NAFTA is a major contributor to our current economic problems. It came into effect in January 1994, allowing our corporations to move themselves to foreign countries like Mexico and exploit cheap labor. Millions of jobs have left the country. The corporations are paying the Mexican workers dirt and then reselling the products they produce back over here for record profits. Considering the Bush tax breaks, it has helped contribute to our massive budget deficits, has led to a catastrophic loss of blue collar factory jobs, and contributed greatly to the general erosion of the middle class. A lot of the money which was flowing to American middle class workers is now going into Wall Street shareholder’s pockets.
Did anyone see this coming? Was it unpredictable? Was this like the financial collapse of 2008, which caught most economists and intellectuals by surprise? Not really. Economists weren’t completely sure of the effects of NAFTA in their entirety, but they knew that it was going to hurt the working class and drive down their wages. It’s important to note that 70% of our workforce depended on those factory jobs. I think what economists failed to anticipate was the full degree of damage NAFTA would do. It pains me to watch Noam Chomsky in this next video as he predicts, in vivid detail, everything that happened. This interview is from December 1993, just before NAFTA came into effect.