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The 20 year history of NAFTA

The 20 year history of NAFTA | The Beacon | Scoop.it
In the 20 years since it entered into force, the North American Free Trade Agreement has been both lauded and attacked in the United States. But to properly assess NAFTA’s record, it is important to first be clear about what the agreement has actually done. Economically speaking, the answer is a lot.

 

NAFTA was the first comprehensive free-trade agreement to join developed and developing nations, and it achieved broader and deeper market openings than any trade agreement had before.

NAFTA did that by eliminating tariffs on all industrial goods, guaranteeing unrestricted agricultural trade between the United States and Mexico, opening up a broad range of service sectors, and instituting national treatment for cross-border service providers. It also set high standards of protection for patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.

NAFTA ignited an explosion in cross-border economic activity. Today, Canada ranks as the United States’ largest single export market, and it sends 98 percent of its total energy exports to the United States, making Canada the United States’ largest supplier of energy products and services. Mexico is the United States’ second-largest single export market. Over the past two decades, a highly efficient and integrated supply chain has developed among the three North American economies.  Intraregional trade flows have increased by roughly 400 percent.

North Americans not only sell more things to one another; they also make more things together. About half of U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico takes place between related companies, and the resulting specialization has boosted productivity in all three economies. NAFTA has also caused cross-border investment to soar.

In spite of this impressive economic record, NAFTA has its critics. Most of those who attack it on economic grounds focus on Mexico, not Canada, and claim that the partnership is one-sided: that NAFTA is Mexico’s gain and America’s pain. But the economic data prove otherwise.


Via Seth Dixon
Gary Yarus's insight:

A good review for those concerned about the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, September 21, 2014 7:42 PM

It is interesting to see exactly what NAFTA has done for North America.  Making trade easier and free between the three countries helps all the economies included.  Free trade between each other means less costly goods.  Also resources can be used from different countries and manufactured in steps not all in one place.  All of the negative comments about it being a one sided deal between the United States and Mexico can be argued with numbers about how it is in fact not a one sided agreement and both countries are benefiting from NAFTA being put in place.

David Lizotte's curator insight, January 24, 3:55 PM

I found this to be an extremely interesting article. I'd say I have a basic comprehension of economics, so I am trying to expand my horizons and learn more about the topic. This article was clear, well-written/structured, and was a good read for someone not so experienced in Economics. 

I find the NAFTA agreement to be quite useful. The article did a good job at portraying many of the pros the agreement puts forth. It is clear that the three nations involved benefit. Throughout the article I was wondering if the agreement had been modified to accommodate todays new technology, trade goods, etc... The article then went and discussed this topic.The article did so through stating the importance in NAFTA branching out in other trade agreements, with nations in the Pacific as well as Nations in the EU. What's neat about this is how whether Mexico or Canada making the trade... all nations involved in the NAFTA agreement benefit. 

What I want to know however is where do these jobs, that this agreement creates are set geographically? I can only assume they are predominately in the South West (in regards to Mexico) and in the North/mid North West (in regards to Canada). Who are the people working these jobs? It seems like they'd be the immigrants themselves, not so much existing citizens. Does this create a problem amongst the masses? 

It seems as if NAFTA could benefit from expanding its trade market. This is something I am interested in reading more about and perhaps keeping up to date with. Side note... in regards to USA being able to buy capital in the countries "cross-border investment," and vis versa, I find it extremely useful and creative. 

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About "The Beacon"

About "The Beacon" | The Beacon | Scoop.it

The truth is, for our democracy to survive and prosper moving forward, it needs an engaged and informed citizenry applying both creative and critical thinking in solving the many challenges to our society. The informed citizen must have sufficiently reliable information or knowledge to be able to understand a subject or situation and make appropriate judgments or decisions.

