By on June 5, 2008

ford_mulally_01.jpgNAFTA eh? Turns out that America's trade policy with its southern neighbor didn't quite work out as planned. ""The pressure has not been to raise the Mexican wages up, it's been to push the U.S. wages down," Ben Davis, the director of the AFL-CIO Solidarity office in Mexico City tells The Detroit News. True dat. "Mexican auto unions are taking a cue from U.S. labor leaders by offering two-tier hiring systems and salary cuts that bring already low wages down to near-Chinese levels." Taking a cue? Or, dare I say it, taking pay-offs? "Wage concessions were apparently key to convincing Ford Motor Co. to direct many of the 4,500 new jobs involved in building Fiestas to the Ford plant in Cuautitlan. Union leaders at the plant told the Associated Press they had agreed to cut wages for new hires to about half of the current wage of $4.50 per hour." $2.25 an hour? Yes. Under NAFTA, Mexico is only obliged to pay workers the national minimum wage: $5 a day. ""We need to be more competitive," said Ford union leader Juan Jose Sosa Arreola. "That's the truth. That's a reality." Once again, the truth hurts. Oh, and five Ford execs banked $60m last year. And Bill Ford's deferred millions await the fruit of Mexican labor.

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51 Comments on “Mexican Ford Fiesta Workers Get $2.25 an Hour...”


  • avatar
    Bill Wade

    I think workers should be paid a reasonable wage for their work. At what point do average wages fall so far we cannot afford the very products we build?

    Henry Ford is probably turning in his grave.

  • avatar
    menno

    Won’t the ultra-rich be surprised if we the people wake up, and hire some Constitutionalists to run our country in the next election (who would immediately start shutting down NAFTA, get the US out of the UN and the UN out of the US, bring troops home from 130 countries worldwide, patrol and ensure the security of the US borders and start moves to deport illegal – emphasis ILLEGAL – aliens). Think how many jobs there will be available with 12 million people deported. Think how much less gas will be needed, and how many millions if not billions per year will be saved by taxpayers not having to provide health care for folks who aren’t even supposed to be here (while working Americans “get by” with little or no medical insurance).

    I can dream.

    The auto companies which seem to think that the United States has a future and are investing here (you know, like Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, and yes even BMW and Mercedes Benz to lesser degrees) will obviously come out all right.

    Companies insistant upon exporting tens of thousands of jobs because of the confrontational status-quo with the auto unions, and because of sheer greed and duplicity, will lose. Companies like GM, Ford and Chrysler (also, Nissan is in this camp, since most of their small cars are sourced in Mexico for North America).

    So Nissan would have a mixed bag (and will end up paying tariffs on Mexican built cars sold in the US).

  • avatar
    ash78

    Well, in a world of perfect labor mobility, those workers could come to a non-union plant in the South (US) and earn about $13-$15, which I think is a fair wage for entry-level semi-skilled work in most fields. So I wonder why these employers don’t fear a mass worker exodus (or revolt, or unionization) when they pay so little. We’re not talking about isolationist rural inland China.

    But how does that wage compare with the local cost of living?

  • avatar
    Airhen

    I’m curious why foreign manufacturers are building plants in the US if they can just go to Mexico and pay $2.25 an hour for labor? For example Honda is building a plant here in Indiana to build Civics to start with. So that would make it sound like to me that Ford is just getting away from the UAW by moving to Mexico. Maybe Ford just needs to get non union Honda to build their cars? :)

  • avatar
    Orian

    I’ve always wondered why people are so gung-ho on bashing the UN in the US when the US was the creator of the UN?

    That aside, I think the big 3 are moving to Mexico to escape the UAW. If Honda and Toyota were to get infested with the UAW you can bet they’d move south of the border or completely shutter their plants here.

  • avatar
    Alex Rodriguez

    The truth about employment is that if you have a brain and a little bit of courage you start looking for another job and then fire your boss when you find it. Maybe in Mexico that takes a little bit of time, but that is how you stick it to the man.

    If Ford starts losing people in mass, wages will go back up. They are testing the job market to see if it will bear $2.25 an hour.

  • avatar
    Blunozer

    @Bill Wade

    Well, said about Henry Ford rolling in his grave. Wasn’t his dream to have the car affordable by the very people who build it? Looks like Ford Inc has decided to keep the car price the same, but pay the worker less.

