Image: Philip Taylor/ptmoney.com

Written by Jack Ferm

Although not necessarily new, recent trade agreements are having a serious impact on the American workforce, which is at an all time low. As of June 2015, for those aged 16 and over, only 62.6 percent are being reported as “employed” as part of the U.S. workforce, which means 37.4 percent of eligible workers are not employed.

How accurate are these figures? Not very. The actual picture is much worse.

The available workforce increases weekly, monthly and annually as more people enter it, either as lawful immigrants or as high school and college grads (not counting illegal immigrants or as is now more politically correct “undocumented” immigrants).

But employment is not offset by hiring; in fact, we have a negative employment picture when we consider store closings and layoffs which shows the effect recent trade agreements have had on our economy. Once profitable stores like the Gap, Ann Taylor, Wendy’s, Radio Shack, Sears, Target, Office Depot, Barnes and Nobel, Ruby Tuesday and Friendly’s restaurants and even McDonalds are closing U.S. stores this year.  It is a sign of things in motion, but the motion is not a forward thrust.

Our Congress is hired to protect us, to represent us, not their financial supporters who use bribery to get results which aren’t favorable for the American worker but rather for the moneyed class their vote supports and emboldens.

House Republicans were bought and paid for by Wall Street once again. And it wasn’t cheap; Obama’s Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) which allows countries like Malaysia to use slave labor to compete with America workers’ wages saw Wall Street support in the form of security brokers and investment companies who donated $11.3 million for an Obama “yea” vote while our elite big banking companies donated $10.1 million.

In other words, Wall Street paid out millions of dollars to push for the passage of TPA, knowing the affect GATT and NAFTA had on the U.S. economy and fully understanding the effect TPA would have on eliminating more American jobs.

But dear reader, know this, Obama is a pawn for big business and literally cut the throat of the Democrats main line of support: what is left of the American Unions. It takes money to buy Congress and in this case, $21.4 million just to buy the House.

I ask you to remember these names who voted against America’s interest in favor of Wall Street. It’s past time they were retired from politics. They have done their share of damage to our economy.

1. John Boehner (R-OH) received $5.3 million for a “yea” vote and was the highest paid legislator to support Fast Track.

2. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) received $2.4 million for his “yea” vote.

.3. Paul Ryan (R-WI) received $2.4 million for a “yea” vote and came in at the third highest paid legislator.

4. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) follows Paul Ryan, coming in the fourth spot having received $1.6 million for his “yea” vote.

So far, Clinton signed both NAFTA and GATT which saw a decline in American jobs. Bear in mind that no one running for President will dare stand against Wall Street, with their billions of dollars controlling both parties through their treasure chest and their ability to finance candidates along with the promise of future perks. Like Judas, they receive their equivalent of 30 pieces of silver.

The effects of NAFTA, felt immediately in 1994, plunged the U.S. into a $20 billion trade deficit with Mexico, and we suffered a 69 percent increase in trade deficits with Canada. U.S. agricultural growers in California and North Dakota lost their market share with grain, tomatoes and avocado distribution, due to direct competition with Canada and Mexico.

NAFTA staved off high unemployment for China, India, Vietnam, and Bangladesh while we in the states began to feel what it was like to live on unemployment.

By 2000, we would begin to feel the effects of the trade agreements for real. We have never recovered. Our economy has gone downhill steadily, year after year, from its high point prior to these trade agreements.

Jobs have been outsourced to overseas call centers in India, while China has grabbed favorable real estate holdings and we as a nation are made to suffer ever-growing unemployment.

The real problem with these trade agreements is that they create trade deficits against the U.S. economy: trade destroys jobs because these trade agreements with countries with cheap—often slave—labor increases imports and reduces American jobs at home. The imports displace goods that otherwise would be made in the United States by domestic workers.

On the world stage, these acts of treason are by no means accidental. They are intentional acts for more money and power by those who consider themselves our elite class, while the American worker is reduced to serfdom.

Jack Ferm earned a J.D. Degree from Bernaden University in 1989. He is a businessman and commercial loan broker, with an extensive knowledge of politics, business and law bring an additional dimension to our opinion section. Mr. Ferm’s background is varied and interesting, having been a radio talk show host from 1995 to 2008. He was also the editor and managed CRWE Newswire during 2010.

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