We live in a world of media abundance. Hoping to nurture informed activism and to amplify the voices of numerous grassroots movements for democracy,  The Beacon's  mission is to help educate and empower the millions of people working towards common goals, by sorting and filtering through the vast amount of relevant Internet content  and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way.

Content curation is a new form of digital media. As a content curator, I cherry pick the best of hundreds of other Internet media sources,  and share high-value, often under-reported, quality content. My content curation is about  providing a customized, vetted selection on the major themes of democracy, activism, world peace, opposition to militarism, social justice, economic fairness, environmental protection, and online freedom.

 

"The Beacon" is a project of http://BeaconMedia.US

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“Free Trade” Puts Our Food Supply in Danger!

“Free Trade” Puts Our Food Supply in Danger! | The Beacon | Scoop.it

BY: Margaret Elkis

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 48 million people suffer from food-borne illnesses each year in the United States. The scary thing about that number is that it is expected to increase if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are signed.

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Robert Redford: Fossil Fuels Need to Stay in the Ground, Renewable Energy Is the Future

Robert Redford: Fossil Fuels Need to Stay in the Ground, Renewable Energy Is the Future | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman sat down today with Robert Redford, the Oscar-winning director, actor and longtime environmentalist, at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

In the interview, Goodman jumps right in by asking Redford, founder of Sundance Film Festival, about last week’s vote where half of the Senate refuses to formally acknowledge the existence of man-made climate change.
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Israel's Gas Deals with Jordan and a Palestinian Corporation Will Not Bring Peace to the Middle East

Israel's Gas Deals with Jordan and a Palestinian Corporation Will Not Bring Peace to the Middle East | The Beacon | Scoop.it
The timing of the gas deals seemed particularly insensitive—announced after Israel’s military operation against Hamas in the summer of 2014 that killed over 2,000 people, most of them Gazan civilians. Rewarding Israel with lucrative energy agreements seems to send a signal that it can behave with impunity. In other words, “gas for peace” seems to do the opposite of promoting long-term peace.
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This is how a police state protects “secrets”: Jeffrey Sterling, the CIA and up to 80 years on circumstantial evidence

This is how a police state protects “secrets”: Jeffrey Sterling, the CIA and up to 80 years on circumstantial evidence | The Beacon | Scoop.it

BY: MARCY WHEELER

The participants in the economy of shared tips and intelligence in Washington D.C., breathed a collective sigh of relief when, on January 12, the government announced it would not force James Risen to testify in the trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling. “Press freedom was safe! Our trade in leaks is safe!” observers seemed to conclude, and they returned to their squalid celebration of an oppressive Saudi monarch.

Gary Yarus's insight:

Marcy Wheeler writes at EmptyWheel.net and is the author of "Anatomy of Deceit."

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Five Years After: Long Live Howard Zinn

Jan. 27—marks five years since the death of the great historian and activist Howard Zinn. Not a day goes by that I don’t wonder what Howard would say about something—the growth of the climate justice movement, #BlackLivesMatter, the new Selma film, the killings at the Charlie Hebdo offices. No doubt, he would be encouraged by how many educators are engaging students in thinking critically about these and other issues. by Bill Bigelow

Gary Yarus's insight:

Bill Bigelow taught high school social studies in Portland, Ore. for almost 30 years. He is the curriculum editor of Rethinking Schools and the co-director of the Zinn Education Project. This project offers free materials to teach people’s history and an “If We Knew Our History” article series. Bigelow is author or co-editor of numerous books, including A People’s History for the Classroom and The Line Between Us: Teaching About the Border and Mexican Immigration, and most recently, A People's Curriculum for the Earth: Teaching Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis.

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The Collapse of Europe?

