The Babe Theory Of Political Movements.
Mar. 21, 2005 11:50 AM
Iran's Sham Election In Houston.
June 20, 2005 5:36 AM
Yes, Kanye, Bush Does Care.
Oct. 31, 2005 12:41 AM
Health Care vs. Wealth Care.
Nov. 23, 2005 3:28 PM
Americans Voting With Their Feet.
Nov. 30, 2005 1:33 PM
Idea Majorities Matter.
May 12, 2006 6:15 PM
Twilight Zone Economics.
Oct. 17, 2006 12:30 AM
The "Shrinking" Middle Class.
Dec. 13, 2006 1:01 PM
From Ashes, GOP Opportunities.
Dec. 18, 2006 6:37 PM
Battle Between Entitlements & Pork.
Dec. 21, 2006 12:31 PM
Let Economic Freedom Reign.
Dec. 22, 2006 10:22 PM
Biggest Health Care Moment In Decades.
July 25, 2007 4:32 PM
Unions Antithetical to Liberty.
May 28, 2008 11:12 PM
Right To Work States Rock.
June 9, 2008 12:25 PM
Social Security Reform Thursday.
March 13, 2008
Caption Contest: Enter Today!
Due: July 29, 2008
The Carnival Of Classiness.
Mar. 14, 2006
Quotational Therapy: Obama.
Apr. 4, 2008
Mainstream Melee: Wolfowitz.
May 19, 2007
Pundit Roundtable: Leaks.
July 9, 2006
A WILLisms.com(ic), by Ken McCracken
July 14, 2006
Powered by Movable Type 3.17
Site Design by Sekimori
WILLisms.com June 2008 Book of the Month (certified classy):
The WILLisms.com Gift Shop:
This Week's Carnival of Revolutions:
Carnival Home Base:
On The Importance Of CAFTA-DR.
The most important American free trade agreement in a decade, CAFTA (or, CAFTA-DR, or DR-CAFTA-- whichever name you prefer), today faces potential suffocation at the hands of short-sighted members of Congress. A protectionist zeitgeist sweeping the U.S. Congress today could undermine America's commitment to the advance of free markets around the world. CAFTA's defeat would be a major setback for President Bush's freedom agenda in the Western Hemisphere; Democrats, beholden to big labor, are nearly unanimously against it, as some Republicans are getting squishy.
James G. Poulos, in The American Spectator, explains that CAFTA is imperative for U.S. national security:
CAFTA CAN'T BE SOLD on the TV interview circuit as the spearhead of a multilayered intelligent American design meant to permanently guide the Western Hemisphere toward the expression of U.S. objectives. Even today we are inclined to blanch at the idea that free trade agreements should be passed into law in order to accomplish things that have nothing to do with economics. But the Bush administration believes, at home and abroad, that everything has to do with economics. Zoellick: "Free markets, development, opportunity, and hope are the best weapons against poverty, disease, and tyranny." Bush: "By transforming our hemisphere into a powerful free trade area, we will promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic liberty for everyone."
Specifically, China is making a play for Latin America. On a recent trip to Belize, China's influence was unmistakable. Bridges and other infrastructure proudly brandished plaques indicating that the folks back in Beijing were responsible for picking up the tab. Observing such overt and tangible Chinese influence in America's backyward is unsettling, to say the least.
More on the China connection:
China is now Brazil's third-largest trading partner, and Argentina's fourth-largest. China is negotiating a free trade agreement with Chile....
You can learn a lot about a piece of legislation, treaty, nominee, or other Congressional action by observing where key groups stand. The isolationist far right and the socialist far left are unified against CAFTA. Meanwhile, the moderate Democratic Leadership Conference (DLC), along with the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Citrus Mutual, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, and other mainstream groups on both sides of the partisan aisle, are all for CAFTA.
Some background on the CAFTA-DR countries:
National Review addresses the criticisms of CAFTA, noting that the assertion that it will kill America's sugar industry is overblown:
CAFTA is, in fact, embarrassingly deferential to the sugar lobby. It would increase sugar imports by only one percent in its first year. After 15 years, that number would rise to a staggering 1.4 percent. Incredibly, even these increases are too much for U.S. sugar producers, with whom the president is under no obligation to remain gentlemanly, and who might attenuate their opposition if Bush, taking up a suggestion from the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, threatened to use his executive authority to raise sugar imports by 10 percent if CAFTA is defeated.
Ultimately, though, CAFTA, less an economic treaty than a geopolitical strategy, is a cheap way (from America's perspective) to promote democracy in Central America:
A prosperous Central America will be a Central America whose people are less inclined to cross U.S. borders illegally or participate in the trafficking of narcotics. More important, by bringing greater prosperity and openness to the region, CAFTA will strengthen democracy. The 1983 Caribbean Basin Initiative — which essentially created the Central American textile industry and, with it, a middle class — helped undermine the dictators and Communist revolutionaries who for decades had kept the region poor, violent, and miserable. But the triumph of Central American democracy is not irreversible. Daniel Ortega remains a powerful force in Nicaragua, and, throughout Latin America, the anti-democratic, anti-American message of Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez gains ever-wider currency. For the U.S. to reject CAFTA would only strengthen the hand of would-be despots.
CAFTA, for our allies in the region, means the world. Americans of Central American and Dominican descent will remember opposition to CAFTA when they head to the polls. If Democrats want to be the party of no, let them. But Republicans should not fall into the protectionist trap on this issue. Free trade is a winner at the polls. CAFTA is good politics, and it's good policy.
We should not turn our back on America's progress on free trade. Let's pass CAFTA.
A great debunking of myths on CAFTA.
Posted by Will Franklin · 15 June 2005 04:14 PM
Wow, what a great post - I think the longer CAFTA sits idle, Bush's legacy as a free-trader will continue to wither and die. Bill Clinton passed NAFTA which, if it were put up to a vote with this President and Congress, would not stand a snowball's chance in Hell of passing. I have more thoughts here:
Posted by: Brian at June 20, 2005 12:30 PM
Free Trade is not trade. Historically trade was based on trading products. Today it is primarily based on moving production and even making it portable ready to move again if one locality starts making waves about human dignity in the workday.
Posted by: Tapart News Advocate at June 22, 2005 07:17 PM