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View Diary: The American System (205 comments)

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  •  Apologies for the brevity... (146+ / 0-)
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    No, it's not all that brief for a post, but yeah, it's way too brief for everything I tried to cram in. You'll have to forgive me for ignoring everything from Henry Clay's role as "the great compromiser"  and John C. Calhoun's contributions to defining the American System to German economist Friedrich List's integration of Hamilton's ideas in his "National Plan." Likewise, I've given short shirt to opposing views and the complexity of trade issues in the 19th century. Mostly, for an article that started out to be about Lincoln, I've come to the end with very little of the rail-splitter to show for it. Figuring out what can fit in these essays is often the toughest part, and I hope I've dropped in enough bits to paint some picture of the difference between the current widespread acceptance of "free trade" and Lincoln's beliefs while not running on so long as to cause you to stop reading.

    To all intents, the American system was put to rest after the Tokyo round of GATT talks erased most significant US tariffs in 1973. Any ghost that lingered was exorcised in 1986 with the creation of the World Trade Organization and acceptance of free-trade-or-else.

    Could the American System be revived? Not without difficulty.

    Would it work? Heck, did it ever really work? Well, there's no getting away from this–the United States grew from a dot on the balance sheet to the largest economy in the world under the American System. Since the American System was retired, the US economy has been flat, at best, and the middle class has suffered. Meanwhile, other nations that put more of Lincoln's plans into practice (large investment in infrastructure, emphasis on free public education, government investment in young industries) have grown their middle class and their economies.

    And now I really am going to shut up. Otherwise, I'll end up babbling about Smoot-Hawley.

    •  Interesting reference to growing from a (30+ / 0-)

      colony plundered for its resources.

      We seem to have returned to that status.
      Manufacturing is now done places like China, Singapore, etc.
      More and more "knowledge work" is done in India.

      And what are we pushing hard to do?
      Blow up mountains so we can extract coal to sell to China.
      Frack the ever-loving crap out of our countryside so that we can sell oil and gas to China (and India as their demand grows).

      Free trade is a great thing among more or less equals.
      It is also a great thing for the top dog when  dealing with those who cannot assert market power.

      For everybody else -- bleah.
      And we now fit among everybody else.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 06:13:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We Chose to Liberate Ownership From the Nation (30+ / 0-)

        so our nation like every other becomes a colony of theirs. This isn't rocket science, it's arithmetic.

        It's why for 35 years conservative governance has lacked a relationship to interests of the nation. They're not just bad for us, they're unrelated to us.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 06:38:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Laissez faire" =synonym= Large-scale theft (7+ / 0-)

          Unregulated capitalism always moves in the direction of putting it's resources to the organizations that can generate the highest returns on investment.

          The criminal organizations -- Goldman, Sachses and the Countrywides of the unregulated Free Market -- do indeed generate the highest ROI numbers.

          They lie, They cheat. They steal. They make their numbers.They beat out the honest firms. The phenomenon parallels Gresham's Law from economics: "Bad money drives out good."

          Gresham's initial point, made back in the 16th Century, was that if gold coins could be adulterated with base metal and allowed to circulate, then gradually the whole stock of gold coins in circulation would be converted to the counterfeits.

          The American System prevents that from happening. That's why we got RICO, originally. That was the aim: to end Mob takeovers of legitimate businesses, converting them to "bad businesses."

          Occupy Wall Street: "We oppose corporate corruption," September 2011. One of the three prime tenets at the beginning in Zuccotti Park.

          Bad companies drive out good.

          And Giuliani's great achievement before going into politics was driving the Mob out of businesses such as garbage collection. Seizing the SOB's assets was the one and only way to stop them.

          Tommy Gresham's principal has been applied across finance, politics, meme-pandering, and used car sales. It seems to have been identified by Aristophanes, and applied first by ibn Taymiyyah  and later Nicole Oresme for analyzing money exchanges.

