AmeriCAN-DO Attitude

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NAFTA is Not the Problem, NAFTA is the Solution

People on both the Left and the Right side of the ideological aisle bitch and moan about the economy and the NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) , but rarely do any of these people know the actual details of what makes the economy work and how NAFTA affects it in a positive manner. This is why I appreciate pieces such as this one from Captain Ed Morrissey at HotAir who points out the many benefits NAFTA brings and the many ways we would actually improve our economy immensely if we would stop being so PC-ified by kissing the asses of the environazis and apocolyptic global warming dufuses.

The Reality of NAFTA

[ … ] However, as John Engler points out, almost the entirety of the NAFTA trade deficit comes from energy imports as the US has made Canada and Mexico the top two nations for oil purchases. [ … ]

What the antitrade advocates have been hiding from the candidates (or maybe don’t know themselves) is that almost all of the increase in our Nafta deficit since 2000 has been in increased U.S. imports of energy from Canada and Mexico. In fact, $58 billion of the $62 billion increase in our Nafta deficit has been in energy imports. That’s 95% of the total increase.

We need that oil and gas, and we would rather get it from our friendly neighbors. Surely no one seeks to argue that America would be better off saying no to Mexican and Canadian oil and gas, advocating that we instead import that energy from less secure sources farther from our borders.

Except for energy, though, our trade deficit within Nafta has hardly grown at all – only $3.5 billion from 2000-2007. Our agricultural and manufactured goods sales to Nafta countries have just about kept pace with our imports. That’s a lot more than one can say about the rest of our foreign trade.

While the nonenergy deficit within Nafta has grown less than $4 billion since the job loss started, with the rest of the world it grew over $150 billion. Put another way, the increase in our nonenergy deficit within Nafta has accounted for only 2% of the increase in our global nonenergy deficit since 2000.

Why are the candidates so focused on 2% of our trade problem rather than on the other 98%? Our nonenergy deficit with the high-wage, high-environmental-standard European Union (with whom we have no free trade agreement) grew 10 times as much as it did with Nafta. And of course, with China the deficit grew even more.

Of course, we could import less oil from Canada and Mexico if we drilled more of our own oil domestically. We could open ANWR and the coasts to oil production, and we could build the first new refineries in 30 years to produce our own gasoline. That would employ more Americans, drop the cost of gasoline, ease our reliance on Middle East oil, and eventually strengthen the dollar. That would not only end the NAFTA trade imbalance, but would make us a stronger nation..

Would Hillary or Obama consider that approach? Of course not.

Engler, the former Michigan governor, says that NAFTA is the solution, not the problem. Had the US applied NAFTA to the rest of its trade, our imbalance would have dropped from $155 billion since 2000 to a mere $25 billion. That represents a lot of American jobs and more capital remaining within the American economy. Instead of losing across the board, we would have increased American agricultural exports and bolstered our own manufacturing base.

Engler isn’t sure whether the two Democrats are ignorant of NAFTA’s real impact or simply want to use it to demagogue people they assume are ignorant of it. Neither reflects well on their ability to lead this nation, economically or in any other fashion.

My guess is that it is the latter: they are demagoguing people whom they assume are ignorant of the details of NAFTA. They understand that most Americans are ignorant of the details of American policies and usually fueled by ignorant emotion, rather than tempered logic. And so, instead of being statesmen and leaders and explaining these policies to the American people to help educate them to make good decisions for the betterment of the country, the politicians simply demagogue to gain votes and power and then govern in a way that keeps the status quo and keeps them in power.

Pretty pathetic, but, to be honest, I tire of people bitching and whining about politicians and how *they* are screwing up this country. Newsflash to the Left, the Right and everyone in between: *WE* are screwing up this country. *WE* vote (or don’t vote) and *WE* are uninformed and continue to perpetuate ignorance among the populace by giving into our ignorant emotional rants, instead of helping to educate and inspire our fellow citizens with tempered logic and discussion of the details.

We, the People, of America need to stop playing the victims. The politicians are NOT screwing us over. The President is NOT screwing up this country. The Senate is NOT screwing up this country. The Congress is NOT screwing up this country. The mass media is not screwing up this country. Sure, they are contributing, but it is about damn time that we all said: THE BUCK STOPS HERE. And take some personality responsibility and have some personal pride in our country.

Government is not the solution. A President is not the solution. WE are the solution. We, the People, are what make this nation great. And we, the People, are the cause when this nation goes downhill. Our problem is not a matter of government or a matter of politicians, it is a matter of Americans not taking personal responsiblity and feeling that it is their duty to this country to make it the best it can be.

Politicians serve us… We, the People. A government is only as good as the people who put that government into place. Until we all realize that and stop the petty bickering and stop relishing hatred and spewing vitriol, our country will continue to suffer.

The Buck Stops with We, the People.


April 21, 2008 , 7:14PM - Posted by | Barack Obama, Conservatism, Economy, Hillary Clinton

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