NAFTA benefited the US not Mexico: NAFTA was created in 1994 to promote convergence of wage and living standards. Though Trump trumped how US lost, Mexico did not benefit according to Gerardo Esquivel an economics professor at the Colegio de Mexico: Since NAFTA’s inception Mexico’s population has grown faster than its trade partners––so Mexico lost ground relative to the US and Canada––while poverty in Mexico rose by 2 million compared to Brazil where it fell by 30 million. Whatever benefits occurred, they went mainly to billionaires such as Carlos Slim the world’s sixth-richest man and three other Mexicans who hold wealth equal to about 8.5% of Mexico’s gross domestic product, more the double prior to NAFTA. Ruben Ojeda, a former Finance Minister, said, “Mexico’s financial agenda was unrealistic expecting NAFTA to do the work for Mexico and depending on exports alone. Leaders protected vested interests against inflation and left agriculture to die. We have failed to learn the key lesson from successful emerging economies. Industries need to be nurtured before they are exposed. American and Canadian workers can buy a car from five months’ wages, while Mexican workers get only four tires and a steering wheel. The country doesn’t spend on workforce skill training. Mexico protects instead of investing on a grand scale. Fiscal rectitude balances the budget, but fails to educate segments of society that could build technology. Even ignoring the impact of drug wars, crime, and institutionalized corruption, Mexico has failed to catch on to the idea that to succeed economically, countries like South Korea create their own Samsung. Where is Mexico’s Samsung?” Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.
Trump and the GOP are destroying the public’s moral compass: Morals are taught as lessons with rules for proper conduct. Morals are encouraged by obedience to rules to maintain social acceptance. Immorality and disobedience to social rules is punished by being shunned or shamed. Morals, however, are weakly understood both socially and biologically. As a result, people who act amorally cover their guilt by making excuses. As President of the United State and leader of the Republican Party and Conservatives, Trump’s amoral acts and immoral excuses are destroying America’s moral compass. Trump immorality is sticking his hand up married women’s skirts and bragging he can get away with it. Trump immorality is hindering the FBI investigation into Russian interference with US elections and condemning American intelligence services. Trump immorality is blaming a war veteran for becoming a prisoner of war, mocking a former President for the color of his skin, excoriating our cherished tradition of free press for publishing inconvenient facts. Trump immorality is racist, anti-democracy, anti-free speech, anti-freedom of religion, anti-global alliances, war-mongering, and indecencies too many to list. If the President can be seen repeatedly to act amorally, and the leaders of the Republican Party and Conservatives support Trump’s immorality, then everyone can break the rules when they feel like it. Trump fake news has much of America wondering just what the truth really is. If you can’t believe in your politically biased church, you can’t believe in the free press, you can’t believe in the experts, in the wise or even in the experienced, just what can you believe in? Well, you can believe this: Trump fake news and Trump alternative truths is what life is like when you have lost your moral compass. Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.
Horse and Sparrow tax scam: Tax cuts which ended up mainly for the rich failed to generate a better economy under Reagan and both the Bushes. The income gap between rich and not-rich has grown every year since l970. In the eighties failed tax cuts led to the Financial Crisis. In the nineties income turned down when the technology bubble burst. By 2007 the rich man’s mortgage fraud meltdown gave us a decade of the great Republican Recession. Every time conservatives claimed tax cuts would spur economy, instead tax cuts led to stock buy-backs, unbridled high-risk ventures, overseas marketing and offshore bank accounts. America’s economic gap between rich and middle class today is worse than eighteenth century France before their revolution. Poor people stay poor until they have decent jobs. People buy when the have money to spend. Consumer buying creates demand and only demand creates jobs. Tax cuts are nothing more than the horse and sparrow theory: Feed the horse enough oats and some will pass through to the road for the sparrow. The Queen of France lost her head when she told workers who had no bread to eat cake. Conservatives tax cuts are telling America’s workers to find their dreams in horse dung. Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.