    Just a quick run at numbers:

    Yearly wage at a Mexican plant, about $5000.

    Amount of Mexican employees that can be hired for the cost of ONE of those highly paid execs, about 12,000.

    I’m a big fan of Ayn Rand and free market economy… But c’mon!

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    Hey menno,

    That first sentence of your entry hits on a train of thought I have been developing. Mr. Limbaugh and his ilk would surely label me a socialist liberal, what ever, for saying this.
    There needs to be a separation of powers between government and money. When wealth becomes so concentrated that it calls the shots controlling our nation, then government of, by , and for the people is just a fictitious slogan, and the act of voting is an act of mass delusion. Government, through written and structured legal codes, ensures human rights and freedoms. If moneyed interests control the nation, then there is no freedom. We The People need to grab that Constitution and use it to our advantage to ensure a more egalitarian society, to ensure we have rights like Habeus Corpus (currently nullified folks, this is for real!), assure that our representatives in government are not lackeys to moneyed interests.
    And Henry Ford was right when he saw that workers need to afford the product of their labors. Not all capitalists are unenlightened and exploitive. The “I got mine, fuck you” , or even ” I’ll fuck you to get mine” type of people and organizations with this philosophy really need to answer to a government of “We The People” My favorite example; the health insurance industry.

  • avatar
    dwford

    There aren’t many good jobs in Mexico, that’s why so many Mexicans try to come over the border! Let’s see, you can make $2.25/hour assembling Fiestas, or sneak into the US and make $8/hour picking lettuce. You make the call…

    Mexico could be a rich country if the government had any brains. They have tons of oil, and their proximity to the US would seem to make Mexico an ideal manufacturing location, but for some reason it is easier to get things made half way around the world in China and pay the freight to get it over here.

    As for Constitutionalists running the country, you’d need more than a President, you’d need majorities in the House and Senate to enact your ideas. So call us when THAT happens. Oh, and before you get going, figure out what all of us are supposed to buy after the illegals are kicked out and you put huge tariffs on imported goods. We make very little of what we consume here, so we’d need to reinvent American manufacturing 1st – all with automation since without the illegals there will be a huge labor shortage…

  • avatar
    KatiePuckrik

    Sorry to report, but this is what happens when you join a free trade agreement. Look at the UK.

    We were a manufacturing power house, then we joined the EU. In a single stroke, jobs were exported abroad and, then, the products or services were imported into the UK at pretty much the same price. So we lost out on pretty much everything.

    Same with fishing. Because of the Free trade agreement, Spanish fishermen can legally sail into UK waters, catch UK fish and sell it to the UK and there’s nothing we can do about it.

    This is the snag of a free trade economy, a company can up sticks and move a factory to a countries which gives the workers there, no rights, little money and poor working conditions. This of course, increases profit margins for the companies.

    I’ve vowed to buy only UK made products or, at the very least. products owned by a UK company. That is why my next car will be either a Jaguar X-Type (made in the west Midlands) or a Toyota Auris 5 door (made in Burnaston in Derbyshire). It’s the only way to safeguard one’s economy and guarantee better working conditions. Yes, this might breed lazy manufacturers, but what’s the alternative? No jobs at all?

    When you next buy something really cheap, before you put it in your basket, check the back and see where it was made to get an idea of the REAL cost….

  • avatar
    ra_pro

    I think this little article explains the predicament of the North American economy and society in general better than anything I have seen here.

    The enormous pressures exerted by the industrial “leaders” on the working people to lower their working conditions and therefore living standard to the level of the Chinese and Mexican workers while at the same time they themselves don’t feel even the slightest obligation or even shame in enriching themselves far and beyond any reasonable measure especially in view of the piss-pour job they have done themselves in leading their companies.

    And then people wonder why the unions, those few still left, are so militant. When the swine at the top is taking away from you and your family a prospect for a decent life and giving it to a Mexican worker living in a slum in exchange for his paycut to 2.50 an hour, wouldn’t you be upset?

  • avatar
    mel23

    Nothing’s new under the sun. I’m reading a book on Weimar Germany, the period between WWI (1918) and Hitler’s coming to power (1933). Before WWI, Germany was a monarchy, but when Germany was defeated in WWI, people had had enough and revolted ushering in universal sufferage, labor unions, free speech, etc. Among those opposing this new freedom were the moneyed interests who supported Hitler when they deemed it to be to their benefit. We read a lot about union greed, but it’s just part of being human.