The Collapse of Europe? | The Beacon | Scoop.it

Not long after the Berlin Wall fell a quarter of a century ago, the Soviet Union collapsed, the United States squandered its peace dividend in an attempt to maintain global dominance, and Europe quietly became more prosperous, more integrated, and more of a player in international affairs. Between 1989 and 2014, the European Union (EU) practically doubled its membership and catapulted into third place in population behind China and India. It currently boasts the world’s largest economy and also heads the list of global trading powers. In 2012, the EU won the Nobel Peace Prize for transforming Europe “from a continent of war to a continent of peace. by John Feffer”

Gary Yarus's insight:

The European Union May Be on the Verge of Regime Collapse

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Why The Damage To The Economy Caused By The Oil Crash Is Going To Get Progressively Worse

Why The Damage To The Economy Caused By The Oil Crash Is Going To Get Progressively Worse | The Beacon | Scoop.it

We are really starting to see the price of oil weigh very heavily on the economy and on the stock market. On Tuesday, the Dow was down 291 points, and the primary reason for the decline was disappointing corporate sales numbers. For example, heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar is blaming the “dramatic decline in the price of oil” for much lower than anticipated sales during the fourth quarter of 2014. Even though Caterpillar is not an “energy company”, the price of oil is critical to their success. And the same could be said about thousands of other companies. That is why I have repeatedly stated that anyone who believes that collapsing oil prices are good for the U.S. economy is crazy. The key to how much damage this oil collapse is going to do to our economy is not how low prices ultimately go. Rather, the key is how long they stay at these low levels. If the price of oil went back to $80 a barrel next week, the damage would be fairly minimal. But if the price of oil stays at this current level for the remainder of 2015, the damage will be absolutely catastrophic. Just think of the price of oil like a hot iron. If you touch it for just a fraction of a second, it won’t do too much damage. But if you press it against your skin for an hour, you will be severely damaged for the rest of your life at the very least. by Michael Snyder

Gary Yarus's insight:

I enjoyed reading Michael Synder's book "The Beginning of the End".

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The Middle Class Can’t Be Saved Unless Wall Street Is Tamed

The Middle Class Can’t Be Saved Unless Wall Street Is Tamed | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Presidential aspirants in both parties are talking about saving the middle class. But the middle class can’t be saved unless Wall Street is tamed.

The Street’s excesses pose a continuing danger to average Americans. And its ongoing use of confidential corporate information is defrauding millions of middle-class investors.

Yet most presidential aspirants don’t want to talk about taming the Street because Wall Street is one of their largest sources of campaign money.
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Internet Countdown To Real Net Neutrality Begins Today

Internet Countdown To Real Net Neutrality Begins Today | The Beacon | Scoop.it

With exactly one month until a final vote on net neutrality at the FCC, net neutrality advocates are encouraging internet users, content creators, and major websites to join in the next phase of the campaign to save the internet—from the folks who brought about the Internet Slowdown in September, we now have the “Internet Countdown.”  

The Internet Countdown is a month-long push to remind the FCC that the upcoming vote on net neutrality is one of the most important votes the FCC will ever take. Further, we will be counting down the days and minutes until the vote happens with all eyes on the FCC. by Rachel Colyer,

Gary Yarus's insight:

Please, if you have a website, consider posting the widget made by our partners at Fight for The Future, Demand Progress, and the BattleForTheNet.com team.

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The Triumph of the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex

The Triumph of the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex - War Is Boring - Medium
In his farewell address in January 1961, Pres. Dwight Eisenhower famously cautioned the American public to “guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”
Gary Yarus's insight:

Ben Cohen is the co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and the founder and head stamper of StampStampede.org, a non-profit dedicated to reducing the corrupting influence of money in politics.

Winslow Wheeler recently retired as the Director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Project On Government Oversight. He worked on national security issues for 31 years in the U.S. Senate for members of both political parties and at the Government Accountability Office.

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Who Will Rule the Oil Market?

Who Will Rule the Oil Market? | The Beacon | Scoop.it

A HISTORIC change of roles is at the heart of the clamor and turmoil over the collapse of oil prices, which have plummeted by 50 percent since September. For decades, Saudi Arabia, backed by the Persian Gulf emirates, was described as the “swing producer.” With its immense production capacity, it could raise or lower its output to help the global market adjust to shortages or surpluses. by  DANIEL YERGIN

Gary Yarus's insight:

Daniel Yergin is the author of “The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World”.

