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Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Gotta love the headline: An Ugly Side of Free Trade: Sweatshops in Jordan. Maybe the NY Times is afraid that their flat-earth columnist Tom Friedman will say bad things about them if they suggest that exploitation of garment workers in Jordan is the norm, not the exception, when it comes to so-called "free trade."

There is no side of "free trade" which isn't ugly--it brings poverty to every nation it touches. Without slick-talking salesmen like Friedman and Bill Clinton, this pillage of the world's workers and resources would have been rejected long ago.

I have a friend from Mexico. She was telling me about some of the poor villages in Mexico--no cars, no TV's. But for real poverty, she couldn't get over what she saw when she spent two weeks in Flint, Michigan, devastated by its abandonment by GM for lower-wage labor to the south, which was facilitated by NAFTA and other so-called "free trade" agreements. And she and I both know that the GM factories and other maquiladoras have hardly been a boon to Mexico, either--even the ones that haven't already moved on to even cheaper labor elsewhere.