    As for Honda and Toyota, they’re cutting wages in the US too to be more in line with ‘local norms’ or whatever their term is. In other words just enough to get ‘em and keep ‘em. It is not in the corporate interest to pay workers enough that they can send their kids to college; better to keep those kids near home and uneducated beyond being capable of working in the plants in ever-simpler and ever lower-paid jobs as robotics improve.

  • avatar
    Zarba

    On January 5, 1914, the Ford Motor Company announced what one Ford biographer called “the most advanced labor policy in the world.” One week hence the automaker would establish a minimum wage of $5 a day, twice the industry standard.

    “…Mexico is only obliged to pay workers the national minimum wage: $5 a day.”

    94 years later, and still $5 a day.

    How much does Alan Mullaly make? Ford could pay those workers four or five times that much and not put a hurt on their top executives. Think paying those workers (relatively) well would improve quality? Just a little?

    Wonder why people have little or no sympathy for the Big 2.5? They see stories like this and decide thet the executives are looting the company and screwing the workers who actually build the cars.

  • avatar
    dwford

    The problem is that in the US we have had an artificially high standard of living for probably 40 years. With both government borrowing financing increasing entitlements and personal borrowing on non-necessities we have borrowed our way into oblivion.

    We can’t pay the true cost of anything, so we personally fall for “no pay for a year” gimmicks, use credit cards to pay our cellphone bills etc., while the government borrows money to give us own own money back!

    So now, to keep the dream alive, we have to ship our manufacturing overseas to make goods cheaper so we can afford them, too stupid to realize that the jobs go away with that and now we have even less money to buy the stuff we don’t need. So now, instead of borrowing to buy US made goods we don’t need, we borrow to buy foreign made goods we don’t need.

    This country is all fucked up.

  • avatar
    Orian

    Mel, I think you’re wrong on that, and I will tell you why. Toyota and Honda (and nearly every other large company in the US) all have scholarship programs for employee’s children. That doesn’t sound to me like they are trying to keep them uneducated.

    Now lets look at salaries for workers in different geographic areas – all companies pay what is locally competitive EXCEPT union based companies. They tend to pay more than what is usual in an area. Now that the UAW has extorted more than what was fair for their members the companies are on the rocks (not entirely the UAW’s fault, but they are a big contributor) and people are getting laid off right and left. Foreclosures are way up in these areas because people cannot go to another blue collar job and make the same amount of money they were under the Union contracts.

    The point of the matter is we’re a global economy now, and have been since shortly after WW2. There is no union that can force or change the labor rates to be the same around the world. The UAW priced its labor way out in left field and no one wants to pay that when they can get the same labor cheaper elsewhere.

  • avatar
    Orian

    Zarba,

    You’re not taking into consideration the cost of living in Mexico being cheaper than the cost of living in the US (just as parts of the US are cheaper to live in than others). That may actually be a pretty nice salary there. It doesn’t sound good to us, but I bet there are plenty of people in Mexico lined up for one of those jobs.

  • avatar
    hwyhobo

    Orian :
    I’ve always wondered why people are so gung-ho on bashing the UN in the US when the US was the creator of the UN?

    “It seemed like a good idea at the time”. If you run naked into the winter snow because you think it might invigorate you, and then you discover that instead you freeze your ***** off, should you stay outside or get back in the house?

  • avatar
    mel23

    Orian: You’re right, but. How many scholarships are available per year, and what are the amounts? I’ve done a Google search and looked at the Honda website with no significant results. I really can’t comment on what Honda offers without some significant info. But, unless Honda chips in enough so that every capable child can go to college, I stand by my statement. In any case, there is NO excuse for cutting wages in Mexico, and as the companies often say, they have to stay competitive even if their own ethics are somehow offended. Thus now that Ford has done it, Honda and the others really have no choice do they? The Mexican unions are a farce. From what I’ve read, the union at a GM plant there was in place before the workers were hired; it’s a company creation and a charade.

    How far are we from the ‘company houses’ and ‘company stores’ of the coal mining era? Can there be any doubt that this is what the corporations would like?

  • avatar
    lewissalem

    ash78,

    The cost of living is a little less here in the South. I feel that the overall attitude may be different when it comes to the factory jobs. There is an anti-entitlement view of life here that may be the reason the UAW has not taken hold. Furthermore, my region has seen almost all of it’s furniture and textile manufacturing jobs shipped overseas already, so we’ll take what we can get.

