should start us on the way:
NAFTA was signed by President George H.W. Bush, Mexican President Salinas, and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1992. It was ratified by the legislatures of the three countries in 1993. The House approved it by 234 to 200 on November 17 and the Senate by 60 to 38 on November 20. It was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on December 8, 1993 and entered force January 1, 1994. Although it was signed by President Bush, it was a priority of President Clinton's, and its passage is considered one of his first successes.
So Clinton liked it and actually signed it into law, but the inception (or conception, I get those mixed up) was initially a Prime Directive issued by Über Leader Ronnie Raygun. A young Bill Clinton eavesdropped on the negotiations from the copy room and was never noticed, much less heard the odd sounds issuing therefrom.

At the link above, also see:
The impetus for NAFTA actually began with President Ronald Reagan, who campaigned on a North American common market. In 1984, Congress passed the Trade and Tariff Act. This is important because it gave the President "fast-track" authority to negotiate free trade agreements, while only allowing Congress the ability to approve or disapprove, not change negotiating points. Canadian Prime Minister Mulroney agreed with Reagan to begin negotiations for the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, which was signed in 1988, went into effect in 1989 and is now suspended due to NAFTA.
Of course even Reagan did not, and could not, know that NAFTA was really never about free trade at all. It all began when Nancy allowed Reagan to sleep through several meetings. The topic was NAFTA, and was negotiated by Nancy, former CIA Director of the CIA, ghwb, and a conglomeration of an ever increasing numbers of aliens whose existence was being concealed by our government who cleverly renamed these vital negotiations from the original name NAFTAE, the Northern Andromedian Freedom to Annihilate Everything, to a name more suitable for covering up the true nature of this treaty by calling it NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. Could anyone think of a more benign name?

Now for the $64,000.00 question: Does it work?:
NAFTA [North American Trade Organization] has eliminated trade barriers, increased investment opportunities, and established procedures for resolution of trade disputes. Most important, it has increased the competitiveness of the three countries involved on the global marketplace. This has become especially important with the launch of the European Union. In 2007, the EU replaced the U.S. as the world's largest economy. (Article updated December 21, 2009)
Since America gave away the store, sold the watchdogs, AND figured out how to blame the democrats by delaying signing until Clinton was in office it was a rousing success. It was easy: the aliens would suck so much money out of our financial engine, trade, that record deficits, insolvency, runaway unemployment, and the shift of financial titans from America to Europe. (Too bad we didn't trade the rethugs for something useful, like marbles, a piece of chalk, a ball of string, and republicans.)

Another $64,000.04 question…um… ANSWER from the same source as to any benefit:
NAFTA is short for the North American Free Trade Agreement. NAFTA covers Canada, the U.S. and Mexico making it the world’s largest free trade area (in terms of GDP). NAFTA was launched 15 years ago to reduce trading costs, increase business investment, and help North America be more competitive in the global marketplace.

As of January 1, 2008, all tariffs between the three countries were eliminated. Between 1993-2007, trade tripled from $297 billion to $1 trillion.
So NAFTA has been a bang up, fine and fancy, thrill a minute for all we Americans as we watched our economy tank, perhaps for good, the rest of the world laughs as the republicans, teabaggers-gop-er, conservatives, neocons, and the fanatic religious right dream up even more devious means to deprive the poor, kill off the ill, discard the infirm by using them as padding for the Big Guns of our now nearly defunct military, and STILL somehow manage to blame, successfully, the Democratic Party as the root beer of Satan's Soda Shoppe, still located conveniently on the third ring of Hell (all the other rings have been taken by or reserved for future republicans.

So there it is. Yet another major success for rethugs, more blame for democrats. Entirely understandable when we have an abject coward for president unwilling to take any drastic measures to serve those whom elected him even when he obviously has the backing of almost 75% of Americans and could win handily if he had the testicles to stand and fight back. (WARNING: Do not stand on your testicles while fighting back unless you are a trained expert.)

Well, I gotta return the "Mr. Answer Hat" I borrowed to help answering this trio of very good questions that, alas for America, means two more years of the coward-in-chief and then someone guaranteed to be worse since there isn't any politicians remaining to piss off their bosses, Michael Steele and the GOP.

The abbreviated answers:

"Why is it that when clinton established NAFTA the goal of simply raising the standard of living for all -- the process got away from us to the point that our economic standing has so drastically declined? ANS.- Clinton did not establish NAFTA. Our economy tanked thanks to father-son tag team ghwb and gwb

Was that always the intention? Yes. Northern Andromeda intends to invade and conquer us all.

Or did the process get away from us? A process we never controlled makes it impossible for it to 'get away from us.'

Was NAFTA a scam from the beginning? Asked and answered.

I do hope I have been able to help to the questioner. If not there are still Northern Andromedian WarshipsPeace Delegations still circling our Solar System waiting for their solar batteries to recharge for the trip back to their home.

Thank you for your questions, but I am afraid I will have to limit questions and answers to no more than three from each person, as here.

NOTE: Aw, hell, I'll raise the question limit to 3,694 or until I fall asleep at the keyboard.

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