Business is a privilege not a right: It is difficult to question the person who signs your pay check. But business has no legal rights over labor. Divine right of kings may have fostered on subjects for centuries, but any sort of authority, government or business, has no legal rights unless generated by the people who authorize it through government. Individuals, for example, are allowed to establish and operate businesses under a grant of license by the people of a community. Businesses are allowed to engage in commerce by the public through government. People coming together form a nation. Government is the people––you and I and those we elect as our representatives. Government is the ultimate power. The purpose of government is to provide for the prosperity of the people. Any business that fails to provide prosperity for the people, as determined by the people, can be discontinued. Business wealth comes from the community in which the business exists. Business wealth cannot be used against the prosperity of the people for the sole benefit of the ownership. Conservatives want to control their wealth without regard to the welfare of the people. Conservatives use their wealth to persuade others (religious, cultural, and educational groups) to join conservative interests even though such interests serve mainly to increase conservative wealth. Such is the impact of conservative wealth that when a worker takes a job he or she has been conditioned to fail to consider that business has an obligation to the public, not just to employ workers to make a profit. It is this mistaken belief that the purpose of business is only to make a profit that subordinates workers to ownership. The idea that the owner puts in money and therefore takes all the risk is ridiculous. The people own the land, issue the license to commerce, provide the wherewithal for materials, streets, public services, law enforcement, fire control, and all the sub-services and ancillary activities that make it possible for businesses to exist. Workers risk their own lives and energy to enable business profits. Workers have much more to lose by providing labor than any investment provided by ownership. Business exists for the prosperity of the people not for making the wealthy richer. Government of the people and by people is for the people. Business is a privilege given by the people not a right granted over workers. Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.
War, the American way of life: There are few scenes more heart-rendering than a parent or spouse overwhelmed by the death of a loved one. The sorrowful pieta sculptures and paintings attest to the universal angst of untimely demise. Despite the hundreds of thousands of loved ones killed and the tens of millions permanently injured––both a devastating loss and a horrendous burden on all society––the US has spurred the apocalypse more often than any other nation over the past century; thirty-five separate non-stop wars over the past seven decades. One million, three hundred thousand US soldiers are presently in harms’ way, war-ready at foreign military bases around the world––more than half in the Middle East, the other half in Asia, Africa and Europe, with a smattering in South America. Only 1% of the mighty US military machine stands guard along US bastions in defense of the homeland. Meanwhile billions and billions of dollars in US military weaponry, enough to wipe out the world, is housed on foreign soil. Wars in the Middle East involving US combat forces and US weapons have killed and maimed and made homeless more civilians—fathers and mothers, husbands and wives and their children than all other US wars combined. The so-called US Department of Defense does not exist for the “Defense” of America. US soldiers are stationed around the world, not to defend and protect the US, but to ensure our national interests. A military-backed foreign policy is how the US pursues its so-called national defense. War to protect “standard oil” is now the American way of life. Like ancient Rome, military aggression has become a substitute for diplomacy, constant war and constant death in the place of negotiated peace. Someone should do something to correct our errant way of life. Someone should step up to right this wrong. Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.
Crimes against humanity: International courts deal with crimes against humanity––genocide, torture, political, racial or religious persecution––by using human rights as a framework of justice. But there is another sort of crime-against-humanity created by social beliefs and political considerations. Denial of man-made climate change, for example, is a social and political issue that is endangering not only the planet but the all mankind. Segments of society that consider climate change hoax are endangering everybody along with themselves. Denial of the existence of climate change and therefore endangering the general public makes denial of climate change a crime. And, not only is such denial a crime in itself, but the mass action of denial impedes finding a reasonable solution. Humanity cannot wait for climate change deniers to accept reality. We must halt the deluge of CO2 emissions or we will all suffer the catastrophic consequences. For the good of the planet and for the good of all mankind, climate change deniers must be treated as social criminals and exposed for the dangers that climate change denial represents and publicly labeled as committing crimes against humanity. Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.
Why deny climate change? Climate change has become a matter of ethics and polarized people: CO2 emissions are bad. Emitters are guilty of sin. Concern over the danger, while enjoying the benefits, is hypocritical. Moral responsibility lies at the crux of the matter and some people would rather deny climate change than admit they are guilty and doing nothing about it. To make matters worse, Republicans have seized upon human frailties and politicized climate change as a hoax. Denial not only helps avoid business restrictions, it rallies base voters that don’t like change at all. Meanwhile, carbon-dioxide pours into the planet’s atmosphere at the rate of billions of tons a day––as it has for the past almost three-hundred-year industrial revolution. The planet gets hotter, droughts more frequent and longer, famine spread due to drought, hurricanes are now more ferocious and devastating, and wild fire seasons are longer and more severe decade after decade. Denying climate change has reached a level close to the threshold of permanent change. Denying climate change endangers the whole world, and as such is a crime against humanity. Those who are trying to solve the problem are being put further in danger by those whose denial creates the problem’s very existence. We know people deny climate change to avoid guilt. The question is how do we change the issue from ethics to practicality’ how do we and foster a social climate of win-win climate change fix? Richard Dorsey, Hacienda Heights, CA.