    My county paid Dell massive incentives to build a manufacturing plant here after losing the Benz plant to Alabama.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    What should Ford have done? Gone to Korea like GM or China like Chrysler for sub-compact production?

  • avatar
    Orian

    Mel,

    Most companies don’t publish what they give out as benefits, so I’m not surprised you didn’t find it. As a counter, can you name one company that does pay for every last employee’s children to go to college?

    The UN has done the world a lot of good (and has dropped the ball a few times too). It just seems funny that in the last 8 years all of a sudden the UN is an issue with the United States.

  • avatar
    toxicroach

    Generally wages reflect productivity. So even though a Mexican worker is willing to work for far less, he is much less productive than an American worker in the final analysis.

    A large part of it is infrastructure, transport costs and all that. The problem isn’t that US workers will be out of a job if they won’t work for 2.25 an hour. It’s that they will be out of a job if their union demands wages and working conditions that are higher than the US workers productivity.

    Which is why Ford is going to Mexico and Toyota is going to America. It’s more profitable to have plants in the US @ $30/hour than it is in Mexico @ 2.25/hour.

    On the other hand, its better to have a plant in Mexico than UAW workers in America.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Toyota is in Mexico as well. They opened a factory to build Tacomas a few years ago:

    http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0501/29/autos-73584.htm

  • avatar
    geeber

    ttacgreg: When wealth becomes so concentrated that it calls the shots controlling our nation, then government of, by , and for the people is just a fictitious slogan, and the act of voting is an act of mass delusion.

    George Washington alone controlled a much higher percentage of the wealth in the fledgling United States than anyone, or any corporation, does today in the U.S. Wealth was incredibly concentrated, by our standards, in colonial and post-Revolutionary War America. Yet George Washington – and his very wealthy peers – oversaw the founding of our new government.

    In 1907, when Wall Street was gripped by a panic, John Pierpont Morgan – the INDIVIDUAL, not the financial institution – stepped in and used HIS OWN MONEY to prevent a panic that could have triggered a depression. Can any one person do that today?

    Wealth in the U.S. is not concentrated today, by historical standards.

    mel23: Before WWI, Germany was a monarchy, but when Germany was defeated in WWI, people had had enough and revolted ushering in universal sufferage, labor unions, free speech, etc. Among those opposing this new freedom were the moneyed interests who supported Hitler when they deemed it to be to their benefit. We read a lot about union greed, but it’s just part of being human.

    Germany in the 1920s also had hyperinflation and constant violence between Communists and National Socialists. It wasn’t just the “moneyed interests” who were disenchanted with the Weimar Republic.

    At one point Germans used paper currency to fuel stoves and furnaces, because it was less valuable than wood.

    mel23: Thus now that Ford has done it, Honda and the others really have no choice do they?

    I doubt it.

    One, the transplants aren’t unionized in the U.S., which gives them more flexibility in arranging production schedules and assigning tasks.

    Two, note that Honda and Toyota already produce their Fiesta competitors (Fit and Yaris) outside of the U.S.

    Three, their Fusion competitors are produced here and are quite profitable.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    I like “Constitutionalists” somehow equals extreme, right-wing John Birch and Scalia style xenophobic psuedo-fascism.

    Which Constitution is this?

    As far as $2.25 an hour… I think that earns uf lefties a one month break from hearing anything bad about the UAW — Fair?

  • avatar
    geeber

    Justice Scalia is not a fascist. Using that term to describe is inaccurate at best.

    Incidentally, facism was a left-wing ideology. It advocated government control over the economy – the government just allowed private property, as long as its owners did what the government told it to do.

    Libertarianism is the extreme right-wing ideology. It advocates no regulation or government involvement in the economy.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Which is why I said psuedo-fascist.

    He is all for corporate liberty. He just can’t stand that pesky 4th Amendment.

  • avatar
    geeber

    No, he would be a psuedo-libertarian.

    And he’s hardly the only one who picks and choses which amendments he supports. Ask the ACLU, for example, about its interpretation of the Second Amendment…

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Last time I checked, the ACLU was not a Supreme Court Justice.

  • avatar
    geeber

    Do you think that Justices Breyer or Bader Ginsburg, for example, would disagree with the ACLU?