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Truthdigger of the Week: Barrett Brown

Truthdigger of the Week: Barrett Brown | The Beacon | Scoop.it
In Dallas on Thursday a federal judge sentenced Barrett Brown, journalist and one-time collaborator with the hacktivist group Anonymous, to 63 months in prison. Since his arrest in September 2012 on allegations of threatening the life of an FBI agent in a YouTube video, Brown has come to be seen as one of those subjected to predatory treatment as the U.S. government persecutes journalists who use underground tactics to expose the wrongdoing of government and business leaders.
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The Petulant Entitlement Syndrome of Journalists

The Petulant Entitlement Syndrome of Journalists | The Beacon | Scoop.it
As intended, Jonathan Chait’s denunciation of the “PC language police” – a trite note of self-victimization he’s been sounding for decades – provoked intense reaction: much criticism from liberals and praise from conservatives (with plenty of exceptions both ways). I have all sorts of points I could make about his argument – beginning with how he tellingly focuses on the pseudo-oppression of still-influential people like himself and his journalist-friends while steadfastly ignoring the much more serious ways that people with views Chait dislikes are penalized and repressed – but I’ll instead point to commentary from Alex Pareene, Amanda Marcotte and Jessica Valenti as worthwhile responses. In sum, I fundamentally agree with Jill Filipovic’s reaction: “There is a good and thoughtful piece to be written about language policing & ‘PC’ culture online and in academia. That was not it.” I instead want to focus on one specific point about the depressingly abundant genre of journalists writing grievances about how they’re victimized by online hordes, of which Chait’s article is a very representative sample:
Gary Yarus's insight:

 Excellent quote:

'...one of the best aspects of the internet is that it gives voice to people who are not credentialed – meaning not molded through the homogenizing grinder of establishment media outlets.'

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Senator Cardin’s Tax Plan Is What We Need to Fix Our Broken System

Senator Cardin’s Tax Plan Is What We Need to Fix Our Broken System | The Beacon | Scoop.it

BY: Daniel Mills

Many Americans have come to believe that the magnitude of problems damaging our economy and increasing the national debt are a complicated disaster. One basic solution to begin restoring our economy would be to implement tax reform by implementing a national consumption tax.

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Anti-Koch: The Fight for Green Energy Is a Fight for the 99 Percent

Anti-Koch: The Fight for Green Energy Is a Fight for the 99 Percent | The Beacon | Scoop.it
The fact that this even needs to be said demonstrates that there’s been a breakdown in the democratic process, but we’ll say it anyway: Our number one priority should be protecting the planet for future generations. That said, green energy makes sense even if we base our thinking on economic considerations alone.
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Save Us From Washington’s Visionaries

Save Us From Washington’s Visionaries | The Beacon | Scoop.it
En route back to Washington at the tail end of his most recent overseas trip, John Kerry, America’s peripatetic secretary of state, stopped off in France “to share a hug with all of Paris.” Whether Paris reciprocated the secretary’s embrace went unrecorded.
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As Its Domestic Foundations Rapidly Erode, The U.S. Pursues World Domination

As Its Domestic Foundations Rapidly Erode, The U.S. Pursues World Domination | The Beacon | Scoop.it

 BY: Michael Payne - A foundation is a base, the cornerstone, the solid rock on which a structure rests. The foundations upon which America was built, its Constitution, its democracy, and standards of ethics and morality are what made this a great nation. But, at this point in America's history these foundations continue to rapidly erode while this government recklessly pursues an agenda of world domination.

Gary Yarus's insight:

Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense industry, and the massive control that Corporate America holds over this government and our election process; all which are leading this nation down the road to eventual financial ruin if the conditions are not reversed. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and a U.S. Army veteran.

