Friday, March 07, 2008

NAFTA: The real numbers

Rick Salutin's new column should be shouted from the rooftops. It's in today's Globe and Mail but they're still choosing a bloody stupid pay wall over advertising revenue so fuck 'em. Here's the crosspost link from Rabble. And here's the meat of the piece:

Take Canada. According to economist Bruce Campbell, under NAFTA, the Big Three auto makers shrank their work force here by more than 50 per cent and increased revenues by 70 per cent. Employment declined in manufacturing and rose in the lower-paid service sector. Wages haven't grown at all since the original free-trade deal in 1988. That's a first.

Productivity has continued to rise, but, in the past, wages always rose "in tandem." Top CEOs in 2005 made 237 times more than the average wage, doubling the gap before NAFTA. Wages as a portion of the economic pie declined while profits rose. The top 0.1 per cent of earners doubled their income to $1,641,000; the bottom 95 per cent saw their share of the pie decline.

As for public goods, such as health care and education, we were told these would thrive under trade deals; but our governments have slashed social programs by 26 per cent. Oh, please don't toss us outta the NAFTA patch.


janfromthebruce said...

So it's a real dilemma when Buzz asks for subsidies and rescue plans for the automakers, and it only saves the executive jobs and the investors, and those jobs, well out the door they go.
Money given with no strings attached, is the problem. Buzz just becomes a cheerleader for corp welfare, meanwhile the guys on the line just get snoozed.

I read this article on line this am, and it was spot on.

I posted on line that I remember the big con job by big business, saying there would be lots more money for more and better funded social programs - LOL.

Of course, this social/economic restructuring didn't happen in isolation to neo-liberal policies happening globally. In underdeveloped countries it was STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT PROGRAMS operated by the world bank, and overseen by the International Monetary Fund, and Western countries it was the trade agreements to hamstring welfare states and scaling back of social programs. Didn't medicine for under or over developed countries but the outcome the same - alot more for the priveleged few and alot less for many.

JAMES said...

On Cris Matthews "Hardball" March 7 2008 Matthews laughed when discussing renegotiating Nafta with Canada because "we're winning that one"

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