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Posts Tagged ‘bubba’

Having been born and raised in Gary, Indiana (1st 18years), I’ve lived in the Raleigh-Durham, NC area since June 2001. The similarities between Indiana and North Carolina are in most instances subtle, and in some instances striking.

Indiana, Northwest Indiana in particular, has suffered greatly due to the global economy, primarily through the loss of blue collar work in steel mills and manufacturing.

The Raleigh-Durham area is positively affected by it’s proximity to Research Triangle Parks Biomedical and Technology focused industry. These industry’s and the major banking industry presence in Charlotte has allowed both the Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte job force in North Carolina to avoid being negatively affected by the global economy.

However, rural North Carolina has been devastated by the effects of the global economy. Free trade agreements have negatively affected both North Carolina and Indiana with respects to jobs being lost to cheap labor located in places foreign to US soil.

How fitting is it that the two primary’s that I believe will decide who gets the Democrat Presidential nomination are the Indiana and North Carolina primaries.

The North Carolina voter has a unique paradox because it ecompasses voters who have not only been negatively affected by the global economy but also positively and negatively affected by the US’s global war on terror.

Eastern North Carolina is home to a vast number of US military installations such as:

The Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, NC

Fort Bragg Army Installation near Fayetteville, NC

Pope Air Force Base, Fayetteville, NC

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base

Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Installation

The US Cost Guard Installation in Elizabeth City, NC

The Marine Corps Air Station in Jacksonville, NC

While North Carolina bases have seen an increase in military manpower assigned to it’s bases (thus creating economic stimulus to the communities they surround), they have also had to deal with the loss of life and problems facing soldiers who return with mental and physical injuries associated with serving in the two wars the US is currently involved in, Afghanistan and Iraq.

While Indiana as well as other states certainly are dealing with similar issues, North Carolina is one of the epicenters for these concerns in whole US of A.

That’s actually the way I view Northwest Indiana in the area of job loss to foreign labor; an epicenter of blue collar job loss. In this area, the job losses started in the 70’s. “The Region” (as they call it) has lost, probably, over 100,000 jobs in the steel and manufacturing sectors over the past two decades. I actually believe that 100,000 would be a conservative number.

In some respects, the textile industry in North Carolina has suffered the same plight as the Northwest Indiana industries. Take a look at the following:

  • 1994—> The Uruguay Round’s Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC) requires countries like the U.S. to phase out import restrictions on textiles and apparel under MFA over the next ten years.—> NAFTA goes into effect.
  • 1999—> Burlington Industries lays off over 2000 workers in six North Carolina textile plants.
  • 2000—> President Clinton signs the Trade and Development Law of 2000. Thislaw consists of the U.S. – Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) and the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Both of these measures improve trade relations between the U.S. and countries in the Caribbean Basin and Africa.—> Shelby Yarn closes three plants in Shelby and Cherryville, North Carolina, eliminating 650 jobs.
  • 2001—> Westpoint Stevens eliminates 1250 jobs in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.
  • 2003—> Kannapolis-based Pillowtex closes five North Carolina plants and eliminates over 4,000 jobs. The Raleigh News and Observer calls it “the single biggest job loss ever in North Carolina (Martinez, 2003).”
  • 2004—> U.S. Congress will be debating and voting on CAFTA, a trade agreement similar to NAFTA that includes Central American countries like El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica.—> New York financier Wilbur Ross decides to create new International Textile Group by merging bankrupt Burlington Industries and Cone Mills. The new textile giant is expected to have annual revenues of $900 million (Lunan, 2004).
  • 2005—> All textile and apparel quotas will be eliminated for 148 WTO nations under ATC.

http://www.duke.edu/web/mms190/textiles/

Since 1993, at least 13,000 jobs in North Carolina has been lost in the textile and furniture production industries due to NAFTA. Indiana has lost over 16,000 jobs to NAFTA in the motor vehicle equipment and electric equipment industries.

http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/briefingpapers_nafta01_impactstates

I dare a news media rep to go to the towns that lost these jobs and ask the ones who have lost their lively hood, if they are bitter because of free trade agreements that Billary Clinton and Dupya have signed into effect during their tenures in the White House.

I’m sure they’ll get an ear full bitterness.

Imagine what it’s going to be like when the soldiers are brought back to the US. The economy is in shambles due to Dupya’s teams financial and political ineptness. Unemployment is already high. Imagine what’s going to happen when these soldiers get back and they can’t find a job.

What if they feel they can’t get a job because of the illegal immigrant effect on the local job market.

A veteran solider is not going to work for or provide “cheap labor”.

NAFTA NEEDS TO BE RENEGOTIATED.

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