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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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During times of universal deceit telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act!
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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 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 independent 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 protecting a real democracy, righteous 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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Use the 'funnel' icon in the upper right hand corner above as a way to filter and search for specific topics and keywords.

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Exposed: Pentagon Funds New Data-Mining Tools to Track and Kill Activists, Part IV

Exposed: Pentagon Funds New Data-Mining Tools to Track and Kill Activists, Part IV | The Beacon | Scoop.it
New but little-known Pentagon directives authorize the use of armed drones against American citizens in the homeland in the context of domestic emergencies.
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The New Media Movement Is Here: 20 News Sites Kicking Our Generation Into Action

The New Media Movement Is Here: 20 News Sites Kicking Our Generation Into Action | The Beacon | Scoop.it
With a shift in media underway, there's an opportunity for alternative online news sources to turn youth apathy into engagement and cynicism into a demand for social and political change.
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Thanks To The Clean Air Act, We Breathe 3 Million Fewer Tons Of Toxins Each Year

Thanks To The Clean Air Act, We Breathe 3 Million Fewer Tons Of Toxins Each Year | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Actions taken by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act have caused U.S. toxic air emissions to drop “significantly” — in some cases by more than half — since the law was amended in 1990, the regulatory agency told Congress in a report Thursday.

Since 1990, an estimated 3 million tons of toxins from mobile and stationary sources has been removed from the air every year, according to the report. Emissions of benzene, a pollutant found in natural gas, have dropped in outdoor air by 66 percent, while the amount of mercury from man-made sources like coal plants has dropped by nearly 60 percent, the report said. The amount of lead has decreased the most, by 84 percent since 1990.
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The Middle East’s Three Timelines

The Middle East’s Three Timelines | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Three distinct timelines are shaping developments in the Middle East: the short -term timeline of daily struggles and politics; the medium-term timeline of geopolitical shifts; and the long-term timeline of sociocultural transformation. Understanding each is essential to craft an effective strategy in the region.
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The Ghost of Dred Scott Haunts the Streets of Ferguson

The Ghost of Dred Scott Haunts the Streets of Ferguson | The Beacon | Scoop.it
The ghost of Dred Scott haunts the streets of Ferguson.

Thousands have been protesting the police killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. He was due to start college just days after he was shot dead in broad daylight. Police left his bleeding corpse in the middle of the street for over four hours, behind police tape, as neighbors gathered and looked on in horror. Outraged citizens protested, and police brutally cracked down on them. Clad in paramilitary gear and using armored vehicles, they shot tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and flash-bang grenades, aiming automatic weapons at protesters. Scores of peaceful protesters as well as journalists have been arrested.
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The "Holder Doctrine": Bank "Settlements" With No Prosecutions

The "Holder Doctrine": Bank "Settlements" With No Prosecutions | The Beacon | Scoop.it

Even though there is tacit acceptance, or perhaps more accurately, sullen resignation, about regulators’ failure to make serious investigations into financial firm misconduct (probes on specific issues don’t cut it), occasionally a pundit steps up to remind the public of the farce that passes for bank enforcement.

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Why Washington's War on Terror Failed: The Underrated Saudi Connection

Why Washington's War on Terror Failed: The Underrated Saudi Connection | The Beacon | Scoop.it
There are extraordinary elements in the present U.S. policy in Iraq and Syria that are attracting surprisingly little attention. In Iraq, the U.S. is carrying out air strikes and sending in advisers and trainers to help beat back the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (better known as ISIS) on the Kurdish capital, Erbil. The U.S. would presumably do the same if ISIS surrounds or attacks Baghdad. But in Syria, Washington’s policy is the exact opposite: there the main opponent of ISIS is the Syrian government and the Syrian Kurds in their northern enclaves. Both are under attack from ISIS, which has taken about a third of the country, including most of its oil and gas production facilities.
Gary Yarus's insight:

[This essay is excerpted from the first chapter of Patrick Cockburn’s new book, The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising, with special thanks to his publisher, OR Books.  The first section is a new introduction written for TomDispatch.]