    Justice Bader Ginsburg, for example, was the chief litigator of the ACLU’s women’s rights project, so it’s not a stretch to guess that, given her views on other subjects and work with the ACLU, that she holds its views on this particular subject.

    And the ACLU is important, because it is a nationwide organization that contributes heavily to the debate on constitutional issues and influences LOTS of people.

  • avatar
    menno

    Johnny, I have to respectfully object to your assertion that Constitutionalists are xenophobes.

    I’m Constitutionalist (and was Libertarian until they went off the rails and declared there should be legalized drugs of all manner), and I’m married to a LEGAL immigrant who took US citizenship.

    When she married me and moved here, we did the paperwork and followed the LAW. When we moved to the UK, we did the paperwork and followed the LAW. When we chose to move back to the states, we did so and followed the LAW.

    You cannot have a nation without secure borders; it is an oxymoron. Having borders means you ARE a nation. I don’t hate on anybody – I (and literally millions of others) just think “by God, if I have to follow the rules, why shouldn’t THEY? Why are THEY special?!”

    Besides, let me tell you which nation in the Americas is MOST stringient about deporting illegal aliens. It’s Mexico. So, I’m calling hypocracy on the Mexican government for their continuous calls to the US government to leave the status quo re: illegals crossing the border north. I’m calling on Mexico to stop being so corrupt, and putting their valuable resources to work for the benefit of their poor, instead of foisting their problems on their neighbors. Good fences make good neighbors.

    ttacgreg has a good handle on the situation.

    Here’s my short take. UNLESS “we the people” can stand up, get away from the mass media force-feeding us our “opinions” which simply make us sheeple, and can agree on SOMETHING worthwhile to use as our common touch-stone (eschewing the “left wing ideology” and “right wing ideology” which only blinds us to what we need to do to take our country back from the elite who now run it), we’re finished. As ttacgreg infers, we’re already very, very damn close to enslavement now. Interestingly enough, we haven’t gradually lost our rights under only one major party or the other; a pox on both of their houses – they are both responsible for it!

    Canada is even more precariously placed than the US, but we’re right behind them.

    My contention is that if we cannot stand behind the Constitution of the United States, and support a party whose existance and party-line is based upon the commonsense, as-written and understood by the authors interpretation of same (instead of reading into it what is desired for a particular outcome, which is simply anarchy) – then we deserve exactly what we get. Which, in plain English, will be a collapsed civilization. I can’t put it any plainer than that.

    Katie said it well – look at the results that the UK has seen. Our results from NAFTA are following along Britain’s results.

    To keep it simple, look at the British auto industry. It is now down to cottage industry size, with no mass production car built in the UK by UK owned interests.

    That’s obviously the road we’re on in America, too, and it is more important than just cars.

    It’s our lives, our livelihood, our freedoms and our nation I’m talking about. We’re literally just about out of chances to put a new captain and crew into place and turn the ship away from the rocks. Now’s the time to act.

  • avatar
    bleach

    As for company paid college scholarships, the most common way to provide these is through a company controlled foundation. Ford, for example would donate to its foundation which would establish a scholarship program and administer the payments.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    menno,

    Good points all around. However, a free market is directly at odds with “secure borders.”

    Again, in the case of Mexico, $2.25 an hour to hammer Fords together, or more than that picking produce. Or hauling garbage. Or whatever.

    And remember, it’s not the illegals that are hiring illegals. It’s the legals that are (illegally) hiring illegals.

    For what it’s worth, my father came here legally (from Canada). My sister married someone who came here illegally when he was a child. However, his family worked their Guatemalan asses off. His brother is now LAPD, his sister is a nurse at UCLA medical center and my brother-in-law graduated from USC (expensive private school) before becoming a Hollywood semi-big shot. Is America worse off for having them come here illegally?

  • avatar

    Well once your new Government is in place in those United States one wont have to worry about Mexico or here in Canada as some have promised to cancel the NAFTA agreement, that will be good for us, then we will be able to keep our Oil and Hydro here for Canadian use only, ahh such is life in the fast lane eh?

  • avatar
    hwyhobo

    Jonny Lieberman wrote:
    I like “Constitutionalists” somehow equals extreme, right-wing John Birch and Scalia style xenophobic psuedo-fascism.