          •  Giggling Republicans watching Lincoln (22+ / 0-)

            Living in an area heavily infested by Neoconservative Republicans, I also heard a lot of loud laughing and clapping during that part of  Lincoln in which the abolitionist Republicans were brow-beating the pro-slavery Democrats.  After the movie, I walked up to this group of giggling neocons and very firmly and loudly stated that those 19th century Democrats they were laughing and sniggering about are now firmly in control of their 21st century Republican Party.  They didn't that was so funny.

            •  good on you! I hope you didn't wind up (3+ / 0-)

              in a fight.

              "Mitt Romney has more positions than the Kama Sutra." -- me "Social justice is love, made public." -- Cornel West

              by billlaurelMD on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 08:19:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Ummm....That's OK. Democrats like to forget (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bontemps2012, radarlady

              their rather nasty civil rights history and the fact that Republicans were the drivers of most civil rights reforms.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 08:59:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

                •  Segregationist Dems are now Republicans (11+ / 0-)

                  Republicans supported civil rights reforms through the mid-1960s, but liberal Democrats drove those reforms from the 1930s onward, and it was Texas Democrat Lyndon Johnson who as Senate Majority Leader drove passage of the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960 and as President drove passage of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (after which LBJ predicted the Democrats would lose the South for a generation). Southern reaction against those bills drove the segregationist presidential campaign of George Wallace in 1968 and caused Richard Nixon to realize that Republicans could break the Democratic lock on the South by appealing to those white supremacist southerners, which they did. Since the early 1970s, Republicans have practically repudiated their historic role in advancing civil rights.

                  •  you have to keep things simple (8+ / 0-)

                    when talking to Republicans----I just tell them that if their party ever again ran a liberal like Lincoln for president, I'd GLADLY vote for him/her.  It never fails to short-circuit their synapses!

                    •  If you think Lincoln was a liberal, (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      bontemps2012

                      wait'll you discover Eisenhower.

                      Question:

                      Did you know that Lincoln considered blacks to be inferior to whites? He considered them to be human, and thus entitled to human justice and compassion, but some lower form of human.

                      That was a very common belief among abolitionists, and one reason why Frederick Douglass was such an important figure.  For many of those who met him or heard him speak, he was the first black man to shake their belief that blacks were some lower form of humanity.

                      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                      by dinotrac on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 03:54:28 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Segregationist Dems are now dead. (2+ / 0-)
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                    radarlady, bontemps2012

                    Unless somebody's resurrected Maddox and Wallace, Gore (the daddy, not the sone), et al.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 11:33:33 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  And their descendants are now Republicans. n/t (2+ / 0-)
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                      YucatanMan, bontemps2012
                      •  Al Gore is the only descendant with whom I am (0+ / 0-)

                        familiar.  I believe that he is a Democrat.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 01:26:59 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  no one said segregationist *politicians* (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          niemann

                          Even though you'd like it to sound that way in order to make an inane anti-point.

                          There were millions of segregationists who always voted against the party of Lincoln for Democrats. Their spawn are now among the millions who always vote against the party of Obama for Republicans.

                          Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. -- K.Marx A.Lincoln

                          by N in Seattle on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 03:23:57 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Your address betrays your supposed point. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            CherryTheTart

                            All the way up there in Seattle it's easy to make cartoon generalizations of people you know nothing about.

                            Shouldn't you be focusing on racists in Idaho?
                            That would seem much closer to home.

                            I will kindly let you pretend that Seattle is all sweetness and light.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 03:43:37 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  My understanding is that Gore Sr. (0+ / 0-)

                      was a close ally of Roosevelt's who felt that racism was tool used to keep the South poor, and hoped that government programs like the TVA woul employ black and white, and elevate both.

              •  Republicans ignore how they betrayed their history (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Chris Jay, IreGyre, YucatanMan, LihTox

                The Southern Strategy and the subsequent poisoning of the GOP by racism ended the Party of Lincoln. They are now the party of Jefferson Davis (and are still run by the monied interests as characterized by Blair in the movie).

