January 02, 2004
Zapatista! + Nafta
Social Design Notes reminds us that 10 years ago yesterday the Zapatistas declared war on the Mexican government. On the same day Nafta (the North American Free Trade Agreement) went into effect. I'd be really interested is seeing some evaluations of what the effects have been over the past decade. From all sides of the issue of course.
In theory I'm all for free trade. But in practice it's a lot dicier. For one 'free' trade is generally used to indicate a freeing of borders for capital and goods, without a corresponding freeing of the borders for labor. Which is not really free trade at all. Its also really easy to see why that sort of action gets interpreted as threat to jobs, by keeping the borders closed to labor its possible to force and enforce a strafication of the labor market, with one country maintaining a lower level of personal income then the other.
That doesn't mean that "free" trade without free flows of labor is inherently bad. It's the situation we currently have with Nafta and quite honestly I don't know enough about its effects to evaluate its impact. So if you have the info, please send it along.Posted by Abe at January 2, 2004 07:02 PM