Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Ultimate Cause - Mexican Gangs and Immigration

After I read the "Family of Secrets" about the Bush family, I've begun to see bogeymen everywhere. Take this story:

This is a story of a Mexican mother whose teenage son joined a drug gang in Mexico, and was killed, and then her daughter, Tanya, an innocent bystander, was accidentally shot during a drug gang shooting in their own house and then, after all her tragedy, the mother migrated to the United States. The drug gang and the family are the focus of the story, but that's not what caught my attention. What caught my attention was only two or three sentences somewhat hidden in the story about the mother, Lupe; "she worked at one of the hundreds of factories making car parts, television screens and cell phone parts that end up on shelves in the United States... on a salary of $10 a day...not enough to buy tennis shoes for her children...so her son joined a gang for money." I immediately thought of NAFTA, the North American Fair Trade Agreement written during the George H. W. Bush Presidency and signed by President Clinton after Newt Gingrich began his reign as Speaker of the House.

Of course Lupe, the mother, talked about her dead children, the drug gangs, the fear in Mexico and her eventual migration to the United States for a decent job, not about NAFTA. It's telling, however, that even after companies moved factories to Mexico to make, we were told back then, a better life for Mexicans and our companies more competitive, that Lupe still had to migrate to the United States for a "decent job" and we are still hearing that our companies are still trying to be competitive. NAFTA was supposed to provide those jobs and to give our companies a competitive advantage. But, it didn't.

NAFTA was not really about the United States trade imbalance, or about unfair competition from foreign companies, or about our ability to sell products overseas or about providing decent jobs to Mexicans. If that was the case, Sweden would have a NAFTA. But, Sweden doesn't have one and it is super-competitive. Germany would also have a NAFTA, but it is extremely competitive and it doesn't have an agreement like NAFTA. Neither of those countries export their jobs. What NAFTA was really about was busting the Unions, once and for all, in the United States. That was a primary goal of both presidents, Reagan and Bush. Reagan took on the Aviation Unions, specifically the Air Controllers' Union. Bush was taking on all unions with NAFTA. The unions had become too powerful. NAFTA was deregulation, a way around the Taft-Hartley Act that allowed unions to collective bargain. It did what it was supposed to do. It dismantled Detroit and Lansing Michigan, the centers of the powerful auto unions, and left both cities in shambles, with the swoop of a pen. Many smaller factories went bankrupt because the competition, the large companies, began manufacturing cheap parts in Mexico under NAFTA. I'm reminded of a little factory in Owensville, owned by Bill Davis, that closed its doors because it could no longer compete with companies who could afford to locate in Mexico under NAFTA. NAFTA did the opposite of what we were told it would do. It actually killed many small factories across our country and consolidated those products into huge corporations, in effect, mergers by government non-regulation regulation. It was all nonsense and lies.

Everyone was sold on NAFTA. I guess if we had known the truth back then, we should have had an uprising. I also think, in spite of how implausible the "Family of Secrets" seems to be, maybe it is very probable that the United States is, in fact, controlled by men we don't elect, men working behind the scenes against America, men connected through business and political connections, and of course Bush. I don't like to think that is true. I like to think democracy works. But, now that I've read the book, I'm beginning to see a plausible conspiracy. A Plutocracy or Corporatocracy or a combination thereof. One thing is true, we are not a democracy.

On a slightly, but related thought, I recently heard on CNN that the Tea Party was angry over Senator Scott Brown's recent votes in the Senate. Apparently he didn't vote like the Tea Party wanted on the START Treaty and 9/11 Heroes Healthcare bill. What I would really like to know is specifically who is telling Senator Brown he's in trouble. Who, by name, is behind the Tea Party? More Bush Family Secrets?


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