                The GOP is the party of mammon. They mock what Jesus taught.

                by freelunch on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 10:21:48 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Bullshit. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                IreGyre, YucatanMan

                It was Lincoln who said that calling a dog's tail a leg doesn't mean that dogs have five legs. The racist Dixiecrats all became Republicans; today's Democrats have no relationship to them. Hell, even in the 60s it was the Democrats who were progressive on civil rights ... unless you think that JFK and LBJ were Republicans.

                •  Yes he did. (0+ / 0-)

                  Which racist Dixiecrats became Republicans?

                  I can think of Strom Thurmond.

                  On the other hand, Robert Byrd, who was actually a Ku Klux Klan leader and used the phrase "white nigger" in 21st century interviews, remained a Democrat until the day he died.

                  LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                  by dinotrac on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 02:04:34 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Byrd was a KKK member for local reasons (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    YucatanMan, bontemps2012

                    when they dominated some areas so thoroughly the best way to get ahead politically was to join regardless of how racist or indifferent to race you might have been personally... his racist tinged past was something he later regretted and moved away from. He ended his career a very different Democrat from the type of Democrat he started as.

                    And beyond Strom... read up on the Dixiecrats... they bolted the party en masse in 1948 and the remaining conservadems in the South who lingered on as Dems in name only pretty much completed the break in 1980 voting for Reagan and migrating to being Republicans.

                    Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

                    by IreGyre on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 03:32:12 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yeah. The locals were racists, and he was a (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      bontemps2012

                      leader.

                      And yes, he does appear to have changed his tune -- as did, by the way, a number of those Dixiecrats to whom you refer.

                      BTW -- how do you feel about Democratic racists in the north?
                      Ever been to Southie?

                      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                      by dinotrac on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 03:41:20 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  So because you can only think of one there was (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bontemps2012

                    only one? You're both a very dishonest person and an idiot.

                    used the phrase "white nigger" in 21st century interviews
                    Here's the interview, jackass ... watch the whole thing:

                    http://www.youtube.com/...

                    remained a Democrat until the day he died
                    Yes, because he wasn't a racist, you dishonest sack of shit.
                  •  Jesse Helms, Jerry Falwell, Ronald St. Reagan... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bontemps2012

                    for starters.

                    "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

                    by bartcopfan on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 11:03:02 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  I'm a big believer in laissez-faire capitalism, (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bontemps2012, radarlady, FG

            but with boundaries.

            Governments tend to screw up royally when they run economies (Hello, Trabant!).

            At the same time, free markets tend to screw themselves up as the biggest players try to sabotage the market (Hello, Apple!).

            And, of course, there is the problem of big players influencing the government to exercise its power on their behalf to  shackle the market (Hello, entertainment industries!)

            An approach that draws lines and leaves the government out of the picture between the lines is a decent compromise against those competing forces.  Antitrust law more or less works that way, to the extent that it works.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 09:12:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Laissez faire capitalism also produces monoplies. (4+ / 0-)

              Look at the prices for glasses, particularly sunglasses.

              The whole of that brand-driven market is owned by one Swiss company.

              You'd think brand-name glasses were diamonds.

              •  Luxottica is Italian (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Chris Jay, bontemps2012

                They are certainly greedy and out of control.

                The GOP is the party of mammon. They mock what Jesus taught.

                by freelunch on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 10:23:40 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  It does, and it produces (most of the time) the (0+ / 0-)

                answer to monopolies.

                At present, however, the biggest and most nefarious contributor to monopolies is government action in the form of patents that should not be granted but are.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 10:40:37 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Corporations have rigged patents law on purpose (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  CherryTheTart

                  so is that Government's fault?... inherent in the nature of Government or is it inherent in what allowing some people to rewrite the rules in order to become more rich and powerful? A failure of Government is not the Government's fault... it is our fault in part for ignoring that Rich and powerful people were stealing control of OUR self government. And the real fault lies with the crooks who do the rigging and stealing.

                  Patents were meant to protect the little guy, inventor, tinkerer, idea person, business start up but they have become a tool for large corporations to monopolize things far beyond the good it does everyone collectively... and instead hugely benefits a small class of super rich investors.

