We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Monday, December 16, 2013

NAFTA at 20: State of the North American Worker

Click here to access article by Jeff Faux from Foreign Policy in Focus.

NAFTA was the opening fusillade in the neo-capitalist (aka neoliberal) war against workers and against national legal protections of workers which previous generations had fought for with their blood, sweat, and tears.

In this article the author gives us a kind of report card on NAFTA after 20 years of working its neoliberal policies into the web of trade in North American countries, and it looks like straight "F"s for workers and "A"s for corporations.

Faux summarizes the causalities suffered by workers in Mexico and the US in four ways. Unfortunately, his narrow focus analyses the passage of NAFTA in the US in terms of Democrats versus Republicans, but it is obvious that both played a role in its passage. Of course, this is always the case in the ongoing class war. Also, the author's liberal political perspective about improving the lot of workers limits his imagination to reforms only, and ignores the reality of a system that by their design always gives the owning class enormous advantages in the class war.