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David Suzuki: Put People Before Politics

David Suzuki: Put People Before Politics | The Beacon | Scoop.it
These are basic, biological facts and should be the prism through which any decision is made at individual, corporate or government levels. Protection of air, water, soil and the web of life should be the highest social, political and economic priority.
Gary Yarus's insight:

You know they are smart because they stay away from politics. So, we will have to draft them into office.

 

Elect scientists!

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U.S. Military Bans The Intercept

U.S. Military Bans The Intercept | The Beacon | Scoop.it
The U.S. military is banning and blocking employees from visiting The Intercept in an apparent effort to censor news reports that contain leaked government secrets.

According to multiple military sources, a notice has been circulated to units within the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps warning staff that they are prohibited from reading stories published by The Intercept on the grounds that they may contain classified information. The ban appears to apply to all employees—including those with top-secret security clearance—and is aimed at preventing classified information from being viewed on unclassified computer networks, even if it is freely available on the internet. Similar military-wide bans have been directed against news outlets in the past after leaks of classified information.
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The Uncivil War Escalating Across America

The Uncivil War Escalating Across America | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Americans are used to this nation's military being engaged in wars across the world; wars against nations and enemies "over there." But what we are not at all used to is what is happening here in America today as we witness more and more incidents of overly aggressive police actions using deadly force in situations that simply do not call for anything of the kind.
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The Wake Up Mission's curator insight, August 20, 5:46 PM

Wake Up ... we are living in an increasingly hostile America and the hostility stems from our leaders!!!

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The Disease of American Democracy

The Disease of American Democracy | The Beacon | Scoop.it

Americans are sick of politics. Only 13 percent approve of the job Congress is doing, a near record low. The President’s approval ratings are also in the basement.

A large portion of the public doesn’t even bother voting. Only 57.5 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots in the 2012 presidential election. 

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The Bomber Will Always Get Funded -- and Used

The Bomber Will Always Get Funded -- and Used | The Beacon | Scoop.it

Bombing Iraq, as retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and TomDispatch regular William Astore indicates today, has become an American pastime.  (These days, you can’t be president without sending in the bombers and drones.)  So let’s try to get our heads around the latest U.S. air strikes in northern Iraq against the forces of the new “caliphate.”  It's a campaign that President Obama has already indicated is likely to go on for months and may soon enough spread south to the Baghdad area.  It looks like Washington has finally created the perfect machine for the weapons industry.

 
Gary Yarus's insight:

The American Cult of Bombing 
Why You Should Expect More Bombs to be Dropped Everywhere 
By William J. Astore

When you do something again and again, placing great faith in it, investing enormous amounts of money in it, only to see indifferent or even negative results, you wouldn’t be entirely surprised if a neutral observer questioned your sanity or asked you if you were part of some cult.  Yet few Americans question the sanity or cult-like behavior of American presidents as they continue to seek solutions to complex issues by bombing Iraq (as well as numerous other countries across the globe).

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Exposed: Pentagon Funds New Data-Mining Tools To Track and Kill Activists, Part I

Exposed: Pentagon Funds New Data-Mining Tools To Track and Kill Activists, Part I | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Public university-paid social scientists identify "threats" from mass movements and Muslim NGOs on behalf of U.S. military intelligence.
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Exposed: Pentagon Funds New Data-Mining Tools to Track and Kill Activists, Part II

Exposed: Pentagon Funds New Data-Mining Tools to Track and Kill Activists, Part II | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Groups engaged in activism for social change are susceptible to being ranked higher on the radicalism threat-scale by the Pentagon's Minerva research program.
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Pentagon Funds New Data-Mining Tools To Track and Kill Activists, Part III

Pentagon Funds New Data-Mining Tools To Track and Kill Activists, Part III | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Arizona State University’s Defense Department-sponsored data-mining algorithms would enhance CIA "signature" drone strike targeting.
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Should Twitter, Facebook and Google Executives be the Arbiters of What We See and Read?

