Sep 18, 2010, 7:55 PM
Post #55 of 64
Re: [Reefhound] US Complicities in Mexico's Destabilzation?
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It seems to me that in your perceptions, the USA has no complicity nor responsibilities for her past actions, which is ok, but a bit more narrow than most people's views.
"... You have GOT to be kidding me. The damage and losses is exactly the same as to Mexican farmers. A bushel of corn not exported is a bushel of corn not sold is income lost to the farmer. ..." - -
I'm not kidding. You project that corn exports would magically end, if US farmers did not have USDA subsidies and the NAFTA rules forcing additional 34% subsidies, seemingly because US farmers could not compete with Mexican farmers?
I believe that US farmers can easily compete with Mexican farmers and Mexico will clearly continue to need the 7 million metric tons of corn per year that has been exported by US farmers: witness our 10,000's of milperos in the Yucatan, who still plant with sticks in fields hewn out of the jungle using 1,000 year old methods - these guys and their families (including my friends) live in abject poverty, heavily due to the 70% reductions in corn prices due to NAFTA - and even with shipping costs, US farmers can easily compete in a free market with our milperos. Changing NAFTA would not mean the end of US corn exports, just the payment of fair prices, and the end of government subsidies that are little more than corporate welfare.
"... Wait a minute, what jobs would the illegals be leaving? Oh that's right, the U.S. farming jobs that would no longer exist because their employers (the US farmers) no longer have a market to sell all that corn. ..." - -
You've made an interesting link between illegal immigrant workers jobs and US farmers who sell corn.
First, commercial US corn farming does not use immigrant labor: it has been a highly mechanized operation since the advent of tractors, corn picker-shellers, and most recently combines, so, typical US commercial corn planting and harvesting has not used migrant labor or hand labor for roughly 80 years, so, positing that US farm jobs would disappear if NAFTA corn subsidy rules change, doesn't make sense.
Second, US farmers would have plenty of opportunities to continue selling their corn to the Mexican market, just at market prices + shipping costs = free trade / fair trade.
"And you have the gall to say that there would be no real damage or losses to US farmers? " - -
It seems you have imagined gall where there is none. Is receiving a fair price for some product or service, now somehow damaging and wrong? Is making a smaller profit, now called a loss, when all the corn farmers would lose is their current government welfare payments? In the same vein: I think both US businesses and US welfare moms & other welfare recipients should work to get off govt. welfare, to stop burdening US taxpayers and reduce our deficits. (Sidelight: these are not just esoteric points for me: I come from 370 years of US farmers, and I picked more than my share of corn when growing up on our family farms.)
Overall and on your other points, I think we simply need to agree to disagree.
I believe in free markets and free trade, but under fair conditions. You have taken some protectionist and socialist stands, which simply means that we see the world differently = time to agree to disagree. It is clear that there will always be inequities in trading between nations, but I believe we should not use inequities in one area as an excuse to not reform or correct problems in other areas, particularly when the heaviest flows of illegal aliens have come from corn-producing rural areas in Mexico's poorer states = a good partial solution to the shared illegal immigrant issues.
When there are many problems, it seems wise to first address the ones that give the greatest return for the least cost and least effort. In complex situations with layers of problems. it makes sense to address each layer at a time - working through them sequentially, one at a time?: NAFTA inequities, US Ag subsidies, temporary Guest Worker program, etc.
By demanding a scenario where no individual problem should be solved until all problems can be resolved in some sort of grand fiat, seems un-productive, un-workable, and short-sighted = trying to "eat the elephant in one bite". Reforming US ag welfare policies would benefit both the USA (as a whole), and would include some peripheral ancillary benefits for Mexico & their jointly shared immigration and drug smuggling problems.
Free-trade, free markets, and fair trade are not mutually exclusive goals - and the combination of the 3 is worth pursuing, (with sufficient regulation to inhibit cheating and fraud).
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(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Sep 18, 2010, 8:11 PM)