                  Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

                  by IreGyre on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 03:38:15 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes they have, and, in a way, it is the (0+ / 0-)

                    government's fault.

                    Legislators write the patent laws, and government bureaucrats  write the regulations and grant the patents. Government courts enforce the laws that legislators write.

                    That powerful interests are able to corrupt the process only serves to illustrate why the government should not be in the middle of the economy. It is powerful and it is corruptable.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 03:46:35 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  This is a bad way of viewing the problem. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      bontemps2012

                      When one says it is "Government's Fault" they are not speaking in terms of the specific failures of a specific electorate to protect their rights through legitimate channels.

                      They are speaking in abstract to the idea that all government always fails all of the time at doing these things and that therefore all government should just "Go away" and we'd be done with these problems.

                      Regardless of whether or not that was your intent, when spoken in that way the words you use elicit such a general meaning. It does us no good at getting to the bottom of the problem.

                      Now that we've gotten that over with there's the real question of whether or not it is a direct fault of all governments in abstract  that they can and have in varying degrees succumbed to corruption. I would say no, because it reflects the general state of humanity. Government can never be entirely immune to corruption so long as human beings are not immune to it.

                      However such corruption is not the exclusive purview of government. Tyrants have and still do exist in private industry and have murdered countless millions (especially workers wishing to unionize) over the course of history in the name of securing their profits.

                      The idea that if we have no government their is liberty is fallacious because government in the form of a nation state is simply one form of organized power that a person may found themselves compelled to live under.

                      The idea that Tyranny would not exist without a nation state is quite silly, and even if we did not have a patent or copyright system you'd quite possibly even have a bigger problem than we do today. Because barring government stepping in to fix that problem directly then all that money that went in to say, retroactively extending copyrights could've instead been directed towards purchasing other laws.

                      For example, banning public access to any and all video/audio recording devices. We might not even have a computer or even consumer electronics industry like we did today if we did not have our current patent/copyright system. In fact we could possibly have something much worse but that's the type of massive change which is hard for even the best of us to truly predict the effects of.

                      TL:DR; If the Government doesn't get involved then private money and corruption can work their magic just as well as if it does. To say this is the fault of all governments in abstract is to say that you believe humans are fundamentally unfit to govern themselves..but then WHO does?

                      •  Blaming "government" as an abstraction (0+ / 0-)

                        is parallel to the illogic of blaming an abstract "God" for creating an imperfect universe.

                        Easier to see the logical flaw when it's "God" as the Prime Mover.

                      •  Fine, but running away from the tremendous (0+ / 0-)

                        power of government to make things worse serves no good purpose, either.

                        As individuals, we try to work our way around a world in which tremendously powerful interests impact our lives.  The most powerful of those interests -- and the one with the most potential for evil -- is the government.

                        It is governments that go to war and governments that throw people in jail, governments that exercise eminent domain, and governments that reach into our pockets to take money without our permission.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 01:22:18 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  No running here, just correctly naming the Problem (0+ / 0-)

                          The words one uses to frame their ideas inherently color their approach towards solving it. I am not running away from the issue but rather attempting to seriously address it with specifics and in a way that enables us to actually figure out a corrective course of action.

                          The problem is unaccountable power, plain and simple. Whether it exists in the form of a nation state run by dictatorial fiat or whether it is a large multinational run by a single micro-managing CEO.

                          When human beings are allowed to make decisions which affect large groups of people with whom they have no reason to care for or consider in any matter then things get wonky.

                          The government is not a single monolithic interest group and representing it as such is incredibly misleading. A specific administration may have an agenda, and political parties may have their own agendas, but government on a whole does not. It represents the sum total of our nation's varying interest groups jockying for power over what bills get written, how, etc.

                          Governments are the only ones who may declare war, but they certainly aren't the only ones who GO TO war. Blackwater/Xe/Academi go to war as mercenaries, and they certainly aren't the only stakeholders who have a vested interest in going to war either.

