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Chapter 1. NAFTA: Class Reunion.
Chapter 2. "Good Jobs" and Other Global Deceptions.
Chapter 3. The Governing Class: America's Worst-Kept Secret.
Chapter 4. How Reagan and Thatcher Stole Globalization.
Chapter 5. A Bipartisan Empire.
Chapter 6. Allan, Larry, and Bob Save the Privileged.
Chapter 7. NAFTA: Who Got What?
Chapter 8. The Constitution According to Davos.
Chapter 9. America Abandoned.
Chapter 10. After the Fall.
Chapter 11. Imagining North America.
Chapter 12. Toward, and Beyond, a Continental Democracy.
Jeff Faux is the founder of the Economic Policy Institute. In this book, he helps us to see the forces at work in the world. He describes 'a global governing class'. In the USA, the ruling class comprises just 50,000 people. The politics of the global economy is a one-party state, the Party of Davos, whose platform is 'enhance the bargaining position of corporate capital in the global economy'. Faux writes, "The WTO [World Trade Organization] restricts governments' ability to regulate the behavior of multinational business and weakens the public sector's capacity to provide protections and services for its citizens. The core principle of the WTO is not free trade among sovereign states. It is, as Peter Sutherland, GATT director, said in 1994, that in every state, 'Governments should interfere in the conduct of the economy as little as possible.'" A WTO official told the Financial Times in 1998 that the WTO is 'the place where governments collude in private against their domestic pressure groups' - really, against their peoples. 90 per cent of Americans, when asked if they were lower, middle or upper class, replied middle. If they were offered working class as an option, 45 per cent said they were working class. But professional people's incomes also depend on their work, not on their dividends; they are working class too. Also, the less equal a society, the less social mobility there is. Elaine Bernard, director of Harvard's Trade Union Program, pointed out, "The boss cannot fire you because of your race. He cannot fire you because of your gender. He cannot fire you because of your sexual preference or your disability. He can just fire you for no reason at all." After joining NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement], Mexico's GDP per head fell 9 per cent in 1995, wages fell by 16 per cent and business investment by almost a third. Unemployment doubled. 500,000 Mexicans were forced to emigrate every year. Education, health and social services were slashed. It was 'the steepest economic crash since the Great Depression'. Dani Rodrik observed, "No widely accepted model attributes to postwar trade liberalization more than a tiny fraction of the increased prosperity of advanced industrial countries." Faux notes, "The NAFTA financial model - liberalization of trade and finance leading to a speculative bubble, a subsequent crash, and the protection of investors from the consequences of their own actions - was repeated in various forms in the 1990s throughout the global markets in Thailand, Brazil, Bolivia, South Korea, Indonesia, Russia, and Argentina." The head of the WTO called NAFTA the template for the 'constitution' of the world economy. So it is no surprise that when ruling classes imposed this model worldwide, it caused the global crash. Capitalist governments' love of finance capital and contempt for production allowed free-for-all buying and selling of industry and land for huge profits. For example, the EU Constitution has 174 references to economic competitiveness, 78 to markets and just 3 to social protections. The world's ruling classes are abandoning their countries. We need to take responsibility for our country, rebuild our economy, develop and protect our industry and agriculture, make it and grow it here.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 4, 2006
Jeff Faux has done a masterful job at outlining what has become of our economy and where it may be headed if we don't pay attention.The book is full of really interesting and well researched facts re: our economy from the administrations of Jimmy Carter right thru 'W.' Faux shows clearly how each administration 'twists' from within or gets 'twisted' from without by the corporate elite to suit their own chosen policies. This one really makes you think! Occasionally, Faux gets passionate in the book, but by the end of it, he will have his readers feeling the same way.Scary stuff !Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 30, 2006
Jeff Faux tells the story of the class warfare that the rich have been waging against the working class for the last quarter century. It is an extremely depressing story. At the end of the book he offers a solution which is unrealistic.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 24, 2012
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