Where Have All the Jobs Gone?

Jobs with Justice expects to host Bob Cash, Director of the Texas Fair Trade Coalition, at our June 3 event outside the A. Maceo Smith Federal Building, 525 Griffin in Downtown Dallas, at 11:30 AM. He appeared on the "Workers Beat" radio program 7-8 AM on Monday, May 23. Cash explains how American trade policies, specifically the so-called "free trade agreements" cost us jobs. Adding insult to injury, our taxpayer dollars are used to fund the process! In fact, certain anti-worker politicians are working on a bill to exempt corporations from paying any taxes on the profits that they earn from facilities they shipped overseas!

The Economic Policy Institute has a short explanation of the jobs lost. They point out, "The U.S. trade deficit with Mexico displaced a total of 682,900 U.S. jobs as of 2010, affecting every state. The United States had a trade surplus with Mexico in 1993 before the North American Free Trade Agreement took effect.  Since then, imports from Mexico have grown much faster than U.S. exports, resulting in large trade deficits.  Exports support domestic jobs and imports displace them, so large trade deficits have resulted in growing job displacement in the United States.  For a thorough analysis of the job displacement resulting from NAFTA and what it tells us about other potential trade agreements, read EPI’s Heading South: U.S.-Mexico trade and job displacement after NAFTA."

Even though a great deal of work has been transferred to Mexico and other countries, it is not accurate to say that Mexicans got our jobs. A good job may have left the U.S., but it was not so good when it re-established itself elsewhere. Low pay, lousy working conditions, and lack of environmental restrictions are the reasons that corporations like to re-locate.

The export of American jobs is not the only cause of today's jobs crisis, but it is the only one directly under the control of the people that were elected by U.S. Corporations. Another big vacumn sucking up jobs is our rising productivity, which simply renders many workers "redundant," as they say in the United Kingdom. We need massive public works projects to repair and improve our infrastructure, then we need to start talking about how to reduce working hours with no cuts in pay.


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