    It’s amusing to see how the left loves to label insistence on legal immigration as “xenophobic” even though there is no logical connection (but we are talking about the left, aren’t we?), but pseudo-fascism is a new one. Just the fact that it makes no sense whatsoever but sounds so good must automatically lift it to the top of the ranking.

  • avatar
    mel23

    Orian: I was hoping that you might have some detail as to exactly what Honda offers in the way of scholarships to employee’s kids. Not a criticism, just hoping we could get the info to consider. But a higher wage would give the workers the ability to decide for themselves and make education one of the options.

    Unfortunately the UN has been on the receiving end of criticism from the US for longer than 8 years. Remember Jesse Helms being able to withhold US dues in Clinton’s time?

    toxicroach:

    Yes productivity in Mexico might well be lower than in the US, but why? Are the Mexicans too stupid or lazy? I doubt it, and we know that companies invest less in labor-saving technology as long as they are able to keep the wages down, or even lower them. Henry Ford did raise wages, but from what I’ve read it was to get people to show up every day rather than from a burst of altruism. Remember he effectively turned control over to Harry Bennett and agreed to sign the deal with union only when his wife threatened to leave him otherwise.

    Lots, if not most, people are greedy; owners, execs and workers, and never have enough. Is it just coincidence that Honda and Toyota are interested in cutting wages of their people just as the UAW does its givebacks? Are the American Axle US workers now at $14 or so an hour 3-7 times as productive as workers in Mexico? What happens to AA profits if the technology in the US plant is shipped to Mexico? Goodbye US plants, and it’ll happen.

    geeber:

    I didn’t intend to say that the moneyed interests were Hitler’s only supporters, merely that they were very willing to throw in with him even given his obvious character flaws and intentions. Of course they had lots of company.

    You might, but I have no doubt that the oft cited ‘competitive pressures’ will be used as an excuse to squeeze workers all over the world as we continue the race to the bottom. Cutting Mexican wages by half to $2.25 an hour is proof IMO.

    Facism has been a term with various definitions. From my reading of Benito’s work, he used a combining of corporate and government (meaning his) power to the exclusion of citizen rights and interests.

  • avatar
    powerglide

    For a very long time the U.S. had very steep import tariffs INSTEAD of an income tax.

    So we could pay for our government by restoring this condition.

    But pick only one, please: restricting imports while still taxing income resulted in the Great Depression.

    With all respect to menno, however, not sure that immigration law is that big a deal.

    Certainly it stinks when someone’s allowed to sneak in ahead of someone who’s been waiting for years, decades !

    But why were they having to wait ?

    Because there are only so many slots open each year for legal immigrants, because there is an annual quota.

    Why is there a quota ?

    I think history shows it was imposed in the 1920s for basically racist reasons, or because too many of the people coming in had the ‘wrong’ (i.e. non-WASP) religion.

    I think upon some reflection, and fully accepting menno’s arguments based on national sovereignty, we may find that the biggest impetus to keep foreign goods, people out is motivated as much or more by a politically leftist ideology, a Malthusian, anti-growth, anti-business, anti-life ideology.

    menno, what think ye ?

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    hwyhobo,

    Mostly because after Mexicans, the biggest illegals in the country are Canadians and Irish.

    Yet you never hear Tancredo or Buchanan freaking out about them.

    Never ever, ever, do you?

  • avatar
    Gregg

    bleach,
    The Ford Dependent Scholarship Program and the Salaried Tuition Assistance Program were both suspended this morning.

  • avatar
    HEATHROI

    Katie is for a stimulus plan, not for England but for Toyota and now Tata.

    Incidentally Imperial Germany was not much different to Britain (except for the bigger empire) in terms of various freedoms.

    incidentally Illegal immigration has almost dried up as the Mexican Federal Reserve who track remittances coming from the USA has seen those reduce dramatically over the last year. An one of the effects of toughing up the border was to see whole families come across rather than previously the adult males come north looking for some extra money doing seasonal work then returning home.

    The US had very steep import tariffs because this was the stated policy of the Republican Party to keep the Big Business in Big Bucks (incidentally one of the causes of the War of Southern Secession 1860-65.

    Nafta is not a deregulation agreement, who needs rules to trade.

  • avatar
    KatiePuckrik

    HEATHROI

    Katie is for a stimulus plan, not for England but for Toyota and now Tata.

    No, it’s a stimulus for the UK. Let’s use the example of buying a car, since it seems the most relevant.