                          Defense contractors and the support network that enables our military all make a lot of cash if we go to war. To say it is "The Government" that exclusively goes to war is to obscure the politicking that brought us each war and worse yet it therefore obscures our ability to prevent future such wars.

                          Similarly while it is the government that has authority to arrest. Police are often moonlighting in-uniform for the big banks and after Apple's prototype issues it's arguable a company big enough can use patent/copyright claims to suborn some of that authority on an as-needed basis for emergencies.

                          Similarly they are not the only stakeholders who have vested interests in ensuring our jails become filled. Corrections Corporation of America has a vested interest in seeing lots of people jailed. DuPont, Marlboro, Budweiser all profit from our Drug Laws. Police Unions also have a very strong vested interest in draconian laws as well because we currently manage our police stations like a business and use arrest quotas (it's illegal but they still do it, they just hide/obfuscate the specifics so it barely passes the smell test).

                          So to say the problem is simply "Government" and one can only solve it by "Removing all governing authority" is rather silly. We can fix the jailing issue by banning private prisons, putting the police under watch of an independent community review board (with the power to dismiss officers under review by majority vote after hearing the facts at hand in a case) and attempt to change drug laws via the ballot box for now.

                          Fixing the warmongering problem is sadly harder because of the sacred cow status of the military within our society but it would certainly be doable by the right administration.

                          The point is, in all of these cases by stopping at the surface you do yourself a great disservice at attempting to actually solve the problems being discussed.

                          Just my two cents. :)

                          •  Lots of words, straw men, little light. (0+ / 0-)

                            Nowhere have I suggested that:

                            1. We should remove government
                            2. That government is monolithic
                            Given that the US government is comprised of at least three levels: Federal, State, and local,  I would be a poor student indeed were I to suggest such a thing.

                            But government does possess unique powers and no other term encapsulates that fact as well as "government".   The federal government, as the largest, most powerful, and yet least accessible level of US government is uniquely capable of great and terrible things.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:41:30 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Straw Man? Where's the real one then? (0+ / 0-)

                            1: Then you should not use the language which implies exactly that. It's not particularly fair but it's still how it comes across.

                            When you refer to "Government" as I had described above it illicit exactly such a meaning.

                            2: You do not need to SAY it, it is reflected in your language. When you only refer to Government in abstract via the word government you are implying a Monolithic entity with a singular purpose or agenda.

                            3: Simply qualifying the word Government with the noun Federal does not change any of the above.

                            Now above all if I am so Mistaken, then WHAT is it that you are saying? You start your post by saying you are not implying government is a singular monolithic entity and you do not want to remove it...yet your second paragraph simply says: "The Federal Government is the largest, most powerful, and least accessible form of government. No other term encapsulates this better than Government."

                            Which to paraphrase says to me: "No, I didn't just say that the Government is some single monolithic evil entity which must be cast into a firey pit! I said the FEDERAL Government is the single monolithic evil entity!"

                            If you'd like to call me mistaken your response needs to do more than say you disagree with my characterization of your words you need to offer a correction and point to how what you said was substantively different than what I thought you meant and you NEED to tell me what you did mean in a way that highlights this.

                            To do otherwise invites criticisms of disingenuity.

                •  Patents have nothing to do with this. (0+ / 0-)

                  0% contribution.

      •  NAFTA (7+ / 0-)

        NAFTA was a mistake -- one I originally supported.  How's it working out--Mexico is getting destroyed by drug lords and American weapons.  We've lost our industrial base.  Nothing in life should be free and unregulated by countervailing forces--be that ethics, government, or unions.

        Apres Bush, le deluge.

        by melvynny on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 07:54:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  NAFTA could have been different (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pescadero Bill, Chris Jay

          I also originally supported it, but when the so-called "side agreements" - specifically those pertaining to labor and the environment - were effectively eliminated, all that was left was essentially an income stream doled out among the Financial Elites.

          When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

          by Egalitare on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 08:49:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  And everybody laughed at Ross Perot when he (5+ / 0-)

          he describe the "giant sucking sound" of jobs leaving the country.