Should Twitter, Facebook and Google Executives be the Arbiters of What We See and Read? | The Beacon | Scoop.it

There have been increasingly vocal calls for Twitter, Facebook and other Silicon Valley corporations to more aggressively police what their users are permitted to see and read. Last month in The Washington Post, for instance, MSNBC host Ronan Farrow demanded that social media companies ban the accounts of “terrorists” who issue “direct calls” for violence. 

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Are American Corporations Really Less Competitive Because Of Taxes?

Are American Corporations Really Less Competitive Because Of Taxes? | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Corporate tax rates used to top out at 52.8 percent. They are now 35 percent. Now they want rates lowered even more. But are corporate tax rates really "uncompetitive?"
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5 Lessons for the Left from Naomi Klein’s New Book

5 Lessons for the Left from Naomi Klein’s New Book | The Beacon | Scoop.it

In her previous books The Shock Doctrine (2007) and No Logo (2000), Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein took on topics like neoliberal “shock therapy,” consumerism, globalization and “disaster capitalism,” extensively documenting the forces behind the dramatic rise in economic inequality and environmental degradation over the past 50 years. But in her new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate (due in stores Sept. 16), Klein casts her gaze toward the future, arguing that the dangers of climate change demand radical action now to ward off catastrophe. She certainly isn’t alone in pointing out the urgency of the threat, but what sets Klein apart is her argument that it is capitalism—not carbon—that is at the root of climate change, inexorably driving us toward an environmental Armageddon in the pursuit of profit. This Changes Everything is well worth a read (or two) in full, but we’ve distilled some of its key points here.

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These 9 Charts Show America’s Coming Student Loan Apocalypse

These 9 Charts Show America’s Coming Student Loan Apocalypse | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Borrowers with federal student loans, long promoted as the safest way to borrow for college, appear to be buckling under the weight of their debt, new data show.
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Five Reasons Climate Deniers Are Dead Wrong

Five Reasons Climate Deniers Are Dead Wrong | The Beacon | Scoop.it

The world has warmed about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880 (that’s 0.8 degrees Celsius). That may not sound like much, but only a few degrees is all that has separated us from the unfavorably cold global conditions that the Earth experienced during the last ice age thousands of years ago. Now that we’re changing things in the opposite direction, we’re already starting to see what a warmer world could have in store for us.

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A Night in Ferguson: Rubber Bullets, Tear Gas, and a Jail Cell

A Night in Ferguson: Rubber Bullets, Tear Gas, and a Jail Cell | The Beacon | Scoop.it

Late Monday evening, after many of the major media outlets covering the protests in Ferguson, Mo., had left the streets to broadcast from their set-ups near the police command center, heavily armed officers raced through suburban streets in armored vehicles, chasing demonstrators, launching tear gas on otherwise quiet residential lanes, and shooting at journalists. 

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Ralph Nader: Smaller parties expose rot in political system

Ralph Nader: Smaller parties expose rot in political system | The Beacon | Scoop.it

The word "spoiler," when applied only to small-party candidates, is an epithet of political bigotry.

It says to people who want to enter the electoral arena and talk about ignored but important issues that they should not do so. It says the two big parties own all the voters, and they should not be taken away by third-party candidates who can't win. Nor should these candidates be given an opportunity to build voter familiarity and an eventual chance at winning over several elections.

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Growing National Unrest Has Many Worried, Even Capitalists

Growing National Unrest Has Many Worried, Even Capitalists | The Beacon | Scoop.it
“You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when.”
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International court facing pressure to forgo Gaza probe

International court facing pressure to forgo Gaza probe | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Israel, the US and other Western nations said to dissuade the ICC from looking into alleged Israeli and Hamas crimes during war
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The Carnage of Capitalism

The Carnage of Capitalism | The Beacon | Scoop.it
Capitalism is expanding like a tumor in the body of American society, spreading further into vital areas of human need like health and education.
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