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Greece’s Warning to the Rest of Europe

Greece’s Warning to the Rest of Europe | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Perhaps the most shocking thing about Sunday’s election in Greece, which saw the left-wing Syriza Party emerge with the largest share of seats in parliament, was that something like this took so long to happen. After five years of austerity policies that have plunged much of the euro zone into a deep and grinding recession, parties on the far left and far right have been gaining popularity from the Atlantic to the Adriatic. With public anger rising, it was only a matter of time before one of them won enough votes to take power, and now it has happened. Syriza won a hundred and forty-nine seats in Greece’s parliament, just two short of a majority. On Monday, the party’s forty-year-old leader, Alexis Tsipras, was sworn in as the head of a coalition government that also includes a small right-wing nationalist party.
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What do you call a dozen bankers in a jail cell? A good start!

What do you call a dozen bankers in a jail cell? A good start! | The Beacon | Scoop.it

The screaming headline is 'Greece Elects Far Left Syriza (SIH-reez-ah) party to run Government', the reality is they're on par with other left leaning mainstream European governments, it's just that they aren't taking this austerity crap anymore. The Greeks have paid a cruel price to demonstrate how bad right-wing economics really is. 'Austerity driven growth' is right up there with Bernie Madoff fund management, sounds great until you see the actual results. by Bruce Enberg

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Put a Name to the 80 People Who Own Half of the World’s Wealth

Put a Name to the 80 People Who Own Half of the World’s Wealth | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Some of the names on this list of the über rich will seem familiar while others may come as a surprise. What probably isn’t unexpected is the fact that 35 of the world’s 1 percent are American, and that, of the entire group, 50 are “self-made,” whatever that means these days.
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The Koch network plans to spend nearly $1 billion on the 2016 elections

The Koch network plans to spend nearly $1 billion on the 2016 elections | The Beacon | Scoop.it

The billionaire Koch brothers' network of wealthy conservative donors plans to raise $889 million for the 2016 elections, the Washington Post's Matea Gold and Politico's Ken Vogel reported Monday.

Gary Yarus's insight:

Is this what democracy should look like?

What is the real treat to America? Hint: It is not Socialism.

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US Is World Leader in Dysfunctional Democracy

US Is World Leader in Dysfunctional Democracy | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Almost half the world’s 167 countries claim to be democratic, but according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest global Democracy Index that is a mirage because popular discontent with democratic governments is growing worldwide.
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Killing Ragheads for Jesus: Chris Hedges

Killing Ragheads for Jesus: Chris Hedges | The Beacon | Scoop.it
“American Sniper” lionizes the most despicable aspects of U.S. society—the gun culture, the blind adoration of the military, the belief that we have an innate right as a “Christian” nation to exterminate the “lesser breeds” of the earth, a grotesque hypermasculinity that banishes compassion and pity, a denial of inconvenient facts and historical truth, and a belittling of critical thinking and artistic expression. Many Americans, especially white Americans trapped in a stagnant economy and a dysfunctional political system, yearn for the supposed moral renewal and rigid, militarized control the movie venerates. These passions, if realized, will extinguish what is left of our now-anemic open society.
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The Spectacle of Illiteracy and the Crisis of Democracy

The Spectacle of Illiteracy and the Crisis of Democracy | The Beacon | Scoop.it

C. Wright Mills argued 50 years ago that one important measure of the demise of vibrant democracy and the corresponding impoverishment of political life can be found in the increasing inability of a society to translate private troubles to broader public issues. 

Gary Yarus's insight:

This is an excerpt from Zombie Politics and Culture in the Age of Casino Capitalism, by Henry Giroux.

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Why the U.S. Is Stuck With Saudi Arabia

Why the U.S. Is Stuck With Saudi Arabia | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Even the shale oil revolution can't wean Washington off its despotic Middle Eastern ally.
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