CAFTA will work out horribly for everyone involved, except corporate execs and stockholders. Americans will lose even more of the dwindling number of manufacturing jobs that are left, and more Central Americans will learn the joy of making designer clothing for $1 a day.
Thirty years ago in this country the largest employer was GM
, and even the lowest-level peon could buy a house, raise a family, see a doctor occasionally, and take aforementioned family someplace during the summer. Today the largest employer is Wal Mart, and by far the vast majority of employees are making less than $10 an hour with no benefits whatever. This is not progress.
As scary as it is to admit, Ross Perot was right when he talked about the "giant sucking sound" of jobs heading away from American shores. Somehow everybody (including myself) believed that free trade would boost the economy. Instead what we got was a booming stock market that hid the ever widening gap between rich and poor in this country. In the 90's a few people got rich, and most everybody else got screwed. Yet this administration continues to pursue agreements like CAFTA because they are bankrolled by those few who stand to benefit. As for the rest of us we are persuaded to vote against our economic interests by scare tactics on "values" issues. Pay no attention while your job moves off to Bangelore without you, but watch out for the gay bogeyman who wants to kidnap your children. The truly scary part is that a majority of voters bought this crap, while the Democratic "party" stood by and watched.
All of this is academic because CAFTA and any other trade agreement that comes up will become law because the corporate interests have spent enough money making sure they have enough politicians in their pocket. In the meantime this administration tries to distract us, recently by trying to reclassify fast food jobs as manufacturing jobs, hoping that they can hide the losses. Free trade is not fair trade. Americans pay with their jobs, and developing countries pay with low-wage, sweatshop conditions, and enviormental degradation.