    Now the most profitable car company runs at about 10% per car. Now if I bought a Toyota Auris to the spec I want, then I’d be looking at paying £16K (roughly). Now, £1600 of that price would be profit for Toyota, which goes back to Japan (I don’t have any problem with that, I like Japan). The remaining £14400 has to go to:

    Buying the parts for the car. This will be sourced from local suppliers to keep cost down.

    Paying the people to bolt the car together. This secures jobs in the UK

    Paying for overheads to keep the plant running.

    The majority of the money stays in the UK. Which means, securing jobs for the country. That is what is most important.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing my 10% profit go to Germany if I bought a Mini. Because Mini supports a HELL of a lot of jobs in the UK (The Cowley plant and Swindon Pressings)

    Then, if a company decides to move production abroad, then I wouldn’t buy that car. Simple, really.

    Yes, it does restrict my choice of cars, but luckily the Toyota Auris and Jaguar X-Type are 2 cars which I happen to love!

  • avatar
    HEATHROI

    just imagine all those poms busting their butts just to build a X type for Katie.

  • avatar
    powerglide

    HEATHROI:

    Understood that the North wanted tariffs high and the South wanted them low.

    Tariffs have disproportionate impacts on different populations, for ill or good (a fleeting, ultimately ruinous ‘good’ in my view, like drinking seawater).

    My point was only that the U.S. relied on tariffs instead of income taxes.

    As for NAFTA, usually nations like to believe that if they lower trade barriers the other fellow will also.

    Economically speaking, this may well be the same as saying, I won’t stop hitting myself in the head with a hammer until you do.

    People a lot smarter than moi attribute England’s historic rise to practicing unilateral free trade.

  • avatar
    RedStapler

    Stupid Stupid Stupid.

    Most Mexican plants already have big turnover, absenteeism and quality issues, lowering the bar on wages will only make them worse.

    Now that they don’t have the UAW at their doorstep in the US you can expect Toyota & Honda to get “competitive” with their wages as well.

    When the UAW failed to organize Honda in Ohio it started the process of undermining their monopoly on labor.

  • avatar
    Kevin

    Toxicroach: Generally wages reflect productivity. So even though a Mexican worker is willing to work for far less, he is much less productive than an American worker in the final analysis….
    On the other hand, its better to have a plant in Mexico than UAW workers in America.

    OMG, lost among this sea of nonsense is someone with a grasp of economic reality, even dare I say it an understanding of the relationship between the value of what a person produces and what they are in turn paid.

    I salute you sir, but I’m afraid your efforts are wasted here. Better to just kick back and grunt “They’re takin ur jobs!” and blather something about the gold standard.

  • avatar
    Kevin

    They’re takin’ ur jobs! This all started when Dick Cheney got us off the gold standard!

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Jonny,

    Just over 40% of prisoners in Los Angeles county jails are illegal aliens. The drop out rate in Los Angeles for high school students nears 50%, while teachers are struggling with students who don’t have a grasp of English. In high school. In response, the LAUSD is trying to dumb down a high school diploma through an easier to pass “final exam”.

    These have extreme social ramifications downstream and we’re starting to see some of the impact now.

    The Dems love illegal aliens because they think they are poor and will vote for more social programs. The Reps love illegal aliens because it’s good for cheap labor. Both parties have been derelict in their obligation to represent their constituents… US!

    We are seeing illegal migration surpress wages, stressing city services and erode the tax base as they’re being paid under the table. Many of the trades in LA used to be known as black trades because those were the guys that were roofers, dry wallers, gardeners, etc. They’ve been undercut by illegals that will do similar work for 1/2 the price because they’re living 20 to a house.

    We are importing the poorest of the poor, and we’re asking the middle class to whip out their AMEX and Visas (no pun) to pay for all of this through higher taxes and higher fees.

    This is not about xenophobia. This is about understanding what happens when millions of people come to the US illegally (crossing a border or overstaying their visas) and become free riders. There is no free lunch.

    I’m not saying they don’t work their asses off. If I lived in Mexico, I’d likely be one of those guys living in a house with 20 people and working in the US. I don’t blame them. I blame our government. And frankly, I blame us, the electorate, for being uneducated about these issues.

  • avatar
    menno

    powerglide said:
    “For a very long time the U.S. had very steep import tariffs INSTEAD of an income tax.”

