This election revealed that one of the issues that Americans care deeply about is jobs. In the past two decades, we have seen a dramatic and devastating change in the job outlook for most citizens. Twenty days from now will be the twenty-third anniversary of the implementation the North American Free Trade Agreement - NAFTA. The history of this agreement is grim. Public Citizen has published a report that details the wreckage of just the first twenty years of NAFTA.
“Not only did promises made by NAFTA’s proponents not materialize, but many results are exactly the opposite…a staggering $181 billion U.S. trade deficit with … Mexico and Canada and the related loss of 1 million net U.S. jobs under NAFTA, growing income inequality, displacement of more than one million Mexican campesino farmers and a doubling of desperate immigration from Mexico, and more than $360 million paid to corporations after “investor-state” tribunal attacks on, and rollbacks of, domestic public interest policies…the specific promises made by U.S. corporations like GE, Chrysler and Caterpillar to create specific numbers of American jobs if NAFTA was approved, and reveal government data showing that instead, they fired U.S. workers and moved operations to Mexico. The data also show how post-NAFTA trade and investment trends have contributed to middle-class pay cuts, which in turn contributed to growing income inequality; …
NAFTA’s actual outcomes prove how damaging this type of agreement is for most people, demonstrating why NAFTA should be renegotiated or terminated. The evidence makes clear that we cannot have any more such deals that include job-offshoring incentives, requirements we import food that doesn’t meet our safety standards or new rights for firms to get taxpayer compensation before foreign tribunals for laws they don’t like…As Americans have lived with NAFTA’s effects since its Jan. 1, 1994, start, public opinion has shifted dramatically, from a narrow divide during the 1993 NAFTA debate to overwhelming opposition today. A 2012 Angus Reid Public Opinion poll found that 53 percent of Americans believe the U.S. should “do whatever is necessary” to “renegotiate” or “leave” NAFTA, while only 15 percent believe the U.S. should “continue to be a member of NAFTA.” That opposition cuts across party lines, class divisions and education levels, perhaps explaining the growing controversy over the proposed deepening and expansion of the NAFTA model through the TPP….
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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, two out of every three displaced manufacturing workers who were rehired in 2012 experienced wage reductions, most of more than 20 percent. As increasing numbers of workers displaced from manufacturing jobs joined the glut of workers competing for non-offshorable, low-skill jobs in sectors such as hospitality and food service, real wages have also fallen in these sectors since NAFTA….Despite an overall 188 percent rise in food imports from Canada and Mexico under NAFTA, the average nominal price of food in the United States has jumped 65 percent since NAFTA went into effect. The reductions in consumer goods prices that have materialized have not been sufficient to offset the losses to wages under NAFTA.”
The statics are grim. I pray that the President-elect will do as he promised and bury NAFTA six feet under. I think the politicians knew what they were doing when they signed that wretched piece of paper 23 years ago. They did so without a shred of concern for the people whose lives they were about to destroy. They did not care for the workers who would lose out in every way. They did this dastardly deed because they have no respect for the working class; they don’t think those people and the jobs they performed really matter at all. That’s what passes for politics in Washington, D.C. The powerful, the super rich, the elite do not value the jobs performed by the tradesman, the craftsman, or the laborer. They consider such jobs as insignificant, and those workers as easily disposable. In other words, they consider those workers as less valuable than slaves. After all, a slave master knows he paid a large sum to buy a slave, and that slave’s labor represents a continuing return on investment to him; he would not want injury or death to take away that investment. In contrast, the government elites care not one whit for the workers they exploited by NAFTA. If their livelihood was destroyed at the stroke of a pen, they really don’t care - just so long as the bribe money from the internationalist destroyers of our sovereignty continues to flow into their bank account. May God reward them for the evil they have done.
But what does God’s Word say about the laborer, the craftsmen, the tradesman? What does God think of the work they do? Are the workers valued by Him? Our study in Exodus 35 reveals the answers.
What is clear in this passage is that the Gifted Artisans were Called By God and empowered by God to build the Tabernacle. Exodus 35:10 reads: “And every wise hearted among you shall come, and make all that the Lord hath commanded;"
God values the workmen. He honored them in this passage, gifting them with the skills and artistic abilities to craft a beautiful structure that would be to the praise and glory of God.
So it is true of we who are called to the work of building the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. God gifts every Christian: He endows us with abilities which He calls upon us to use in the work of building the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
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