          What he understood and what Al Gore publicly derided, was that, in a world where capital can flow freely, it will seek out the cheapest labor and exploit any imbalance it can find.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 09:01:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  NAFTA was wrongheaded the way it was implemented (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FG

          as are all "free trade" agreements.  A lot could have been done to improve it.

          BUT:  

          Mexico is getting destroyed by drug lords and American weapons.
          That has nothing to do with NAFTA and everything to do with
           1)  Americans' insatiable demands for drugs of all kinds;
           2)  Calderon and Bush militarizing the problem;
           3)  America supplying the money, weapons and ammunition for more death, i.e., see #1.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 04:27:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  what (0+ / 0-)

            What NAFTA did was what it didn't do--it didn't prevent Mexico's social decline.

            Apres Bush, le deluge.

            by melvynny on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 06:20:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  What social decline are you talking about? (0+ / 0-)

              Please enlighten me.

              "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

              by YucatanMan on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 06:26:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  drug war (0+ / 0-)

                The drug war can easily be tied into NAFTA--it was understood that Mexico would institute a war on drugs--it did--and things got worse.

                Apres Bush, le deluge.

                by melvynny on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 06:39:50 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The Drug War in Mexico was specifically initiated (0+ / 0-)

                  by Calderon within days of him taking the presidency in hotly contested election results with hundreds of thousands of protesters in the streets.

                  Calderon was elected using people sent from Bush's election team and there were widespread vote count discrepancies, like occurred in Florida and Ohio for Bush.

                  To take the constant 24x7 focus off of the stolen election, Calderon appeared in a military jacket -- a huge no-no in Mexico, as a civilian leader -- and announced his war on cartels by sending thousands of federal police and military into hotbeds of drug activity.

                  Calderon -- years after NAFTA -- started the drug war violence.  NAFTA was not passed and signed by Clinton with a provision for drug war.

                  It was Calderon -- and Bush egging him on at the Merida Summit with promises of generous funding for military equipment, weapons and ammunition -- who started the violence.  

                  And notably, very few serious efforts have been made against one cartel in particular, while others were pursued relentlessly.

                  "Social decline?"   The Mexican people did not decide to slide into discord.  The violence of the drug war was initiated to cover for a stolen election and fed with US money and weapons from the beginning.

                  "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                  by YucatanMan on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 10:17:13 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent diary! (29+ / 0-)

      I used to be a Republican, until Richard Nixon totally ruined the party and disgraced himself in the Watergate affair.  I became an Independent, only to become a Democrat when Ronald Reagan was nominated.  In the meantime the Republicans had undergone a radical transformation from the party of Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower to embrace the racist Dixiecrats. I had always know that the Republicans had a tendency to favor wealthy people, but they also had a liberal streak - they were the "Progressive" politicians in New Mexico during the 1890s, as exemplified by Albert Jennings Fountain and his associates. Albert Fall, Fountain's arch-enemy, was the head of the Democratic Party in the area, but turned Republican to be in the Harding administration - resulting in the Teapot Dome scandal. Fall is reported to have said that he would deal with the Devil himself if it would get him political power.

      Now I would be grossly ashamed to be a Republican.  I wish it were not so, but than it is what happens when an entire party does itself "make a deal with the Devil."  Lincoln must be spinning in his grave!  Lincoln was so much the better politician, administrator and human being than any of the current line up of Republican politicians are, or ever will be.  His economic policies, as well as such far-sighted policies as creating the National Academy of Sciences and the Land Grant system in the midst of Civil War are amazing.  Certainly he was our greatest president, human imperfections and all, because he grew in the office of the president and was motivated by the greater good instead of personal glory.  Will we ever see his like again?

    •  no need fear that I'd stop reading (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      La Gitane, YucatanMan

      this essay due to length----MARVELLOUSLY informative; thanks--I'm sure I'll be ruminating on it all week. BTW I too saw LINCOLN last night; I too heard the giggles at mention of partisan disharmony but since I live in Portland, I doubt that the gigglers were Republicans--most of those lines of dialog were just plain funny!

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