Saturday, July 12, 2008

Globalization and The Medellin Economic Miracle, It's Saving Lives, But the Democrats Want to Stop It

MEDELLIN, Colombia -- This labyrinthine metropolis transformed over the course of a decade from a battlefield of drug lords, paramilitaries and leftist guerrillas into one of the safest, most dynamic cities in Latin America. Visionary inner-city renewal projects and a push to take back the lawless hillside slums by force deserve credit, but many here hail an unsung hero in Medellin's urban miracle -- globalization.

Exports surged in the 1990s as the United States granted temporary trade preferences to Colombia, allowing many of its products to enter the world's largest market duty-free. They really took off after 2002, when Washington expanded that agreement to include Colombia's all-important textile sector (see chart above). Humming assembly lines making Ralph Lauren socks and Levi's jeans sprang up across this picturesque Andean valley, creating tens of thousands of jobs and turning Medellin into a model of the curative power of liberalized trade.

The guns have quieted in Medellin. In 1991, the annual murder rate was 381 per 100,000 people -- a virtual war zone. In 2001, it was 174 per 100,000. Last year, it fell to 26 per 100,000, or lower than the District of Columbia (see chart above).

Colombia is also up against a resurgent global backlash to free trade -- including in the United States, the country that had spent the past two decades cajoling Latin America to open its markets. An election-year debate has politicians in Washington blaming globalization for the loss of U.S. jobs, holding up a vote in Congress on a free trade agreement with Colombia. That bill would make the current trade preferences permanent while allowing most U.S. products to enter Colombia duty-free.

Although strongly backed by the Bush administration, a free-trade pact with Colombia -- as well as other pending agreements with South Korea and Panama -- have been blocked by Democrats. Some are calling for a review of all future free trade agreements to assess their impact on U.S. workers.

7 Comments:

At 7/12/2008 10:48 PM, Blogger bobble said...

i have no comment about the trade agreement with columbia.

i think the trade agreement with china should be changed.

no currency manipulation allowed

pollution limited to united states regulations.

some worker safety protections.

china would still be far cheaper than u.s. costs, but at least the playing field would be level.

 
At 7/13/2008 3:22 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"In 2001, it was 174 per 100,000. Last year, it fell to 26 per 100,000, or lower than the District of Columbia"...

"a free-trade pact with Colombia -- as well as other pending agreements with South Korea and Panama -- have been blocked by Democrats. Some are calling for a review of all future free trade agreements to assess their impact on U.S. workers"...

Personally I think if the Democrats really gave a damn about the workers the treaties would go through...

I think its obvious the Dems really don't care about the workers or anyone else but are worried about their collective image instead, especially now that Medellin is safer than most cities run by a Democrat government...

Check out the following slide show: America's Most Murderous Cities

What do you bet that all these cities have a Democrat in charge?

 
At 7/13/2008 5:38 AM, Anonymous bob wright said...

"pollution limited to united states regulations."

Democrats say they are aghast at Bush's unilateralism in foreign policy [just google Bush unilateralism].

And yet Democrats insist on unilaterally imposing our laws and regulations on other sovereign governments.

Another classic example of Democrat politicians speaking out of both sides of their mouths and the MSM looking the other way as they have it both ways: simultaneously being both for and against unilateralism.

 
At 7/13/2008 9:31 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> china would still be far cheaper than u.s. costs, but at least the playing field would be level.

No it wouldn't. America is rich and fat. We can afford to hire people to clean up our messes.

China is not. While they have an excess of manpower, they lack the capital resources to do things as clean as they should.

That will change in the next 2-3 decades, as their real wealth per capita begins to approach that of the USA in the 60s, when we started seriously considering such things. Until then, it's absurd to think that China will concern itself with any form of pollution which does not have immediate catastrophic consequences (i.e., people dying in the streets from air pollutants).

The best things which could be done in this regards would be to design and produce modular nuke plants -- some construction of which would be done in China within the bounds of their technical capabilities (some parts would probably need to be made here, or in Japan, or in Taiwan [note: which might actually be smart]). This alone would resolve much of the current "CO2" concerns.

OTOH, since it may well be chinese output of CO2 which keeps us from entering the next ice age with the sun cooling still further in the next 2 decades, maybe it's good that they are building so many coal plants...

 
At 7/13/2008 9:33 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> What do you bet that all these cities have a Democrat in charge?

juandos, you know the solution to each of those problems: clear out certain dens, legalize drugs, and remove the gun control laws.

Clearing out the dens reduces the gang footprint, legalizing drugs eliminates their chief source of income, and removing "victim disarmament laws" reduces the number of potential victims.

 
At 7/13/2008 1:13 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Your comment obloodyhell: "clear out certain dens" makes eminent sense to me but Democrats favor the sanctuary city policy...

Apparently the Dems (and a herd of R.I.N.O.s) don't seem to care that these dens cost us taxpayers both monitarily and in many other ways all of which bodes ill for your idea of doing some den clensing...

 
At 7/14/2008 7:39 PM, Blogger Craig said...

"china would still be far cheaper than u.s. costs, but at least the playing field would be level."

Why meddle in China's internal economics? Let's worry about our own. We could start by cutting America's corporate tax rate -- taxes are a much higher cost to American business than wages.

 

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