    True, that. The Constitution Party is the only party (other than perhaps the Libertarian Party?) which would ABOLISH the IRS and Federal Income Taxes, and place some small amounts of tariffs to replace them (because fewer overall taxes would be needed, if we keep the size of government down to Constitutionally correct and legally sanctioned size by limiting government to what it was intended to be and do). Imagine, keeping maybe 95% of what you earn. What a novel idea!

    Of course, private charity would replace public charity. Am I wrong when I say Americans can be extremely generous? Surely I’m not wrong. Especially when we don’t have 50% of our pay stolen….

    “So we could pay for our government by restoring this condition.”

    True again. In fact, it is the recommended method as found best by our founding fathers.

    “Certainly it stinks when someone’s allowed to sneak in ahead of someone who’s been waiting for years, decades !

    But why were they having to wait ?

    Because there are only so many slots open each year for legal immigrants, because there is an annual quota.

    Why is there a quota ?

    I think history shows it was imposed in the 1920s for basically racist reasons, or because too many of the people coming in had the ‘wrong’ (i.e. non-WASP) religion.

    I think upon some reflection, and fully accepting menno’s arguments based on national sovereignty, we may find that the biggest impetus to keep foreign goods, people out is motivated as much or more by a politically leftist ideology, a Malthusian, anti-growth, anti-business, anti-life ideology.

    menno, what think ye ?”

    I think you have some very valid points.

    But may I add one more little factoid? Speaking of anti-life, what about the lives of babies? Such cultural decisions made by certain powerful groups are even happening currently.

    How many of you understand the concept that ABORTION was pushed into legality primarily by eugenicists and racists, specifically the founder of Planned Parenthood? How many of you are aware that RIGHT NOW Planned Parenthood has been caught encouraging more black women posing as potential “customers” than white?

    There are a lot of ways that humanity is evil to one another.

    Well, folks, I have had a really tough day. My wife and family, our friends and our congregation just buried our pastor who died while on vacation.

    So I’m going to sign off, friends, and see you all tomorrow.

  • avatar
    punkviper

    I’m Constitutionalist (and was Libertarian until they went off the rails and declared there should be legalized drugs of all manner)

    “Off the rails”???
    An opposition stance to the “War On Drugs” has been a Libertarian plank for quite some time. One might say that train would not run if not for that particular rail. Nothing typifies needless gov’t waste better than spending billions to lock up non-violent drug-offenders.

    And you mistakenly assume “should” when a better word might be “can.”

  • avatar
    windswords

    Orian:

    “The UN has done the world a lot of good (and has dropped the ball a few times too). It just seems funny that in the last 8 years all of a sudden the UN is an issue with the United States.”

    I can recommend a good book on this subject: Tower of Babel, by Dore Gold. I’m afraid the UN has droped the ball more than a few times.

  • avatar
    menno

    Hi plankviper. I don’t recall the Libertarian plank having the drug freedom gig in 1980 and 1984 when I last voted for them. Yeah, they’ve been around longer than that…

    As for drugs themselves, while I can see the point in your (and the Libertarian) stance that it’s a huge waste of time and effort, I also know from 1/2 a century of life on planet earth, that if you don’t have “something like standards to live by” then all hell breaks loose.

    Put another way, when I was a dad to a young toddler, I’d try my best to keep him from toddling over to the stove and reaching up, putting his hand on the hot burner.

    That’s a short description of what a civilized society does for citizens by way of consensus; it’s pretty well agreed that illicit drugs are not-a-good-thing, and that plenty of lives are wrecked by them. So it’s best to try to discourage their use and that’s done by making it illegal (which entails punishment for lawbreaking).

    Having been a Stephen Minister (look it up) I can tell you I’ve seen some really ruined lives and families directly attributable to illicit drug use, and it’s not pretty.

    As for how society would be better off to not jail people caught dealing illicit drugs, I can’t help you there. I can’t see any way it’d be better. Certainly looking at nations, like Holland, where pretty much anything goes, tells me that it isn’t working out so well for them, either.

    Likewise, I’ve seen ruined lives from alcohol, too; and I know the USA tried to ban alcohol and it didn’t work out well at all (the law of unintended consequences left us with the mafia).

    So if the Libertarians win, and empty the prisons, and make drug dealing legal – will things get worse or better for the USA? I strongly suspect worse – but looking at the prior model as seen by alcohol and Prohibition, I can understand other people’s opinions that it may not be worse, but better.


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