NAFTA would drive U.S. jobs into Mexico
With all the debate concerning whether the North American Free Trade Agreement will create American jobs or cause our jobs to be exported, a basic question for American workers is: What kind of jobs will be lost, and what kind will be created?
I have heard that the new jobs will be higher-wage, skilled positions. While the economic growth projected by NAFTA supporters may create such jobs, it's hard to believe that the U.S. would experience a net gain in total jobs created.
Visualize the normal labor-management structure as a pyramid, with management at the top, labor at the bottom. At the present time, most of the pyramid is in the U.S. The very bottom tier is in Mexico or overseas already. I believe that NAFTA will cause the pyramid to sink further into Mexico.
Remember, the middle of the pyramid (middle management) must follow the bottom (labor). While NAFTA may cause the pyramid to grow, the top of the pyramid will never be sufficient to replace what we have lost.
Obviously, not all work will go south. What will happen to the jobs that stay here?
Ask almost anyone who actually works for a living what direction the corporations are moving now: part-time, low-wage, low-benefit jobs. Any company in America would jump at the chance to turn 100 good full-time jobs into 200 part-time jobs.
The companies use "competition" as the rationale to demand "flexibility" from their work force. Just wait until the workers are also competing against the low-wage, unregulated work force in Mexico.
I grow tired of reading the opinions of politicians, ex-presidents, and newspaper writers who obviously don't understand the corporate agenda.
It's all too clear to those of us who break our backs in order to line the pockets of upper level management: No to NAFTA!
Keith L. Biddle
Politics and policy
President Clinton's health reform plan seems to me to be an irresponsible effort to please the people.
Does he truly expect us to believe that he'll be able to provide health care for all the citizens of the U.S. during a depression and our budget crisis?
President Clinton obviously needs a dose of reality. If we want to turn things around, we need to stop up a hole. That hole is foreign policy.
Billions of dollars have gone to supporting Somalia alone, not to mention the long list of both small and large countries crying out to the mother U.S. for help.
It's time to start focusing on the raging cries at home. Israel has problems, but we're fighting our own civil war right under the governments' noses.
Why must health care be such an issue? No stable benefits can be seen from Clinton's plan, and certainly there can be no way that it is going to be approved.
But a "political gamble"? That raises another question. Why must everything revolve around politicians and their ways? This isn't something for a group of busybodies in suits to play around with.
Whatever the outcome, it should be based solely on the needs of the people, not the gripes of an unhappy politician.
It's time for a change. We've been through 41 presidents so far, and all we've gotten from them have been promises that were rarely kept.
Hyo Seong Seo
Government of the people, by the people and for the people? What a farce! Make that government of the politicians, by the politicians and for the politicians.
Where is the federalism of our founding fathers?
Thanks to our liberal judiciary it has been replaced by a central government out to control every facet of our daily lives.
Ostensibly it exists to help those who cannot help themselves. But its real agenda is more power for itself, for politicians and their lobbyists.
Totalitarian governments use the "big lie" to create confusion and enforce obedience on the populace.
Lately, for example, it has been declared that our health care system is in a shambles, even though we all know that this is an example of the "big lie" and that there are very few members of our society who truly lack for health care.
Another "big lie" is that health care is a God-given right. It is the responsibility of the individual to provide for his or her own health care, just as it is the individual's responsibility to obtain food and other material benefits.
In emergencies individuals can obtain health care free of charge in most cases if they are unable to pay for it. In essence we already subsidize these costs by increases in our insurance premiums.
Why subsidize a health care system when it is managed by an inefficient bureaucracy?
Unfortunately, many people are willing to take their sustenance from the government trough while remaining unaware that, like the pig, they are being slowly led toward the slaughterhouse.
Otto C. Beyer
In his Sept. 27 letter, James F. Macri rushes to the defense of presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush.
He strives to place responsibility for the enormous federal deficit solely on the backs of the U.S. Congress.
Neither of the borrow-and-spend leaders Ronald Reagan and George Bush ever presented a balanced budget to the Congress.
In fact, Congress invariably reduced their initiatives by $1 billion or more.
President Bill Clinton should be commended for his sincere and genuine effort to reduce an inherited federal budget deficit.
Leon Peace Ried
On behalf of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to Gov. William Donald Schaefer and his staff, the Maryland Stadium Authority, the Baltimore-Washington Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Baltimore Orioles for supporting the special naturalization ceremony that was held at Oriole Park at Camden Yards Sept. 13.
The ceremony was an overwhelming success, with 4,137 Maryland residents from 141 foreign countries becoming new Americans.
The ceremony, which made history as the largest ever to take place in Maryland, did not cost the federal taxpayers one cent, thanks to the contribution of the stadium authority and the Orioles.
Their enthusiastic support of this historic celebration is a clear reflection of their commitment to the community and to this great nation of immigrants.
Louis D. Crocetti Jr.
The writer is acting district director of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
I am writing in reference to your article stating that children in the U.S. and Britain are worse off now than in 1970 and that one fifth of children in America live below the poverty line ("Children's poverty rate in U.S. double that in other industrial countries," Sept. 23).
According to UNICEF'S Progress of Nations Report, the U.S. currently devotes less than 10 percent of its foreign assistance for development to meeting basic human needs.
I urge Congress and the Clinton administration to make the world's children our priority by fulfilling the goals of the World Summit for Children Implementation Act of 1993 and doubling our amount of foreign assistance to make that commitment a reality.