1. Jobs are always disappearing. The big question is why they are not being replaced by new jobs. Rust belt policies that drove out old jobs also keep out new jobs. NAFTA makes it easier for politicians to blame the problem on foreigners. In fact, foreigners make ideal scapegoats for politicians. After all, people in Japan or India can't vote in American elections.
2. Senator Obama says that he is for free trade, provided it is "fair trade." That is election year rhetoric at its cleverest. Since "fair" is one of those words that can mean virtually anything to anybody, what this amounts to is that politicians can pile on whatever restrictions they want, in the name of fairness, and still claim to be for "free trade." Clever.
3. In the short run, you can get away with all sorts of things. But, in the long run, the chickens come home to roost. The rust belt is where those rising costs have come home to roost. While American auto makers are laying off workers by the thousands, Japanese auto makers like Toyota and Honda are hiring thousands of American workers. But they are not hiring them in the rust belts. They are avoiding the rust belts, just as domestic businesses are avoiding the high costs that have been piled on over the years by both unions and governments in the rust belt regions.
Bottom Line: TANSTAAFL